Dessa

Dessa's first full-length record, A Badly Broken Code, introduced her to a national audience as a rapper, a singer, and a potent, imaginative lyricist. It earned a binder of superlative reviews from sources like NPR, The Seattle Times, and AM New York. To tour the album, she assembled a small cast of talented instrumentalists to re-interpret the disc for a dynamic live concert. Part rap show and part cabaret, the elegant presentation charmed both audiences and critics—not a negligible feat in hip hop, a genre with its share of purists.
Castor, The Twin captures these new arrangements for ten of Dessa's strongest previously released songs. It also includes "The Beekeeper," the haunting advance single from Dessa's new album due in 2012. Vibraphone, piano, viola, and stand-up bass give the record a classical, sometimes orchestral sound for a beautiful and somber effect. The album is immediately identifiable as an intimate recording of live players, with fingers sliding on frets and raw, expressive vocals. The organic instrumentation pushes Dessa's lyrics forward, showcasing the imagery and narratives that define her as a songwriter and an emcee.
The album title references the twin brothers Castor and Pollux of Roman mythology, the pair of bright stars in the Gemini constellation. Pollux was part god, a fighter with metal hands. Castor was the mortal of the pair, but the two were inseparable. After cutting her teeth with her Doomtree cohorts behind the boards, this is Dessa's first record with a wholly organic sound—more tender, human versions of the best material she's released so far.

"Enchanting."
–Chicago Tribune

"Dessa has emerged as one of the most diverse and talented artists in indie rap."
–URB

"A one-woman powerhouse...with a literary sensibility and an aversion to genre clichés"
–Utne Reader

"If wordsmith-songbird Dessa isn't the future of hip-hop, she should be."
-Insight News

"Profound and moving"
-Star Tribune

"equal parts Ani Difranco and Mos Def"
-Rift Magazine

"Dessa combines the dry wit of Dorothy Parker with the beat of Mos Def"
-Minnesota Public Radio

"clear-eyed candor...understated realism and dark wit."
-Culturebully.com

"witty, sardonic, and keenly observant of human behavior."
-TheDecider.com

Sombear

While finding his way through middle school and high school in the late 90s and early 00s with a love of dance pop and house music, Bradley Hale (of Now, Now) kept his obsessions to himself. Sombear is a way of reliving that youthful spirit without the confinement of hallways soaked in testosterone. Fragile and introverted pop is his cautious attempt at reassembling who he is.

$15.00

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Smiling Moose - Upstairs

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Dessa with Sombear, Joel Ansett

Saturday, September 21 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Smiling Moose - Upstairs