For its annual songwriting challenge
feature, Esquire Magazine gathered five musicians– Detroit's own Brendan Benson and Ben Blackwell in addition to Dhani Harrison, Raphael Saadiq, and Dierks Bentley– in the Motor City for a fashion shoot for its May 2011 issue
. Esquire also challenged the musicians to write a song inspired by the theme "Last Night In Detroit" and compiled them for sale on iTunes as an EP– check out the songs here
as well as the photos in the current issue of the magazine, on newsstands this week. All proceeds from the EP benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit
In other news, congratulations are in order to Ypsilanti's Lightning Love
for winning the Billboard Battle of the Bands semi-finals (by the looks of chatter on their Facebook page, it seems the band successfully amassed a small army of fans to blitz Billboard's voting site). The band will compete at Billboard's Battle of the Bands
concert in Las Vegas May 18th, and the winner will appear at the Billboard Music Awards on May 22nd. But that's not all:
During the week of May 9, each of the bands will head for Las Vegas in a Chevy Cruze and document their trip in video clips that will be posted at Billboard.com/battle. The number of views each group's videos receive, along with the decision of the judges at the May 18 show, will determine the winner who will nab the coveted spot at the Billboard Music Awards, which will be broadcast live on ABC from Las Vegas' MGM Grand.