Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Treebeats Shitty Reviews Of Not Shitty Artists Presents: Gnotes

So Canyon Cody from the mighty Gnawledge empire actually asked me to write about something and since I am without wit and creativity I decided I’d take him up on it. There is also a great interview from Dan Love at From Da Bricks you might want to check. Now, while there is the proverbial curse on any musician trying to make it in Boston, there are some cats or bands that shine. Aerosmith for instance, Tracy Bonham, and The Cars were reasonably successful, Sean Dwyer aims to be next, by releasing "Rhymes And Beats". Dwyer, A.K.A. Gnotes (not pronounced “guh-notes” or “G Notes” but rather “notes” like gnome or Gnarls) is part of a goofily named independent, bohemian, underground hip-hop movement and represents Beantown (617 bitches!).
Raised on Pearl Jam and Public Enemy simultaneously, Gnotes started making mix tapes in middle school and sharpening his axe for the day he would one day rock crowds and make heads nod. It’s these varied influences that have created his sound. Not totally “Teenage Love” and not totally “Teen Spirit”, he crosses over well. I don’t mean “crossover” in the sell out sense but more in the bridging genres sense. The music these cats make(all self produced by the crew at gnawledge with a few contributions) is pretty dope. One of the tracks that is not included here but can be found on the disc has my favorite Muddy Waters song sampled. Another, “Samba-tryst” blends in Latin influences. Sun Don’t Chill (dope beat!) kind of reinterprets C.R.E.A.M. but subtly and devoid of diddyness. More of a celebration of the beat than a straight jack. It’s all a mix of samples and live instrumentation, which blend seamlessly and force neck muscles to contract and heads to bob.
Lyrically, Gnotes is skilled. My one qualm is sometimes he gets too vague in his metaphysics and social commentary and I’m left scratching my head not knowing what the hell he is talking about anymore. However, I’m not the brightest cat so this may just be my inability to be cerebral. He’s obviously talented and, while he’s no Souljah Boy, he is leaps and bounds beyond a lot of trite shite released by major labels today. My wife says he’s not “Poppy” enough and he “sounds white”. Both are true but irrelevant to what he’s trying to do I think. I included a couple tracks (good lookin Canyon) here and you can get the whole jawn at the site.
My first officially requested review, and perhaps the last, is now officially over.

Probably my favorite track of the ones here.

The single for which there is a visual collage of stills that is called a video.

Another pretty dope track.

"Video" of "Throw Your Nickels Up".

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