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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist recommends the first Off the Avenue compilation and talks Two Piece Mini Fest

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Orlando indie rapper Niko Is, however, was a refreshing discovery. The Brazilian-Argentinean cuts quite the character, blending slinky tropical steez with a dense, left-side flow. Intriguing and free-spirited, he’s a fresh voice on the local hip-hop landscape and a cogent antidote to the stale rap stereotype.

And his a cappella finale was pretty damned dope.

Opening a mostly-acoustic showcase (May 28, Will’s Pub) was local Landon Pontius. He’s a nice, fresh-faced young man, the sort that girls like to introduce to their parents. Even if you haven’t heard this particular cat yet, you totally have. He’s just like those other guys who do acoustic pop with white-dude soul – yes, all of them. Now, Pontius don’t suck, he’s just stuck on the kind of freshman feelings whose realness is totally negated by their banality. Awww, I know.

But look at headlining Orlando folk bard Danny Leggett. Although I liked him when I first saw him, he’s now much more complete. Through nuance, craft and expressional depth, he’s simply more naturally penetrating than his peers. If you’re into the solo singer-songwriter stuff, at least explore someone legit like this. And it looks like a lot more of you are.

The caffeinated, wiry braid of power-pop and new wave that Boston’s Pretty & Nice (May 30, Peacock Room) pump out so energetically is alternately likable and irritating. But at least they got a thing going on. And they’re all in. But nothing this night was cooler than the Pauses’ cover of Grandaddy’s “A.M. 180.”

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