You probably wouldn't expect a secluded, hippied-out town in the Northern California boondocks like Chico to produce a hip, urban, budding pop icon like Scapegoat Wax -- but hey, hip, urban, budding pop icons have to come from somewhere, don't they? Scapegoat Wax is Marty James, a kid whose teenage fondness for mixing beats in his bedroom has turned into a promising career. Working the niche opened up by
Beck's '90s success, Scapegoat Wax combines catchy pop melodicism with tons of hip hop influences -- boomin' urban beats, layers of samples, a little scratching, a little rapping, lots of self-referentiality. Stir in a little reggae and R&B and you've got a hook-heavy, super funky, and potentially very lucrative pop hybrid that's as close to a can't-miss formula for success as you can get. James recorded his first album, Luxurious, on Goodvibe Records in 1999. It caught the attention of Grand Royal, which helped James put together the next Scapegoat Wax LP, 2001's OKEEBLOW (so titled because James thinks of himself as an "okie from the sticks, blowin'"). That album's first single is "Aisle 10 (Hello Allison)."