Eyedea & Abilities

Five years is an eternity between albums, especially in the mixtape-accelerated timeframe that hip hop goes by, so a half-decade gap between albums is something that could've derailed Eyedea & Abilities' thundering momentum. The battle-hewn supergroup was sorely missed, even if its fierce mic-controlling half was still active; Eyedea spent the interim putting work into his band Carbon Carousel and attempting to expand his fanbase's horizons to accommodate aggro, borderline-emo rap-rock. DJ Abilities, meanwhile, kept unusually quiet, resurfacing in 2007 for the tellingly-titled "Appetite for Distraction" E&A reunion tour but otherwise keeping his musical output under wraps. With this year's By the Throat, the return of Eyedea & Abilities has been a startling one for reasons that extend past the long-awaited comeback nature of things; the sing-song cadences and punk leanings of Carbon Carousel have bled through into their latest album to create a sound that risks alienating the same fans who came into their fandom through the more traditional abstract rap of their first two underground classics. But what would these two artists be if they spent all this time out of the spotlight preparing to release a same-old same-old rehash? With Themselves, Sector 7G, Kristoff Krane. 18+
Fri., Dec. 4, 8 p.m., 2009

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