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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

2008 RFT Music Showcase: My Delayed Thoughts

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Well, it's Wednesday morning, and I'm finally starting to feel a bit more coherent after the showcase. The ballots for music award winners have been counted, and I'm awaiting the electronic beancounters to tell me the results. Don't forget, you can find out all of the winners at our awards ceremony NEXT TUESDAY at the Pageant! YOU MUST RSVP! ALL DETAILS HERE!

I hope it isn't too late to give a brief overview of some of my music showcase highlights -- even though everyone in the other post has done a great job summing things up. (As has Todd over at the Post-Rockist. Whew.) So in a fest with much camaraderie, silliness and celebration, I'd instead I'd like to highlight one of the coolest examples of collaboration and cooperation I've seen in a long time.

After a quick break in the RFT offices to cool down (and a delicious burrito from Chipotle), a bunch of us headed over to the Elvis Room. I was excited to catch a few hours of local hip-hop -- especially Rockwell Knuckles, who doesn't perform very often.

When we arrived there, however, we were told that the Elvis Room was closed. Closed? Yes: Apparently due to a water main break, the venue was flooded. And had started flooding right at the end of the Midwest Avengers' 6 p.m. set. Things looked bleak (if not impossible) for the venue reopening later that night, but those milling about started calling around to see what could be done.

Eventually, DJ Needles graciously opened the first part of his Chocolate Sundae night at 609 to the wayward performers. Rockwell hopped onstage first -- and, wow. Just wow. His delivery blew my mind, for lack of a more concrete description. (I likened it to Q-Tip, although that only sort of described his rapping style.) My expectations were high to see him -- based on Keegan's excellent story -- and I wasn't disappointed.

Gotta Be Karim hopped onstage next, with a laid-back set that yet kept energy high. Earthworms performed next -- and while its rugged set wasn't as good as I know it can be, "Bottle Full of Bourbon" (and its accompanying scratchin' from Mahf) made me happy. Family Affair ended the mini-showcase well, highlighted by the catchy-as-hell "Here I Is." (As an added bonus, Black Spade -- who was in town performing with everyone and helped coordinate the showcase's move -- also got on the mic a bit after.)

The night had a bit of a renegade feel, but that just made it all the more exciting and successful. Again, special thanks to Needles, Black Spade and everyone else involved for going above-and-beyond to make sure that these performances could still happen.

-- Annie Zaleski

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