Common Grackle
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Common Grackle

Guelph, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Guelph, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
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The Common Grackle - A medium-sized blackbird whose plumage is black, and has a sheen that is glossy and iridescent. Common Grackles range over almost all of eastern North America east of the Rockies, extending far into Canada in the summer breeding season. They sound like this...

Common Grackle - A new collaboration between indie-pop savant Gregory Pepper and much sought after hip hop producer Factor, who have a new record out on Fake Four Inc. due August 10th called The Great Depression. They sound like this...

Thank God It's Monday feat. Kool Keith

I'm pretty sure that my friend Neil would describe Common Grackle as being 'very cerebral'. It's a brilliant and extremely astute way of describing the sort of trip you'll be taken on while listening not only to the lyrics, which are sometimes cryptic but always heartbreaking and that hold sentiments that most times hit a little too close to home but also the production by Factor where he effortlessly expands on his work with Gregory Pepper that he began a short time ago with his own recent release Lawson Graham.

Gregory Pepper and Factor masterfully handle all of the production and lyrical duties themselves with two exceptions. One of which being the inclusion of Fake Four Inc. label mate and founder Ceschi helping out with his superbly timed schizophrenic rhymes on a couple of tracks and the other being the legendary Kool Keith who performs a verse on the opening track of the album called 'Thank God It's Monday'.

The Great Depression feat. Ceschi


On this record Factor does such an excellent job of mixing his eclectic hip hop sound with Peppers soulful indie melancholy that I think he's crafted a new musical genre called indie-hop. On many of the tracks on this record Pepper sings with such fatigued emotion it's impossible not to feel every single bit of pain and frustration hurling towards you from his seemingly twisted and weakened heart.

All The Pawns


Lyrically and musically, the collaboration of Pepper and Factor paint a sometimes upbeat but ultimately desperate picture of isolation, depression, regret, worry and a myriad of other emotions that will linger long after the songs have been sung and the music has faded. The Great Depression also hosts possibly one of the best, if one of the only songs ever about a grindcore show.

Yes, a great depression will envelope you when you listen to Common Grackle. That doesn't mean that there isn't some sort of hope buried beneath all of the sadness. The song 'Please Stop' is taken directly from the notes of Brian Wilson (Caroline, No anybody?) on how to write a masterpiece ballad. It's one of the prettiest songs on the record and when Gregory Pepper sings '...Please stop drinking till your drunk and are caused to stumble...' you can't help but feel his languished optimism.
I've never been so happy to be so depressed. - My Northwest


Common Grackle: The Great Depression
I had never heard of producer, Factor until this year but since hearing of him, it seems like I have seen him everywhere. Besides his own solo album, Lawson Graham, he also produced an album with Awol One and one with Moka Only (credited as Ron Contour). His latest full length collaboration is with Gregory Pepper as Common Grackle. Unlike Factor’s other collaborations, Gregory Pepper is not a rapper, he is a singer. While for some hip hop producers, working with singers rather than rappers can be a little tricky but for Factor’s psychedelic rock-tinged hip hop, it is not much of a stretch.
Pepper’s voice is wobbly and constantly sounds like he is being tongue-in-cheek; it reminds me of The Lovely Feathers. Similarly to the Lovely Feathers, often Pepper is being tongue-in-cheek. My favorite example of this might be “At The Grindcore Show”. The song is basically about the ridiculous sights one might see at a grindcore show and how Pepper would not want to die at a grindcore show. The song is obviously humorous, but the meek voice he sings the track in makes the song all the better.
But not all the tracks are meant to be humorous. The album’s title track is an obvious serious track beginning with the line “it’s just a great depression I’m going through/let’s all get down with the times”. But even in a “serious track” Pepper manages to sprinkle in witty lines like “you got served/you got SARS/your net is smaller than my ball/bitch, how am I gonna score?”
Of all the Factor-produced albums I have heard recently, The Great Depression might be my favorite but it is not necessarily because of his production. While Factor’s production is apt, Gregory Pepper is the breakout star here. His lyrics remain insouciant even when dealing with serious subjects and his voice is perfect for the Factor production. - surviving the golden age


NEW TRACK: Common Grackle are two guys from Canada, songwriter and illustrator Gregory Pepper and Saskatoon music producer Factor. “The Great Depression” is anything but. It’s more often funny. Common Grackle’s new record, may remind you, however slightly, of Why? or Beck, with its overlapping harmonies, dark humor and blurring mix between indie sensibility and hip-hop rhythms and vocalizations. The album has a few grooves, with a lot of tongue-in-cheek lyrics, some of which take shots at indie hipsterism, and well, just about everything else. You may find it all funny and endearing or highly annoying, depending upon your tastes. “Magic Beans” is a countrified-rap odd-ball with deliciously strange lyricism: “My record label pays me with magic beans / Notorious F-A-T / Mustache ride / Rocket to Russia / Fuckin’ lushes get nothing done / And my family tree is done / We’ll have fun, fun, fun / ‘Til my daddy’s inheritance is gone / And after that it’s all skits, deers, and leg-sawin’ from here on in / I’m going off Niagara Falls in a fuckin’ barrel.” Yeah, it’s out there. But it might be for you. Below is their free single. – David D. Robbins Jr. - Their Bated Breath Blog


he Common Grackle, a bold looking bird native to the eastern coast of North America, has been known to mimic the sounds of other birds and even humans at times. Are we to assume then, that "The Great Depression," the debut full length from Common Grackle, would simply be musical regurgitation? The answer is a resounding no. Common Grackle, a seamless Canadian collaboration of young indie pop mastermind Gregory Pepper and renowned hip-hop producer Factor has delivered some of the most inventive and intoxicating music of the summer. Fusing Gregory Pepper's ear for distinct, floating melodies and Factor's uncanny ability to make even the most benign rhythm sound driving and memorable, Common Grackle will leave the kind of impression on listeners that will last long after the last birds have flown south for the winter.

At the suggestion of Fake Four Inc founder Ceschi Ramos, label mates Pepper and Factor began corresponding in 2009. This lead to their first recording: a drunken homage to ODB's ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya.' Half a year later the duo met for the first time to mix the 12 song album they had created by swapping audio files over the internet. Perhaps it was the distance between the two which lead to such a profound release. - Plug In Music


Discography

Common Grackle - The Great Depression - Fake Four Inc, 2010

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Bio

The Lone Pine Field Guide to Birds describes the Common Grackle as a "poor but spirited singer who, despite his lack of musical talent, remains smug and proud, posing with his bill held high". It seemed like a fitting name to adopt for the communion between indie pop wunderkind Gregory Pepper and hyper-prolific hip-hop producer Factor on their soon to be released full length The Great Depression (Fake Four Inc). Behind the domineering beats and countless overdubs of reedy vocals, there stands a desperate scavenger uninterested in approval from the rest of the flock.

At the suggestion of Fake Four Inc founder Ceschi Ramos, label mates Pepper and Factor began corresponding in the winter of 2009, ultimately leading to their first recording: a drunken homage to ODB's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya". About half a year later the duo met for the first time to mix the 12 song album they had created by means of swapping audio files over the internet. The Great Depression marks a significant departure for Pepper as a songwriter, relinquishing his one-man-show authoritarian control and allowing songs to be fleshed out with slick, clean production and a bold, dynamic backdrop. Likewise, Factor has blurred the line between hip-hop and indie rock beyond all recognition, embracing the pop sensibilities he's hinted at in previous work to create a true crossover album that defies genre.

As the namesake suggests, Common Grackle stands in proud defiance of their musical contemporaries, be it repetitive electro-pop or petulant david byrne sound-alikes. The album features performances from the Camp Pepper alumni along with guest appearances by Ceschi and the spankmaster himself, Kool Keith. Fellow birds of North America be warned: Common Grackle is coming to eat your food and sleep in your nest.