Dark Time Sunshine

Nose-picking couch-rapping: Dark Time Sunshine, Aesop Rock & Swamburger in “Take My Hand” video

Dark Time Sunshine: ANXDark Time Sunshine: ANX (Fake Four, 7/24/12)

Consisting of Grayskul’s Onry Ozzborn and producer Zavala, Dark Time Sunshine is a lesser-known gem in underground hip hop. The duo’s newest album, ANX, is a diverse offering with quite a few standout guests, including P.O.S, Aesop Rock, Busdriver, and more — one worth exploring.

Here’s the new video for “Take My Hand,” featuring Swamburger and Aesop (who spends most of it picking his nose).

ALARM's 50 Favorite Songs of 2012

ALARM’s 50 (+5) Favorite Songs of 2012

Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.

Green Carpeted Stairs

MP3 Premiere: Green Carpeted Stairs’ “Midwestern”

Green Carpeted Stairs: s/tGreen Carpeted Stairs: s/t (Fake Four, 6/12/12)


[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Green_Carpeted_Stairs_Midwestern.mp3|titles=Green Carpeted Stairs: “Midwestern”]

Though Colorado-based Neil Ewing has found himself among underground hip-hop circles with his project Swimming with Models, he’s been making a name for himself in Denver’s experimental scene via indie venue Rhinoceropolis. And though his new Fake Four label-mates include such names as Busdriver and Sole & The Skyrider Band, his latest project, Green Carpeted Stairs, does not limit itself to any genre. Ewing instead crafts an aesthetic for himself that’s influenced as much by hip hop and R&B as experimental electronic music — something like a collaboration of 2012 Busdriver, The Postal Service, and Ritualz.


Q&A: Busdriver

Busdriver: Beaus$ErosBusdriver: Beaus$Eros (Fake Four, 2/21/12)

Busdriver: “Kiss Me Back to Life”

[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Busdriver_Kiss_Me_Back_to_Life.mp3|titles=Busdriver: “Kiss Me Back to Life”]

Rapping since age 9, LA art rapper Busdriver (born Regan John Farquhar) has had nearly a quarter century to develop his distinct style and lightning-fast delivery. He’s been known to break rules and defy hip-hop conventions, but his latest release, Beaus$Eros, is perhaps his strangest yet — a blend of beats and avant-garde pop.

Centered on both personal and professional failure, Beaus$Eros (“bows and arrows”) is more emotionally intense than the socially conscious rap he has produced for years, and it comes across in his strange, sweeping croons that come to the fore on this record. Delivered with Belgian producer Loden’s epic, pulsing beats, the result is unlike anything we’ve heard from him before — and it’s undeniably catchy.

“Kiss Me Back to Life” almost entirely forgoes hip hop as a hook-filled offering for the dance floor. But if you’re searching for the Busdriver that you know and love, you still have a bit in “NoBlacksNoJewsNoAsians,” where he spews cryptic, politically charged lyrics with his signature auctioneer-like delivery.

ALARM recently caught up with Busdriver to discuss the new direction as well as the trials that have come with releasing Beaus$Eros.

Morrow vs. Hajduch

Morrow vs. Hajduch: Keith Kenniff’s The Last Survivor soundtrack

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Keith Kenniff: The Last Survivor soundtrackKeith Kenniff: The Last Survivor (Fake Four / Circle Into Square, 10/19/10)

Morrow: Screened at different independent film festivals earlier this spring and summer, The Last Survivor is a documentary film about the lives of four genocide survivors — one each from the Holocaust, Rawanda, Darfur, and Congo.  Its goal is to spread awareness of atrocities around the globe but also to inspire action and get genocide survivors involved in peace movements.

The film has won a handful of awards, including best documentary at the Oxford Film Festival, and it’s still presenting its survivors’ powerful stories around the country — notably with its first university screening at NYU in late October.

The Last Survivor Trailer from The Last Survivor on Vimeo.