"Bonzai Bumrush" has been blowing up at Tempe's Ichiban Japanese Restaurant for nearly two years. But those outside the local hip-hop loop likely have missed the word-of-mouth campaign spawning the weekly show's loyal following. "We haven't exactly done a grip of promotion for it, but we get a pretty full house," says Jonas Hurst, a.k.a. Foundation, drummer for local hip-hop group Drunken Immortals. Foundation, along with MCs The Feeblez and Ether -- all part of the Valley's Blowup Co-Op -- started "Bonzai" because, as Foundation says, "We all like to go out and party, but we can't stand the pop shit that's played in all these wack clubs."
On Tuesday, April 13, "Bonzai Bumrush" features open-mike freestyle and performances by local hip-hop crews and guest DJs, including The Recipe, Tricky T, and Just Chris. Cover is $3 with drink specials; ladies get in free. Ichiban is located at 1435 East University. For more information, visit www.blowupco-op.com. -- Joe Watson
Film fest exposes the simple life
For those who think Phoenix is still just an outstretched cowtown that closes shop at sundown (disregard the accidental poetry), they might be a bit more sanguine once they catch a glimpse of what life down on the farm is reallylike, when the Rural Route Film Festival rolls into the Valley Tuesday, April 13. The traveling exhibition, on its second tour in two years, features 11 films in about 90 minutes, including the stories of a dental farmer, a fictional backpacking drama set in Peru, an intense cattle auction, an organic turnip farm in West Virginia, and drug abuse in rural Kentucky. For mature audiences, screenings start at 6 and 8 p.m. at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt. Admission is $6, and doors open 15 minutes before showtime. For more information, call 602-462-5516 or visit www.modified.org. -- Joe Watson
One Tree Hit
New York crooner visits the Valley
With apologies to Lucas, Peyton, Brooke, and all the other brooding, supermodelesque, 25-year-old teenagers we deny watching every Tuesday on the WB's One Tree Hill, the best part of this particular teen angst fest may just be its theme song by singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw. The show's success has resulted in increased exposure for his soaring anthem "I Don't Want to Be," shining a spotlight firmly on the 26-year-old New Yorker. DeGraw's tour supporting his debut album, Chariot, lands in the Valley Friday, April 9, at The Venue of Scottsdale (formerly Cajun House), 7117 East Third Avenue. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 day of show. Call 480-945-5333 or visit www.gavindegraw.com. -- Craig Wallach