Saturday, January 09, 2016

7 ways to be WEIRD - Review

It's time for another review.  Today's choice? That's simple: 7 ways to be WEIRD by Rushad Eggleston.

I first heard the name Rushad Eggleston when I learned of a group called Crooked Still back in 2004, when I bought their Hop High album.  I was immediately impressed with the cello work on that project and genuinely enjoyed the energy and excitement.  That album also introduced me to Aoife O'Donovan and Greg Liszt - but that's a story for another time. 

Fast forward a dozen years and I thought, "Hey, reckon what happened to Rushad Eggleston?" So I poked his name in Facebook and found his artist page.  There were videos - a lot of videos.  I began to watch.  Captivated is a good word to describe how I felt.  I giggled a lot.  I know I smiled a lot, because my face began to hurt after a bit.  After I felt like I was caught up on videos, I'd make a pass by Rushad's Facebook page daily, just to see if there was anything new - there usually was.

Now, I'm guessing some of you have made your way to his page by this point and are either smiling, completely confused, or both.  That's good.  See, music doesn't have to fit in a nice tidy little box with all of you preconceived notions of what "good music" is supposed to be.  Nope.  There's a bit of chaos, musicianship and creativity that blends in those videos that keeps me glued to screen until it's over and compels me to hit the button to get to the next one.

A couple of days ago Rushad posted a link to his bandcamp page. Wait, he's got recorded music for me to download? Why hadn't I already looked for this? I must be slipping!

I decided to go ahead and make a purchase. Okay, I got everything he had there, but I won't review it all. The newest work was 7 ways to be WEIRD. It's a short "album".  It's seven songs in nine minutes.  You read that right; it's short.  Short isn't a bad thing; sometimes the chaos is better in small doses - especially if you're new to it.  Furthermore, you can set your own price that you feel comfortable paying, and you even get to sample the project in its entirety.  You really can't lose.

I spent the afternoon running errands with 7 ways to be WEIRD playing on my car stereo. I played it loud.  I know it was good, because when other people heard it they would smile, or maybe they were smiling because I was smiling.  Either way, there was a lot of smiling going on. I'm sitting here listening as I write and I'm still smiling at 2:40am.

In his own notes he said he "tried to not care, to be free, to have fun..." I've no way to know for sure if he did those things to his satisfaction, but from my perspective he did - and quite amazingly so. He also says "play it for your kids, i bet they'll understand".  I played it for my fifteen year old kid and he totally got it. I was glad.

If you're ready for "something completely different" this might just be what you're needing. At only nine minutes you won't be overwhelmed. It might just be your ticket to musical fun. Go visit Rushad's bandcamp page and buy something.  Oh, go on; you know you want to.