July 20, 2010

Good for Mayer Hawthorne.The guy pays his dues for a decade in Ann Arbor anonymity, DJ’ing for Buff 1, under the ill-sculpted name Haircut, and generally living a life of underground indigence. Then one day, Peanut Butter Wolf discovers he has a golden throated falsetto and convinces him to record an album steeped in classic 60s soul a la Daptone. The next thing you know, he is Snoop Dogg’s favorite white boy and he is cavorting in idyllic California sunshine with the hottest girls in Silverlake. Granted, they may be from Echo Park, but I’m fairly certain I’ve seen at least one or two of those girls at the Cha Cha–before I was permanently barred for lacking a proper mustache.

If you’re anything like me, the whole lily-white retro-soul thing seemed like schtick at first, but the further A Strange Arrangement gets from its initial novelty, the better it sounds. There are songs there. Good ones. Maybe they pull from obvious influences, but no more so than Dum Dum Girls, Freddie Gibbs, or nearly every other other critical darling of 2010.   There’s something endearing about what Hawthorne’s doing. Amiable, goofy and without any pretense or self-seriousness. And yes, having a video like this doesn’t hurt — it’s like the hipster “Ice Cream” or maybe its “Baby Got Back.”  Four years later, my theory remains valid: we are living in Sir Mix-A-Lot’s world.

More Mayer videos below the jump and random MP3’s amassed during his stellar recent run.

Download:
MP3: Mayer Hawthorne-“Held the Hand” (Daniel Johnston Cover)

MP3: Mayer Hawthorne-“Thin Moon” (James Pants Cover)

MP3: Snoop Dogg-“Gangsta Luv” (Mayer Hawthorne G-Mix”)
MP3: Mayer Hawthorne-“Just Ain’t Gonna’ Work Out”

MP3: Mayer Hawthorne-“Maybe So, Maybe No”