Whitey (aka N.J. Whitey), one of my favorite artists, was supposed to release his newest album, Canned Laughter, Vol. 2, on September 2nd. I hopped onto his myspace page that day to find the following message:
"'CANNED LAUGHTER Vol.2' delayed indefinitely due to lack of funds, press, food and rent. Canned Laughter 1 is now available free from over 100 torrent sites. Help yourself. It's possibly the last you'll hear from me."
I haz a sad.
I stumbled across Whitey's work over the summer and almost immediately fell in love. His twisted pop sensibility struck a chord with me. He loves fuzzy basslines, I love fuzzy basslines. He likes swingin' beats, I like swingin' beats. He's a bit misanthropic, I can dig that. I just like the guy's style.
Whitey has had a bit of a rough ride. His 2004 album, The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is A Train, was a striking release that got him a decent amount of acclaim as the Next Big Thing. In 2007 he was working on his followup release, Great Shakes, until it was leaked to the internet. Consequently, the album was not released and Whitey's label dropped him. That's what wikipedia says, and it has to be true if you read it there, right?
Here's my confession: I'll admit I have downloaded the tracks from Great Shakes. Regardless of the fact that it's three years after the whole label debacle, I feel a bit guilty for that. However, if the album were ever officially released I'd buy copies for all my friends. I like it that much. If it had hit the radio when it was supposed to it could have been a game changer. At least I think so.
Whitey seems to have had more trials along the way, including another unreleased album, and ultimately released Canned Laughter, Vol. 1 on his own this year. It was exciting to hear him back in form and I was optimistic about Canned Laughter, Vol. 2, thinking maybe it would all work out this time around. Apparently not.
I hope it's not true. I hope to see more releases from Whitey in the future. I wish I could do something, so I'm doing the best thing I can: letting you know he's out there. Give him a listen. If you like him, get his albums and play them for your friends. At least enjoy the guy's music, what we have of it.
Download Whitey - Dinosaur
Download Whitey - The Up Sound For The Down People
(Again, I feel a bit wrong linking to a track from Great Shakes but it's just so good.)