Aesop Rock on Grubstake, stolen gear, and how to get in his barber chair

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Aesop Rock leaves the cave.
PHOTO BY CHRISSY PIPER.

San Francisco resident Ian Bavitz, better known as Aesop Rock, is a hip-hop maverick with a quick tongue and sharp wit. His je ne sais quois coolness seems to increase exponentially with every move he makes, from collaborating with Atmosphere’s Slug to peppering his rhymes with obscure science fiction references to touring with alternative folk royalty Kimya Dawson to giving haircuts on stage, to writing a song about Grubstake, Polk Street’s notorious greasy spoon and late-night vomitorium.

Unfortunately, in July the rapper had to cancel his show at the Fillmore because his van was broken into. We caught up with Aesop in preparation for the rescheduled concert on September 16.

San Francisco Bay Guardian Welcome back to San Francisco! How do you feel about playing hometown shows?

Aesop Rock Thanks. Feels great playing in this town. SF has been awesome to me for a lot of years and I really like putting on a good show here.  We were crushed when we had to cancel last month after having a bunch of gear stolen – so to be able to makeup the gig in a couple weeks is awesome.  

SFBG How did you bounce back from having your gear stolen?

AR It sucked. For the whole next four to five shows we were all in a rut, trying to pull the show back together. Having that happen on literally the second show of our tour really took the wind of our sails. That night I was home on some 'I just wanna quit.... wahhhhhh'. Once we got back into the groove, the shows picked up nicely and its started to feel OK again. I'm just happy we were able to get it re-scheduled. Canceling is such a giant bummer.

SFBG You've been keeping busy lately with your brand new album 'Skelethon' and side project Hail Mary Mallon. Do you have any other projects in the works?

AR Yeah, I have a group record with Kimya Dawson under the name the Uncluded that's getting mixed now, should be out sometime next year. We'll probably keep touring for Skelethon and then go into touring for the Uncluded project. Hail Mary Mallon is starting on their 2nd LP, and I plan to start writing new solo stuff very soon as well.

SFBG How often do you actually eat at Grubstake? What are some other favorite local spots?

AR If I'm around town I'll eat at Grubstake once a week or so. I like [Taqueria] Cancun. I like Citizen's Band for something a touch more pricey but delicious. I love Hard Knox Cafe. Mama's. I love many places!

SFBG What does a fan have to do to get in your barber chair?

AR Just sign up at the merch table at the top of the night! We only have time to do one cut per night, so it's a bit of a lottery, but you can't win if you don't enter! You can also bribe us and we will rig the act. Bam!

Aesop Rock
Sun/16, 8pm, $22.50 (tickets from the 7/15 show honored)
Fillmore
1805 Geary, SF
www.thefillmore.com

Comments

"Grubstake, Polk Street’s notorious greasy spoon and late-night vomitorium." That seems a bit harsh. In the many years that I lived in SF ,it was the place to go for a "real burger",and it was one of the only good clean places to get food after the clubs closed. I have many a fond memory of late night/early morning conversations with friends packed into a table at the grubstake, eating their famous "grubstake" bacon cheese burgers.

And if "cool" is determined by "hoodies" , PVC/"pleather" Jackets, and scraggly beards....then I'm glad to not be cool.

Posted by alabi2k on Sep. 07, 2012 @ 9:00 am

You'll notice that his coolness is being judged on his actions rather than the crap you brought up.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 10, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

^ HATER ALERT

Posted by Guest on Sep. 07, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

HATER ALERT

Posted by stelaz on Sep. 07, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

Double negative.

Posted by matlock on Sep. 07, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

What the fuck are all these negative comments about. I love Aesop Rock. He is cool because he is just talented and has been around. He writes about real things, and he is a real guy. He walks around town and eats at late night diners just like the rest of us. He doesn't think he's all cool and shit. I mean have you been to Bob's Donuts? He devoted a song to that place, and you walk in and its just this small little hole in the wall place on Polk Street.

Posted by Bloodyhell2987 on Sep. 10, 2012 @ 7:04 pm