Music » In Rotation

In Rotation: Photographer Todd Diederich on "demon bass"

Plus: the Reader's Miles Raymer on Eek-a-Mouse's private language, and Xina Xurner's Young Joon Kwak on "sonic cross-pollination"

Black Bananas rad times express
  • Rad Times Express IV by Black Bananas

Miles Raymer, Reader staff writer, is obsessed with. . .

Grand Royal magazine For about a decade after the release of Paul's Boutique in 1989, young proto-hipsters took their cues from the Beastie Boys. Grand Royal magazine, which the group published sporadically from 1993 to '97, was essentially a catalog of shit the Beasties liked—blaxploitation movies, analog synthesizers, Lee Perry, making fun of mullets—as well as one of the best things that happened to me in the 90s. Back issues on eBay tend to list for about 50 bucks apiece—they're probably getting a price bump from Adam Yauch's death—but they're actually worth it.

Eek-a-Mouse Most of the great MCs from hip-hop's golden era are master wordsmiths who toy with the English language like a tiger batting around a bichon frise. And then there's dancehall rapper Eek-a-Mouse, who's so confident in his mike skills that he frequently dispenses with known languages entirely—my favorite line of his, from the 1982 single "Ganja Smuggling," goes something like "Bonggong giddy bonggong giddy ben den den den denamupina mo-hoy, bena den den geddamo-hoy." And it's just sick as hell.

Black Bananas, Rad Times Xpress IV (Drag City) During her long career, former Royal Trux front woman Jennifer Herrema has made everything from aggressively amusical noise to some of the best-crafted smacked-out blues rock since Exile on Main St. Her latest project, Black Bananas, comes off like a warped, synth-damaged reimagining of trashy vintage Sunset Strip glam. I've heard that some forward-thinking strippers are dancing to it, which makes perfect sense. Black Bananas open for Kurt Vile at Lincoln Hall on Sun 5/20.

He asks. . .

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