Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Far From Running Out Of Places To Go

Hometown heroes The Swellers are returning to Michigan this month after traveling across the world. They are playing November 10th at the Magic Stick with a solid lineup of bands. If you follow them on Facebook or Twitter, you already know that they have been everywhere from Australia to Shanghai. They also recently put out their first independent release sans label restrictions and rules called “Running Out of Places to Go.” Their music has grown up, and so have they. 
Somehow Ryan Collins got hotter and Nick Diener's vocals became fuller, cleaner and more enticing. Combined with the talent of Ando Boros and Jonathan Diener, I believe the band put out their best music to date. The music is a little less pop punk and a little more rock and roll, but also more technical and interesting than their previous releases. This album to me is a tease, 5 songs is too short of a glimpse into a fuller sounding band showcasing what they do best. 

To top it all off, the band made this record on their own. They recorded it with the help of Mark Michalik inside Nick's home and at 37 Studios. It shows that without a label this band is willing and able to mature and grow as artists and are far from reaching their peak. 

Before they return home we wanted to talk to Ryan Collins, an old friend to some of us here at Hip In Detroit, but also an amazing example of where your dreams will take you if you are talented and willing to follow your heart. You can download the EP here, but first see what Ryan had to say about himself, The Swellers and all the places he has yet to go. 

hipindetroit- What did it feel like to record a record on your own without the support and rules that comes with being backed by a record company?

Ryan- It was great! By doing the record ourselves there was no pressure at all to reach any deadlines. It was the most laid back recording experience we have ever had. I think I got all my stuff done in like four hours!

hipindetroit- Was this a positive or negative experience for you?

Ryan- Very positive. Being able to record all your parts and then getting to go home right after was pretty sweet! We liked the process so much that we might even do our new album the same way.

hipindetroit- What was the process behind the scenes when you were writing the new material for the EP “Running out of Places to go”?

Ryan- Well pretty much we are never home to practice or jam out new material. A good chunk of this EP was written on the road in the van and the other was when we were on break from tours. The thing with our band is that we are always writing!

hipindetroit- How do you feel that this music differs from the previous albums that you have put out in the past?

Ryan- I feel that Running Out of Places to Go is our strongest material to date. With the previous records we were still trying to figure out what kind of direction we wanted to take the band and I feel like we finally nailed it. We took what we do the best on each record and made the best five songs that we could.

hipindetroit- What bands have you enjoyed touring with the most over the years? Any specific groups or tours come to mind?

Ryan- Oh man there are too many too count! Some of our biggest shows we have ever played were with Paramore in Indonesia and that was insane! We also just recently toured with Strung Out and that was a big one for me because I'm a super fan! Oh and we played a Fest in Europe with Rancid!! Too many good bands out there!

hipindetroit- What is it like to tour other countries? What is your favorite memory from this last tour in Australia or any of the other places you have gone?

Ryan- Being in other countries is such an amazing experience! Just being able to say I've been around the world just from playing my guitar is so crazy to me. It also seems like people appreciate music more overseas than the US. They aren't worried about stupid scenes or being seen at certain shows. They come for the music and to have a good time. I'd have to say my favorite memory was playing Bali, Indonesia with Paramore. That place was so beautiful and we had the best time! Oh and we visited that whale wars ship that's on TV in Australia. They invited us on to take a tour and have lunch with the crew!

hipindetroit- You have been on tour for a good part of the last 10 years, what is the best and the worst part about being on tour? 

Ryan- Well the best part of my day on tour is obviously playing the show! I'd have to say that being away from friends and family is the worst part. Touring full time is such a sacrifice and well sometimes you miss important things back home that you just can't attend.

hipindetroit- Is coming home and playing Michigan a positive or negative experience for you?

Ryan- Playing at home whether its in Detroit or Flint has always been great for us! We have such great fans but there is nothing like a hometown crowd. The last show we did in Flint was sold out and that was one of my favorite shows!

hipindetroit- What is it like to basically live with three other men in vans for most of the year?

Ryan- Very smelly and hot. Things get weird.

hipindetroit- What is your favorite fast food or chain restaurant to eat at when you are on the road?

Ryan- That would have to be Taco Bell. Nick and Jono are Vegan so that has the best options for all of us. Plus they hooked us up with Taco Bell bucks!

hipindetroit- What is the future of the Swellers?

Ryan- After this tour we are off for the rest of the year! Shortly after the new year we are shooting to tour Europe and then following it up with one in the States. Plus we will be working on a new record which will hopefully be coming out this summer!

hipindetroit- Because we grew up together I know that this music was what you always wanted to do, are you happy that this is how you make your living?

Ryan- Yes this has been one of the best choices in my life! I'm so lucky and honored to have been able to travel the world and to have met so many great people and bands along the way.

hipindetroit- What bands are you currently listening to both local and major label wise?

Ryan- There is a band who we are taking out on our headliner called Diamond Youth who are amazing! I've also been rocking Living With Lions, Strung Out, Title Fight, A Wilhelm Scream, Deftones, and Such Gold.

hipindetroit- What advice do you have for the kids out there that want to grow up to be like you someday?

Ryan- Just stick with it. The touring and music scene has changed over the years but as long as you love what you do there is nothing greater than accomplishing what you set out to do.


Guns N' Roses, Metallica & Faith No More at The Loving Touch

Creepy Cheapy was a blast this year! The idea of having local musicians dress up as famous musicians is really entertaining and fun. Having a sing along to some of your favorite hits with your friends is always the best. 
I especially enjoyed Huey Lewis, Metallica, Deftones and Led Zeppelin. If you missed Bahamut as Metallica I have some good news for you, they will be playing a completely new set this Thursday with Faith No More and Guns N' Roses. Well, not the real bands, but cover versions of each of those bands.

Thursday, November 1st at 9 p.m. at The Loving Touch, October Rain will perform as Guns N Roses. This group consists of members of The Suicide Machines, Fordirelifesake, The Grande Nationals and The Hard Lessons. Disposable Heroes will perform as Metallica and will be played by members of Bahamut. The Woodpeckers from Mars will perform as Faith No More and will consist of members from Golden Torso, Old Gods, The Meatmen and ex-Chapstik. Lots of Detroit’s favorite musicians will be preforming under the same roof for one night only.

The best part is that this is only $5 or FREE with your best 80’s arena rock outfit! Time to put on those ripped jeans, a t-shirt and tie a bandanna around your head, leg or neck! Make sure that if
you do not dress in 80's rock that you wear a costume because it is a costume party and one more chance to break out your outfit before the seasons over.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dance Zombie Dance!

It seems that Ferndale is the place to be this Devil's Night. Not only is it Snakewing's 4th Anniversary Show at The Grasshopper Underground, but right across the street there will be zombies dancing until the wee hours of the morning. The 9th Annual Zombie Dance Party happens tonight at The Loving Touch in Ferndale. The party is the brain child of Carey Gustafson, also the mastermind behind Glass Action!. This year she has teamed up with Tuesdays in the Forest and Halloween Beer Fest for a night you won't forget. 

I had the pleasure of working at a Zombie Dance Party a few years back. One word of advice I have for you is join in on the fun! Plan on being a zombie tonight! I was one of the very few not in costume at that year's party and I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb. One of the greatest things about this party though is that you don't have to walk through the door as a full zombie. You can come in your zombie garb and then have your face transformed on site by the "Zombinator". That's right, a bunch of professionals will be on hand to make sure you look like the best zombie around! They actually have a "monster menu" for you to peruse and pick just the look you want. 

Obviously since this is a dance party that means there must be music. The tunes for tonight are being provided by The Trashy Troggs, Betty Cooper and Toxic Alley Pit Crawl along with DJ sets by DJ Dave Lawson and Mike Trombley! There will be tons of W.A.B. beers on tap for the night and even some beer specials. The party starts at 9 p.m. and is only $7. Sorry little kiddies, this is only for zombies that are 21+.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Spend Devil's Night With the Devils in Snakewing

Are you looking to hear some good music and have some cheap drinks this week? If your answer is yes, then I have just the event for you. Tomorrow, October 30th, Snakewing is celebrating their 4th anniversary by headlining a show with special guests The A-Gang, The Armed and DJ Mikey Dufour. 
They are playing at a new (to me) venue called The Grasshopper Underground, which is located at 22757 Woodward Avenue in Ferndale. The doors are at 8 p.m. and there is only a $5 cover for the night. They are running specials on beers throughout the evening to keep your party raging.

Snakewing is heavy, angry music that gets the crowd moving. It is fitting that their anniversary and this show coincided with devils night because they are metal as fuck and represent all the things that you think of when you think of Devil's Night in Detroit. Members Chris, Phil, Kevin and Nick always show us a good time and put on a great show. They also have some of the best merch around so make sure to stop by the table and check it out. I love the shirts that were designed by Shawn Knight of Child Bite. 

The A-Gang is another one of my favorite local bands. They are a little less abrasive than Snakewing, but every bit as interesting. They have more of a punk overtone to their music and lead singer Wedge has always been one of my very favorite front men since his days with Fordirelifesake. They are also known to put on an interesting, energetic and fun live show.

Check out our previous interview with both Snakewing here and The A-Gang here (make links to both) and we hope to see you on Devils night to celebrate the anniversary of Snakewing and the night of the living dead.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Battle at the Belle Disc Golf Tournament

This weekend there is something a little different going on at Belle Isle. The Battle at the Belle is a disc golf tournament going on today and tomorrow. There was a group started last year to get a disc golf team and course on Belle Isle and they have been working with the city and having events to raise money for their cause. 
This weekends Battle at the Belle is not only a tournament, though. There are tons of bands playing, food and drink vendors, artists performances and activities for kids. So if you're not into the whole disc golf thing, there will be plenty of fun things to do!

We caught up with one of the people in charge, Kate, and asked her a few questions to learn more about the tournament as well as the whole cause. 

HipinDetroit- So, why build a course on Belle Isle? What made you choose Belle Isle as opposed to an already existing course somewhere else?

Kate- Belle Isle is a really beautiful spot in Detroit that hasn't had much action in a long time and we'd like to see it become alive again. We thought that if we created a disc golf course in the city, it would bring some positive change into Detroit. A disc golf course on Belle Isle would be a destination for disc golfers and families from around the region as well as provide a safe and low-cost activity to the local community. 

HipinDetroit- The whole thing started last year. How far into the process have you gotten in getting the course in place? Has the city been easy to work with on this?

Kate- With the support of Parks and Recreation on Belle Isle, we hope to open an 18 hole disc golf course on Belle Isle during the summer of 2013. The city, especially the Belle Isle staff, has been very supportive and great to work with in our efforts to install the course. 

HipinDetroit- I'll be honest, I hadn't even heard of disc golf until a few years ago. A lot of my friends play and it does sound like fun, but I have to ask, why disc golf? Since there isn't any disc golf there already, do you think it will have a big draw and bring more people into the city on a regular basis?

Kate- Well, it's fairly simple, we love disc golf and we strive to spread that love. Other courses in the region receive about 40,000 attendees annually and we are confident Belle Isle has the same potential. We believe a course on Belle Isle will not only bring more people into the city but also introduce the sport to people who already live in Detroit. It will give everyone an opportunity to become a part of the disc golf community and spread the love of disc golf. 

HipinDetroit- To raise money for the course, you are having tournaments and you there is one coming up this weekend. How much is it? What do people need to know to play? 

Kate- The Battle at the Belle event this weekend is a combination of a disc golf tournament, live music, activities for kids, vendors, and raffles in an effort to raise as much money as possible for the installation of a permanent 18-hole course on Belle Isle. It costs $10 per day to come out as a spectator and enjoy the activities and some recreational disc golf on the temporary course we have set up. 

HipinDetroit- Saturday is not only a tournament, though. What other fun things are going on that day?

Kate- With regards to the disc golf tournament, there will be two rounds of singles on Saturday and one round of doubles on Sunday. Saturday's tournament has already sold out. However, Sunday doubles is still open at $20. All players in the tournament receive a players pack, which includes a Belle Isle shirt and a disc. Special offers can be found at the following link: 

As mentioned above, we have many additional activities including live music with a list of great local artists, an area with activities for kids, food trucks, recreational disc golf, and raffles. In general, we're ready to dance and have an awesome time with everybody! 

HipinDetroit- If people are not able to make it out to support your cause this weekend, is there another way to donate towards the disc golf course?

Kate- If you cannot make it out Saturday or Sunday and you still want to help, donations can be made through the following website: 

HipinDetroit- We like to ask everyone we talk to what there favorite places in Detroit are. With the obvious exception of Belle Isle, what are your favorite venues, restaurants, bars, etc.?

Kate- Some personal favorites are TV Bar, Exodus, The Russell Industrial Center, Bucharest, Detroit One Coney Island... Pretty much any spot where innovative and fun activities are going on in addition to good spots for food. 

The disc golf course sounds like a great way to get people into the city more and I don't think any of us can deny that Belle Isle really is a beautiful spot that needs some more attention. We here at Hip in Detroit really appreciate people who do creative things like this to help out the city. I just might have to finally try out disc golf! This weekend will probably be one of the last really nice ones weather-wise, so everyone should really take adavntage and go hang out at Belle Isle!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Movies, Movies, Movies!

It's the time of year for scary movies, and now that it feels like fall again, it's the perfect time to cozy up with some popcorn and sour patch kids and watch some classics. This weekend there are a fewo pretty awesome movies to see at the theatre.
The movies start off tonight with Evil Dead at my new favorite theatre, The Redford Theatre. Not only do you get to see the Sam Raimi classic at the original theatre it opened at, but the makeup and special effects artist for the movie, Tom Sullivan, will be there to answer questions and introduce the movie. You can't go wrong with it since it only costs $5!
The Redford continues the classics on Saturday with a Buster Keaton double feature. They will be showing the short "Haunted House" and then "The Cat and the Canary." These silent films should be a good mix of spooky and funny. Saturday night will be $12 for both movies and will start at 8 p.m. with the awesome organ music. Trust me, he plays some good stuff!

I've been waiting for the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak to play The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and they are finally doing it this weekend. They will have midnight showings tonight and Saturday night for $7. If you've never been to a theatre to see Rocky Horror Picture Show, you're missing out on SO much. So brush up your Time Warp dancing skills and get your butts over there this weekend. Oh, and dress up while you're in the mood. Halloween is the perfect excuse to finally bust out that corset you've had stowed away. If Tim Curry can do it, so can you!

Just to get you in the mood:


Ryan Dillaha at the Lager House Tonight!

I like to make sure that we cover all the music that is happening around the area weather its punk, rock and roll or in this case, good, old fashioned country. Local artist Ryan Dillaha is having a release party to celebrate a new 7 inch this today, October 26th at the Lager House at 9 p.m.

This release is the latest and greatest from Motorcity Special. He is playing for just $5 with Eric Kelly and the Crooked Little Reasons, and John Holk and the Kinfolk. Ryan can be categorized as a mix of bluegrass, folk and new-age country with a little bit of rock and roll. 

We were sent a video of the song that is going to be released on the 7 inch and we really liked it so we wanted to let our readers see the video, hear the song and know about the show. 
If you’re looking to see some real down home Detroit talent today, make sure to get to the Lager House and check him out. We also found a YouTube video for a song called “Detroit City” that we think would make a great sing along if performed live! Should be a great show!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

A New Band, The New Trust and a Couple of Old Favorites

This Monday you have a chance to see a great touring band and an amazing new Detroit band play along side some of your favorite locals. The Summer Pledge will be hosting a show at The Loving Touch with The New Trust (California), HauntedHouse and Meadower.

The New Trust is an indie rock 3 piece, 2/3 of which is female. We always dig bands with girls in them. So needless to say, we are excited to check them out on Monday. Dustin from The Summer Pledge seems even more pumped than we are about seeing these guys and playing with them. Check out the event page to see exactly what I mean. The band is currently on their fifth U.S. tour, but it's been a while since they've traveled the whole country. They last time they ventured across the entire US of A was back in 2008. Check out their newest single "Wretched and Unwanted" below.

The other band you may not have heard about yet on this bill is HauntedHouse. Although you might not have heard of the band, I'm sure you have heard of everyone in it. The band includes Mark Smak, Brian Connely, Joe Walmsley and Jeff Supina, who have all been in numerous other bands you definitely have heard of including Deastro, The Weakend and Glossies, just to name a few. I recently had the pleasure of working with these guys on another project. (Keep your eyes peeled for that to appear on the internet in the next couple of days.) To say that I was impressed by this band would be an understatement. Make sure you check out their set on Monday. You will love it. Here's a demo video they did a while back.

And, as all of you know by now, we LOVE The Summer Pledge and we're pretty geeked on seeing Meadower too! It's only $5 to catch this killer lineup on Monday. Doors to The Loving Touch open at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 10. Don't be late! You'd be a fool to miss any of these bands!


Slow Jams 4 Year Anniversary Party!!!

If you live in the Metro Detroit area and you have not been to Slow Jams yet, you should be ashamed of yourself. I have been trying to tell people about Monday nights at Woodbridge Pub ever since we started
this site. Not only is it one of my favorite weekly gatherings, but it is host to the best DJs that this city has to offer. Erno the Inferno and Eastside Jon are the masters of ceremonies every week and they occasionally invite guest DJs, like Steven Robert, to play for an hour or two. I always say, if you want to get a true downtown experience while listening to some of the best music Motown has to offer, this is the place to be.

This Monday, Slow Jams will be celebrating their 4 Year Anniversary with a giant Halloween dance party. What better way to kick off your Halloween week than to meet your friends at the bar and dance the
night away? This week they have invited DJ Head to come on board and join them for the night. They also got Woodbridge to run some pretty sick drink specials, including a $5 for a shot and a beer and $2 Strohs, Highlife, and Pabst.

The party starts at 10 p.m. and as always there is no cover! It doesn’t get better than this! Hope to dance with all of you this Monday and every other Monday at Woodbridge.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Perfect Time of Year for "Smashing Pumpkins"

The Smashing Pumpkins returned to Detroit and no one was there to see it. The saddest part is that this was an amazing show from start to finish and those that did not attend (which as I told you was everyone) really missed out. The lighting and stage setup were epic and the video that was projected onto a large, round, moon shaped, white ball was perfectly timed with all 2+ hours of music that the band played.

Personally, I have been listening to and enjoying the new album, "Oceania", so I was pleased when I heard that they would be playing it from start to finish before they busted out their hits. Billy’s voice is as good as it was when they first hit the scene in the 90’s. In fact, after years of practice, I would dare to say that it is even better. When he screams into that microphone, I am instantly transported to the first time I heard "Siamese Dream" and I fall into lust with him all over again. He is by far one of the best guitar players that I have ever seen live and I was very impressed with the drummer’s skills, especially when playing some of the more technical songs. The female bass player is essentially a hotter, younger, better dressed version of Darcy and she can sing like an angel. She had me staring at her the whole night; I would have liked to take that leopard skirt she was wearing off of her.

The crowd seemed quite angry half way through "Oceania". Apparently they did not know that Billy was going to make you hear what he has been doing before you could hear what he has already done. Once he was finally done with "Oceania", he blew my mind by breaking into "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. I was raised on Bowie and hearing Billy sing it was the climax of the night for me. They finally ended the night with the songs that everyone else was waiting for and the crowd perked up. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned sing along to "Tonight, Tonight" to turn a crowd back on your side.

Billy has grown up a lot. He is not the guy that yelled at the crowd at the Fillmore a few years ago and acted like he was too good for us. Despite the small crowd, he seemed to appreciate the people that were there and gave them a show. He talked about the Tigers, the Lions and his favorite team, the Bears. He related to the crowd and thanked them at the end of the night for coming out and watching the band play. If and when they come back, I will be there. He has officially redeemed himself in my eyes.

Here’s a few pictures taken with a camera phone by me and my friend Aaron Peek. We couldn’t get a real camera into the show, but we wanted to share what we could. 

Photo Credit: Aaron Peek 
Make sure to check out for some real photos of the show and another in depth review with pictures on Poptropolis.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

American Hardcore Tribute Series II

American Hardcore Tribute Series II is bringing you some of the best metal bands this town has to offer and two super exclusive 7" albums that will be available for one night only. Small's and Black Iris Booking present Hellmouth, Golden Torso, Old Gods and Child Bite all together for one night under one roof. This is by far the most metal show of the year and is a guaranteed good night. To top it off, all of these amazing bands will be playing some of your favorites from Dead Kennedys and Misfits! Here's some background on the bands playing Thursday night.

Hellmouth is here to bring back a time when music actually meant something. They assert that music has lost all integrity and become soft. They are here to bring back the fear, anger, and honesty that they feel once existed. They currently have three albums, “Destroy Everything. Worship Nothing”, “The Demo 08” and "Gravestone Skylines". They were released in limited quantities and once sold out will likely not be repressed, according to the band.

Golden Torso is a band born out of other bands, known for being topless and getting a crowd moving. They describe themselves as three chubby dudes and one little man. They rock harder than most bands around, even if one of the guys is on the smaller side.

Old Gods is the brainchild of Jeff Tuttle, former guitar player for Dillinger Escape Plan. He joined forces with former Heads Will Roll teammate, Derek Swanson, and friends Randall K. and Tony W. to create this new entity and some new music. They just released their first record on Forge Again Records, appropriately titled "Old Gods" and it can be found on their bandcamp.

Child Bite is known for great music, an amazing website, and thanks to artist Shawn Knight, some of the best looking merchandise I have ever seen. Their latest release is called "Monomania" and is available at

The best part of this whole event is that the first 250 people who enter the door will receive a copy of the two previously mentioned 7" albums, one of which is Dead Kennedys covers and the other is Misfits covers.

The American Hardcore Tribute Series II is October 25 at Small's in Hamtramck. It is $12 dollars at the door and pre-sale tickets are available at Doors are at 8 p.m. and all ages are welcome! This is a don’t miss event!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Have You Heard About P.A.N. Shop Yet?

We've been hearing about the P.A.N. Shop a lot lately, but we weren't really sure what it was exactly. They have an awesome show coming up tomorrow, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to contact them and find more out about what they are and what they do there. It sounds like a pretty cool place, but I'll let Jesse from the shop explain a bit better what they are all about.
HipinDetroit- So, what is P.A.N. Shop exactly? I think heard it was a tattoo shop and now you have shows there, but your Facebook lists a few other fun things... 

Jesse- Wellll the P.A.N. Shop (PS) has never been a tattoo shop. It was originally supposed to be skate and novelty store. Unfortunately the economy just isn't strong enough in South Warren. Sooooo PS has just served as my studio and mini fun factory. It pretty much serves whatever purpose I need it to. Usually though I'm just listening to music through the P.A. involved in some various art project such as: painting (spray, brush, ink, etc.) woodburning a skateboard, carving, sketching and on. 

HipinDetroit- You've had some really good bands playing there lately. How long have you had shows there? How did that get started? 

Jesse- We pretty much just started having bands, out of boredom I think ha. Nawww jk. I've been in bands all my life, it's something I enjoy being close to. Honestly the sound is amazing. Break Anchor practices here and it sounds so clear, like this building was made for punk rock music. 

HipinDetroit- Who is playing the show Saturday, October 20? What time, how much is it? 

Jesse- Fires in Japan, Down Down Down, Standard Issue, The Flaks and The Marshall Cardinals. Doors are 7 p.m. 18+ and $5 donation. 

HipinDetroit- We always ask people we talk to what their favorite places to go in Detroit are. What are your favorite bars, venues, restaurants, etc.? 

Jesse- Corktown, Lager House, Byblo's, Comet and R.I.P. 2500 Club to name a few. 

HipinDetroit- What is the best way for people to find out what shows and other things you have going on? 

Jesse- Keep your eyes open or like P.A.N. Shop on Facebook!!!!!!! 

Between Toepfer House and P.A.N. Shop, Warren is really becoming the place to go for a good show! I can't wait to check out PS. Make sure to head there on Saturday for what is sure to be an awesome show!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Interview With Golden Torso

Last week we caught up with the goofballs in Golden Torso the first night of Small's Anniversary weekend. After we talked to them, they put on an awesome show. Check out their interview and a song from their set to see what you missed!

You can catch Golden Torso again on Thursday, October 25 at Small's again along with Hellmouth, Old Gods and Child Bite for what is sure to be another crazy show! 

Another Awesome Show at the Toepfer House

Friday night you have a chance to see 5 great bands for just a buck a piece. Even better yet, the show is at the Toepfer House, so you won't be spending an arm and a leg on beer either!
We've mentioned the Toepfer House to you several times before. It's a great house, full of great people and a great place to see a show. This time around, the bill is full of regulars to the venue as well as some bands that should bring some new blood out to these basement shows.

The night includes Against the Grain, Break Anchor, All Eyes West, Dick Hickey and Destroy This Place. I must say, I was quite surprised to see Destroy This Place on the flyer, but surprised in a good way! We've been telling a lot of our friends to head out to the Toepfer House for a while now and maybe now, they will finally make it there!

Even though this is a basement show, you won't be surrounded by a bunch of teeny-boppers that make you feel like you are a million years old. It's a bunch of "grown-ups", having a good time, enjoying some bands. Just remember, you are an adult and this is someone's home... so don't be a dick! It's awesome to see people opening their houses up for shows again and we don't want to make them change their mind!

The Toepfer House is located in South Warren off Van Dyke at 8741 Toepfer. It is BYOB and there are plenty of liquor stores in the area for you to stop at on your way. The show starts at 7 p.m. and all the bands are awesome! So make sure you get there early and plan on staying late so you don't miss anyone! For all the details on this show, visit the Facebook event page here.


Metal on a Fucking Boat!

October is my favorite time of year and I am happy to see that Detroit is stepping it up with all the fall celebrations and events happening around town. Not only can you attend Theatre Bizarre on the 20th and Creepy Cheapy on the 25th, but I found another event that all you fall lovers might enjoy.
This Friday, October 19th, the Detroit Princess is hosting Metal on the River. Battlecross, Bat on Fire, Underneath It All, Detroit Voodoo and Forsake the Fallen are scheduled to play during the voyage. This is one of the coolest ideas that I have seen executed in a long time. The idea of listening to great music while having a few drinks on a boat absolutely turns me on. 

Those that attend the event will be able to board the boat at 6 p.m. and it will launch at 7 p.m. There is a cash bar on the boat along with food service. The cost of admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the dock. The Hard Edge will be broadcasting from the boat from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Battlecross was recently signed to Metal Blade Records in 2011. Their latest release on that label is called “Pursuit of Honor” and was put out August 2011. The single “Push Pull Destroy" was the top requested song for 5 weeks on Sirius liquid metal. They are known for their technical talent and epic live shows. They are not going to disappoint the avid metal fan. 

Bat on Fire was started in 2005 and is known for blending hard rock, progressive metal and music theory to create metal that will burn your ears out. Their newest EP is called "The Raft of the Medusa" and was released in 2010. They are currently in the studio working to finish their next full length album. We cannot wait to see what they bring to the table with this next one, but in the meantime we think you should catch them live. You can check out video from the band here:

For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Arrows Album Review

Today, Arrows released their first EP to the world. It is music a long time in the making with a group of musicians who not only ooze talent, but are formerly from Detroit. Members James Walmsley and Aaron Bryan are Detroiters who have found a new home in Omaha. Recently they joined forces with Joshua Foo, Kyle Petersen and Scott Micheels to create Arrows. 

Arrows was first brought to my attention when they posted some of the most creative band photos that I have ever seen. Essentially they took three kinds of wrapping paper and created a back drop for each band member to stand in front of. Then they took the same paper and created an elaborate outfit for each musician and put them in front of an opposing backdrop to shoot the pictures. Whoever the “seamstress” was is a genius. Not only was this eye-catching but demonstrated to me that these guys know how to think outside the box. 
That’s exactly what their first release is to me- outside the box. So many bands are doing the same thing that when you hear something different, your ears perk up with excitement. I received the EP last week and listened to it over and over again so that I could give you a detailed description of the music, but the truth is, it's just good music. Some of it is slow and some of it is dance music. Some of the lyrics are fun and some of them are serious. My favorite tracks are “Midwestern Beach Fantasy” and “The Moon”. Both of them got me moving in my chair. 

I also love their use of piano and other sound effects in the music. Piano will always be one of my favorite instruments, second only to drums. I thought this CD went especially well with car rides, the music flooded my ears in surround sound and made me smile on the way to work in the morning. 
The album can be purchased here. I can’t tell you about the technical aspects of the music that make it great or what key it was written in, but I can tell you that this is great music that you will love and will not regret purchasing. I hope that they return home to play a show sooner than later because I want to see what these guys can do live.


Calling All Bands & Filmmakers!

The 48 Hour Film Project is a crazy weekend where a team you put together writes, shoots, edits and scores a movie. The teams are provided with a character, prop, line of dialogue and a genre that must be used within the film. You get all the details that Friday night, and have to turn the finished product in 48 hours later. Then about a week later, all the movies are screened in a theatre and a winner is selected. I have some friends that have done this, and it sounds like it can be crazy. The 48 Hour Film Project takes place all over the world. They say that in 2012 alone over 50,000 filmmakers will make almost 4,000 films in 120 cities on 6 continents. That's a lot of movies. 
Now that you know a little about that, there is a related project going on in Detroit this year- The 48 Hour Music Video Project. Detroit filmmakers and bands/musicians/songwriters will be paired up, given a prop to use and 48 hours to make a music video from scratch.

Sound interesting? Anyone can register, you just need to provide a high quality recording of an original song. At the kickoff of the project, the film teams will draw 2 bands and choose one to work with for it. Then the teams get 48 hours to design, shoot and edit the videos and drop then off by Sunday night. The music videos (all of them- late and on time) will be screened in a theatre for all to see! 

Registration is underway and the project will be going on in Detroit November 9-11. If filmmaking teams register by Monday, October 22, they get the early bird discount price of $95. The regular registration rate is $125. If you participated in the 48 Hour Film Project in 2012, you get a $25 discount, too! Early bird registration for bands is $190 and also needs to be completed by Monday, October 22. The regular rate for bands is $220. 

If you're interested and want to learn more, you can visit their site here. Good luck to those who enter! We look forward to seeing what you come up with!


After 32 Years, a Popular Detroit Publication Shakes it up!

Today, when you go to grab your weekly Metro Times, you might be a little surprised by something. After 32 years the publication has undergone a transformation with the help of Skidmore Studio, the same studio that brings you Free Art Friday Detroit every week. Take a sneak peek at the new cover:
The months long process involved designers from both Skidmore Studio and Metro Times. After taking an analytical look at the functionality and user experience, they pushed the design of the publication away from a traditional format into a more magazine-style layout. The team redesigned the cover, masthead, section headers, article layouts, ad specs and much more. 

The new design will be on display starting today and is available at over 1,600 locations around metro Detroit. 
To really commemorate this transformation, there will be a celebration at the Drinks x Design Party on Friday, October 19. The party will be the season closer for Drinks x Design and is at the Madison Building in Detroit from 5:30- 8 p.m. 

Drinks x Design is a monthly open studio brought to you by Detroit Creative Corridor Center, Metro Times and Quicken Loans. The intent of the event is to build new relationships that could lead to employment and that prove Detroit to be a center for design and creative innovation.

So, go on. Check it out! I know the geeky graphic designer in me can't wait to see the new layout!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Win Tickets to see Riverboat Gamblers, Cobra Skulls, Wild Roses & Snake Oil Slick!

Small's is having another amazing show this weekend. Thanks to Black Iris Booking, we are again giving away a set of tickets for you and a friend to attend the show for free!
This weekend, Riverboat Gamblers, Cobra Skulls, Wild Roses and Snake Oil Slick are playing. Here’s a little history and background on the bands.

The Riverboat Gamblers are from Austin, Texas and are currently on tour for their latest album “The Wolf You Feed”. This band is known for throwing some of the craziest shows and house parties around. They promote drinking and gambling, hence how they got their name, or at least have lived up to it. Check out the latest video from the band here:


The Cobra Skulls are a punk rock band from Nevada that is signed to Fat Wreck Chords. They even have some Spanish influence to some of their brand of punk. They are on tour for their latest full length album released in 2011 called “Agitations”.
It has been so cool to have so many amazing Fat Wreck Chords artists coming through Detroit thanks to Black Iris Booking.

The show starts at 8 p.m. and is $10 in advance, $12 at the door the night of the show. You can get tickets here.

To enter to win tickets to this show all you have to do is email your name to us at and we will announce the winner on Friday! Good Luck! 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Fun Weekend Down in Ham Town!

This past weekend we saw a ton of awesome bands, drank too much PBR and pumpkin vodka and had a blast. Small's 13th Anniversary shows were as good as we expected them to be. 
It started off Friday night with Cadaver Dogs who have been on tour with Wilson, and there really couldn't be a more perfect band to play with them. They are from Ohio and they blew me away, baby. The A-Gang and Wilson put on great shows as always. I do have one question though, how the hell did Kyle get on the ceiling? I swear I only looked away for half of a second and then he was up there out of nowhere, guitar and all! 
We caught up with Golden Torso before they played for a fun interview that will be on the site soon. Spoiler: they were awesome.

Saturday was even crazier. Trash Brats really pulled in a lot of people and put on a killer show, as did Troubleman. Ricky Rat's hair was as good as we'd hoped!
Break Anchor also played Saturday, setting the bar high for the other bands as usual. Check out a video from their set: 

Thanks again to Small's for everything and congratulations on 13 successful years!


Converge With Nice Hooves at the Magic Stick

Converge is coming back to Detroit tomorrow, October 16th. They are playing at the Magic Stick with Torche, Kvelertak and Nice Hooves opening up for them. If you do not know who is Converge is, here is a little history. 
Converge formed in the 90’s and is known for bringing elements of hardcore, punk rock and metal together. Members Jacob Bannon, Kurt Ballou, Nate Newton and Ben Koller are all known vegetarians who admit to being raised on a little too much Slayer, which you can see is one of their influences. They have 8 releases in total, including their latest record in 2012 called “All the Love we Leave Behind”. They are most known for their record “Jane Doe” released in 2001.

Nice Hooves are an up and coming local band who is starting to create a buzz for themselves. This show would be a great chance to check them out and get to see one of the best bands in hardcore at the same time. 

The show starts at 8 p.m. and is $15 in advance and $17 at the door. There isn't a service charge if tickets are purchased in advance from the Garden Bowl. 


Friday, October 12, 2012

Talking Trash With Detroit Legend Ricky Rat

When I was 12 or 13 years old, my friends in a band called Vendetta played their first live show at The Ritz. My best friend's mother was nice enough to load a bunch of us kids in the car and take us out to the show, but when we got there we found out you had to be 18 to get into the club. Instead of turning around and taking us home she spoke to the owners and they agreed to let us come in and see our friends band play as long as she sat with us and we left as soon as they were done. I believe they even gave us free pitchers of pop to enjoy while we watched the show. This was one of the first times I ever saw a live band and was the first time I ever saw a local band in a club. 
One of the most vivid memories I have of that night is of a flyer on a wall that was promoting an upcoming show by a local punk rock band called Trash Brats. I remember staring at the flyer and wondering who they were, why they were dressed so awesome and who made the cut and paste flyer that was on the wall. I miss the days of homemade flyers that were put together in someone’s basement and duplicated in black and white on a copy machine. That is one of the aspects of pre-internet promoting that I miss the most. 

That night I saw one of the Trash Brats walk through The Ritz about an hour after I looked at the flyer. I stared at him. He had on a leather jacket, had big black hair and looked cooler than anyone I had ever seen. Apparently their mothers let them dress the way they wanted to and I was jealous and intrigued. I am not sure why he was there that night. All I knew was that I had to see what the Trash Brats were all about. Over the next few years I saw the Trash Brats play all over the city and grew to become a fan of their brand of punk rock. 

They were known for epic stage shows and great glam punk style. Every time I saw them I looked at them with the same awe, interest and intrigue. The Trash Brats are legends in Detroit. They are what we are talking about when we talk about the Detroit punk scene. They were formed 25 years ago and are just as relevant today as they were then. They are finally playing a reunion show at Small's tomorrow and I wanted to talk to them to find out what it means to reunite and what changes they have seen in our city over the last 25 years.

HipinDetroit- What is the biggest difference in yourself from 25 years ago to today? 

Ricky- I hope I'm wiser, but that is debatable! More road-worn and worldly-that's for sure.

HipinDetroit- How has your music changed and grown from when you started playing? Do you play any of the songs you wrote 25 years ago today? 

Ricky- I have always written and played in a similar style. I could never be one of those people that could do a punk album and then a jazz album and then a country album and so on. In my solo sets I still play a Trash Brats' song or two.

Do you think Detroit music had gotten better or worse in the last 25 years? How has it changed in your opinion?

Ricky- Music-wise, there is always a lot of talent in Detroit but the scene has gotten much worse. I think there are just too many clubs, too many bands, too many options. When you mix in the internet and all of the other distractions, you get a lot of people scattered all over and not as into seeing live music as they used to be. My favorite cities to play these days are definitely mostly in Europe. Places like Berlin, Madrid and all over France.

What is the first memory you have of playing together as a band?

Ricky- Brian, Troy and I first learned our instruments, guitars and drums, at the same time back when we were 13! We would jam all into Troy's little bedroom and try to play songs all the way through. It's nice that after all of these years we still play together and more importantly that we are still good friends.

HipinDetroit- Do you have any regrets as a band, as a person, as a performer?

Ricky- Not really, of course mistakes are made but that’s what happens when you are young and doing things on the fly. It would have been nice to have had more label support or whatever but I am pretty proud that we did almost everything ourselves without much help from anyone else. (Managers, booking agents, labels etc.)

What would you tell a kid who wants to get into music and play in a band today? Any advice or guidance?

Ricky- You have to work harder than ever for it. Don't just rely on sources like the internet to promote-get out and do it the old fashioned way in person! Don't give up so easily. If you have a good band going, take some time to really get your songs and performance down right. I think some people expect things to happen too fast these days-in our "instant" culture.

HipinDetroit- Can we expect you boys to be dressed in full glam on Saturday? Do you still like to put on the glitz for a show?

Ricky- Haha. I will do my best to look as pretty as ever and I am sure the other guys will do the same. We have always been a flashy band who puts on a great show.

Some great advice and insight from a Detroit legend. Head out Saturday to see what will no doubt be an epic reunion of punk rock royalty and an anniversary of my favorite venue in Detroit. Thanks so much Ricky for letting us into your head!


Let's Go To Mars With Daniel Wang

Tour Detroit has been taking over the city and throwing some of the most epic dance parties in town. This time they are bringing a legend into town to make sure you shake your ass to the sound of disco. Yes, you heard me right disco. Not disco infused, not disco inspired but real live disco like it was heard on the dance floors in the 70’s. This is the opportunity for all of us who dreamed of wearing Halston and getting down tonight to do so. 
Daniel Wang was born in California, raised in Taiwan and currently resides in Berlin. He first made a name for himself in the mid 90’s in Chicago where he formed and worked on his own label called Balihu. His music philosophy is that all music can be summed up with 200 pieces of vinyl while the rest is merely variations of those 200 albums. 
He will be playing Saturday (October 16) at TV Lounge with the regular Tour Detroit crew including Steven Robert, Joe Vargas, Erno the Inferno and Craig Hejka. This event is only $10 presale here or $20 at the door. This is a do not miss event for anyone that likes to drink, dance and have a great time.

Disco is alive and kicking in the Motor City this weekend! My only question is where is that romper I have been dying to wear?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Celebrate 13 Years of Memories At Small's This Weekend

Everyone has their favorite bar to have a drink at and everyone has their favorite venue to go watch a band play, mine just happen to be the same place. I am constantly telling our readers how much I enjoy seeing a show at Small’s in Hamtramck. This year we caught Lucero and Bars of Gold among other acts play unforgettable sets on their stage, as well as tasted the sweet guilty pleasure that is a Paczki shot. 
This weekend, Small's celebrates its 13th anniversary of being open. Every night at 8 p.m. they serve up some of the best drinks and music in the Metro Detroit area. Being open for 13 years in a dwindling economy is a feat in itself, but still staying relevant and booking some of the best shows in town is almost unheard of. They have survived while other places have shut down or changed owners multiple times. Owners Dave, Melody, Natalie and Mike know what they are doing and they do it well.

Small's has been able to change and adapt to the times. Just recently they knocked out the wall that separated the two rooms by the stage and turned it into one cohesive space. They rearranged the sound board to open the room up and installed a screen in the bar that allows a patron to walk over and get a drink without missing a second of the live act on stage. Smalls has always been known for good sound. Bands want to play there because they know that they are going to come across the way that they want to be heard.

This weekend they will be throwing a big bash to celebrate their anniversary. They have $4 PBR tall boys all weekend and lots of bands lined up including Wilson, The A-Gang, Cadaver Dogs and Golden Torso on Friday night; and Trash Brats, Troubleman and Break Anchor on Saturday night. The Trash Brats are also celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. Ironclad Tattoo Co. is sponsoring the event and we will be there hanging out.

Small's is located at 10339 Conant in Hamtramck and is generally open Monday- Saturday from 8 p.m.- 2 a.m. They also have a Facebook and Twitter where they post early doors or drink specials so make sure you add them to your feeds. This week Mike posted that they have their first batch of pumpkin pie vodka ready to pour that I was very excited to hear about.

Small's is always thinking of new ideas and booking the best shows around. Here's to another 13 years of good music, great drinks and amazing memories. Happy anniversary Small’s!