1. Founding members Vulture Voltaire (rhymes) and Ricky Rabbit (beats) began life as dutiful D.C.-area hardcore kids, but they could not ignore the gravitational yank of the funk, the skronk-appeal of free jazz, or the verbal clarity of hip-hop. Now they make crazy rap songs. Don’t even try to talk smack about Outkast around them.
2. Vulture V needed some lyrical yin to his yang, so the group made rapper Hy a fully vested member for “Belly,” their second CD, which has a home on Hoss Records. Hy is supremely confident about his microphone abilities: “But fuck bein’ humble/When it comes to these raps, I’ve sung millions/So all of the MCs in existence are my illegitimate children,” he says on the humdinger “Belly Kids.”
3. All of the group’s “belly” talk refers to D.C. itself, a.k.a. “the belly of the beast.” Politics figured somewhat prominently on their debut, 2004’s “Scavengers,” but things got painfully personal for Vulture V in the meantime. His mother passed away, and she pops up in his rhymes a lot. Grief can be like that.
4. Ricky Rabbit’s grooves are frequently bass-less, drum-less and even music-less, if that makes any sense. Perhaps that’s why krautrock legends Faust decided to record a few tracks with Food For Animals while they were touring in Germany recently. (That’s Faust, not Feist, all you boner kids.) Suggested platitude: German noise-rock pioneers know a good thing when they hear it.
5. Like most people in the Chocolate City metro zone, Food For Animals has discovered that Baltimore is a lot more fun than the so-called belly of the beast. Cheaper, too. So they’re claiming the Charm City as home for now, which means that the show at JB’s is kind of like a backyard jam, once-removed. Yes, cousin.
TEXT BY JOE WARMINSKY