2012 Bid Adieu Is Building A Digital Purgatory In New Music Video by Maxwell Young

Remember the brouhaha surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar and the ending of the world as we knew it? Various predictions surfaced from the occultist community all the way to the top channels of mass media. Cataclysmic or transformative events would occur on December 21, 2012 and astronomical alignments would initiate spiritual ascension that would mark the beginning of a new era. That was almost seven years ago, and although I didn’t notice anything tangibly different when I woke up on December 22, 2012—or any morning thereafter—the music collective 2012 Bid Adieu proposes the idea that we have in fact died, this is hell, and we oscillate in an alternate reality that they have dubbed “digital purgatory.”

“All animals from near and far who find shelter underneath the stars, who once trotted woodlands and berms, now find paths in ones and zeroes,” says the narrator of “Weird Place,” 2012 Bid Adieu’s opening track off their debut album We Died in 2012: This Is Hell. It’s a whimsical piece as a keyboard harmonica accompanies the beginning soliloquy that makes me nostalgic of the Busy Town computer game I played on the translucent, technicolored iMac’s in kindergarten. Like an eight-bit nursery rhyme, the song serves as an introduction to 2012 Bid Adieu’s imaginary world.

Vocalist and producer Jordan Clark is the star of this fantasy the collective builds upon in the music video to “Weird Place.” Donning a blonde wig, which is a character trope among older videos, Clark provides comic relief ninja running and walking a cat on a leash through a metropolitan park. Such strange behaviors amplified by Prashant Thapan’s animations create “a world aimed at laughing at the awkward and absurd realities of our lives,” Clark said over e-mail. “We are using music as a tool to restore the listeners for a moment of tranquility.”

Learn more about 2012 Bid Adieu via The Washington Post or head to their website.

Run it up: Tedy Brewski drops Count EP, Produced by Djunivrse by Maxwell Young

Time doesn’t exist in my zone.
— Tedy Brewski on "Count"
Polaroid of Tedy Brewski by Maxwell Young

Polaroid of Tedy Brewski by Maxwell Young

Tedy Brewski pulled from the archive releasing Count, his first solo offering in over a year. The new EP produced by Pittsburgher Amadís Amaya AKA djunivrse, dropped unexpectedly at the beginning of April after sitting on ice since its genesis in the winter of 2017.

It’s not that Brewski has been absent from music-making. Find him on Instagram, daily it seems, practicing the acoustic guitar and working with his MIDI keyboard, marketing himself to Roc Nation A&R’s as an in-house beat-maker and writer with his trademark comedic flare. Plus, his SoundCloud credits five features within the last eight months. Yet there’s a disconnect between the Tedy we’ve laughed with on social media and the Tedy we’ve sparsely heard over the calendar year. From the collaborations to the alternative/punk/emo-esque guitar licks and downtempo production of Count, Brewski has revealed a melancholy and anxiety that he says reflects drug use, alienation, and night life.

Take Brewski’s contribution to Charlotte rapper Litreill’s track “questionreality,” where he introspectively ponders over a boom-bap beat, “Why am I alone in a room full of people? but never in my mind—a million personalities.” Or, his verse on "Phantom,” a posse-cut by way of Internet Hippy that elicits a realization of his eccentricity, “A misfit crucified for being different, and when it can’t benefit, that’s when friends become distant.”

Without Brewski’s punch lines and self-deprecating humor, these existential thoughts become intensified. Count stratifies this somber mood as Brewski lays forth what he describes as “wounded aspirations” in his SoundCloud bio. The two opening tracks on the EP allude to such manifestations. “I wanna rock. I wanna rock right now. I really wanna beach chair on my island. I really wanna millie rock with my right hand. I wanna get my money fine, call it finance,” he distortedly raps on “Go Pro.”

“I definitely recorded that music during a dark time,” Brewski told InTheRough.

Marinating on a catalogue of beats and bars from a few other collaborative EPs, Chef Brewski hasn’t recorded any new vocals since December. Newer sounds are on the horizon, though, and it appears Brewski is emerging from the contemplative state for the better. “I’m slowly working on a self-produced project that is definitely more upbeat,” he said.

Until then, re-acquaint yourself with the work of Tedy Brewski and listen to the Count EP below.

Choo Jackson - Choo, Where U Goin? (Album) by Alex Young

Choo Jackson photographed by  Kingy Kings

Choo Jackson photographed by Kingy Kings

Towards the top of 2016 InTheRough detailed some time spent with musician Choo Jackson. A written piece studied the rapper's past "Anime" mixtape, the first of three total projects he pushed this year. Text familiarized audiences of Choo and this publication with the spirit of his musicianship as well as music-making in Pittsburgh.

At the time in February, Choo was ahead of a productive year, trying to maintain a steadily growing fanbase and establish his sound. He indicated his fans would begin to hear clear differences in his songs. Choo wanted to experiment with "alternative," rock.

As the year progressed, the Foreverkool Records owner and Southern gentleman continued to make neo-hip-hop bangers like "Back From Texas" and "Myself." He pleased youthful listeners on his "Pray 4 The Best" extended play with producer Sledgren of Taylor Gang which they released in June. But, Choo's introspective vocals about his life qualities could also match a production influenced by rock bands of the 1990s and 2000s who he listened to as a kid.

The sonic transition was heard upon the release of his newest "Choo, Where U Goin?" album this December. Basically, the artist introduces a hopeful narrative that various people can relate to for its humanity and nostalgia. "Go to the light my nigga," he says in "Camo" over a plucking guitar. The evolution of Choo's music comes from childhood memories he told us over Snapchat.

Man I had a friend in Florida I used to skate with his name was Anthony. When I went to his crib he would only play his shit like Green Day, blink-182, and System Of A Down. Then I found N.E.R.D. on my own. So that’s how me and Brad kinda cliqued up musically because he’s into the same shit. It was only later that I started to like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, or even like Marvin Gay or Al Green. I want to be remembered like them too.
— Choo Jackson

On his third project this year, Choo finds frequent collaborators Bradley [Brad] Atom, Big Jerm of I.D. Labs, and Bounceman Christo helps cement the retro production for "C.W.U.G.?" Alternative sentiments are genuinely felt in the record's opening hook and "Feel This Way."

Though "Choo, Where U Goin?" explores another style of music, many parts of the work are dramatic and rhythmic thanks to Choo's cadence, like in "Make It Last" when he mutters "my neck, my wrist, my car, my kicks," talking fresh.

Overall, Choo Jackson's growth is made audible through each track he releases. He possesses the creativity to satisfy contemporary ears, and he gains respect for branching out to allow other genres to influence his music.