This is a past event.

Skins & Needles 

When: Sat., May 12, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $5

The title of this event is a wincing lesson in bad marketing, but the musicians behind it are no joke. DJ Zeph has been a fixture in the local hip-hop scene for more than a decade, best known for his collaborations with the vastly unheralded emcee Azeem. (Their 2007 Om Records collaboration, Rise Up, is still a knock, five years later.) Drummer Max MacVeety is equally respected, both for his Berklee College of Music credentials and for his work with the hip-hop band Crown City Rockers. In fact, both of these artists have an enviable talent for flitting between the jazz, soul, and hip-hop worlds. In Zeph's case, that amounts to having ample knowledge of several different genres, and a penchant for blending them -- he does that with alacrity in "Floorwax," a disco track sutured to a looped backbeat. (It's enhanced by verses from Crown City rapper Raashan Ahmad.) Similarly, MacVeety improvises with free-jazz saxophonist David Boyce just as easily as he pumps the snare and high-hat for underground rappers. Together, these two percussionists make a formidable, if unorthodox, combination. They'll play with the Afrofunk Experience at Vitus (201 Broadway, Oakland) on Saturday, May 12. 10 p.m., $5. VitusOakland.com

— Rachel Swan

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