Mayer Hawthorne

7pm, Austin Music Hall

Mayer Hawthorne

Not long ago, Mayer Hawthorne was little more than the nom de porn of Andrew Cohen, the hip-hop producer turned soul singer formerly known as DJ Haircut. (Mayer is his middle name, Hawthorne the street he grew up on.) After moving to Los Angeles, Hawthorne began meddling with Motown in his bedroom.

"I recorded a couple tracks on the side for fun," he concedes. "It was really just an experiment to see if I could do it. I never intended for those songs to be released or heard by the public."

When Stones Throw label owner Peanut Butter Wolf caught wind of the off-kilter falsetto of "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," he requested an LP's worth of material. Save for an obscure cover of the New Holidays' "Maybe So, Maybe No," Hawthorne wrote and played every instrument on A Strange Arrangement himself. The set gives props to Dilla while cruisin' with Smokey Robinson.

"I wanted the album to give you that timeless, warm feeling you get when you listen to classic Motown and soul, but I wasn't even around during the heyday of Motown," Hawthorne muses. "I grew up as a hip-hop DJ and producer. I wasn't interested in creating a throwback or retro album. I'm trying to bring it forward. I'm trying to make music that when kids listen to it, it doesn't feel like it's their parents' music.

"I was never a singer until recently, so it's taken some getting used to, but I'm getting the hang of it now and starting to find the groove. It's incredibly surreal, the whole thing. I can't even wrap my brain around it. I just kind of have as much fun as I can and take it one day at a time."


(Also: Sat., 1am, Mohawk Patio.)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Obvious Picks and loads of not-so-obvious Sleepers!

March 20, 2015

Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

More by Thomas Fawcett
Bigger Than Me: The Musical Journey of BLK ODYSSY
Bigger Than Me: The Musical Journey of BLK ODYSSY
A child of funk who lost his brother to police brutality soundtracks a revolution on BLK VINTAGE

Aug. 13, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
Dallas Acid blows some bubbles, KUTX remembers the Armadillo, and more music for the moment

Aug. 14, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Mayor Hawthorne, Mayer Hawthorne

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle