Ground control to Reliable Narrators

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Feedback first caught a set by the Reliable Narrators in February while working as a judge at Ty Cooper’s “Virginia Got Talent?” competition. The local duo was only a few months into making music at the time, but Dave “Hypothesis” Glover and Lorenzo “Linz Prag” Best nabbed a second place finish on the strength of the tracks like the revved up “Dirt Bike” and the arcade meltdown of “Wildn Out.”

Reliable work ethic: Emcees Lorenzo “Linz Prag” Best (left) and Dave “Hypothesis” Glover of Reliable Narrators drop a slew of space beats and android vocals on their Best of Robot Musick mixtape and upcoming Tales From Space album.

Glover and Best, both Charlottesville High School graduates, met with Feedback last week to talk about their time as the Narrators (“Rockin’ 808s since 8/08”) and their upcoming Tales From Space album. Despite mixtape tracks like the Lil Wayne-referencing “‘A Milli’ Killer,” the duo comes from the Weezy School of Work Ethic, where free music begets hype for more music, at any cost. A two-volume mixtape series, Best of Robot Musick, beat Space to the streets and is available for download now, and a mixtape follow-up is currently in the works.

Tales From Space casts Glover and Best as an alien and robot, respectively, in a glitchy space odyssey narrative. (“We kinda come here symbolizing ‘the other,’” Glover says of the album’s story.) The Narrators themselves, however, have their feet planted in the terra firma of Charlottesville music history: Glover and Best are contemporaries of hip-hop musicians like Quentin “Q*Black” Walker and speak reverentially of The Beetnix, but also worked explicitly in rock for years. Glover’s high school band was called Elephant Man; “Zo,” as Glover calls him, played guitar in a group named Have A Cigar, named for the Pink Floyd tune.

For an act that aims occasionally for high concept, the Narrators are also decidedly low maintenance, if not lo-fi. Best handles production for every track, and renders every beat from freeware like Fruity Loops before adding vocals and mixing in Pro Tools. The pair has “played sparingly,” according to Glover, but has rocked venues as varied as its influences, from Outback Lodge to The Box to Dust, with no more than an iPod touch and microphones.

While Glover and Best left Feedback with an early copy of Tales From Space, no one likes to launch an interstellar journey alone. So here’s your chance to hop on the city’s first D.I.Y. U.F.O. Head to the Feedback blog to download the Best of Robot Musick mixtape and post your comments. And stay tuned for more on the Reliable Narrators and Tales From Space.

In praise of local D.I.Y.

It seems that every time a door closes in our cozy little arts world, some ambitious so-and-so builds an open window. After Feedback posted the world premiere of Straight Punch to the Crotch’s “When Animals Attack” video a week ago, keytar-playing photographer—or is it photo-snapping keytarist?—Billy Hunt sent us two films he shot with select and sexy members of the Charlottesville Lady Arm Wrestlers. The videos, which you can see on c-ville.com, hype up the one-night-only return of CLAW to the Blue Moon Diner on July 25; for details, see page 19.

Local artist Russell Richards might tell those gals to mind their muscles. After a spill from his mountain bike a few weeks ago, Richards—a longtime member at McGuffey Art Center whose beasties-meet-Beastie Boys scenes have adorned C-VILLE’s cover—ended up with two broken arms in an economy that has already dealt many artists a rough hand. But Richards rallied and decided to offer up prized pieces from his catalogue for cheap; you can scope them out at McGuffey or by visiting russellrichards.com.

While you’re at it, check out Feedback for news on a Lady Gaga cover by Fluvanna County’s favorite “Idol,” Chris Daughtry, and more news on The Southern Music Hall and Café.

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