The Rebel

“The Thing”

When I hear the tubby synth line of “The Thing” kick in, I think of a Casio with cartoon wheels shimmyin’ down the Interstate, tires bobbing to the bass and a hot-yellow sun ready to swallow the whole thing when we’re all ready. But I don’t know what The Rebel has in store for you particularly; hell, neither does he, I reckon! So saddle up partner, ‘cause it’s time to riiiiiiiiiiiiiiide on and bullwhip that drumbeat till it’s time to brew a tincture of dab tea for the tillerman. FOR the tillerman. BY the tillerman. I reviewed The Rebel’s EP (care of Weird Forest) for StN years ago and I don’t remember it sounding ANYthing like this, all simple yet laced in pink with red and purple flashes, a silly caboose of a tune that won’t exact its toll until later on, when you’re at work and trying to concentrate despite the wry voices sounding off in your head, voices which, of course, belong to you in the first place.

All of my horsin’ around aside, if this track doesn’t make you want to tear into The Rebel’s upcoming LP KROT on Monofonus Press (THIS MONTH!!!!) you must be huffin’ a bit too much YEEZ and not enough US. So get on that, and bang out that simple beat with a pencil on your makeshift sticky-note cupholder: BA DUM-DUM DOO, BA DUM-DUM DOO, BA DUM-DUM DOO, BA DUM-DUM DOO, BA DUM-DUM DOO… (And so are you!)

• Monofonus Press:

Chocolate Grinder Mix 111

Orientation In Space V (Hopscotch Day Party mix)

Last year, Kanye West asked “What you doin’ in the club on a Thursday?” This year, we have the answer: Orientation in Space V, a Hopscotch Music Festival day party scheduled for this Thursday, presented by Raleigh label DiggUp Tapes, art collective Apothecary, and high school newspaper/diecast model car distributor Tiny Mix Tapes. While Kanye is no longer performing due to having “no time, no interest,” we still have an incredible lineup of locals and non-locals assembling at Kings Barcade and Neptune’s Parlour in downtown Raleigh. It’s a free show too — thanks to sponsor Lonerider Brewing Company — so all you have to do is bring a clothed body (your own, please) and maybe some Claritin if your allergies start acting up. Wouldn’t want to sneeze during Lee Noble!

To get you in the mood, we’ve put together a mix tape, featuring one song from each performer. Listen, RSVP, and get oriented:

[00:00] Giant Claw - “DARK WEB 001”
[04:02] Nick James - “Ocean Vision”
[08:55] Paciens Trine - “TESL”
[13:55] Tokyo Hands - “Rainforests”
[17:20] Rene Hell - “Kalashnikov Uzi”
[21:19] Lee Noble - “Covers”
[24:47] Secret Boyfriend - “Beyond The Darkness”
[28:38] Chris Pantry - “ICON B (Piano Mix)”
[30:54] Aldi - “Down”
[35:00] Heads on Sticks - “I Can Get Back”
[39:49] Goblin Mold - “You’ve Got Nothing”
[44:04] Drag Sounds - “Impressive Babes (Twin Version)”

• DiggUpTapes:
• Apothecary:
• Lonerider Brewing Company:
• Hopscotch Music Festival:


“a1b3d0 dJ :: ANGELIC CLUB ::”

The latest mix from LEEIII (a.k.a. Lee Three) is titled “a1b3d0 dJ :: ANGELIC CLUB ::,” and no, it’s not just Julianna Barwick samples. LEEIII creates a universe where angels aren’t nice white people with wings, but creatures fully affected and hardened by violence and technology. It’s Gundam Wing grime. It’s where everyone went who didn’t want to go to that Zion rave. I maybe would have said that this mix is predicting an apocalyptic future, but based on the violence around the world that people are attempting to suffocate with a perpetual shower of hashtags and ice, it seems moreso a read on today. Thankfully, LEEIII creates a safe haven that translates the less-than-perfect today into a fully danceable experience.

• Sharda:


“TOP 40 BOOTLEGS (2009-2014)”

Baltimore’s DJ Schwarz is a personal hero of mine. In addition to the three life-affirming anthems (which includes “Open Up Yr Mind”) he put out on Thunderzone this past year, Schwarz rolls out tons of club ready remixes (which I usually jam at work at 4PM on a Wednesday). He goes all over with his mixes, from Brandy to the Dream to Sixpence None the Richer. He brings a super positive outlook to everything he works on, and that’s what had me hooked on his music. Recently, he has been gracious enough to put those remixes all in one place. “Top 40 Bootlegs (2009-2014)” is a mighty collection, and you can go HERE to stream and download the whole thing, or just your favorite tracks, all free of charge. Below you can hear Schwarz’s promo spot for the collection, which is probably the most essential PR I’ve ever come across. My personal favorite is his twerk mix of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” but there are so many here for you to get into, so you might as well DL the whole thing.

• Schwarz:

Smoke Dawson

“The Minotaur”

“Oh, ole Smoke? He was out on the porch earlier, but I think you just missed him.”

I think of Henry Flynt as the pioneer of the extended technique fiddle shredding minimalist mantra, but it seems like a fellow wandering soul by the name of Smoke Dawson got up in that business just as early on. Press play on “The Minotaur” and bear witness to Smoke’s bow as it skittered back in 1971, captured on record after stints in a trio called MacGrundy’s Old-Timey Wool Thumpers with The Holy Modal Rounders’ Peter Stampfel, sometime between years spent somewhere out there on the rails across the US. He ekes out a loping melody on the low strings as he flits through a stream of jittering runs in the upper register, combining the sum of his four quivering catguts into a progression of lightning chordal voices that churn across the minutes with remarkable discipline. The track plays out like a countrified rendition of Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres,” with fiddle figures cascading and lapsing into repeated cadences on the way to an indeterminable coda that you feel could and should have arrived a few minutes later (or never). If he sought transcendence, he found it. If he didn’t seek it, he found it.

“You burned through that one, Smokey.”

Tompkins Square revived Dawson’s private press LP Fiddle for a fresh edition. You can order it now, and check out Tompkins Square honcho Josh Rosenthal’s comprehensive research notes on the unbelievable trajectory of Dawson’s musical practice. Quoth Smoke himself, still kicking at almost 80 years old, “I was cuckoo, couldn’t get along in the world. The music always saved me. It got me friends, it got me shelter.”

• Tompkins Square:


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.