The Rap is a series of op-eds with mp3s that highlight local musicians and upcoming events in the Bay Area. Each week a band writes about their favorite local band, and the following week, the band that was chosen gets to chooses their favorite Bay Area group.
If you’re a Bay Area musician and would like to participate please contact us (David [at] SFCritic.com).
Written by Scott Bartenhagen
Diets are a funny thing. You grew up eating mac n’ cheese and hot dogs, but passed on the relish and onions. Ketchup yes, tomatoes no. All the nourishment a growing child needed to subsist, but not to thrive. Musical diets can work the same way. For me, I ate Steely Dan and fusion jazz, but passed on the Bob Dylan. Radio yes, records no. I had plenty to eat as a songwriter, but nothing to fill me up. Enter Micol Cazzell. He endeavors solely to spin yarns, most often simple and without the useless, fluffy metaphors I had been eating for years. His words cut, be they deeply personal stories or tall tales, and reek of honesty. That’s about all the stock wordy songwriter ass kissing I can muster, though, however much I mean it. The real draw Cazzell has for me, as a songwriter, is much more utilitarian. Micol Cazzell writes wonderfully well crafted songs. Simply. They aren’t necessarily cool or hip. They aren’t too complex or difficult. He isn’t revolutionizing the indie-folk music world like every other band does that nobody remembers after three months. What sets him apart is an undying dedication to song craft. It gives his work substance in a hip new music world almost completely devoid of it. His music is pure nourishment, like finally realizing you have to eat your broccoli and discovering it is fucking delicious.
Micol Cazzell: “Clay”
Micol Cazzell: “Burnside”
About The Author
Scott Bartenhagen is a Bay Area musician. Nicholas Frankel of the Bay Area band, True Mad North, originally wrote a piece on Bartenhagen. You can read Frankel’s “The Rap of Scott Bartenhagen” here.
To find more on Scott, check out his pages: