Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year, Bitches!!! Complete guide to Detroit New Year's 2012

Well New Year's Eve is here. If you're anything like me, you have no idea what you're doing tonight. Go out? Stay in? Go to a bar? Go to a party? The questions are endless. Luckily we are making the decision a little easier for you. We perused the interwebs and came up with a list of what we think are the best ways for you to ring in 2013. 

New Year's Eve Silver Soiree @ The Magic Stick:
$5 will get you in to both the Magic Stick and Garden Bowl. This party includes music from about 18 bands including Amy Gore & Her Valentines, Patrick Davy & The Ghosts, Replicas, Weed Nap and a bunch of others. It's cheap, you can dress up or dress down and let's be honest, The Magic Stick is probably your home away from home anyways. One of the only down sides we see to this is that it is All Ages, but hey, if you plan to kiss someone that's underage at midnight, that detail might be a plus for you!

Slow Jams New Years Eve:
Slow Jams is already your favorite way to spend a Monday night! Why not spend this Monday night, New Year's Eve, at Woodbridge Pub? Your favorite DJs, Erno the Inferno and EastSide Jon, will be spinning some tunes. Rumor has it they may even be joined by some special guests! It's FREE to get in the door, beers are only $2, there's a champagne toast AND you get to spend the night in the classy, yet laid back setting of Woodbridge Pub. Sounds like a good idea to us!

The Ball at The Hall with Kaleido:
While Slow Jams will be a little bit more of a laid back evening, we're pretty sure The Ball at The Hall will be a bit crazier! Kaleido will be taking the stage at St. Andrew's Hall for a huge party put on by Live Nation and 98.7. If you're looking for a little more intense party, this is probably the place to be. Kaleido will put on an awesome show and there will be DJs in St. Andrew's and The Shelter all night long (a little different than the DJs at Slow Jams though). $25 get's you in the door and you might have a chance to score some of that $$$ back because they are doing a  cash balloon drop at midnight.

Nude Photo NYE: Detroit:
So, we don't know a whole lot about this one, but judging by the flyer, we know we like it. Can't really go wrong with a nude picture of Marilyn!  The party's being put on by the guys from Sexual Tension Detroit with music provided by Secrets, Jerry Downey and Dr. Disko Dust. It's happening at The Temple Bar, it's only $5 to get in, and it goes all night long, from 10 p.m. - 4 a.m. Even if you don't want to make this your only stop for the night, definitely keep it in mind for some late night dancing! This party is only for those 21 and up though!

Twistin' Tarantuals New Year's Eve at the New Way:
Well, many of our followers live in the Ferndale area, so this might be a good option for you guys! This Rockabilly Trio will be bringin' out their stand-up bass and greasin' up their pompadours to ring in the New Year with you. Good music, close to home and only 7 bux.

Mac's Bar Goddamn New Year's Eve with The Goddamn Gallows:
Another option if you're looking to see a great band on NYE. The Goddamn Gallows put on one hell of a show and Mac's Bar is a pretty awesome place, but you'll have to trek it out to Lansing for this one. The Devils Cut and The Hunky Newcomers will also be hitting the stage. It's only $10 to get in and 18+ are welcome.

Melvin Davis @ Cliff Bell's:
If you're looking for a little classier New Year's Eve, this is probably your best bet. Melvin Davis & the United Sound will be performing their legendary 60's soul from 10 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. There's only a $20 cover charge, which includes a champagne toast. Or, if you're looking to make a night of it, you can also get a 4 course dinner for the ticket price of $60, which is served from 7 - 11 p.m. Sounds like a fun reason to be fancy for the night!

Of course these aren't all of the parties going on around town, just the ones that popped out at us. Most of your bars will probably be having a champagne toast or you can stay at home and have a bottle of champagne all to yourself! Wherever you end up, we hope you all have a fun, stress free New Year's Eve and we can't wait to party with all of you in 2013!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Speedball with Wilson at Small's

This weekend it’s all about music and Small's is serving up a great show on Sunday to cap off the weekend, The return of Speedball along with Wilson (the best band Detroit has seen in years) and Knife

Speedball never split up, but they sure slowed down. They have only played occasional shows since 2008 and to catch one of their sets is a treat. More importantly they are playing with my favorite band, Wilson. They killed it last week at St. Andrew's and I don't know how many smaller shows this band will be playing in 2013. I think this may be one of the last times you get to see them in a great environment like Small's. 
Both of these bands will be wonderful on their stage with Small’s spectacular sound system.

The show is only $8 in advance on or $10 at the door. Doors are at 8 p.m. Please come down and party with us! We wouldn’t miss this show for the world!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tribute to Jason Lockwood at the Trumbullplex

I'm not going to claim that I was close to Jason or that I knew him well. But, I would call him a friend. Just as many of you did.

It's not often that you get to say a proper goodbye to someone and tell them exactly what you would want to say to him. Back in the spring I bumped into Jason on the Alley Deck and had that opportunity, which I will forever be grateful for. Those of you that know me, know I'm pretty shy towards those that I'm not super close with. So, I'm glad that I actually opened up to Jason that night. I'll sum our conversation up with one statement that I said to him, "Detroit won't be the same without you". On that night I thought I was just saying goodbye to a friend that was jumping ship to Chicago. Little did I know that I was actually saying goodbye to him.

Jason was a great guy and more passionate than most people I have met in my lifetime. I definitely idolized the guy, as most Detroit Punk Rock kids did. He was someone we looked up to. He knew music, he wanted to create a community, he threw awesome shows and opened a record store that would change the Detroit scene and live on as a legend, just like the owners. But, more importantly, he was genuine and made everyone feel important. From hall shows, to the parties in Rochester, or the encounters at shows. It didn't matter if you were the lead singer of the headlining band or the kid standing in back alone, he knew who you were and made sure you felt like you were a part of it all. Hell, I crashed the guys wedding and he even made me feel like he was happy that I was there.

For a while, I had the pleasure of working with Jason during my short-lived "sound guy" career at The Stick. When I first started, there were only about 2 people I even "knew" there. Jason and Chris, well and of course Royce, but only because I hunted him down and he was nice enough to give me a shot. Jason was supportive from the get go, but that's not to say that he didn't give me plenty of tough love. Although I was happy to see him on the nights we worked together, I was also super intimidated. He had been around the block a few times and had been to a show or two. I had to make sure to be on top of my game when he was around. I felt like I had to make him proud or something. The guy was a legend, even though he was a friend.

This Saturday we have another chance to celebrate Jason Lockwood, to remember him, and to make him proud. Hellmouth is hosting a tribute to him at The Trumbullplex with some of Detroit's finest. The night will be full of music, memories and plenty of whiskey, I'm sure. The bands playing along side Hellmouth include Against The Grain, Bump-N-Uglies, The Dewtons and Downtown Brown. It sounds like there might even be a Whiskey Diaries sing-a-long or two. Doors open at 7 p.m. and it's only $5 to get in, all of which will go to Jason's family. For more info on the event, and to see some pictures and memories, head over to the Facebook event


Last Chance to Win Tickets to Black Christmas!

Tomorrow 27 of Detroit’s biggest bands are going to be playing under the same roof to celebrate Black Christmas. Black Iris Booking has teamed up with The Magic Stick, Majestic Theatre, Magic Stick Lounge and the Garden Bowl for this event. The bands will start at 6 p.m. and run through 2 a.m. Tickets are $25 at the door. But, we want to give you one last chance to win a pair of tickets for this event. Check out this weeks featured bands and then you will have 24 hours to tag us on Twitter or Instagram using any of the hastags below and by sending it to @hipindetroit. We will announce the winner early in the afternoon on Friday! Good luck!

This week’s hashtags will be #BlackIrisBooking #HipInDetroit #BlackChristmas #MagicStick #SuicideMachines #MustardPlug #KoffinKats #TheSwellers

The Suicide Machines:
The Suicide Machine are simply Detroit history. They are the first band that comes to mind for any kid that grew up in this area. Watching them reunite approximately once a year to scream out “I'll break the glass, I’ll break it down” makes my skin tingle. Watching Ryan V. drum and Jay jump around has been doing it for me since I was about 12 years old. This year is very special because we all lost a friend and the band is going out of the way to raise funds for our fallen hero Jason Lockwood. The Suicide Machines will be matching proceeds to his family up to $2,000 dollars for the night. So make sure to stop by their booth and make a donation so that they have to match it!

Mustard Plug:
Mustard Plus is another band I have been following since my early teenage years. It doesn't surprise me that they are still playing shows with The Suicide Machines. They are a solid ska band that has been around since 1991. With 6 studio albums under their belt, they are a well established band that has played everything from Warped Tour to Japan.They play a holiday show every Christmas and believe me when those horns kick in you will be moving.

Koffin Kats:
This band formed in 2003 when members Vic Victor, Tommy Koffin and Eric E. Ball teamed up to lay the groundwork for the band. They have put out multiple releases, the latest of which is called “Our Way & The Highway”. The current line-up of Vic Victor, EZ Ian and Eric E. Ball are returning from Europe for this show. The Koffin Kats are signed with sailor Sailor's Grave Records and have a pretty solid following.

The Swellers:
The Swellers are one of my favorite bands that made their way out of Michigan and all over the world. They have toured everywhere that you can think of and have played with some of the biggest names in punk rock. Their newest EP, Running Out of Places To Go, is one of the best releases of 2012, in our opinion. They were one of the 4 first bands that we interview here at Hip In Detroit and we caught up with them for a second time when they ended their tour at The Magic Stick last month. Check out that interview here:

Here is the complete list of bands playing Black Christmas: The Suicide Machines, Mustard Plug, Koffin Kats, Continental, Kid Brother Collective, The Swellers, We Are The Union, Few & Far Between, Break Anchor, The A-Gang, Common Enemy, Golden Torso, P.T.'s Revenge, Snakewing, Louder Than Bombs, All Eyes West, Down Down Down, Still Alive, Slo Poke, The Black List, DGR/DWN, Arm Your Enemy, Nice Hooves, Seized Up, The Mizzerables, Wrist Rocket and Spick Of It All

Tickets are available at or are $25 at the door!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Chance to Pay Tribute To Jason Lockwood at Small's

To sum up someone’s life or what they meant to you with words, even with music, seems a little ridiculous to me. What one person accomplishes in a lifetime and all the people’s lives that they touch cannot be summed up. When we lose someone that we love we lose a part of ourselves that we can never get back. After they are gone, all we can do is keep going and keep the memories of that person as close to our hearts as we are able to. We can also get together as a group and celebrate that person’s life and what they meant to us. We can choose to carry on their dreams and make sure that although they are gone their spirit lives on.

That is why Small's is holding a tribute to Jason Lockwood on Thursday, December 27th at 8 p.m. They have enlisted The Jollys, The Amino Acids, Mean Mother, Bailout, Dick Hickey, DJ Trent Whiskey and DJ Abner Wigglestaff to perform. These were all bands and people that meant a lot to Jason. It will be a night to gather and to tell stories and to celebrate his life and how he affected all our lives.

I cannot convey what Jason meant to me in a few sentences but I thought that I would share this with you. I heard a song the other day and the words made me think of him, maybe they will do the same for you.

As far as I am concerned Jason Lockwood and Dave Kujawa were Detroit and a part of this city died when they left it, but their dreams, their hopes, and the things that they started will live in forever. I will always be an idle kid and I will always choose to keep believing that things can get better and one day will get better. I believe in the city of Detroit, I believe in music, and I believe in the ability to make a real change in the world if you put your mind to it. I believe this because those boys taught me that it is possible to change the world through some small actions, and the effects will ripple out and spread like a virus. I heard this song and I thought it applied to Jason and what he meant to me and the city of Detroit.

99 dreams I have had
Everyone a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standing' pretty
In the dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
Here it is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go

Come out and celebrate the life of Mr. Jason Lockwood, the Idle Kids and Hell City Records.

We love you forever and always Jason and you know damn well that I will never forget you.

This Jameson is for you brother. See you on the other side.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Check Out Leon & Lulu For That Last Minute Shopping, or Anytime!

One of my favorite stores around here is Leon & Lulu right in downtown Clawson. There are many reasons- from their roller skating employees, to the funny books and gifts, to the awesome jewelry and furniture, and definitely the cookies they pass out! It is such a unique store and if you haven't checked it out yet, you really need to. And what better time than your last minute Christmas shopping that I'm sure we all need to do! 
Leon & Lulu is more than your average boutique store. I asked owner Mary Liz Curtin some questions about it. Check it out here: 

hip in detroit- Leon & Lulu is a unique store. How would you describe it to someone that has not been there before? What sets it apart from other shops? 

Mary Liz- We are a destination lifestyle store, located in an historic roller rink. We sell furniture, gifts, clothing, housewares, toys and books. Basically, we have 5,000 square feet filled with great stuff, an upbeat and happy atmosphere and prices starting at 75 cents for a finger monster.

hip in detroit- Can you give us a little background on the store? How long has it been around?  

Mary Liz- We opened on April 1, 2006 

hip in detroit- What type of things do you sell at Leon & Lulu? There are so many hilarious books and toys in the store, it must be so fun picking everything out! How do you choose what to carry?

Mary Liz- We choose well designed, good quality product at all price points. I look for merchandise that will make our customers' homes more comfortable, that will be fun to give and to receive and we are always on the lookout for the unusual and interesting things you will find nowhere else. 

hip in detroit- Do you have events at the store? If so, what type of events?

Mary Liz- We hold a wide range of events, from blood drives and pet adoptions to girls' nights out. In 2012 we held 86 special events, 75 of which benefited local charities.

hip in detroit- Whose adorable dog is it that hangs out in the store? I love him! What is it's name?

Mary Liz- Spot is our greeter. He is a triple purebred, pointer, lab and Australian shepherd. Lulu, for whom the store was named, was our first greeter. She was a very dainty 115 pound rottweiler. Leon, like most cats, was never employed. 

hip in detroit- I believe the building used to be a roller skating rink. That's an unusual place to have a store. Some of the employees roller skate around and the floor is even there still, which is part of the reason the store is so unique. How did you choose this location?

Mary Liz- We needed a large space that was easily accessible from anywhere in the Detroit area, had proprietary parking and was affordable. This building had those qualities and the magic of its long history in the community. We have preserved as much of the history and flavor of the rink as we could...although it smells a lot better now. 

hip in detroit- Do you have anything special going on for the last minute holiday shoppers or anything coming up you'd like people to know about?

Mary Liz- We are here at the ready with hot cookies and coffee all weekend. Our next big event (and my favorite) is Thank You Santa, held January 6. Santa will make one more stop before he leaves for the North Pole. This is a chance for children to give Santa thank you notes for the gifts they just received, help him fill his sack for next year and have a last ditch chance for a picture with him. 10% of our sales that day as well as all toys collected will benefit the Salvation Army. Naturally, we will serve tasty treats for children and adults.

hip in detroit- I saw that the building next to the store has a Leon & Lulu sign in the window now...Can you tell us what is going in there?

Mary Liz- That is the former Clawson Theater. We plan to recreate the marquee, making it look much as it did in 1941 when it was built, and add a coffee shop in the lobby and more retail in the back. We plan to open late spring 2013.

I for one can't wait to see what the Clawson Theater will look like in the spring! It'll be nice to have a local coffee shop close by finally. And trust me, Leon & Lulu is the perfect place to find a gift for anyone on your list. I have even bought the finger monsters she mentioned above. It's always one of my first stops! Plus who doesn't want a delicious cookie while shopping?


Friday, December 21, 2012

Even if the World Isn't Ending, Party Like it is at Small's Tonight!

Well, it's after noon and the world still hasn't ended. But, just to be safe, you should probably go out tonight and party it up in case there's no tomorrow. The Detroit Psychobilly Alliance is throwing a party down at Small's tonight with The Matadors, Badsville and Wrist-Rocket

It's been awhile since we've heard anything from Wrist-Rocket, but they want you to know that they are back! They're working on writing some new music and ready to play some shows, including Black Christmas! Make sure you add them to the list of bands you have to see while you're down at the Majestic on December 28th. (P.S. Don't forget to enter to win tickets to that show! Get more info here!)

Back to tonight's show... Doors are at 8 p.m., it's $10 to get in and I'm sure it will be a lot of fun. According to the flyer there's even a "Dirty Girls Spanking Booth". I don't know what that's all about, but it sounds like something all of you guys out there would probably enjoy... maybe even some of the girls too. For more info on tonight's festivities, check out the Facebook event here.


Another Chance to Win Tickets to Black Christmas!

Two weeks from now twenty seven of Detroit’s biggest bands are going to be playing under the same roof to celebrate Black Christmas. Black Iris Booking has gone out of their way to book one of the biggest shows of the year. Friday, December 28th The Magic Stick, Majestic Theatre, Magic Stick Lounge and the Garden Bowl will have bands playing from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. If you purchase a ticket to this event you will have access to all of the bands in all three rooms. It is basically four different shows for the price of one! Tickets are $20 for the first 500 pre-sale tickets sold, $22 for pre-sale once those sell out and $25 at the door the night of the show. It can save you up to $5 to buy your ticket in advance. Of course we want to do even better than $20; we want to get you and a friend in for free. Each Friday we will be featuring a few of the bands that are playing the Black Christmas show. You can check out that feature and then either tweet us on twitter @hipindetroit or tag us on instagram @hipindetroit. You must use the hashtags listed in that week’s article to win the prize.

Nice Hooves:
This band has just hit the Detroit scene this past year, but one of my favorite vocalists is in the band so they immediately caught our attention. Everyone keeps asking for a Bang Bang reunion. How about instead of yearning for the past, you embrace the future and check out how far Dave Graw has come in the last 10 years. You think he was an epic front man then, just wait. They even put out their first video about a month ago. This is one band whose set you will not want to miss because people will definitely be talking about it later.

Spick of it All:
From Amado - The idea of Spick of it All started around 1993, but didn't play their first show until 2006. Spick of it All are Tony Barragan (Parka Kings, Telegraph, Exceptions), Big Carlos (Replicas, Weed Nap), Little Carlos (Imp Villians, Voice of Anger), Marcus Villareal (x- Louder Than Bombs) and Amado Florencio Guadarrama Perea Gutierrez Mendoza III (Bill Bondsmen, Bump-n-Uglies) Spick of it All will take punk and hardcore classics, change them up a bit, throw some cilantro on them and serve them to you with perfect mexicution. Spick of it All provides lyrics sheets at most shows to help with the sing along; this next one won't be an exception. Contrary to popular belief, Spick of it All didn't pick up their newest bass player at a Home Depot parking lot, though one of their bass players did end up getting deported (true story). Spick of it All are MexiCANs, not MexiCAN'TSEnd of the day: Spick of it All wants to party till your uncles start fighting and then hugging.....Mexico style.

Break Anchor:
Break Anchor is one of our favorite local bands. When we watch them play live we remember why we first fell in love with singer Jay Navarro, there is no one who fronts a band like him. We have followed his career through the years including Jack Kevorkian and the Suicide Machines, Hellmouth, Cleons Down and of course The Suicide Machines. We always have a great time at a Break Anchor show; the music is upbeat and solid. Chris Golan, Kyle and Dan all jump around, sing along, and in general draw you into the performance so that you have a good time while they play. Check out our interview with Jay earlier this year at The Loving Touch. He talks about his past, present and future.

Golden Torso:
This band is known for two things, putting on a great show and taking their shirts off. The are self described as 3 chubby dudes and one little man, but we describe them as a band that kills it live and knows how to shred on guitar. We caught up with them a few months ago at Small's. Check out the interview here:

This week’s hashtags will be #BlackIrisBooking #HipInDetroit # BlackChristmas #MagicStick #NiceHooves @SpickOfItAll #GoldenTorso #BreakAnchor

Here's a  complete list of the bands playing Black Christmas: The Suicide Machines, Mustard Plug, Koffin Kats, Continental, Kid Brother Collective, The Swellers, We Are The Union, Few & Far Between, Break Anchor, The A-Gang, Common Enemy, Golden Torso, P.T.'s Revenge, Snakewing, Louder Than Bombs, All Eyes West, Down Down Down, Still Alive, Slo Poke, The Black List, DGR/DWN, Arm Your Enemy, Nice Hooves, Seized Up, The Mizzerables, Wrist Rocket and Spick Of It All

Tickets are available for purchase at or at the Garden Bowl free of services charges. Get yours now! The second winner will be announced Thursday December 27th, so make sure to enter as soon as you are done reading this article!


We Saved The Best For Last- Sadie's Favorite Album Of The Year

Describing Tunde Olaniran has become the bane of my existence. When I am promoting one of his shows, people always want me to describe him and I truly cannot put this man in a box, or in the words of Patrick Swayze, “Nobody puts baby in the corner.” He is one hundred percent original product completely, free of auto tuned bullshit and bad samples. Tunde has no genre, he has no description that can fit his talent, and his music relates to me in a way that I haven't related to music since I was younger. 

I have over-listened to his new album and embarrassed myself dancing around my gym and dropping it likes it's hot in the mirror at home. My favorite tracks off the new EP are "Autonomous" and "Kill or be Killed." You can purchase the new EP here starting today!
Tunde let me pick his brain and learn a little more about him, his videos, and The Second Transgression.

hip in detroit- This album, The Second Transgression feels a little darker than The First Transgression. The music also feels a little heavier and more dance-y. Was this on purpose? How do you feel the first EP and the second EP differ from each other?

Tunde- I felt like The Second Transgression needed to be more coherent if people were going to see this as an evolution. I guess I don’t see the music as particularly heavier! That’s an interesting observation. I definitely agree that it has more ... “danceability”..? Some of the rhythms draw from different wells, and the samples got a little more airtime and spotlight this go round. So you’ll hear more nods to Afro-Latin, Bmore Club, and 80's arena rock. I think there’s more melody in some ways and more singing. I’m hardly rapping at all.

hip in detroit- My favorite thing about your music is it is not made over typical hip hop or pop beats, but is instead a mix of pop, hip-hop and electronic. Do you arrange and produce your own music? How would you describe your music? Do you write lyrics or music first?

Tunde- Thank you! I feel like it’s definitely me throwing up everything that influences me. My music is really like... primitive sci-fi... it’s not too complex, but still a weird image of the future. I kind of make music that I’d be very excited to perform, and imagine how it will look when we’re on stage. I arrange and produce all the music and vocals. I brought in two friends from my first band to lay down live guitar and bass, and basically wrote their parts, so I’m hoping to have even more live aspects in the next EP.

I don’t really write lyrics in a traditional way, and it’s rare that I’ll write any lyrics before the music. With Autonomous, the lyrics were something I’d written with my band but they didn’t like the song we did so I just used them on this EP. I’m so happy I had a chance to do that because I love the lyrics for that song! 2.0 was very stream-of-consciousness and I remember writing that out in a few minutes after the music was done.

hip in detroit- If I had to classify this album to someone that has never heard you before, I’d call it “Michael Jackson, meets Robyn, meets Gaga, meets disco.” Would that be a fair description? Why or why not?

Tunde- I have no idea! I’d be really flattered if people thought that, and to be honest, I didn’t see
the disco influence until another journalist pointed it out. I guess it might be like those artists in that I try to sing passionately and let the vocals be vulnerable. I don’t ever want to sound too plastic or “perfect,” and sometimes Lady Gaga sounds too robotic and harsh. I love Robyn and MJ because even though they have amazingly perfect voices, they manage to wring out some real emotion in their delivery and inflection.

hip in detroit- Your new video "The Second Transgression" is different from anything else you have ever put out; it’s more interpretive and has more free style dancing then we have seen before, and masks, we love the masks! How did you come up with this concept for the video and did you make the masks?

The Second Transgression is the next installment in the series, so that is the overall concept. I usually start with a collection of images I’ve found that create an energy and mood I want to establish. I didn’t make the masks, our amazing makeup and special FX director SaRyne Byers did. She made special face molds of each dancer so they fit them perfectly. Although, there was no mouth opening! So Emma and Symone were really troopers shooting all day in the summer with those masks on. She also did all the body paint and the “monster (played by Michael Charles Patrick, Jr from Jesus Chainsaw Massacre/Ferndale Acid Scene)” makeup.

hip in detroit- "Brown Boy" is a fun song with a dance that we can all join along in and have a good time with, but it is also a serious song. Can you tell me a little about that song and the significance of growing up a “brown boy" (with the prettiest hair in the world)?

Tunde- That song is so much fun; I love everything about it. The song isn’t about just being “brown,” but just being The Other. It’s about being on the margins. I think whether it’s undocumented immigrants who are trying to make a better life for themselves, the trans kid who is bullied and can’t use the restroom in public without fear, the loner kid with mental health issues and violent outbursts, or the “lactivist” mom who breastfeeds in the Boardroom, we’re all human and deserve to be seen and honored for our humanity and existence. I decided to embrace all the stereotypes about my body, my clothing, my zip code, my skin color, and use them to create who I wanted to be as an artist and
performer. Playing on the margins is fun, and I hope people decide to join me and the other amazing people I’ve met here.

hip in detroit- When did you first realize that you could sing; did you have any formal training? Also, we want to personally thank you for not having to correct your voice or use auto-tune, because your voice is from heaven and you sing like an angel.

Tunde- How can anyone live up to that kind of adulation?! Thank you so much; I had some formal training through being in choir in school, but I don’t have the technical training professional singers have. I think I learned from emulating people I liked, and then having to play. so. many. shows. with my band. I feel like I paid my dues in that regard, gigging for years and singing 3-hour shows at bars, etc. I still don’t think I’m that great of a singer, so it’s nice to hear you enjoy my voice. I’d love to get some formal training at some point!

But f*ck auto-tune, seriously. I know it’s what a lot of folks use, but I’d rather just have some mistakes in my recording. We’re human beings! Our voices are amazing; just let them do their thing, you know?

hip in detroit- We heard that you have a dance studio, how long have you been dancing? Do you
choreograph all the dances that your dancers preform? How do you think the dancers add to your performance when people see you live? Would you ever perform without the dancers?

Tunde- The funniest part of shows is before I go on, someone (maybe in another band on that night or the sound engineer) will say “no dancers tonight?” They always have a little sadness in their eyes. I’m like “um they are backstage getting dressed, don’t get it twisted.” I love my dancers so much. They are an integral part of the show. I choreograph and stage everything. They help to interpret the music and lyrics for the audience. If you look at me, I’m *clearly* not a dancer, but I love to dance! I keep saying I need to lose 100 pounds so I can do backflips and stuff onstage. Maybe in 2013 haha.

I have done acoustic shows without them, and I will definitely have some interesting performances planned for next year where we switch it up. The songs actually sound really dope when they’re acoustic and stripped down, so there will be some shows were that happens ;)

hip in detroit- I have never seen you or a dancer wear the same stage clothes twice. How do you come up with the new outfit concepts for every show? Do you make all of these "looks" yourself? Can I get a one-of-a-kind “Tunde” piece anywhere or will I just have to admire them on stage?

Tunde- Well, I *will* be developing some custom accessories in 2013, so stay tuned. I also do styling so I can help you for your next event or photoshoot! We definitely repeat pieces but I try to mix them in ways that are fresh, and every season we will rotate in a lot of new stuff. I mostly buy and alter or customize items myself, but Christina Tomlinson does a lot of custom work for me. She’s incredible! Every band in Detroit needs to be working with her.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Time to Check Out Almost Free!

We told you about the band Almost Free a little while back and mentioned that they had just recorded their EP. Well, the time has come for it's release!

Almost Free is a trio made up of Andy Bird, Bob Impemba and Garren Stevens. The EP, called 'The Mirror Stage', is the 3rd release for them and was recorded this past summer/fall at Electric Lab Recordings. The album was produced by Bob Ebeling, who has worked with the likes of Kid Rock, Rufus Wainwright, Phish and he is even Grammy nominated! 

They were nice enough to share the EP with us and I've listened to it many times already. All 4 tracks are equally good, but I think I'd have to say "Farewell" is my favorite. I'm always a sucker for when a song picks up a little bit into it. It's a bit difficult to describe their sound. They sound a bit dreamy and maybe haunting? However, they are more upbeat than that makes them sound and Andy Bird's vocals are a great match. Just check them out and see for yourself!  
Almost Free is playing a free show on Saturday, December 22, that is presented by Blaring Division. They will play with The Hounds Below, The Jet Rodriguez and Electric Lion Sound Wave Experiment at one of my favorite bars, The Loving Touch. The show starts at 8 p.m. Copies of 'The Mirror Stage' will be available at the show, but you can also download it here

The show on Saturday is a holiday anniversary show, but is also a fundraiser for Musicians Dental Clinic. MusicCares Foundation's dental clinics offer free dental services to local musicians. Limited run poster art tshirts will be available on a sliding scale. They will also be signed by the bands which is pretty cool. So it's a great show with a good cause! 


One of the Last Stops for The Last Call Tour!

Tonight, The Last Call Tour featuring Every Avenue, Set It Off, Conditions, Wilson and Car Party will be making it stop in Michigan. They have been up and down the east coast and out on the road since the beginning of the month. They have only 3 stops left, including St.Andrews tonight at 6 p.m. This will be Every Avenue's last show in Detroit, so make sure if you're a fan that you do not miss it!

I keep trying to explain to our readers how good Wilson is live. Chad Nicefield knows how to draw a crowd in and get them going. Who knows what will happen when Wilson is playing, beers might explode, tops might fall off and Kyle might end up climbing up the ceiling. For me, the most important part of any band is the drummer and Matt puhy is a trip to watch. I have a total music crush on him and his mad drums skills. This is one of Wilson's last shows for awhile, so you want to make sure that you do not miss them while they're still in Michigan! I have a feeling 2013 is going to be there year.

All three openers are solid bands. Conditions hails from Richmond, Virginia and is getting ready to release a new album in March of 2013. They describe themselves as rock music and credit Jimmy Eat World, Radiohead and Blink-182 as some of their influences. I would make sure to get to the show early because for once the openers will be as good as the headliners.

Tonight's show starts at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are still available at the door for $15. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Scenery's Fourth Annual Christmas Show with Squid The Whale and More!!!

This Friday you can celebrate the end of the world with two of our local favorites. The Scenery and Squid The Whale have teamed up with Envoi and Shapes & Colors to put on The Scenery’s Fourth Annual Christmas Bash. The show is scheduled to be held at The Crimson Lounge and is $6 in advance or $8 at the door. This is an all ages show, so anyone is welcome. The address for the venue is 13634 Sibley Rd., Riverview, MI 48193 and was formerly known as “The Rack & Roll" if you are familiar with the area. Check out these videos from Squid the Whale and The Scenery and make sure to come celebrate the end of the world with these fine kids.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Jamaican Queens Video"The Kids Get Away"

This week on of my favorite local acts Jamaican Queens released their video for the song “The Kids Get Away.” The video was filmed in and around the streets of Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. It premiered on Noisey and we wanted to make sure that you caught it. 
The video was directed by Andy Miller and produced by Amanda Leclaire. It features all three of the boys from Jamaican Queen’s- Ryan Clancy, Ryan Spencer, and Adam- wearing masks while riding their bikes.

This video reminds us that Detroit has a dark side and at times can be a dangerous place. Singer Ryan Spencer said he was inspired to write this song when he realized how unsafe and stupid he was at times. He says "I kind of wrote this song as a reminder to stop being such an idiot. It’s not safe getting fucked up and riding my bike home from weird rave spaces at 4 in the morning alone.” 

The band's next show is this Friday with Nothing Elegant and CrayCrays at Jumbo's and is only $5. You can spend the end of the world dancing and listening to some of the best music this city has to offer. 


I think we just fell in love with Bradley Walden from Squid the Whale

The holidays are right around the corner and the radio has been blasting Christmas music for over a month now. Sometimes I get sick of hearing the same songs done the same way over and over again. On the other hand, I really enjoy when a band or vocalist I like puts out a version of a song with their own twist on it. 

This year Bradley Walden of Squid the Whale teamed up with Lisa Vitale to cover my all-time favorite Christmas song, Happy X-mas (war is over) by John Lennon. This song makes me tear up when sung by John Lennon, but when redone by Bradley Walden and Lisa Vitale I was ready to sob. I cannot believe that we have people with this level of talent in the city of Detroit. 

Brad is the singer for Squid the Whale, a Michigan based band that simply does not get enough attention for being as good as they are. Brad sings better than 90% of the people I have ever heard in my lifetime. I would compare his voice to being as good and as original as some of my favorites including the late great Freddie Mercury and powerful as Janis Joplin. Not that he sounds like these singers, but instead he is as memorable and original as they were. 

Squid the Whale has some upcoming shows including at The Crimson in Riverview, Michigan on December 21st, Beard Fest in Grand Rapids at The DAAC on December 29th and Kobo Live in Columbus Ohio on January 11th. 

This X-mas video and song cover were made for one of my favorite local clothing companies Stheart. This company sponsors many of the bands that we talk about on the site and makes some of the coolest shirts, hats and hoodies around; I have to admit that I ordered quite a few things from the website during their cyber Monday sale. After you have listened to Bradley Walden do one of the best covers I have ever heard, head over to to pick up some of his original music and head over to for last minute shopping including the full winter 1 and 2 line that they recently rolled out. We have to admit Mr. Walden, you are as talented as they come, thank you for sharing this cover and your voice with the world. Hope to see you all at the next Squid the Whale show. 


Shop Incognito for Christmas!

The holidays are just around the corner and I know a lot of you are struggling to find the perfect gift for that one of a kind friend or family member that seems to have everything. I wanted to remind you about my favorite store in Michigan, Incognito located in Royal Oak Michigan. 

This store has been my staple since I was a teenager and always has exactly what I am looking for. Not only are they the only place in the area to get a great pair of Jeffrey Campbell’s, but they always carry the latest trends in jewelry, sunglasses and bags. They have stocked their shelves for the holidays with all sorts of new merchandise including, Detroit apparel ranging in sizes children to plus sized adult. 
They also just received a huge stock of MotelRocks dresses if you are looking for that perfect holiday outfit. They are running specials everyday through the holiday’s and they announce these specials daily with pictures and posts on their facebook, Instagram and twitter so make sure that you are following them. Last week they even ran a buy one get one half off sale which is unheard of for a place like Incognito. For more information go to their website. You can also check out our previous feature from earlier this year here. Happy shopping!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Ugly Sweater Extravaganza with Passalaqua

After all the holiday work parties, family get-togethers and right before the big day, you’re going to want to relax, put on an ugly Christmas sweater and hang out with Passalacqua.  
This hip hop duo is hosting an Ugly Sweater Extravaganza at St. Andrew's on Christmas Eve’s eve, December 23rd.  They have teamed up with Cold English, Detroit CYDI, Of Mice and Musicians, James Linck and The Black Opera for this event. If you do not know who Passalacqua is, they are the Kresge winning duo that we caught up with a few months ago at The Loving Touch.

These guys killed it at  DIY, Theatre Bizarre and Noel Night this year and made it clear that they are a force to be reckoned with. The best part is that they are the nicest, coolest, people that we have met in a long time and most importantly, these charming men can rhyme.  

The show is a whopping $5 to get in and 18+ are welcome. There will be an ugliest sweater contest and they will be release a X-mas split 7 inch with James Linck at the event. The event will be hosted by Dante LaSalle, who will also be providing some sounds during the show. 

Hope to see you all in your ugliest outfit, time to break out those sweater tights ladies! Or, for those sexier little kittens just wear the oversized sweater with no tights and call it a dress, which ought to warm the room up!


Check Out the Debut EP from Brother Apollo

Recently we were introduced to a band called Brother Apollo hailing from Flint. They sent over their self-titled debut EP for us to check out. Upon listening to it I was instantly reminiscent of the early 2000s and bands from the era, like Jimmy Eat World and Saves the Day. That's not to say that these guys necessarily sound just like either of the two though.

This four piece band released their first EP in October of this year. It's made up of 6 songs, most of which are on the slower side and, dare I say, sort of emo (haven't used that word in a minute!). This band is definitely worth checking out. The songs are good and the guys are talented. It's as simple as that. Plus, their EP is FREE to download on Bandcamp. Can't turn that down! Definitely an album worth adding to the collection. Although I already liked it the first time I listened to it, I am growing more and more fond of it every time I listen to it.  Soon enough I'll be belting out the chorus of each song at the top of my lungs.

Between Maria Rose & The Swiss Kicks, Tunde and now Brother Apollo, one thing's for sure... Flint has some good music going on! If you want to check Brother Apollo out live, they will be playing The Pike Room this Sunday, December 16th. Doors open early, at 5 p.m. and $12 gets you in. 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

'A Festivus Miracle' at PJ's Lager House Tonight!

Need a little family time? It is the holiday season after all... Aren't you supposed to be around family? I guess everyone will have enough of that in just over a week at Christmas. Yes, that's right. Christmas is just around the corner already! Ah!
Moving on to the part of this post that matters, PJ's Lager House is having their 3rd annual Family Christmas Show tonight. There are a bunch of great bands playing including: Patrick Davy and the Ghosts, Hit Society, The HandGrenades, Stephen Schmidt, The Ashleys, and in her first family show appearance, Alison Lewis. Alison Lewis will be opening the night with an acoustic set and Ricky Ruggero from Citizen Smile will be playing acoustic with Stephen Schmidt and Eric Roosen on drums. 

In case you missed it earlier this week, The HandGrenades have a new track, "Impossible" that you can hear on their bandcamp. You should definitely give it a listen. Do it!

The show is a measly $5, starts promptly at 9:30 and is 18+. So get in the Christmas spirit and get down to the Lager House and bust a move to these awesome bands.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Business at Small's This Weekend

After 30 years of bullshit, punk rock and controversy, The Business return to Michigan to unload their brand of Punk Rock at Small's this Saturday December 14th.  
These working class heroes from South London have been singing about European football, factory life blues, drinking and driving and their motorbikes since 1979 and show no signs of stopping anytime soon.  

The Business changed music forever with their album “Suburban Rebels.” They were very influential in the “Oi!” punk rock movement of the late 70’s early 80’s. In recent history, their song “England 5- Germany 1” became an anthem for German Football fans to scream out during matches and in pubs across England. They have released 12 studio albums in total and have been on many different labels over the years including Epitaph at its peak. They are also included in a countless amount of compilations that were put out from the years 1980-2010. Their career and influence is incredible. The best part is that unlike most bands they are still touring and still putting out great music.

They have teamed up with S.N.A.F.U., Suicide By Cop and The Arrogant Bastards for a super cheap show, $10 in advance and $12 at the door. This week you can see them in person and see the history of punk rock right before your eyes. Small's will be opening its doors at 8 p.m. and all ages are welcome. It’s time to get out and celebrate punk rock at its roots.


A Very Critical X-Mas Fest

What’s better than heading out to a show and seeing 4 or 5 bands play while you have a few drinks? Well usually not much, but in this case how about 27 bands, 3 stages and a killer lineup of solid music. 
89x, Metro 37 Studios (See our hilarious interview with Matt Dalton from Metro 37 Studios here) and Detroit Rock Review have booked A Very Critical X-Max Fest to take place at New York New York on December 15th. Less than one week before the end of the world you can meet up with your friends and check out some of the best bands that Michigan has to offer at the indoor music festival

I am particularly happy to say that the best band that Michigan has seen in years, Wilson, will be headlining the day along with Critical Bill. The show starts at 6 p.m. and is somehow only $10. Doors are at 4 p.m. if you want to get out there early and check out the stages and merch before the festivities start. Check out the rest of the lineup below.

Citizen Zero
Ballz Deluxe
Blind Season
Through Our Eyes
Hell Rides North
Electric Playground
CurbStone Beauty
Grand Circus
Aim Your Arrows
Shock Wave
Hour 24
The Most Powerful Weapon
Digital Love
Bristol Street
Discrete Heat
Brandon Bogues
The Worst Of