Their second album for Anti-/Epitaph Records (No More Heroes) won't drop until early next year, but local hip-hop stars Solillaquists of Sound have just released the album's first single, "Death of the Muse," featuring J-Live, Jurassic 5's Chali 2na and Maureen Yancey ("Ma Dukes"). Mother of deceased Detroit producer J Dilla, a personal hero of SOS producer DiVinci, Yancey's dire personal circumstances — declining health, desperate financial condition and estrangement from the executors of her son's estate — were illuminated back in July in an LA Weekly interview. True to their fiercely humanitarian ethos, SOS have digitally released the single through Insound.com for a minimum donation of $2 with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to Yancey. They're doing their part, now do yours and get it at www.insound.com/madukesdonation.
Anti-Pop casting call
Already I'm lustily rubbing my hands together in anticipation of the fourth Anti-Pop Music Festival (Nov. 13-16), whose still-building lineup already includes notables like the Black Lips, Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, Conor Oberst, Pelican and Mark Kozelek. However, as good a job as the organizers do putting on a smart music festival, local representation has always been an afterthought. That's where you come in, musicians. They're soliciting submissions from local acts interested in performing via www.sonicbids.com/antipop. I suggest you take 'em up on it.
LOL performances that had more to do with stage theatrics than musical excellence were on tap this week, and Ohio sleaze-and-cheeze synth-pop outfit Gil Mantera's Party Dream hit a home run (Sept. 11, the Social). The band, fronted by two brothers, sported a live drummer this time. But advancement in this area, though generally commendable, simply does not matter in their equation. If the boys bring the dance moves, then it's a show.
For an act like this, presentation is everything, and these guys put the "'tard" in "leotard." GMPD is absurdity of the highest order. Though he's the quieter of the two siblings, the creepy-hilarious dance slink of keyboardist Gil Mantera speaks louder than anything else the band does. Culminating in a spectacle of lecherous gyrations and animal-print bikini underwear, this is where stupid and glorious intersect (which I think is somewhere near my house). Low art, high camp, totally awesome. They had me laughing to the point of tears.
Also amusing was Oakland one-man track act Hawnay Troof, who's racked up an astounding list of collaborators that includes members from Xiu Xiu, No Age, Stereo Total, Erase Errata and Evangelista (Sept. 9, Back Booth). Onstage goof-offs aside, his live performance style, like that of Nebraska's The Show Is the Rainbow, represents a modern riff on punk's empowering concept of just getting up there and doing it without concern for shortage of equipment, training or talent. No matter that he sucked live — he brought the show by enthusiastically mixing it up with the audience in the middle of the floor. It resonates with people as the alternative to the numbing emotional distance of commercial performances. It excites because it physically engages, dismantles the rock-star mystique and makes you think that, yeah, you could totally rock shit out like that too.
Considerably better-constructed were local openers the Great Deceivers, who've officially dropped the name of their leader, Max Green, from the moniker. The latest act in the Sleepy Bird Orphanage stable, the rising young indie-folk band has already demonstrated evolution since forming in late spring. They've finessed their sonic dimensions as a group and, despite their youth, now radiate a mature restraint in their playing, particularly in Green's patient, elegant singing, which affects without affectation. If this improved mindfulness of proportion is an indicator, their upcoming debut album will be one to watch.
Each time I've seen Hank III play, the sight of bassist Joe Buck has occasioned the utterance, "That is one scary-looking motherfucker." His bearing and countenance — an evil conjugation of Jon Voight and Satan — have that deranged hillbilly thing goin' on, and the opportunity to check it out up close and on its own finally came along (Sept. 12, Copper Rocket). As a one-man band, his sound is pretty straightforward, but the blend of punk and country did it up nice and firstname.lastname@example.org