Since beginning his career on Mush Records, Aesop Rock’s become one of the avowed left-fielders to be embraced by what we’d all understand as indie audiences. Remaining a unique if not prolific act, this MC’s name is still a draw. And a strong enough one to headline a weird bill.
What makes this particular show intriguing is that sandwiched between two MCs is Kimya Dawson, who people should know from the Moldy Peaches, but probably better recall her solo contributions to the “Juno” soundtrack. Either way, setting up a singer armed with folksy intentions to perform for a crowd prepared for rap stuffs points at what creative relationships should be. Aurally, there’s really no connection here. A creative impulse to express personal ideas, stories and probably a bit of political/social thought solders these performers together.
Opening the show is a lesser-known Def Jux affiliate. Rob Sonic’s two long-playing albums—2004’s “Telicatessen” or 2007’s “Sabotage Gigante”—didn’t gain traction at the time of their respective releases. Issued through El-P’s imprint and including production from the label honcho, Sonic’s efforts seemed to have suffered as a result of being on a roster with artists releasing music consistently—so consistently, Def Jux ceased functioning as a label due to financial concerns. You can only release so much average fare before the bills catch up to you. Ranking as a good MC among a litany of talented performers doomed Sonic to exist in the underground’s nether-regions. Being paired with Aesop, who hasn’t released anything ultimately engaging since the instrumental project he was commissioned by Nike to concoct, the two rappers share a similar cadence, if not the same sort of vocal rapidity necessary to leave audiences wide-eyed and surprised. (Dave Cantor)
May 19 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 North Lincoln, (773)525-2508. 9pm. $18. 18+.