Friday, January 20, 2006

On The Rebound from the Underground - Pt. 1

Here's a story. My computer hard drive was stolen by Congolese rebels about a year ago. For some reason they suspected that I had the diplomatic ties to encourage the US increase it's Coltan consumption. I briefly visited the Democratic Nation (hah!) and attempted to retrieve my harddrive but was met with significant resistance. They wiped my entire music collection from it and the drive was never seen again. Luckily, I had backed up some of the music some time earlier on another hard drive. For strictly logistical reasons I can only recover one iPod Nano worth of music at a time.

This feature is going to be me showcasing some odd, rare, interesting, or just regular tracks that I encounter on my mission.

Before Andrew Bird was at the top of every indie-kids iTunes Playlist, he was just a skinny kid from Chicago that liked to play a violin. Ok -- I guess he's still just a skinny kid from chi playing violin, but he plays it differently now. I saw him play with Squirrel Nut Zipper some-teen years ago and he blew me away. He released 3 cds with his band, The Bowl of Fire, and each one of them was lightyears away from the previous. This is from the second of these releases -- Oh! The Grandeur -- and really showcases all of his substantial talents. Me loves me some Andrew Bird.

All Time Quarterback was Ben Gibbards solo experiment. I don't know if the guy just wasn't content cranking out album after album of sappy love music, but Death Cab for Cutie must not have been providing him enough exposure back in 1999. This song comes from a 5-song ST EP that he released on Elsinor Records. It's Lo-Fi, it's catchy, and it's the reason Ben Gibbard is now an indie household name.

Anomaly is a dark hip-hop DJ and produces some really black tracks. I can't find very much info on him from the internet, but if I recall I picked up this EP in late 1999/early 2000. The EP featured some really killer production, and cameo tracks by Slug, Eyedea, Abilities, Swift, and Los Nativos. That was pretty much the Rhymesayers Lineup in those days, but I don't recall Anomaly doing much else than this. I'd love to know what name he is working under these days because, as showcased on this track, he really can ride that foundation. Bonus -- his EP artwork was created by a guy that I have a slight obsession with -- Mr. Aaron Horkey (yes, those are hand drawn, kids. Aaron doesn't know how to use a computer.)

This was my friends band in 10th grade. If you listen to the track try to make it all the way through, because I just listened to it yesterday and it still blows me away. This kid is 16 at the time, plays the guitar like he has 11 fingers, layered his voice into his own gospel-ish choir, tells a biblical story that is sort of neat, and still manages to feature his tourettes during the bridge. Incredible, yes?


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