Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Michael Nhat: Everyone Knows Werewolves Kill

Some of you may know that I am huge fan of unconventional hip hop. Actually I'm a fan of anything that is pretty musically unconventional. The genre benders. The outsiders. The people who just plain don't give a fuck about keeping with tradition. Michael Nhat is definitely one of them. Some would say he takes from the Anticon playbook. Others would suggest that he draws from artists like Busdriver, Murs, Del, Subtitle, Aceyalone, amongst many others. Regardless, the aforementioned are still outsiders to me. And much more interesting than Lil Jon or Three Six Mafia. Here is his latest video.

Michael Nhat - Everyone knows Werewolves kill from Michael Nhat on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Review: No Paws (No Lions) - Don't Be Afraid of Where You Live

What is Punk? Some would point to a style, in the more traditional sense, something along the lines of Mohawks, safety pins holding up patches of bands like T.S.O.L., Total Chaos, Crass, amongst others, and what those bands embody in a stylistic sense. Others less educated would think of bands like Green Day and Blink 182. Don't get me wrong, somewhere along the line, I'm certain, those bands were exposed to punk in the more traditional sense. And then you got everything in between from The Pixies to Nirvana, Husker Du, NOFX, The Ramones, and The Sex Pistols.

I never grew up listening to punk. In my adolescent years I listened to a lot of what was popular on the radio. My only musical influence back then was my uncle who played a lot of Beatles, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Kenny Rogers, and a lot of other stuff that I look back at now and laugh at but still guiltily enjoy. As I got older, in my teenage years I still listened to a lot of the popular stuff on MTV; Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins. In fact I wasn't really exposed to punk in the traditional sense until later on when I was in my first band and my drummer introduced me to the more hardcore punk bands.

So where do I stand on this definition of punk? For me, I take the D. Boone/Minutemen stance; punk is what you make of it. Of course there will be some objections and for now we will have to agree to disagree.

What does this have to do with this review you ask? In my honest opinion, this album is a punk album. Why is that so important to the appraisal of this CD? Because that's the first thing that pops into my head when I listen to it. Short fast songs with a take it or leave it attitude. They cut out the bullshit and get down to business. There are songs about the mistakes that we made and the lessons learned. Songs about youth and being young and the idea that everything is possible. Take for instance the opening and title track Don't Be Afraid of Where You Live. It's a simple declaration of taking possession one's own city/place of residence. Where you live can be scary, boring, the bane of your existence or it can be the place where you do great things. It can be a place that great movements are born. It's what you make of it. It's not very often that you come across a band that is this full of hope. I think that's good though. It's those diamonds in the rough that keep you searching.

No Paws (No Lions) - Don't Be Afraid of Where You Live
Available through Family Time Records

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Interview: Motel Monster

I recently had a little chat with a band that I feel are one of the most unique bands coming out of the desert, Motel Monster, before they played J. Dee's Landing this past Saturday. If you haven't checked them out, you should.

Motel Monster interview from on Vimeo.