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Around Hear: Edotkom Brings Real Rap Back 

And more local music news

"Real rap is back," declares MC Siege at the onset of Idols & Icons, the new album by Edotkom, a duo that was once one of Cleveland hip-hop's bright lights. In street years, 2002's Obsidian was an eon ago. But that's not a problem for the group; it never was big on street cred. The double threats still write lyrics about business, comic books, movies and maturity.

"It officially marks the return of the back-packing hip-hop movement," says producer/rhymer Heiku. "In short, it's man music. What we do is pay homage to the art of MC'ing. We know it's a lost art, but we also know that people are looking for it."

Heiku and Siege contributed the bulk of the beats, lifting samples from classic rock, fusion and metal nuggets. The CD includes five tracks by producer Domingo, who contributed to Big Pun's Capital Punishment. The result is a throwback album with a contemporary edge.

Edotkom releases the album Saturday, October 17, at the Grog Shop, with an informal reunion of the 12 Monkeys collective. They open for Blueprint. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets: $10.

Mushroomhead and Ventana are both featured on the Saw VI soundtrack, a collection of metal and hard-rock songs not heard in the movie. Ventana's "Watch Us Burn" is a bonus digital-download-only track; Mushroomhead's "Your Soul Is Mine" is on the actual CD. "It is very creepy," says 'Shroom mainman Steve "Skinny" Felton. "A lot of people say it is straight-up, old-school-type stuff." Chimaira's "Warpath" is also on the CD, available October 20.

The Guitar Centers in Akron (3750 W. Market St., Fairlawn) and North Olmsted (26635 Brookpark Rd.) are hosting tryouts for the chain's Drum-Off '09 talent search. Store winners will be chosen Thursday, November 15, and move on to district competition. Visit for details.

Rock entrepreneur and producer Joe Bihari will be the first guest of the season for the Rock Hall's From Songwriters to Soundmen interview-Q&A series. Bihari produced B.B. King, Ike & Tina Turner, and Etta James. Author John Broven will conduct the interview 7 p.m., Wednesday, October 21. Admission is free; RSVP via or 216-515-8426.

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