Over the Weekend: Dan the Automator at Yoshi's

Categories: Last Night
Eric Lawson
Dan the Automator
's "Audio Alchemy"
Saturday, March 13, 2010

Better Than: An 8th grade dance. 

Dan the Automator has a golden hip-hop legacy going back to Kool Keith's Dr. Octagon album. But his latest "Audio Alchemy" effort, showcasing lesser-known artists twice a month at Yoshi's, left an alloyed taste in the crowd's mouth Saturday night. 

Dan arrived at his turntables around 12:20 a.m., backed by a seated guitarist and a drummer. Bare-headed and wearing a tweed blazer, he introduced himself to an audience still milling about on the wood floor like it was a middle school gymnasium. 

Eric Lawson
​"For those of you who don't know who I am, we put together a little medley of sorts," Dan announced. He then spun his most famous tracks, "Mastermind" from Del tha Funkee Homosapien's Deltron 3030 album and Gorillaz's "Clint Eastwood" -- both of which he produced -- plus "I've Been Thinking," with its drooling Cat Power vocals, by Handsome Boy Modeling School, Dan's collaboration with Prince Paul. This was entertaining as it went along, and ladies in charcoal-sketch print dresses and tights or jeans danced by themselves amongst the crowd, but Dan cut himself off. "Enough of the self-indulgent shit," he said. "Let's turn things a little more action packed now." 

Eric Lawson
​He then cycled through his featured performers of the evening, Lateef (formerly of the Maroons and Quannum Projects), Gavin Hayes (of the band Dredg), and Emily Wells. Lateef whipped a moving, if temperate, reaction out of the fans, but I've never seen an audience as frozen as they were during Hayes' bit. I've heard of being at a loss for words: this was a whole bunch of people, all at a loss for dancing. Meanwhile, a ridiculous red-and-white Tuff Taco cartoon was on a repeating three-minute loop on the illustrious jazz-hall's wall.

Eric Lawson

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