The stage presentation of Aesop Rock’s new crew Hail Mary Mallon, which features emcee Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz, is one of relentless upbeat fun. Their caffeinated onslaught of back-and-forth rhymes hits like A Tribe Called Quest for the ADD generation. “Smock” quickly got the audience in convulsions with Wiz’s deft scratches serving as the exclamation point. When fists nearly flew between a couple plastered fratboys in the crowd shortly thereafter, Aesop was quick to call for peace and keep the show’s positive vibe intact.
“Daylight,” the abstract, be-your-own-God anthem which made Aesop a cult hero a decade ago, inspired hearing loss levels of sing along. This night, however, was all about the collaborative spirit between Aesop, Rob Sonic and freak folk impresario Kimya Dawson.
Dawson, who most will know as one half of the quirky Moldy Peaches of Juno soundtrack fame, uses her gonzo imagination to flesh out soul-cleansing ballads and children’s songs alike. Unfortunately, her rambling acoustic constructions were somewhat lost in the buzzing chatter of the sold-out Casbah. It took until the latter part of Aesop’s set for Dawson to reemerge victorious, trading verses with the San Francisco-based emcee as they lit Kettner Blvd. ablaze with the delightfully-sinister “Bats.”