Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Passalacqua & Duende Free At The Loving Touch!

I want to send a shout out to The Loving Touch in Ferndale. Recently they have hosted quite a few great shows and this Wednesday is no exception. The best part is that I have noticed them mixing it up a bit and featuring different genres.

Duendesday is an event that was originally started that the famous Club Bart in Ferndale. It began in '09 and carried on until their doors closed recently. At that time it moved over to the WAB/ Loving Touch complex where it has comfortably continued ever since. We first told you about it when Mick Bassett was featured a few months ago.

The idea is to mix different genres and performers. There is no charge, although they do pass around a bucket for the artists. It is an opportunity to see a few artists in a small setting and discover what they are all about. This week there are two artists that we think you might enjoy.
Photo Credit: Tony Katai
Passalacqua is self described as “a blend of old school hip/hop, East Coast rap, the murkier underground and boisterous pop-angled rap." Blaksmith and Mister are the two minds behind the mash up. Check out their song, Footprints, here. 

DUENDE is also playing on Wednesday night. You can check out their music here.

Catch both of them live in Ferndale this Wednesday at The Loving Touch. Show starts at 9 p.m. and openers include The Wrong Numbers and Factory Girls



Monday, July 30, 2012

Dirt Fest Is Coming Up Soon!

Have you bought your tickets for Dirt Fest yet? It's coming up soon on August 11, so you better hurry! Tickets are only $25 presale, and $35 at the door. The festival goes from noon to 10 p.m. at the Birch Run Expo Center.
There are going to be a lot of great bands there like Clutch, Wilson, The Scenery, Chiodos, Beast in the Field plus TONS more! You can see the full lineup here

If you didn't catch our hilarious interview with Dirt Fest founder, Matt Dalton, you can still check it out right here:

Hope to see everyone August 11!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bouncing Souls With P.T.'s Revenge This Tuesday

I like to make sure that everyone knows when a good show is coming to town and I just noticed that two great bands are playing this Tuesday the 31st at the Magic Stick. Bouncing Souls are headlining and local P.T.'s Revenge is opening for them, along with The Menzingers and Luther. 
This event is being brought to you by the ladies over at Black Iris Booking and only costs $18 if you get your tickets in advance and $20 at the door. 

Bouncing Souls are a punk rock band hailing from New Jersey. They have been a band since 1987 and are out touring for their just released album, Comet. P.T.’s Revenge is a local band that used to play around the scene about 10 years ago and one day last year, they started doing it again. They released an album last year called “Never let Go” that consisted of 4 tracks, their first release in over 10 years! 

This should be a fun time and I wanted to make sure that all the punk rockers out there know that this is something that they won't want to miss!



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saves The Day At Campus Martius

This past Friday night, my boyfriend and I headed down to Campus Martius Park in Detroit and saw Saves the Day play live for free! This concert was part of the summer series that they have been running. They have already featured acts like The Hard Lessons in previous weeks. I was very impressed by the whole event. The city has the whole park set up for people to come and sit and enjoy music. The event is free and there are vendors who offer food and beer for you to buy and enjoy during the show. 
We even ran into The Swellers, The Summer Pledge and SpringBreak while we were there and saw many other familiar faces. The Swellers made a guest appearance and went on stage for a song with the band. I grabbed some pictures of the show so that you can see how nice Campus Martius is looking! 
I am a little disappointed that I never figured out where to check in and get my photo pass because I couldn't get close enough to get any pictures of the band. We had a great time in the city. We also hit up Supino's pizza before the show and I have to say that it was the best pizza I have ever had in my life. Perfect summer Detroit nights. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Johnny U.F.O.'s Love Hate Relationship with Detroit

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how Detroit can be such a big city and a small town at the same time. Somehow everyone knows each other. Yet, sometimes in this city you can travel among the same venues and same people and never meet one another. Recently, I was perusing the world of Facebook and came across a post on Grande Nationals' page. The post was from an artist that I've never heard of, but instantly became a fan of. 

Johnny U.F.O. (Under Fire Often) creates pieces inspired by old publications and his feelings for Detroit. After visiting his blog, this artist continued to intrigue me, with his face hidden by a  mask in the only pictures he had posted of himself. I decided to contact U.F.O. to find out more about him and his artwork. I found his story so interesting and inspiring, that I decided I had to share it with you in his own words. 

"I wasn't born in Detroit. I was actually born on the opposite side of the state in a place named Benton Harbor. Surprisingly it isn't much different than Detroit, if not in worse shape in some aspects. Let's just say my younger years are riddled with bad decision making and a long road of learning things the hard way. 

High school for me was in the early 90's in South Warren at that time when Hip Hop and Rap were a new thing to the white suburban kid and I was in that first wave of self proclaimed "wiggers". Unfortunately my father is really old-school and a racist asshole, so he made high school for me a living hell until he kicked me out at 17 to live on the street. And I mean literally. I can remember breaking into campers in people's yards for a place to sleep, and stealing change out of cars for food money. Now I don't condone theft, but I definitely don't condone throwing your kid out, not ready for the world either. You know what "Tough Love" is. It's an excuse to not do anything for your kid when they need you the most. As fate can only twist it I soon found myself running with skinheads. I, the proudest "wigger", whose favorite words were "Yo dog!". Bad decisions lead to bad places in life, and it wasn't long before I was in prison.

I knew I had to start over and that something was critically wrong with my thinking. I had turned into something over the years that I wasn't. Could have been my physically abusive step father, or my ass-hole real one. Who knows? My life changed with a conscious decision and an interview. 

When I was 23 I walked into Mongolian BBQ for a job interview and against all logic I opened up and spilled my guts. I told my prospective boss that I was an ex-skinhead, that I was homophobic, had been to prison, and that all my friends were crackheads and in trouble. I told him I had come to Mongolian BBQ looking for a job because I heard there was a large diversity of people that worked there and I wanted to change my life and my perspective. Surprisingly he hired me. Six months later he told me I was the biggest chance he ever took hiring an employee and he was glad he had, because I was an excellent employee and a good person. 

That's where my life changed, in that restaurant. I've never looked back and to add the yin to my yang, if not irony, I live and work in Detroit. My last job was at an all black establishment and I even worked in an all black salon for a while. I love Detroit, because as honest as I am about my past, Detroit accepts me. Not one person I worked with held my past against me. In fact they all will swear I'm not even white, I'm light skinned! Last summer I even opened an After Hours, but between being robbed by the Police of all my liquor in a raid one night and "Russian MOB" types trying to push in on me and make me compromise my morals, I had to leave. But, for only starting with a thousand dollars and an idea, put together with the help of my girl and a couple of partners, I had one of the most popular night spots around, "Grandmas House". My turntables saw the likes of several members of P-funk, Mike Clark, DJ Psycho, Christian Martin, Derick Plaslaiko, and many others. Unfortunately I left everything behind when I left out of there, as to not have any problems arise with my so called "partner" at the time. 

And that brings me to where I am now. Tired of being on the edge of life. I had, maybe have, a daddy complex I'm getting over. It's time to stop waiting for him to be a man. I'm one! One of the most important parts of my life is my 15 year old daughter. Between prison, no license the last ten years, and warrants for things like driving on a suspended license, I have grown far apart from her physically and emotionally (she lives 200 or so miles away). I will settle for nothing less then making everything up to her one day and becoming someone important in her life. She remains my most important motivation. She is a beautiful, intelligent, young woman that deserves the world. 

If you don't help yourself, who's gonna, right? Don't get desperate and find yourself in desperate situations, that's what I did in the past. Be smart and make wise decisions. Prison ain't cool! I hope in the end I have the opportunity to give back to a city that has given me so much. Detroit's A Bitch and I Love her!!!"
I also had the chance to ask Johnny a few questions about his art. Here's what he had to say.

Hip In Detroit - How long have you been an artist and how did you get started at making your own art?
Johnny U.F.O. - "I guess I've been an artist since I can remember. Although due to a number of bad choice's in my life during my younger days, at 21 I found myself on the way to jail in Florida. Everything I owned, including all of my art work was left on the side of the road in a car, never to be seen again. After that, I stopped doing art for over 10 years because I became discouraged with it. I'm 34 and it wasn't till about 2 yrs. ago that I discovered collage making. It's all a part of finding myself  because I'm tired of standing on the sidelines just watching everyone else do things."

Hip In Detroit - What is the inspiration for your artwork?
Johnny U.F.O. - "Detroit of course plays a big role in my art, from the people to the economy. People are strong here out of necessity. It's "D attitude!" Not to mention, I'm constantly surrounded by creative people. I'm lucky in the sense that I live with a world class drummer that plays with George Clinton and I have had the opportunity to meet and hang with some of the most talented musicians and artists in Detroit over the years. Like I said, it's time to find my place. But, it's not fame or money I'm looking for. It's a purpose beyond just working in a factory and it's about doing something for myself. Not to mention, I've always had an authority problem, you could say.

Hip In Detroit - How would you describe your work to someone?
Johnny U.F.O. - "Well my art is definitely traditional, but I like to think I put a twist on it a little and make it more relevant and modern. It reflects the old and new of Detroit. I believe there is a Love Hate relationship that most people have with this city. While on one hand there is so much creativity and possibilities, there is no denying the overwhelming poverty and lack of education. I myself see it first hand with only a 10th grade education and lack of life skills. But, life's what you make of it and if you don't sacrifice and do what it takes to make a change, no one will do it for you. Persevere is what I hope it says!"

Hip In Detroit - Where do you find the images you use for your collages?
Johnny U.F. O. - "I gather the images for my art all over the place, except off my printer. I feel like that would be cheating. In my "Detroit's A Riot" piece, I used a real clipping from the news paper in the 40's about the riots and the K.K.K.. I like using old 1940's and 50's Sears catalogs and Saturday Evening Posts, along with Real Detroit and Metro Times. I've even used 1960's Playboys and I have incorporated clippings from a giant 1800's Bible I found in the ruin's of the Brewster Projects a couple of years ago. Everything I do my art on is salvaged from the city. Most commonly, I like to do my art on old cupboard doors I rescue (they look neat on the wall). Detroit is about recycling and doing it yourself."

Hip In Detroit - There are a lot of catchy phrases that you use in your work, one of my favorites being "Detroit's a Bitch and I Love Her". Can you tell us the meaning behind some of these phrases and your feelings on the city?
Johnny U.F.O. - "Well the phrases are kinda where they start. Sometimes it's a feeling or thought I'm having at the time about the city, and others are things I've said for a long time. 

Take "Detroit's A Bitch" for instance. There couldn't be a truer statement in my eye's, yet there's an undying loyalty a lot of people have for her no matter what shit she put's them through. That's the... "and I Love her" part. In essence it is "Love Hate Detroit". 

Look at my piece "Detroit Dies Hard". I think a lot of people don't understand that one. So many people don't know the meaning of "Die Hard" I guess? But, when something is Die Hard that means it won't die. To me "Detroit Dies Hard" is a reflection of that persevering attitude Detroit has, and her refusal to give up as a people (because that is who she truly is, the people). 

Or there's the, "For A Snitch Free D". People have this whole stop snitching thing confused. First off, a concerned parent or citizen is not a snitch. You have to be involved in whatever it is that your telling on to be a snitch. And second, people seem to think it has to do with drugs or something illegal. That's not true. It's anytime you sell out your boys!"

Hip In Detroit - You also just started your own T-Shirt Line - Love Hate Detroit. What can you tell us about this project?
Johnny U.F.O. - "Well the T-shirt line is "Die Hard Detroit" and "Love Hate Detroit" is one of my designs. I have several right now, including a couple of different "Detroit's A Bitch... And I Love her" tee's. Again this is part of finding my own way and expressing myself. I'm working on a budget doing everything with pennies to make it happen, so we will see. Everything is made in limited number in my basement as funds come along. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a great support system in my friends and couldn't ask for better people in my life, so I have faith it will work out in the end. By the way, I actually got the honor of officiating two of my very good friends wedding a couple of years ago. That was really cool."

Hip In Detroit - Where can someone purchase your artwork? Your shirts?
Johnny U.F.O. -
"At the moment I can be found on Facebook under johnnyunderfireoften and I'm in the middle of setting up an Etsy Shop, "DieHardDetroit". That should be up by mid-week or so. I'm new at this aspect of it. Up 'til this point it was just my art, and to be honest that's all it was to me. But my friends kept saying that they love it and encouraging me to do more with it."

Hip In Detroit - We like to ask everyone we work with what are some of their favorite places in the Detroit area. So, what's your favorite bar, shop, restaurant, venue, etc.?
Johnny U.F.O. - "I'd have to say there are a lot of really good places in the D so it's hard to pick. As far as bars go, I have always had this special place in my heart for Cliff Bells. I used to explore those buildings over there years ago, but it's also a very beautiful place. They have done a great job with it. In the burbs I like Gusoline Alley. If you wanna talk food, there is this great little authentic Mexican restaurant on Vernor called Taqueria Lupita's where portions are quite large and the price is fair. I suggest stopping in. It's a bit of a dive, but well worth it. Can't say I do a lot of shopping lately, but I love the shops at the Guardian Building, which includes Pure Detroit and Pewabic Pottery. As far as favorite venues go, they are unlistable, even some unnameable. Being the ex-owner/operator of a popular after hours, I love those small intimate places off the map. Those places that you gotta know someone to know about it, like the Breakfast Club in Brush Park. If you missed that, sorry to hear about your luck. Talk about great food and some good entertainment."

As you can tell, Johnny U.F.O. is quite a bit different than many artists out there. This is just a small sample of his work. I highly suggest you visit his Facebook page and tumblr to see more of his work. His Etsy shop is now up and running. So head on over and show your Love Hate for the D.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The New Place to go for All of Your Tatttoo, Piercing & Jewelry Needs!

Hip In Detroit is really bringing you the latest and greatest this city has to offer. There is no shortage of businesses that we love to frequent and share with you. But, this time we are telling you about the new place to be before the doors even open! We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak of the soon to be open Ironclad Tattoo Co. in Troy.

The space is huge and beautiful, complete with hard wood floors, clean walls, individual rooms for piercing and tattooing and the largest, high quality jewelry selection that I have ever seen! Ironclad is located on Rochester Rd. just South of 17 Mile on the West side of the road. This convenient location means it is very easy for everyone to get to via I-75. One of the owners of this amazing new shop is our friend Mike Moore.

I have known Mike for awhile now and he has told me many times that he could get me some great, new jewelry for my ears, which are gauged. I should have listened to him and taken him up on his offer to help me find something I liked because when I went into the shop to interview him this week, it changed my life.

I have had plugs since I was about 13 years old. It took me years to slowly stretch my ears from size to size. And when I found the size I wanted, I bought some wooden plugs that kind of looked like leopard print and I have been wearing those same earrings for almost 10 years! I am an accessories girl. So wearing the same earrings for 10 years was a little weird. While I don't regret stretching my ears, I have missed being able to buy and wear different earrings. 

After this week, that is no longer a problem. Mike hooked me up with a great pair of triangle shaped earrings that look like real earrings. He also ordered me pyramid style plugs in tiger's eye, an amazing stone that reflects gold and black in the light. He changed my earrings for me and he changed my life. 

There is a whole new world of ways to accessorize your piercings that I was unaware of. After checking out their great jewelry selection, Mike was kind enough to talk to us about the shop and what he does for a living. He is full of knowledge and he makes you feel calm and comfortable when you're working with him. From ear weights to real gold accessories, he is single handedly changing piercing. Check out his interview and make sure to swing by the new shop for all your piercing and tattoo needs! We plan to be visiting very often! Congrats on the opening and what we think will be a fun and prosperous future!

~S (with B&C)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't Miss The Boat!

It's time to get on the boat because the line up that played at The Shelter in Detroit on Saturday night is on its way out to sea! Each one of these bands is bursting with talent, style and a one of a kind sound that I think will take them places near and far. As I watched each group perform, I couldn't help but think that I was watching the beginning of something big. My only regret is that most of you missed the show and most likely a once in a lifetime chance to see a lineup this good at such a small venue.
Jamaican Queens is a new band that has just started playing out. They are a solid three piece that plays music loud and deep. By deep I mean that you can feel the bass inside of you while they play. I really loved what I saw, so I took a video to share with you during their set. Please give it a look. It's better than any words that I could conjure up. They are playing August 2nd with Tune-Yards at The Crofoot in Pontiac. It is worth your time and money not to miss that show.

Next up was The Summer Pledge. We have been following them for awhile and every time we catch a performance we remember why we keep tooting their horn. They're fucking good. Their new record Vessels is out now and they have began touring for it. They play well together and have great instrumental sequences in their music, which I really enjoy.

Bars of Gold raised the bar for the night when they stepped on stage. No one plays and performs like they do. The energy that they put out to the crowd got me all excited inside and I wanted to burst. Jumping from mic to mic, holding guitars in the air over their heads and pounding drums with fists are just some of the stunts they pull off while never missing a note. They are true stage performers, making their live show something not to be missed.

The Company We Keep was the headliner and crescendo to an already successful night. This is one of the last two dates for this tour, which will finish up in Chicago on Sunday night. Singer Amy Meeko was excited that friends and family were in attendance for the show and was full of energy as she bounced around stage and performed. I have been a fan of guitar player Brian Southall's previous projects, so I was not surprised that I enjoyed this band. TCWK has been creating a buzz in each city that they have been to, a buzz that I feel is only going to grow louder with each passing month.

We thank all the bands that performed for letting us inside to take pictures and enjoy! Please keep checking back to find out where they are performing in the future and make sure that you check out each bands music and get on the boat before you're the only one left at shore.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

If You Like Metal, You Should be Listening to this Band!

Scorned Deity is truly a hidden gem in the Detroit music scene, especially if you like metal. Because this band can best be described as fucking metal. This band has been around for years now, stemming from guitarist and musical master mind, Eric Kempa. Most of you probably know Eric from his days in Fordirelifesake. So you know he's a pretty talented guy, to say the least. This project further displays his musical prowess along with that of his amazing band mates. Scorned Deity's lineup has changed and evolved over the years to it's current line-up of Eric Kempa (Guitars, Keys, Vocals), Brian Sheehan (Vocals), Zach Scholts (Drums), Robert Plante (Bass) and Jason Tountas (Guitars).

I must admit, it has been a few years since I have made it out to a Deity show. They somehow fell off my radar. However, this week I was sucked back in when the band released a new music video for their song "The Alteration of Mankind". Here it is!

Scorned Deity has a new album coming out this fall. They currently have a full length album available called "The Monarchy Memoirs". You can pick it up through CD Baby or Big Cartel or you can listen to it here. We will definitely make sure to keep our eyes on Scorned Deity from now on and hopefully we can meet up with them soon and bring you some more coverage of this amazing band! 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Help Kids And Win Some Awesome Art!

Childhelp is a national organization that has a local base here in Madison Heights. The foundation's purpose is to prevent and treat child abuse. This charity was founded in 1959 and is a non-profit organization. Their mission statement reads: "Childhelp exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. We focus our efforts on advocacy, prevention, treatment, and community outreach." Definitely a charity and purpose we here at Hip in Detroit can get behind!
Local hairdresser and friend Melody at The Studio hair salon not only made us aware of this charity, but let us know a way that her salon was trying to raise money for it. The Studio is raffling off $10 tickets to enter into a contest to win a piece of art by Fabio Napoliani called “Love Bugs do Bite” (pictured above) that is worth $500. Not only did I love the piece, but I loved the cause, so I wanted to share it with our readers. We love local businesses that not only profit in our community, but give back to those in it. So if you are interested in being entered in the contest please go here.

Good Luck! 



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Did You Catch Refused On National Television Last Night?

If you weren't ready for next week's Refused show yet, you should be after catching them on Jimmy Fallon last night! Although I was watching from bed (Come on, I'm getting old! I don't stay up as late as I used to!) I was pretty pumped! I think only about 5 people on the edges of the stage actually knew who Refused was and deserved to be up there, but that's besides the point. The band performed "New Noise", probably one of their most popular songs, but definitely one of the fan favorites. In case you missed the show last night, here is the clip of Refused performing.

As we have told you a million times now, Refused is playing at Royal Oak Music Theatre on July 25th. That's next Wednesday! You do not want to miss this show! Trust us! Their performance in New York was amazing! You are a fool if you don't run out the door and buy tickets now! We're still disappointed in all of you that Detroit is one of the few shows that didn't sell out right away! Seriously guys?!?!? It's Refused. Are we really all that lazy that even Refused won't get us off the couch for a night?
Ok. Enough of that. Tickets for the show are $29.50 and are available here. If you want to avoid some service fees, head to the ROMT box office Monday-Friday from Noon-6 p.m. You can also head over to UHF in Royal Oak to purchase tickets without fees, but make sure you bring cash! Whatever you do, don't wait 'til the day of the show. I will be shocked if it doesn't sell out and I will laugh at you and say I told you so when you are frantically looking for tickets on Facebook the day of. So just go buy them now. See you at the show!


R.I.P. Bärle

My friends and family always tease me because I can't watch animal movies without crying, even if I've seen it a million times and know there's a happy ending. Well, if they think I'm bad when it comes to movies, they should see me now. Normally we like to share happy and fun news with you, but today's news broke my heart. I am saddened to share with you that one of The Detroit Zoo's 4 Polar Bears has passed away.
Photo Credit: Betsie Meister, Detroit Zoological Society
Bärle was the eldest of the Zoo's Polar Bears and was the mother of one of the youngest, Talini. According to CBS Detroit (WWJ), she was "born in the wild in Manitoba, Canada, but was captured as a cub and lived most of her years as a performing circus bear. She was rescued from the Suarez Brothers Circus in Puerto Rico and brought to the Detroit Zoo in 2002." 

That's one of the most amazing things about the Detroit Zoo. So many of their animals are rescued from horrible situation, and sometimes near death. The lions, some of the bears, and most if not all of the seals, just to name a few of the many. These creatures were put into horrible situations, mostly because of humans. Luckily there are some wonderful people and organizations out there, like our zoo, that rescue these animals and make the rest of their life as enjoyable as they can. 

As a member of the Detroit Zoo, and someone that goes there frequently, The Arctic Ring of Life is one of my favorite exhibits, and for that matter, favorite places to go. Of course on most summer days, the tunnel is packed. But, occasionally one is lucky enough to get the tunnel to themselves or share it with just a few people. It is one of the most amazing places. The seals seem so happy and when the bears are in for a swim, it is simply amazing. 
I remember years ago, entering the Arctic Ring and seeing images of Bärle with her young cub on the television screens. I was told that it was very difficult for Talini and her mother to separate, as they would at a certain age in the wild. It just breaks my heart to think of her and the other Polar Bears today. 

I'm sure by now many of you are thinking that I'm a crazy person. Maybe I am. I absolutely love animals though, most days more than humans. And the Detroit Zoo is a hidden gem that many Metro-Detroiters take for granted. I urge you to take a day to go visit the zoo again. If you haven't in a while, I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised. Personally, I suggest that you should all become members of the zoo. For $65 you can get an Individual Plus pass, if you live in the Tri-County area. This means for an entire year you get in free, plus you can bring a guest of your choice for free every visit and you get free parking and discounts at some of the stands. When you have a membership, it's a great place to drop by for an afternoon walk and you don't feel like you need to spend the whole day there to get your money's worth. Plus the money is going to a great cause! The Detroit Zoo and all of the animals that live there! 

I'm so thankful that The Detroit Zoo was able to rescue Bärle and help her enjoy the rest of her life. We're all so lucky we got a chance to see her and be amazed.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It Was A Hot Weekend Full Of Pigs, Whiskey and Music

What a weekend! Summer in Detroit is in full swing and the humidity has been turned up full blast this year. At all the local festivals there has been no shortage of poofy hair, melting makeup and sweet sweat lines. Pig and Whiskey has come and gone, and now all that is left is the faint smell of pig, spilled beer and memories of another funky weekend.  

Ferndale hosted the 3-day festival for the second time this year. The crowds were bigger, the temps were higher and the music was louder. I had a wonderful time watching bands and attending the after parties held at the Loving Touch each night. The weather made it very difficult to stay outside in the smokey bbq pit that was Ferndale for the weekend. I personally kept going into the WAB and the Loving Touch to get drinks and cool down throughout the weekend.  
I thought Child Bite and The Hard Lessons put on a great show Sunday night and Electric 6 closed out the weekend in only the way they can. We finally got a chance to interview The Hard Lessons (Augie and Korin that is) and learn more about this band that is about to celebrate its 10-year anniversary.  

I really love Ferndale, whiskey and festivals, but as always I have a few complaints. Wait! We will call them recommendations for next year. First of all you cannot charge $5 for that small of a whiskey shot. Either drop it to three or give me the full pour. It would not hurt to have some mixers for the whiskey either. Not everyone can drink it James Bond style on the rocks. The food is good, if you like bbq, if you don't you have to go elsewhere (unless you want corn or mac and cheese). It wouldn't hurt to invite Anita's Kitchen or Imperial over to cook up some vegetarian and vegan friendly options. Finally, don't book the biggest musical lineup of the weekend on a Sunday! Saturday and Sundays lineups should have been reversed!  

Overall we had a great time and got some pictures and video to share with you. Look, watch, and enjoy!
Remember, DIY Festival is only two months away on September 14-16! We get to do this all over again!



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Chance For Every Girl Who Ever Loved "In Living Color" To Finally Become A Fly Girl

I've been telling you about the talent, style, music and swagger of my favorite brown boy from Flint, Tunde Olaniran for a few months now. If you're smart you have been listening, checking out the videos, interviews and information that we have been sharing with you. If you have been watching, you know that he is a unique person that has great style, dancers and ideas.
Well here's the latest news- he is taking all that creative talent and style out and making a music video this Saturday. The coolest part about this is that you can show up and be part of it!

Saturday July 21st at the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue (1457 Griswold, Detroit), Tunde is filming the music video for his song "Brown Boy."

He is looking for extras to be part of the shoot. He is looking for people who love to dance, love fashion and people with unique style. You do not need to be trained to dance, but if you are he would love to hear from you in advance. Tunde would like you to put on your highest heels, most embellished jackets and sexiest stuff to be part of this experience. The only restriction is no logos baby, he can't afford to buy the rights to that shit (someday!)!

The shoot is planned from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. This should be a fun chance to see how this stuff is filmed, meet some great people and be a part of an amazing artists musical future.  

Hope to see you there!


Tuesdays Are Your New Market Days!

In case you missed it last week, Eastern Market started their second season of Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays. No worries though, you have every Tuesday until October 30 to make it down there. 
The Tuesday market will feature a sampling of the markets normal, delicious fare from farmers, produce dealers, specialty products and prepared food vendors. This year, the market will not only feature the usual buys, but they are also including special events relating to agriculture, food, artistic treasures and different things about the city we love. One of the events going on today that sounds pretty amazing is the belated ice cream day celebration. In fact, with the heat that is expected to be burning down on us today, there will be plenty of options for cooling off down at the market in Shed 2. If you are on the opposite end and like the heat and are looking for some more, the market offers weekly yoga (from 12-1) and zumba classes (from 5-6) in Shed 3, and both are free!

The market goes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. There are not a lot of farmers' markets around here that are open during the week, so you should take advantage of this! There is nothing better than some fresh fruit on a really hot day. Plus, the jalapeño lemonade they are going to have sounds pretty interesting!

Good luck staying cool today!


Monday, July 16, 2012

On Top Of The World With Terry Peake

Have you ever read an article about someone winning an award and thought to yourself, "Who are these people that win awards?", "Why did this person win this award?", "How do they choose these awards?" Well, I have thought these things many times. Sometimes I have even wondered, "Do these people deserve these awards, and are they really that amazing?" Basically, I am very skeptical of awards in general.
When I recently learned local composer, Ferndale resident, music instructor, rockstar and beard aficionado Terry Peake was being awarded the Kresge Foundation Fellowship Award, I had the opposite reaction. Terry is not only a friend but he is the mastermind behind the band Bahamut that my better half drums for. I have watched the development of Bahamut's "The Process" from start to finish and I know the time, hours, rehearsals, recording, setbacks and triumphs that have gone along with making this record. I know the talent it took for Terry to write this music and the time it took his fellow bands members to learn and play it.

I am proud to say that I have known Terry since the days he was writing Nipon songs with steel drums. I have watched him grow into a teacher for the future generation of musicians and I have watched him perform at countless venues across the city. Now I have the chance to ask him a few questions about this accomplishment, where he's been and where he is going. After the interview there is a preview of the future of Bahamut, make sure that you read and listen.  
Hip In Detroit- What made you decide to apply for this award? What process did you have to go through to apply? 

Terry- A friend recommended that I apply, and I'm glad she did. It's one of those opportunities you see, maybe you even think you deserve it, but you put it off and end up forgetting about it. I decided that putting the work into the submission was more than worth the potential reward, and I just put it in the back of mind and didn't get my hopes up.

One key part of the application process involves writing three statements:

1. The artist statement is about who you are, your current artistic focus, and what your goals are.
2. The community impact statement describes your role in the community, who you reach, who you have influence over, and essentially how the community is affected by your art.
3. The narrative statement describes what you intend on doing with the money, and what you expect to accomplish within the fellowship period.

The most important part of the application process is the work samples. This was difficult for me, because I wanted to show the judges that I have written modern classical, various forms of popular and progressive rock styles, and film music. I chose, however, to focus solely on the progressive metal I write for my band Bahamut. Applicants are allowed to submit five samples, each being less than two minutes, along with a brief write up on the details of each sample. Other than that, you are required to submit a bio and resume. The organization looks for artists who can demonstrate a track record of artistic excellence, so although my samples focused solely on Bahamut, my history as a local musician, as well as my accomplishments relating to my degree both played a huge roll in my being selected. 

Hip In Detroit- How did you find out that you won? What was your first reaction? Who was the first person that you told? 

Terry- I was woken up by a phone call in early June. I saw a 313 number, and just had a feeling about it. Something told me I needed to answer this call. I was completely shocked at the news, and while pretending that I wasn't half asleep, all I could tell them was that I was speechless. Perhaps the most difficult part was that I wasn't allowed to tell anyone until the official announcement was made later that month. Oddly enough, my boss was the first person I told, as I needed a day off with only a week's notice so that I could attend the orientation. 

Hip In Detroit- What is your background? I read that you studied music composition at Wayne State? How does that help you with what you do today? 

Terry- I started playing piano at age 9, taught myself to play guitar when I was 13, and by the time I was 16, I began performing with my first band, playing a set of my own compositions. By the time I was 18, the band (Nipon) had started to accrue a decent following, and began influencing others. At this time I also began my university studies in composition. For five and a half years I was a full time or over time music student, usually with at least seven music classes per semester. I was completely obsessed. My friends didn't see much of me in this time, as I was hell bent on becoming the greatest composer I could possibly be. After graduating with honors and participating in some notable performances and composer's concerts, I took a break from the academic world to pursue some progressive rock projects (Junecast and Bahamut) and employed myself as a private instructor. In the last year I have started to compose for film and I feel that it showcases my diverse abilities more than anything.

The experience I received from my degree program has made a huge impact on everything I do. It may not be the most applicable when playing popular styles, but it is still one of my life goals to write music that is successful both academically and commercially. 

Hip In Detroit- Tell me about Robot Academy Music. What is it? How did you start it? 

Terry- Robot Academy Music is essentially a company name for everything I do. It represents me as a composer, a producer, a performer for hire; it serves as record label name for my projects, and I am even an official publisher with ASCAP under this name. The origin of the name is a rather funny story. When Bahamut started rehearsing, we used to joke that we were "robots in training," due to the technical nature of the music. The joke was that we, the instrumentalists, were robots, and the vocalist was human; screaming, because we were torturing him with our dissonant riffs. At the time I spoke of my dream: to achieve such a following with my progressive rock projects, that I would have a substantial amount of people wanting to learn what I have to offer. Along with being a composer, producer, and performer, I would have a specialized academy that focuses on the highest musical standard possible: "The Robot Academy." I decided to use this for my company name, and although Robot Academy Music was essentially born when Nipon launched in 1996, the name didn't come about until last year. 

Hip In Detroit- How does it feel to know you were chosen out of over 450 applications? 

Terry- For years I would go in and out of being rather down on myself. It is tough to know that you are doing something worthwhile, to know you are upholding a certain level of artistic value in your music, with little or no "pat on the back." It gets discouraging, and productivity can fall. To say that finally achieving recognition feels amazing would be a huge understatement. I am eternally grateful to those at the Kresge Foundation and to the panel of judges who chose my submission. 

Hip In Detroit- What do u plan to do with the fellowship and the $25,000 award? 

Terry- Within the fellowship period I am aiming to get in at least 500 hours of composition/production. I am looking forward to a year of growth. As for the money, it will essentially allow me to live more comfortably for a year, which will in turn allow me to focus more on my art. I have plans for a new Bahamut EP and full length, an EP with a new project that will resemble Junecast, and possibly even a Nipon EP that will revisit some songs that I feel need to be redone, as well as some songs from that time that were never finished. I also hope to write some more modern classical pieces as I haven't written anything like that since graduating from Wayne State in 2003. 

Hip In Detroit- What does the future hold for Terry Peake?

At the moment I want to continue with Bahamut as my main project; there is so much I think the band has yet to achieve, and I am really excited about the new material in the works, as well as getting back in the game as far as playing shows and touring. On a more long term scale, I think film music is the most promising avenue for me, as it exercises my abilities more than anything I do, and has the most potential for financial success. In a few years I plan on continuing my education in a film scoring program, as well as pursuing a master’s degree in composition. From there, will I be a film composer? A professor? Both? Only time will tell.

As we said before, you can check out a preview of the future Bahamut music here!


I Might Be A Little Tipsy, But This Is The Best Thing I've Ever Had!

Over a year ago now I remember reading an article about how the owner of Union Woodshop (and a few other things) had bought the old Vinsetta Garage and had plans of turning it into a restaurant. After reading the article I got so excited! I love cool, eclectic places like it sounded like it would be and, if I remember correctly, it was supposed to open last year around Dream Cruise time. Sadly, Dream Cruise came and went and the doors on Vinsetta Garage were still closed. I have been, not so patiently, awaiting the opening of this restaurant for over a year now, and I finally got a chance to go the other day with Christie, even though they opened a little while ago. Let me tell you, this place was well worth the wait!
As soon as you walk into Vinsetta Garage, you realize it's easily the coolest looking restaurant around. The host area in in what was obviously the office/cashier of the garage and there are all sorts of mechanic and garage influenced decorations everywhere. Even the cooks wear mechanics shirts! Now, I don't want you to start thinking that it's a super cheesy restaurant and the garage thing goes too far, because it definitely doesn't. It's done just right. The bathroom floor is even pretty cool made, entirely of pennies! 
I could go on and on about what the place looked like, but what matters most is the food. And the booze. The food was amazing. I ordered the lamburger, which was complete with beets, tzatziki sauce, feta (once I hear feta, I'm sold) and I don't even remember what else because I ate it too damn fast and couldn't get enough of it. I also ordered a side of the famous and delicious mac 'n cheese. You definitely cannot go wrong with that. Christie ordered one of their more interesting sounding pies- the loaded potato pie. Basically it's the perfect marriage of potato skins and pizza. To me, that sounds disgusting.  To Christie it was heaven. Despite my initial thoughts, I tasted the pizza and it was indeed tasty. They mainly have mac 'n cheese, different types of burgers and pizzas, but one side of the menu is dedicated to their pasta and a few different types of meatballs that I will have to try sometime. The food prices are pretty average. The most expensive thing on the menu was probably $15 or so.
Now, the booze. From what I could tell, they have only Michigan beers on tap, and you can never go wrong with that! However, the real winner in the booze department had to be the fact that they have whiskey on tap, too! There was Jim Beam, Red Stag and I think one other option. If you have only had whiskey from a bottle before, you are missing out. 
So, if you couldn't tell by now, we liked Vinsetta Garage a LOT. If you were sitting near Christie and I during our meal you would have heard our constant remarks of, "OH MY GOD this is SO good!" and, "I don't want this to be over!" You probably would have given us weird looks at first, but then realized that we were right. They have been really busy, so plan ahead or try to go during the day when they are less busy. 

We recommend everyone try it, even vegetarians can find some delicious sounding items on their menu! We will definitely be frequenting the place and we hope to see you there!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Detroit Derby Girls- Mad Men Style!

If you don't already know who they are, there is something wrong with you, but the Detroit Derby Girls are women's flat track roller derby. Yes, like in that 'Whip It' movie (Sidenote: that movie was filmed partially in Detroit! Maybe you recognized LaFayette Coney Island?). There are 5 separate home teams within the Detroit Derby Girls- The D-Funk AllStars, The Detroit Pistoffs, Devil's Night Dames, Grand Prix Madonnas and The Pistol Whippers. They just completed their recruitment of newbies into the next round of bootcamp! Congrats to those who made it! The five home teams only play against each other during the season that goes from November- June.

Not too long ago on St. Patty's Day, I had the pleasure of finally going to see a Detroit Derby Girls bout at the Masonic Temple. It was pretty awesome and I suggest everyone go watch them at some point in the next season. Hot chicks in short shorts beating each other up on roller skates...there is a lot to love. Especially the awesome names they come up with for themselves!

Anyway, tonight (Friday) the Derby Girls are taking over the Majestic Complex with their annual Rollies Awards. The event is open to the public for only $5 at 10 p.m. after the awards, but you will get to catch the fan favorite award! There will be bands, karaoke and lots of hanging out with the Derby Girls. There is one catch, though, you have to dress up Mad Men style. So bust out those sexy blouses and cat eye glasses and throw that hair up in curlers (see below), but most importantly, don't forget your cigarettes! 

If you want more of the Detroit Derby Girls after tonight, and how could you not, then make sure you head to our featured event, Pig & Whiskey, the rest of the weekend where they will be hanging out and pouring beers at the beer tent. If you want to learn more about the sport and about the Derby Girls themselves, you can visit their website.


Get Ready to Enter the Magical World of Oz

As many of you know, a few years ago the streets of Detroit and cities all across Michigan had a chance to feel what it was like to be the next Hollywood. Because of the state's generous tax incentives for film companies, some great films decided to make Michigan their set. Of course some films were bigger than others. Perhaps the biggest one of them all was "Oz: The Great and Powerful".

"Oz: The Great and Powerful" is basically the story of the wizard. It is a sort of prequel to the 1939 "Wizard of Oz", which is how most of us were introduced to this magical world. However, it is more closely related to the series of books written by L. Frank Baum throughout the early 1900's.

The movie, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams and directed by Sam Raimi, is the most expensive movie Disney has ever made. Think about it! That's crazy! Just think about all of the HUGE movies Disney has made and this one tops their budget! It is quite an honor that they chose Michigan to make this huge film in.

Although there are some scenes in the film that were filmed on location in Michigan, most of the movie was shot at Raleigh Studios in Pontiac Michigan. The studios were constructed in the midst of the big film boom in Michigan, back in 2009. Becca and I were lucky enough to go on a field trip there with our day job. While we were there we learned a ton of fun facts about the studio. The massive complex took over a space that used to house GM facilities. It has 7 state of the art sound stages, a blue screen room (requested by Oz to be blue screens rather than green screens), tons of office space and even their own cafeteria. While Oz was using the facility they used every sound stage and utilized most of the office building. 

"Oz: The Great and Powerful" was the first movie to use Raleigh Studios, but sadly they were also the last. There were several big films that were signed up to use the studios, until the incentives were cut. A couple of months ago there were talks of Raleigh having another film coming, but we cannot confirm whether or not that has happened.

Despite the sad ending to this story, at least there was one film that made these studios their home for months! And the Raleigh Studios family and all of us Michiganders should be proud to say that "Oz: The Great and Powerful" was that movie. It looks pretty amazing and magical! The fact that James Franco is in it makes it even better. (On a side note, I was obsessed with the idea of running into James Franco while he stayed in Royal Oak for months last year. I was very disappointed that I didn't hear that he frequented Ronin until after he left. The one place I didn't look was the first place that should have come to mind! Sorry, I guess I'm a crazed fan.)

"Oz: The Great and Powerful" is set to hit theatres in the spring of 2013. We should all cross our fingers and hope that this will be one of the few Michigan made movies that will return for a special Michigan Red Carpet Screening, in addition to the big ones around the world. One thing is for sure, we do not have to hope that this movie is a huge success, because it is already obvious that it will be.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hunt For Some Treasures This Weekend In Royal Oak!

Maybe swine & bourbon isn't really your thing. Or maybe you're in the need of a little retail therapy. Well, whether you are heading to Pig & Whiskey or not this weekend, you should definitely make a pit stop in Royal Oak. That's because this weekend is the 37th Annual Royal Oak Garage Sale!
The Royal Oak Garage Sale is the perfect place to find a great deal on things that you need and even those things you might not need. The event takes place in the Lafayette Avenue Parking Structure between 5th & 6th Streets, sort of behind UHF and Lost & Found Vintage. The garage sale will be full of hundreds of booths with vendors and everyday folks selling everything from furniture to record albums, knick knacks to clothing, and everything in between. There are also booths that are a little more commercial and a little less garage sale-y that sell merchandise from companies such as Pampered Chef and Avon. Whatever you may or may not be looking for, I guarantee you will find something you just have to have while shopping in the structure. 

Last year, my "must have" item was this December 1977 Rona Barrett's Hollywood Magazine with a tribute to Elvis, shortly after his passing, and plenty of Star Wars features inside. I was lucky enough to snag this treasure up for a measly $5!
In addition to the great deals you will find within the Lafayette Parking Structure, many of your favorite shops in Downtown Royal Oak will be having sidewalk sales this weekend! I was just in Incognito the other day and they had tons of cute new stuff in! I'm sure that they, and many of your other favorites, will have some killer deals!

So, if your in the mood to shop this weekend, don't get stuck inside a mall. Instead, head down to Royal Oak and enjoy the sales and the sun! Admission to the Royal Oak Garage Sale is only $2 and is Free for kids 12 and under. The sale runs Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. If you head down early one of the days, you might want to grab brunch first at Café Muse. Check out Sadie's review from her meal there last weekend!

For more information on the Royal Oak Garage Sale, visit the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce's website.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dirt Fest 2012

Recently, we sat down with Matt Dalton and discussed Dirtfest. Did you run out and buy your tickets yet? We think it'd be really cool if we make this the event of the summer and get everybody to hang out for one day! We know that Wilson is not going to fail to rock when they go on stage. I've personally seen Clutch and know that they are great live and I have been dying to see Jennica from The Scenery perform. If she's as sweet on stage as she is in person, then we're all in for a treat. Check out the lineup and get your ticket today. Tickets are only $25 presale and $35 at the door! The festival goes from noon to 10 p.m. See you all August 11th!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Get Some Loving After Your Whiskey!

Now that we have given you the details about Pig and Whiskey this weekend, we know what you are thinking- if the event ends at midnight what am I supposed to do when the festival shuts down?

Well, we have some good news. We found some great after parties going on Saturday and Sunday to keep you drinking and having a great time.  
Saturday, The Loving Touch invites you over to their facility to see The Anonymous, Doc Illingsworth and Doc Waffles featuring Eddie Logix. We had a great time the last time we caught Eddie perform and we're sure these other acts won't disappoint. Just $5 gets you in the door to keep your night going.

Then on Sunday night the Loving Touch again brings you a great line up for just $5. Ava Luna from New York City, The Boy Wonders and Yes Wait No will be entertaining you after a long weekend of fun.

The Loving Touch is just steps away from the main grounds of Pig and Whiskey and is one of my favorite bars in this city. I suggest you head over, check out the music and drink some Hard Luck root beer vodka (my drink of choice these days).

Here's to what will no doubt be another great Detroit weekend!


2012 Pig & Whiskey Festival

This weekend the Metro Times and the Woodward Avenue Brewery are joining forces to bring you a good, old gluttonous weekend full of Pig & Whiskey.
The fun starts Friday night with a pre-party that goes from 6 p.m. to midnight. Bands featured that night include Ty Stone, Passalaqua, Jamaican Queens and American Mars. Saturday festivities are from 11 a.m. to midnight and features Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Frontier Ruckus, Lord Scrummage, The Beggars, Dutch Pink and Jeecy and the Jungle. Sunday continues on from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and features Electric Six, The Hard Lessons, Child Bite, K.I.D.S, Illy Mack and Dragon Wagon. Personally I cannot wait to see Passalaqua, Jamaican Queens, The Hard Lessons and Child Bite. They are some local favorites you should not miss. 

There will be over 10 different barbeque restaurants featuring all sorts of different versions of pork. They will also feature over 40 types of liquor to sample. For those of you who don't like liquor don't worry, there will also be a beer tent. If you are like me, you might be excited about the whiskey, but you might not be into the pork. Again don't worry. I remember eating a great stir fry last year so I know that there will be some choices for the vegetarians out there. 

Here's the best part- entry is free! You have to buy tickets to sample the food and drinks, but walking around, hanging out and listening to the music is FREE.

Last year they had quite a few vendors from the area selling wares and most of the restaurants and patios were open for business. 

Hope to see some of you in Ferndale this weekend!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Sunday Brunch at Café Muse

There is nothing like brunch with friends on a Sunday afternoon. The Mimosas, Bloody Marys and hot coffees are poured while tales of the crazy shit each person did last night are told. Ah brunch, my favorite meal!

This Sunday a group of ladies and myself had an amazing brunch at Cafe Muse in Royal Oak. So, I thought I would share my thoughts on this lovely place with all of you.

Cafe Muse describes itself as "comfort food with a twist". Chef Greg Reyner is known for his unique combinations and flavors. The menu is separated into categories, such as sweet and savory, and features items such as a Smoked Salmon Scramble with Gruyere & Chives or an Exotic Mushroom Scramble with Boursin Cheese & Truffle Oil.

The Mimosas are smooth and served in a fancy long stem glasses, while the Bloody Marys are incredibly spicy and served with a zesty pickle.

Opened in 2006, this restaurant has made quite a name for itself. It was featured on the Oprah show for its one of a kind grilled cheese and here in Detroit it just won the Metro Detroit award for Best Brunch 2012.

The eggs ranged from $8 to $12. Drinks were $8 to $10. It is a bit pricier then going to Coney Island, but once you bite into a Fingerling Potato or take a swig of a Mimosa you won't regret dropping a few extra bucks for a meal this good!

Happy eating!