As I was looking over the schedule for our upcoming Indy Music Awards Festival, I was surprised to see that no fewer than four of the five acts on the big outdoor stage have all been Indy cover story subjects: El Toro de la Muerte back in 2011, Grant Sabin in 2012, Inelements this summer, and the ReMINDers just last week.
As for the Flying W Wranglers, I imagine they'll get their own cover when their wildfire-razed ranch rises from the ashes.
And that's just part of the story. While the aforementioned acts perform outdoors on Tejon, between Pikes Peak and Kiowa, the festival will also feature a full slate of acts on each of three indoor stages, including headlining sets by multiple Indy Music Award winners Jake Loggins, Malakai and Charlie Milo.
This year, Milo's set should be particularly interesting, as the bassist hooks up with DJ Gravity to provide live improvisational accompaniment for a succession of hip-hop emcees, including Che Bong, Stoney Bertz, Mad Trees, HoTT and Milogic.
It'll all be happening downtown this Thursday, Sept. 5, from 6:30 to midnight, and you can find the full schedule at theindymusicawards.com/schedule.
As for the weekend, you can go see Mad Trees one more time on Friday at the Pikes Peak Center's Studio Bee, where they'll be performing a full set as part of KRXP's Colorado Native Live series. The 6:30 p.m. event will also feature a performance by local singer-songwriter Jeoff Harris.
Actually, this is a pretty good week for hip-hop throughout our fair town. After Friday's Studio Bee event, you can head over to Union Station to catch Scarub, who's part of the West Coast's Living Legends hip-hop collective and a former member of 3 Melancholy Gypsys alongside Murs and Eligh. The L.A. rapper will be joined by fellow Living Legends member Foundation on a "Back 2 School" bill that, as show promoter Black P notes, brings together hip-hop, punk rock and EDM. Find the full lineup, plus show details, at tiny.cc/back2schoolscarub. (Also, did I mention that Black P is performing at the IMA Festival? He is.)
Then on Tuesday, Mobb Deep rolls into Rawkus for their 20th anniversary tour. The East Coast hip-hop duo's history includes four Top 10 albums, as well as several recordings — and one feud — with Nas. The show will also feature the Alchemist, who's produced everyone from Ghostface Killah to Snoop Dogg and has been Eminem's official DJ for going on a decade now. Also look for opening sets by Boldy James, Boogz Boogetz, iBe Hustles, Chris Crookz and DJ Prominent.
And what week of hip-hop would be complete without a two-night run by Tech N9ne? The Kansas City rapper, whose considerable skills as an emcee are all too often overlooked by those who fixate on his horrorcore persona and Juggalo connections (as if we don't all have them), will be at the Black Sheep on Sept. 11 and 12 with Krizz Kaliko, Mayday, Stevie Stone, Prozac and Ces Cru.
As we've all learned by now, Tech N9ne has sold out something like 3,500 shows at the Black Sheep, so advance tickets are highly recommended.