Tom Shall Pass - Tom Waits x Aesop Rock. Someone using the name Aesop Waits released Tom Shall Pass this year, with remixed Tom Waits music beds underpinning vocal tracks from rapper Aesop Rock’s acclaimed 2007 album None Shall Pass, and I’ll be damned if it ain’t half bad at all. Since Waits’ old-timey rhythms and timbres don’t easily lend themselves to hip-hop treatment, the DJ here had to go to some effort to make this combination work, and to my reckoning, he (she?) did a good bit better than 50/50—the demented circus-falling-down-a-flight-of-stairs stylings of Waits’ music complements Aesop’s complex and impressionistic lyrics better than I’d have guessed. [more inside]
Musicians Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock have been working for a while on a project they call The Uncluded. Their album is called Hokey Fright. It comes out on May 7. You can listen to the whole thing streaming right now here. The video for "Delicate Cycle" is here. The video features Lil Bub, who is an Internet-famous cat that Robert DeNiro likes. The Uncluded can also help you catch a frog.
Back on August 15, 2010, Aesop Rock kicked off a sprawling collaboration effort, with input by 28 artists, with an eclectic collection of videos spanning from music videos to odd clips and a Kimya Dawson recording studio dance party, works by photographer Chrissy Piper, and lots of music, from unreleased tracks, remixes, and mixtapes. There's even a post about being manhandled by a nude model, written by the Dwarvs front-man Blag Dahlia. Going back to the beginning of the site, the second post was a collection of facts about bats, and the only obvious connection back to the tragic impetus for the title of this ongoing collaboration (900 bats) -- over 900 bats were torched to prevent disruption of work on the ongoing renovations of the historic Bala Quila (also spelled Bala Qila) fort in Alwar, Rajasthan, in north-eastern India. [more inside]
Hip Hop Zelda. It's a booty call from Hyrule, a love letter in rhyme to your childhood featuring some of the best independent and mainstream Hip Hop artists. MF Doom, Edan and Aesop Rock get tossed together with Dr. Dre, Common, and Jay Z in this surprisingly compelling mashup of old Legend of Zelda tunes. If the TriForce Rules Everything Around You, hit up the link above to stream the album, or download it for free here. [more inside]