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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

June 18, 2010 at 9:26 AM

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Friday Favorites: I Low, USF, Fatal Lucciauno

Posted by Andrew Matson

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"Chorus Fear and Trembling" by I Low


Seriously, some local label needs to jump on this guy Clyde Kurtis aka I Low. The Tacoma digital/acoustic experimentalist blends Americana with unflashy digital production for a subtle new-school/old-school hybrid that sounds odder on paper than in musical form. The demo "Fear and Trembling" shows off his reedy tenor voice, ringing almost completely unadorned save for foggy background vocals and a loop that sounds like several clocks softly whisper-clicking. It's as if a renegade Fleet Fox got a sampler and recorded a song in his bedroom.

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"Velvet Painting of the Stars" by USF


It's all about when the synth riff hits at the minute-thirty mark, starkly rhythmic and full of anthem power. Seattle duo USF sticks different notes in the buzzy riff, playing it against gouache-y background synths and delay-pedal guitar for various feels and moods, but retains the same basic intervals between the notes and sticks to the rhythm for the rest of the five-minute piece. It's USF knowing exactly what it's doing, which is great in a genre like chillwave, where vibe rules all and focus is rare.

See USF tonight with Big Spider's Back and RUN DMT and Blissed Out at Healthy Times Fun Club.

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"Cry For Help" by Fatal Lucciauno (download here)


Seattle thinking-man's gangster rapper Fatal Lucciauno teamed up with the area's highest-profile producer Jake One for "Cry For Help," a dark and smoky song that sounds like it could have come out of Houston, TX. The droning organ and dead-serious guitars are Southern gothic, and Fatal is death-obsessed and philosophical with his lyrics. Sometimes I can't get down with what he's saying (the "make-believe gods" line in particular is troubling, because aren't they all?), but I love what I interpret as his main point: Life is a succession of failures, and one must be able to cope with that to survive. It's an uphill battle that requires the support of a village.

I transcribed the first verse and chorus because those are my favorite parts:

What if I
Put the burner to his back and started praying to God
Everything went black
What if I
Gave a f__k about the church
Cause all I ever feel is pain, all I ever see is hurt
What if I
Told Danger/Daija (?) to have an abortion
A plastic bag in the garbage: my son's coffin
What if I
Killed him in front of his kid
The child grew old, caught me slippin and blew my wig
What if I
Didn't use common sense
Contraception for protection now it burns when I piss
What if I
Now a ni&&a feel sick
In a hospital bed over one slut b___h
What if I
Turned Tim McVeigh
Chest full of dynamite at the All-Star game
Had a price on my head for a mil
Ni&&as jumped out the bushes, gave me the blue steel

What if I
Maybe then you would listen and wish you had paid more attention to me
What if I
Maybe then you would try to understand what I am, a G
What if I
Maybe then I wouldn't feel like a loser every time I didn't win
What if I
Oh, I get it: if I ain't thinking fraudulent, then I don't fit in

Photos by me

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