The online hip-hop station Rebel Army Radio presents its fourth-annual awards program this weekend. But unlike most awards shows, the winners have already been announced, so you won't see the disappointed faces of losers when the victors dash past them to claim their prizes. Saturday's ceremony at the Grog Shop is more or less an opportunity to get a look at some of the region's top rappers, like Mz. Crazy Tee (who won a shitload of awards, including Best Song and Best Female MC), Proph the Problem (who'll also need to back a truck up to the Grog to collect his massive haul, including Best Male MC), and Best Group winners Rhyme & Reason.
The station, which you can hear at rar.t83.net, streams tons of local hip-hop — from big names like Ray Cash to hot newcomers like G-Blakk. It's one of the city's best places to hear music most terrestrial stations won't touch. It's also a source for pics of the barely clothed Mz. Peachiz, who hosts the Rebel Army Radio Awards.
In keeping with that what-else-can-we-throw-in-there? spirit, Saturday's show also features appearances by local models, a DJ Ball, and trophies for local sports stars. Flesh-n-Bone snagged the coveted Rap Icon award, but who knows if he'll be there. It all starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. If you can't make it out, the ceremony will broadcast live at rtvnation.com.
PICTURE THIS: These days, all you have to do is aim your iPhone at Fleet Foxes onstage, and within seconds every indie-folk beardo on the planet can see what their favorite band was doing five minutes ago. But back in the '50s, fans had to wait weeks — hell, months — to see pictures of their favorite artists. That didn't stop Cleveland DJ Tommy Edwards (who spun rock & roll records at WERE-AM during the music's formative years) from snapping pics whenever someone famous rolled through town. The new book 1950s Radio in Color: The Lost Photographs of Deejay Tommy Edwards gathers 200 color photos (most of them never seen before) of rock pioneers like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Chuck Berry. Edwards died in 1981, but five years ago more than 1,700 of his slides were discovered. This terrific volume offers candid peeks at the intertwined pasts of rock & roll and Cleveland.
DOWN WITH THE MUFFIN:
Love Muffin Records celebrates its fifth anniversary at the Symposium on Saturday with a concert featuring Cleveland metal band the Darker Shore and Akron punks Skychief, two groups that record for the label. 1000 Hours and the Rectory Umbrella are also on the bill. The Cleveland-based record company has released about a half-dozen albums over the past five years. The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7; learn more at lovemuffinrecords.com.
WIDE AWAKE: Youngstown indie rockers Asleep are set to release an album they made with legendary noise architect and all-around pain-in-the-ass Steve Albini. Due out in November, Unpleasant Companion was recorded in Chicago but pressed in Cleveland. The music bears Albini's hallmarks of thick, distorted guitar and a full, live sound, best heard on the Pixies' Surfer Rosa and Nirvana's In Utero.