I can trace a direct path from this album to my being in Tunisia. In fact, I’ll do you one better: I can trace a path from one song on this album to my being in Tunisia.
Let me explain: I’ve always drawn from my brother’s musical taste. From our earliest days on Napster listening to Del The Funky Homosapien, to finding Social Distortion albums on KaZaA over a dialup connection, I have a storied, derivative musical past.
In late middle school or early high school, my brother sent me a track called “That Night (Sunshine Blues)” by this group Atmosphere. I’d never heard of Atmosphere. “That Night” is an unusual track, even by Atmosphere’s standards. Clangy ride cymbals, deadpan delivery and a 1-bar bassline sample. I was hooked, and looped it for weeks.
Back to the point: this was my first experience with Minneapolis hip-hop. Via Atmosphere I would come to discover Brother Ali, P.O.S., Eyedea & Abilities, Doomtree, and Dessa. You know, that old lot.
I thought that it was pretty cool that one city had such a cool group of people, so I lined up a few college visits. Then applications, acceptance, and finally, the first day of driving up St. Peter’s College Ave. seeing those punks playing beer-pong in their yards and holding signs like “You honk, we drink!”
Fast forward, and I had photographed the lawn-drinkers for The Gustavian Weekly. I studied abroad twice, nabbed a few internships, slept in the back of my car on numerous memorable occasions (cold), served on a dysfunctional but entertaining student government for 7 of my 8 semesters, had an — I think — respectable GPA, and survived Minnesota winters to boot.
This was apparently enough to convince people to fly me to Tunisia. Here I am.
Sounds like: ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED
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