So this week has been Doomtree Blowout week at First Avenue. Still is. DT is a rap crew from my hometown(s) which currently features 2 producers and 5 rappers (two of whom also produce). They have a new album out — “No Kings” — which is getting pretty good reviews. Anyways, they’ve been taking turns doing solo sets all week at First Avenue’s smaller room, The Entry. It’s been a blast. Tonight I’m hearing the surprise opener is none other than independent hip-hop legend Sage Francis. Monday’s show featured some 40ish artists. It was awesome (here’s a review). But the one I was probably the most excited to see was this group called “Kill The Vultures”.
Kill The Vultures are a bit tough to describe. Above is lyricist Crescent Moon (right) and producer Anatomy (left). Crescent Moon carries a room the same way Tom Waits does: that old-school showmanship, drenched in gritty urban history with a ringmaster type commanding presence. It’s hard to look away. One gets the sense that he’s been through some shit — as we all have — you can see it in his face, hear it in his voice. I think, at least around here, he’s one of the more underrated rappers we’ve got. As far as the music goes… again, hard to describe. There’s an urban tribal feel to it that’s vaguely reminiscent of Velvet Underground: trash cans clanging and unadulterated noise-rhythms. Most of the sampling comes from that noir-type jazz aesthetic you get from watching a hard-boiled crime film. Mysterious, haunting horns and dangerous but smooth upright bass. You know what… here, try it for yourself:
“14th St. Ritual”:
“Walk On Water”:
I know, right?
Now, in their store at their site they’ve got a really cool poster for sale… which led me to this artist.
DWitt has clearly been inspired by his Heavy Metal-induced past. He does comic books, gig posters, design work, and press materials. He’s worked for beer companies, record labels, bands, venues, publishers, even the likes of Nike. His gallery is split into two sections: Posters and Fine-Art. The style is that surreal, line-heavy, complex mish-mash of imagery you’d think of when envisioning a Mastodon concert poster (which he has done before). But it isn’t all skulls and lightening bolts. Some of his stuff features beautifully rendered omnipresent beings, fish, turtles, landscapes, etc.
This is his Kill The Vultures poster:
And here’s a cool one he did for Silversun Pickups:
There are a bunch to purchase HERE.