Astronautalis performed on Friday, April 2nd at noon in Naia Lounge. Image source.

The man fidgeting behind the microphone in Naia Lounge surveys the twenty-odd people anticipating his performance. I muse as to what would seem to be the etymology of the name of the one-man group that is

Sporting the tight-fitting combination of black jeans and a red t-shirt, the skinny blonde hopping from foot to foot conjures neither sea nor space-related images for me. I find myself nervously hoping that he will be able to fill the space with his lanky, petite, hipster frame, and capture our attention without the support of any bandmates. Once he begins his set, any remnants of anxiety are swept away by his obvious focus and talent. The contrast between his initially anxious demeanor and his subsequent ability to permeate his own body with the energy generated by his music is entrancing.

I had never heard of him before this performance, and I am shocked to discover the fact that Astronautalis is a hip hop artist. I am further shocked by his capability to entertain through his raps. He makes us laugh from start to finish, and entertains us with a rap about the beard and mustache of Andrew, the lucky nominee for the subject of an Astronautalis’ freestyle. His eyes widen as he details his plot to steal Andrew’s beard while he sleeps in order to increase his desirability with women - all in perfect, lightning-speed-spoken-to-the-point-of-near-incomprehensibility, rhyme, of course. “That’s definitely the most awesome freestyle I’ve ever done about another man’s facial hair,” he chuckles, followed by an eruption of laughter from his spectators, which becomes a normal occurrence throughout his set.

I am both mildly entertained and disheartened by what are perhaps meant to be ironic bits of exclamatory advice at the end of his set. “Don’t do drugs, unless they’re the fun ones! America!” He follows this with a plea for a Nissan Extera. I don’t really bother attempting to understand whatever, if anything, these are supposed to mean. They are quirky additions to his quirky style of Indie/Experimental Hip Hop.

Astronautalis clearly does not bother himself with issues of supposed relevance or expected relatedness. His charm lies in his ability to link differing examples of the seemingly mundane to create the extraordinary. His raps are the manifestations of his quick wit and unique talent of combining aspects of the internal arsenal that is his wacky perception of his surroundings. I appreciate his illumination of ordinary things I might normally miss, and his aptitude for making me care about these things, making me smile because of them, and transforming what may be the pragmatism of having facial hair into the hilarity of a series of rhyming lines delving into many sorts of tangential areas which all relate to Andrew’s beard and mustache.

Please forgive me for writing about facial hair in what is, in my case, definitely excess. Of course, in order to appreciate its truly entertaining potential, you may want to see Astronautalis.

Lindsay Brauner
BARE Reporter

1 comment:

  1. You should post links to where we can find his work, so I can be lazy and not search Youtube. Good looking guy!!