Tag Archives: Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy

400. Charlie Hunter Trio – “Bing! Bing! Bing!”

We hit an auspicious number with a jaunty set of numbers from a hep cat named Charlie.

Mr.Hunter came to my attention as a one-time, part-time Disposable Hero, where he delivered some cracking guitar lines that broke throw the industrial beats of said outfit.

A little research tells me often plays guitars with extra strings (but not quite banjos or harps), and can do tricky things where he plays lead and rhythm at the same time.  I suspect he can also pat his head while also rubbing his stomach.

Such feats could be seen as pure novelty, but he seems to also a lot of that talent stuff.

This album is a collection of instrumental tracks, and Mr.Hunter grants centre stage to his horn-player Dave Ellis on most tracks, with the guitar work often back there laying a damn fine understated groove.

When he does step into the spotlight, such as on the Hawaiian-influenced  Fistful of Haggis,  it is certainly awe-inspiring.Even the somewhat chessy Nirvana cover (Come as You Are) bears repeated listens.

This is jazz without too much of the self-indulgence or skivvy wearing.  But don’t take my word for it, check out this promo thingie:

File under: It’s great mate, woof.

250. The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – “Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury”

Before Michael Franti was sucked into the Jack Johnson-centred black hole of dull, hippy, surfer chic, he was the front man of the mighty Disposable Heroes – an outfit that showed just how funky and intelligent industrial hip-hop could be.

I saw these guys at the second ever Big Day Out and it remains one of the standout live music experiences of my life (thus far). A 6’6″ MC and a pint-sized Asian guy wielding an axle-grinder are hard to forget.

Their debut album captures the live energy plus a little bit more.  Its a well-balanced mix of the political and personal.  While it was released almost 18 years ago, much of the socio-political content still seems very relevant, as Franti rants against Gulf War I, corporate power, bank bailouts, cynical politicians and media mundanity. The take on the Dead KennedysCalifornia Über Alles is political rallying at its finest.

It’s when he explores the more human issues that this  album hits its peak.  Socio-Genetic Experiment and the title track are fantastic insights into Franti’s day-to-day life (the latter was perfect live too). The karma-packed Language of Violence should be a compulsory anti-bullying campaign:

I’ll leave you with the lyrics that adorned the back of my much-worn D.Heroes tee:

The bass, the treble don’t make a rebel

Having your life together does

Word.

File under: This is a necessity, not a luxury

179. Consolidated – “The Myth of Rock”

I was once a long-haired, left-leaning, Greenpeace volunteering uni student. I mainly expressed my anger at the Man by purchasing CDs reinforcing such views.

Album Cover myth of rock consolidatedAlong with  socialist songsmith Billy Bragg and San Fran’s Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, I also explored the work of another Bayside collective – some white boys called Consolidated.

The music here is hard-edged, industrial dance (think Nitzer Ebb), but overlaid with very overt political raps/rants about the failings of capitalism, white males, the music industry, US democracy, meat-eating and anything else you might enjoy.

The tracks are sample heavy, especially with soundbites from both liked-minded souls and the nasty CEOs, business commentators destroying our world.

This could all be a recipe for disaster, but underlying it is some sensibility about what makes folks jump around.  You could probably ignore what they espouse if you felt like it (although less so on CD than in a club).

I must say much of their critiques still remain relevant, but probably more to idealistic, skinny young ‘uns out to remain righteous, and much less to to a sell-out like me. I’ll see if their other three albums reignite any palace-storming urges over the coming week. Here’s some footage to get you agitated and informed:

File under: More like a political party than a… party…

123. William S. Burroughs and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – “Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales”

This CD sits at the unusual intersection of literature, spoken word and music.

William S. Burroughs and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales abum coverThe music is fairly incidental and subtle relative to the verbal content.  It really just some beats, a bit of urgent, skivvy-wearing discordant horn blasts and some industrial samples.

Its the Burroughs poetry and imagery which totally dominates.  He verbalises excerpts from several of his works, and most of them are disturbing.  This is the world of mutants, extraneous body orifices and cruel, lawless states. 

I once fell asleep to this CD (deliberately – i.e. I had put it on at bedtime).  I had some of the most disturbing dreams as I internalised Burroughs’ dreamings.  I guess it’s cheaper than hallucinogens, but I would hope for prettier pictures. 

For the Michael Franti completists out there, this is by far his artiest work, and, I suspect, much more the results of Ronny Tse and Charlie Hunter’s efforts than his.

Ultimately this isn’t something I chuck on for a relaxing listen. It serves much the same purpose as having Burroughs on the bookshelf – as a testament to some feigned hipster Beat Poet phase that thoroughly failed to impress undergrad girlies back in the day, and now gathers dust.

File under: Art with an extra heart

35. The Beatnigs – “The Beatnigs”

Often, when you find a new and exciting act, the tendency is to rush off in search of more of their material.

the-beatnigs-album-coverIn 1992 I fell for the industrial-hip-hop of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. The word on the street was that band had evolved from an earlier incarnation, known as The Beatnigs. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a copy of their only album anywhere in Melbourne (the web and e-commerce was only but a twinkle in Al Gore’s eye back then).

Many years later, as Disposables’ front man Michael Franti was morphing into some sort of Marley-Harper-Jesus hybrid super-being, I finally purchased it on-line.

This album is driven by a mix of samples, industrial clanging and spoken word (think Gil Scott-Heron without the cool factor). The content is overtly political, peppered with soundbites from Reaganite US and apartheid South Africa. Nevertheless, there a strong sense of humour and satire. And, this was where the Disposables’ biggest ‘hit’ Television (Drug of Nation) was born. Indeed it appears in 3 different versions here, some bordering on Dead Kennedys-ish punk rants.

This was not a bad purchase after the long wait.

File under: San Francisco industrial hardcore rap activism (surely that’s a typical section in any reputable music store)