Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Size Queen, The HandGrenades, Grande Nationals & The Sights @ The Blowout Night 2

After a bit of a rough start to the Blowout on Friday, we decided to play it a bit more by ear the next night. So Saturday, we got the camera fixed and made our way back down to Hamtramck with only an idea of who we wanted to try to see. Most of the bands we really wanted to catch were at Small's and the Polish National Alliance Hall so that made it a little easier to manage.

We started the night at Small's with the scent of BBQ in the air to catch Size Queen. We hadn't seen them yet, but we were glad we were able to catch them and even got a song for you guys to check out. It was awesome to see Drew on guitar and I have to say, Mike Ross is really entertaining to watch on stage.

Next, we headed down the street to the PNA Hall to catch the one band that we were all equally excited to see, The HandGrenades. As usual they were awesome and a lot of fun. The Blowout attendance seems to be down this year, but there was a pretty good turnout at The HandGrenades show and everyone was dancing and having fun. Yes, we know we may be a bit obsessed with these guys, but just watch them, you'll see why.

After their set, we went back over to Small's and caught most of the Grande Nationals. Some of us had seen them before Saturday, but I somehow hadn't and I really liked them. They put on a good show.

To close the night out it seemed like a lot of people were heading over to the New Dodge to see The Sights. Who are we to disagree with going to the New Dodge OR watching The Sights? Well, if you've seen our interview with them from the Blowout last year, you might not agree with the latter. Despite that we do like them and that had to be the most packed venue we'd been in so far. The Sights  ended the first weekend of Blowout pretty spectacularly. 

Regardless of a few hiccups, the Hamtramck weekend of Blowout was a blast! We ran into a lot of fun, crazy people and had a great time. We can't wait for this weekend in Ferndale, even though we will probably be running around like crazy people! At least all the venues are closer together in Ferndale! See you all this weekend!


Monday, April 29, 2013

No Lights, One Camera & Lots of Action at The Blowout

Friday night we kicked off the Blowout by booking a bunch of interviews and making a schedule of where we needed to be down to the minute. The three of us, Christie, Becca, and myself, gathered at Whiskey in the Jar around 9:30 and that's where the trouble began.

About two minutes into our first interview with All The Wild Chidren our camera stopped working. We were able to grab the back up camera and have a quick talk with the band, but I wasn't even able to ask vocalist Paul about his uncanny resemblance to Rob Zombie.

Then after we "fixed" the camera it went totally black on us while trying to shoot a song. We went back to our car and tried to work out the issues, but quickly realized it just wasn't happening for that camera on this night. We switched to the back up, missed quite a few sets that we were dying to see, and headed to the New Dodge to check out the rappers showcase and talk to Cold Men Young before they performed.

The New Dodge had a great vibe and Cold Men Young were wonderful to speak with. We found out that they were actually the geniuses behind this hip-hop showcase and learned a little about the guys and how they work together as a group. Things were finally starting to look up.

We left the New Dodge and headed to the Polish National Alliance to catch our friends in Against The Grain. We caught most of their set and it was definitely a highlight of the evening. We are really looking forward to their album release on May 31st! We got a sneak peak of the new album last week and we think you guys are going to love it!

Just as things were starting to look up we realized we had some how lost some, we'll just say "important stuff" during the last two hours since we had started our night. We left the PNA to get another interview and hunt for what we lost. We ventured back to the New Dodge and actually found one of our two missing items while catching the end of Cold Men Young's set.

We then headed over to The Painted Lady with hopes of catching Disinformants for our last interview of the night. When we walked in they were taking the stage a half hour earlier than we planned. So, we had missed our window for the interview and officially decided trying to plan the Blowout is the worst idea ever.

Somehow we forgot the beauty of the Blowout is getting lost in a sea of people, bands, beers and music. You can't plan your night. You can try to catch all the bands you want to see and you will miss at least one. You also will stumble across a band that you have never heard of and truly enjoy. You will drink too much, probably get pizza or a burger during the evening and, if you're lucky, you will cross paths with many people you know and love.

We put down the cameras, picked up the drinks, and danced like idiots to The Meatmen until 2 a.m. Turnout was definitely down from last year and the weather was a little chilly, but dancing with my two girls at the end of a crazy night to some good music in a room filled with friends cannot be considered anything but a success.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cass Cafe: Restaurant & Art Gallery

There are some restaurants that you always want to go to and you can't get enough of and then there are of course the old, reliable standby's as well. Sometimes there is that one restaurant that you like, but somehow always forget about it. It just manages to slip your mind until you're in that area and need somewhere to eat, or you pass by it.

Well, one of those restaurants for me is Cass Cafe. I've always liked it, but have not eaten there that much. Even when I was in school at nearby CCS I rarely went there for who knows what reason. The other night Christie, Sadie and I were in the area and needed dinner and Cass Cafe popped in my head! So we made our way over there to get some food. If you've never been there, the appropriately named cafe is located in the middle of Wayne State on Cass. They serve things ranging from soups and appetizers to dinners and even desserts. This is a great place to take your vegetarian friend because they actually have good options for all food types.

I'm not a vegetarian but somehow always end up ordering like I am. I like my veggies! I ordered the Vegetarian Wrap that had roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and was served on a plate that was covered with their balsamic vinaigrette. It was good, but there was way too much spinach and not enough of everything else on it. Considering I was so hungry when I got there, maybe it wasn't the best choice. I did order a cup of the Spanish Onion Soup, though, and that was really good. It was similar to french onion, but much, much easier to eat!

Sadie got the English Fish and Chip Bowl. She'd had it before and knew she liked it so she just couldn't pass up on it! I've had it before, too, and it is pretty good! After some indecision on what to get, Christie settled on the Wild Mushroom Cheese Tortellini. She was pretty happy with her choice, although we sort of expected the mushrooms to be in the tortellini, not on it. I was jealous of her meal and might have to get that next time, though!
I hadn't planned on getting a drink at the cafe, but we asked if they had any specials and one of them was PBR's for $1, so who can pass on that? It was a nice little surprise! I also have to say that their bathroom stall door locks are the best. They are giant hooks! Check it out, you'll see what I mean!

Cass Cafe is not just a restaurant and bar. It is also an art gallery with constantly rotating works. Every time I've been in there I've seen some really different and cool things hanging on the wall. They definitely get some unique artists in there. Currently you can see works by Gary Mayer in an exhibit titled "Nature Unrepentant" until May 25.

The menu at Cass Cafe isn't huge, but they do have a nice range considering. Their salads all sound delicious and I know their soups are good! If you haven't been there, it's time to try it. And if you just haven't been there in awhile, hopefully this inspires you to get back there, grab a drink, have a nice meal and look at some great art.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get Ready for Metro Times Blowout 16!

We are so excited about this year's Blowout! We're not sure if we are more excited to see the bands, or get coverage of the event for all of you! When we first heard about the new two weekend set up, we were kind of leery. But, now we've realized that this just means that more bands get to be a part of this festival. We're also looking forward to seeing bands play in new spots around Ferndale, including the Rust Belt! There are a ton of great bands playing every night of the Blowout and the beauty of this event is that you get to catch some bands you have been meaning to see while discovering others that you've never heard of. We wanted to give you a run down of who we're looking forward to seeing the most and who we think you shouldn't miss... there are a few we agree on, but quite a wide range at the same time. Here's who we think you should catch:

Friday, April 26th:


Size Queen - 10 p.m. @ Small's

All 3:
 The HandGrenades - 10:20 @ Polish National Alliance - Hall

Now, we don't want to overwhelm you, these are just our picks for the Hamtramck weekend. Keep an eye out for our Ferndale picks next week. On top of all of the great bands playing on Friday and Saturday, make sure you also head out to the Kick-Off on Thursday night at The Magic Stick. There you will get to see bands from both weekends play on 3 different stages. The Kick-Off sets will be a little shorter than the actual Blowout sets, but this is a good chance to catch a whole bunch of the acts in one place. For the full schedule for the Kick-Off, Hamtramck and Ferndale, check out the Blowout website here.

If you don't have tickets to the Blowout yet, you can pick them up online here, at the Kick-Off Party or at The Metro Times Office (733 St Antoine, Detroit), Detroit Threads (10238 Joseph Campau St, Hamtramck) and The WAB (22646 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale). Tickets are $20 for one weekend or only $35 for both. Just buy a pass to both. You know you're going to go to at least one night during both of the weekends. Make sure you pick your tickets up now though! The price will go up again on April 26th to $25 for one weekend and $45 for both!

We hope to see a ton of you out and about this weekend! Make sure you come say hi and have a drink with us! Don't forget, there is a shuttle that goes around to all of the Blowout bars in Hamtramck. So keep an eye out for that to get you from one show to another. Stay tuned all next week to catch interviews and coverage from Weekend #1! 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wonderlust: A New Online Boutique Launching at 12 O'Clock Today!

There is nothing better than a pretty girl with style. I am of the personal belief that while clothes can be bought and worn, style cannot. A good stylist, designer, or fashionable friend is hard to find. I shop at a lot of local boutiques because I know that the stylists and buyers that run the place won't steer me in the wrong direction when it comes to the latest trends and merchandise. A good buyer will bring in unique items that you can't live without during the upcoming season.

Over the last ten years, the way that we shopped has drastically changed. With the creation of online stores, getting the look that you want can be as easy as googling “high waisted skirt". But, while buying has become easier than ever, finding good quality merchandise to purchase is harder than ever... there is a lot of junk to sift through. You can spend hours on Amazon.com and walk away without finding a single thing that you actually want to purchase. Plus, unless there is a review, it can be difficult to know what you are purchasing. Big corporate online clothing retailers are just trying to push merchandise, not necessarily trying to sell you style.

This is the void that online boutique owner Hannah Adcock is trying to fill. She wants to bring the boutique experience of seeing the latest trends and key pieces for the season to you in your home at affordable prices. She has been dreaming of owning her own company and selling clothing and accessories to girls like her, she just wasn't sure how she wanted to do it. After a little business planning and some start up cash, she came up with the idea of running an online boutique and named it Wonderlust.

Haanah picked ten key Spring and Summer clothing items and eight pieces of jewelry and is launching her new website today. She was clever and started teasing some of the items online and immediately caught this writer's attention. There were a few unique items that I wanted to purchase before I even knew why she was posting the items online. Needless to say, I investigated immediately and wanted to share this new venture with all of you. She intends to release new items every month and will be running specials and deals on all of the items. She has her own unique style and wants to share it with you. I asked Hannah to answer a couple of questions about her new endeavor and this is what she had to say.

Hip In Detroit- What inspired you to start Wonderlust? 
Hannah- "I constantly have a million ideas running through my head and I decided to run with this one. I've always thought that running my own business would be awesome and I finally decided to give it a shot. I love the idea of selling products that you won't find anywhere else in the area. It's definitely a big step for me and i'm extremely excited to see where it could go!"  

Hip In Detroit- Explain Wonderlust. Is it a clothing line, a name, an idea?
Hannah- "Wonderlust is the name of an online boutique specializing in women's fashion and accessories."

Hip In Detroit- What pieces are you offering for Spring and why did you pick these pieces?
Hannah- "The Spring line includes 10 pieces (in VERY limited quantities). I went with neutral colors aside from mint shorts and some polka dots! I'm obsessed with backless tops and dresses which you'll definitely be seeing in the store. We're offering three awesome dresses which can be dressed up or down and will be perfect for any Spring occasion. I love the tops that we're carrying for the Spring as well, they're very simple but each have their own appeal and are perfect for the season. We also have two pairs of shorts, both are high waisted - One is a pair of polka dot shorts and the other is a mint colored pair with a scallop hem. In addition to the apparel, the Spring line also includes eight pieces of jewelry to compliment your wardrobe! When picking out the items, I aimed for neutral colors and easy to wear pieces. I want people to be able to look at the store and see an everyday use for the items rather than having to think about where they'd be able to wear it."

Hip In Detroit- How often will you release new items on the online store?
Hannah- "I will be releasing new items on the online store a couple times a month. As for full lines, I'm aiming for the Summer line to be released in June and a new line every three months thereafter. Future lines will offer a larger selection of products as well. To keep updated with new releases, make sure to follow us on any and all social networking sites."

Hip In Detroit- What will Wonderlust offer that other online retailers don't?
Hannah- "Unlike most boutiques, Wonderlust won't break the bank. I made sure that ladies on all budgets will easily be able to afford any item in the store that peaks their interest. Orders will also receive a code for 20% off a future purchase. Keep an eye out for additional discounts, contests, and other things in the future as well. I'm also interested in feedback from customers and would be more than happy to work on carrying anything that you're looking to add to your wardrobe. Last but certainly not least, i'll be donating 10% of sales to a different charity each month. So, while adding some style to your closet, you'll also be helping those in need."

Hip In Detroit- What is your must have item for Spring/Summer 2013?
Hannah- "High- Low everything and pastels! Both of these things will be included in the Summer line."

Hip In Detroit- What is your biggest fashion don't?
Hannah- "Bra straps!! Like I mentioned earlier, the store will be full of backless items. Wearing a regular bra with a backless top or dress is a no no. This means that you should probably invest in a backless bra if you haven't already. I'll get them stocked in the store asap to make it extra easy :)"

For more info on Wonderlust and to keep up to date with what is in the shop, make sure to visit the online store, along with their Facebook page and don't forget to follow Wonderlust on Twitter and Instagram!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brush Park: Be The Change That You Want to See Around You

Photo Credit: Angie McBride
Lately there has been a lot of talk about the City of Detroit and what the future holds for her. Some people believe that the corporate buy up of the buildings in Detroit for re-purposing will be the savior that the city needs while others believe that this city cannot be saved. I have always been somewhere in between. I do not think that corporations and big business coming back to Detroit will be its savior because, let's face it, big business has already abandoned our lady before. I believe that Detroit can come back, but if we want to do it right we have to do it differently. We do not need to turn every corner into a Starbucks to bring Detroit back. I believe that you and me can bring this city back by literally taking it back, block by block.

I have joked around for years that Joe Gall is the next Andy Warhol. What I really mean by this is that Joe has always seen the world in a different way. His altered perspective is what makes all of his photos unique and interesting. They say when every good artist finds his muse they produce their best art. If you have been watching Joe's love affair with the City of Detroit, you already know that he seems to have found his inspiration. When he started his urban exploring last year he exposed the rest of us to a world that most of us would have never seen without him. I don't know about you, but I am not scaling a building. But, I sure do like the pictures that it produces when someone else does it. I never could have dreamed that Joe’s new venture would turn into the project of the summer. He found an abandoned park and instead of just passing by he envisioned so much more. 

Photo Credit: Angie McBride
On April 1st Joe started digging and he has been digging ever since. He decided to make a dirt ramp to bike on in an abandoned area called Brush Park or "Brush and Adelaide Playground" located near Midtown Detroit. He asked a few friends to help and they built a couple of ramps to jump and ride on. A few days later they dug a few more, and inadvertently started the effort to clean up the area.

This last Sunday about 40-50 people gathered and cleared trees, bushes, garbage and debris from what was once a child's park. As the debris was being cleaned, dirt ramps and jumps were being dug and created. A local neighbor brought over a grill and made hot dogs for the crew and tons of people came and donated their time and their shovels to help with the effort. It was at that moment that I realized that we were literally taking the city back ourselves. We weren't waiting for our leaders or someone else to do it. Instead, we were literally cleaning up the City of Detroit and reclaiming a park that was once a place where children played and people were happy. This could be the rebirth of Detroit. I was starting to see what Joe saw. 

Photo Credit: Angie McBride
It was inspiring to see that many people come together and volunteer their time to work towards a common goal. What was even more amazing was how much we were able to get done in one day. Joe has been out there working every day this month and right now there is no stopping in sight. Most days he is out there digging and if you are free and want to to join there is a shovel waiting for you. We are going to designate Sundays as the official clean up day. Please, come out and help us clear the area this Sunday and everyone after, until the job is done. If you are unable to help because of time or physical constraints, you might be able to help in a different way. We are still hoping to get a few items donated to the park. They are looking for 2 x 4 plywood to help build the BMX park, a picnic table(s), a bench(es), garbage cans, lawn bags, and outdoor grills that can be installed into the lot (the charcoal kind). All of these items would make the Brush and Adelaide Playground Area an even cooler place for all of us to hang out this summer. If you are able to donate any of these items, email us here at hipindetroit@gmail.com and we will put you in contact with the right people. I'm sure they would also accept cash donations if you felt so compelled. 
Photo Credit: Angie McBride
Cheers to Joe Gall for starting this movement and cheers to everyone who has shown up and helped him carry it out so far. We are the change that we want to see around us.

Remember kids, this park is D.I.Y. That means work and ride at your own risk. When you are at the park please be respectful of the neighbors and the land. We only have temporary permission to be there and we want to make sure that we have no problem making Brush Park playground a place that people want to be at for years to come.Brush Park playground is located at 256 Adelaide Detroit, MI. BMX and DIY forever!


The Muggs: A Hot New Live Album from the Ugliest Band Around

This Friday, the self proclaimed ugliest band in the world is celebrating the release of their first live album at The Magic Bag. That's right, The Muggs will be hitting the stage and despite their numerous releases, this is the only live one! 

The new album, Full Tilt, was recorded last year at Cadieux Cafe in Detroit. We were lucky enough to have the chance to check it out before the release date. I can sum up the album in one sentence; Fans of The Muggs are going to love it. That doesn't mean that people that aren't already fans won't like it. I'm sure they'll enjoy it too, especially if they are in to '70s rock! 

The 2 disc set is made up of 22 songs, including many of the favorites. Unlike some bands, these live renditions aren't exactly the same as the original album versions, except they are being played in front of a crowd. Instead, the tracks feature extended solos and are packed with all of the energy that The Muggs put in to their live performances. The mix is great, unlike some "live recordings", so props to the sound guy or whoever mixed this album. You definitely won't think you are listening to a boot leg recording that some dude in the back of the bar made on his hand held recorder, that's in his pocket half of the time. This is full album quality, but even better... You'll think The Muggs are playing just for you in your living room, or car, or wherever the heck you are.  

If you want to pick up The Muggs Full Tilt for yourself, head down to The Magic Bag this Friday. That will be your first chance to grab the double disc CD and it's only $10 to get in the door. Joining the rock trio Friday night will be The Steepwater Band from Chicago and Katie Grace. The Muggs will be heading to Spain and other areas throughout Europe for quite a few weeks after this show. So make sure you head out on Friday and pick up the CD while you are there. That way you can still enjoy a Muggs' show while whenever you want, even when they're out of town.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Win Tickets to See Johnny Marr!!!

This summer The Magic Stick is going to be bringing a lot of legends through town. And it all starts this week as Johnny Marr of The Smiths will be heading to town to play his solo tunes. Marr is known for his guitar skills and has lent his hand to many amazing acts over the years, including Modest Mouse, Oasis, The Pretenders and even Paul McCartney. He has vowed to never play with Morrissey or The Smiths again, so your only way to catch this rock god live is to see him at The Magic Stick this Friday, April 26th at 8 p.m.

Tickets for this show are $20 and all ages are welcome. We decided to work our magic and give two lucky winners the chance to go the the show with a friend for free. That's right! You could win $40 worth of tickets and an evening with Johnny courtesy of Hip In Detroit. All you have to do to enter is e-mail your full name to hipindetroit@gmail.com with the subject line "Johnny Marr". We will e-mail the two lucky winners on Friday morning and their name will be on the guest list that night. If you don't want to enter to win, you can buy tickets here.

Enchiladas, Burritos & Steak! ¡Olé!

I love real, authentic Mexican food. Every time I've gone to Mexico, I always think- I could eat this everyday and be totally fine with it! Corn tortillas, tacos, enchiladas, fried plantains, horchata, it's all so good! Then I get home and it's hard to find restaurants here that are exactly what I had in Mexico. Good mole, one of my favorite things ever, is hard to find! Obviously there are good places in Mexican town, but sometimes you just want to go grab some quick tacos nearby!

Recently, a new Mexican place opened up near my home called Mojave Cantina. I drive by it everyday and watched in anticipation while it was in progress before they opened. I finally made my way there for dinner the other night with a couple of friends. Overall I was pretty happy with it. The restaurant itself is decorated nicely and the atmosphere is definitely a happy, easy going place. You can go with the family, or for a celebration or just you and your significant other for a nice dinner. The whole staff seemed very friendly and happy to be working there which always makes a huge difference.

The menu doesn't include 100% authentic Mexican food- you can get burgers and fries here. Which is nice if you have a weird person in your group that doesn't like Mexican food. I ordered the enchiladas poblanas and they were delicious! It came with rice and beans of course and was priced pretty reasonably at $9 for the big portion. They have all the classics like tacos, carne asada, chimichangas, enchiladas rojas and then some more americanized items like quesadillas and burritos. One of my friends ordered a wet burrito that looked pretty good and was a pretty good size as well. My other friend opted for the big meal option. He ordered Tampiquena which included a steak, one enchilada and one quesadilla with warm tortillas. He is not a big Mexican food fan but seemed happy with his dish as well. I will need to try the tacos next time because they serve them on corn tortillas- none of that hard shell nonsense! They also have a few dessert options. I'm not a big fan of sweets, but fried ice cream is always okay with me! They also offer sweet mollettes and sopapillas. You can check out the full menu online here.
Mojave Cantina has a full bar including Negra Modelo on tap! They are open until 11-2 everyday so even if you just feel like a good beer, you can head over to the bar.

I would recommend trying this place. I really liked my food and other people must, too, because it always seems to be busy! Coming up on April 25 they are having a tequila tasting with el Mayor tequila. It costs $20 in advance or $25 at the door and includes three samples of tequila and appetizers. They are also having their grand opening party the weekend of Cinco de Mayo so you can add this place to your list of options to try to get to on that crazy day.


Friday, April 19, 2013

It's a Bat! It's a Boy! It's Bat Boy: The Musical!

Everyone secretly loves tabloids. Even if you don't buy them, you definitely glance at the headlines while in line at the grocery store. There's a whole slew of them out there, but my favorite amongst them all has always been Weekly World News. The stories are ridiculous, the pictures are absurd, and the magazine is overall amazing. I must admit, I even have a trunk full of old issues... Yes, I am a hoarder.

Amongst the stories about aliens and Bigfoot, Weekly World News has had extensive coverage over the years of a creature referred to as Bat Boy. The stories led to a following. The following led to a musical; Bat Boy: The Musical. The play, covering the life story and events of Bat Boy, was created in 1997 and was even shown Off-Broadway in 2001. Now, you are lucky enough to see this masterpiece for yourself at The Bonstelle Theatre on the Campus of Wayne State University.

Bat Boy: The Musical has showings this Friday, April 19th and Saturday, April 20th at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 21st at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 or $20 for students (with ID), senior citizens aged 62 and up, WSU faculty and staff and WSU Alumni Association members. You can either pick up your tickets at the box office or online here. The Bonstelle Theatre is located on Woodward just South of Mack at 3424 Woodward Avenue. For all of the details on Bat Boy and The Bonstelle, visit their website here.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

WIN FREE TICKETS: Myyki Blanco, Jamaican Queens AND James Linck @ The Majestic Cafe

Mykki Blanco is coming to Detroit Tuesday, April 23, and she has recruited two of our favorite local acts The Jamaican Queens and James Linck to open up the show. This is one of the best lineups that I have seen in a long time. All three of these artists could carry a crowd on their own, but together this promises to be one unstoppable show.
If you don’t know who Mykki Blanco is, you are in for a treat. She is the female alter ego of Michael David Quattlebaum, Jr., a young African American man who got his start in NYC. Mykki frames herself as the monster who is taking over hip hop. She raps like the big boys, but also talks about f**king other boys, something that until now was never embraced by the hip hop community. Nothing about her or her show is ordinary.

The same can be said about The Jamaican Queens. I have never been able to classify the genre that they fit into. They have a sound that is unique and if you haven’t noticed lately, it is taking them places. They have been on tour for the last few months and after this show will be back out on the road with no other local performances in the foreseeable future. Their new Album, Wormfood, was released recently and you can order your own copy here. If you haven’t heard Ryan Spencer sing, I implore you to give it a listen. He has a unique voice.

Speaking of unique voices, James Linck has one of the most unique and beautiful voices that I have ever heard. The first time I heard him sing I was hooked. I have never looked forward to a record release more than I look forward to his album coming out. Hurry up James!

This show is $10 in advance and $12 at the door, or you can enter to win tickets courtesy of Hip in Detroit and The Magic Stick. We are giving away two sets of tickets for this event and we would love to give them to you. To enter, just email your full name with the Subject headline Mykki Blanco to HipInDetroit@gmail.com.  We will email the winner early on Tuesday morning so make sure you include your name so we know who we are emailing. The show starts at 9 p.m. and will be in The Majestic Cafe, located at 4120 Woodward Ave.


Two Awesome Shows @ The Magic Stick Friday Night!

This Friday, the Magic Stick has two shows worth checking out and you can go to both for only $5!

Upstairs, Scorned Deity will be releasing their new record with special guests Konkeror, Writhing, Wulfhook and Nightkin. This show is part of Black Iris Booking's 5 for $5. The idea is simple, five great locals for only five dollars. This is a solid metal lineup that promises to melt your face off.

Meanwhile, downstairs Louder Than Bombs will be releasing their new EP called What Resonates with special guests Meadower, Touch and Reign in Men. This show starts at 9 p.m. and is FREE.

For only $5 dollars you could head up to the Magic Stick and go from room to room checking out lots of good music. Upstairs will be heavier and downstairs will be more rock and roll. You can pick and choose what is music to your ears and listen accordingly. This is a good opportunity to get you out, pick up a few new albums and pick up a piece of Sgt. Pepperoni's on the way out. Maybe even two since the show was only 5 bucks!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Record Store Day 2013 Is Almost Here!!!

This Saturday, April 20, is Record Store Day 2013! Record Store Day started in 2007 by a group of independent record store owners and employees who wanted to spread the word about the unique culture that surrounds the stores. On this day every year independently owned record stores come together to celebrate with artists and special releases.

In recent years record stores have started to pop back up and it's awesome! There are a decent amount of stores in the metro Detroit area that are participating this Saturday. UHF, Flipside, Found Sound and Hybrid Moments are just few of our favorites. To see the full list of participating stores, click here.

The stores will also have some special performances in celebration of the holiday.

UHF in Royal Oak will be open from 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. and will have performances by Timmy's Organism and The Henchmen. They have also ordered 'a shiite load' of every limited edition Record Store Day release that is offered. UHF will also have a pop-up shop at Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s show at the Majestic that night.

Found Sound in Ferndale will have performances by Passalacqua, FAWN, Pink Lightning, Lord Scrummage and Daher-Malis Duo. The store will have extended hours all weekend, opening at 10 a.m. on Saturday and staying open late for the performances. There will also be tons of special RSD releases available. Found Sound is not just celebrating on Saturday though. They will have shows the rest of the weekend, too. There is a jazz performance at 7 p.m. on Friday and a screening of the film "Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park" at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

In addition to the free shows going on, there are of course all of the special releases. A couple of the ones we are looking forward to are The Hounds Below/Flint Eastwood/FUR/Fawn 4-way split and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s Patterns EP that includes 2 special remixes. Click here to see a full list of all the special Record Store Day releases.

These are just a few of the awesome things to look forward to at Record Store Day 2013! You can always visit the official website here for more info.


All About Angie Yaldoo & A Little About Incognito

Incognito has always and will always be the coolest store in Michigan. When I was younger making the trek from Sterling Heights to Royal Oak to go shopping there was an event. I would save up my money and go buy something that no one else at my school had. I remember I got my first pair of creepers there and a necklace with a beetle in it that really scared my parents. For over 30 years Incognito has been finding and selling some of the most unique clothing, shoes, and accessories that you can find. They are one of the only retailers that carry Jeffrey Campbell in our area and their hat and jewelry selection this season is to die for. 
After 30 years they recently decided to give the store a facelift and converted the two room layout to a one room space. I have to admit that I was weary at first, but when I went in the store looked better than ever and felt more full. I noticed that the flow of the space was a lot more cohesive and it was fun to see the ways stylist Angie Yaldoo and her staff created full looks on each mannequin based on the vibe of the section that it was placed in. It's not the size of the store that matters, but what you do with it.

Angie Yaldoo has been managing Incognito for years, but also styles some of the bigger photo shoots in the Detroit area, including the recent cover of Real Detroit that featured model Krystal Gojcaj and was shot by the famous Camera Jesus, Joe Gall. Angie is one of the prettiest, most creative and well dressed women that I know. Her personality is the only thing that outshines her style. She inspires my fashion from season to season and helps me get the right look whenever I come into the shop.

I asked her to tell us a little more about being a stylist in Detroit, about the remodel, and what she feels are the must have and do nots for this spring and summer. Check out what she has to say and head into Incognito whenever you need a real stylist to help you out with your retail therapy. Angie is blunt and will not steer you in the wrong direction! Incognito is located in downtown Royal oak at 323 S. Main St. in Royal Oak.   

Hip In Detroit: When did you style your first photo shoot?
Angie: "I probably styled my first test shoot about 5 1/2 years ago. I wasn't on set for it, i just pulled looks for it and saw the photos after and wasn't too thrilled. The photographer didn't listen to how i wanted everything put together completely, making me realize the importance of being present for photo shoots. I styled my first commercial/ print shoot 5 years ago. That was super fun, it wasn't anywhere near a fashion shoot though, it was for a transportation company and was printed in Crain's Magazine." 

Hip In Detroit: How do you come up with your ideas for a shoot?
Angie: "It varies. Sometimes I am given specific guidelines and don't have much room to get creative. That' usually for print work for ad agencies. If its a fashion shoot, I usually collaborate with the photographer and and we bounce ideas back and forth to one another. Other times i may see or be at a location that really inspires me and think it will be a sweet place to shoot at." 

Hip In Detroit: How did you prepare for the Real Detroit photo shoot? What clothing did you feature and how was the team that you worked with on the shoot?
Angie: "The Real Detroit photo shoot was one of my favorite shoots I've worked on, mainly because I was working with all of my friends. I've done a couple of covers for them in the past that were more specific. This one was really cool because they gave Joe Gall and I the freedom to do what we wanted, from selecting the models, to finding the locations, etc. I brought on my talented hair and and makeup girls, Natasha and Jess, and we all kind of talked about each look for a couple of minutes on set, and they decided how the hair and makeup should change per look. As far as the clothing featured, I'm very fortunate to have friends that work at all my favorite local stores. I'm a big believer in shopping local and mixing different styles and wanted all the looks to stem from what I think are some of the best stores in Detroit, Incognito, Saffron, Lost and Found Vintage, and Caruso Caruso."

Hip In Detroit: What are some of the must have trends for this spring and summer?
Angie: "Sky high platforms!!!! And if you are a girl and don't know how to walk in them, I feel bad for you! haha"

Hip In Detroit: What is the one piece of clothing you cannot live without?
Angie: "There are two; High heels and a well fitted leather jacket." 

Hip In Detroit: What are your biggest style don'ts?
Angie: "Biggest style donts; Birkenstocks, Crocs, Uggs, Love Pink, flip-flops and showing too much of everything. There's a fine line when showing skin, if you're going to show off your legs, cover the mid riff and cleavage area, and vice versa."

Hip In Detroit: Tell us a little about Incognitos redesign?
Angie: "We have decided it would be a great time for a change after 30 years. Bigger doesn't always mean better, and by condensing everything into one store we feel that we are going back to our roots and bringing that feeling of boutique shopping back. Change is a great thing."

Hip In Detroit: Anything else our readers need to know?
Angie: "Yes, don't snap your gum or chew with your mouth open when you are around me. xoxo" (See, I told you she’s all personality!)

Thanks so much for taking your time to fill us in Angie!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oh Snap! It's Melissa Rowe and Detroit by Detroit!

This weekend you have the chance to see some of your favorite Detroit bands play as some of your other favorite Detroit bands at Detroit by Detroit. This fun event is in it's third year and will be held at The Magic Stick this Saturday night. The final lineup for the evening is:

THE SATIN PEACHES as The HandGrenades
THE WALKING BEAT as The High Strung
WOODMAN as Silverghost
REVOIR as Matthew Dear
ALMOST FREE as Javelins
THE ILL ITCHES as The Stooges
THE SPLIT as The Von Bondies
RED CHINA as Heroes & Villains
SCHOOL OF ROCK as The Hard Lessons (OPENING)

This year's show is being emceed by 3 awesome ladies you may know from Hip In Detroit, but it is put on by one amazing lady, Melissa Rowe. We caught up with Melissa to find out more about her, her brainchild DETXDET, and Oh Snap! PR.
Hip In Detroit: Tell us about Detroit by Detroit. Where did you get the idea from? Why did you start putting on this event? 
Melissa: "I originally got the idea for DETROIT by DETROIT after one of The HandGrenades’ band practices. They were already playing when I walked in, but it wasn’t their music...it was a song by Mick Bassett. It got me thinking. I wonder if other bands do this? I wonder if other bands WOULD do this? You know...cover songs by other Detroit artists. I floated the idea by the booker at the Majestic, and he gave it the green light. Next were the bands...I figured people would either think I was crazy, or they’d love the idea – and lucky for me, it was the latter. I’m so happy that it’s caught on. Detroit artists playing music by other Detroit artists – it’s a celebration of Detroit music, and the immense talent that we have here."

Hip In Detroit: How will this year's show differ from the last couple of years?
Melissa: "Well, you’ll definitely see some new faces in this year’s line-up. Kicking off the show this year, will be a group of School of Rock students – performing the music of one of their teachers’ bands! Plus, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but these three gals from Hip in Detroit are emcee-ing the night’s events..."
Hip In Detroit: What was your favorite performance from past years?
Melissa: "I don’t want to pick favorites, but I’ll tell you – there have definitely been some memorable ones. I’m pretty sure Jen David and Illy Mack carved their place in DETROIT by DETROIT history with their 2011 Eminem performance – Jen walked around incognito, with a hood up all night, and when it came time to perform, she dropped the hood to reveal a bleached-blonde buzz cut – a la Eminem. Last year, The Kickstand Band had an impressive stage presence as The Amino Acids, and Mick Bassett (paired with Anthony Kanakri as the lovely Meg White) did a killer job at representing The White Stripes. The Vatican really had people talking last year too, closing out the night as Alice Cooper – fully costumed, and with a set packed with twice as many songs. I’m so impressed by all of the bands that participate in DETROIT by DETROIT – learning new material (which, often times, is for the sole purpose of performing at DETxDET) isn’t always easy – but everyone does it, and does it so well! It’s always fun to see the different bands’ performances, and see what everyone comes up with. Some take the stage in costume, and some put a whole new spin on the music itself. You never know what to expect at DETROIT by DETROIT, and I love that."
Hip In Detroit: How did the collaboration with School of Rock come about?
Melissa: "Funny you should ask, actually. The first year of DETROIT by DETROIT, I knew I wanted to donate proceeds – I just wasn’t sure where. As it happened, the Japanese tsunami hit the week before, so we donate proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross. Last year, it was back to square one. I got to thinking...this whole event brings us together to celebrate the talent in Detroit. Why not, then, donate to support future Detroit musicians? A friend connected me to School of Rock, and together, we came up with the idea to create a special scholarship fund for the proceeds. I’m thrilled to be working with them – they’re terrific! Last year, with our proceeds, we were able to cover an entire semester of tuition for one of the SoR students!"
Hip In Detroit: What is Oh Snap! PR? What services do you offer?
Melissa: "Oh Snap! PR is my little boutique PR company. I have a day job that I love, and Oh Snap! keeps me busy the rest of the time. I booked and promoted concerts at U of M when I was in college, and this was a way for me to keep that going! Right now, I’m dedicated to working with The HandGrenades...and putting on this DETROIT by DETROIT event each year. I have a background in booking, branding, event promotion...all that good stuff. For a little more about Oh Snap! PR, you can check out http://OhSnapPR.com."
Hip In Detroit: So... What are some of your favorites in Detroit and the surrounding area? Bars, venues, bands, restaurants, etc.
Melissa: "Ohhhhh, that’s a great question. As far as bars go, I love Gusoline Alley, Danny’s Irish Pub, and The WAB – give me a beer and a jukebox, and I’m a happy girl. And, who doesn’t love Cliff Bells? As far as venues go, there are a lot of great ones around here. I love the Lager House and The Magic Stick (anything in that complex, really – they’re great to work with!)...and The New Dodge and The Loving Touch are climbing my list fast as well. Bands? I’m so proud of The HandGrenades and the strides they’ve taken these last 4 years – It’s been amazing to be along for the ride. Big Mess is great, and The Hounds Below deserve everything coming their way. Everything George Morris touches is magic, and I was so blown away by Stevie Soul and Omar Aragones when I heard them at the Rustbelt, I knew right then I wanted them for DETROIT by DETROIT. The Sights have an amazing energy and...oh, I could go on forever. That’s the whole point of this show – to celebrate the incredible talent and the amazing artists that hail from Detroit."
We would like to thank Melissa for taking the time to talk with us and for putting on such a great event every year! Doors for Detroit X Detroit open at 8 p.m. on Saturday. It's only $5 to get in and only $1 with your ticket stub from the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. show next door!

Since we are so excited about this show and we are even more excited to be a part of it this year, we want to give you the chance to come party at it for free! Thanks to our friends at The Magic Stick, we are giving away 2 pairs of tickets! To enter just head on over to our Facebook page and tag yourself in our Detroit X Detroit cover photo! We will be announcing our winner Saturday morning. Good luck!

Art X Detroit A Success!

Art X Detroit has come and gone and we had an excellent time walking around and enjoying the free showcases put on by 2011/2012 Kresge fellows. There was an eclectic group of talent and each showcase had it's own special twist. Friday night we had wine in the lobby at the DIA and then visited the lecture hall to see Junecast and Fireloom perform. The showcase was packed for both acts and the sound in the lecture hall was impeccable. It was very dark and serene and almost impossible to get a shot of the band. Terry Peake talked to the crowd and explained each project and what it meant to him. It was very powerful to see an artist perform something after they talked about where it came from and what it meant to them.
Saturday night we headed to The Scarab Club for a metal show that included Bahamut, The Armed and Alaya from Chicago. The Scarab Club is a small art gallery right by the DIA that features 2 floors including a room of art and a large “living room” upstairs complete with a fireplace. It is not a place that you would usually see a metal show and after the heart attack that Bahamut and The Armed gave the owner, they will not likely ever have a metal show there again. I had never seen The Armed before and was pleasantly surprised. Randall, the front man, brought a great energy to the room and the band brought out a light show that really added to the spectical. We were very impressed by their show to say the least. We also loved Bahamut. I don't know if you have ever seen them play live but the talent, the loudness and the precision that they bring to the table is unmatched.
We missed a few of the performances that we wanted to see including Passalacqua who brought our favorite Flint Eastwood and other friends on stage. We saw pictures online and there was lots of confetti on the ground which means that as usual everyone had a good time at the Passalacqua show. I look forward to catching the full documentary that they presented at their showcase and will share it with all of you when we finally see it.

Finally on Sunday we watched Dr. Robert Conway play the piano works of Terry Peake. To see a DSO piano player in a small room with less than 30 people was one of the biggest privileges that I have ever had. Kresge made it possible for Terry to hear his newest piece played for the first time. He may be able to write it, but without someone like Dr.Conway he would have never heard it played live.

We would like to congratulate all of the Kresge fellows and compliment Midtown Detroit Inc, The Kresge Foundation, and Kresge Arts In Detroit for putting on a major event like this. To see art being made and produced in the DIA, The Scarab Club, The Science center and the lecture halls at Wayne State for free was amazing. At some point we even got free ice cream. Art X Detroit was a success.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Win Tickets To See Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

This Saturday, April 20 is going to be a busy but awesome night at the Majestic Complex. First of all, we will be emceeing the night away at Detroit X Detroit in the Magic Stick. But there is also a great show going on at the Majestic right next door. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will be playing with Stepdad and one of our all time favorites, Tunde Olaniran. Saturday is quite the night of Detroit music!

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is an electronic/pop duo that was formed in 2009 and is made up of Detroiters Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott. They have gained a lot of success in recent years and even performed on Conan in 2012. The show on Saturday will be the band's 2013 tour kick-off. Saturday also happens to be Record Store Day and UHF will be on hand at the show as a pop-up shop with Record Store Day exclusives. And Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s new EP, Patterns, will be out April 16 just in time!

Here's the exciting part- we are giving away tickets to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.! Four pairs of tickets! If you want a pair for yourself and a friend, all you have to do is email us at HipinDetroit@gmail.com with 'Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.' in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. Easy enough so you don't have an excuse not to do it! We will be drawing the names of 4 lucky winners out of a hat on Friday morning. Tickets are still available, if you don't happen to win or are too impatient to wait until Friday, for $15 and can be purchased here. As an added bonus, anyone at the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. show can venture over to Detroit X Detroit that night for only $1 so you can see what it's all about!

Good luck!


Meet Real Detroit's Latest Cover Girl: Krystal Gojcaj

If you picked up Real Detroit this past week you may have noticed a very pretty girl in braids and short shorts featured on the cover. If you went even further and looked inside you would have seen that the same model was featured in many looks as part of their Spring style issue shot by Joe Gall and styled by Angie Yaldoo from Incognito. Each look had a very unique feel and Krystal, the model in question, seemed to embody each one perfectly which made for pages of excellent shots.
I met Krystal a few months ago through local hip hop artist MOLA1 and was blown away by the strong confident woman in front of me because Krystal is not your typical model. She is tall and gorgeous but a little “thick” by industry standards. She loves to rock a leather jacket covered in studs while having perfectly groomed nails and hair. She is a great mix of soft and hard, of a lady and a strong  woman who knows who she is and what she wants. 

I am intrigued by her, and the modeling business in Detroit as a whole. How would one get started and make a living around here? Detroit has a rising fashion community but it still has a long way to go before we are considered one of the fashion meccas that LA or NYC have been branded. I decided to ask Krystal a little more about herself and how she got into the business. I wanted to know what it is like to be a model in Detroit, shoot with Camera Jesus in the city and be styled by Angie Yaldoo.

Krystal gives us a very positive look on modeling and her life in general. It was very refreshing to see a woman who makes a living with her looks but treats it like any other job, with professionalism, class and preparation to make sure she is delivering her best product.

HipinDetroit- How long have you been a model and how did you get your start?

Krystal- I had my first photoshoot when I was finishing high school. My next door neighbor Marlon Hines, who is like a brother to me said, “I have a camera and it’s a beautiful day. Get some outfits together and let’s shoot!” When we were done, we both told each other that we were meant to do this. Marlon’s now a professional photographer and I developed a passion for modeling. I did a few fashion shows and then magazines in Chicago, Indianapolis and New York. I was in national ads and catalogs for Dodge with John Roe, two years in a row. More recently I shot for Real Detroit with Angie Johnny Yaldoo and Joe Gall for their spring fashion spread and StyleLine Magazine with the incredible Katrina Malota.

HipinDetroit- Do you prefer print modeling or being in videos like the recent appearance you made in MOLA1's first video for BOOM?

Krystal- They’re two different animals. I love to do print because pictures capture a brief moment in time that create visual art that can be interpreted by the viewer, whereas videos allow me to really show my personality. I enjoy both and with luck, I’ll keep it going!

HipinDetroit- What is it like to model in Detroit?

Krystal- It’s amazing. This is my home. With the mixture of old and new architecture, deserted and crowded places, the canvas is unlike any other city. Detroit is easy to feel sad for, but even easier to be proud of.

HipinDetroit- Do you find there is more or less competition?

Krystal- It’s our natural instinct to be competitive, but I’m so comfortable with myself that I don’t get upset if I don’t land a job. I know that sometimes, I’m not the look they’re going for and I wish the next girl the best of luck. I truly do.

HipinDetroit- Is it hard to find work?

Krystal- It all depends on what circle you’re in. If the agency likes you, you’ve got it made. If you’re friends with the photographer, you’ll get the job. At the same time, if you think everyone’s a “hater”, there’s a really good chance you’ll be on the outside, looking in. For me, it’s been none of the above and I like it that way. I don’t associate with people just to find work or expect anything to be handed to me. I know that I’m capable of anything I set out to do and I work hard. I’ve found that with this mindset, eventually, the work finds you.
HipinDetroit- Tell us about shooting the recent cover of Real Detroit with Angie Yaldoo as stylist and Joe Gall as photographer.

Krystal- Angie doesn’t let her ideas overtake how anyone’s style already is. She finds a way to accentuate your look so you’ll feel confident and comfortable. She’s always a few steps ahead of you, to the point where she knows your look even better than you do. She loves what she does and you can’t help but love her right back.

Joe is the most laid back photographer I’ve ever worked with. He’s respectful, professional, but so relaxed, smiling while he snaps away. Shooting in Detroit with Joe Gall was a privilege because over the years, he’s captured the city in such a way, that while we’re all local residents, it made us all feel like he was welcoming us to his home.

HipinDetroit- How do you prepare for a photo shoot? Do you have a routine?

Krystal- No photographer or stylist wants a sleepy model. I make sure that I’m well rested, even if that means I have to call it a night at 9 p.m. I make sure that I have everything ready and call ahead to see if I need anything additional for the shoot. No matter how many times I shoot, I always get the butterflies, so I always take a long bath the night before to calm my nerves.

HipinDetroit- You have an amazing body. What is your workout routine? How do you motivate yourself to stay in shape?

Krystal- Oh my God. Thank you! I’ve been told I’m too curvy for this industry, which I take with a grain of salt, which is fine, since I’m Albanian…we love salt. Our number one food is Feta Cheese, which I can’t live without and it’s forced me to hire a personal trainer. I work out at Mash Gym in Redford with Todd Allee. He doesn’t cut me any slack just because I’m a female. If you plan on training with him, you’d better be ready to work hard. He runs me through a gauntlet of MMA circuit training, which makes me feel like I’m ready for my next fight, instead of my next shoot. It works out, since my boyfriend’s whole family is raised on martial arts and I’m pretty close to being able to take him.

HipinDetroit- If you were stranded on an island what is the one piece of makeup you couldn’t live without?

Krystal- I would bring my bright pink lipstick. You’d be able to see it from a boat, miles away, so I know I’d be discovered eventually. I use Pink Schiap Matte Lipstick made by NARS. (Get at me NARS).

HipinDetroit- What trends are you looking forward to rocking this spring and summer?

Krystal- The only difference in my clothing is the amount of layers. I’m not a girly girl, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity to wear sexy open toed shoes. I love spikes, studs, leather, denim and plain white shirts.

HipinDetroit- What are your favorite places to shop in Metro Detroit?

Krystal- Incognito in Royal Oak, Complex in Birmingham and also anywhere else that sells anything! I need help. My name is Krystal and I’m a shopaholic.

HipinDetroit- Anything else you think our readers should know?

Krystal- To model, you have to find a balance between being yourself and committing to the role you play. If you are able to do so, the lens will find your heart. Otherwise, you’re just taking pictures.