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When they're not hosting live shows, this hot dog joint-cum-requisite hipster hangout has enough record geek-approved options on their jukebox to keep even the most diehard music snob satisfied. Cue up some Sparks, Can, or ESG if you wanna clear out the alt bros, some LindaPerhaps if you're trying to impress the girl with the pixie cut and manatee tattoo at the end of the bar, Fleetwood Mac or good ol' Otis if you're feeling diplomatic, Sabbath or Jimmy Cliff if you're baked, or a track by the Clean, Guided by Voices, or Mission of Burma if you're in the mood for a crowd pleaser. With a respectable selection of Clevo groups past and present—Pere Ubu, Dead Boys, the Mice, Herzog, Little Bighorn—and judiciously selected compilations, it's almost impossible to go wrong. Especially if you buy everyone a round of Powers. 5801 Detroit Ave.,
Best hip-hop dj
DJ Flaco Flash
DJ Flaco Flash bought his first turntable on a trip to New York with his father and hasn't looked back. The guy grew up listening to Latin music and he brings that vibe to the party. For five years, he was the house DJ at the Velvet Dog, one of the city's best dance clubs. He now lives in Phoenix and jet sets across the country, regularly spinning here in town at Liquid and the Velvet Dog. He most recently performed in Austin at the industry music festival South by Southwest. djflaco.com
Best DJ On the Ones and Twos
DJ Corey Grand
A Cleveland native, DJ Corey Grand started scratching when he was only 8 years old. Then, after watching VHS tapes of famous DJ battles, he eventually developed his scratching skills and started DJing parties at Case Western Reserve University, where he met up with local legend DJ K-Nyce. Grand, who was nominated as best new DJ in last 2011's Ohio Hip-Hop Awards, has produced artists such as 2dopeboys, Livemixtapes, Kevin Nottingham, Leak Jones, Radio Big Boy — we assume those names carry weight in the local underground hip-hop scene. He regularly spins at clubs in Columbus and Cleveland. coreygrand.com
Best House DJ
The house DJ at Velvet Dog, Jimmy Beats spins a bit of everything: house, progressive house, electro, Latin house and Euro house. Though he couldn't make it to Ultra Music in Miami this year, he composed a special mix as a tribute to his friends who went to the electronic music festival and conference. A mash-up of Tiesto and Joe Ghost, the track ebbs and flows before it ultimately turns into a trance-y, throw-your-hands-in-the-air bit of euphoria. For booking: email@example.com; For music: Soundcloud.com/jimmybeatsmusic
Best Local Artist
Even if you don't recognize the name, you're probably already familiar with Hess' frenetic, diabolical style—the CIA grad is a nationally acclaimed rock artist, counting numerous big-name acts—from Pantera to Pink Floyd to the Jesus Lizard—as acolytes. Once the house wing-fryer, musician booker, and flier-artist for the Euclid Tavern during its early 90s heyday, Hess has since expanded his horizons, but his versatility hasn't flagged. With his work now in the Louvre's permanent collection, Hess' latest pieces sublimate the damaged iconography and comic-book dynamism of his early music posters to fine art, while his clothing company, Strhess, makes his counter-culture motifs wearable. And as legions of fan-submitted photos on his site attest, Hess' fiery artistry has inspired gorgeously demented tattoos around the world. We can't wait to see what he comes up with next—we suspect it might feature skulls and wayward angels, but that's just a hunch.
Best Local Graphic Designer
Accomplished navigator of all things design, Justin Lipsky, who alternately goes by Ju$tin Hu$tle, boasts skills that bleed red, white and blue. As the owner of Another Enemy, a savvy and distinctly badass local clothing line, Lipsky has an increasingly visible outlet from which to promote his vision. And what might that be? In short, Lipsky merges the worlds of expressive imagery and design with practicality and apparel. Distilling the essence of a proud middle finger into a wearable piece of art, he’s honed in on the cultural necessity of going against the grain of society. A vocal opposition to business-as-usual and a concern for the truth - slapped onto a fresh T-shirt, no less - may be the best way to flaunt one’s patriotism. Plus, of course, a sharp sense of style goes a long way.
Best Local Illustrator
Talented designer, artist and entrepreneur Glen Infante burst onto the scene back when Delonte West was still a Cavalier who demanded rookies bring him donuts. As the LeBron-era Cavs dominated the local sports discussion, Infante's illustrations found their way to t-shirts under his label, I Love The Hype, and onto the bods of Cavs fans around the city. From his Delonte design to illustrations in the hip-hop realm, Infante's work became popular enough to support a brick-and-mortar flagship store in Detroit-Shoreway. gleninfante.tumblr.com