Now, it’s been almost two years since this post-apocalyptic hip-hop duo (Leaf Erikson and Jah Connery) put out their subtly epic Idiot Bocks album. (I’ll call anything ‘epic’ if you can gracefully/gloriously embrace and utilize samples from both Network’s doom and gloom to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures’ 80’s-tastic goofballery). The pair have kept busy in the interim – with MC Leif Erikson working on a range of collaborators with various Michigan-based rappers and Jah Connery continuing his production work; the former is, most recently, featured on a few tracks with Detroit rapper Mobil on the Meet Me @ the Mrkt LP and the latter just dropped an album with his Rooks project, pairing with Duece Freight.
I’m telling you all this because, a.) if you haven’t checked out Bocks, then today should be the day… b.) Jah Connery, if we’re to believe his Facebook-page, calls Ypsi home – and I know I usually ramble a lot about your usual indie-punk-fuzzballs and guitar-strapped freakoid upstarts of the Washtenaw community, but its high time I slid over to the hip-hop side of the room and start gushing about this producer’s refined sensibilities for beat arrangements.
Smash Television – “Explosive”
And… c.) Smash Television have a show coming up – opening up for the similarly-styled/futuristic-fried electro-dashed hip-hop trips of Shabazz Palaces – April 6th at the Magic Stick over in Detroit. If the spirit takes you…takes you to your car…and takes you over there to the Stick, then I’d really be pleased, because you’d also be taking yourself to be treated by the eclectic effervescence of MC SelfSays, another Detroiter, but, really, he’s been all over. If we let this blog-tangent spill wherever it may, then I’ll transition from Jah Connery over to SelfSays, as you should probably check out this video that he just posted.
SelfSays – “Little Things / Something Out of Nothing”
There’s no way I could make a smooth transition to honky-tonk…but, well, here it is – Ryan Dillaha. (http://www.reverbnation.com/ryandillaha)
Another Metro-Detroit-area music maker, just like SelfSays, who will be coming over to Ypsi this week, Dillaha (who’ll be at Woodruff’s on April 5th) put out a dazzling anthology of heartbreak ballads last summer and I’ve been a fan ever since. (Seek out Love Alone).
His mid-high nasal voice is one of the most distinctive musical elements I’ve heard to come out of the local stew in the last three years – it has a raspy twang that sounds like it buzzed its way out of a broken radio found by the side of a dirt-road, buzzing with cosmic frequencies dialed in from the glorious ghosts of seminal bluegrass voices. That, and his backing band sets a sturdy strutting folk/Americana bedrock that can breeze its way organically into romantic/melodramatic honky-tonk waltzes to a more rousing, rollicking southern rock flare.