Time at the Rex Lounge

Among the most literate of hip-hop artists, Chris Steele, aka Time, is a seemingly endless wellspring of clever turns of phrase and creatively illuminating pairings of words and ideas. The guy certainly has silly, fun-loving songs, but even these are written with a playful intelligence. Time's true genius can be discerned in his clearly having absorbed and built upon the work of influences as disparate as the Beats, Salvador DalĂ­, Sole and Graham Hancock. His 2008 album, The Fantastic Reality, suggested transcendence by establishing a parallel culture that embraces creativity and the subversive appropriation of popular culture. The newly released, jazz-inflected Naked Dinner explores the literary possibilities of found writing and cosmic paranoia. A dynamic live performer, Time (due at the Rex Lounge on Wednesday, July 29) has a multi-tiered sense of humor that is sometimes lost on the audience, but his superb songs are unforgettable.

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