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!

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