March 13, 2012 SIGHTS ⁄  WILLIS EARL BEAL’S X-FACTOR

WILLIS EARL BEAL’S X-FACTOR

Elusive Chi-town unicorn Willis Earl Beal doesn’t think The X-Factor is shallow, but he REALLY wants ‘some dope taco’.

His bootcamp tape shows a more media-savvy side to the allegedly lo-fi guy who shuns email, drums with his hands and records on a piece of coal – and whose hand-drawn YouTube ‘videos’ still promise viewers a song if you call him up (not anymore, bitches: we tried – and his answerphone is as full as his future is full of media weirdos like us, desperate for some sort of oddball RL Burnside experience and refresher course in bluesy authenticity ).

However, the swampy Delta associations and favoured press image of a young Beal riding around evocatively in a dustbowl in a dirty shirt are not really sticking quite as well as his pr machine would’ve hoped to the flat-topped, Rayban-sporting, Threadless-t-shirted Chicago urbanite and yes, X Factor wannabe.

If you want to make your own mind up about the Emperor’s New Blues, try to catch him in London this week. Check his Radio One performance out if you can’t. If your mind skips randomly back to the time they told us Lenny Kravitz was the new Hendrix, call our helpline. Oh, and DO NOT ‘do’ the ‘Watchu talkin bout Willis?” thing, we’ve practiced it in the mirror and it’s dumb.