Happy New Year. Hope you did it right. Maybe you drank champagne like a bitch, chiefed a zip, pounded brews, blew through a fifth of Beam, or drowned 2010 in the last of your illicit Four Loko stash. Or... not. Whatever the case, here we are. Now what you gon' do?
If you're a fan of the local raps (odds are, yes) and aren't yet up on it, I'd suggest downloading that new Brothers from Another. Released on Bandcamp (www .brothersfromanother.bandcamp.com) for free (and promoted by the Members Only collective) right before the anniversary of Jesus's fake birthday, aka Consumerism/Awkward Family Day, the seven-track Two Weeks Vacation is the first fully realized release from the young duo, after a sprinkling of singles and a couple of EPs (2009's Roots. Seeds. Stems. and 2010's Too Soon?) that found real charm in their figure-it-out-as-we-go amateurishness. MCs Goonstar and Breez (not MC Breeze or Breezly Brewin, mind you) have easy chemistry (not long ago, they might've even had Chemistry together, third period). And their voices sound cool together—stoned, stoked, and dedicated to "the movement of love" (aka drinking Rainiers by the water, smoking tough, and chasing tail), but not quite in the corny suburban frat-boyish way that some other groups/MCs (young and slightly older) have been in the last couple years.
I've written before that Brothers from Another evoke just a touch of that essential Seatown germ, the jazzy Ghetto Children spirit, perhaps thirdhand via older gods the Physics (who now create literally down the hall from the Pharmacy). There couldn't be a stronger testament to this than the rollicking presence of Vitamin D on "Midnight Special," a song that Goonstar hilariously starts out on some '92 blobbity-bloo-blah shit, name-checking Lords of the Underground. It's not breaking new ground, it's not saying anything that hasn't been said before—it's just fun, if you're open to that sort of thing. (I say: Whenever you find yourself overly salty at something the kids are loving, take a moment to remember when that was you. Then get over yourself.) No reservations, I'm a fan of what I hear: an upbeat, unpretentious approach; a laid-back enthusiasm for life; a strong outing of distinctly town bidness.
It's bigger than the town of course, so you got to get out of here if you want to play with the big kids, and we all know that, even if the demands of real life don't always leave time for your relentless careerism. (God help you if you see this shit as anything more than the people telling their stories—if you still believe in the fairy tales and money-porn, good luck.) At the same time, it's great to have such a strong scene because, like I heard Sean Nelson say last night, "One day, gas will be too expensive and it'll be illegal to drive and you'll have to play in Seattle!"