Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hip In Detroit's Guide to the 2017 Hamtramck Music Festival

This weekend the Hamtramck Music Festival will attract thousands as it brings together over 170 bands playing at over 20 venues throughout the great City of Hamtramck. This is the fourth year for the festival that is ran by a group of great volunteers that simply love music and love Hamtramck. We had a chance to chat with a few of the organizers on our latest podcast. In case you missed it, click here to hear what Eugene Strobe, Lee Rosenbloom and Melody Malosh had to say about the fest and this year's event. 

The event kicks off this Thursday night at the new Planet Ant Hall, right across the street from the Planet Ant Theatre. The lineup for that evening will be spread across two stages and it includes Handgrenades, Carjack., The High Strung, Tin Foil, Rah The Son, Zombie Jesus & The Chocolate Sunshine Band, Scarlet Lies, Jerry Dreams and the Detroit Pleasure Society. This is a great chance to not only see some new bands, but to see the new hall and pick up your wristband so you're ready to go for the rest of the weekend! Wristbands for the HMF are only $10 and then you can get into all of the venues throughout the weekend and see as many bands as you can handle. Check out the entire schedule below. 
With nearly 200 bands and more than 20 different venues, the options can be a bit overwhelming. That's why we decided to narrow down the list for you a bit and let you know our top picks of must see acts for this weekend. 
Just get to the hall early and stay late. It's the kick off and it will be worth it.

9:30 - Eroders @ Paycheck's
9:45 - Cabin 7 @ New Dodge
10:00 p.m. - VSTRS @ Small's
10:30 - Remnose @ Polka Dot
10:30 - Arc Pelt @ Paycheck's
11:30 - AM People @ Paycheck's
12:00 - Prude Boys @ Planet Ant Hall

9:00 - Those Hounds @ Plav Post #6
9:15 - The Gruesome Twosome @ Polish Sea League
10:00 - The Beggars @ Small's
10:15 - Bronze Mambas @ Polish Sea League
10:45 - Tammi @ Trixie's
10:45 - Mango Lane @ New Dodge
11:00 - Detroit Party Marching Band @ Planet Ant Hall
11:45 - Tart @ New Dodge
11:45 - Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms @ The Hamtramck Korner Bar
12:00 - Kommander @ Small's
12:15 - Warhorses @ Metro Pub
12:45 - Pewter Club @ Kelly's

Head over to Plav Post #10 for a Pop-Up Record Shop and All You Can Eat Brunch for $8!

Keep in mind, one of the best thing about this festival is making your way from bar to bar and seeing bands that you've never heard of or seen before, so try not to just limit your weekend to your or our favorites. And obviously you can't see everyone on that list, but at least we've narrowed things down for you a bit! Getting from place to place is also very easy because not only are the venues close together, but there will be a free shuttle provided by SMART bus. That way you can park in one spot and make your way around the city all night. 

For info on the shuttle, to see a full schedule and for all of the info that you need to know about the HMF, head over to their nifty new website here. While you are there, make sure you check out the awesome new band finder, which will allow you to search for whichever band you wanted to see. Plus it will even give you a map to the venue. Once your out on the town it's not always easy to remember where you wanted to go next, so use this resource on your phone and you'll be sure to hit all of the stops you want throughout the weekend. You can also purchase your wristband through the website by clicking here. Wristbands are also available for purchase at most area record stores and will be available all weekend long at Detroit Threads. For a full list of locations that you can purchase a wristband at, click here.  

Lucky for you, we also have a way that you can get into the Hamtramck Music Festival for FREE! Thanks to our friends at the HMF we are giving away two pairs of wristbands to the festival. If you would like to enter to win a pair of wristbands, just send your full name to with #HMF in the subject line. We will draw our lucky winners on Thursday morning and will send them details on how to claim their prize. 

The fun all starts this Thursday at 8 p.m. and the festival runs March 2-5. For everything you need to know about the HMF, head over to Make sure you also give the fest a like on Facebook here and to stay in the loop throughout the whole weekend, RSVP to the main Facebook event here. See you in Hamtramck! 


Win Tickets to See The Menzingers at the Magic Stick

The Menzingers are celebrating the release of their latest album After the Party by going out on tour. They will be making a stop in Detroit to play the Magic Stick this Thursday, March 2nd. Jeff Rosenstock and Rozwell Kid are opening the show and tickets to get in are only $20 in advance and $23 at the door the day of the show. If you haven't been back to the Magic Stick since it has turned back into a punk club it's time to pop your cherry. It's much cooler than it used to be and the sound system is killer!

The music starts at 7 p.m. this Thursday and we have one pair of tickets to give away to the show.  If you would like to enter to win a pair of tickets please email your full name to with the subject line #Magic. We will draw one lucky person on Thursday morning and they will get to attend the show for FREE!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Win Tickets to See Moving Units Perform the Songs of Joy Division

If you're a fan of Joy Division make sure you make your way to El Club this Sunday night! LA based Moving Units will take you back in time and will have you moving to the songs of this classic band. They're so good at playing as Joy Division that you might think you're at an actual Joy Division show. Check out a video of them performing below.

Ok, maybe it's not quite the same. This will definitely be a fun show though! Moving Units will also be playing a set of their original tunes. Viktor Fiction and Soviet will be joining them on the bill for the evening. Tickets to attend this great show are only $10 in advance and can be purchased here. Thanks to Party Store Productions we are also giving away a pair of tickets to this show. If you would like to enter to win, please send your name to with #joy in the subject line. We will draw one lucky winner the morning of the show and they will get in the door with a friend for free! Good luck! 


24 Hour Giveaway: Win Tickets to See the Legendary GZA of Wu-Tang Clan

Hip-hop music was forever changed when Wu-Tang Clan released their first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in 1993. Their follow up album Wu-Tang Forever was released in 1997 and it further sealed their place as one of the best hip-hop groups of all time. The members of the Clan all took different paths in life, but GZA stuck to music. In fact, he has recorded 6 full length albums of his own, some of them were even recorded during the height of his Wu-Tang fame. He has been deemed to have the second largest vocabulary in hip-hop music and he has spent a lot of time advocating for science education for the underprivileged in New York City. He even occasionally tours and if you're lucky enough to hear about it, you might be able to catch this legend live and in person.

GZA is coming to El Club to perform this Wednesday March 1st. He will be taking to the stage alongside Meyhem Lauren, another New York based hip hop artist. Tickets to attend the show are $25 in advance and they can be purchased here. You can also win a pair or tickets to the show courtesy of Party Store Productions, one of Detroit's hippest booking houses. If you would like to enter to win, please email your full name to with the subject line #36chambers. We will draw one lucky person tomorrow morning and they will get to see the GZA live and in person on Detroit's best sound system!


Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Guide to Paczki Day in Hamtramck

A few weeks from now people across the US will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day by waking up early and partying throughout the day. But, here in Metro Detroit we kick off the celebration of food and culture a few weeks beforehand by celebrating Fat Tuesday aka Paczki Day in Hamtramck. The streets of the city are overtaken by visitors who spend their day eating and drinking traditional Polish foods, Paczkis and beers. There are a ton of cool ways to celebrate this year, so we put together a quick guide so that you can plan out your day and party the day away! 

Small's Bar:
Small's will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m. this Tuesday. They will be serving up their famous Paczki bombs which usually sell out by mid-afternoon. They will have big cans of beer for sale and a variety of Polish beers on tap! There is no cover to get in and they will have live music from Polka Floyd, Eastside Elvis & the Motor City Mafia and Captains of the Head starting at 4 p.m.!

Metro Pub:
Metro Pub open at 8 a.m.  on Tuesday! They serve up Polish classics like sausage and pierogies and hand out free Paczkis from New Palace Bakery.

The Polish Sea Leauge opens early! They will start serving at 7 a.m. and will stay open until 2 a.m.! They have specials on food and drinks for the "holiday".

PLAV Post:
Plav Post will be open at 10 a.m. this Tuesday. They have a Paczki eating contest that takes place at Noon and bands playing throughout the day, from Polka Floyd, Kielbasa Kings, Danny D and the Vagabonds and The Polish Muslims. DJ Chuck E will be spinning all day long downstairs. Polish food available all day from Srodeks Polish Kitchen. They also have two full bars that will be serving up a variety of drink specials throughout the day.

Whiskey in the Jar:
This year Whiskey in the Jar's party will start at 9 a.m. They will be setting up a heated tent with a full bar and a variety of traditional Polish food! The Kielbasa Kings Polka Band take the stage at 11 a.m.  with The Polish Muslims following around 2:30. 

New Palace is the place to get a Paczki! They will open at 3 a.m. this Tuesday and close when they run out of baked goods. They have an amazing selection of Paczkis, which you can check out here.


Drink it Up for a Good Cause at The Detroit Distillery This Tuesday is a fun local Detroit blog that documents the journeys of Jessica Knapick and her sidekick a Boston terrier named Bean. The duo travels together to all sorts of fun destinations and they document their adventures on the blog. It is a must read for anyone who loves pets and adventure! It's also a really beautiful look at the relationships that we share with our pets, a indescribable bond that can never be broken or replaced.

Jessica is a passionate animal lover and she is using her clout to help raise money for other animals who aren't as lucky as Bean.  Jessica has teamed up with The Detroit Distillery to guest bartend for one night only this Tuesday, February 28th. The event is called Unleashed and the purpose is to raise money for two great Detroit charities, Motor Kitty Rescue and I Heart Dogs Rescue. Jessica has out together two huge prize packs that someone will win this Tuesday. Each prize pack is stuffed with cool items from a variety of local companies including Carhartt, Blumz... by JRDesigns, Floral and Event Professionals, Black Iris Booking, Eternal Tattoos Livonia, Stache International, Saffron, Craft Salon, Ironclad Tattoo Co. $10 dollars gets you one entry into each basket, so for $20 dollars you can be entered to win both! You can also enter as many times as you want, so keep those Alexander Hamilton's coming!

The event takes place from 4 pm till 11 pm this Tuesday. Its free to get and The Detroit Distillery is located at 2462 Riopelle St. Detroit.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Dying Laughing Takes an In Depth Look at What it Takes to Be A Comedian

On the surface, Dying Laughing is a documentary about what it means to be a comedian. Directors Lloyd Stanton and Paul Toogood interview a variety of well know comics, including Neil Brennan, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Hart, Jerry Lewis, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, and Jim Jefferies, to discover what it takes to make a room full of people laugh. The documentary explores what motivated each comic to get up on stage for the first time and what makes them keep coming back. It takes a look at the ups and downs of the business while showcasing what it's really liked to get heckled and booed off stage. It gives viewers an up close look at what it takes to become a "successful" touring comic. If you have ever dreamed about getting up on stage to tell some jokes this documentary is a must see.

But, this documentary also has a deeper level to it. By telling the story of what it takes to be a comedian they give you an interesting look at what it means to pursue your dreams. One of the hardest things to do is to move forward in the face of resistance, but comedians have to keep going, working on their show, and moving to the next town to make enough money to keep their dreams alive. So, instead of sulking on each failure that they experience, they wake up and push the reset button so that they can keep pursuing the next laugh. The film was inspiring because it reminded me that things don't always go as planned, but if you want to succeed you have to keep moving forward and working hard to get to where you want to be. I think it's important to be reminded that hard work doesn't always pay off, but that doesn't mean that you can give up, you just have to work harder. The road to success will be paved with setbacks, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take the journey.   

By the time the film was over I was feeling motivated and creatively inspired. I didn't expect to get so much out of a documentary about comedy but by taking an in depth look at what it takes to make someone laugh, but I walked away feeling inspired to keep fighting no matter what setbacks might come my way. 

The documentary premieres at Cinema Detroit tonight and runs through March 2nd. You can get tickets to get a dose of inspiration and a few laughs by visiting Detroit Cinema's website here.  


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Don't Miss "Trainspotting" at Midnight Madness

In 1996 Danny Boyle released an iconic film called Trainspotting. Now, over 20 years later, the cast and crew have reunited for a followup to that movie, entitled T2 Trainspotting. Before the film is released on March 17th, The Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak is giving you a chance to re-watch the original on the big screen. They will be showing Trainspotting this Friday and Saturday night as part of their Midnight Madness series.

Starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner and Jonny Lee Miller, Trainspotting tells the story of a group of friends that are addicted to heroin among other drugs. It submerges you into the life of Mark Renton (McGregor) as he tries to break his addiction. Check out the trailer for the film below.

Trainspotting will be showing this Friday, February 23rd and Saturday, February 24th at Midnight at the Main Art Theatre. The theater is located at 118 N. Main Street in Royal Oak. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased in advance here. For more info on Midnight Madness and other showings at the Main Art, click here


Win Tickets to Hellmouth's "Oblivion" Release Show

This weekend Detroit's own Hellmouth will be hosting the release party for their long awaited new album. Fronted by Jay Navarro along with Justin Malek, Jeff Uberti and Alex Awn, this band has built a cult following over the years. It's rare for them to play a show and it has been years since they released a new album. So this Saturday, The Loving Touch will be packed for Hellmouth's Oblivion release show. You can listen to the entire album via Decibel Magazine here. Then head over to Fast Break Records' to pick Oblivion up on vinyl or CD.
You will also be able to pick up the album at the official release show this Saturday, February 25th. In addition to Oblivion, Hellmouth will also have a very limited edition 7" available at the show, with unreleased material from the Oblivion recording sessions as well as a Black Flag cover. There will only be 50 of those records up for grabs, so if you want one, get to the venue early! This show will definitely be packed! The lineup for Saturday is stacked with NukeWarhorsesBraidedveins and Poison Tongues. Admission is only $10, but if you're a true fan and have a Hellmouth tattoo, you will get in the door for free. You can pick your tickets for this one up in advance here. We highly suggest that you do because we're sure it will sell out.

If you want to test your luck, you can also enter to win a pair of tickets to the show. Thanks to Black Iris Booking, we are giving away one pair of tickets to this show to one lucky person. If you would like to enter to win, send your name to with #oblivion in the subject line. We will draw our winner the morning of the show and will send them details on how to claim their prize.

Whether you buy your tickets now or enter to win a pair, you definitely do not want to miss this show! Doors are set to open at 7 p.m. For more info, click here.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Win Tickets to See Mike Doughty at El Club

Mike Doughty has had a pretty profound musical career. He began his musical journey as the front man for 90s rock band Soul Coughing and has put out almost 20 solo albums since 2000. He is a real singer songwriter who has spent most of his life traveling around the world and performing live. Every time he hits the stage her switches it up and does something different. He might play the same lineup from time to time, but he will never perform the same set the same way more than once. He likes to improvise, add solos and repeat parts of the sings that speak to him throughout the show, If you catch his live set this Friday it will be a once in a lifetime experience!

Wheatus will be opening the show and tickets to attend are $18 is advance and $22 the day of the show. You can purchase advance tickets here. You can also win a pair of tickets by emailing your full name to with the subject #Doughty. We will draw one lucky person this Friday at they will get to attend the show at El Club for FREE with a friend.