Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bringin' Back Basement Shows

This Friday you have a chance to see some great bands in one of my favorite basements in town! The Toepfer House in Warren is hosting a show featuring The Dewtons, Golden Torso, Fires In Japan and The A-Gang. We absolutely love going to shows at this space. It's always so much fun. And if you are worried that you are too old for a basement show, you're not. We guarantee you will love it too. Since we are such fans of this house/venue, we wanted to take some time to get to know the people behind Toepfer House and find out what they have going on there. Here's what Beth (and Vince & Nick) had to say. 

Hip In Detroit - What made you want to start having basement shows at your house? How long have you been hosting shows?
Beth - "Pretty much everyone who has ever lived in the house is in a band or tied to a band in some way, so I think it was just kind of bound to happen. Before Vince (from Cheapshow) and Nick (from Against The Grain) moved in to the house we had had a few shows here, but in the last few months things have really started to take off. Kyle from Break Anchor used to live here as well and I think that definitely helped us get our foot in the door a little bit. Now Vince is kind of in charge of putting the shows together that we'd like to have played here, I book most of the ones that people come to us asking about or touring bands, and Nick just tells us when A.T.G. is going to play here."

Hip In Detroit - What do you think is the best show you guys have had?
Beth - "All of the shows we've had here have been great. We've had shows with a handful of people, and we've had shows where we couldn't squeeze another person in the basement. I don't know if I could pick a favorite show, but I definitely have a favorite moment. We booked a really last minute show with a touring band who's original show had gotten bumped. On a week's notice I managed to get together some other bands and promoted it the best I could. The night of the show finally rolls around and one of the bands didn't even bother showing up. I think five people total wound up paying and it was pouring down rain and absolutely awful outside.  We wound up spacing out the three bands that were playing about an hour apart, and everyone who did show just sat around drinking beer and getting to know each other all night. At one point a good chunk of us went outside to smoke and it was still pouring so we all huddled under this giant beach umbrella, and someone said, "Everyone here is really nice." That's the moment I realized how much I loved what we do here and that we had accomplished what we set out to do. There could be 5 people here or there could be 150, and everyone's still having a good time."

Hip In Detroit - So, you had the pleasure of having The Suicide Machines play in your basement, not many people can say that. What was that like?
Beth - "It was absolutely incredible. Vince and his partner, Jess put this one together and it was for a great cause. If someone would have told teenage me that one day The Suicide Machines would be playing in my basement I never would have believed them. It's definitely a story we're going to have to tell people when we're older. "

Hip In Detroit - What would be your dream show to have at Toepfer House?
Beth - "We all have pretty different tastes in music so I asked everyone for their opinion (keep in mind we're dreaming here). Vince says Latterman, Against Me!, The Gaslight Anthem, and The Measure (SA). I say The Lawrence Arms, Banner Pilot, The Riverdales, and The Ergs. Nick says someone good (Vince and I are guessing Turbonegro.)"

Hip In Detroit - The giant beer wall decals in the basement... Did you guys put those up or were they there when you moved in?
Beth - "They were already here. When my original roommates and I first moved in to the house it was the first thing that was pointed out to me. I think it was kind of meant to be."

Hip In Detroit - What do you guys have coming up?
Beth - "This Friday we have The Dewtons, Golden Torso, The A-Gang, and Fires in Japan. I've definitely been looking forward to that one for a while now. Next Friday we have an all acoustic show with Vince playing Cheapshow songs, Jordan and Eric from Due North, Allison Hannah (The Gator), and Andrew and David from Fires in Japan. We have something in the works for a Valentine's Day cover show, and some things getting put together in March and April, and it's not confirmed yet but there might be a Frank White reunion show in the works for sometime in January."

Hip In Detroit - Now's your chance, is there anything you want to tell people that come to Toepfer House for a show?
Beth - "I'd really like to just thank everyone who comes out to these shows, all the bands that play, everyone who helps get gear together for us, and everyone who helps promote these shows. Without everybody else, what we do here would never be possible. Everyone has always been very respectful of our property and of the other people here, and we really appreciate that. We have a lot of fun putting on these shows, and I hope we get to do it for a long time. Oh and a very big thanks to every drunk person at every show, we appreciate your returnables."

Hip In Detroit - Other than your house, what's your favorite venue? Favorite place to shop, grab a drink, grab some food, etc.?
Beth - "My favorite venue is probably the Magic Stick, Small's is great too and probably my favorite place for drinks along with The Loving Touch. As far as food goes some personal favorite spots are Louie's Ham and Corned Beef just down the street from here, when I'm craving some veggies Inn Season in Royal Oak is great, and of course you can't go wrong with pizza, and if you haven't tried Vincenzo's at 13 and Mound yet, you should definitely give them a shot. Shopping? Merch tables."

Thanks again to Beth and the guys for taking the time to answer these questions and for opening their home up to so many great bands and so many people! We love to party at your house and we hope you continue to let us! We also love the wall decals in the basement. Super lucky find! 

So this Friday, head down to South Warren. The address is 8741 Toepfer and $5 will get you in the door. Don't forget to pick up a couple of 40s on your way down! Lucky for you, there are plenty of liquor stores to choose from while drivin' on Van Dyke!


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