For the second time this year, Oakland hip-hop duo Themselves is onstage in the Beauty Bar backyard, headlining the Neon Reverb festival’s closing night. But tonight’s performance by the Anticon label pair could scarcely be more different than its March counterpart. Spit-fire rapper Doseone is still spewing out some 500 words per second, and cohort Jel is once again playing every beat in real time on an electronic drum pad with his bare hands. Where Themselves’ spring set was focused and furious, however, this one is weird and wandering, memorable less for its musical fare than for the long stretches of semi-comedic banter put forth by the two men between numbers. “We are the black Penn & Teller of this rap shit,” Doseone, who happens to be white (as does Jel), offers at one point. Later: “We used to be in the Killers. No one knows that.”
Anyway, if Themselves headline a third straight Neon Reverb in 2010, any chance we can bring back the two guys who played last time?