The 21-year-old Baltimore kid who's headlining this traveling tour of artists affiliated with the Bay Area electronic-music indie Tigerbeat6 calls himself Cex, and if you think that's funny, you'll love Tall, Dark, and Handcuffed, his new album. Like much of the stuff Tigerbeat6 releases, it's a sometimes tacit, sometimes active repudiation of the solemn laptop geekery that dominates the glitch-techno underground; where his buddies Kid606 and Gold Chains explode and reassemble Missy Elliott swagger and booty-beat bling to fit their own punk-rock narratives, Cex retools gangsta rap for nerdy white guys who ride their bikes between jobs at the one-hour-photo place and tricked-out bedroom studios at home--you gather that he's not fronting when he threatens to subscribe your ass to some unwanted magazines. On record Cex's flow can get a little tedious, so it's a shame that Handcuffed retreats a bit from the imaginative IDM noodling found on some of his earlier records in favor of more straightforward backing tracks (though the presence of former Shudder to Think front man Craig Wedren's distinctive croon on several cuts is a welcome twist of convention). But that probably won't matter much at Rubber Gloves on Friday: Cex has a thing for breakdancing in his underwear, a bonus you sure as hell can't count on at an Oval show.
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Mikael Wood