Turn and Face the Strange

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Continental Divide. Photo by Graham Richards

It seems that everyone I know is going through massive change.  It’s that time of year.  I, for one, could not be happier about the evolution.  My world has turned inside out since January.  Three trips to the Rockies inside of six months worked wonders on my well-being.  The mountains have a way of shifting your view to a higher perspective.  It was there I plotted my next move.  The Big One.  My exodus is here.

After 20 years, I say goodbye to Texas — a home that never really felt like home.  That’s not to say I bemoaned every moment since I staged my pre-teen protest to relocation from blessed Chicago (locking myself in the basement only delayed our move by a half hour).  I have spent a solid chunk of my life here, and I deeply love some of the people I met along the way.  My son was born a Texan and assures me that I will never qualify to be a Texan myself.  I met the Love of My Life in Texas.  I adore my friends.  It’s not been all bad — I just want to go home.

My compass is fixed West; home is waiting in the Bay.

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G Koop + O-Man Made You a Mixtape!

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Full Disclosure: I’ve got it bad for this East Bay crew.  Artwork by Phil Ilatovsky

The first thing I do when I sit down at my desk is press play on my ever-expanding collection of Graham Richards music.  He is my favorite musician on the planet.  If I could listen to only one musician for the rest of my life, it would be Graham Richards.  Conveniently, he is quite good — and diverse!  Graham somehow manages to play whatever music I happen to be in the mood for.  When I need my brain to function, I head straight for the dulcet beats of G Koop + O-man.  

Alongside Rob “G Koop” Mandell, this East Bay dynamic duo captures the creative process of hip-hop collaboration in a simple, streamlined and public manner. This project, broadcast online from an unassuming studio, has garnered a steady underground buzz in a weekly push to keep innovation alive in music.

They’ve been at it for two years solid and have racked up a stupid amount of consistently powerful tracks.  G Koop + O-man just dropped a Season One mixtape to give you a slight idea of the volume of music they have in their arsenal.  It is one of two albums released from the first season alone.  These guys are basically a high production/high quality beat factory.

I’ve heard Season Two, repeatedly.  It’s bananas. If you get impatient to hear it yourself, you can always blow ’em up on Twitter.