The Lone Pine Field Guide to Birds describes the Common Grackle as a "poor but spirited singer who, despite his lack of musical talent, remains smug and proud, posing with his bill held high". It seemed like a fitting name to adopt for the communion between indie pop wunderkind Gregory Pepper and hyper-prolific hip-hop producer Factor on their full length album The Great Depression (Fake Four Inc). Behind the domineering beats and countless overdubs of reedy vocals, there stands a desperate scavenger uninterested in approval from the rest of the flock.
At the suggestion of Fake Four Inc founder Ceschi Ramos, label mates Pepper and Factor began corresponding in the winter of 2009, ultimately leading to their first recording: a drunken homage to ODB's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya". About half a year later the duo met for the first time to mix the 12 song album they had created by means of swapping audio files over the internet. The Great Depression marks a significant departure for Pepper as a songwriter, relinquishing his one-man-show authoritarian control and allowing songs to be fleshed out with slick, clean production and a bold, dynamic backdrop. Likewise, Factor has blurred the line between hip-hop and indie rock beyond all recognition, embracing the pop sensibilities he's hinted at in previous work to create a true crossover album that defies genre.
As the namesake suggests, Common Grackle stands in proud defiance of their musical contemporaries, be it repetitive electro-pop or petulant david byrne sound-alikes. The album features performances from the Camp Pepper alumni along with guest appearances by Ceschi and the spankmaster himself, Kool Keith. Fellow birds of North America be warned: Common Grackle is coming to eat your food and sleep in your nest.
The Great Depression was released on August 10, 2010 on Fake Four Inc.. Gregory Pepper re-recorded his 2010 release "The Great Depression" with some of his homies. Mostly live off-the-floor on to a Yamaha 4-track, and released it as the album titled The Great Repression.