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The Musicians Showcase rolls on

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As usual we'll have T-shirts and CDs to give away, plus tickets to an upcoming show at Alltel. Here's who is on tap at Sticky Fingerz this week:

The 4X4 Crew. A young hip-hop collective, featuring MCs SJ, Burna Boi, Truuf Tha Nusence and Koop Da Villain and DJ Fatality, 4X4 has gotten radio play out of its Ray Charles-sampling single “Tell Yo Mama (I'm From Arkansas),” but it's not putting all eggs in one basket. The crew has released two essential mixtape compilations of local hip-hop and hosted a TV show called Rocktown Lockdown, which is currently being revamped into a broader multimedia project. 4X4 currently serves as a street team for major labels, duplicates CDs, does graphic design — according to member SJ, whatever needs doing, 4X4 is there. Look out for the group's full-length debut “The Motion Picture Album” down the road.

Natural State. Not to be confused with the Natural State out of Fayetteville, the Conway-based four-piece officially debuted in April 2007. With Blake Lefler (keys, vocals), Chris Kordsmeier (drums, vocals), Edward Briggler (guitar, vocals) and William Kryzenski (bass, vocals), the band describes its sound as a mix of “a slightly O.C.D. drummer, an intellectual hobo bass player, a classical yet unrefined pianist and a down-home redneck rocker.” See them again on Saturday, March 8, at Juanita's.

Kyoto Boom. Led by Scott Cook (former lead man in Little Rock favorites Ashtray Babyhead and the Kicks) on vocals, bass and keys and featuring Dave Raymond (Mulehead) on guitar and Duke Boyne (BE) on drums, the new-wave band is currently in the studio recording songs about samurai-sword-wielding madmen. Catch Kyoto Boom again March 14 at Counterpoint and March 15 at the Village.

Damn Bullets. Formed in 2004, this Conway-based quartet came in second in last year's showcase. With Paul Morphis (guitar, vocals), Joe Sundell (guitar, banjo, harmonica, vocals), DJ Bennett (bass, vocals) and Graeme Higgins (drums), the Bullets specialize in a wild and woolly strain of Americana. Catch them playing with Justin Carr in Ghost Company on Friday at White Water Tavern.


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