Ash Avenue Comics Staff on Galapagos, Faces, and Drainbow
Welcome to the latest installment of our weekly feature, Sound Off, in which Jason P. Woodbury is joined by a different guest each week to listen to and discuss three tracks from local Phoenix artists. If you would like your songs to be considered for future Sound Off columns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clockwise from top left: Galapagos, Drew Sully and Adrienne Osuch of Ash Ave Comics, Faces, Drainbow
Sometimes you have to kill two birds with one stone. I desperately needed to make it in to Ash Avenue Comics to pick up the conclusion of Uncanny X-Force's "Dark Angel" saga and the latest installment of Grant Morrison's socialist take on Superman, and I needed to lock down a guest for this week's edition of Sound Off. Those who browse the racks at Ash Ave (located in the same quadrant as Otto's Pizza, Cartel Coffee, Wet Paint Art Supply, and a stones toss from Casey Moore's) know that owner Drew Sully is just as apt to riff on the latest underground hip-hop as he is to recommend Brian Azzarello's take on Wonder Woman or riff on gentrification (that is, very likely).
Sully was joined in our discussion of three local tracks from electronic artist Galapagos, rapper Faces, and heavy rockers Drainbow by Ash Ave employee Adrienne Osuch, who was natural sporting t-shirt with an unreadable black metal band logo.
Galapagos is the electronic pop project of 18-year-old Phoenician Jacob McNaughton. His songs have been attracting the attention of national blogs like The Juke and the now defunct-Pitchfork side project Altered Zones.
Listen to Galapagos' "New Rendition" on Tumblr. The song was recently removed from SoundCloud. It features samples of Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Ben Folds. His BandCamp page features four releases.
Drew Sully: [Listening to intro] Hm. Reminds me of Prefuse 73.
Up on the Sun: What do you think about sped-up Ben Folds samples?
Sully: Congratulations. You got us to listen to Ben Folds.
Adrienne Osuch: It's not bad. I really like Nicki Minaj. I don't always like the way they manipulate her voice -- they do it a lot. It really only worked on "Monster." But this is pretty good.
Do you think its weird that underground artists like Galapagos are appropriating mainstream sounds this way?
Sully: Sometimes I feel like [indie fans and press] are like, "Okay, we can only like 10 hip-hop artists. Who are they? We love Drake. We love Childish Gambino." You know, I posted something on Facebook about the whole Queensbridge era, and I mentioned Headrush Napoleon. Childish Gambino would be a bad name, but then I read that Donald Glover got it from a Wu Tang Name Generator. There were so many amazing names. Tragedy Khadafi. Hussein Fatal.
I know what you mean, there's always a few rappers that hipsters get into. It's all very dilettantish. I'm guilty of it, too.
Osuch: People want something they can relate to, they want lyrical content that makes sense to them.
Sully: But at the same time, I think the main culprit is Clipse, and the indie acceptance of crack rap.
Osuch: Hey, I like Clipse.
I like Clipse, too.
Sully: I guess this is more electronic than rap, and we should be talking about mashup artists, like Girl Talk or A-Track. Even the Grey Album. It's like, something about KRS-1 with a Hall and Oates sample under it makes kids want to get down.
Osuch: Like Danger Doom -- MF Doom, Danger Mouse and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Who loves Aqua Teen? Nerds, hipsters.
Sully: This is pretty good. It's really a shame that there isn't a night around town for bedroom dudes like this...
Osuch: Yeah, big ups to Galapagos.