35: “The Story of Hip-Hop” by The Books

The Books. Just The Books.The Books are a duo out of NYC, a guitarist and cellist, who digitally assemble music made of all types of sounds… including their instruments.  Wikipedia calls them “folktronica” and I guess it’s not a bad label as labels go, but who comes up with them?  Most of The Books’ songs would be inaccessible to anyone without big ears.  Few are even as accessible as this weird one I’m sharing, but it’s got a good groove to it and an amusing angle, so give it a try even if you’re scared.

On most of their tracks, The Books use captured audio of people talking or laughing, and in this band’s eyes any sound can become a musical element.  Snippets of conversation become lyrics.  Wet towel slaps, cellophane crumpling, and footsteps all become percussion.  A laugh is a chorus.

The Books have some videos on YouTube that make some of their slower, simpler music much more stimulating for those who ain’t feelin’ it through their ear holes.  The visuals can layer some meaning and entertainment that the audio can’t.  See “Take Time” video below (2nd one) as an example.

So open up your ears, and enjoy… The Books.

Song: The Story of Hip-Hop
Artist: The Books
Album: The Way Out
Label: Temporary Residence, LTD
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Watch: YouTube

About Uncle Funk
I find songs for you.

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