by Josh Gross
Several dozen people crowded into the basement stage of Tom Grainey's Feb. 17 for the debut of Boise hip-hop supergroup Glorious Pop, a collaboration between Brock Stringer (Charles Engels) and Steve Stein (Oso Negro). For this project, the duo are going by the names Glorious Esteban and Trey Pop—because eleventy gazillion names is the easiest way for the press to keep track of who's who.
"I'm glad there's a bunch of people here on a Sunday for this," Esteban/Engels/Stringer said after opening sets from P-Dirt and Engels' live band, Family Matters. "I know y'all missed church for this. Or came right after Jeopardy."
Though Glorious Esteban had a more toned-down attitude than his alter ego, Charles Engels, Stringer was still in rare form, slamming back shots, climbing on the speakers and generally forgetting all the lyrics to the duo's songs.
Both Stringer and Stein said the goal of the project was to focus on a more mainstream pop sound than the aggressiveness or psychedelia of their solo projects. And for the most part, the duo accomplished that with snappy, mid-tempo beats perfect for head-bobbing, samples of "Summer in the City" and casual lyrical explorations of alien astronauts.
The band's debut EP was also released at the show.
"CDs are like $4.97," said Engels. "I hope y'all brought change."
It was not the strongest live debut ever. But with solid fundamentals and six weeks to go until the band plays with Sage Francis at Treefort, all should soon be well in Glorious Pop-ville.
You can stream the new EP below or download it here.