Underground Notes

With Scorpion Kingz, two ASU radio DJs try to document the desert hip-hop scene

By pure coincidence, artsy hard-rock band Big Blue Couch has also experienced a Detroit defection, with drummer Jayson Gilbert moving to Motown this week. Gilbert, like his bandmates a Michigan native, played his last Valley gig with the band at last weekend's 14-hour Earth Mother Mind Jam. Band guitarist Chris Doyle says BBC -- much like the Beat Angels -- are not planning to split, and are continuing work on a new CD. They'll simply go on a performing hiatus, with the possibility of a reunion in Detroit in the next few months.

Fans of both the Beat Angels and Big Blue Couch will want to make it to the January 31 Songwriters' Ball at Emerald Lounge. A monthly, highly eclectic showcase for local tunesmiths organized by singer-songwriter Andrew Lockwood, the Ball offers a chance to hear songs in rare, stripped-down form. Along those lines, Smith will deliver a rare acoustic performance of some of his punk-based classics. Doyle, a regular at these loose, relaxed affairs, is also likely to make an appearance. Also scheduled to perform are members of Truckers on Speed and Sugar High, among others.

Songwriters' Ball is scheduled for Thursday, January 31, at the Emerald Lounge. Showtime is 9 p.m.

Bob's Blues: The good news keeps rolling in for Rhythm Room czar Bob Corritore, who -- on the heels of a Grammy nomination for Kim Wilson's live album, Smokin' Joint, which Corritore co-produced -- is now linked to eight nominations for the W.C. Handy Blues Awards. Both Smokin' Jointand Henry Gray's Plays Chicago Blues (which Corritore produced and blessed with his authentic, Chess-inspired harmonica work) received four nominations, including Blues Album of the Year (Wilson), and Traditional Blues Album of the Year and Comeback Blues Album of the Year (Gray). The Handy Awards will be announced in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 23.

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