Nnamdi Ogbonnaya and Gully Boys to finish up the fall Concerts season

By Kelly Page
pagekell@grinnell.edu

This weekend marks the last concert of the semester. This Friday at 10 p.m. be sure to make a beeline to the one and only Gardner Lounge to see experimental rapper Nnamdi Ogbonnaya and Minneapolis emo punk group Gully Boys.

A Chicago native and local DIY legend, Ogbonnaya has been playing various instruments in different bands for almost a decade. That’s not the only reason Ogbonnaya is something of an enigma: as a college student, he also ran a DIY music space dubbed Nnamdi’s Pancake Haus where people could watch punk shows while they ate stacks of pancakes.

That sort of playful approach to music is what makes him special. Some of Nnamdi’s past bands include The Para-Medics, Pisces at the Animal Fair and the intriguingly-named My Dad. Currently, Ogbonnaya drums for two bands, plays bass for two more, runs a record label and is a member of the rap collective Sooper SWAG Project. As if being a skilled multi-instrumentalist and distributor of DIY music was not enough, he has an acclaimed solo career in experimental hip hop. His other bands have been mostly emo and math rock, which seem to have influenced his more hip-hop sounding music. He often raps over what could otherwise be a standard rock band, sometimes strumming a guitar.

In March, Ogbonnaya released his solo album “DROOL,” a followup to 2014’s “FECKIN WEIRDO: Nnamdi’s spectral adventures through a populous conundrum, canceling out the burrowing burden and ambiguity of his pre-zuberant tooth shine.”

In “DROOL,” Ogbonnaya shows a life guided by optimism, movement and music. Ogbonnaya can also get real, contemplating self-esteem issues and the need for caution in modern America. Through it all though, his zany goofiness makes his music exciting, allowing the listener to inhabit the mind of someone enthralled with music. His song “let gO Of my egO” bounces from verse to verse with overlapping high-pitched voices and zoomy synth noises threaded through. With a stage presence that gets viewers invested in the show, he ensures that everyone who watches him perform will have a good time.

Also performing on Friday is Minneapolis emo punk band Gully Boys. According to their Facebook page, they are “three scrappy boys writing songs in the basement.” Their recent self-titled release on Bandcamp features a song called “Fading (Neopet Graveyard)” which mourns lost love over pop-punky guitar.

Make sure not to miss the final concert of the semester for a fun and funky evening.

Nnamdi Ogbonnaya performing in DC taken by Julia Leiby, Photo Contributed