Monday, March 25, 2013

Another Level: Detroit X Detroit -- Art X Detroit

So here's a video, featuring a pair of inventive rappers whom I'd interviewed about two years ago for a modest music feature... 
...they've come quite a ways. Last Spring, they were awarded the Kresge Arts Fellowship, toured with Jamaican Queens and very recently returned from the SXSW Media Festival. 

photo by Tony Katai
They've taken their writing, recording and live performance to another level. To meet them, hear them, chill with them " the same trance," doing "the same dance," seems to be quite an "Experience..." 

And that isn't my opinion, it's the opinion of the arts community and every other music fan, hip-hop or otherwise, who've seen them progress throughout the last two years. 

On April 13th, Passalacqua (a.k.a. Brent 'Blaksmith' Smith of Cold Men Young and Bryan Lackner, a.k.a. 'Mister') will be featured as part of the Art X Detroit - The Kresge Arts Experience: a five-day (April 10 - April 14) multidisciplinary celebration featuring presented works from recent Fellows (2011-2012, in varying types: visual, writing, performing).
The Full Schedule (including a guide of the artists, their types, their performance times and a map of venues) is available from the Art X Detroit main site. 
The Passalacqua Experience - Part 1 and Part 2 (A documentary film by Andrew Miller and a live performance spanning the rap duo's entire discography) will be at 8:30 p.m. - 4/13/13 - Michigan Science Center’s Chrysler IMAX® Dome TheatreOpening Night Reception is April 6th at the MOCAD. More info is available from the Kresge Arts site, as well. 

MEANWHILE - Detroit X Detroit III goes down the following weekend (4/20/13 at the Magic Stick ) - - (Read more on this event in the April print edition of  iSpy Magazine  (main site). 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? 

Detroit X Detroit is a whirled display of camaraderie through a whole bunch of Detroit-area bands covering each other’s songs. But, perhaps this could also stoke a healthy elbowing of one-upmanship, thereby challenging each “contender” in “the ring” to take their indie-rock games to up to the next level. 

Cue the Rocky theme, man. “…get-ting STRONG-ger!” Right? Maybe?

These geographic-self-celebrations started two years ago, created and curated by Melissa Rowe, (marketing specialist and and local-music-lover (both of the “modern” and “classical” scenes). Bands signed up a while ago, excitedly selecting which fairly-recent / currently-active local act they’d impersonate in song (and, often, in appearance). 

There’s a tinge of Halloween-ish surrealism involved, (last year saw a strapping young male drummer don fake boobs to mimic Meg White and another guitarist wear nothing but leather bicycle shorts). Overall, it’s an easy-going, fun, endearing event – featuring: After Dark Amusement Park embodying mystic/revered local troubadour Rodriquez (of “Searching For Sugar Man”) while electro-ambient-pop composers James Linck and Christopher Jarvis (of Phantasmagoria) will cover rap-duo Passalacqua’s stuff. Many more will be “covered,” find the full line-up: 

The School of Rock students will open things up, joining in the spirit of things by covering one of their teacher's bands. Hip In Detroit will play EmCee for the festivities. The cover charge funds a special scholarship at School of Rock. 

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