Filipino fury

Jester delivers a somber, stirring and personal third LP

Like many heads in the local hip-hop galaxy, G. Michael Pendon is one of San Antonio's adopted sons. As DJ Jester, the West Columbia native founded a pair of DJ crews (the sorely missed Underdog Turntablists in 1998 and always funky Supa Brother Scientists in 2000), traversed the globe with Kid Koala, and along the way graduated from UTSA with a degree in American Studies. His two albums, Riverwalk Riots (2000) and Heavily Booted (2002), referenced local landmarks and showcased Jester's penchants for Willie Nelson soundbites, wicked scratches, and rocking the crowd off-balance. Fresh for 2004, Jester returns with Table for One, an album he describes as "the most personal project I've ever done."

Jester explains: "After I came back from the Kid Koala tour, I noticed a lot of my friends were in a lot of pain, mostly from breakups. I, too, was still suffering from a bad one. I consider this the soundtrack to those many personal conversations I had with friends in those months that I lived in Austin, from January-May 2004." Table for One was recorded last May in Quad Rod's living room over four rainy days in San Anto.

CD Spotlight

Table for one
DJ Jester
(Fever Pitch)
Loaded with 11 gloomy cuts, the album sounds and feels like a synthesized jam session between Thom Yorke and Vangelis, with hints of Ghostface Killa's "Domestic Violence" piped in. Track titles like "Lonely Clowns," "Corsage, No Girlfriend," "Without Nobody," and "Balloon On A String" illustrate the album's introspective yet reassuring vibe.

Ultimately, Jester has delivered a somber and stirring third LP that pushes the boundaries of hip-hop. In a post-Tupac era where emcees increasingly have become modern-day minstrels, Table for One is welcome for its vision, as well as its keys. Don't forget to check the bonus track which leans more to Jester's eclectic tastes and humorously exposes the emptiness in 50-Cent's voice.

M. Solis


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