New media gurus always talk fervent bullshit about online personal branding, which leads many impatient bands to equate fan-cultivation with Facebook worship instead of writing kick ass songs. Local Wizards, the solo moniker of 19-year-old ASU film student Kendall Humbert, is not promoted through the usual channels of SEO bait and annoying posts. Humbert is immersed in the surreal world of off-beat Twitter humorists, where actual stand-up comedians (@RobDelaney) and real-life poets (@TriciaLockwood) traffic absurdities and anti-humor with bizarre characters (@dogboner, @famouscrab) and cool ponds (@cool_pond). Humbert's Twitter account, @dankherbmullet, has more than 2,000 followers which he's earned through surreal quips about topics like Shaq and Cash Cab. He, like local punks Playboy Manbaby, got his band name from a Brad Neely web cartoon.
Though his Twitter account is an absolute crack-up, Local Wizards is a dark mélange of post-rock nuance and rhythmic clamor. Humbert's vocals have the ethreality of Deerhunter's Bradford Cox, presiding over heavily-processed guitars and hypnotic bass lines. When he's not making jokes, he's tweeting Bandcamp links to new tracks with a refreshing amount of self-effacement.
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Either way, we decided Twitter would be the best medium to discuss his songwriting process, tired joke material, and how he got so many followers.