Hip Hop/Rap Stephen Carradini
Although the album is a pretty chill affair, Jabee puts on a show vocally. In the standout track “Jewels,” he raps quickly but evenly over old-school soul/R&B horns sample. “Coretta Scott” showcases his lyrical abilities, with a solid set of rhymes that boasts a reason for existence (alas, songs with “a point” are missing in much modern rap).
Jabee needs some dough, Heligoats need some listeners
OKC rapper Jabee will be among the many Oklahoma artists heading down to Austin for SXSW this week, and he’s put out the APB that he needs some help getting there.
In an e-mail addressed to “fans, friends and supporters,” Jabee says that he’s looking to raise $700 for his SXSW trip. But he’s not soliciting donations; all he’s asking is that people go to his incredibly well-stocked Bandcamp (98 tracks over 16 albums, mixtapes and singles) and buy some tunes.
Most of the tracks are “pay what you want,” so head over to his site and help a local artist advance his career for as much as you care to spend. He leaves today, so buy some Jabee jams ASAP. I’m especially fond of the Regina Spektor X Jabee tune.
In other SXSW news, Norman’s brand-new Anty Shanty is proving itself as an exciting new venue by hosting The Heligoats on Wednesday. The Heligoats are on their way down to SXSW, and they’re making a stop here with Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps. Local artist Brian Cagle will open. It’s a pretty great start for a new metro music venue, if they continue this trend.
It's been a long few years for the guys in The Pretty Black Chains. After The Stock Market Crash broke up (TSMC is still emblazoned on at least one guitar case that I noticed), the guys formed TPBC. After finding some success with their new band, they decided to drastically retool their sound from pop-rock oriented tunes to Led Zep-era hard rock. They finally make it down to Austin to spread their new sound on the world, and their van breaks down. In Texas.
But if all this chaos had them down, they didn't show it. Their riff-heavy, old-school hard rock set had people excited. Lead singer Kellen McGugan was enthusiastic as always, stalking around the stage before breaking into wild dance moves. The only time he shared vocal duties was when Jabee came to the stage, making his second cameo appearance in the day. The rapper threw down an electrifying rap on top of the rock'n'roll, and people responded to his cry of "Put your hands up!" The atmosphere was triumphant.
From the vocal heroics to the guitar heroics, The Pretty Black Chains threw it down.
While we’re on the subject of strange patrons, here’s a performance clip of NYC rapper Theophilus London kickin’ it at Cannes. The site and the preview ads are in French, which only contributes to the enjoyment. There are several incredibly surreal moments due to his audience, but the most hilarious is at 2:00:
Kitten’s “Chinatown” manipulates footage (slower, faster, forward, reverse) in a fascinating, mesmerizing way. It’s absurd that the lead singer is 16:
This “Where’s Waldo” of all-star comedians from the minds of The Beastie Boys is sidesplitting:
Colourmusic is now important enough that Vevo has jumped in on their music videos! The lovable Stillwater weirdos celebrate by making a video of ultra-closeups of Ryan Hendrix’s beard, face and skin. It’s disgusting but mesmerizing:
Jabee gets an interview and two songs in this clip from Ackerman McQueen Music. Jabee was a fifth-grade Michael Jackson:
Jake Troth pairs whistling, onomatopoeia and oh-so-smooth electronic pop in an is-it-ironic-or-not? tune. The video’s pretty slick, too:
Delay Trees’ video for “Cassette 2012” is gorgeously shot in soft hues. It’s not really of anything, but it’s beautiful and, thus, entertaining:
The video for Seun Kuti and Egypt 80’s “Rise” is also fascinating and beautifully shot. I love the dancing here:
It’s been a slow couple of months for interesting new music from established acts, be they indie or mainstream. Other than Kanye and Jay-Z’s epic collaboration on “Watch the Throne,” we haven’t heard much from the usual suspects.
But that’s not to say times are tough! Plenty of great music is streaming and downloadable right now, both from up-and-coming indie acts and locals. Here are my picks for the week.
Thundercat made himself known to indie audiences when he guested on Flying Lotus’ excellent “Cosmogramma” last year. FlyLo reciprocated by producing his debut LP, “The Golden Age of Apocalypse.” Stream it over at Hype Machine.
Tulsa and Enid have combined to give us Good Morning Grizzly, a pretty, pop-rock project that put this first big track up for download. It’s called “Stars and Satellites,” and you can snag it at the band's Bandcamp page.
Okie Chase Kerby (The City Lives) is getting back into the pop-rock game with Defining Times. Their debut EP was up for free download earlier in the week, but now it’ll set you back $5. I call that money well-spent.
Peter Bjorn and John stopped by KEXP’s studios in Seattle to play a couple of tracks off their latest record, “Gimme Some.” Watch “Breaker, Breaker” (complete with cowbell!) below.