Monday, 18 March 2013

Heems- Start The Bus 17/03/13

Artists can have a great live show for many reasons. They can be energetic on stage, be note perfect, or have a weird spontaneity. Brooklyn rapper  and ex-Das Racist member Heems (or Himanshu) seems to have gone for the latter in a big way. 

His music, both with solo and with Das Racist always seems to tread the line between parody and serious hip hop, and when he takes to the stage Heems optimises this. 

What happens for the next hour showcases Heems brilliant weirdness perfectly. For starters he is fucked. It's hard to decide quite what he has consumed, but it's definitely got to him. Despite this he is absolutely word perfect. This also has made him incredibly chatty (take from this what you will).He starts with a weird freestyle about not needing to soundcheck. Whilst soundchecking . Then half way through second song "Rappin 2 U" he starts a half-ramble, half-stand up piece about how he thinks everyone is trying to punch him in the face. He gives a little cheeky smile after, knowing how ridiculous he is being.

 As if that wasn't odd enough, he also bought a mic hooked up to a delay pedal for one purpose. So he can shout into it endlessly making a wall of noise. This doesn't add anything to any of the songs and is there just for his own amusement It's as hilarious as it is perplexing. 

The music though is flawless. After going through a few solo songs, including "Cowabunga Knarly" and "Third Thing" from his most recent mixtape, he decides to do a montage of Das Racist songs. Set over the beat to "Xxplosive" by Dre.  Let that sink in for a sec, because it is as brilliant as you imagine.

 He controls the whole show, badly, from his laptop. This means he is easily distracted and brilliantly sloppy. When changing the track he accidentally plays a snippet of "Womyn". The crowd go nuts. So he does it, unprepared. Still word perfect. Considering the state he's in, this is a huge achievement. 

Then things get realllly weird. Heems decides to play Frank Ocean's "Forrest Gump" off his laptop. The crowd wait expectantly for him to rap over it. Instead he just sings it, karaoke style, finishing by saying "This musics way better than my own isn't it?" No one is quite sure whether this this was meant to be part of the show.

 He then gets distracted by an instrumental he got sent the other day, insisting he plays it to the crowd before rapping one of his own verses over the top. He's completely in his element, dancing along. You can't help but enjoy yourself along with him, despite not quite sure what's going on. 

Finishing off with newest single "Soup Boys", a politically changed banger condemning the US's use of drones, Heems has the crowd round his finger, even if he can't control his own fingers. He then put another song on his laptop, singing along before deciding the shows finished. 

The lack of any sort of plan or direction has not marred this show, if anything, making it better. He could have gone on for another hour, randomly spewing odd anecdotes and delving into his back catalogue and it would have still been energetic and fresh. A true weirdo.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

New Track - Smith Westerns "Varsity"

It's weird that despite Smith Westerns being two albums in, with third "Soft Will" due in June, they still manage to sound like a fresh, exciting band with each new song. With "Dye It Blonde" sound tracking my summer two years ago, I can easily see the new album doing it again. "Varisty" keeps the same dreamy optimism that Smith Westerns do so well with reverb-laden guitars swirling behind the almost falsetto vocals. Clearly the first albums scuzzy purism has been left behind for this sleek synth driven pop song that could settle nicely anywhere on "Dye It Blonde". If you listen to this and close your eyes, you can almost taste the sun.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Feb 13 Playlist

I'm back bishhes

1) Suit & Tie (feat. Jay-Z) - Justin Timberlake
2) Fashion Killa - A$AP Rocky
3) My Number - Foals
4) She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
5) Moth Wings - Pond
6) Now or Never - Kendrick Lamar
7) Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix
8) I'm Waiting For The Man - The Velvet Underground
9) Sans - Cheatahs
10) Redshift - Darwin Deez
11) Feels Like We Only Go Backwards - Tame Impala
12) Cocaine - FIDLAR
13) Let's Die - Turbowolf
14) V.E.N.O.M - Pulled Apart By Horses
15) Don't Like.1 - Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T and Big Sean
16) Wild Water Kingdom - Heems
17) Sit Down, Man (feat. El-P)
18) NPR - KOOL A.D.
19) Fineshrine - Purity Ring
20) Red Red Wine - UB40

Kurt Vile - Walkin On A Pretty Daze

This song will make you do one of two things upon hearing. The first is to sit back, relax, let Vile's chilled acoustic guitar and intimate vocals wash over you. The other is to get up, go out and do something, anything and bask in the uplifting vibe and bewitching lyrics. This is the beauty of "Walkin On A Pretty Daze", it just leaves so much to be imagined. The lyrics are sparse, but somehow full of meaning, hope and peace. The guitar is both simultaneously soothing and motivational. But it's Vile's voice that brings this to life. Whilst not being too dissimilar to his vocals on "Smoke Ring For My Halo", his close-mic whispering seems even closer, even more like he's in the room with you. All this completely justifies the fact the track is just over 9 minutes long because, to be honest, it could go on way longer and still be as captivating.