Derek The Dude

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Derek Erdman is the best human friend you could ever imagine having. (I only imagine it because we live in different states and never really hang out unless it’s his birthday or Tit Pig is performing.) This morning, in all the nostalgia that systematically rains over me on April 20th, I was listening to Devin the Dude in my bedroom and asked Erdman in an email if he could whip up a drawing of my favorite Houston rapper. Didn’t expect anything in return, what with Erdman’s huge art opening at The Crocodile tonight from 6pm to 9pm*, but I don’t think Erdman gets nervous about things. Or if he does, he just makes more art stuff to throttle his busy, colorful mind. Because just a few hours later, I had before me an illustrated portrait of the blazing Coughee Brotha I had the pleasure of experiencing in the flesh over the four years I lived in Houston, Texas. Devin got his nickname The Dude because he was just a cool regular, smoothed out dude who likes weed, wine, and women. Just a regular cat on the corner. He was not arrogant, flashy, or macho and could get down with just about anyone in the house. Devin is a family man, a father of four children, who is constantly on his grind, writing, recording, and performing to put food in their mouths and clean clothes on their bodies. He’s as much an important part of Houston rap culture as Geto Boys and DJ Screw. All distinctly with their own voice and style. Geto Boys had a dwarf, Screw had his syrup, and Devin has weed. All day, err’day, Devin don’t give a fuck and just lights it up. This is the song that lit my Devin devotion back then, that still burns hot today.

*Don’t worry, home boys, Derek’s art is still gonna be up next time you go to see a show at The Crocodile.

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Portable Shrines Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1

March 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Pacific coastline of these United States is one of the most unique, awe-inspiring sights in the world, stitched together by jagged rocks that have slowly been carved out by the ocean’s impenetrable force, rivers and streams that lacerate the land, trees that provide shelter from the ground to the sky, and secluded beaches where anemones pique your colorful curiosity and sea lions laze about.  The tapestry of these spectacular coastal sights are woven with a strong understanding of the music and the life, spirituality, madness, peace, and glory that exists within these confines.

On Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1, Seattle psyche collective Portable Shrines have curated a largely Pacific Northwest-rooted comp that includes some of today’s most lucid visionaries and stoned mongrels. It’s made up of colors that appear in dreams, in drones, and in screams that rattle like bones. From the sacrificial pagans Geist and the Sacred Ensemble, who open the comp with the ritualistic dark seance of “Circle,” to Tiny Light’s mountainous kraut-in-space jam “Shasta,” to Master Musicians of Bukkake’s vinyl-exclusive “BAN A CHU,” the trails that lead you through the Magic Sound Theatre are vast and rugged. The musical sequence of Diminished Men’s “Oblong Trance” unfolds like a stir-crazy, backwoods hermit who sets out into the night to seek vengeance on his soul, before AFCGT’s curmudgeonly “Clocks” descends from the shadows and slams an iron rod into the ground. Such effects induce lightning flashbacks on the rough-n-ready garage of Night Beats “Thorns” and To Get Her Together’s “Gotta Make Your Hands Work.”

With all the valuable musical real estate that is built on this double LP, Portable Shrines own house band, Midday Veil only gave themselves just a tiny little bungalow, with the two-minute Haight heyday hit “Child of God.” But with Emily Pothast’s enchanting spirit and David Golightly’s telepathic musical revelations, it’s hard to go wrong. By allowing Portland psych rappers E-Tap (just kidding, they don’t rap and their name is Eternal Tapestry) and their hometown female companions, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, to flash-blast your mind with “Chrome Forest” and “Burn It Down,” my stoked factor on the comp continues to push itself into the red. This is a comprehensive and essential collection of psychedelic, garage, and experimental music happening in America, stuff that continues to push the envelope in the air, in the eyes, and in the mind, while pulling you into the tide.

Available April 16, 2011 (RECORD STORE DAY) at the best record stores, and exclusively through Light in the Attic Records.

The Lumerians – Transmalinnia

March 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

A pack of hungry wolves wearing leather biker vests came out of the forbidden woods. These woods were the kind of mammoth coastal groves with trees that pierced the sky, where shape-shifting fog drifted in like a ghost and blanketed the fertile forest floor. The wolves chose these woods as their home, for there would not be many visitors. The visitors, when there were a brave few who dared trudge amongst the trunks, were often met by illuminating eyes in the shroud, yellow and cold. Fearful of what they didn’t know existed past what they could not see, the visitors always left immediately but kept hearing whispers as they returned to safety in their nestled hemlocks. These wolves were not the savage types that would disembowel the visitors, but they would seep into their souls. They were cunning and didn’t feel threatened by their curious neighbors. They played in the woods and protected their territory, and only hunted other forest creatures that shared the land. The wolves emerged from the darkness only to feast on a fresh kill. Their eyes would turn blood red, as they devoured, and howled in celebration of sacrificial redemption. No one knows why they wear vests.

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