OK, Chicago goes off. What a gorgeous city, and they clearly gets live. Motherfuckers were packed into Lincoln Hall thick as hell, and bopping especially hard in the front. I thought these motherfuckers were going to start slamming to Shabazz, which might be a first. I read a review of the Milwaukee show that mentioned how they couldn't take SP's "punishing bass." It's cool, what some take as punishment, others see as a gift, I guess. According to the monitor guy, last time SP's touched the place, that bass knocked a tile off the wall; to me, that's that shit.
Opening up was locals Chandeliers:
One of them told me a joke:
Guy: What did Cinderella say when she got to the ball? Me: (raises eyebrows) Guy: (makes gagging sound)
Also opening up that night were 206 rappers I'd never even known about until this week (which surprised me, considering their videos, directed by local rapper Ryan Caraveo, have tens of thousands of views): Malitia Malimob, a crew of swagful Somali-American brothers who have been cool as fuck to kick it with (they were even kind enough to keep us company in bumfuck Illinois the other day).
These cats drove through Montana (where they were of course pulled over three times) and North Dakota (...only once) to meet us in Minneapolis, where they also opened up. They're somewhere in Ohio now (much like ourselves, currently outside Gambier near Kenyon College), where a huge Somali soccer game is apparently going down.
The love was thick in the air in the greenroom, lots of folks saying wassup, including (possibly returning) 206 native Proh Mic, and a couple cats from the Numero Group there to interview the guys; one of the dudes blew me away by bringing a copy of Bobbi Humphrey's 1974 Mizell Bros-produced album Satin Doll to the spot, complete with autographs from my gentle genius uncle Fonce, god bless his soul, my father, and Bobbi herself. He was ill for that one.
Dog also hit us off with a CD that made for some crucial van listening: Personal Space is a comp of 1974-1984 "drum-machine soul", all warm and understated, a sound I associate with Sly and Shuggie Otis. It was a perfectly lovely morning soundtrack to mashing thru the mighty Gary, Indiana, where I'm pretty sure there's no Whole Foods.
This collection presents the unheard underground of the self-produced, often solo, electronic soul world of the ‘70s and early ‘80s, offering a view into an ocean of sound that is in turn peaceful, bizarre, funky, and often humbly ahead of its time.