Blessed Today

After a decade of mixing it up, Valley rapper Pokafase inks a cool deal with a hot new label

Using their garage tracks for preproduction, Pokafase and Fade have been able to organize their ideas free of industry pressures, and have already completed about 20 songs for Pokafase's Artist Direct debut, which is scheduled for a mid-2002 release.

And, who knows, a little acting may be in his future too. He recently got a call to audition for Eminem's forthcoming loosely autobiographical film project. Pokafase did about 15 minutes of rapping for the cameras at the audition, but, since he hasn't heard anything in recent weeks, he's already assuming he didn't get the gig. And if some of his audition rhymes just happen to pop up in any of Eminem's future work?

"I'd be honored," Pokafase says, adding with a laugh, "and I'd sue his ass."

Pokafase's next performance is scheduled for Thursday, November 29, at Cajun House in Scottsdale, with AZ Mike Mill, Michael Proffitt, and J-Funk. Showtime is 10 p.m.

Victims No More: Punk-industrialists Victims in Ecstasy have a sponsorship deal with Pepsi, and unlike Thriller-era Michael Jackson, they probably won't come out of the deal with burned scalps. VIE hooked up with Pepsi when the soft-drink company launched a nationwide search for a song to use on radio spots for the new energy drink, Amp. Looking for something appropriately high-energy, they were smitten with "New Taste," a VIE track that had already cracked the EDGE's rotation. The commercials debuted last week, featuring about 20 uninterrupted seconds of the song, between some product shilling. Pepsi will also be sponsoring the band's upcoming tour with Pigface, Gravity Kills, and Godhead. The tour begins November 30, and will include stops in California and Texas.

Sweet 'n' High: Power-pop heroes Sugar High celebrate the release of their long-awaited debut, full-length CD, Saccharin and Trust, with a blowout at Hollywood Alley in Mesa on Saturday, November 17, which will also include the formidable likes of Haggis, and Fine China. Saccharin and Trusthits local record stores on November 20.

Smoking Prohibited: The Mesa Partnership for Tobacco-Free Youth & Community has put together a fine compilation CD of Arizona female artists called She Said, and will celebrate the CD's release with two shows on Thursday, November 15 (the 25th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout). The first show will take place in front of Mesa Community College's Kirk Student Center, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Featured acts are Dios Elefante, Lisa Marmur, and FUR. That night, from 8 to 11 p.m., Daniela Roth, Blue Fur, ralo, and Rima will play at Undici Undici (1111 South Longmore in Mesa). The record was mastered by ex-Pollen drummer-songwriter Bob Hoag, and includes such highlights as the dreamy pop-rock of Rima's "Cannot Wake," and W.O.M.B.'s hard-rocking "Blood Money."

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