Thursday, July 28, 2005 | MUSIC

Boom-boom bunch. The art of hip-hop – where quick-tongued savants bust hot rhymes over head-nodding beats – isn’t well represented in the slick-fest of mainstream rap. West Coast artists like the eight members of Hieroglyphics turn out records that, aside from the occasionally unflattering noun or adjective, bear little musical or lyrical resemblance to airwave-hogging anthems of 50 Cent and Eminem. They don’t even brag about owning guns – and you can catch them Sunday at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

So what is real hip-hop about? Rhyme and rhythm. The wordsmith MCs of the ‘Glyphics crew know Roget’s Thesaurus like their home phone number, keeping their joints free from the limp refrains common in the lines of lesser artists. The beats are bumped by a real, vinyl-spinning DJ (not a $100,000 per song producer), and will happily boom the cones out of the speaker box while you nod approvingly.

It doesn’t hurt that their credentials are well-vetted – each member has a successful solo career, and some, like Del tha Funky Homosapien, have been legends on the underground hip-hop scene since the early 1990s. With two hard-hitting albums (including the essential “Full Circle”) to their credit, Hieroglyphics have brains, brawn and an international fan base. Now if only they had MTV.

Pipe dreams. Take a picnic lunch break Tuesday at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. During the month of August, the Spreckels Organ Society will host weekly, free afternoon concerts every Tuesday starting at 2 p.m. The 25-minute program features “lighter musical fare,” performed by San Diego civic organist Carol Williams (so there will likely be no ominous, spine-tingling Bach melodies to wake you from your reverie).

EAT & DRINK

Kampai! That’s Japanese for “Cheers,” a word that will be exchanged frequently at the Third Annual Beer and Sake Festival 2005, presented by the Japan Society and the Maritime Museum. Cool off Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a cold beer in one hand and a tiny cup of sake in the other. Sample a variety of beers from Japan like Asahi, Kirin Ichiban and Sapporo, as well as local breweries Karl Strauss and Stone, and snack on fresh sushi rolls and teriyaki appetizers prepared by local chefs.

The event will be held at the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Ferryboat – Berkeley, at 1492 N. Harbor Drive. For more information, call (619) 233-6873 or visit www.japan-society.org.

VISUAL ART

Local artist Jason Sherry is a cut-and-paste whiz, creating original jarring collages from yesterday’s news. Sherry juxtaposes vintage black-and-white photos, graphics and propagandistic imagery with multilingual typography against bold-colored backgrounds. He will unveil new work during the month-long show “All Secrets Revealed & Reconcealed: New Works by Jason Sherry,” which opens Friday night at the Magpie gallery and boutique from 7 p.m. to midnight.

The show runs through Aug. 25 at Magpie, located at 2205 Fern St. in South Park. For more information, call the gallery at (619) 563-5124. To see the artist’s work, visit www.jasonsherry.com.

– CLAIRE CARASKA, Voice Staff Writer and IAN PORT, Voice Contributing Writer

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