Music News

Astronautalis

Doing his part to make genres and labels obsolete, Florida's Andy Bothwell -- whose nom de musique is Astronautalis -- gleefully rips the indie hip-hop "kick me" sign off his back, folds it into a graceful origami swan and sends it flying into a wastebasket filled with tattered scraps of Delta blues, sharp shards of punky broken glass and plenty of DIY-folk lint balls. While his 2005 debut proved Astronautalis's talents as a nimble-tongued rapper and deft lyricist, this year's Mighty Ocean and Nine Dark Theaters draws on all of the aforementioned influences and more, creating a dense indie-rock pastiche that's more Pinback than pimp. On an album that could best be summarized with a simple question mark, Bothwell employs concrete rhythms, worn-out guitars and anything else he can get his hands on to craft scratchy stories of self-doubt and searching while challenging listener's assumptions of what "rap" is. The Astronautalis experiment doesn't always work, but frequent and numerous moments of inspired madness and heartbroken beauty will keep you on the edge of your seat.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eryc Eyl
Contact: Eryc Eyl