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Content Imagination

(Obey Your Brain; US: 26 May 2009; UK: 22 Jun 2009)

No, joker, this is not the 4 Non Blondes cover band its name might imply. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. The quixotic debut from the West Coast instrumental group What’s Up expounds on the results of a steady diet of Over-Nite Sensation-era Frank Zappa, RZA-fied Wu-Tang Clan science and Tortoise at its most dubwise to create something wholly unique and enjoyable all at once. And while the group now resides in Portland, Oregon, What’s Up fuels Content Imagination with the communal nature of the artist collective the band was a part of in its native Sacramento, California. This far-too-short 28-minute LP plays closely to the spontaneity of stoned Saturday afternoon jam sessions at the Witch Dome, the beloved creative space this album was recorded above. Fans of both Madlib and Pelican will certainly find something to cherish in the music of What’s Up and its freewheeling improvised swagger.

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Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ, Billboard.com, SPIN.com, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY, Paperthinwalls.com, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and Barnesandnoble.com among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at http://www.irtmag.com.


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