Canary Sing

Friday, January 9

Get excited, people: Hollis "Ispire" Wear and Madeleine "the Lioness" Clifford, Seattle's favorite poet-emcees, are finally making a full-length album. And because they're working on that album, shows have been sparse. "Both of us have been performers for five or six years," Clifford explains, "but we've only been recording for a year. So we're focused on learning more about recording music right now." For those out there who aren't familiar with Canary Sing yet, they're the women who, even though they're unsigned with only a self-released EP to their names, earned themselves the privilege of performing with Saul Williams onstage at Bumbershoot this year. See, before Ispire and the Lioness were emcees, they were spoken word poets. Which is how they learned to spit such eloquent rhymes at speeds most emcees only dream about. Both full-time college seniors (Madeleine's an English major at University of Washington, Hollis a history major at Seattle University), the women write informed, mad-catchy rhymes about being biracial women in a male-dominated scene. But they also write more lighthearted stuff, and even when they get serious, they infuse difficult subjects with humor; they refer to themselves, Clifford tells me, as "playfully political" emcees. So watch out: if you're posturing, they will, as Hollis says in the song "Heroines," serve you like couscous. That's right. Couscous. Chew on that for a minute.

Fri., Jan. 9, 8 p.m., 2009

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