Last week got a chance to catch Dan The Automator's live set with a full band and lotsa guest MC's. It was the 2nd night of his ensemble's tour, so things weren't nailed down super tight quite yet, but the group locked onto some tight grooves early on in the set and did not relent...
The tour & it's big red branded bus is sponsored by the video game 2K sports and the whole thing was a first class production. Following the sucess of the animated Gorillaz project, the Automator's latest deal has tie ins including the Automator's production of the latest NBA game soundtrack, 2 albums (one with guest rappers & of course my fave, the instrumentals...)
Oh and in the video game, with it's hyper realistic graphics, Dan The Automator appears in "NBA 2K7" as a playable character.
Dan The Automator w/ E40 & San Quinn - Baller Blockin'
from the Y2k7 Instrumental disc, with some scratch skills on display in the cut
Dan The Automator - Fade Away Instrumental
Twas a packed house, at SF's Mezzanine, with hundreds of hip hop heads enjoying an opening set from Seattle's Common Market. I missed the Rondo Bros. apparently, and woulda liked to have seen what that was all about. I've enjoyed some of the remix work they've done.
As for the full Automator experience... it was never off, just not always on.
It was only the 2nd show of a 13 show west coast run with this lineup... but it was an overall great experience, sort of a live mixtape of sorts...
Amidst the chaos of all the musicians & rappers, The Automator his bad self was chill & relaxed before the show, enjoying a glass of wine on the couches in the backstage ...
He had assembled a combo of white boys in black suits, and for indie dork cred backing band leader Jim Greer of the Rondo Bros. of course wore wack white sneaks...
Greer is a folksy, ex-college radio DJ dude originally outta New Hampshire that has become one of the Automator's main "go to" guys in the Bay Area. The cat has joined Nakamura on many projects in the studio and live including Deltron 3030 with Del, Dr. Octagon with Kool Keith, Handsome Boy Modeling School with Prince Paul and Lovage with Mike Patton.
Amongst the folks Greer and crew were backing onstage were Chali 2na from Jurassic 5, Casual and Domino from Hieroglyphics and AG from DITC.
Oh and there was some bearded sorta semi heavy hindu-tallica hippie cat named Gavin from some San Jose major label "nu metal" concept act called Dredg. All I know is I couldn't really hear him...
The MC's were lively and ran the stage when they were up. Occasionally Nakamura would venture out from behind the turntables and flaunt a beatbox or meekly use the mic. I was surprised how few funky moves a guy who once ran a "A Handsome Boy Modeling School" had. I think the Automator might need to learn the robot...
But he's a sweet fella, and is definitely running things... so who cares if he can mambo or stalk the stage in a rage...
he' up to a whole lot more than basic bragging & dick wagging these days...
Some more audio Automator moments for y'all...
Automator does Depeche Mode - Only When I Lose Myself
Here's for those of you not paying attention last week week of The Automator's holiday remix of Dean Martin doing Jingle Bells
Dean Martin vs Dan The Automator - Jingle Bells
After the show... not only did I pay props to Nakamura and his frayed at the edges Franz Ferdinand lookalike back up group, I got to chat with one of the MC's on the tour.
That being straight outta the Bronx... world... meet AG formerly of the legendary Diggin' In The Crates crew...
psst ...I offer a track from this old school hip hoppers latest Look Records disc, on this one he recounts his legendary crew outta NYC... and he claims to be so cool he's "frozen like a coke habit"...
A.G - Frozen
plus a Hip Hop classic he's responsible for from the early 90's...
Showbiz & AG - Soul Clap
Soul Clap courtesy the awesome 1st year end review going on now at Dilated Choonz
and an interview where he & the Automator get real with Davey D on Hard Knock Radio just before the show I caught last week...
Dan The Automator & AG with Davey D on Hard Knock Radio
Dan The Automator
2K7 West Coast Tour Dates
|Catalyst||Santa Cruz, California|
|The Senator Theatre||Chico, California|
|Suede||Park City, Utah|
|Belly Up||Aspen, Colorado|
|Fox Theatre||Boulder, Colorado|
|Sunshine Theatre||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Canes||San Diego, California|
|El Rey||Los Angeles, California|
Here's a bonus tune The Automator co-wrote and produced for Jamie Cullem awhile back that was a hit in the UK
Jamie Cullum - Get Your Way
and another bonus track from Mike Patton's Peeping Tom project, this one featuring Rahzel & produced by yer pal The Automator
Peeping Tom - Mojo
oh and here's more regular merry frickin' xmas tracks for the insatiable holiday mp3 collectors out there...
( i know, for i am one)
Flip Baber aka Johnny Random - Bike Part Nutcracker Suite
from Nutcracker Suite Played Exclusively on Bicycle Parts at Create Digital Music blog
Vandals - A Gun For Christmas
Dwarves - Drinking Up Christmas
The Db's - Holiday Spirit