Oh No More than just the brother of one of underground hip-hop’s most prolific production talents, Oh No stepped out from the shadow of Madlib – and that of his dad, R&B singer Otis Jackson – last year with a maniacal, addictively funky instrumental album titled Dr. No’s Oxperiment (that’s Ox as in Oxnard, his hometown). Comprised of beats constructed from samples taken from obscure Middle Eastern records, the album received a smattering of positive national attention, including praiseful reviews in the pages of The Source, XXL and URB. But this isn’t Oh No’s first coming out party. He began making beats at age 11, discovering emceeing and b-boying later. His debut, The Disrupt, hit in 2004, followed by 2006’s Exodus into Unheard Rhymes. But Oxperiment is unquestionably his crowning achievement thus far, a psychedelic masterpiece of rhythm and melody that is almost closer to dusty, fuzzed-out rock’n’roll than hip-hop. Oh No brings it to the stage at Mai’s Café on Jan. 26.
~PICKS OF THE WEEK~
The Bowmans I don’t know what this says about the music scene in Davenport, Iowa, but Sarah and Claire Bowman began their career there as “singing puppeteers.” In the ensuing years, the twin-sisterly duo has put down the marionettes and evolved into a full-fledged pop act, utilizing the harmonizing abilities they’ve had since the age of 3. They’ve toured the Midwest extensively, playing everything from coffee shops to outdoor festivals. But nowadays, their home base in New York, where they have carved a niche for themselves in that highly competitive market through their sublime vocal talents and top-notch musicianship. Not bad for a pair of ex-puppeteers from Iowa. The Bowmans play Zoey’s Café on Jan. 5.
Le Meu Le Purr When local hard rock juggernaut Psycho Café went on hiatus a couple years ago, it allowed singer-guitarist Aaron Johnson and drummer Robin Ryder to try something new. That “something” ended up being Le Meu Le Purr, a forceful power trio rounded out by ex-Bad Judgment bassist Scott Okuma. Almost from their inception, the band has been the talk of the Ventura County music scene for their unique stylistic amalgam: jagged guitars careen into winsome keyboards, whispered laments slam against larynx-bursting screams. After quickly taking over the local scene, the group — whose name is a reference to the Pepe Le Pew cartoon — has been eyeing the national stage. But for right now, catch them every Monday night this month at Billy O’s, starting Jan. 7.