Paper Covers Rock 01/03/08

Anshuman Iddamsetty‘s New Year’s resolution: stop spell check from red flagging his name.

Hip-hop 2007: a year in review
We at the PCR Mountain Headquarters admit to overlooking our city’s fledgling hip-hop scene, a mistake when considering just how important this year—arguably the genre’s biggest—was in solidifying white dudes and their interest with Jeff Chang’s book Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.

I spoke with the scene’s unofficial ambassador, John Young, aka local rapper Johnny Hardcore in an email exchange on the state of hip-hop in the 709.

”The St. John’s hip-hop scene has [expanded] over the last 10 years, for sure—to my knowledge it was limited to about six of us in ’93.”

One of the big developments involved downtown jazz club The Fat Cat hosting a regular event dubbed “Phat Rap at the Fat Cat,” every Sunday night. The show usually kicks off with rappers Solid Gritty (consisting of locals The Rit and John the Phenom), Radar (currently working on his album You’re an Idiot and No One Likes You), Lee Fitz (who is also prepping his release titled Fitz is Back), and Johnny Hardcore. The night begins around 10PM and plugs away well into the wee hours.

“Turnout has been okay,” says Young. “There are 20-30 (regulars), which isn’t bad for a Sunday night. We’re hoping to up the numbers as more people catch word of it.”

He says it’s also important to note that the local hip-hop scene lost a talented young MC last year. Damon Field, aka Jokez, passed away. Although he didn’t do a lot of live shows, John says, Field amassed a large amount of material which is still available on MySpace (

The 709 Prophets, a well-known rap crew in the scene pulled an At the Drive-In and split up into two distinct acts: Myselph tha Large Animal and Live & Direct (made up of rappers Pierce One and Andrew Live). They made their major debut this year at the Grand Banks Reggae Festival.

”As for myself,” Young says, “I have my long delayed new album almost written and I’m looking for a quality place to record… If that doesn’t work, I can always go to Halifax and do it for free with my fellow Backburner members.

”My plan is to do simple things like apply for SOCAN and MusicNL… Get the album done and apply for a couple (VideoFACT Grants) from MuchMusic. Whatever else is in store is uncertain. I have no other plans except to have fun rapping.”

Local bands battle for their hero

Dear 16 year old mosh dudes, please pencil this in for the New Year: Ontario metalcore goons Protest the Hero are playing St. John’s this February.

Next month however, sees an old-fashioned battle of the bands where local acts will trade blast beats and “rad lix” for a chance to open for PTH. The battle will take place at the Royal Canadian Legion (57-59 Blackmarsh Road) and will feature scene regulars like The Narrators, A Legend Fails, Hogan’s Daughter and The Satans. So knives out kids—this is a fan war.

The battle of the band goes down January 11. The Protest the Hero show happens on February 17; tickets are $6 and doors open at 6PM.

Mopey Mumble Move
Yeah, last weekend’s snowstorm may have introduced us to such seasonal pastimes as “Shovel versus snowdrift” and “Re-enacting John Carpenter’s The Thing” but it also did some good: Namely, kids get a second chance at catching a free Mopey Mumble Mouse show at Turner’s Tavern.

The no cover show—featuring Dan Keating, Patrick Canning, Alison Corbett and the return of the Maxse Street Player Haters was originally scheduled for December 28, but has now been pushed back to January 5. I can’t stress how much fun this is going to be—and hey, the venue looks like a Thoreau squat!

The free Mope/Dank/Canning/Corbett/Haters show starts at 10:30PM, Saturday, January 5.

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