SHOW OFF: Sage Francis vs. Iska Dhaaf

Wednesday will be a delight for those that love a good lyricist with the up-and-coming duo Iska Dhaaf and veteran wordsmith Sage Francis coming to town. Unfortunately, you can’t see both, so we pit them against each other to see which group is most worth your dollars this time around. 

Sage Francis and Iska Dhaaf

Sage Francis and Iska Dhaaf

SAGE FRANCIS Paul “Sage” Francis has been an active rapper and spoken word poet for almost two decades. With a sixth album now under his belt, the founder of Strange Famous Records has carved out a name for himself with stingingly personal lyrics and an honest and precise delivery. His songs range from frantic and scattered thoughts of self-loathing to deliberate and engaging stories. The indie-rap icon recently came back from a four-year hitatus and is looking to get back in the game with new material and extensive touring. Expect to spend most of the show following the delightful lyrical paths into the mind of this unique artist. Hear the latest from Sage Francis’ new record here. Wednesday, July 2nd, 8 p.m., Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street.


ISKA DHAAF Hailing from the ‘you got to hear these guys’ capital of the world, Seattle, Iska Dhaaf describes itself as a band “inspired by Sufi poetry, limitation, and an obsessive preoccupation with writing.” Hipster jargon aside, the duo of indie-rockers Benjamin Verdoes and Nathan Quiroga make for meaningful and fun music. Iska Dhaaf loosely translates to “let it go” from Somali, and these fresh-faced artists create impressively layered music between the groups two members (Check out this video where the drummer is also playing the keyboards and singing to get an idea). The comparisons put them with groups like the Doors and Radiohead, but you can make up your own mind for just six bucks. Wednesday, July 2nd, 8 p.m., Ortlieb’s Lounge, 847 N 3rd Street.


While Sage Francis dwarfs the Seattle duo in YouTube views, Iska Dhaaf is going to be the better show for your money. While Sage Francis is sure to put on a solid show that is equal parts slam poetry and rap show, the more full-sounding nature of Iska Shaaf’s melodic and charming hooks should make for a better evening. Already bumping shoulders with Seattle-superstar Macklemore, it seems like this is a band to keep an eye on. Be sure to head to Ortlieb’s early and use the money you saved for half-priced drinks until 7:30 p.m. (Must be 21 and over for this show). Keep an ear out for: “Everybody Knows” and “Happiness”.