KCOU 88.1 FM Presents
Serengeti, DJ Tony Trimm
17 N 9th St
Columbia, MO, 65201-4845
Doors 8:30PM / Show 9:30PM
This event is all ages
Let's get some things out of the way. WHY? is a band—three Cincinnati-bred gentlemen who've shared a whole lotta past together. Two of them are brothers. Yoni Wolf, who founded the project by his lonesome in 1998 is one of those (see also: cLOUDDEAD, Greenthink, Reaching Quiet). The other is Josiah Wolf, who first started hitting the skins at their father's synagogue during worship service. They like being in a band together so don't ask about it. WHY?'s third fella is Doug McDiarmid, a high school friend born to French teachers, discovered by the Wolfs whilst playing guitar in a Steve Miller cover band. These men are handsome and meticulous, especially when they do ugly and unwieldy things with words and music.
Like we said, the project started awhile ago. Really, with Yoni in the synagogue basement on a forgotten four-track, recording bad poems and sloppy beats that none of us will ever hear (again, don't ask). Flash forward through his monumental discovery of A Tribe Called Quest and his later untimely egress from art school and you'll arrive at the next most pivotal moment, when the punctuated letters W-H-Y-? graduated from an enigmatic tag loopily scrawled across various Ohio surfaces to something printed on tapes, fliers, records and CDs. As a founding member of Anticon, Yoni had one of the first releases on the label: the Split EP! with Odd Nosdam, WHY?'s half a kaleidoscopic seven-song suite of sweetly sour song-rap.
And then the albums began, with the cult-revered Oaklandazulasylum in 2003, documenting WHY?'s quickening march from an enticingly idiosyncratic outside-of-art, inside-the-bedroom experiment to the fiercely chopsy and wildly creative band of badasses they are today. (If you haven't heard their stuff, you should check it out. It's like pop-inflected psychedelic folk-hop, or chamber music imagined by the most lovelorn and death-anxious Beat Poet that never lived.) 2005's lauded Elephant Eyelash paved the way for tours (Silver Jews, Yo La Tengo, Islands), collabs (Danielson, Department of Eagles, Hymie’s Basement, Subtle) and more albums. Oh, and they lived in Oakland for awhile. (You remember that, don't you?)
Everyone comes into their own at different times. For WHY?, most agree that this happened across 2008 and 2009 with a pair of oddly engrossing stunners—the tightly rhythmic Alopecia and its quieter, kinda country cousin Eskimo Snow—which turned the oft-boxed music world on its hella gross cauliflower ear. High marks were awarded by the coolest of customers as the band momentarily swelled to five with the induction of Fog guys Andrew Broder (shred) and Mark Erickson (boom). When they finally came off of the road, WHY? set themselves to humbler tasks: turning out intimate tunes for lucky fans (via a Golden Ticket mail-order merch contest) and intricate beats for rapper Serengeti's praised Family & Friends LP.
Now, it happens to be 2012, so there's a new EP called Sod in the Seed and a new LP, their fifth.
If the voices on Serengeti's songs often sound like they don't belong to a rapper, that's the idea. More than any MC working, Serengeti (born David Cohn) writes story songs, in which he assumes the identities of the characters he creates. Sometimes these characters recur — like Kenny, the middle-aged sports enthusiast and rabid Brian Dennehy fan, whom Serengeti dreamed up on his 2006 album, Dennehy.
On the new Family & Friends, however, almost every song introduces a new character. Serengeti's voice doesn't vary as dramatically on this album as it did on Dennehy, save for the prissy affect of the self-reinventing fool who narrates "California." But his normal delivery has its own quirks: It can be discursive and mumbly or clear and quick, as in "The Whip," which chronicles the life of a mixed martial arts fighter.
Serengeti's "Family and Friends" juxtaposes a humble but idyllic vision of family with a haunting chorus.
Song Of The Day
Serengeti: On Fantasy And 'Family' Matters
Serengeti has more talent than success, as well as more than a dozen albums to his name. Several of these are quite obscure, and most are typical underground hip-hop — more complex and drawn-out than Family & Friends, which squeezes 11 songs into just 31 minutes. The new album's title is thematic: Just about every song here concerns intimate personal relationships. Half excavate ruined marriages, and the most troubling, "Long Ears," describes the return of an absentee dad.
There's an accrued melancholy about Family & Friends that reflects both the economic downturn and the long slog of a marginal artist who's just turned 35. It's poignant that way. But one reason it's poignant is that it also has its silly side. - NPR
$10 in Advance $12 Day of Show
Tickets Available at the Door
MINORS: $2 cash surcharge at the door for anyone under the age of 21.
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