Hip-Hop Producer Gensu Dean And Other Locals Are Starting To Gain Some National Recognition.

It's no secret we're pretty fond of local music around these parts. Like local honey, there's just something a little sweeter about the homegrown talent ripening in our own backyards. Something that, on the whole, just feels more organic.

But, in the past few weeks, it seems we're not alone in our admiration. At least four acts around town have recently started to catch the ears of audiences beyond just the confines of North Texas.

Featured on the MTV Hive blog earlier this month was Dallas producer Gensu Dean, whose collaborative album with California rapper Planet Asia earned its release today via Mello Music Group. Notable guest appearances on the duo's Abrasions LP include David Banner (who had previously appeared on the “Alice in Wonderland” track from Gensu Dean's debut LP) and Shawn Pen, who may be best known for his mid-'90s output under the name Little Shawn. Like the producer's name implies, the grungy guitar samples that drive the “Chuck Berry” track featured on MTV's site do indeed cut like a knife.

But MTV Hive didn't stop mining for Dallas-based talent there. Per the site, local favorites Ishi have finally announced April 9 as the set-in-stone date for their long delayed Digital Wounds LP's release. Aside from debuting a nearly seven-minute-long, new dance track called “Mother Prism” on the site, Ishi also revealed the album's full tracklisting earlier this week, as well. The most noteworthy revelation in that regard would have to be their very Wilco-esque decision to name a song after themselves. On the plus side, there's plenty of time before their May 3 album release show at Granada Theater to get used to all the referential bits of witticism to “Ishi (the band)” and “Ishi (the song)” that are sure to start cropping up from local writers.

Other big, highly-trafficked national music blogs have been keying in on locals as of late, too. Sandwiched directly between an article on a “new” Jimi Hendrix song and a blog post on David Bowie's new “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” video, AOL's Spinner offered up a free download of Air Review's song “America's Son,” which they compared to Sufjan Stevens and Death Cab for Cutie.

Elsewhere, the perpetually plus-sized outfit Polyphonic Spree debuted the first single from Yes, It's True, their first brand new (non-holiday-themed) studio album since 2007's The Fragile Army in a somewhat unconventional place. The band, which really first began to blow up after performing at SXSW roughly a decade ago, find themselves playing an official showcase once again this year. So it makes some sort of sense that they'd opt to debut their new “You Don't Know Me” song, via their official biography page on the festival's website.

As a bit of an aside, we'd like to contend with that title: After meticulously spending weeks combing through the band's history while helping to put together an infographic charting every member that's passed through the Spree's ranks in the past 13 years, we feel like maybe we do know the Spree, at least a little.

Moving on to this week's local albums progress report: Fort Worth's Siberian Traps' latest full-length is set for release next Tuesday, but they'll be celebrating early with a release show scheduled for this Thursday at The Live Oak. Everyone who attends that show will receive a complimentary copy of the one-time Nashville outfit's latest psych-tinged alt-country LP, Blackfoot, a whole five days before its official release. Also? The electro-punk wizards in Blackstone Rangers just finished tracking their follow-up to last year's cassette release, Into the Sea, and folk choir Fox & the Bird have announced that they have a new EP set for release in April as well.

And, finally, one last bit of good news: Yesterday afternoon, Morrissey's reps announced that he has recovered from the bleeding ulcer that caused his February 18 Palladium Ballroom to be rescheduled. Per the venue, tickets to that show will be honored when the Sultan of Sorrow returns to town April 15 for a make-good appearance. Yesterday's press release also indicated Morrissey would be promoting his revamped tour schedule with an appearance on tonight's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. We've since learned, however, that Moz hascancelled that appearance as well. Fear not, though, Moz fans: The cancellation has nothing to do with the singer's organs beginning to bleed again. Rather, it seems, he found out that Kimmel's other guests tonight included cast members from Duck Dynasty, who Morrissey equated to “animal serial killers.” Because of course he did.

Cover photo by WJN Photo.

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