Parker & The Numberman
Lorna Doone DVD (self-released)
Parker & The Numberman make hip-hop look easy. While DJ Collagey lays down unique beats, MCs Parker Edison and 10-19 The Numberman go for broke when they perform live, taking up the whole stage and trading off effortlessly between finely honed rhymes and fast-paced freestyles.
Lately, the trio has brought film into the mix. Earlier this year, they released Shortbread, a lowbudget short film that finds a young woman in underwear and a T-shirt baking, watching porn and lounging around. They followed it up with Lorna Doone, a 15-minute collection of often-grainy video clips that's even more beguiling.
Taking its name from the shortbread-cookie company, the DVD is an abstract video presentation about the past year in the life of the group. There's a wonderful video for their song “Sadie Hawkins” in which they horse around on a pedestrian overpass. There's an intriguing vignette about a sticker that keeps popping up across the city. And there are also prosaic clips, including a shot of them screen-printing T-shirts and an interview on San Diego 6 news.
Unfortunately, Parker & The Numberman aren't as skilled with the camera as they are on the mic. Video parts and songs cut off and suddenly go to the next section; sometimes the only transition is an ugly graphic that says “Ding!” The video quality is less than professional—some parts are all shaky handheld camera, like an old home video.
But it's not for lack of trying.
These guys often think in big, conceptual terms, and they haven't mastered translating them to video. If their musical skill is any indication, however, it's only a matter of time before they do.