Aside from the hometown nod, though, “Smiley Faces,” the song streamed alongside the Soundcheck blurb (which you can also download from Blakes' Myspace page), has a couple of other local ties to it. It was produced by Symbolic 1 (S1) of Waco’s Strange Fruit Project, and features Dallas rapper Pikahsso.
If you read last week's paper, you'd see that I recommended you attend last Friday’s performance from Blakes. And I'm glad I told you as much; I was at the show and Blakes' group project, World Trade, sounded great. So did his solo set with his rock-funk band Extra Plairs. And “Smiley Faces,” in particular brought the house down on Friday, and Pikahsso turned in a hyper-animated performance during his guest spot.
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At least I think it was Pik behind those Coke-bottle glasses...
Anyway, the Soundcheck blurb--and my Critic’s Pick from last week—are clearly in error by referring to him as an Austin rapper. The e-mail Blakes just sent music editor Pete Freedman to, y'know, just kindly inform him of the Soundcheck honor, says otherwise. “I’m from Garland,” read the subject line of the excited email.
I don't blame him. Garland brings way more street cred than Austin. --Jesse Hughey