Double Door, 3.14.11: FiveSTAR, Young General, Jason Gatz, MC Rota

Very excited to be a weekend away from this Monday’s show at Double Door. MC Rota of the Nocturnals; Jason Gatz, Ashley Good, and Whammy; and FiveSTAR — Young General, Marcus Rezak (guitar), Matt Longbons (bass), Greg Fundis (drums). And if you want to stay late, DJ Tank will be on the ones and twos.

Doors open at 8:30 PM… show at nine… I will be co-hosting with Young General… and we will be shooting footage during the FiveSTAR performance for an upcoming video. Five bucks at the door, CD giveaways, White Sox Fitted tees, women’s wallets from J. Gatz, Blue Russians at the bar. Find me and say hello!



Lineup card and writeups from Jack M Silverstein below…


8:30 Doors

9:00 Hosts intro

9:05 MC Rota

9:25 Whammy (Jason Gatz)

10:05 FiveSTAR (Young General)

Before 11:00 DJ Tank


3 Quick Minutes, with… designer Xack Gibson (, Nov. 2010)

I think for me, there’s been a lot of personal growth in projects. I think originally I would kind of go in and just do what I wanted, (laughs), because I could be very bad like that when it comes to my designs. More recently I’ve become a lot better at listening to what people want, and then combining that with a functional and yet very, hopefully, grabbing design.


Review of Next Time It’s Personal by the Nocturnals (, Aug. 2010)


“I need some cash/my parents say I shouldn’t rap for it/I feel like I have a natural knack for it.”

And so begins “Next Time It’s Personal”, the debut LP from The Nocturnals, a rapper-producer collab between newcomer MC Rota and nearly newcomer The Letter N. Rappers are known for their bravado and bold self-assertions, and Rota claiming to have “a natural knack” for rapping (only nine seconds into his first, under-the-underground album, no less) plays as an intriguing aw-shucks hip-hop boast. It is also the challenge he must live up to, the question that will drive our reception of his performance over 13 tracks. With no guests and few hooks, there is little for Rota to hide behind on “Next Time It’s Personal”; the Letter N’s canvas is visible but rarely out front, so we spend the record ensnared in Rota’s stream-of-conscious verses, debating his “natural knack.” Though he doesn’t quite pull it off over the entire 13 song set, there are enough flickers of enjoyment in this debut to look forward to Rota’s next offering.


Good Tunes for Two Bucks, focus on… The Nocturnals (, Nov. 2010)


It was the newcomer Rota who broke onto the scene with The Nocturnals’ LP Next Time It’s Personal. And nowhere is his nerd-hop bravado more bold and awkward than on “Where I Dream To Be, Briefly,” a celebration of everything we would love to say to the most beautiful girl in the bar, if only we had the balls.


People with Passion: Jason Shaw (, Feb. 2009)


I want to be an inspiration. I’m not saying a role model – I’m just saying I would love to be an inspiration to the next generation of hip-hoppers and MCs. I’m not saying they should do everything that I did, but maybe I’ll inspire them to write one of their best lines. That’s what’s up for me. Changing the game. Be unique. Be unique to the point where, when somebody’s trying to say something, you’re like, “Man, you’re rhyming like Gatz.” That’s what I’m talking about. I want to be like that. If anybody raps like Busta, they rapping like Busta. That’s his. Somebody rhyming like D, that’s DMX. Even Jay…you can tell when somebody’s trying to be like Jay in a minute. I just want to be one of those cats. Somebody where their style and their whole presence is just so unique, you can’t duplicate it without getting called out.


3 Quick Minutes, with… Jason Gatz (, July 2010)


(Speaking about his EP The Indescribable Description) This is my first solo effort that I’ve released, so you’re getting just Jason Gatz here. You’re getting that raw hip-hop, but on top of that you’re getting, you know, pop or club joints, and then on top of that you’re getting the rock and roll. What the hip-hop heads are gonna appreciate, and what they do appreciate from me, is I come from a hip-hop background. All of my lyrics, everything is solid. It’s not like I’m just on there skittin’ and spittin’ and shit. You can expect solid lyrics from me throughout the whole album.


3 Quick Minutes, with… Ashley Good (Performer Magazine, Aug. 2010)


(Speaking about her performance-inspired hair twists) I don’t plan any of that. It’s all different and improvised every time. It’s alive. I love to perform. I love to be on stage and sing and feel people. I use myself as an audience, and I vibe and groove with it. I’m from jazz and soul and blues and stuff like that. It takes its own direction. It takes the lead. It’s my man, the music.


Good Tunes for Two Bucks, focus on… Jason Gatz (, Nov. 2010)


…but ultimately, this CD hinged on The Hits, and wanting to pile as many as possible onto the album. For those purposes, “Whammy,” with its easy flow, big production from The Letter L, and memorable chorus, is the way to go.


People with Passion: Young General (, Feb. 2009)


That was it for me: Reasonable Doubt. That’s what started making me pay attention to the new generation of hip-hop. I mean, I listened to Pac, I listened to Biggie, I used to love them. But when I listened to Reasonable Doubt, it was a separation. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was another level. I felt like there was music. It didn’t sound like pots and pans banging. It was orchestration. (hums opening chords to Politics as Usual) And Jay-Z, he was the narrator. It was beautiful. It was perfect.

You know what my ultimate dream would be? My most envious moment musically was when Jay-Z did Unplugged and got to rock with the Roots live. That was my most envious moment as an artist, because I feel like the live performance and live instruments bring an aspect to music that is irresistible. Live instruments force the body to move. When you take that to a caliber of the Roots band, and then you add Jay-Z – like, why not me? Why can’t I get two tracks with the Roots? They would rock it. That would be my dream, to get with a rock band and be able to do a live Young General performance.


An evening of hip-hop with Young General, PART I (, May 2010)


This is a band that adores live performance, a love apparent in their bodies, faces, and overall grooves. In the arms and chest, Fundis seems birthed from the Charlie Watts school of casual rocking. The key physical difference is their faces: while Watts has a bemused look of front-porch ease that matches his body language, Fundis always looks a millisecond away from pouncing upon and slaughtering a wild rabbit for the day’s kill.

Tonight, however, the Moment has transformed our wild game hunting drummer, as evidenced by the slight smile slipping into his cheeks and his newly angry eyes. Over at guitar, a small head bop has taken over the usually all-business Rezak, while nearest to the bar, Leibovich can be seen clearly enjoying himself. It is his night, (along with Great Divide), and as he plays his keys, his eyes can’t help but float through the crowd, connecting with the smiles of friends and family here to support him.


People with Passion: Marcus Rezak (, Oct. 2010)


I’ve seen you with The Hue doing the dueling guitar thing, and with FiveSTAR or 56 Hope Road, and I’ve seen your two-man acoustic set with dude from 56. Regardless of the set-up, what is it like to be on stage playing guitar? What is that experience like?

It’s a lot of fun. It’s complete escape for me. Serenity. It is. It’s the one thing that I enjoy doing the most. It’s like a vacation. (Laughs.) Even if the music’s extremely intense and vigorous and hard, it’s still a vacation because it takes my mind to just focus on the music. I’m lucky that I’ve found that that’s my favorite place to be.


Good Tunes for Two Bucks, focus on… FiveSTAR (, Nov. 2010)


For their inclusion on Good Tunes for Two Bucks, I’ve selected “Tinted Glass.” Originally a Young General track produced by longtime collaborator Letter L (responsible for the “Whammy” beat), “Tinted Glass” benefits from FiveSTAR’s lush instrumentation, particularly the guitar work from Rezak. Along with being a good tune, “Tinted Glass” is the only track on the CD that cannot be found any place else. Enjoy!



CHECK OUT the review from Emanuel Wallace on Good Tunes for Two Bucks!


One Reply to “Double Door, 3.14.11: FiveSTAR, Young General, Jason Gatz, MC Rota”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s