NO PLAN A
Carnage the Executioner brought his third version of “No Plan A” to Caydence Records last night. An evening of improvised, organic live performances, the theme is built from Carnage’s style of performing. As an artist that builds his own beats through beatboxing, then rhythms on top, he doesn’t use prerecorded tracks. This improvised style allows him to feed off the audience and cater to the room. As a veteran this technique, his genuineness and passion for building a song onstage is easily apparent.
When asked what No Plan A means, he explains it as a situation where if plan A doesn’t work, what’s your plan B? In this instance, these shows don’t even have a plan A. The way it turns out is how it turns out. In gathering his roster of artists, he tells them to bring something to the table they’ve never really done before. He advises not to be reliant on prerecorded material or the way they typically perform. This leads to a smorgasbord of talent and ideas throughout the evening.
The first two people that Carnage presented the idea to were Just Wulf and Flutessa. Both were sparked by the improvisational style of collaborating, so it was an easy pitch to sell. A quick call to Flutessa saying “Grab your flute, let’s go”, and it was set.
CARNAGE THE EXECUTIONER
Carnage started off the evening with a flurry of songs. Quickly getting the audience involved with callbacks, he did variations of “More Hip-Hop Than You” and “Ravenous,” both tracks off his new album Ravenous. Swinging a wooden necklace around his neck, he performed “Minnesota Mean,” a spin on our perceived Northern culture.
Can’t afford to shop at The Wedge
Hair not a hipster nicer cut-
They got my music, I know it’s
They don’t play me much on the Local Current so I give up-
My sound is loud-in-your-face…Maybe they don’t like the rough
Calling up his manager, “Just Dope”, she clued off a song with a freestyle listing of adjectives and terms that carnage is typically synonymous with. This led to a great performance, Carnage’s explanation of using “Executioner”. It was a solid set of songs that discussed his ideals and statements about living the life of a musician.
Speaking with Carnage before the show, he admits he’s not a vinyl collector. His obsessive-compulsive behavior would lead a purchase of 2-3 records into something he wouldn’t be able to stop. Growing up wanting to be a drummer, then a DJ, he’s learned to channel his energy into rhyming, writing songs, touring, and beatboxing. This intended path and passion definitely shows onstage. As Carnage shared, he’s about the art and about making ‘think’ music.
Performing for the first time in Minneapolis, Reconsiderate took center stage next. A mix of industrial rock and hip-hop, he rapped over a bed of textures. Getting the audience involved with responses, his lyric-driven songs have density and thickness to them. Vocally, he swam between being soft and smooth to dynamically build up to an edgier, and angrier variation. Designed to capture and pull you in, Reconsiderate kept everyone engaged.
Rocking a limited edition pink colored MPC, Neight Larcen came on next. Programming beats on top of tracks, he provided a kick of nostalgia with his Rocky theme song remix. At times he’d move away from the programming to sing and rap, giving us a small taste of his versatility. We saw pieces of beatboxing, lyricism, and originality throughout his groove-filled set.
THE SEVENTH SON AND JUST WULF
Next was spoken word craftsman and local emcee Just Wulf. Backed by The Seventh Son providing a spontaneous bed of music, Just Wulf dished out heavy poems to the crowd. Lyrically woven into the live beats, it was a powerful display of his personality and beliefs. The set was a perfect reimbursement of improvisation and his ability to use the room to drive his content. We need more performances like this, instantaneous collaborations that can spark a message.
TUVOK THE WORD
Performing the first time by playing drums with his tracks, Tuvok the Word embraced the No Plan A concept. Penning a song to his future kids, “Love Letters” was a warm embrace and guide to being a better role model. His catchier track, “Season”, a mix of hip-hop and R&B, was a positive message about love and belief in commitments through struggles.
THE NO-PLAN BAND
The No-Plan Band brought a diverse array of instruments to the stage. With guitar, flute, saxophone, and Carnage providing the beatboxing, it was a lively blend of funk jazz and hip-hop. Completely improvised, each song would expand and spark new phrasing and interplay. The group did an impeccable job of creating space and allowing each idea to develop and grow. The growl of the saxophone at times combined perfectly with Carnage’s syncopated percussion. A prime example of what organic creation and impromptu musicianship can showcase, the No-Plan Band solidified the evening.
When asked why Carnage chose Caydence Records as the location for this series of shows, his reply was simple. He was looking for a place that was intimate and wasn’t a bar, where people would come specifically for the music, a place where his message of community and helping other artists out would be welcomed. Flipping through the records and mingling back and forth throughout the evening, Caydence aligns perfectly with this message.
As for what Carnage hopes to build from shows like this, it’s the introduction and exposure to new music and styles that maybe people didn’t realize they liked. It’s about discovering new talent, new ideas, and thoughtful music together as a family.