A bounty of beats and rhymes is to be had this week and next. Tonight (Wednesday), Backstab the Kingpin hosts a showcase called “Happy Daze Hip-Hop Nite,” sponsored by detroitrap.com at Token Lounge in Westland. The bimonthly showcase has moved from its former home at the Attic Bar in Hamtramck. The evening features performances from DJ Rick, Switch Stance, Dead Poets, Detroit Pirate Radio, Uncle Ill, the Lynx and about 15 other performers. Plus, there’s an open invitation to any local artists who’d like to perform their material. Doors open at 8 p.m. for those 18 and older. Call 313-314-7563.
If you drive a little farther west the following Wednesday (Aug. 29) and stop off at Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, you’ll catch performances by One Man Army, Magestik Legend, Kodac, Illite and DJ Phrikshun. Subterraneous Records, a pretty cool group of producers from Michigan determined to establish hip hop as a community and preserve it as a culture, presents the event. Sounds good to me. Call 734-996-8555.
I regret to inform you that a popular and promising young band is calling it quits nine months after its debut. Stroker Ace, a super-fun girlie-punk trio will play its last show Sept. 1 at Magic Stick with Inside Five Minutes and the Consolation Prize. Doors open at 9 p.m. for this all-ages show. Melody Licious, the band’s guitarist, explains the breakup in a letter: “Throughout the past 3/4 of the year, Stroker Ace has been through enough trauma and drama to fill an hour-long VH1 special.” Despite this, they managed to win countless fans with their fun, three-chord-fury rants at numerous opening and headlining gigs. Boo.
Saturate your collection
CD season is in full swing and you won’t want to miss any of these upcoming releases. The Pop Project takes over the Magic Stick tonight (Wednesday) with the carefree pop stylings of its latest recording, Let’s Eat Green Beans, on Michigan Left Records. The evening’s openers, the Sights, are celebrating the re-release of their CD, Are You Green, on Fall of Rome records.
Three parties are planned for Aug. 31. Slumber Party will take over the Magic Bag, serenading spaced-out souls with its latest work, Psychedelicate, an intense and velvety follow-up to the band’s self-titled debut released last year. Just as meditative but a bit more daring, the music floats on a spirally wave of make-believe while the stoned, four-part, girl-group harmonies startle you back to reality with blunt honesty.
The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love have more of an earthy thing going on, combining elements of alt-country, world, Celtic, rock, pop and folk into a really fun time. The Blind Pig hosts the release party of their latest full-length, H.O.M.E.S., Friday, Aug. 31.
His Name Is Alive has been celebrating the release of its latest CD, Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth, for the past month. Every Tuesday in August, the band has performed with friends at New York City’s Knitting Factory. The first night featured Adult. and Ectomorph; the second week, Retsin and Noise Camp; Aug. 21, Flashpapr and Slumber Party performed. And the final night, Aug. 28, features performances from K., Deonna and Laura, and one more surprise guest. His Name Is Alive will be back in Michigan in time for a performance at Magic Stick Sept. 8 with The Von Bondies and Saturday Looks Good To Me.
Hot and happy
Robb Roy’s video for “Happy” has been added to MuchMusic USA Network’s “Oven Fresh” program, which features 10 groups for consideration to be added into regular rotation. Viewers can go to MuchMusic’s site to vote for the video: www.mmusa.tv. Remember to look for Robb Roy at this year’s Arts, Beats and Eats on Friday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. on the Kmart Stage at the Phoenix Amphitheater in Pontiac.E-mail In One Ear at firstname.lastname@example.org