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Goblin, BlackenedWhite, Everything Is Boring & Everyone Is a Fucking Liar, Era Extraña, Golden Era

Tyler, the Creator, MellowHype, Spank Rock, Neon Indian, and Del the Funky Homosapien

Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Nov. 4, 2011

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Spring's hype machine broke out Odd Future, but L.A.'s little rascals back it up. The teen mob collective stunned South by Southwest, and two months later, Tyler, the Creator's proper solo debut, Goblin (XL Recordings), and single "Yonkers" thrust MTV's Best New Artist into stardom despite the album's lack of direction. OF's guided alternative is MellowHype's July Fat Possum re-release of BlackenedWhite, which bangs high-energy skate-park riots more closely resembling OF's live m.o. The duo's "Hell," featuring NOLA crooner Frank Ocean, is a dark-horse favorite for song of the year. Far less heralded in light of letting five years slip by after 2006's genre-pushing YoYoYoYoYo, Spank Rock's Everything Is Boring & Everyone Is a Fucking Liar (Bad Blood) unfolds like an after-hours rave, "Birfday" right away proving guilty of overindulgence: "Every day I wake up it feels like my fuckin' birthday." For the Baltimore rap/electro melting pot there's not a trend untouched, touring dubstep, NOLA bounce ("Nasty"), and radio-friendly pop-hop ("Car Song") with no clear vision. "Energy," however, for him and everyone, is always a good thing. If you don't believe that, try getting through Neon Indian's Era Extraña (Static Tongues/Mom + Pop). The second album from the local chillwave pioneer shares a like-minded pointedness with Del the Funky Homosapien's eighth album, Golden Era (the Council), but the verbose Hieroglyphics co-founder flows with charming wit and a knack for unpredictable alliterative tongue-twisters that certify the Bay Area rapper as "One Out of a Million." (Blue stage times: Odd Future, Sun., 8:45pm; Spank Rock, Fri., 6:45pm; Neon Indian, Sat., 7:50pm; Del the Funky Homosapien, Sun., 6pm)

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