Saturday Night: Space City Beat Battle At Warehouse Live

Space City Beat Battle Warehouse Live Green Room February 26, 2011

7:36 p.m.: Earlier this morning, our sons played their very first t-ball game. T-ball teams for 3-year-olds are six kids deep, and our group, a tiny version of the San Francisco Giants, is like cut copy from a Disney movie.

We have J, who's built like a six-year-old, runs like 1996 Michael Johnson and hits like 2001 Barry Bonds. He's our athlete. And there's D, who's built like a two-year-old, fields like goddamn Craig Biggio and slides into every base, despite the fact that nobody has ever attempted to throw anyone out during play in the history of 3-year-old t-ball. He's our overachieving underdog.

There's T, who spent 100 percent of the game looking absolutely mortified. At one point, he became so flustered with the responsibilities of playing outfield that he removed his jersey, hat, cleats and socks and sat down and cried. He's our crier.

There are our sons, one of which chased after the ball each time he hit it rather than running to first base, the other of which spent a considerable amount of time with his glove on his head hollering to no one in particular that he was going to eat 50 cupcakes after the game. They're the goofy twins/comic relief.

And then there's L, who got lost in the day's hullabaloo. He's the forgettable one.

What does this have to do with the Beat Battle that's taking place tonight or the super packed Marcus Manchild album release mixer at SF2 that we're watching at this very moment? Nothing. Not one single thing. But it was an excellent time. Mali-booyah.

7:57: Manchild, one of the New Houston guys that's made his way into rotation on The Box, and Ira Perez, 2010 winner of the Houston Press Best Female Vocalist award, are doing a semi-acoustic performance of "Stay The Night," one of the three best songs from Manchild's new tape. It's good, interesting stuff. Cool. Interviews with both coming soon.

9:59: Beat Battle now. Here's how this thing will play out: Sixteen producers will compete in a single elimination tournament. They will go head-to-head against each other, playing one minute of an instrumental they've composed. Judges King Midas (most famous for his work with Houston hip-hop group H.I.S.D.) and Symbolic One (most famous for making the beat Kanye used for "Power") will select the winner of each round.

If there is a draw, the crowd will act as the third vote. Frankly, it kind of sounds like a snoozer. A bunch of guys standing around listening to beats and not doing much of anything else? It'll be like a live version of the first six minutes of every porno. At least Taco Bell will still be open when it's over. And we're off...

10:07: First up, King Henry and G. Piper. The crowd is amped already. They've pushed in close, close, close to the stage. A surprising start.

10:09: Christ. As soon as the judging starts, it's immediately apparent how vicious this thing can be. There is no haste. You play your song, he plays his song, then you find out if your night is over. Then two more guys come up to be fed to the mob. This is already hectic.

10:11: A short-ish, mean-looking fellow named Y Phoenix is up against someone dubbed Chosen One. Phoenix is first. He's on some buttery, Spanish-sample nonsense. It is excellent. After a minute of it, it's pretty clear he's going to win.

10:11:30: Whoops. Chosen One, who is not accidentally wearing a Batman T-shirt, has sampled The Dark Knight in his preamble and blended it into a dubstep mix. Christ. The room is ecstatic. Hash is making a hardcore version of what we're going to call The Caca Face (imagine the face you make when you smell something terrible; The Caca Face looks just like that). The crowd is left to decide this winner. Chosen One is victorious.

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Shea Serrano