At Large

World Premiere Video: Tilson XOXO, “Away the Sun/Letterman’s Jacket”

If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering, often out loud, “What the hell has Tilson been up to?” If you’re not like me, you’re unaware that Tilson—first name or last name, who knows?—is a true Seattle original and maker of really fun, really smart music.


Today the enigmatic MC/singer/raconteur/fan of hats gave City Arts an exclusive look at a short film he made with director Joe Wiscomb. It incorporates two songs into what Tilson calls a “mini-dialog and a visual journey.” The first song, “Away the Sun,” is a doo-wop-style lament of lost love (?!); the second, “Letterman’s Jacket,” finds Tilson flashing back to high school and the overachieving quest of a varsity ladies man. From a man best known as a party-starting rapper, both tunes are surprising and hilarious in their disparate musical styles. Tilson’s charisma—not to mention vocal chops—make it all work. Along with the Jackson 5-meets-Beastie Boys “Nevereverland,” released late last year, these are snippets from Tilson’s upcoming, untitled, un-release-dated, as-yet-unsigned new record. He swears it’s on the way.

Meanwhile, the man himself will premiere the tunes live this weekend at Sasquatch; be at the Cthulhu Stage at 2 PM Saturday to see how it all goes down. He won’t reveal the members of his backing band, though he says they will be recognizable faces to fans of Seattle music. He also says he cannot promise nudity this time out. Perhaps that will happen during his June 8 show at Neumos with Brett Amaker & the Rodeo and the Young Evils? With Tilson, you never know.

And now, without further ado, the premiere of Tilson XOXO’s “Away the Sun/Letterman’s Jacket.” Boom!

Tilson XOXO – Away the Sun | Letterman’s Jacket from Joseph Wiscomb on Vimeo.