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This past Saturday night in Pontiac was all about precision fretwork, as I — along with intrepid commenter wohho — visited the white-trash-tastic Clutch Cargo's to watch 10 shredders from metro Detroit duke it out in a "Crossroads"-style axe battle, sans Steve Vai as Beelzebub. The event's sponsor was the Deutschland's VW, on hand to award a one-year lease on a Jetta Wolfsburg, plus a First Act guitar, to the area's most able Malmsteen. Sure, it was a fairly standard marketing event, considering the existing tie-in V-Dub has with the guitar maker, but how often do you get to see WRIF rock babe Lisa Welch and hear the D's very own Not For Sal? (Not very.) Surrounded by posters of V-Dub's shocker-like gang signs, we watched as Terrie Lea & The Mustangs sideman Al Carmichael took home the trophy, the car, the guitar and his soul, one pentatonic run at a time.

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