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Beans Talks: Magical Tales, Musical Truth

        There’s absolutely nothing garden-variety about enlightened underground rhyme sophisticate, Beans. He’s been planting evidence of his own creative genius for nearly four decades. An authentic cultivator of hybrids, Beans grafts abstract poetic storytelling and elevated social commentary into an assortment of diverse musical soils, ranging from minimal electronic to complex jazz. He founded hip-hop collective Anti-Pop Consortium, has worked with Def Jux ringleader El-P, Four Tet, Prefuse 73, Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow, Interpol’s Sam Fogarino, William Parker, Hamid Drake and pianist Matthew Shipp, among other notables. Beans has pollenated label releases by Anticon, Definitive Jux, Warp, Big Dada, and Thirsty Ear. But none of the above can impress like a Beans live set.

The speed of Beans’ lyrical flow is a special delivery not even “The Mailman” himself, Karl Malone, could match.

There’s a hook in Beans’ rhymes for everyone paying attention. For example, at age five (in the mid-70s), both Beans and I apparently shared an affinity for then-innovative rock band KISS, down to the tennis-racquet-as-ersatz-electric-guitar detail during crucial lip-sync performances. While his formative points of reference span genres, styles and time periods, Beans recommends the following artists be considered for adoption into everyone’s musical repertoire:

+ SILVER APPLES. Silver Apples (1968 album) and Contact (1969 album). Early innovators of electronic music predating Kraftwerk, Suicide, Brian Eno, etc.

+ BRAINTICKET. Cottonwoodhill (1971 album). Experimental Southern European Krautrock.

+ SUN RA. Entire catalog. Prolific avant-garde musician whose vocal and instrumental experimentation included everything from free jazz, bop and big band to world fusion and chant.

+ YOKO ONO. Fly (1970 album). Solo artistry spanning styles from 50s guitar-heavy blues rock to experimental effect-laden electronic to vocal nuttiness.

Spend some time sampling Beans’ own acoustic fruits on MySpace or at his other cyberhome.

—bw

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