Aesop Rock, Kimya Dawson, DJ Big Wiz, Rob Sonic @ Urban 08.24

Posted August 26, 2011 in ,
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Photo: Chad Kirkland
When I walk into the darkly lit Urban Lounge, I am warmly greeted by not only one bar, but two. They're expecting a big crowd tonight, and I'm not at all surprised, as Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock are both huge names in the music industry, but on total opposite sides of the genre pool. As more people start filing in, it's obvious when talking to people that the majority of the crowd is here for Aesop. It feels, at times, that I'm part of a crowd of 20-something-year-old kids in a candy shop with everyone around me trying to get closer and closer to the front of the stage.

After waiting for what seems like an eternity, Kimya Dawson steps up to the stage wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bandana over her massive, curly hair and socks with little mustaches all over them. She sits in a chair at the front of the stage and proceeds to fiddle with her guitar a little bit. Then Aesop appears on stage right after her, and you can feel the excitement building.

Throughout the day, I was wondering how they were going to execute the show, because they were doing their solo stuff as well as collaborating, so this evening was sure to be an interesting one.

The two greats start their set off together, with a song where the chorus states: "My whole life is a delicate cycle," referencing laundromats, washing machines and things of that nature. After they sing a couple more songs together, Kimya is alone on stage. Her songs are cute and heartfelt. There is quite a lot of chatter during her set, but there's a lot of people in one room, so it's to be expected, I guess. She plays some songs from her children's album, Alphabutt, that requires audience participation, and that's fun for everyone! It makes me laugh to yell, "SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH!" with a big crowd of hip hop fans.

As much as I want to stay put during takedown/set up time between Kimya's set and Aesop's, I have to get outside for at least a second because of the temperature inside Urban. Bad idea. I can't see anything except the backs of bigger Aesop fans than me when I return. That's OK, listening and catching the occasional glimpse of this hip hop giant is just fine with me. He's so awesome, and everybody there is feeding that same thought to him. Near the end of the show, Aesop introduces Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz into the set. DJ Big Wiz is incredible at turntables and Rob Sonic's beats sound so rad with Aesop's unmistakable voice. For the last couple songs, Kimya gets back on stage and sings some more songs with Aesop, and their voices are strangely complementary. As the night wraps up, I am absolutely ready to leave the seemingly tiny Urban Lounge, as I had sweated out half of my body weight, but I leave with such admiration for both of the two artists and am thrilled to hear their upcoming album.
Photo: Chad Kirkland Photo: Chad Kirkland Photo: Chad Kirkland Photo: Chad Kirkland