OUTSIDER ART: After putting his other band Bee Master on indefinite hiatus, Brian Cantrell (also of Same Sex Mary) has started a new trio, Farangs. The name comes from the Thai word for Westerners—bassist Jason Parker recently visited his dad in Thailand, and the name stuck. “I think he was there feeling like an outsider,” Cantrell says.
The trio (which is rounded out by Micah Malcolm on drums), released debut EP Cult-a-Cola digitally on September 21, a mix of self-deprecating, beer-fueled rock (hear “Shart” and “Saddest Drunk in the Universe”) and ’90s-leaning alternative—think Weezer and Piebald.
As for Bee Master, Cantrell says that band is done “at least for now. I don’t really want to do all the writing by myself; it’s better when it’s more collaborative,” he adds. With Farangs, Parker has taken on more of a writing role and splits vocal duties with Cantrell. The result is less angsty than Bee Master, with a focus on coming-of-age themes, Cantrell says, like “getting used to adult life and home ownership and marriage and all that sort of stuff.”
RESISTANCE RAP: Las Vegas MC Hassan Hamilton released his latest single, “Can I Be Black?” in August—a stirring, insightful track produced by Amy Voorhees that openly and bluntly discusses the racism and violence black men and women face for simply existing. A sample lyric: “Can I be black/And throw a barbecue in the park/Swim in a pool, maybe sell some water when it gets hot/Without somebody thinking that I’m up to no good? Bet you if my skin was lighter I sure could/Can I be black without the fear of a police officer feeling threatened/Enough to shoot me in spite of the fact that I have no weapon?” The song will appear on his upcoming album, Not Him Again, which gets the release-show treatment September 28 at the Bunkhouse, with performances by Slump Lords, Nat the Lioness and Trade Voorhees.
Also: Instrumental post-rock band Peaceful Retreat will release their debut album Genesis October 5 at Velveteen Rabbit. And Van der Rohe singer Cromm Fallon’s solo single, “The Next One,” featuring Darenda Weaver, is now available digitally on Spotify.