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Cities Aviv at the Hi-Tone Cafe

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"I had to hit 'em with that modern-man sound," Cities Aviv — aka Gavin Mays — raps on "Float On," a late-2010 single included on his debut album, Digital Lows. For this unique local rapper, the "modern-man sound" incorporates electrobeats, jazz piano loops, and golden-age-style turntable-and-sample songcraft and also video-game loops, bird noises, spaced-out indie rock, and big snatches of Steely Dan. With his left-of-center musicality and sure, declarative flow, Cities Aviv is something new in Memphis music, more reminiscent of national underground/indie stalwarts such as MF Doom, P.O.S., or the current Odd Future crew than any mainstream or Memphis precedent. His partnership with veteran DJ Redeye Jedi (Memphix crew, Tunnel Clones) and punk-rock past have made Cities Aviv a stronger live performer than most of his rap-scene compatriots. Cities Aviv will celebrate the release of Digital Lows at the Hi-Tone Café Friday, May 6th, with Royal'T, Cannomen, and DJ Leroy. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. The album is available for free download at citiesaviv.bandcamp.com. — Chris Herrington

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