Friday, August 31, 2012

Are You Ready For Some Arts, Beats AND Eats?

Labor Day weekend is always hectic around here and this year is no different. In addition to the many festivals and shows going on this weekend, it's also Arts Beats and Eats.
The festival is in it's 15th year now and has over 200 performers on 10 stages, over 100 local artists and best of all- tons of food! Arts Beats and Eats will be going on Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3. 

As for the beats part of the weekend, there are quite a few bands worth checking out. A few of the bands we can't wait to see are: Mayor Hawthorne, G Love & Special Sauce, Morris Day & The Time, The Sights, Kaleido and The Twistin' Tarantulas. You can go here to see showtimes and a list of the other bands playing.

The art will be located in the same place again this year, in the southern part of the festival. For the eats, there will be a lot of the old favorites present, but some new ones as well. Plus, BBQ alley! For a full list of the food that will be served, you can go here.

A few years ago they added an admission fee to get in to Arts Beats and Eats, but luckily it was only $3. However this year, it will be $3 until 5 p.m., when it will become $5. The admission fee does go toward good things at least, like Art Advocacy and different charities. 

Hope to see you all around this weekend!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Go See The Paper Sound This Saturday!

Recently I found out about the band The Paper Sound from Royal Oak, and I'm happy I did! We tend to feature a lot of metal and punk-like bands on the site, and don't get me wrong, I do like punk and am starting to like metal more and more, but the hipster in me always prevails and I still fall for indie rock bands all the time. So, The Paper Sound is much more up my alley!
They released their first album back in 2005 and in a few days they will be releasing their sophomore one, The Struggle With Light. I highly recommend checking it out. The guys in the band (Josh Wheeler, Phil Kinney, Nate Sjogren and Al Brown) were nice enough to share the 12 track, guitar driven album with us and I've already listened to it a lot over the last few days. It's just catchy enough, but not so much that it's annoying.
I was able to ask Phil Kinney and Josh Wheeler some questions about their new album and their upcoming show. See what they had to say:

HipInDetroit- So you guys have a new album coming out, the first one since 2005. Tell us a little about what it was like getting it together. Any reason you waited so long to release a new one?

PK- In 2007 I moved to China for a 3 year work assignment that was extended to 4 years. I continued to write songs hoping we could pull things back together in the future and when I returned in 2011, everyone was still interested.

JW- Phil came back from that hiatus with something like 30 new songs for us. We've spent this last year sifting through them and working on our favorites in bigger chunks (recording them in my home studio as we went along), and by this Summer thought we had the 12 songs that had a cohesive thread/theme to bundle together and release as our 2nd album. 

HipInDetroit- I've been listening to the new album and really enjoy it. What is your process like when writing songs? Do you each write or just one of you? How does it all come together?

PK- Typically I start with a guitar part and then try to put a melody to it. This will usually result in lyrics. Once I have something that feels “whole” I will record a basic version and send it to the rest of the band. We will then spend a few rehearsals fleshing it out and then head into the recording studio to solidify the “final” version.

JW- Everything starts with Phil, and the rest of us (who have all had some form of "composer/arranger" roles in other bands) work together and flesh out vox/guitar arrangements and turn them into "Paper Sound" songs. I've run a studio out of my house for the last 9 years producing and engineering a lot of local artists' records (The Handgrenades, Citizen Smile, Rocky Loves Emily, Woodward, The Hadituptoheres, etc.), so I've taken on that role and end up "producing" the recordings that come together for us.

HipInDetroit- The Paper Sound is a little different from the kind of music some of you played in your other bands. What made you make the switch from the other genres to indie rock?  

JW- Phil and I cut our teeth on "older indie rock" stuff since we were roommates in college in the late '90s (Sunny Day Real Estate, Pedro the Lion, old Death Cab, Guided by Voices, The Weakerthans, etc.), so that's always been where our hearts were. But we've all been involved in different projects and bands over the years. A lot of what you listen to and play when we're 18 doesn't match up to what you're interested in when we're 33 :). But we're really happy with what we're playing now. 

HipInDetroit- Are you pumped for your album release show on September 1? Tell us a bit about the night. Who is playing with you? How much? Will we be able to purchase the album at the show?

PK- Yes.

JW- We'll be at The Berkley Front in Berkley, MI on Saturday. Doors at 9, music starts at 10. $5 at the door. We'll be joined by DL Rossi, a great local singer/songwriter friend of mine that just got done finishing up his own record in Nashville. He's been a drummer in bands of some notoriety (that you may have seen on TV once or 100 times), but is a great frontman in his own right and will be backed up by a full band for the first time. The Bends, another great Detroit band who we're looking forward to seeing, will close the night out. We'll have the album at the show (assuming those friendly guys in short brown shorts from UPS show up on time), for just $5. It'll be a great night and we hope to pack the place out. 

HipInDetroit- We like to ask people we interview what some of their favorite places in the Detroit area are. Favorite venue, restaurant, bar, etc.?

PK- It’s hard not to love the Eastern Market. Too many great things there to list. For venues, I’d have to say probably PJ’s Lager House

JW- To play, we like any venue that has a decent soundsystem and soundguy :), but are partial to PJ's Lager House, New Dodge and Berkley Front. To see shows, I've been to so many good shows at the Magic Stick complex and St. Andrews over the years to count. So many favorite restaurants in Detroit, but the shortlist would have to have Xochimilco, Vincente's, Roast, Suppino's and the Astoria Bakery on it.

So head to the Berkley Front, one of my favorites, on Saturday for some good music and get your copy of The Struggle With Light!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Getting Raw with Allison Graw

I am not a creative person. I am a very type-A lady. I need a time, date and a planner to make myself feel comfortable and able to function. I believe that my anal personality is why I have always been attracted to creative friends. They loosen my ass right up. Most of my besties are people who create on a daily basis and make a good living doing so. I feel like these people inspire me to be a better person and think outside the box. They help me see the world as more of a painting then a to do list.

One of those artists that currently inspires me on a daily basis is Monster Free Design graphic designer and local artist, Allison Graw. She is not only a friend of mine but is the genius behind the colorful cartoon of myself that I use as my icon on all my personal social media. I told Allison I had always dreamed of having a cartoon version of myself and she quickly and way too easily made that dream become a reality for me. With the simple ability to sketch and trace combined with a great eye for detail she produced a cartoon version of me- bangs, scarf and all.

She also was a large part of the brains behind the art gallery, We Are Here, that took place in Eastern Market last year. Her pen-made sketch of the words “WHO GIVES A SHIT” in her unique style was one of the most powerful pieces in that gallery.
She has made flyers for MOCAD, throws art parties at her house throughout the year and drew the coolest Slimer on my cast when I broke my leg. Check out my interview with her to learn a little more about the talented, beautiful and amazing woman that is Allison Graw. 

HipInDetroit- What made you decide that you wanted to get into graphic design?

Allison- I always knew I would be involved with art in some way; drawing seemed to define me from a young age. I ended up headed to an art school for college (CCS in Detroit), listed as undeclared because I wasn't sure. I'd never even used a computer for art at that point. In the class where they take you around and show you real-world examples of each career in the arts, I realized I loved the idea of using art to communicate a message. I became infatuated with design and typography fairly quickly after that.

HipInDetroit- When did you start drawing? 

Allison- I've always been drawing. I have a vivid memory of drawing crayon portraits of Shamu to send to my aunt in Portland. Even as a child, it seemed like my only option was to end up going to art school and I feel so fortunate that it actually happened. 

HipInDetroit- What kind of projects are you attracted to?

Allison- Since my day job involves more commercial branding and package design, I love any project that I can let my weirdo out. Any time I get to use my hand to draw type or illustrate, or I am given free reign to come up with an idea. I'm also into books and long blocks of text.

HipInDetroit- Tell me a little bit about the pen drawn piece that was featured at "We Are Here" last year. What inspired you to do that. How long did it take? How many pens did you go through?

Allison- At the time I was thinking a lot about apathy, and to me it was more a question than a statement. I was hoping to show with my method and the amount of time put into it, that I indeed give a shit. It took a ridiculous amount of time. I'm not sure, a whole summer? I went through around 60 pens I think.

HipInDetroit- How do you make something like the icon you drew for me look so realistic?

Allison- That's a pretty old trick- you're just tracing a photo in illustrator, but picking and choosing what to leave in or out. I picked things that stand out about you- red lips! white hair, cheetah. And emphasized it.

HipInDetroit- Tell us a little about the flyers you have done for MOCAD?

Allison- The first one I did for them was this little heart shaped flyer for a valentines day benefit party called "Love Sick" - I drew a mouth puking out a bunch of candy and hearts and stuff. I think they liked that I'm a weirdo and asked me to do some more. My favorite was the benefit at Eastern Market called "Home Slice"- I created the logo from vernacular type found throughout the market, and the dancing pickles really brought it all together. For their 5 year anniversary, I hand lettered the type, and the best part was showing up and they had it reproduced on a cake! I'm still really impressed by whoever the cake decorator was for that one. Basically doing work for a museum is the holy grail of print design. All you're selling is support for art- its a win win. And you can usually get away with a lot as long as you communicate well. 
HipInDetroit- I have seen you do album covers like the one you did for Ryan Allen And His Extra Arms. Do you plan to do more of that in the future? What do you like and hate about that kind of designing?

Allison- There is only love, no hate for music packaging design. Music has always been a huge part of my life and shaped who I am as a person from the moment I put on my parents huge headphones and sat down next to their stereo. Part of that experience is holding the packaging in your hands and pouring over it. I'd love to do more music related design in the future. There is nothing like a 12" record package- make it a gatefold, get outta here. its so big, there's so much opportunity. Much better than an icon for an MP3 player.
HipInDetroit- How does it feel to be a woman in a predominantly male field? Do you feel like it affects you?

Allison- It affects me in subtle ways at my day job. I am a senior designer, but I am the one who has to answer the phone, etc. Through my freelance design or dealing with younger people, I don't feel like I am treated any differently. Not by artists or creative people. I think it's more of a corporate culture thing or an older person's way of thinking.

HipInDetroit- You are married to someone who does animation and design, do you find it beneficial to be with another creative person? Do you guys ever help each other with projects? 

Allison- Absolutely. A day doesn't go by where we aren't getting each others opinions on whatever we're working on- its very much a collaborative effort and we are able to be completely honest when we critique each other. I love it! It also helps that he's super talented. And cute. 
HipInDetroit- Any plans for your art in the future?

Allison- I have a giant piece of paper hanging on my wall that I need to attack with a pen ASAP. I am trying to get motivated to plan the next "We Are Here" show. Other than that just doing as much as I can.

Allison not only oozes personality but she makes me hopeful for the future. She is always moving forward with her art and her life. She continues to inspire me as she creates. I look forward to whatever will come of that blank piece of paper hanging on that wall at home. I know it will be spectacular!


Ironclad Grand Opening Party!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but August 30 at the Ironclad Tattoo Co. Opening Party, I will be getting my first tattoo! After years of being too scared, unsure and too broke to afford a tattoo, I have finally given in to my urges and decided its time for a little ink! I am petrified, so naturally the plan is to record the whole thing and share it with all of you!
Even better, if you want to laugh at me live and in person, you can do that as well, because you are all invited to the opening party at Ironclad Tattoo Co. There is an after party down the street at the bar, too! The festivities start at 12 p.m. and continue until the last man drops. The shop will be open from 12 until 6:30. They will have piercing specials with Mike Moore and tattoo specials with all of the artists. They will also be giving out raffle tickets for assorted prizes throughout the day. The winners will be called at the after party at Hamlin Pub, located at 3946 Rochester, just across the street from Ironclad. In case you don't already know, Ironclad is located on Rochester Rd. just south of 17 Mile by Elaine's Bagels. Hamlin will also feature drink and food specials, along with some winners. Make sure to write your email address down on your ticket because although we would like you present to win, you do not have to be. Everyone is welcome to come to the shop but only 21 plus are invited to the bar.

I cannot wait to see everyone party and get my first tattoo from this amazing new place, filled with fun people!

Check out our interview with Mike Moore when we stopped by Ironclad before they opened!



Old Gods at The Bear Cave

Bahamut wasn't the only group of metal dudes at The Bear Cave on Saturday. Actually, the place was full of them, both performing and in the audience. Many of Detroit's most talented musicians came together to eat chili, listen to music and celebrate the release of the Old Gods' album.
Just to give you a brief background, Old Gods is made up of Derek Swanson, Randall Kupfer, Jeff Tuttle and Tony Wolski. The guys have been together for over a year now, but I think this is the first time that I have seen them play. I think it may be Sadie's too. We're not really sure about much when it comes to this band though. Check out Sadie's interview with Derek and Jeff and you'll see what I mean.

One thing we do know for sure is that this band is awesome and you need to check them out next time they play! We're not quite sure when that will be though. If you want to hear Old Gods, head over to their bandcamp. You can download 6 tracks from them for FREE there. If you want to pick up their awesome new screen printed vinyl, keep an eye on Forge Again Records. They should have it in stock soon. Or just steal Sadie's copy. She doesn't have a record player anyways. 


Monday, August 27, 2012

Bahamut At The Bear Cave

This past Saturday night we had a wonderful time watching Bahamut blow our ears out with their loud drummer and lack of a melody. This progressive metal band treated the crowd at the Old Gods and Isosceles Mountain show to a wonderful performance of their old songs along with a few of the unrecorded tracks they have yet to release. 
After they finished playing, I had a chance to catch up with the band and learn a little more about the men behind the sound. The band recently recruited Brian to step in and play second guitar. Terry recently won a 2012 Kresge Arts Fellowship award for excellence, which we featured here on the site. 

The guys were happy to be out playing their first show together and there was a great vibe in the room after they performed. Terry told us a little more about what the future of Bahamut will be and if they are looking to add a bass player or continue on without one, check out the video interview and performance here.


Break Anchor At The Leland

After a long day of work, Christie and I made our way down to Detroit to the Leland to see Break Anchor. As usual, they put on an awesome show. Plus, the venue was a bit different, being an old ballroom complete with marble black and white checkered floors, creepy baby faces built into the walls and amazing chandeliers. The Leland obviously needs some work, making for a bit of a creepy environment, but that made it even better. 
Every time we see Break Anchor, we are surprised about the crowd. How are their shows not completely packed? We obviously can't get enough of these guys! They put on a great show and are the nicest guys too. For some background info on the band and a sample of a Break Anchor show (and what you've been missing out on), check out our interview with vocalist/guitarist Jay Navarro from the band's album release show earlier this year.

Now that I got that out, I hope that the Leland starts having shows there more often. It's a cool space. Everything about it just screams Detroit. For an added bonus, I'm pretty sure the bar in the Leland has the coolest lady bartender and the cheapest drinks around. She felt bad selling me her 'premium' beer for $3.50 (most were about $2) when she was out of what I ordered. If you feel like making it an even more interesting night, you can cut over to City Club. It had been years since I'd been there before Friday, and I'm (sort of) happy to say it is exactly the same. Luckily, my car was not broken into this time, though! I'll be sure to bring my mesh shirt and platform boots next time. 
Head over to our Facebook and check out more pictures from Break Anchor's set Friday and hope to see you all at the next show!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine This Saturday at Small's

If you have ever said you were punk rock, liked punk rock, or might like punk rock then you know who the Dead Kennedys are. They are a band that not only made a huge impact on music, but also on politics and the world around them. They are known for their infamous issues with the government and for the hatred they received from Tipper Gore back when the man was trying to put parental guidelines on records and cd’s (that did a lot of good haha). For 30 years Jello Biafra has been changing the world and making people talk, first, with the Dead Kennedys and then with his spoken word albums. This weekend you have your chance to see him live and in person.

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine is performing at Small's this Saturday, August 25th. For $13 in advance or $15 at the door you can see a piece of punk rock history preform right before your very eyes. To make things even better, the two openers for this show are great, Golden Torso and Against The Grain. We have told you about both these bands in the past and know that they will also give the performance their all.

Tickets are on sale at and the show starts at 8pm. Small's is located at 10339 Conant Street in Hamtramck. It is my favorite bar in Detroit and has the best sound in the area. The metal heads will all be at the Old Gods/Bahamaut/Isosceles Mountain show, but the punk rockers better all be here! I have had the privilege of seeing Mr. Biafra a few times now and he never disappoints!

Thanks again to Black Iris and Small's for booking the best shows in town lately! Keep killing it! 


Metal & Chili at The Bear Cave Saturday Night!

Saturday, August 25th a trifecta of awesome is coming to the city of Detroit. Old Gods (Dillenger Escape Plan, Heads Will Roll), Isosceles Mountain (Heads will Roll, Bang Bang) and Bahamut (Nipon) will be playing at The Bear Cave. This show is only $10 at the door and the price includes a screen printed LP from Old Gods and a bottomless chili bowl for the chili cook-off that is also taking place that night. That's right! Bad ass metal and endless bowls of chili! Be still my heart!

I haven't been so excited about a show in a long time. This trifecta not only boasts some of the best musicians that this city has to offer, but will feature some of the best drummers around, doing what they do best. 

The Bear Cave is located at 9097 Annapolis in Detroit. Ill be the fatty in the back head-banging and shoving chili in my mouth! Hope to see you there!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

You Have A Date Tonight With The Detroit Zoo!

Tonight the Detroit Zoo will have a full house, but it won’t be full of families and screaming children like many other days. Instead, the zoo will only be letting in those that are 21+ from 6-9 p.m. The event is called Summer Zoomance! This is the second night this summer that the zoo has hosted this fun, adult only event.
For $12 patrons can get into the zoo for the evening. You can visit the attractions and the animals as you would on a usual visit. However, tonight there will also be musical entertainment and adult beverages! Music, drinks and no kids. That beats a normal day at the zoo for sure! And I love the zoo, so you know that means something!

Although the event is called “Zoomance”, don’t let that steer you single folks away. I’m sure you will have just as much fun as those that are there with their significant other. Let’s be honest, you might even have more fun. Plus, if you haven’t ever been to the zoo in the evening before, that is reason enough to come out to this event. The animals are generally way more active than they are during the afternoon.

So rather than spending tonight sitting on the couch or sitting on a bar patio drinking, switch things up a little. Head out to the Detroit Zoo and have a drink with the camels or the tigers! It looks like it should be a perfect night for it too! 


Look No Further For A Safe, Cheap Way To Take Care Of Your Pet!

A few months ago we told you about All About Animals Rescue. They are a great, non profit organization that has a goal to have no more homeless pets, and what a good goal to have! Just think of all those cute, little, helpless puppies that need a good home and caring family!
All About Animals offers low cost spaying/neutering, vaccines and general health screenings. Most wellness items cost $15 or less, so they really are serious about the 'low cost'. They also have a pet food pantry to help financially distressed pet owners. Basically, they do a lot of awesome things to help animals. 

They started a mobile spay/neuter van earlier this year that allows them to help people who may not be able to make it to one of their clinics. Starting today, August 23, All About Animals will also be opening their Detroit Wellness Center  at 2007 Springwells St, Detroit 48209. This facility will offer preventative care to your pet at a low price. In addition, the mobile van will be also be making regular stops at the center. The hours for the new Detroit Wellness Center are Thursdays from 3-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10-3 p.m. They will be offering vaccines, spay/neuter, heartworm tests, microchips, FELV/FIV tests, dewormer, flea prevention, heartworm prevention, toe nail trims and more. All of their services are super affordable. It may seem a bit crazy to get discounted care for your pets or that your pets can be fixed in a van by licensed veterinarians! If you're concerned about any of that, you can always check out All About Animals website where they have all the anesthetic protocols and other info for you to learn more about what they do.
Just to add an extra cherry on top of this fantastic sundae, September 13 and 14 the Detroit clinic will be offering to spay/neuter your pets for whatever donation you can make! Just remember that appointments are required on these days. 

Don't forget that in addition to all of this, All About Animals does take in strays and helps place them in foster homes until they find a forever home for them. You can always look at the animals they currently have that need homes here. Warning: there are some pretty damn adorable ones ready to be adopted currently, that is if I don't get to them first!

So if your pet needs, well, anything really, check out All About Animals and support this great organization in their effort. Make sure to spread the word about them! They have locations in Warren, Detroit and Auburn Hills!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Hit So Hard"

The first time I heard the words “I am the girl you know can’t look you in the eye” my life changed I walked home from school and asked a fellow classmate if she liked that song because I had heard it on the radio that morning and she said, “that kind of music is for weird people”. That comment and those lyrics changed my life. Not only did I want to listen to this weird music even more but I needed to learn more about the people behind it.

Hole is my favorite band. Yep really, Hole is my favorite band. The story that surrounds Courtney Love, grunge, Kurt Cobain and the 90’s has always fascinated me. I have watched all of the documentaries, About a Son, Kurt and Courtney, and I have studied MTV Unplugged for a sign of what was behind the man that created so much of the music that I love. I realize now, 20 years later, the story has already been told. Kurt died at 27 years old and Nirvana will live on forever as a symbol of what grunge was to the nineties. But, when he died it did not mean that the era ended. It simply meant that it changed. Those that were around Kurt, including his band mates, friends, and the people he lived with, still had to move on with life and learn to live in a world where grunge became part of pop culture and Kurt became the icon of a generation of confused kids.

Patty Schemel was one of those people in the inner circle during this time in history. She was almost the drummer for Nirvana but instead became the backbone of Hole. She joined the band in 1992, lived with Kurt and Courtney during the birth of their daughter and the writing of "In Utero" and went on the famous "Live Through This" tour with Hole shortly after Kurt’s death. She moved in with her friends late in 1992 and she began filming her life, not for any particular reason, but because she had a little money and thought that carrying a camera around and filming what her and friends did would be fun. She took at home, personal videos of the Cobain’s playing with Francis, of herself high on drugs and of the roller coaster life that it was being a drug addict in a band that was really, really famous. 

"Hit so Hard - The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel" is not a new look at the story of grunge and the Cobain’s, but instead a look at the life of someone who had to pick herself up and move on when one of her best friends killed himself at 27 years old. A life of someone who was asked not to play drums on the live recording of Celebrity Skin and could not deal with the pressure that put on her. The life of a recovering addict who took years to kick the demon’s that haunted her and find her place in this world.

Here is the trailer for the movie:

I really enjoyed this documentary and wanted to share it with you. Put this in your Netflix cue and give it a watch. It made me remember the way I felt when I looked at these people 20 years ago. My heroes were not perfect, but dammit, they changed the world and music as we know it forever. 


Who Goes to City Club???

When I hear "City Club" I automatically think of fishnets, pleather and goth girls dressed in next to nothing. I must admit, I have never actually been to the place. So stereotypes and word of mouth is all I have to go by. However, after Friday night, I will no longer be a City Club virgin. Rather than a night of industrial music and dancing though, I will be venturing to the Leland for an awesome show. 

This Friday night Break Anchor will be playing at City Club with 6 other bands, including Poison Tongues, Dead Words, Aggro or Die, Live to Kill, Explicit Bombers and The Gutter Ghouls. This is the first show like this being held at City Club in over 10 years. It sounds like it's going to be a regular thing again though, if all goes well! We've even heard talks of Bill Bondsmen having their album release show there. Needless to say, we are always up for more venues and more shows! So we're really looking forward to Friday to see what this place is all about and what it's like as a venue!

For those of you that don't know, City Club is located in the Leland Hotel at 400 Bagley St. Doors will open at 8 p.m. on Friday. Since there are 7 bands playing, I'm guessing it will go pretty late. It's only $5 to get in, which is a steal for 7 great bands. So we hope to see you all down there on Friday night. It will be a new adventure and new venue for some and a walk down memory lane for others. Either way, it should be a blast! 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bat On Fire At The Magic Stick!

Last Thursday night we got a chance to see Bat on Fire at the Magic stick. They were playing a Black Iris Booking line up of metal bands that included Eyes Set to Kill and The Worst Of. Bat on Fire drummer John Kay is not only the backbone behind P.T.’s Revenge, but he is also the rock behind Bat on Fire. We got a chance to get a few pictures of the band to share with you and a video to check out.
We hung out on the patio at the Magic Stick and enjoyed the bands. I love metal more and more every day! Make sure to check back and we will keep you updated on future Bat on Fire shows as they get booked! Thanks for letting us come down and listen and enjoy! For a full list of future Black Iris Booking shows, check our page frequently. We get the most up to date releases every week! 


Sunday Funday with Lucero

Sunday night, Ben Nichols from Lucero had sex with the audience.  Maybe not in the physical sense, but he sang for over 2 hours and slowly serenaded the wall to wall crowd that filled Small's.  He even played an acoustic set mid performance with an accordion accompanying him at times. 

The crowd was not as crazy as usual, meaning they still went nuts but didn't break bottles this time!  Small's was the perfect venue for this event because the sound was perfect.  I actually sat at the bar and watched and listened while I enjoyed a drink. I love the video and sound stream in the other room! It was a great idea. I was happy to be off my feet and on a stool while he sang to me. We took a lot of pictures and we wanted to share them with you.

Congrats to Black Iris Booking and Small's for always throwing the best shows in town. Look for more to come from this combo, including Jello Biafra on the 25th and an anniversary show with Wilson and Trash Brats next month!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Ah, The Smell Of Punk!

This past Saturday we made it out to the mayhem that is Tesco Fest at the Magic Stick. If you weren't there, you really missed a hell of a night! The place was packed and the bands were awesome! Once you reached the top of the stairs, the smell of punk rock filled the air!
We were at Motors & Music earlier, so we got there a little later than we had wanted to, but we were able to catch Bill Bondsmen, Hellmouth and The Meatmen. We've seen Bill Bondsmen and Hellmouth before and we love them every time. We especially love Jay Navarro's stories in between songs- we love him for getting out of the car and yelling at the anti-abortion people on Woodward!

The Meatmen closed out the night with quite the performance. Tesco, Danny Dirtbag, Hindu Kush and Swarthy "Bun-Length" Franklin were awesome, but the special guest at the end of the set was something else. And don't worry if you missed it, we have it on video!

Before their performance, we caught up with Danny Dirtbag and Sadie chatted with him about the night, their upcoming tour and among other ridiculousness. See what he had to say:

Make sure to check out these 2 videos from The Meatmen's performance. We can't wait to see more of these guys and wish them luck on their tour in Europe, even if the UK doesn't want anything to do with them! 

And as always thanks to Black Iris Booking for putting on an awesome show!

Motors And Music- A Great Way To Spend A Sunny Saturday

With summer winding down, everyone is trying to take advantage of the nice weather and the great outdoors. This past weekend, there was a great new outdoor music festival that allowed us to spend some time outside and enjoy some great bands and entertainment.

Organized in part by Matt Dalton, Motors and Music Experience brought together several different bands from different ends of the music spectrum. Our day started off with Chiodos, the Michigan natives who recently reunited. Although they played early in the day, they had quite a few of their die-hard fans there, some of which even traveled from out of state to see these guys.
After Chiodos, we walked around and checked out some of the other entertainment, including The Detroit Circus and some motorcycle stunt men. Since there was such a variety of music playing throughout the day, it was awesome that there were also some other types of entertainment for attendees to check out if they weren't quite into the performers on stage at that time.

In addition to the entertainment there were some sweet cars to look at as well as some pretty good eats to grab. R.U.B BBQ was even there, which was a big surprise compare to the nachos and cheese and $6 slices of pizza most concerts and festivals have on hand.
Although we had to head out early to get to Tesco Fest, Motors and Music was a fun way to spend a beautiful Saturday. We hear that head-liners Stone Temple Pilots and Ice-T and CoCo both put on great shows. To see some great pictures from later in the day, head over to the Motors and Music Experience Facebook page. Hopefully this festival will return next year and will be even bigger and better than this year. And hopefully this and other events continue to make The Silverdome their home so we can bring this landmark back to life.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

BBQ with Lucero

A few months ago I saw Lucero for the first time at the Magic Stick. The show was epic, the crowd loved them and Katie Fran even jumped on stage and tried to kiss singer Ben Nicolas (If you don't know Katie Fran look her up- I'm a Franatic!). I could not believe how wild the crowd went, the sing alongs and all the people jumping around and having the time of their lives. It made me a Lucero fan for life and guaranteed when they came back into town that I would not only attend, but I would try to get our readers out for what I know will be a good time. I just didn't know they would be back so soon and be doing something so neat which makes it a lot easier to tell you why you need to be there.
Photos Courtesy of Joe Gall
Lucero is playing this Sunday at Small's in Hamtramack and they are having a good old fashioned BBQ for all those that attend the show. Smalls is my favorite bar in Michigan and is the best place to see a band like this because they have a great team of sound guys over there that know what they are doing. The drinks are always stiff, the TV in the bar broadcasts what is happening on stage so you don't have to miss a beat and they always have lots of my favorite Hard Luck Rootbeer Vodka ready to pour on the rocks.  
Mike and crew will be serving up all sorts of food including pulled pork, burgers, sausage, veggie burgers, coleslaw and chips. Tickets are only $20 for this event and can be purchased here. The show starts at 8 and all ages are welcome to join in on the fun. Jonny Corndawg is opening the show and the night promises to be one of punk, rock and roll and good old fashioned country mixed into one.

If you can't make it to this show or you live in the Grand Rapids area, you can also check them out two days earlier on August 17 at the The Intersection, my favorite venue on that side of the state. Click here for details and to purchase tickets to that show.

See you at the BBQ!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Tesco Fest

Saturday, August 18 Black Iris Booking brings you Tesco Fest, a day of punk rock mayhem at the Magic Stick Lounge. They are setting up two stages for the day and unleashing a list of bands that any booking agent can be proud of. The list includes The Meatmen, Negative Approach, ANTiSEEN, Gang Green, Iron Cross, HELLMOUTH, Bill Bondsmen, Against the Grain and Golden Torso
Doors are at 7 and the music starts at 8 sharp! Tickets are only $15 in advance and will be available at the door for $17. You can purchase tickets at the Garden Bowl with no service fee, or you can get them here.

This is a great lineup that you do not want to miss! Hope to see you and all your friends there! 


Motors & Music

Fresh off the heels of the infamous Dirt Fest at Birch Run, the Metro Detroit area will host a new festival for the first time this year called Motors and Music. This is a festival created by the same man who brought you Dirt Fest, Matt Dalton. Taking his knowledge of festivals and what people want to do and hear, he has created a new event dedicated to music and cars, two things we love here in the Motor City.
The festival will take Place August 18 in the parking lot of the Pontiac Silverdome, which was once the play place of the Detroit Lions. This event features music from a wide array of acts including Stone Temple Pilots, Ice T and Coco, the return of Chiodos, Trick Trick, Hush, Mayer Hawthorne, The High Strung and even a DJ set by Dominic Raiola (Detroit Lions). They will also have a car show and other acts including performers from the Detroit Circus. Basically, this won’t just be a concert, but it will be a full day of drinking, eating, music, cars and fun!

The whole event kicks off at 11 a.m. and tickets are only $35 for general admission for the day. Ballers who want to have an even more intense experience can purchase VIP tickets that include a designated seat close to the stage and your own private bar to drink at with little to no lines throughout the day!  


Downtown Detroit Days and City Loft Bring Shopping Back to Woodward

Most of us are too young to remember the days when Woodward Ave. was full of shoppers heading to Hudson's and the surrounding stores. We've seen pictures and heard stories, but for most of our lives so far, Woodward was mostly full of empty store fronts and abandoned buildings. Luckily, we get to witness these buildings filling up again, with new shops and restaurants opening all of the time.

This weekend, shoppers will travel downtown once again to head to a department store along with a market full of artists, local business and vendors. Friday and Saturday Downtown Detroit Days will continue its August installment accompanied by the re-opening of The Somerset Collection's CityLoft. This is the third and final weekend that this event and store will be available to you this summer. 

Downtown Detroit Days takes place on Woodward Ave. just south of Grand River, in the empty lot where Hudson's once stood. The event includes numerous retailers with tents and tables set up outdoors. It runs Thursday, August 16th thru Saturday, August 18th from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Across the street, Somerset's CityLoft houses some of your favorite shops from The Somerset Collection in Troy. They are all together in one large room with an open floor plan, making it feel as though you are in a big, upscale boutique. Think of it as Somerset Mall shrunk down into one store front. CityLoft is also open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on August 16th thru the 18th.

Downtown Detroit Days actually began back in the 1950's when Woodward Ave. was buzzing with people. Thanks to the great businesses downtown and events like this, the street is starting to buzz again. So rather than shopping in the mall this weekend, enjoy one of the last weekends of summer while shopping outside in Downtown Detroit. If you head down on Friday you can even grab a bite to eat from the El Guapo food truck! Once your done shopping, I suggest heading down the road a few blocks to Foran's Grand Trunk for a delicious Michigan beer. Definitely one of my favorite bars in town!


Who Better to Share a Wednesday Night With Than Wiccans, Bill Bondsmen and Weed Nap?

Wednesday night we got a chance to see our friends in Bill Bondsmen play again, and they definitely didn't disappoint. The guys hit the stage at PJ's Lager House in support of Wiccans, a touring band in town from Texas. It was a great night for punk rock and a great night to grab a $2 PBR and sit on the patio at the Lager House.
Although Bill Bondsmen didn't disappoint, we disappointed ourselves. We really wanted to check out Weed Nap, whom we still haven't had a chance to see. Unfortunately we took our sweet ass time getting down there and missed them. We definitely need to make it a point to check them out the next time they play and you should too. Keep on eye on their Facebook page or on our calendar to find out when they are playing next. As of right now, the soonest we saw listed was October 13th with Teenage Bottlerocket at The Magic Stick.

Wiccans hit the stage very shortly after Bill Bondsmen finished their set. This band was definitely a crowd pleaser. Chairs were thrown, box fans were tossed around and 'woofs' were heard from the audience. Definitely one of the rowdier shows we've been to in a while, but it was all in good fun. 
Both bands put on a great show and we're sure Weed Nap was awesome too! (Sorry guys!) Bill Bondsmen will be hitting the stage again on Saturday for Tesco Fest at The Magic Stick, along side Hellmouth, Golden Torso, Against The Grain and many more. This is a Black Iris show, so you know it will be a good time. Tickets are $15 in advance or $17 at the door, but it sounds like they are going fast. Bill Bondsmen will have their new limited edition 7" on hand, which is also going fast. So make sure you get there early to scoop that up! Keep an eye out for more details on Tesco Fest very soon!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

No Grave Like The Sea Friday Night @ The Berkley Front

I always like to make our readers aware when there is a show rolling through town that I think you may be interested in. So I wanted to let you know about a few bands coming to town August 17th. The Berkley Front will be hosting No Grave Like The Sea, Home and Garden and Jon Langford for one night for all to see. An old friend Shawn McGuire (former Michigander) made me aware of the show and some of the history that will be on stage that evening. 
Tony Maimone is a bass player from Brooklyn, and is a former member of Pere Ubu, from the mid-1970’s to the early 90's. During this time he was known for being part of one of the best rhythm sections in rock and roll. Pere Ubu is a band from Ohio that boasts many members that have come and gone through the years. They were known for their unique sound, which was described as a mix of garage rock and surf music. Tony not only recorded Pere Ubu and played in the band, but he also recorded Jon Langford and the Mekons, of which Langford was once a member. John was the drummer for the Mekons and since the mid-1980’s he has been known for his unique style of punk rock that incorporates folk and country into the sound. 

Mr. Maimone will be playing in Home and Garden and No Grave like the Sea at the Berkley Front and Jon will be preforming as himself. Basically all of these musicians have known and played with each other in some capacity in the past, and on August 17th they will all be meeting up to perform for you. This show promises to be good and will showcase a lot of different backgrounds and talents.  

Check out Home and Garden and No Grave Like The Sea and head out on the 17th to see a little piece of musical history combine on stage.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gettin' Down & Dirty at Dirt Fest!

This past Saturday the weekend took us on a short road trip. We drove up I-75 to Birch Run, but not to go to the outlet stores. Instead we were there for a day of drinking, fun, and oh yeah there was some music too!

Saturday was Dirt Fest 2012 featuring  a bunch of awesome bands including Clutch, Chiodos, Wilson and The Scenery. At first the weather had us a little worried, but the rain stayed away for most of the day. The show was a huge hit, thanks to the hard work of  Matt Dalton, along with his family and crew. Here are some pictures highlighting the day, along with a couple of songs from The Scenery and Bye Bye Birdy. (Special thanks to the beautiful and talented Jennica!)


If you missed out on Dirt Fest this year, don't you worry. It will be back around next year. If you can't wait until then, there is another great festival this weekend. It is presented by some of the same great folks, with a couple of the same great bands plus many, many more. Motors & Music Experience will be making its way to The Pontiac Silverdome this Sunday. The lineup includes Chiodos, Stone Temple Pilots and Mayer Hawthorne, just to name a few. For a full lineup, click here

Great job to all of the bands and people involved with Dirt Fest. It was a ton of fun! And thanks to everyone that hung out with us Saturday! We hope you had as much fun as we did! 


It's Time to Get Out Your Laughing Shoes Again!

I am a huge fan of stand up, improv and anything to do with comedy. It would be really cool if we could start to build a bigger comedy community in the Detroit area. Currently there are not many places that host local comedians around here. Off the top of my head, I can think of just a few...Go Comedy in Ferndale, Planet Ant in Hamtramck, and Comedy Castle in Royal Oak. Not many places to go work on your material in front of a crowd and perfect your skills. There are a lot of funny people in Metro Detroit looking for a way to showcase their talents. So, I am making a point to tell my readers about local shows so that we can start to build that community.


That's why Motor City Improv has started a monthly event at the Park Bar in Detroit. They have gathered together 7 performers, including Tim Kay, Joe Davis, Lesley Braden, Billy Zakolski, Rich Grenwick, Matt Klug and Dave Landau, to perform for you this Thursday, August 16th. Doors are at 7:30 and the show starts at 8 o'clock. It is only $3 to get in for the night and there is a bar inside The Elizabeth Theatre so that you can kick back with a couple of cocktails while you enjoy the acts. The show features games such as Oxygen, Deprivation, ABC Mousetraps, Hot Sauce and Winning Moment. I have to be honest, I am not familiar with these specific games, but I am sure that they would be fun and interesting to see. 

We will keep you updated as we learn about more dates and shows. We encourage you to go out and support both local musicians and comedians!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bat On Fire At The Magic Stick This Thursday!

A few weeks ago we followed P.T.'s Revenge and watched as they performed at one of the 2 shows that they have played in the last 7 years. They showed us they still have amazing talent and style and can still get a crowd moving. That night we sat down with drummer John Kay and learned a little more about him and the other projects that he is involved with and we wanted to share what we found with all of you!
Not only is John a professional producer, engineer and musician, but he's a bad ass drummer who plays in an intense metal band called Bat On Fire. The band has been compared to a few of my favorites including Mastodon, Pantera, Tool and The Mars Volta.
Bat On Fire has been playing since 2006 and consists of John Kay on drums, Karlos Kowaleski on vocals, Joe Allen on guitar, John Able on bass and Michael Hopper on guitar. They have 2 full length albums out and a new album planned for release in 2012/2013 titled "Jack The Ripper". They are known for putting on great live shows much like P.T.'s Revenge does.  

In the meantime, check out their first song from 'Jack The Ripper' here:


Thanks to Black Iris Booking, you can check them out live this week and see how amazing they are for yourself. They are playing Thursday, August 16 at the Magic Stick with My Ticket Home, Eyes Set to Kill, Awaken the Empire and The Worst Of. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. We definitely recommend checking out Bat on Fire!



Monday, August 13, 2012

Get My Fash On At Trashion

Friday night I dragged one of my favorite friends/guitar players, Bryce Carroll-Coe (Thigh High Roots), out with me and we attended the Trashion art exhibit opening at Whitdel Arts in Detroit. We were able to walk around and snap some pictures as we talked with each of the designers about their particular pieces. There were items made from all sorts of materials including plastic, roof tiles and pizza boxes, with garments ranging from hats, to necklaces, to full dresses. 

I was particularly impressed with the dress that designer Kelly Lynne made. The bodice was made of different pieces or found objects from the streets of Detroit, but with a little time and spray paint it became a gorgeous corset that I would actually wear! 

I also loved what Tiffany Best did. she took patches and made the most gorgeous avante garde look I have ever seen! It reminded me of something that Lady Gaga would wear, or maybe a modern version of a patchy gladiator. 

The pizza box hats, especially the Detroit D, really stood out to me as not only being creative but funny and awesome at the same time. 

The opening was very nice and there was a large group of people in attendance. The show runs now until September 1st from Noon 'till 3 p.m. or by appointment. For more information or to set up a private viewing, you can email Rebecca at

Check out our full article with more details about the show here. Also, don’t forget to check out Kelly Lynne’s full fashion show with her fall line on September 23rd at the Detroit Design Festival. We will be giving you more details about that as it gets closer, but mark your calendars now!