A tight mix of local hip-hop contenders will trade off on the mic at the Emerald Theatre Complex, Thursday, Jan. 17, when 19 of Detroit’s most prominent MC groups and DJs will perform sets each lasting 10-20 minutes. Hosted by Backstab the Kingpin, doors for “Heavyweights of Hip Hop 2002” open at 8 p.m. From 9:15 p.m. to 12:55 a.m., here’s the scheduled lineup: Switch Stance, Project Born, Playboy Nate, Mysterious, Estrong, Ultamaddness, Bag of Hammers, Potty Mouth Sissys, Nikko D.C., Truology, DJ Rick, Backstab the Kingpin, Rising Sunz, Artfull Dodgers, the L.Y.N.X., Dead Poets, Boogie Bandero & Lucky Luchiano, Phalanx and Mr. Two Face. Those 18 and older are welcome. Hey, is anyone putting on a local hip-hop show that includes just a few acts performing longer sets? The showcases are fine. I’m just curious.
BUT FIRST, SOME GUITAR ROCK
This Thursday, the same venue hosts a Detroit Music Awards rock-pop showcase, with performances from Robb Roy, Calling Marvin, 60 Second Crush and Tiles. Each of the bands has been nominated for or has won a Detroit Music Award.
On Friday, 60 Second Crush will celebrate the release of its latest CD at Magic Stick, though the street date just missed the availability deadline for this year’s awards. No worries, though. It’ll still be a hot rock show, and one more excuse to pull out the leather pants.
Do you want a ballot so you can vote for the music awards this year, so I won’t have to bitch and moan again about how the same people always win? The Motor City Music Foundation tells me you don’t have to pay to vote. Call 248-486-3424 for more information about the foundation. And e-mail Nancy Schoenheide at email@example.com to request a ballot.
NOT EVEN GOING TO TRY
The award for most diverse lineup goes to a show happening this Friday at Trumbullplex, 4208 Trumbull in Detroit. Starting things off is Pontiac’s M’sagro Wen, a group that uses Moogs and homemade instruments to create musical atmosphere. Next up is Lunar Funk Tribe, with its pop-ska-funk stylings. Then Other, a “machine composer,” will spin a turntablist set, featuring hip hop and broken beats. Closing out the evening is the Urban Folk Collective, inspiring acoustic folk with a broken funky heartbeat. Doors open at 8 p.m. for this all-ages show. Suggested donation: $4. Call 313-832-7952.
Blair, a prominent member of the Urban Folk Collective, is getting ready to put out a new CD in February, tentatively called Gorgeous Monsters. He says it’s mostly stripped-down folk-philosophy, just him and a guitar, but that Audra Kubat and Dale Wilson make cameos.
On Saturday, Blair and Matthew Scott Olzmann (National Poetry Slam finalist) will host “A Crowded House,” a sampling of some of the area’s most invigorating coffeehouse culture artists, writers, poets and musicians. Performers include Official National Poetry Slam Detroit organizers Ella Singer, Scott Klein and Aurora Harris. Singer-songwriters Lisa Hunter, Audra Kubat, Scott Fab, Dan Minard, Dale Wilson, Afeni Ngozi Hill, Allison Lewis, Christy Locy, Harold Crisman, Ellen Keyt, Emilio Basa, Superman, Dave Martin, Brianna and Helmut & Tony will play music. Kim Webb of the poetry band Spoke will perform. And Rico Africa, Other and actress Beth Short will offer some visual-audio pleasures. Other scheduled performers include Ryan Macstaller, UBC’s Sunday Brunch Jazzman, and Thomas Deshazor, a monologist and Between the Lines staff writer. Mike Anton and Sean Fitzgerald (Xhedos Cafe open-mic hosts), Marcus Christie (Xhedos Acoustic Juice host), Brian Henry Holvey (a former Slam organizer) and Johnny Jenkins (host of In the Life Poetry Series) also will perform. The other scheduled poets include Timm Nowakowski, Becky Austin, two Detroit Poetry Slam team members, Tuka, Jeffree Paul St. John, Calix Finley and Joanna Karner. Phew. That’s a crowd. It’s all happening 7 p.m.-1 a.m. at Urban Break, 10020 Jos. Campau in Hamtramck and the entertainment is free. Call 313-872-1210.E-mail In One Ear at firstname.lastname@example.org