Houston's history is dotted with albums that, fairly or not, have been swept aside. We'll examine them here. Have an album that you think nobody knows about but should? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
H.I.S.D. The Weakend (Peace Uv Mine, 2010)
The Weakend is only the second full-length album that the now-veteran group Hueston Independent Spit District has ever released. Their first, released back in 2007, was The District. It was good. Consider them 2 for 2.
If you're not familiar with The District (understandable, considering it scored a 96 Y'allmustaforgotability rating), read this. Go ahead...
Good. Now that you're all caught up, the rest of this review will make sense.
(Projected) Y'allmustaforgotability: 89 percent
This one gets a bump up (or down, rather) from their last score on account of H.I.S.D.'s expanded fan base. You do realize that these guys have been kicking for nearly four years now, right?
Underlying Narrative on the Album That You Probably Missed:
There are two main differences between The District and The Weakend; as it is, you can't really have one without the other.
The District was a fun, edgeless, earthy album. The Weakend is a mature, involved, meta album. The District served mostly to champion its own soulful production, with the H.I.S.D. rappers lollygagging around within their own pre-set fences. With The Weakend, the production has drifted out into the cosmos; the rappers are incidental spaceman, an analogy that is both literal and figurative at the same time. That's the second main difference. See if you can keep up:
The title, to begin, is a double entendre, referring both to an actual weekend, which is the amount of digital time that elapses over the course of the album, and the end of The Weak (The Weak = anything that sucks), which is one of the underlying tenets of the album.
The album begins at the end of a work day ("Come Out and Play"), followed immediately with a drive home ("Autobahn"). While on the road, the MCs inexplicably disappear into the ether, only to find themselves later in a figurative outer space ("Piano Sunrise") that happens to be narrated by label mate Michele Thibeaux (possibly a hat tip to Carl Sagan's Contact, but possibly not).
From there, they wander around a bit (the next few songs), where, in their enlightened states, they contemplate the general state of existing (done so most effectively on "Point of No Return" and "Rockin'"), as well as search for an answer to how to end The Weak.
Eventually they find their way back home. How they do so is mostly unexplained, though it may have something to do with Gil Scott-Heron or sex.
The last sentence said on the album is a not-so-cryptic, "Open your eyes."
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart:
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• Considering that the guys spent 18 months piecing this album together so it flows exactly like they wanted it to, you shouldn't be too surprised to learn that there will be an accompanying comic book with the album that will literally display the figurative journey that takes place over the course of the 13 songs just so they can be absolutely certain that nobody misses all of the layers.
• Ldavoice works for the actual HISD in an outreach program that serves the homeless population of students.
• The phrases "Space up" and "Get your space up" pop up several times on the album. This, apparently, is a phrase from the Hueston Independent Spit District lexicon that refers to "raising one's own level of consciousness." When your group contains as many people as a small city, we suppose it's okay for you to start coming up with your own language.
H.I.S.D. performs Saturday at the Life Is Living Festival at U of H, with Talib Kweli. See @hisdmusic on Twitter for regular updates.