A couple weeks ago I ran into rapper J.C. Thayer when I wandered into KnockBox Cafe to take a reprieve from the blisteringly cold winds. I’d met Thayer last summer while hanging out at a taco joint with some mutual friends, but I wasn’t aware that he made music until I saw him looking at ordering pages for cassettes at KnockBox. When Thayer told me he was pressing up an album of “weird downer hip-hop” I immediately asked him to pass along some tracks—using the phrase “weird downer hip-hop” in a sentence is a great way to pique my interest.
Bummer Summer, which Thayer is releasing under the name XO Infinity, is heavy on the downer side as the dude raps about consuming a grocery list of drugs, keeping his shirt on during sex, and choking back tears while packing up his dead friend’s bedroom. “I’m naturally a fiction writer and I’ve thusly structured the album to have a narrative arc,” Thayer says. “It begins as a break-up album, descends to the depths of reactionary self-destructive behavior, and ends with rumination on the death of one of my best friends this May.” His beats are lo-fi, gritty, and sometimes so skeletal they make Thayer’s caustic words sound even bleaker—I had to take a few breaks in order make it through the whole album, but it’s worth it. Thayer celebrates the release of Bummer Summer tonight at Township; the show starts at 9 PM and costs $7.