In this week's paper, Christian Schaeffer reviews Jason and the Beast's debut EP, Birth of the Beast. He has this to say:
Jason Braun fancies himself more of a poet than a rapper; he makes that much clear with the references found on his debut EP's opening track, "The Beast in the Bookhouse." By beginning with a Samuel Johnson quote and name-checking Ken Kesey and the Beat poets, Braun posits his project as an effort to bring literary sensibilities to hip-hop rhymes. Not a bad idea, though mixing a lit major's fever dreams with hip-hop's palette is a little like giving the Decemberists a drum machine and a sampler. At times he comes off more like Soul Coughing's M. Doughty than a member of the Anticon collective, but the boho poetry mixes well with auxiliary instrumentalists.
Read the rest here. Braun is celebrating the CD's release tonight at the Firebird, as part of that Gil Mantera's Party Dream extravaganza.