Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, selected by DJ Shannon and featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Tamatebako” by CUZ from the forthcoming 2014 album Tamatebako on Bleeding Heart Recordings.
Since his emergence as the bassist of the influential punk combo The Minutemen, Mike Watt has engaged himself in a wide range of musical projects that have taken him, geographically and stylistically, to all kinds of new territories. The latest of these projects is CUZ, a collaboration with guitarist Sam Dook (The Go! Team) that began in 2006 when the two met at Australia’s Big Day Out festival. Dook began a conversation with Watt after watching him douse his lunch with some of his homemade chili, which led to an sporadic musical collaboration that finally reached fruition with this year’s Tamatebako. Named for an origami model that has a mythically-based reputation for containing chaos, the title track bounces around with “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard”-style jangle, as Dook and Watt offset the rhythm with a smattering of colorful sound effects. While most of the album’s vocals are handled by Dook and Watt, Dook’s The Go! Team bandmate Kaori Tsuchida takes the mic on “Tamatebako”, retelling the aforementioned mythical tale over the duo’s buoyant melodies. “Tamatebako” has more in common with Dook’s work than anything in Watt’s catalog, but the song’s celebratory tone and well-layered instrumentation makes it feel like less of an abstract one-off and more like a curious trip down Watt and Dook’s latest stylistic rabbit hole.
CUZ doesn’t have any tour dates at the moment, but keep up with Mike Watt and Sam Dook over at Watt’s and The Go! Team’s Facebook pages for any updates. Below, watch the animated video for “Tamatebako”.