Related Articles: Music, All


Rising Son of IDM at the Hemlock Tavern

San Franciscans will be getting quite a bit more Cex from here on out. The 21-year-old critically acclaimed IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) prodigy and self-proclaimed "World Famous Retard" has fled his hometown of Baltimore to set up camp in Oakland. Cex, aka Rjyan Kidwell, is a prime example of what can happen when you give a kid a laptop and raise him on a steady diet of hip-hop such as Snoop and De la Soul. Add a pinch of neurosis and a smattering of hyperactivity and you get Cex, who released his first album at 17 and is currently working on his sixth full-length, who is known for stripping down to his underwear on stage and jumping, kicking and dancing epileptically during performances, who lays out his life in all it's embarrassing, dramatic, humorous and eccentric glory in an online diary. You get Cex, a musician who inarguably asserts he is an entertainer before he is an artist.

Choppy beats, synth reprises and quirky samples lay the foundation for Kidwell's almost uncomfortably personal narratives that swing from self-aggrandizing to self-deprecating. His stories range in subject from the foils of middle school, the impetus for his most recent release Being Ridden, to the raunch and sleaze of the very act that inspired his pseudonym in tracks like "Wrist Elbow 2" off a recent Tigerbeat6 compilation. Though he is often compared to Eminem, the similarities do not run much deeper than skin color. Cex's songs play out more like an x-rated Fresh Prince with a penchant for laptop trickery fueled by a meth binge. Kidwell's reputation rides as much on the spectacle of his live performance that is in turns comical, intense, clever and downright silly, as it does on the talent he possesses to lay a fresh and innovative beat. Kidwell's relocation to the Bay Area attests to the burgeoning techno-rock scene that San Francisco is fast-becoming the nucleus of. Cex joins fellow laptop rapper Gold Chains and electro mastermind Kid606 in a local network of laptop geniuses and beat junkies. Local label Tigerbeat6, home to both Cex and Gold Chains has also put out albums for such disco-punk noise innovators as Numbers and is the throbbing hub of this techno-driven scene. The newest addition to the Tigerbeat6 roster is Dynasty, who kick off Saturday's show for headlining Cex.

Everyone knows that foreplay is as important if not more so than the sweaty act of sex itself and this Hemlock Tavern bill is no exception. Opening act Dynasty is the perfect sassy dance-rock appetizer for the smart-beats and sharp lyrical main course that Cex will be dishing up. This San Francisco trio comprises the best of the local music scene with Indra Dunis from Numbers on drums and Jibz Cameron, former frontwoman for the now-defunct Roofies, on vocals and keyboard. These girls, along with Diana Hayes on vocals and guitar, kick out infectious beat-driven jams about fighting, fucking and everything in between.

In the wise words of George Michael, "Sex is fun," any way you spell it.