Thursday night, while lots of people were watching Wale experience Houston hospitality firsthand, Rocks Off was at the tiny South Main joint Azul Lounge, watching SYDTHEMAN perform. We wanted to see if he sounded as idyllic in person as he does on his album, Singin' Rappin' & Cussin'.
Quick Aside: He does. Matter of fact, he actually sounds a little better, particularly if you were unimpressed with the makeshift production on SR&C (he had his three-piece band with him). His two-hour show included rubbery hat-tips to Cee-Lo, whom SYD can surprisingly just about match in scale, and the magnanimous Erykah Badu.
At one point, he did a male-oriented version of Badu's "Next Lifetime" and, blasphemous as it may sound, handled it entirely. More will come on him, for certain. However, and you might have maybe noticed this, but that picture up there, that ain't SYD.
That is a woman named Marium Echo. She relieved SYD for a moment or two, and HO-LEE SHIT.
Prior to last night, we had no idea she even existed - we only even found out her name by asking everyone we could see who she was until somebody had an answer - but after about two minutes it was clear that she is, no hyperbole, the best female vocalist in (at least) the state.
Her voice is all everything: Subtle, intimidating, powerful, delicate, gigantic, pinhole-tiny, earthy, ethereal, blah, blah, blah. She spent six or so minutes ad-libbing OOOOHHSS and WEEWEEWEEWOOOHHS while the band tried its very best not to be rendered obsolete; it was like watching one of those charity basketball games where Kobe Bryant plays against 13-year-olds.
It was, to be entirely clichéd about the enormity of her impromptu demolition of the lounge's protons and neutrons, breathtaking.
She ripped the guts out of Badu & the Roots' "You Got Me," moving a woman sitting near us to respond with a simple, disbelieving, "No... way."
And then, just like that, just like goddamn Keizer Soze, *poof* she was done; a 10-minute, one-way, tempestuous adore-a-thon.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Marium, if you happen across this - surely we're not the only fools with a Google Alert set for our own name - email/call/text/tweet/poke/message us.
Somebody, ANYBODY, please find her.