Friday, August 29, 2014

Time for Food, Music & Fun at The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival!

Well, Labor Day Weekend is coming up at the end of this week and with it comes some good news and some bad news. Good news is that many of you hard workin' folks have a nice, long three day weekend. Bad news is that it is the unofficial end of summer and school starts again on Tuesday. (That last part could be good or bad depending on how you feel about kids.) But, the best news is that Labor Day Weekend means it is time for the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival!

The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival is one of our favorite festivals of the whole year. It takes place all weekend long throughout the streets of Hamtramack. There's great food, some awesome artists and vendors, and great music too! There are two stages set up at opposite ends of Joseph Campau, between Caniff and Casmere. The stages alternate back and forth with music going from the afternoon 'til night. Here is the lineup for this year's festival:

Saturday, August 30:
Sterling/Franklin Stage - South (Caniff & Jos Campau)
2 P.M. – The Kielbasa Kings 
4 P.M. – Del Brutto 
5 P.M. – Eastside Elvis & The Motor City Mafia
6 P.M. – Eric Villa & The Vista Marias
7 P.M. – The Polish Muslims

McClure's Stage - North (Casmere & Jos Campau)
1 P.M. - Big Daddy Lackowski
3:30 P.M. – Bill Bondsmen
4:30 P.M. – The Secrets
5:30 P.M. – Intergalactic Bounty Hunters
6:30 P.M. - Olympus Mons
7:30 P.M. – The Witches
8:30 P.M. – The Octopus

Sunday, August 31:
Sterling/Franklin Stage - South (Caniff & Jos Campau)
2 P.M. – The Codgers
4 P.M. – The Webbs
5 P.M. – Mike Hurtt & The Haunted Hearts
6 P.M. – Dennis Coffey
8 P.M. – Melvin Davis

McClure's Stage - North (Casmere & Jos Campau)
1 P.M. – DJ Richie Wohlfiel
2 P.M. – The MotorCity Troubadours
3:30 P.M.– The Potions
4:30 P.M. – Jimmy Ohio & The Ultimate Lovers
5:30 P.M. – The Volebeats
6:30 P.M. - Obnox
7:30 P.M. – Radio Burns
8:30 P.M. – Break Anchor

Monday, September 1:
Sterling/Franklin Stage - South (Caniff & Jos Campau)
12:30 P.M. - Polish Parade
2:30 P.M. – The Misty Blues Orchestra
4 P.M. – B-Free
5 P.M. – Deastro
6 P.M. – Tunde Olaniran
7 P.M. – Blaire Alise & The Bombshells
8 P.M. – George Morris & The Gypsy Chorus

McClure's Stage - North (Casmere & Jos Campau)
1 P.M. – Polish Parade
3:00 P.M. – Ara Topouzian
4:30 P.M. – Awesome Jarvis & the Whales
5:30 P.M. – Cosmic Light Shapes
6:30 P.M. - Bad Indians
7:30 P.M. – Mexican Knives
8:30 P.M. – Iron Stag

As you can see, whether you like Polka or you like Metal, there's something for everyone. In addition to the music there is also,  a 5K, parades, a boat race up and down the streets of HamTown, and a carnival with rides, games, and all the carny food you could want. So, you can have some pierogies and kraut at one end of the street and then head down the road for an elephant ear! 

Admission to the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival is free. The fun starts at Noon everyday and goes until 10 p.m. For all of the details on this event, visit There is also a great after party at Small's on Saturday night, featuring The Muggs, Moon Walks and Demon Eye. For more details on that show, click here


See a Different Side of Mark Culpepper at The Store Front Gallery

Have you ever tried your hand at something and you didn't know if you'd be good at it or not? But, then once you took the chance and tried, you were awesome at it and wish you had tried sooner? Well, that's the case with our friend Mark Culpepper.

We've told you about Mark quite a few times before. He's that handsome physical trainer that runs boot camps and showed you how to put your old skateboard to use to get in shape. Well, who knew? Mark is not only a great trainer, but a pretty awesome artist too.

Over the past several months, Mark has produced approximately 30 paintings and works of art that he is going to have on display at his first ever gallery show this weekend. Saturday, August 30th head down to Ferndale to The Store Front Gallery to see just what this guy has been up to. There will be wine available as you stroll through the gallery and admire his art. If you come across a piece that you really love and would like to take home with you, his art will be available for purchase, silent auction style.

The opening begins at 6 p.m on Saturday and goes until 10 p.m. The Store Front Gallery is located in Ferndale at 477 W. Marshall Street.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

And The Beats Go On...

Once again, the National stage at Arts, Beats, and Eats features not-so classic rock bands and washed up artists from the '90s and '00s. As a Royal Oak resident and masochist, I'm always hopeful for a solid A, B, & E line-up. However, this year continues the streak (or should I say skid mark?) of disappointment. The only thing worse I can think of than Nickleback, is a band inspired by Mr. Avril Lavigne. Apparently, that was the logic behind booking Theory of a Deadman for Monday night’s headliner (and, yes, “Deadman” is all one word, and I feel dumber for having had to Google that).

The Spinners are the only featured act I am truly excited about. You can't go wrong with smooth jams on a hot summer night. The Motown group is probably best known for their hits, "I'll be around" and "Could it be I'm falling in love?" So bring some condoms and try to find a vomit-free tilt-a-whirl car to get your freak on in.

I plan on spending most of the weekend eating, watching hair shows and the Detroit Circus, and listening to local bands on the Alternative stage and Movement DJs in the Performance Pit. If you are a fan of bluegrass, country, folk, soul, or world music, then definitely check out the Americana, Cultural/Acoustic, and International stages.

Here's a taste of the rest of the main stage's musical buffet (you may want to keep Poison Control's number handy, though):

Night Ranger
Go rewatch the drug deal scene in Boogie Nights. That’s a better way to hear Night Ranger’s hit single, “Sister Christian”.

.38 Special
Apparently, you need no less than two drummers to play cheesy southern rock ballads like “Hold on loosely” and “Caught up in you”.

Third Eye Blind
Grab your JNCOs, hemp necklace, and remember the days when Stephan Jenkins’ flat vocals used to dominate the airwaves. Now be thankful that those days are over and look at Paul Rudd’s beautiful face instead of his.

The Village People
Despite being partial to whistles, jorts, and mustaches on men, I can’t get on board with “YMCA”, “Macho man”, or “In the Navy”.

Unless you’re Carl from Aqua Teen, you know that spending an evening waiting to hear “Working for the weekend” is an evening wasted. Get your Loverboy fix watching the chase scene from Wet Hot American Summer instead.


Michigan On Mute

Michigan On Mute Fest is taking place this weekend, August 29-31 at Rocky's Pub in Riverview, Michigan. It will feature over 50 acts on 2 stages. The festival includes a lot of great music including Golden Torso, Child Bite, The Worst Of, Undesirable People, SNAFU, Cold English, Passalaqua, and Seven Birds One Stone.

Tickets are $15 dollars a day or $30 dollars for a three day pass.  The festival features re-entry, and they will let you bring a non professional camera inside to capture the day. They will not let you come shoe-less, wear a big wallet chain, bring a skateboard, or take in any outside food or drinks.  For a full list of rules check out the Facebook invite here. Rocky's Pub is located at 12850 Sibley Rd., Riverview, Michigan.

There will also be a kickoff party on August 28th, this party will feature music by No Such Noise,
Da Bash Brotherz, CbJ, Aztek the Barfly, and Christopher Robin. Doors for the kick off party are at 10 p.m. and Rocky's will feature drink specials including $2 PBR drafts, $4 Jameson shots, and $3 Fireball shots.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blake's Hard Cider Takes Over Public House this Weekend!

We told you a few months ago about Blake's Hard Cider Co., a new product being made by one of Metro Detroit's favorite cider mills. Well, since we sat down with Andrew Blake and tasted their ciders for the first time, the brand has pretty much exploded. Blake's Hard Cider is everywhere. We've seen it on tap at "hip" bars like the Magic Stick and we've even seen it on shelves at corner liquor stores. It seems as though everyone feels the way we do, this stuff is amazing!

Although we still think everyone should head out to the Cider House to try all of the tasty flavors and take in the full experience right at the farm, we are super excited that the line is being carried at more and more venues. From the look of things, Blake's Hard Cider is taking over the town and this weekend they actually are taking over one popular bar.

Pubic House in Ferndale is hosting "Tap Takeovers" every weekend. Starting this Friday, August 29th, the bar's taps will be taken over by Blake's. That means everyone in Ferndale is going to have the chance to see just what it's like to get drunk off cider. It really is a different kind of tipsy, you'll see what we mean. To top things off, Public House just opened their brand new patio out back this past weekend. So, you can sit outside under the stars and sip away on your cider. There will be 8 different flavors available, which is more than you can usually try without heading out to Armada! The brews will all be dispensed from a super cute '58 trailer too. Super fun stuff!

Public House is located at 241 West Nine Mile in Ferndale. Make sure you try out some of their delicious treats to accompany your drink, I suggest the fried green onions or house made chips & dip. For more info on Blake's Hard Cider Co. head over to their website here or "like" them on Facebook. For details on Public House and their upcoming Tap Takeovers, "like" them on Facebook here.


Weird & Rare Film Fest at The Garden Bowl

This Thursday night, the Garden Bowl will be hosting an event that is definitely out of the ordinary. It is being called the Weird & Rare Film Festival. It isn't very common for you to be able to watch a movie at this bar, let alone these movies.

The lineup for the evening consists of approximately 10 different films made from the 1930s to the '70s. The night's screenings include Disco Beaver From Outer Space, Alice & Wonderland (1931), Nothings Impossible, Peter in the Land of Toys, Captain America VS Zemo & the Masters of EvilThe Pretty Lady & the Electronic Musicians, The Twist, Koo Koo Korrespondance SchoolSting of the Scorpion, and more. The films will all even be projected from 16mm & 8mm projectors, so you can hear all the pops and see these films the way they were meant to be seen.

This fun event is being put on by Party Store Productions and entry is free. The films are set to start at 10 p.m. For more details on this event, check out the Facebook event page here.

The Garden Bowl is located at 4140 Woodward Avenue in Detroit.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Release of Being and Awesomeness: Get Rad and Stay Rad

When you discover something that you enjoy it's natural to want to share it with others. For instance, I am constantly sharing makeup, clothing, and musical recommendations with my friends and readers. This time around I have something to share that is even more important to your overall heath and well being. It's a book called Being and Awesomeness: Get Rad and Stay Rad. This "self help" book is not your mother's self help book by any means.

Being and Awesomeness was written by local psychologist Dr.Tiffany Tuttle. It is a guide to help us move forward and become the people that we want to be.  It has some no bullshit advice that really opened up my mind and helped me change some of negative thoughts and perspectives that I was harboring. It reaffirmed my belief that we can all find happiness if we are willing to work at it. I have read it cover to cover twice and hope to share it with everyone in my life. I plan to buy a copy for a few friends, but I can't buy a copy for everyone. Fortunatly, at $5 a book you should be able to afford to get one for yourself this weekend at the release party.

Friday, August 29th Being and Awesomeness will be released at The Loving Touch. The release party will feature music from The Thornbills, Touch the Clouds, and Jeff Tuttle's newest project Malo Konjche. The party starts at 8 p.m. and it is only $5 to get in the door. The Loving Touch is located at 22634 Woodward in Ferndale. Dr. Tuttle is also running a ticket giveaway on her Facebook, click here for details on how to enter and win.


Motor City Flows

If you live in or play in Detroit you are aware that the picture that others paint of our city is not a realistic one. I've always said that you can choose to see Detroit as a dying place or a place on the verge of a comeback. You can photograph the run down decaying parts of the city or the beautiful growing ones and decide which story you would like to tell. We have always chosen to focus on the rebirth of the city and all the great things that are happening instead of all the sad things that have happened. A new documentary called Motor City Flows plans to do the same thing.

This documentary was put together by Detroit local Jeff Tabb. It features a glimpse into some of the creative and talented people that call the city of Detroit their home, this includes features on Touch of North America band mates Jeremy Damaske, Shayne O’Keefe and Matt Conzett, DJs Joey Krueger and Ernie “Erno the Inferno” Guerra, and venues like Northern Lights, North End Studios, and The Crofoot. You can see the trailer for the movie here or check it out below.

The film focuses on Detroit as a place where an artist can come to find themselves and flourish, something that we truly believe. Music, art, and culture never left the city, you just have to know where to find them.

The movie will premiere this Wednesday at its official release party taking place at The Whiskey Disco.  The event starts at 9 p.m. and it is only $5 dollars to get in the door. A portion of the proceeds raised will go to the Ruth Ellis Center. The Whiskey Disco is located at 2 John R St. in Detroit.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Blackout BBQ - Another Bad Ass Event Brought to You by Black Iris Booking

This past weekend Black Iris Booking took over the Magic Stick for the first ever Blackout BBQ. Many of you are probably familiar with their annual even, Black Christmas. Well, just think of that, but on a slightly smaller scale.

The show featured close to 20 bands spread out across three stages, the Magic Stick, the Magic Stick Lounge and the Garden Bowl. The lineup included Detroit favorites like Downtown Brown and SNAFU, as well as bigger names like Fang and Iron Reagan. Although I missed the first few bands of the night, I was able to catch a handful of songs from nearly everyone on the lineup. The set times were arranged so there was always someone playing, but there was very little overlap, so you were always able to catch at least part of a band's set. Plus, one advantage to this fest versus Black Christmas was that you didn't have to go outside to head down to the Majestic Theatre at all. So that made it really easy to catch everyone you wanted to see.

All of the bands put on a great show, but throughout the night I kept thinking that Rebel Spies definitely stole the show. They played downstairs in the Garden Bowl and played one hell of a set! They definitely showed up a lot of the other bands. At least, that was the case until the Koffin Kats hit the stage. Now, I've always been a fan of this band's live show, but Saturday night they were even more awesome than I remember. Maybe it was all of the beers or maybe it was the fact that this was my first time seeing them with John Kay, but they were outstanding.

Other bands that stick out were Against the Grain (of course), The Goddamn Gallows (although the accordion player made me gag a few times), and Fang. Axe Ripper closed out the night, as this was also their CD release show. Even though I didn't get to catch their full set,I enjoyed what I did hear and the crowd was really into it.

Head over to our Facebook page to check out even more photos from the night. Congrats to the ladies at Black Iris Booking for putting on another stellar show. Hopefully this will become another annual event!


Win Tickets to See the Afghan Whigs at St. Andrew's

The Afghan Whigs rose to stardom in the early 90s on Sub Pop Records. They were known for their meaningful lyrics and unique sound. Singer Greg Dulli frequently wrote about love, relationships, drug addiction, and suicidal thoughts, like many of the grunge bands of their time. But, he found a way to do it with just a little more R&B and a little more soul.  They were one of the few indie bands in the 90s that actually flourished on a major label. In 2005 they called it quits and swore that they would never reunite, until now.

This year they announced that they would not only reunite to tour, but they would be releasing a new album called Do To The Beast, this was their first release in almost 16 years. The new album has been critically acclaimed with  positive reviews from Pitchfork and Spin magazine, to name a few. It is clear that they are not here to rehash the fame of the 90s, but instead to prove that they are an ever changing entity that can keep growing and creating new things. This album is definitely different from any of their previous releases.

The Afghan Whigs are currently on tour in support of the new album and are stopping in Detroit on Wednesday, September 10th to prove that they still have it. Hopefully they play  a few covers along with some of their old songs. We know a lot of you are going to want to be at this show so we asked Live Nation to give us a few sets of tickets to giveaway. We have two pairs that will be given to two lucky winners. To enter, please email your full name to with Afghan Whigs in the subject line. Tickets are $40 in advance and can be purchased here. Doors for this show are at 7 p.m. and St. Andrew's is located at 431 E. Congress in Detroit.