This preview’s going to be really easy to write because Minneapolis-based Andy Bothwell, known as Astronautalis, is one of the most interesting and talented human beings I can think of. So I think one of the best things I could do is give you the facts about him and avoid fluffy rhetoric, and if you don’t want to come to this 9 p.m. show at the Sett by the end, I’m not sure what else I can do for you.
-First, the impressive: Astronautalis’ latest album, This is Our Science, has an average score of 85/100 on Metacritic, which is a collection of ratings of albums by the most respected music criticism publications like Consequence of Sound, Alternative Press, PopMatters, and Under the Radar. By contrast, Adele’s 21, winner of multiple Grammys, has a Metacritic score of 76.
-Andy has a tattoo on his index finger that says “mustache” in cursive, shaped so that when he puts it between his mouth and his nose it looks like he has a mustache. That’s only one of multiple crazy-awesome tattoos he has.
-Astronautalis has collaborated with everyone from Doomtree artists to Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara. The latter sings the hook on his hit, “Contrails,” from This is Our Science (See video and download mp3 below). He and P.O.S. of Doomtree just completed an album based on short fiction by F. Scott Fitzgerald under the name “Four Fists.”
-You love Always Sunny in Philadelphia, right? Well, cast members on that show are fans of Astronautalis, and you can even see a poster of Astronautalis on the wall of Charlie’s apartment on the show.
-Andy studied theater directing and lighting at Southern Methodist University. In fact, he directed Paranormal Activity actress Katie Featherston in multiple plays. But he didn’t make the jump straight from theater to rapping – he’s also been a security guard at an art museum, a substitute teacher, a dishwasher, and is still a member of the sheet metal workers union.
-Astronautalis spent years on the freestyle rap circuit. In fact, at most of his concerts, he takes suggestions from the crowd for about five subjects on which he freestyle raps. It’s truly amazing and has to be seen. Check out this video from a visit to Madison in 2010 in which he raps about Brett Favre, TI-83+ calculators, the Yankees, sleepwalking, and bed bugs (Thanks to Jason for posting this to the Facebook event wall).
So there you have it. But that’s not all, folks – Bi-Polar Bear and Hewn will be getting us started. Hewn takes the stage at 9 p.m. Their Tom Waits-praising sound will be an excellent complement to Astronautalis, one of the many influences he also weaves into his music. After Hewn rocks, Bi-Polar Bear will represent the hip-hop side of things. The duo made a name for themselves before heading to New York City to spread their infectious beats and bold rhymes to the East Coast.
So this is clearly not one to miss. You can avoid doing so by getting down to the Sett for the 9 p.m. start this Saturday. It’s free, so there’s really nothing standing in your way from having an amazing night full of amazing music.
Check out the Facebook event for more details. Watch the “Contrails” video and download the mp3 below.