Thursday, February 28, 2013

Big Plans and New Ideas for The Rust Belt Market

If you ever drive down Woodward or make a stop in Ferndale you have seen Rust Belt Market, LLC. It's right at the corner of 9 Mile and Woodward in a beautiful building with its towering sign. Their space is full of shoppers every weekend, perusing goods made by local artists. Quite a change since my teenage years when Old Navy was housed in the building! 

Rust Belt Market is a 15,000 square foot space in the heart of Downtown Ferndale. It is a home for many local artists of many different mediums. It also opens itself up to musicians and performing artists that entertain shoppers amidst the numerous vendors. It's a beautiful space, like no other. When you enter the doors, you can tell that the owners, Chris & Tiffany Best take pride in their business, as do the artists that make it their home.

Currently Rust Belt Market is only open on the weekends. Their hours are Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. As you can imagine, it must be hard to pay rent for and keep up a building of its size in the heart of Ferndale, especially when you are only open on the weekends. So, the owners are looking to change things up a bit. Because the foot traffic isn't the same through the week as it is on the weekends, and since many of the vendors have day jobs, making Rust Belt a 7 day a week shop isn't ideal. Instead they are looking to renovate their space to offer a new event space that will be available through the week.

In order to complete this renovation project, Rust Belt is trying to come up with $20,000. It is a lot of money, but it is not as much as some would expect for such a big project. Rust Belt is hoping to reach this monetary goal through a Kickstarter Campaign, rather than going through a bank. And really, it's a great idea. The slogan of the campaign is "The Rust Belt Shall Live Not By Weekends Alone". Contributors won't walk away empty handed either! Depending on the amount you donate, you can get anything from a public "Thank You" to stickers, shirts, posters, artwork or even a chance to hold your event in the new space. It's a pretty cool idea with great benefits for the supporters and the community as a whole. This amazing company has become an anchor in Downtown Ferndale and they have allowed so many artists a chance to make a business out of doing what they love.

To find out more about Rust Belt and this Kickstarter Campaign, we caught up with Chris Best and asked him some questions that we wanted to know the answers to.

Hip In Detroit- When did Rust Belt open? 
Chris- "May of 2011" 

Hip In Detroit- Where did you and Tiffany get the idea from? What motivated you to open Rust Belt?
Chris- "Art fairs and craft shows in Detroit are not like your grandma and grandpa’s art fair of yesteryear. We attended more than a few of these events. We went to The People's Art Fest 2011 that takes place at the Russell Industrial Center and we asked most vendors where they sell their super cool work other than there, they mostly replied “etsy”. We thought this was not good enough. They needed a regular place to sell. It was at this exact visit the idea seed was planted in our brain and we couldn’t shake it. It was just the details that needed to be worked out. It was on our 3 hour trip back from Art Prize in Grand Rapids a month or so after People's we talked a lot and the business model was born (unknown to us it had already been done in NYC)." 

Hip In Detroit- What are some of the biggest obstacles you had to overcome when starting Rust Belt?
Chris- "There is very little precedent to our model. It is a strange business. We are essentially sub leasers. Very, very hands on sub leasers. When people ask us what we do during the week (because we run a weekend only market) we want to lose our shit. There is no way we could illustrate to them how much work it is without sounding like jerks. Also, creative people are the most important part of the human population as far as we are concerned, but WOW they hard to manage at times. It is very similar to herding cats to a watering hole. It is better now (after two years) because we have loyal vendors that get the vision and they help explain to the newbies how it works. And they help us so very much. We love our main stay vendors almost like family."

Hip In Detroit- What are some of the obstacles you are currently faced with? 
Chris- "Ughh. Isn’t it always money? It really is cash flow. The space is X amount of $ per month. The rent from vendors per month is Y. If Y is just slightly more than X there is not just not enough $ for continued growth. The opportunity for growth is there but the space is too big . We are faced with the daunting task of filling it each weekend with QUALITY vendors to impress our visitors. We turn away a lot of potential vendors waiving cash at us that have merch that just doesn’t make the cut for what we are trying to be. If we were a flea market we could fill the place plus another 10,000 sq ft. We have to maintain our integrity to the point of our detriment. Also, we have no employees. Until 2 months ago we were cleaning the bathrooms and mopping all 15,000 sq ft. We have admin duties and are bouncers for drunks and then all the PR work and everything else that is involved with running this beast. We try to find time for each other and our kids, but it’s not as much as we would like. Boo hoo right? Every one else has the same problems that try to carve out a life in this world."

Hip In Detroit- Tell us about this re-construction project you are working on. 
Chris- "The Kickstarter campaign is for us to buy materials to build walls to create a beautiful event space. This event space creation is so critical to our continued success. We cannot possibly turn away another event space request due to the vendors merchandise being present. We have to generate revenue from our expensive space Monday through Friday. This is a no-brainer move. The vendors are behind it because they know how critical it is to our growth. They also know it will further supplement the weekend market through more awareness from people that may have never been to the space. We will only be losing about five vendor spaces because we will be using the space so much more efficiently."

Hip In Detroit- How will the new "walls" you are building affect the layout of the space? Will your shoppers notice a difference? 
Chris- "Yes they will. When they enter in through the rear entrance they will be confronted with a beautiful space that may or may not be used during market hours for events. Our ceiling is 17’, the walls will be 10’ tall. They will be in awe and may be overcome with the urge to lease the space once they realize it is available. There will be three large gateways to enter and exit the space. These will most likely be creative metal welded gates you can see through even when the gates are closed. We will try to hold very cool events that play well with the rest of the market during weekend hours such as furniture shows, fashion shows, puppet shows, music, etc… We are building a stage into the space as we want to become even more of a live music venue."

Hip In Detroit- What about the vendors & artists that set up shop at Rust Belt Market? Will this have a big impact on them? Will there will be more or less shops or about the same?  
Chris- "I think it will bring even more awareness to what we are on the weekends which will only bring more shoppers in. We will lose only 5 vendor spaces because of a much more efficient use of space."

Hip In Detroit- Judging by how amazing your establishment already is, I'm sure your plans for this new layout and event space are equally as awesome. When can people plan on seeing events being held at The Rust Belt?  
Chris- "Almost immediately. We will be a venue for the Metro Times Blowout the first weekend in May. It has been held in Hamtramck exclusively in year’s past, but this year they’ve added a second weekend in Ferndale. Also, on that Saturday we will be hosting the first food truck event of 2013 in the back alley from 5 till 11 p.m. It also happens to be our 2 year anniversary so there is a strong possibility I will be drunk while cleaning up after the food trucks leave."

Hip In Detroit- Since Rust Belt is open to shoppers on the weekend, will the event space only be available through the week or will it also be available on weekends?  
Chris- "It will be open for events during the week. That is not to say some of the events may request we be open to the public to shop if it is a fund raiser or something. Some events can set up during market hours and take place after-hours as well. But the ultimate goal is to get more people to Ferndale, so the possibility of opening the market more becomes a reality. That is what people really want."

Hip In Detroit- Here's your chance... tell our readers everything you want or some points we may have missed. 
Chris- "Wow. There is a lot. Of course I can’t think of much now… I guess the biggest point I would like to make is that this is a boot strap business. Tiffany and I are not trust fund babies. We willed this business into fruition through an extreme amount of hard work. I built and mounted both gigantic signs in the front and back of the exterior face. She wrote the amazing biz plan that convinced so many nay-sayers that it would actually work. I designed the cool lights above the stage that everyone seems to love. I built the stage. She does all the boring admin stuff that keeps the business running. Tiffany is such a talented artist that can’t find the time to do the rad installations that would blow people's minds. PLEASE consider donating to the Kickstarter campaign!! If for no other reason so we can hire some great people to lighten her work load to allow her to show the world just how talented she is."

Just in case you aren't already convinced that you should help out, hopefully this video from their  Kickstarter page will sway you.  


We wish Rust Belt the best of luck on making this new idea a reality. The Kickstarter campaign for the improvements to the space runs through March 22nd. Every dollar helps! Let's help this amazing business be even bigger and better than it already is!


Help Detroit Get to SXSW

Every year a group of talented Detroiters head down to SXSW to represent our city in the great state of Texas. Last year Flashclash, Tunde, Joe Gall Photography, Peace Love Spandex and Bye Bye Birdy were some of the artists that attended the fest. 

This year Passalacqua, James Linck, Phantasmagoria, Doss the Artist and Cold Men Young are planning to head down and literally take over the city. They will be playing on the Metro Times Blowout stage, but also plan to bring along a generator to play wherever the fuck they want. 

                                                         Photo by Doug Coombe 

They are asking for their fans to come together and help them fund their travels and subsequent impromptu performances at SXSW. They have created a way for you to donate to their cause online and in return for helping them, you get something in return. Everyone that donates will receive swag from these artists. The amount of swag you get will be determined by the amount of money that you donate but every person that donates will get an invite to a private show TBA once they return from their trip. Even a dollar will get you something fun and a ticket for the future show. 

The donations close on March 8th so if you have something to give, give now! I donated myself. I can't miss a future party with these boys and girls.


A Moment with Matthew Hockaday - Real Detroit's Best Tattoo Artist of 2013

I am a very impatient girl and I hate waiting. In the words of Veruca Salt, “I want it now.” Or in this case I have been sitting on a really cool interview for 3 days that I want to share with you now! 

This past weekend we were invited by InkAddict clothing to come check out the Motor City Tattoo Expo and interview one of their featured artists, Matthew Hocakday. What we didn't know was that Matthew had recently found out that he was going to be named the Real Detroit Best Local Tattoo Artist in their latest 'Best of Detroit' released this past Wednesday. He shared the news with us and sat down to do the interview, but made us wait a few days before we could release it to our readers.

Matthew started tattooing in 1999, but he is also passionate about oil painting. He is an artist that uses everything from paper to human skin to create beauty. He does some of the most realistic faces that we have ever seen and is very passionate about what he does.

Matthew already has a waiting list, but I imagine that his appointment book will be filling up more and more as word gets out. You can fill out a form on his website to book an appointment with him. I read online that he really wants to tattoo Bill Murray,so that might be your in to get bumped up on the list.

Special thanks to InkAddict for making this interview possible and for having us come out to the convention. We look forward to doing more with your brand in the future. Check out InkAddict clothing online here.  


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Break Anchor "Rolling Blackouts" Tour Kick-Off this Friday!!!

Well, it's no secret that Break Anchor is one of our favorite Detroit bands. This Friday, March 1st, you get to see why. They are playing a show at one of our favorite places to see them play, the Toepfer House. The show is the kick-off to their West Coast tour that starts on March 21st. This is the first time that Break Anchor has headed out to the other side of the U.S. of A. Along the way they will be making stops in Indianapolis, St. Louis, Englewood (CO), Salt Lake City, Boise, Portland, Seattle, Medford (OR), Berkley, L.A., San Diego, Tempe and Chicago. Well, over at Hip In Detroit we just have one question... Can we come too??? Sounds like an awesome tour and we wish you guys the best of luck and safe travels. 

If you would like to bid the band a proper farewell as well head over to South Warren this weekend. Friday's show includes Wrist-Rocket, Best Idea Ever, Bad Assets, The Randy Bastards and, of course, Break Anchor. It's only $7 to get in the door and it starts at 8 p.m. If you still haven't made it out to the Toepfer House, it is located just off of Van Dyke between 8 & 9 Mile at 8741 Toepfer, Warren, MI 48089. Toepfer House shows are always BYOB (if you are 21+) and a ton of fun. For all of the details on the show visit the Facebook event here.

Video courtesy of Matt Moy with Adam Burgess


Peace X Piece

I was recently introduced to an organization called Peace By Piece. This organization uses music and art to bring people together for a cause. They focus on the three Es that affect all of our lives; education, economy and environment. Friday, March 1st they are hosting a show to focus on the first E, education. We wanted to make you aware of what they were doing and tell you how you could get involved. 

The Majestic Theatre will be host To Emily Rose, Every Last Day, For Pete’s Sake, My Pal Val, and a showcase of women in hip-hop from The Foundation of the SE Gallery. They are aiming to raise awareness on education reform in Michigan under Governor Snyder. Many teachers are unhappy with the direction that the laws and the schools are going. Peace x Piece intends to raise awareness and connect people that feel the same. 

The money raised from this event will go to fund further events that they plan to produce in the future. The show is $8 in advance and $10 at the door. This is your chance to learn more about Michigan's education laws, meet others and debate, and hear some good music. Doors are at 8 p.m.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Day at the Motor City Tattoo Expo

This past weekend we were invited by InkAddict clothing to check out our first tattoo convention. Christie and I ventured down to The Renaissance Center and entered into a whole new world. There were literally hundreds of people walking around, while others were getting tattoos, looking at tattoos, buying tattoo merchandise, looking at the latest and greatest in tattoo guns and accessories, and anything else you can think of that is involved with getting inked. 

It was very overwhelming to see all of the artists. Each has a different specialty, a different graphic, and a different way that they are branding themselves to their consumers. If you were interested in getting a tattoo and were looking to find an artist, this would have been the place to be. Artists were in town from all over the U.S. The show was host to many different people from all ages and backgrounds. There were even women pushing strollers as they roamed the aisles. There is no “type” of person that gets tattoos anymore, so there was a little something for everyone.
We had a really great time seeing something new and were happy to see so many people walking around the Ren Cen on a weekend. We also ran into one of our favorite local singer/songwriters Jennica Wahl from The Scenery and Bye Bye Birdy. She was even cool enough to let us interview her while she was getting a tattoo. Scott Yettaw was in town from Michigan City, Indiana (isn't that confusing) and she had to make sure that she got a chance to get something done by him. He is the man behind the sexy arms of Bradley Walden from Squid The Whale and she was a huge fan of his style and work. She even brought her sister along to get matching ink done. Jennica is covered in some of the most beautiful tattoos i have ever seen and she was a little nervous to get her foot tattooed. That's right kids the lady with a birdcage on her throat still gets nervous. It made us smile. We got a chance to talk to her and Scott while he was working and he filled us in on who he is and what he does. 

It was very cool to run into a friend and see our first tattoo show. A huge thank you to InkAddict for opening up our eyes to a world that we has never seen before. As I mentioned in the video, Jennica will be performing next week at The Crofoot in The Vernors Room as Bye Bye Birdy with American Opera, Carts Before Horses and Vince Dynamic. The show is only $8 and doors are at 7. If you haven't seen her play before, this is the perfect time to check her out and see how the new ink is healing. Now I have to figure out what tattoo I want to get next because that convention gave me tattoo fever again!


Get Sexy & Get In Shape

If I told you that there was a way to get in shape and to be sexier in the bedroom, would I get your attention? Burlesque has always been a woman's secret to getting a tiny waist and getting in touch with your inner sexiness. I have enjoyed taking classes in the past and we found one that we thought you might be interested in.

Charlotte’s Burlesque Academy offers classes in the art of seduction and performance. They can teach you how to get in touch with your body and learn how to move it. The classes run Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. Each session is $25 or you can pay for a three pack for only $60. You must wear spandex fishnets or leggings to class, no bare legs. And make sure that you bring a pair heels along with your regular shoes! These classes are offered at Awaken Studio at 277 Iron Street, Loft 125 in Detroit. 

This could be something fun and different to try with a group of friends or on your own!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Flashclash, Phantasmagoria, Autumn Wolf & Sadie at The Magic Bag Saturday

Last year we were able to sit down with the elusive Flashclash when they preformed at The Magic Bag in Ferndale. It was one of the rare appearances where the band got to play without the interruption of The Holt. Word on the street is that they have teamed up with the unstoppable duo Chris and Lianna of Phantasmagoria and Autumn Wolf to perform for you for you this Saturday, March 2nd at The Magic Bag in Ferndale.

Since last year Flashclash has changed up its lineup and written a lot more music. The entire stage show has been switched up and they have grown as musicians. We plan to sit down with General Yorg and learn more at the show, but in the meantime check out a video of a past performance shot by our friend Matt Moy here. Flashclash is truly like nothing you have ever seen before.

Meanwhile, Phantasmagoria has enjoyed a steady flow of growth and expansion over the last year. They have been playing bigger and bigger shows to larger and larger crowds and recently released a new music video for "Child of the Sun" off their last EP "Currents". They even announced last week that they will be traveling down to represent Detroit at this year's SXSW with James Linck, Passalacqua, Cold Young Men and many more.

Both of these acts, teamed up with Autumn Wolf, is going to make for a great night. The best part is that Hip In Detroit writer, Lady Sadie Q, will be the hostess with the mostest for the night. Inked In Love will also have a booth at this event, for any of you out there looking to pick up their merchandise after reading about it on our site last week. The show is for 18+ and tickets are $10. It all starts at 9 p.m. and The Magic Bag is located at 22920 on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale.

Partying To Benefit The Powerful Beard

A few months ago my friend Adam O’Connor got really sick, really fast out of nowhere. For weeks the doctors had no clue what was wrong with him and every test kept coming up negative. He was in ICU for weeks, with doctors observing his every move, 24/7. I followed his daily struggles through an amazing blog that his wife created and posted on almost daily called “The Powerful Beard”. She kept all of her husband’s friends and family updated on through her blog instead of having each of us call her and ask a million questions. 

Adam O’Connor’s journey so far has not been easy and unfortunately he has a long way to go to get back to the shit talking bad ass that he has always been. Adam is one of the funniest people I have ever met; he can make you smile in seconds with one of his witty remarks. He’s the kind of person that you do not forget and love to be around. I have missed running into him at shows the last few months and can’t wait to see him out and about again. 

While he works his butt off to get back on his feet, the bills are rolling in. Beaumont is not a cheap hotel to stay at, especially when you have their best doctors overseeing your care. Normally, Adam hustles as one of the heads at Real Detroit Magazine and you can catch him on any given night at a show or event . He is one of the better writers and interviewers out there and is someone that I look up to. When someone like this is down for the count, we as a community have to step up and help them.

The Powerful Beard Benefit has been created to help Adam and his wife Stephanie while they focus on Adam’s rehab. This event will be held at The Magic Bag on February 28th at 7 p.m. and will feature the Howling Diablos, Awesome Jarvis and the Whales, Citizen Zero, The Infatuations, Amy Gore and her Valentines and many more. They are asking for a $10 donation at the door, but you can give more if you are able to and want to. This is a chance for all of us to get together, hear some great music, and raise some money for someone that has done so much for our community. Remember to keep up with Adam on the blog and try to come out and help us raise money for this powerful beard.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Win Tickets to See Murder By Death & Man Man!!!

There are way too many good shows going on this weekend! This includes yet another Black Iris Booking show on Saturday, February 23 with Murder By Death and Man Man at The Magic Stick.
Don't let Murder By Death's name scare you. They are a rock/indie/americana band with a deep, brooding sound. They have toured with bands like Lucero and Against Me! You can check out their music on their Bandcamp page here.

I randomly caught a Man Man show a couple years ago in Chicago and it instantly turned me into a big fan of them. Even without ever hearing them before, you instantly have fun and get into it. They are along the lines of a Gogol Bordello/gypsy rock kind of sound (a little less on the gypsy than Gogol Bordello), and who doesn't love Start Wearing Purple?

This is sure to be a great show. Tickets are $14 advance, $16 day of and doors are at 8 p.m. And to make it even better, thanks to the lovely ladies at Black Iris Booking, we're giving you a chance to win tickets! All you have to do is tweet us @hipindetroit that you want tickets with the hashtags: #BlackIrisBooking, #HipInDetroit and #IWantToSeeMurderByDeathAndManMan; or email us at with your full name and the show you want tickets for. We'll announce the winner Saturday morning. Good luck!


WIN TICKETS:H2O and Terror at The Magic Stick this Sunday

This Sunday evening Black Iris Booking is bringing a bad ass show to town at The Magic Stick. The legendary bands H2O and Terror will be hitting the stage along with Code Orange Kids, Backtrack and Detroit's own Poison Tongues. If you were a hardcore kid in the late 90's/early 2000's, you've probably been having wet dreams about this show. 

Tickets for the All Ages show are only $15 and are available fee free at The Garden Bowl or online here. We will be absolutely shocked if this show doesn't sell out. So do yourself a favor and buy your tickets ahead of time!

Thanks to our good friends Ramona & Sarah at Black Iris Booking, you also have a chance to win a pair of tickets to this show! All you have to do is tweet at us @hipindetroit with the hashtag #IWantToSeeH2OandTerror... while you're at it throw #BlackIrisBooking and #HipInDetroit in there too. If you aren't big on all of that twitter business, you can also enter by e-mailing us at Make sure you put H2O and Terror in the subject line and your full name in the body of the e-mail. 

After the amazing show up at the Magic Stick there will be an after party in The Garden Bowl with The Worst Of. You can get all of the details for both of these shows on the Facebook event here

Thanks to Black Iris Booking this is going to be one hell of a weekend in Detroit!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Me & You and Fashion for a Roof

Fashion can exclude people and fashion can bring people together. Here in Detroit we have a pretty tight knit fashion community that takes care of each other and supports one and other. When local designers and businesses learned that Brenda Brown, who manages the catering at The Masonic Temple, needed help, they stepped up and found a way to help her. They are throwing an event called “Me & You and Fashion for a Roof’ at The Masonic Temple this Saturday, February 23rd, to help raise funds for Brenda and her family. This event will feature music, fashion and a silent auction. 
Brenda is a 64 year old Detroit resident who not only works for The Masonic Temple, but also is the sole caregiver for her 98 year old mother and 46 year old mentally disabled son. She is a hardworking women who is trying to do it all by herself. She owns a modest home in Highland Park that has a very leaky roof. She looked into repairing that roof and learned that it would cost around $10,000, an amount of money that she does not have. This leak is slowly destroying the inside of her home and creating an unsafe environment for herself and the two loved ones that she takes care of. She needs a roof and we as a community can help her get it.

This event will feature designer Fotoula Lambros, Noir Leather, Maestros Dog Haus, Moriginals Kids Designs, music from  Damn Panic Productions featuring Jackin’4 l3eats and Dr. Unk, and a performance from the Doppelganger Circus Sideshow. Tickets are $20 a piece and are available at Noir Leather (124 West 4th St. in Royal Oak), online at or at the door the day of the show. 100% of the proceeds will go to Brenda and getting her and her family a new roof. This is a great way to check out some new fashion and make a change in the community around you!


Win Some Goddamn Tickets to See The Goddamn Gallows!!!

After getting such a great response to Becca’s interview with The Goddamn Gallows earlier this week, we decided to ask the ladies over at Black Iris Booking if we could give a lucky reader a chance to go to the show this Friday at Small's. The Goddamn Gallows are playing with Jayke Orvis & the Broken Band and James Hunnicutt. Doors for this show are at 8 p.m. and tickets are $12 at the door. The last time they played here it almost sold out, so you may want to buy you tickets via before they are gone. 

One lucky winner will win a pair of tickets courtesy of Hip In Detroit and Black Iris Booking. To enter, just email us at with the subject line The Goddam Gallows. Make sure to include your full name in the body so we know who to put on the list! We will e-mail the winner on Friday morning. Good luck! 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

James Linck @ The Loving Touch This Past V-Day

Here is a video of James Linck preforming at The Loving Touch this past Thursday on V-Day. I had a lot of friends come out and see him for the first time, and just as I promised, they were not disappointed. I highly suggest you check this out and make it a point to come see him live and in person. He is a one of a kind talent who draws you in and makes you pay attention. 

James' next show is March 22 at St. Andrew's with Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas. So mark your calenders! I hope that you will finally listen to all my obsessing and see to judge for yourself.


Inked In Love

A few months ago one of my oldest friends took his life. He was someone who was loved and changed not only my life, but the lives of many of the people I know. I can’t help but feel like if we could have just been there, or if he would have called, maybe he wouldn’t be gone right now. Suicide is not easy to cope with and you never forget someone who takes their own life. It's hard to think of someone that you loved being so sad and hurt that they thought that was the best option. It’s hard to admit that a lot of us have been there ourselves over the years; sometimes it is nearly impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have had to depend on the people that I love to get me through some difficult times and I do not know what I would have done without them. They didn't judge me when I talked to them, but instead listened and helped me get through the hard times.

Suicide prevention has become one of my passions. After losing my second friend this year, I realized that something has to be done about this. People need to have a place to turn and need to be more open
about how they are feeling. We need to work on getting rid of the stigma around suicide and start talking about it more openly.

Right after my friend passed away, I met a local named Josh Kassabian. He pulled me aside and told me about an idea he and Joe Kassabian had for a clothing company that would put a large amount of its proceeds back into the community and into charities that work with issues close to his heart. The two issues that he was focusing on were suicide prevention and soldiers returning home from the army. These are two causes close to my heart, so I had to learn more about what he was doing. 

He had a great idea to start a clothing company that had one extra feature; every screen printed shirt would have a special patch on the shoulder that would also be screen-printed and sewn on. These
patches could be purchased at a lower cost if you could not afford to buy a shirt. He wanted to find a way to get the word out and give people options. He even planned to make stickers and buttons and to keep expanding from there. I loved the logo, the merch, and most of all the idea. I asked him to sit down with his partner Joe, via email, and tell us a little more about the brand. Joe is still actively serving our country, hence why we had to do an email interview.

The company, Inked In Love, will have a table at the March 2nd Flashclash and Phantasmagoria show at The Magic Bag. So read ahead to learn more about the brand and then come out to the show on the 2nd to pick up some swag. Thanks so much Joe and Josh for what you are doing. We are so happy to be helping you get the word out about this wonderful brand and idea. 

Hip In Detroit- What motivated you to start Inked In Love? Why did you choose the name Inked In Love? 
Josh Kassabian- "Inked In Love originally started as a way for heavily tattooed individuals such as myself to show their community they are not the people they are usually associated to. An outlet for these artistic, creative, unique individuals to make an effort in changing the worlds opinion of the everyday tattooed person by donating time and money to organizations such as suicide awareness and breast cancer foundations. After a year, Inked in Love was taken to a whole new level, not making the focus about heavily tattooed individuals but about good people in general trying to make a difference in the world."

Hip In Detroit- What items will you be making and selling? 
Josh Kassabian- "Inked In Love will be making (in house) our own clothing line and selling each of our clothing line shirts with our veterans assistance and suicide awareness patches sewn to the right
sleeve as our military displays. For those who cannot afford a shirt at this time, we will also be selling the patches separately for you to adhere to your own clothing and still show support. We also have stickers for sale, buttons coming soon and other articles of clothing in the future.

Hip In Detroit- Where will someone be able to find your merchandise and purchase it ? 
Josh Kassabian- "Currently our merch is only available through shows we  support and attend. Our website is being constructed ( and you will be able to shop online very soon."

Hip In Detroit- What charities will you be donating to? 
Joe Kassabian- "National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. This charity is near and dear to me because I'm a veteran myself and I understand the horrible uphill struggle many vets face once they leave their service. We just want them to know that while the government may forget their sacrifices, we never will."

Hip In Detroit- Tell us about the patch that will be on the shoulder of your shirts? 
Josh Kassabian- "The patch is the image of the flag for the veterans and positive words through the stripes for our support of suicide awareness. These will be placed on the same shoulder the military
represents the flag. The patch represents our causes not just by image, but by placement. We support two separate causes that very much go hand in hand with each other on a very normal basis."


Hip In Detroit- Is it true that you are screen printing all these items yourself? 
Josh Kassabian- "All Shirts, patches and future apparel is done by us personally. Stickers and buttons we get from other small businesses. We also have started talking with other people interested in getting
apparel screen printed, not just because of our reasonable cost but because we donate a percentage of all profit to these organizations. Meaning whether you support by purchasing our merchandise or your
business has us make your shirts, you’re donating and helping these causes with us."

Hip In Detroit- How much do shirts, stickers and patches cost? 
Josh Kassabian- "Depending on the design of shirt, most are averaging between $12.00 - $15.00 a shirt. Stickers are handed out with every shirt purchase, or individually purchased for $.50 and patches are running $2.00."

Hip In Detroit- How has suicide affected your life personally? 
Joe Kassabian- "Our family has been heavily impacted by suicide, and in a lot of ways has shaped and formed us into who we are today." 
Josh Kassabian- "I agree with Joe. Our family has had a lot of personal upset because of choices made reflecting this topic, but we have also had many friends, even recently make similar, hurtful choices. We have also struggled ourselves with this before and know where people are coming from in dark times."

Hip In Detroit- What advice do you have for someone that is thinking about taking their own life? 
Joe Kassabian- "Talk to someone. A friend, a family member, call the National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-8255, if you don't want to do that call me or find me on Facebook, you're never alone." 
Josh Kassabian- "I would also add that if your not the one struggling with these thoughts you need to remember to tell your friends on a normal basis you are there for them. Tell them how much you really do care about them and love them, appreciate them. Your friends need you. Let them know you need them too."

Hip In Detroit- Where do you see Inked In Love in the next year? Next five years? 
Josh Kassabian- "In the next year or two we are hoping to expand and be able to offer not only more merchandise, but more help for these organizations. Set up events, and hopefully make larger donations every year for these causes, not just in money but time. Money is always needed but you would be surprised how much your presence means."

Hip In Detroit- What are your favorite local bands, bars, and restaurants? 
Josh Kassabian and Joe Kassabian-
-BARS: The Crofoot (Pontiac, Michigan), St. Andrew's (Detroit, MI), Royal Oak Music Theatre (Royal Oak, MI)
-BANDS: Squid The Whale, Citizen Smile, Shapes And Colors


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Goddamn Gallows @ Small's Friday!

About a year ago, we were able to go see one of the best shows that I think we've seen since we started this website. The show was The Goddamn Gallows with Larry and his Flask. Both bands are crazy good live and everyone that went had a great time. We were able to catch up with both bands that night, you can see the video here
If you didn't catch them last time they were here, now is your chance. The Goddamn Gallows will be in town this Friday, February 22, at Small's with Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band, and James Hunnicutt. Yet another awesome show by Black Iris Booking!

We asked The Goddamn Gallows a few questions about the band, what is next for them and if they had any good stories from the road. See what they had to say!

Hip in Detroit- How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

Goddamn Gallows- I've never really heard a term that totally fits our sound. People call it "gutterbilly",  "americana punk", "hobocore" and a bunch of other mishmash names. Its just a mix of all the music we grew up with and love....punk, bluegrass, classic country, crust, Wu-Tang and old psychobilly.

Hip in Detroit- There are a number of instruments that are a little different from what we're used to around here. How did you guys get into playing them? Especially the washboard!

Goddamn Gallows- When we were writing our 3rd album "ghost of the rails" we decided to write the banjo into some our songs. We had also gotten a new member who played the washboard and had began learning the accordion, so the sound of the songs basically took a new shape with the new instruments.

Hip in Detroit- I was reading about the band a bit and it sounds like it's been an interesting road to where you are now with all your travels. Do you have any good stories you can share that stand out?

Goddamn Gallows- Yeah there's an endless amount of stories and there's a couple few that we can't really tell hahaha. When we first hit the road, we used to do what we called "renegade camping", where we would just find random spots to camp. This one night, we pulled off the highway in Arizona and we were gonna sleep in an abandoned house but there was a nest of bees in it, so we camped back a bit, setting up tents in the dessert. It was the first night of a 2 day meteor shower and there was a huge heat lighting storm, so we were kicked back watching all this crazy shit in the sky when about a dozen helicopters started flying around with spotlights on the ground. Then a truck came tearing up to the house we almost stayed in. We saw a bunch guys run up to it with flashlights screaming "come out with your hands up!" We didn't know what the hell was going on so we just sat there hidden by the dark. Turns out there was a prison break down the highway a bit and they were searching for prisoners. 
We saw an airplane land on the highway once, that was neat. One time we broke down in Harlem and a cop shot a plain clothes cop just down the block. That was pretty crazy. This other time we accidentally went into Canada with felony warrants and they yanked us out and about 2 dozen cops had their weapons drawn on us. They tore up our van and found a one-hitter, a quarter stick of dynamite, 6 home-made knives and a baton. That wasn't much fun especially because our trailer flew off the highway and launched into a ravine earlier that day. True stories haha. 

Hip in Detroit- I have to ask, why is Fish-Gutzzz called that? 

Goddamn Gallows- It stems from the great fish battle of 2002. Many fish died that day. 

Hip in Detroit- Since you guys are from the Detroit/Lansing area, but tour so much, are there any places you have to go when you're home? Bars, restaurants, etc.? 

Goddamn Gallows- I don't leave my house when I'm home. Besides the liquor store. 

Hip in Detroit- We were able to see your show almost a year ago at the Magic Stick, and besides the fact that it was a great show, there was a little surprise that made it even crazier. The fire breather is definitely a unique touch. How did that come about? How does one even realize they have that ability?  

Goddamn Gallows- TV's Avery realized he could spit fire when it became apparent he could spit liquid out of his mouth. 

Hip in Detroit- Is there a new album in the works? What's next for The Goddamn Gallows? 

Goddamn Gallows- We just finished recording 15 tracks in Nashville with Andy Gibson (Hank 3's pedal steel player). It should be out this summer. The Goddamn Gallows will continue to be on the road and record and hopefully make it to Europe this year.

So make sure to make your way down to Hamtramck Friday to catch these guys, fire breathing and all. You won't regret it! Tickets are $12 and doors are at 8 p.m.Tickets are available for purchase here.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Robyn Bernard's Bags

Last year I made a commitment to stop shopping at chain stores as much as possible. Not only because I would like to support local merchants, but because I don't like to have the same stuff as everyone else. There is nothing worse than going out and having on the same outfit or same accessory as another girl, especially if by some chance she looks cuter than you do. One of a kind pieces are the way to go and thanks to Robyn Bernard, I now have the cutest, little one of a kind bag to take out with me when I go bar hopping. 

I ran into Robyn recently at The Crofoot and complimented the cute studded bag that she was wearing. She told me that she had made the bag and it was one of her hobbies. In fact she had recently made one for another one of my friends. I asked her if she could make me one and told her that I was looking for the perfect black and gold purse to take out to shows and bars when I am out and about. I loved the fact that it had a long strap and that it closed all the way so that nothing could fall out. 

We stood in the bathroom and discussed what I would want and a few days later she texted me a picture of the finished product. When I picked up my bag I couldn’t have been happier. It was exactly what I wanted and was well made. I asked Robyn to be featured here on Hip In Detroit so that I could tell all my fellow DIY fashionistas about this bag making business. I have already told her that I want a dark blue one with black studs and I am sure that I will be ordering more and more bags as time passes. Check out what she has to say and make your order soon. I have a feeling once word gets out this woman is going to be busier than she knows. 
Hip In Detroit- When did you start designing and making purses?

Robyn- After being unemployed for about three months starting this past fall, I didn't have enough money to buy a new purse, since the one I use of the regular broke new year’s eve. I decided to make one for myself. I wore it out that night and people kept asking about it, from there, I started to design and make more for those around me. So about two months.

Hip In Detroit- How did you learn to stud fabric?

Robyn- I utilize the wonderful world of the internet, and YouTube.

Hip In Detroit- What type of material do you use to make the actual purse? It looks like leather and feels nicer than vinyl.

Robyn- I use a vinyl, though some of my items are made with leather. I also use cotton or satin liner for the interior. I can obtain different types of material for custom orders.

Hip In Detroit- Can you make purses in more than one size? What are your size ranges?

Robyn- I like to make a purse for the occasion, whether a concert (I have to shove all my purse items and new merch I buy in it purse) or a party/out n about (I only have lipstick, ID and my credit card purse). I have larger purses that range from 15x15in, 20x20in, and smaller clutches that range from 6x6in-10inx10in. Though the awesome something about making it yourself is you can choose how big you need it to be.

Hip In Detroit- I love how the purse folds over and then also zips so that you do not lose anything, then it also clips shut so it holds its form when you close it. How did you come up with this design?

Robyn- Researching DIY projects on line gave me the idea for the fold over with the zipper, though with my first prototype I ended up having issues with it staying folded over to keep the style. So I came up with adding a magnetic clip so that the flap can remain folded even if you jam a bunch of items in it.

Hip In Detroit- What color bags are you currently making? Do you have multiple color studs or just gold?

Robyn- I currently have Mauve Pink, Black, White, Bright Pink, Tan, and Navy. I can make purses with or without studs, though I have gold, silver and black studs available.

Hip In Detroit- How do you decide what stud design you will make on a bag?

Robyn- I start sketching ideas down and then I try it out, if it ends up not too well I start over. It’s a good process of trial by error.

Hip In Detroit- Do you make any other items or just bags?

Robyn- I do make feather earnings and hair pieces, and started to make custom clothing as well. I enjoy being innovative with my creations.

Hip In Detroit- Where do you make these bags and how long does it take to make a bag like the one I bought?

Robyn- I make them at my workshop up in Clarkston, and the one I made for you took about 2-3 hours if I work straight through on it.

Hip In Detroit- What is the plan for the future? Will you expand your company or be selling at any of the local craft fairs this summer?

Robyn- I plan on continuing with the company, it’s a great hobby that I am passionate about. There are works in for summer D.I.Y. fairs, though I might have expanded to a full clothing line by then. 

Hip In Detroit- How can someone find you online to order a bag?

Robyn- or email

Hip In Detroit- Tell us something interesting about you that people may not know.

Robyn- I lost a lot of my memory in a snowboarding accident when I was younger, though I think that has made me stay youthful at heart which helps with my creativity and innovation of ideas. 

Hip In Detroit- What are your favorite local bands, bars and restaurants is the Detroit area?

Robyn- Current favorite local band has yet to play their first show, but people should definitely check them out once they are out of the studio. Keep your ears open for Apollo. As far as bars I might be slightly bias since I live in Ferndale but Loving Touch is great for a last call beer before I walk home. Also, Imperial taco bar suppresses my hunger with their amazing tacos and a good variety of beer. I do have another town I call home up in Clarkston where I frequent the Woodshop for some amazing eats and Foosball tournaments. As a sister restaurant to the Woodshop, I do want to take my go at Vinsetta's Garage. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Day Tune for you from James Linck & Lianna Vanicelli

In honor of Valentine's Day two Detroit favorites have teamed up to bring you their rendition of a classic. James Linck and Lianna Vanicelli (Phantasmagoria) have joined forces to cover "You're All I Need To Get By" as performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Here it is!

The song is available as a free download through SoundCloud. Don't forget to head down to The Loving Touch in Ferndale tonight to catch James Linck with Ratking, Doss The Artist and Salt & The Sea. Doors are at 9 p.m. and it's $8 to get in. Maybe if we're lucky James and Lianna will even perform this song live!

Happy Valentines to all of you from James Linck, Lianna Vanicelli and Hip In Detroit!


Check Out This Destroy This Place Video From Our One Year Anniversary Show

Here is another awesome video of Destroy This Place from our Anniversary Show. Thanks again to Matt Moy, Ryan Monaghan and Adam Burgess for the videos!

Destroy This Place recently announced that they will be having their LP release show on May 17 at PJ's Lager House with Break Anchor and Touch the Clouds. Everyone knows how much we love Break Anchor and Destroy This Place, and Touch the Clouds isn't any different since the band features members from Few and Far Between, Lovesick and Red Iron Orchestra. So mark your calendars for May 17!

Until then, check out this video:

Thanks again to all of the bands and people that played and helped out with our show! It was the best night ever (what we remember of it anyway)!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

TONIGHT: Joe Gall Photography Showing in his 1st Gallery with Prints for Purchase!

©Joe Gall Photography

Tonight, Presence II Productions Gallery of Decorative Arts and Design presents Romance with Rock and Roll with Royalty. This is an art gallery that features an interesting little twist; you can wear and
interact with the art. Rock Lorde, as it was formally called, was put together by Meridith Lorde and Kelly Vitolo and features items including picks, guitar strings and amps from many rock and roll
artists. The list of Rock and Roll alum includes Wally Palmer, Brad Elvis and Rich Cole of The Romantics, Clem Burke of Blondie, Elliot Easton from The Cars, Skid Marx of Seatbelts and Flirt, Rick Danger, and Chloe Orwell of The Handcuffs. This is essentially a chance to wear what you hear.

The best part is that this gallery will be featuring prints for purchase from the famous Joe Gall a.k.a. Camera Jesus. This is the first time that he has ever shown his work in this form and made it
available for purchase. If you have even been to my house, you know that I am a huge fan and my walls are covered in prints that I have bought over the years. From his concert photos to his recent love affair with the city of Detroit, Joe has made himself the face of photography in this city. I recently purchased two prints from his Detroit series and cannot wait to invest in a few more.

To top it all off, this event is free and features treats from Just Baked Cupcakes. The gallery is located at 1274 Library Street - 1A in Detroit. The gallery will be open from 8-10 p.m.. Make sure to get there early because I have a feeling that Joe’s prints will sell fast. Everyone wants to take home a piece of Camera Jesus these days!