We'll begin this week's journey into local shows in just a moment, but first some good news from Colorado Springs' SpaceShip Klick camp, whose 20-year-old beatmaker Franchize produced the track for the next video by bubbling-under Nashville emcee Juicee Kouture.
If you're not familiar with Kouture, she's the 16-year-old purveyor of "Might Be the Police," a song whose chorus ("That cracker might be the poh-lice / I don't know him, he don't know me / That cracker might be the poh-lice") will stick in your head from the first listen. The hilarious accompanying video has reached just under 20,000 views in its first month, and includes a guest rap by JellyRoll, who's had a few million YouTube hits himself.
The track that Franchize produced, "Kiss the Sky," features Lil Wayne protégé Lil Chuckee and is included on Kouture's Color Blind mixtape, which was released in March. While the hip-hop diva may never reach the commercial heights of Azealia Banks or Kreayshawn, the track placement definitely bodes well for Franchize, whose online bio from a couple years ago advertised beats starting at $20 and going all the way up to $60. (Of course, that's still more money than Banks paid Lazy Jay when she lifted his instrumental track for her runaway hit "212.")
Next up from SpaceShip Klick, says Franchize, is a series of solo mixtapes from the whole crew, beginning with Luke Fly on May 27.
In other news, Joe Johnson has stepped away from his role booking the Ancient Mariner's local and out-of-town touring acts. Starting this weekend, the club switches over to karaoke on Saturday nights and, according to the Mariner's Amanda Keen, will be limited to primarily local acts on Friday and the occasional Sunday.
As for Johnson, he's expecting to be involved with booking shows at Green Mountain Falls' Silver Tongue Devil Saloon, which has recently taken to featuring more touring acts.
"We made a lot of contacts in the short time that Johannah [Murphy] and I were booking the place, so I hate to just not use those," he says. "It was kind of a bummer because the Mariner for a while was paying bands what they were worth."
It's no secret that musicians have been taking a hit in this economy, earning a small fraction of what Johnson and his old band Creating a Newsense were getting a few years ago.
"Benny's would pay us $700 to play there at one point," says Johnson of the west side biker bar. "They were willing to pay the money because they made money, and people came. In our heyday, we brought 150 people to almost every bar we played, and they all drank heavily."
Johnson's final Mariner booking is New Mexico ladygrass duo Tina and her Pony, which plays the club this Friday.
Also on Friday, look for a resurrected Chuck Snow & the Lo-Fi Cowboys with Western Underground at the Crystola, and Heavy Gravity — a new improv/hip-hop/fusioned-out project from DJ Gravity, guitarist Eric Blackmore and bassist Charlie Milo — at Zodiac. Deejay Animus Invidious and the Charlie Milo Trio share the bill.
And finally, just a quick mention of last Saturday's Black Sheep hip-hop festival, which you may have read about in last week's cover story. I got there in time to catch amazing sets by Mane Rock and his hyperactive turntablist DJ Tense, BullHead*ded, Wandering Monks and headliners Wheelchair Sports Camp, who closed with singer/saxophonist Abi Miller crooning the chorus of Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand the Rain" as emcee Kalyn Heffernan, to borrow her phrase, rapped her face off.
As Heffernan told me earlier in the evening, "It's two ladies headlining an [otherwise] all-male show," and their stunningly original set showed why.