For a guy who's probably never played a guitar in his life, twenty-year-old Rjyan Kidwell certainly knows his way to an indie-rocker's heart. Since dropping his debut, Role Model, on Kid 606's punk-electronic indie label, Tigerbeat6, Kidwell's Cex project -- named after a cheesy vanity plate Kidwell once saw on a studmobile in his hometown of Towson, Maryland -- has charmed many a soul in both the electronic and emo-core communities with its skittering beats, strong melodic sense and idiosyncratic attitudes. Like many of his peers in the laptop Mafia, Kidwell has a wiseguy attitude cribbed from hip-hop regarding his underground status -- after all, the only thing Cex's second album, Oops, I Did It Again!, has in common with That Other One is the title. But as his newest album, Tall, Dark, and Handcuffed, demonstrates, Cex has managed to go in soulful directions that most IDM geeks can only dream of.
Likewise, don't expect him to stand still as he exhibits his wares on this tour with Tigerbeat6 labelmates Stars as Eyes and Numbers. Cex is a natural-born stage hog when he steps behind a mic and a PowerBook, and he's likely to lead the crowd in a hipster "Hokey-Pokey" of shout-outs, nasty impressions and oddball covers. If he's taking requests, try to get him to sing the theme to Beauty and the Beast. As far as Cex is concerned, no style of music is beyond either a spirited piss take or a radical transformation.