Monthly Archives: November 2009

Critic's Pick: Canibus – Rip The Jacker

Canibus - Rip The Jacker


“In the beginning I discovered wordplay. I experimented with some syllables from the first to the third day. On the fourth I searched for the words to say – how to compress complex verbiage in the least amount of space. I was perfect at it – I mastered the tactics. On the fifth day I decided that I would combine it with mathematics. On the sixth day I became a fanatic, and I couldn’t kick the habit. I would just look in the mirror and practice. On the seventh cycle? I had to take the day off. I was exhausted, I guessed my work would never pay off. But if it happened to Him, it could happen to me. And if it happens to me it was destined to be.”

If the true art of rap is a quest for a logical proof that the emcee is a God, Germaine “Canibus” Williams has come closer than any artist in history. On several occasions.

Rip The Jacker is a surreal, sometimes whimsical display of lyrical aptitude laid over beats drawn from an eclectic collection of western-hemisphere influences.

Seemingly, the entire purpose of the album is for Canibus to prove that he is a divine entity. His other work seems to tip-toe around his obsession – but in Rip the Jacker he seems liberated to take it on full-bore. But here’s the thing – when he’s rapping about the things that really are dear to him – the countless hours of practice, the philosophers he tries to emulate, the purpose of hip hop, why he failed so miserably and why we are no more likely to succeed – we actually learn something about the man. In Rip the Jacker, Canibus combines his unheard-of talent with the kind of introspective lyricism that can only come from a man who has seen all of his dreams fall to pieces.

Like so many rappers, he is better when he has nothing. It is too bad that the world first heard Canibus after Wyclef Jean told him that he could have everything.

Continue reading

Old Canes Return With Feral Harmonic

Old Canes - Feral HarmonicI never thought I’d ever hear another Old Canes record after singer/songwriter Chris Crisci released Early Morning Hymns in 2004. Crisci continued to heavily pursue his main project Appleseed Cast and I just assumed that Old Canes was going to be a thrown away side project. Well on October 20th Old Canes surprised me and released a new record on Saddle Creek titled Feral Harmonic and it’s everything I wanted and waited for. It’s raw and honest. Loud and bold. It’s a contemporary style of folk music that pulls from influences of every type of music I’ve ever loved ranging from indie rock to punk rock. Mix barreling drums with bright trumpets, singing harmonicas and foot stomping choruses and you have yourself Feral Harmonic. Check ou the track “Trust” below and pick up their new album here.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Springsteen Wednesday: Millworker

Springsteen Wednesday


Leave it to Springsteen to take a melancholy James Taylor song and turn it on its head. I’m a fan of James Taylor’s version, however, it paints a different picture with the same words. When I listen to James’ version I hear a sadness behind this character, when I listen/watch Bruce play it you can feel an anger and desperation. I found it interesting how he interpreted it. Amazing job.

Check 'Em Out – Them Crooked Vultures

BUY ALBUM | WEBSITE | Posted by Justin Tordella

ignorance is bliss until they take your bliss away

Super groups have been around for several decades with varied success. That probably explains why I was a bit weary when I heard that three of my favorite musicians were starting a new band. I mean, why else would I have any reason to doubt the collective forces of drummer Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana, etc etc etc), vocalist and guitarist Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)? All three of these men have an incredible track record – and this effort is no exception. Each of the three men have a lot to bring to the table and their individual styles are clearly heard through out the 66 minute effort. I highly recommend that you check ‘em out!

LAPKO – I Shot The Sheriff [VIDEO]

LAPKO will never stop amazing us. I’m pretty goddamn serious about that. Their new video for the rack “I Shot The Sheriff” takes everything we knew about the band and throws it out the window. But then after falling out of the window and hitting the ground, it spends some time in the hospital and manages to fall in love with one of its nurses. Something out of the movies, ya know? This new found love gives it a whole new take on life and the two wind up getting married and buying a house together a few years down the line. Unfortunately she winds up cheating on him with the neighbor and he gets roughed up in an alley way a week later because he didn’t pay up on his gambling debt.

Take from that what you will, but if you like the track below, you can also download it, courtesy of the band, for one week only here. This track is from their yet to be named/released upcoming album on Fullsteam Records.

Your Weekly Free Font: League Gothic

League Gothic

During our day job we are constantly on the hunt for inspiration. One of those ways we do this is by tapping into the incredible amount of design resources throughout the internet and keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s new… or what’s old and just plain awesome that we never noticed before. Either way, we spend a good amount of time seeking these elements out and this is our chance to share with you some of our favorites that are free of charge.

Your Weekly Free Font: LEAGUE GOTHIC

This bold, sans-serif font is beautifully designed and if used properly can really make an impact. League Gothic was created by The League of Moveable Type – a great resource for well designed Open Type fonts. I’d spend some time trying to explain to you the font and its history (especially our history with Alternate Gothic), but TLOMT state it best on their site:

League Gothic is a revival of an old classic, and one of our favorite typefaces, Alternate Gothic No.1. It was originally designed by Morris Fuller Benton for the American Type Founders Company (ATF) in 1903. The company went bankrupt in 1993. And since the original typeface was created before 1923, the typeface is in the public domain.

We decided to make our own version, and contribute it to the Open Source Type Movement. It’s free, not only in price, but in freedom.

Click here to visit the site and download League Gothic. Also check out their Manifesto.

Please note that this font is subject to the Open Font License.