Not Your Average Hip Hop
No Bird Sing & AK (from Do or Die) soar to Eau Claire
Through my many experiences in the Twin Cities hip-hop scene, I have had the pleasure of witnessing a plethora of genre-bending and unique acts emerge from the shadows of the Rhymesayers and Doomtree powerhouses. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but I can recall many instances where my friend Chris would tell me about this three-piece band out of Minneapolis called No Bird Sing. After a little more urging from him I decided to travel down to the Varsity Theater and catch a performance from the experimental band and I have been hooked by their unique stance on an often watered down approach to hip-hop ever since. Drawing from vast influences like The Mars Volta to the RZA, No Bird Sing hopes their new record (working title Winona) will entice fans of underground hip-hop, jazz, and indie rock to dance along with them in harmony at their high-energy live shows. The new album promises to take a more melodic and sensible approach than last May’s Death to the Commons, which was more of a live based record recorded in a barn in rural Minnesota. Fans of Eyedea and Kristoff Krane will be sure to find comfort in the heartfelt and honest stance lead vocalist Joe Horton takes with his lyrics, and the musical accompaniment of guitar and drums courtesy of Robert Mulrennan and Graham O’Brien plays perfectly towards people who enjoy interesting break-beats and instrumentation. Two-thirds of the band attended college in Eau Claire, and Joe made sure to mention to me how excited they are to come back to the Chippewa Valley and unveil their new sounds to the masses. But they aren’t the only major act at this show. AK, a member from the Chicago rap trio Do or Die will be there, in time to promote the group’s new album (the first in seven years, if you don’t count their 2010 mixtape), which will likely continue the group’s fast-flowing raps over smooth R&B beats.