This Friday, May 2nd The “doc opera” Super Duper Alice Cooper is coming to the Burton Theater in Detroit. This film uses live footage, animation, and rock opera to tell the story of Alice Cooper. The film also features interviews with Iggy Pop, Elton John, John Lydon, and Dee Snider. Alice Cooper is a musical legend who started his career right here in Detroit. He is known for his live shows and boasts a career that has spanned over 5 decades. You can watch a trailer for the film below.
Tickets to see this film are only $7 and can be purchased in advance here. The Burton is located at 3420 Cass Ave. and also goes under the name Cass City Cinema. Parking is free and monitored. Doors open 30 minutes before the show starts.
Imperial is one of my favorite places to eat and drink, I love their vegetarian tacos and their Moscow Mules which they serve correctly in an real copper mug. The restaurant opened just around 2 years ago and quickly became one of the most popular places to eat in Ferndale.
This year they are hosting a crazy party on May 3rd to kick off Cinco De Mayo weekend. Ooh La La Lucha will include tequila, burlesque, and some Mexican style Lucha Libre Wrestling. This event will take place at an alternative location down the road at 231 W. Nine Mile and entrance will be limited. Since capacity is limited you have to buy tickets to get in the door. 21 and over are welcome and tickets are being sold for $20 a piece at Imperial, Public House, and UHF Records.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on two sets of tickets to giveaway to two lucky readers. To enter, please email your full name to email@example.com with the subject line Ooh La La Lucha giveaway. We will email two lucky winners before the party and give them details on how to claim their prize.
Imperial will also be bringing back skate decks for auction that went over so well in previous years. They have local artists create art on a skateboard deck and then auction it off for charity. This year the money will be going to Ferndale Football Boosters Eagles Nest, which helps fund Ferndale school football programs, and Brush Park BMX, Detroit’s first DIY BMX park.
The party on Saturday will be followed up by an artists' reception at Imperial on Sunday, May 4th at 7 p.m. and a Cinco De Mayo celebration at the restaurant on Monday that includes drink and food specials.
Keep up with Imperial and all of their weekly deals and happenings by following them on Facebook here.
The Blowout is right around the corner, so we decided it is probably time for us to give you suggestions on what bands we think you should check out this year. As you know, things are going to be a little different this year with venues in Detroit, Hamtramck and Ferndale participating. If you don't know about the changes, check out our interview with Chris Johnston here. If you do know about the changes, you know that you are going to have to map your evenings out wisely. And, don't forget, if you plan on hopping from city to city there is an Uber code that will save you up to $30! Just check your Blowout wristband for the exclusive code. But, without further adieu, here are our picks for this year's Blowout!
As you can see, there are a ton of great bands playing this year. So the choices are going to be tough! Luckily, one wristband gets you in to all of these great shows every night. If you haven't purchased yours yet, you can pick one up online here or at any of the venues during the Blowout. For a full schedule of bands playing and all of the info you need on this year's event, head over to MTBlowout.com.
I like to go out for fancy dinners with my friends, but most of the time when I try a pricey restaurant I leave rather disappointed. I have no problem dropping some serious cash on a good meal, but I find that a lot of times when I do, I leave the restaurant feeling very unfulfilled. Either the food wasn't as good as it should have been or the portions are so small that I hit up Sgt. Pepperonis for a slice a few hours later. Thankfully, when I decided to drop some cash at The Jefferson House with a friend before the Cher concert, I had a totally different experience. Yes, the place was pricey, but I got huge portions of food that tasted out of this world.
The Jefferson House is located in The Crowne Plaza hotel on the Riverfront in Detroit. It is walking distance from Joe Louis, Hart Plaza, and Cobo Hall and would be a great place to take a date. I started my night with the brussel sprouts appetizer and received a hefty portion of veggies cooked to perfection and covered in a tasty sauce. For my entree I ordered the salmon, which literally melted in my mouth. It was served over a large cake like item that was made out of beans; I'm not totally sure what it was, but I know that it was good.
For dessert, I finished the night off with a warm apple crisp that came complete with a little vile to add your own caramel so it melted right there in front of you.
I left the restaurant stuffed instead of hungry and was pleasantly surprised that, although it was pricey, it wasn't really that pricey, especially for how big the servings were. I also had a few glasses of wine with my meal and didn't feel ripped off. Each glass was large, very full, and only $10.
This was one of the best meals that I have ever had and I can't wait to go back and try something else. I have a feeling that this restaurant can do no wrong.
You can keep up with their menu and make a reservation to dine in here.
Tequila has always been one of my favorite ways to let loose. There is nothing like the silly buzz that I get from a night of margaritas or tequila shots. I have been known to utter the phrase “tequila makes me bad” after a night of shooting it back and I always seem to go back for more. I can't say that I have ever had a preference over which tequila I was drinking, until I found one that was inexpensive and tasted great. Rock City Eatery in Hamtramck has been having Margarita Tuesdays and I recently went to dinner there and discovered the awesomeness that is Cabresto, the tequila that they were using in their drinks.
Cabresto also sponsored this past Friday's Detroit Music Awards. The event featured cocktails made with Sprite, pineapple juice, and lemonade. This stuff seems to mix well with whatever juice they add to it. We talked to Mike from Cabresto to find out more about the brand. Check out what he has to say and consider ordering Cabresto the next time you're out.
Finally, we chatted with Kyle Landry from Wilson about winning his first DMA. He was surprisingly talkative and exceptionally funny. After the interview he spent the evening carrying around a baggie with a DMA and a package of travel Cottonelle wipes. Watch the interview, you'll get it.
We saw some positive changes this year and you could definitely tell by the vibe and people in the room. Although the atmosphere wasn't completely different from when we went a couple of year's ago, the DMA team is moving in the right direction and we're anxious to see more changes and improvements for next year. We would like to see even more great acts get the attention that they deserve too. For a full list of this year's winners go here.
Summer is almost here and it's time to speed up those workouts and get ready to wear a lot less clothing. When I am out running I need music that will pump me up and get me going. I have used Green Day, Blink 182, and Weezer to power more workouts more times than I can count. Pop punk is my go to genre to get psyched up and have a productive run.
That's why I was excited to find out that local group Aim Your Arrows has released some new music. I had them send over the new album and played it a lot over the last week while I was at the gym. Not only does it have the fast beats that I crave, but it also has a female vocalist who can belt it out with the best of them.
She even gets a little screamy on this latest release called Mania.
The latest recording is 7 tracks in total and my favorite song off the album is “Hell is Nice this Time of Year”. But, this is one of those recordings that you can pop in and listen to from start to finish without skipping a track. You can check it out for yourself and download it here.
Aim Your Arrows has also been loading into a van and doing some touring DIY style. They have even announced that they will be playing at this year's Dirt Fest. We are looking forward to seeing them there, but if you can’t make the trek north on 75 this summer you can also check them out May 1st at Mac’s Bar in Lansing and June 1st at Perfect Pitcher in Taylor.
Take Back the Night is a movement to raise awareness against sexual violence of all forms. The community gathers together to share their stories and make their presence known. We will not be intimidated or scared, this is our world and we will walk around it proudly. The night will start with sign making and a speaker. Then the group will March through Ferndale returning to Affirmations for a candlelight vigil and an opportunity for marchers to stand up and speak out about their experiences.
Take Back the Night has events all over the world, so if you cant make it to this one check their website to find out when the next one is. This is a very powerful night of community and sharing and I highly suggest if you have never been part of one of these marches before you give yourself the opportunity to experience it. To learn more about this event check out the event page here.
A few months ago we had a chance to interview Nick Santches owner, creator, and head chef at Rock City Eatery in Hamtramck. We fell in love with him and the restaurant immediately. You can see that interview below.
We decided it was time to check back in and see how things were going. From the brussel sprouts, to the mac and cheese (in a cheese bowl), to the excellent cocktails, this restaurant has made quite a name for itself. It definitely is one of the hippest places around.
If you haven't had a chance to check it out, Blowout is just around the corner and Rock City will be running a little hipster special in its honor. All hipster beers will be one cent with the purchase of a food item. Blowout will run from April 30 to May 3rd and so will this special. We think this is the perfect chance to check the place out and get the night started out right.
HID- What kind of drink or food specials will you be running during Blowout? Nik Santches- "Thursday-Saturday we will be offering 1 cent hipster beers with any purchase of food from the menu. (Desserts excluded!)"
HID- What do you consider to be a hipster beer? Nik Santches- "All of the beer on our menu under 'HIPSTER' include: PBR, STROH'S, HIGH LIFE, HAMM'S, BLACK LABEL and BLATZ."
HID- What hours will you be open? ( during that wed/thurs/fri/sat) Nik Santches- "We will continue to close our kitchen at 10 and keep the doors open to drink until midnight."
HID- Will you be serving any pies? Nik Santches- "Pies are ALWAYS available!"
HID- What is the most popular item on your menu these days? Nik Santches- "Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts (we just won in a showdown for MT BEST Brussels in the D!) and the RC Mac & Cheese."
HID- Have you ever been to Blowout before? Do you have any special memories you would like to share? Nik Santches- "Any party that Metro Times throws is always a blast!"
HID- Anything else that you would like our readers to know? Nik Santches- "Go check out Metro Times and see the other mentions we got for Best of Detroit 2014!"
Rock City is located at 11411 Joseph Campau in Hamtramck. You can keep up with this deal and others by following them on Facebook here.
It has been a minute since fans have seen this band play, as they have been taking some time off since last fall. Plus, this show is the last chance Detroiters have to see The Goddamn Gallows for a while too, because they are heading out on tour all summer long. If you've never seen them live before, you're missing out on a hell of a good time! We were lucky enough to chat with the guys and get some footage from their set back in 2012 at The Magic Stick, at the very beginning of Hip In Detroit. You can check that out here.
Opening for The Goddamn Gallows this weekend are The Arrogant Bastards, Trace The Veins, and Dear John Tractor. Tickets for this all ages show are only $8 in advance or $10 the day of the show. If you would like to buy your tickets ahead of time (which we highly suggest) you can pick them up here. Thanks to our friend Mike and the crew at Small's we are getting one lucky fan and a friend in for free! To enter, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with Goddamn Gallows in the subject and your name in the body. We will draw our winner the morning of the show!
Our favorite “Brown Boy” gave the crowd one of the most visually and vocally enticing performances that we have ever seen and danced his little heart out. He debuted some new duds during the set and invited some of Detroit’s best to join him on stage. He used Dale Earnhardt's amazing lighting and backdrop to his advantage and won over the crowd almost as soon as he hit the stage. I'm pretty sure he walked away with quite a few new fans that night.
It was really cool to see everyone at ROMT throwing their hands in the air and dancing along with Emma and Cientell (Tunde’s dancers). Guest performances for the night included James Linck, Passalacqua, and Little Animal. We took some pictures and a video for all of you who missed out. Here’s a live recording of Tunde performing from his latest EP Yung Archetype at The Royal Oak Music Theatre on April 19, 2014:
This weekend head out to the Lager House for the International Pop Overthrow. This festival is now in it's seventh year in Detroit, but actually started in L.A. sixteen years ago. It features a ton of different "pop" bands, most of which are from the area with a few out-of-towners occasionally. This year's Detroit IPO will kick off on Thursday, April 24th and runs through Saturday, April 26th. There are a ton of great bands on it, such as The Paper Sound, The Static Dial, The Bruised Reed and Blaire Alise & The Bombshells. You can check out the lineups and set times below.
Thursday, April 24:
7:30 Vox Vera
8:15 The Paths
9:00 The Paper Sound
9:45 The Static Dial
10:30 Greater Alexander
11:15 Max Pain and The Groovies
Friday, April 25:
7:30 Matt Fig
8:15 The Bruised Reed
9:00 The Romeo Flynns
9:45 The Secrets
10:30 The Tearaways
11:15 Blaire Alise & The Bombshells
12:00 The Blue Squares
Saturday, April 26 (afternoon):
1:00 Thumbs Up
1:45 Walter Senko
2:30 Andy Klingensmith
3:15 Chris Degnore and the Black Drops
4:00 Dave Rave
Saturday, April 26 (evening):
7:30 The Starfire Band
8:15 The Pounders
9:00 The Legal Matters
9:45 The Sugar Clouds
11:15 Shapes & Colors
12:00 The Dives
Admission to the evening shows is $10/day and 21+ are welcome. For the Saturday afternoon show it's only $8 and 18+ can get in. We wanted to learn a little more about this fun festival, so we went right to the source, IPO founder David Bash. Here's what he had to say. HID- What is the International POP Overthrow? What can someone that has never been to this event expect?
David- "International Pop Overthrow is a pop music festival which I started in 1998, in Los Angeles, and have since expanded to more than 15 cities throughout the U.S., Canada and the UK. IPO (as it's affectionately known) features some of the best pop and rock bands from around the world. Anyone who comes to an IPO show can expect to discover some amazing pop music; there are a lot of talented bands out there who, due to the nature of the industry, haven't been discovered even though they are more than worthy. Each IPO festival features several bands who fall into that category."
HID- How do you choose the bands that play this festival? David- "I, along with my girlfriend, Rina Bardfield, do exhaustive searching on the internet, looking on sites like Bandcamp, Facebook, Reverbnation, etc...to find bands who do the kind of melodic rock 'n roll that we showcase at the festival. Most of the bands who play in a particular city are local to that city to ensure that we have sizeable crowds, but we also like to have at least a handful of bands from outside of the area to add to the variety and exoticism of the festival. The one exception is IPO Liverpool, at which we have bands from all over the world, because it's held at the World Famous Cavern Club, where every Beatles fan wants to play...and let's face it, just about every IPO band is fans of The Beatles!"
HID- The first IPO was in LA. Now you have spanned out to several different cities. How did you choose all of the cities? David- "It's necessary that each city have a strong local base of pop bands. If a city doesn't meet that criterion I won't do it there because, sadly, there won't be enough people who are curious enough to come to the shows."
HID- How does the Detroit IPO compare to IPO in other cities? Which is your favorite spot? David- "Detroit has a very healthy scene; while not as big as those in Chicago or Los Angeles, for example, it's very strong, and has a lot of amazing bands! Plus, PJ's Lager House, where we're holding IPO Detroit, is a really cool place and PJ is an excellent club owner!
My favorite spots to do IPO are Liverpool, because we have some of the cream of pop bands from around the world, and Vancouver, because it too has a healthy scene and is my fave city in the world!"
HID- Any bands that you are particularly looking forward to in Detroit? David- "All of them, and if that's a diplomatic answer, so be it (wink)!"
HID- Is there anything else you would like our readers to know? David- "Yes, indeed. I want your readers to know that, while they may not recognize many of the bands on the IPO Detroit bill, if they're fans of melodic rock 'n roll music which is inspired by the '60s and '70s, while not necessarily being derivitive, they really should come out to the festival because they will discover some amazing music! I can't tell you how many people, after hearing one of our compilation CDs, tell me "wow, I can't believe that there are bands who still do this kind of music". Well, there are, and I'm proud to say that most of them can be found at the IPO festival!"
This past Saturday Break Anchor hit the stage at The Magic Stick Lounge for their tour homecoming show. The guys just headed out to the West Coast and back again all within a couple of weeks. We're pretty sure they couldn't have had time to sleep while they were gone. After their tour kickoff show at Yonka House was broke up by the cops, fans were determined to see them play and headed out in droves.
Opening up the show were the metal heads in Axe Ripper. This band has been getting more and more recognition in the music scene over the past few months. You even will be able to check them out at this year's Blowout on Friday at The Painted Lady. Check out a couple of songs from their set below.
Up next was Rebel Spies. I already love this band, but somehow every time I see them, I like them even more. The band has a 7" out now that I highly suggest you pick up and head over to their bandcamp to download the 3 tracks.
Last up for the night was Break Anchor. They played a solid set, as always. And luckily that night they actually got to play and on top of that, they got to play a full set. This band's shows are always a good time and you can't help but to sing along. We were very pleased to not only hear our old favorites, but even a couple of brand new songs too. You can even check one out below.
This was definitely one of the better shows we have been to in a while. (And in case you haven't noticed, we go to a quite a few shows!) It was awesome to see great bands play and so many great people too. Although the entire Detroit music community is awesome, there is something different about the punk rock scene. They have an amazing amount of support not only for each others bands, but for each other as people. It truly is like a second family and it's the way a local music scene should be.
This Thursday night head out to Small's to catch psychobilly rock stars The Creepshow. A night at Small's is always a good time. But, with a solid lineup from front to back, this is guaranteed to be a fun night!
The Creepshow is currently on tour in support of their album Life After Death that came out last fall. You can check it out here. The Detroit stop is the second to last date before the band heads home for a bit.
Joining The Creepshow on stage at Small's are our pals in RawDogs, Hook N Krooks, and the always amazing Nick Ciolino. Tickets are $12 in advance here or $14 the day of. All ages are welcome. Thanks to our good friends at Small's we are giving 2 lucky winners the chance to get in the door with a friend for free! To enter to win, just email us at email@example.com with The Creepshow in the subject and your name in the body. We will draw our winners the morning of the show. Good luck!
Ferndale has become the go to town if you're in the mood for a good meal. Whatever type of food your are craving, there's probably a restaurant in Ferndale that has it. From Italian Cuisine to Street Tacos to Homemade Ice Cream, there's something for everyone. This week is the perfect chance to see head out and see what the eateries of Ferndale have to offer.
April 21st thru the 27th is Ferndale Restaurant Week. This event features great deals at most of the restaurants in Ferndale. There will be several options to choose from, with $10, $20 and $30 price points. Some options get you a meal for 1 at that price, while others get you a steal with a meal for two. For example, Como's has lunch and dinner options for 2 for $30, while at the more upscale Local you will get a three course dinner for 1 for $30. There are a ton of great restaurants on the list, you can check them all out and what each has to offer here. Personally, we suggest heading over to The WAB for their new pizza menu, tasty tacos at Imperial, or breakfast, lunch or dinner at One Eyed Betty's. Then you have to grab dessert and you can't go wrong with Easy Like Sundae or Treat Dreams. Both are delicious!
To find out what your favorite restaurant is offering just head to FerndaleRestaurantWeek.com and click on the restaurant name. Make sure you "like" Ferndale Restaurant Week on Facebook too, so you can stay in the loop on all of the great food and offers going on this week. Head out on the town and try something new or take a date out for dinner without breaking the bank! This is the perfect excuse!
This Thursday night Frank White is taking over The Old Miami and you don't want to miss it! First off, Frank White shows are always a good time. But, if that's not enough reason for you to go, this is your chance to check out some new tunes from the band.
They are currently putting the finishing touches on a new album and it sounds like it's going to be pretty amazing. They even are bringing in a few friends as guests on the record, like Ryan Collins from The Swellers and Mike Supina from A Wilhelm Scream. Thursday's show is the your first chance to hear some of these new songs. On top of that, this is one of the few times Frank White is playing this year. So, if you don't see them now, it might be a while before you do!
In case we haven't given you reason enough to head out to this show, we asked Jesse from Frank White to give us the top 5 reasons you aren't going to want to miss this!
#5: It's a great excuse to go out drinkin' on a Thursday night!
#4: You're guaranteed a better time at the show than anywhere else that qualifies as 'not at the show'
#3: The line up - finally a show where you don't have to skip the opener; the show offers no bullshit from front to back
#2: Whiskey and Friends
#1: Frank White.......why the f*ck wouldn't you be there?!?
Joining Frank White on the bill Thursday night is Due North, Flamingo Nosebleed, Aadia and The Arrogant Bastards. Doors open at 9 p.m. and it's only 5 bucks to get in the door. The Old Miami is located at 3930 Cass Ave. in Detroit. For more info on this show and to stay in the loop, RSVP to the Facebook event here.
There's something about the way a record sounds that makes it different than any other music recording. It's like it is the way music is supposed to sound. That's part of the reason why this form of media has become hugely popular again over the years. Plus, records just look cool. The sleeves, the different colors of vinyl, albums make great collection pieces. Some might argue that it's just a trend, but you don't see many 8 tracks around and this cassette tape revival doesn't seem to be as successful. Not to mention, there's not a whole day dedicated to CDs or MP3s, but we all know there is one for Records! And that day is coming up this Saturday!
Record Store Day 2014 is on Saturday, April 19th. The day is actually about getting out and supporting your local record store, but if it weren't for records this day wouldn't exist. On record store day fans line up at their local shop to pick up exclusive Record Store Day releases and get great deals on everyday albums. Some of the exclusive releases this year include Between The Buried and Me - Colors_Live, David Bowie - 1984 Picture Disc, Chiodos - R2ME/Let Me Get You A Towel, a Circa Survive and Sunny Day Real Estate Split, another Split from Clutch and Lionize, The Cure and Dinosaur Jr., Green Day - Demolicious, OFF! - Learn to Obey, and The Ramones - Meltdown with The Ramones. Even Katy Perry is getting in on the Record Store Day action with a release! You can check out the long list of albums here.
In addition to all of the great records being released this Saturday, many of our local record stores have in store specials and events going on. Here's a list of some of the happenings that stuck out to us.
Hello Records - 1459 Bagley, Detroit: This mostly used record store is offering an awesome deal for their customers. You can get 50% off their entire stock and their $1 Singles will be 3 for $1! Plus they will have DJ Dez and Jeedo X live in the store along with Black Milk. If that isn't enough, they will also have food in the shop from St. Cece's and Motor City Brewing Works! Sounds like a party!
Weirdsville Records - 36 New Street, Mt. Clemens:
This shop will have a bunch of the Record Store Day releases and on top of that they are offering 20% off all used vinyl, CDs, DVDs and cassettes. They'll also have some awesome in-store performances from Emily Rose, Caveman Woodman & Bam Bam Moss and Tobin Sterritt. On top of all of that, if you spend $50 or more, you'll snag a free shirt too!
UHF - 512 S. Washington, Royal Oak: It's no secret that UHF is one of our favorite record stores. But, besides that, they have some great reasons for you to head out to their shop on Saturday. They will have a ton of the exclusive releases and performances by Voyag3r, Oscillating Fan Club, Feelings and Caveman Woodman. That Caveman sure is getting around on Saturday!
Record Graveyard- 2610 Carpenter St., Hamtramck:
This store might not have the glitz and the glam that some of the others are offering up on Record Store Day, but they have an awesome used collection! Plus, they are offering 20% off everything with a coupon you can grab here. Can't beat that!
Flipside Records - 41 E. 14 Mile, Clawson:
Flipside will always hold a special place in our hearts as it is one of the only record stores still around that we went to as kids. They will be offering 20% off their collection of used LPs, movies, video games and systems, cassettes, and most toys. Plus they will have a bunch of free stuff they are giving away throughout the day. You can check out the freebies they are offering here.
Stormy Records - 13210 Michigan Ave., Dearborn: The folks over at Stormy Records want every day to be record store day! They pride themselves on bringing you some of the best music every day of the year. So, this Saturday they will continue to do that, but will have some of the RSD releases. Better yet, they will have some awesome used collectible vinyl that you probably won't be able to get your hands on anywhere else!
There are quite a few other great record stores out there too! So wherever you go, we hope you pick up some great new albums and some good old ones too! Shop local and support your local record stores! Happy Record Store Day!!!
Iggy Azalea has been busy conquering the world of hip-hop and taking over the pages of magazines. She is perfecting the art of marrying hip-hop to electronic music and recently became the face of Levi jeans. I'm obsessed with her music and her style. Check out what I mean in her latest video for her single “Fancy”.
You have to appreciate a girl who makes a homage to Clueless.
She will be playing at St. Andrew's on April 26th and Live Nation was nice enough to give us a set of tickets to give away. I know a lot of our readers are boss bitches and I think they would really enjoy this artist. To enter to win tickets please email your full name to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will draw a winner a few days before the show and email them details on how to claim their prize. You can also purchase tickets in advance by clicking here.
This is an artist that is on the rise, we suggest you catch her on the way up!
Slow Rolls aren't just on Mondays anymore! If you aren't a Monday person or you just can't make it out to the hugely popular Slow Roll bike rides on Monday evenings, this is your chance to still get in on the fun. Starting Thursday, April 17th the guys at Detroit Bike City will begin having a monthly ride on the third Thursday of the month. These rides will always meet at Eastern Market, unlike the Monday rides that rotate through starting points. But, that means they will be taking over the Market on Thursdays as the group plans to have food truck rallies and after parties in conjunction with the Slow Rolls. They will also have "Alley Cats" and "Sprint Races". We're not sure what that means exactly, but we're looking forward to finding out!
If you want to be a part of this brand new Slow Roll night, head down to Shed 2 at Eastern Market at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Make sure you bring a helmet and some extra tubes for your tires, if you have them. Remember, these are casual rides at a slow pace and you are riding in a big group. So this is a ride for everyone! For more details on Slow Roll and what Detroit Bike City is all about, check out our interview with Jason Hall and Mike MacKool below. Make sure to "like" Detroit Bike City on Facebook to stay in the loop on their upcoming events.
Our favorite bar, Small's, is hosting a new event to get you off your couch on Thursday nights. There's music, there's drinks, and 3 is the magic number. That's because $3 gets you in the door and then there are $3 drink specials on tallboys, well drinks, and this edition will feature $3 Tequila Cabresto shots and drinks all night long.
This awesome new Thursday night is appropriately being called Small's $3 Showcase. This time around the music lineup includes our buddies in the Mike Leslie Band, Buck Nell, and F. Patrick James. Mike Leslie Band just got done touring, with stops in Nashville and St. Louis amongst other cities. They will be playing a special acoustic set tonight, so that's even more reason to head out.
The fun starts at 8 p.m. For more details on this show, visit the Facebook event page here. Small's is located at 10339 Conant in Hamtramck.
We are huge supporters and advocates for Planned Parenthood. This organization works tirelessly to make sure that all women have access to the birth control, OBGYN visits, and the family planning that they need. I know a lot of people’s ears perk up when they hear this name because they think that all the organization does is help women get access to abortions. While that is one of the many services that some of their locations offer, it is only a small part of what makes them amazing. The education that they provide in the community is essential to the success of our society.
This Thursday, April 17th Planned Parenthood is holding a seminar to discuss sex trafficking in Metro Detroit. They have invited Deena Policicchio from Alternative for Girls to come and speak about this issue. Ms. Policiccho was part of two MSNBC documentaries called “Sex Slaves: Motor City" and "Sex Slaves: Addiction". She has dedicated her time to providing education and advocacy to end sexual exploitation of women, specifically the ladies of Metro Detroit.
The presentation will take place at 6 p.m. at the Panned Parenthood in Detroit located at 4229 Cass Ave. (Right around the corner from Avalon Breads next to Curl Up & Dye). We hope that Planned Parenthood continues to bring more speakers and more presentations in to the Detroit Metro area because we definitely have a lot of work to do to get us where we need to be.
When people write about the City of Detroit they rarely have anything positive to say. When we started Hip In Detroit we vowed to change that conversation. We saw this website as an opportunity to stop focusing on all of the negative aspects of Detroit and instead we would focus on the positive. This relentless positivity we display has been criticized at times, it seems that some people would love to see us bash this city just like everyone else does. I say let everyone else have the negative and we will continue to keep focusing on the positive.
The trouble with always saying you're going to be positive is that you actually have to be positive. I was recently caught bitching about all the changes being made to The Blowout, which has traditionally been one of my favorite events of the year. Sometimes it can be hard for me to get older and to let go of the way things used to be. Instead of asking how or why they were making these changes, I fell into the trap of bitching for no reason. It wasn't until a friend called me out that I took a step back and realized I was being the Negative Nancy that I usually can’t stand. Yes, Blowout was one of the coolest events that was ever held in Hamtramck and it somehow lasted 15 years in that city alone without ever expanding. But, when it expanded last year I had a great time and I wasn't disappointed to have two different cities to run around over two different weekends. In fact, I had a blast. I was being a huge hater for no reason, a festival that I love is growing and at the end of the day that is an extremely positive thing.
This year The Blowout will take place over 4 days in 3 different cities, including Detroit, Ferndale, and Hamtramck. It will feature some pretty big national acts as well as some of the best local acts that Detroit has to offer. You can see the full lineup here. As you can see they added bands like Electric Six, Local H, and Motion City Soundtrack to play alongside some of our favorites including James Linck, Nice Hooves and Broadzilla.
For $25 you can get a bracelet that gives you access to more bands and more venues in more cities than ever before. For $25 you can jump around city to city in your Uber cab and get as wasted as you want while seeing all of Detroit’s heavy hitters. Talking to the guys over at Pulp Detroit made me realize how amazing this weekend can be if it all works out the way that they planned. I asked Chris Johnston to answer a few questions about the changes and give us the inside scoop on the festival. He helped me step out of the negative and back into the positive. Blowout has the potential to bring new fans in and be bigger and better than ever, and we are positive that there is nothing negative about that. Sure, some of us long for the way that it used to be, but those days are gone. If we all work together we can make this the best Blowout yet!
HID- Why did you (and Pulp Detroit) decide to start booking The Blowout last year? Chris Johnston- "I was approached by Metro Times to book last year's Blowout. I don't have any idea how long their short list of potential heirs to the throne was, but I said yes quickly enough that they probably had to cut the selection process short. I had some invaluable help from Jesse Shepard Bates, along with quite a few others, in putting it all together. Over the last year Anthony Morrow and I had been riding the same bus to work and realized we work well together. So when same sex booking became legal we were the first in line, in order to get to work on Blowout 17."
HID- Last year you split the festival between two weekends in two cities. This year it'll be one weekend in three cities. Why? Chris Johnston- "Great question! Blowout should be this thing that erupts throughout the area. The idea that you can make it to every venue on every night never really existed, even when it was in Hamtramck. And if somehow you did that, you were either Phil Collins or probably didn't really have the time to enjoy much of the shows that you saw. As far as two cities or three cities go, there are a couple of venues in Detroit that are farther apart than some from Ferndale to Hamtramck, or Ferndale to Detroit. So maybe we should say there are four cities involved, I'm not sure. Personally I think there should be more cities participating. But we can work on that."
HID- Why did you decide to bring national acts on board? What effect do you think this will have on The Blowout? Chris Johnston- "Last year we had Bleached play, along with a couple others that I think people didn't seem to notice for some reason, so it's not new this year. Personally I want to see more people enjoying Detroit bands. I think it's pretty upsetting that there are so many fantastic bands here that go nearly completely unnoticed. I feel that having some national bands on the bills will bring out people who otherwise wouldn't be exposed to Detroit bands. Having some band go completely unnoticed in their hometown is more often than not just the way things go. I'd like to a part of changing that."
HID- What will a bracelet vs. day pass cost this year? Will that give you access to all of the bars? Chris Johnston- "I believe they will ultimately be $25, and started off at $20. Yes, that can get you into all of the venues."
HID- Will their be any transportation between cities? Chris Johnston- "I'm honestly not sure of the answer to that. Nobody's called shotgun with me yet. I have no A, G or C policy."
( sidenote: We suggest downloading the Uber code we posted yesterday to get a 30 dollar credit, this will be the perfect way to city hop for cheap during the Blowout)
HID- Why do you think people in the Detroit music scene are resistant to seeing the festival change? Chris Johnston- "Well first of all, I don't think anyone that learned what Blowout was last year is upset that this year there are shows in Detroit too, and to be honest I'm not sure how many are truly that upset. And for the record you could probably count me with them too. I wish that there was a strong enough scene for this event to happen in Hamtramck and generate the kind of excitement it had 10 years ago. But that starting fading long ago. I'm more inspired by the new bands emerging these days, and I would like Blowout to be something that grows as they do."
HID- Where would you like to see the festival in five years? Chris Johnston- "I'm more focused on where I would like to see the music scene in five years. If the music scene is strong and supported, Blowout could something that much more special. If the musicians now and those who will follow can't break out of the gravitational pull of 1996 then it will probably be like scene from Gravity, which I haven't seen, nor never will, because those kind of movies totally freak me out."
HID- What do you think makes the Detroit music scene special? Chris Johnston- "I'm a former musician. I love music. What makes the scene special is another great question. My involvement is based on my desire to show people the answer to that question. If people can't see what I see then I'm not doing my job well enough."
HID- What bands are you most excited to see out of the lineup that you have announced? Chris Johnston- "I realistically won't be able to really enjoy a show all weekend. I will see plenty, but not with the mindset that I usually like to watch a show with."
Mr. Johnston is a true inspiration to me, someone who is moving this scene in the right direction. My respect and admiration for you and all that you do for this city is growing by the day.
To purchase your bracelet in advance visit the Blowout website here. To keep up with all of their announcements and learn more about the bands playing The Blowout, add them on Facebook.
Uber has literally been taking over Detroit. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical when they brought this service to Detroit. Would it be reliable, would it be affordable, and would people us it? It's reliable, it’s affordable, and we cannot stop using it! There is nothing less hip than drinking and driving and Uber has made it totally un-necessary to do so.
With summer on its way and festival season approaching, we thought it was time to check in with Uber and get the scoop for our readers. We think that all of you are going to be using this all the time and we wanted to know more. Check out what Detroit General Manager Mike White has to say about the service and download the app to your phone now. We promise that you won’t regret it! Uber is connecting Detroit in a way that we haven’t seen before and we love it!
HID- What made you bring Uber to Detroit? Mike White- "Uber came to Detroit because we saw huge opportunity in a comeback city with a growing tech community that we wanted to be a part of. Before we ever launched, there were thousands of Detroiters who had already opened the Uber app looking for our service, so we knew that there would be strong demand here. The dramatic growth we’ve seen in the first year proves we were right.
Our technology solves the real problem for Detroiters looking for convenient, reliable transportation options in the metro area where there currently aren’t many other choices. Uber also offers economic opportunity to drivers who are able to increase their own economy by using our app. The growth in usage of Uber for both drivers and riders is a testament to the value we bring to the city."
HID- Do you get to pick the car that you ride in? Mike White- "In Detroit, Uber has three transportation options for riders. Riders can request UberBLACK for a luxury executive sedan such as a Cadillac DTS, Chrysler 300, or Lincoln Towncar; UberSUV for a full-size luxury SUV like a Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator; or uberX for a mid-size sedan like a Ford Focus or Chevy Cruz."
HID- What the difference between Uber and UberX? Mike White- "UberBLACK and UberSUV rides are provided by commercially licensed and insured partners and drivers. They are typically professional drivers operating luxury vehicles, with a price point that is about 20%-30% higher than a taxi.
uberX is our lowest-cost option based on a ridesharing model. Qualified drivers provide rides using their own vehicle at a cost that averages around 20% less than a taxi. Drivers are backed by Uber’s corporate insurance policy, which you can learn more about here: http://blog.uber.com/ridesharinginsurance."
HID- How do you ensure that your drivers are all safe to be driving us all around? Mike White- "Uber maintains safety as a top priority in all of its operations.
For UberBLACK and UberSUV, Uber ensures its partners meet the commercial licensing and insurance requirements for limousine operators in Michigan.
For uberX, Uber has a best in class safety and screening process for drivers. We screen all uberX drivers with a federal, multi-state, and county background check, in addition to inspecting their vehicles, training drivers on the Uber system, and conducting a screening interview.
What’s more, all Uber trips undergo a feedback loop for riders and drivers to ensure the highest quality is maintained on the system for all users."
uberX drivers must have a 2004 or newer vehicle in excellent condition, a valid Michigan driver’s license, vehicle insurance, and registration. Interested parties will also need to pass a rigorous background check.
UberBLACK and UberSUV partners need to provide proof that they are commercially licensed and insured as limousine companies in Michigan. They must have a black, luxury sedan or SUV."
HID- Is their a limit to how far an Uber can go? Mike White- "Uber does not limit the length of the trip. Anytime our driver partners are available in the app, they are available for rides within Metro Detroit. Passengers looking to go outside of this area should discuss the trip with their driver immediately after making a trip request."
HID- Are there any areas of Detroit or the Detroit Metro area that Uber won't go? Mike White- "The Uber service is available throughout Metro Detroit. You can see the approximate boundaries of our service area, in blue, on our website here: www.uber.com/detroit."
HID- Do drivers report a lot of throwing up in Uber cars? Mike White- "The first usage occasions in Detroit were weekend evenings when riders were looking for safe rides to and from bars and restaurants. We’ve been really proud to support responsible drinking in metro Detroit and increase the options for riders to get home safely if they’ve had too much to drink."
HID- How does someone book a ride with Uber? Mike White- "Riders can download the Uber app from the iTunes or Google Play store, create an account, and tap the app to request a ride. Drivers are usually available to pick-up passengers in about 5-10 minutes. It’s a safe, reliable, and convenient way to get a ride."
HID- How is the cost of a ride calculated? Mike White- "The cost of a ride is the base fare plus the time and distance charge for the length of the trip. You can see the pricing and estimate your fare on our website: www.uber.com/detroit."
HID- Is there a minimum fare? Mike White- "Yes, however the minimum fare varies by the type of vehicle requested. You can see the minimum fares on our website: www.uber.com/detroit."
HID- Anything else that you want our readers to know ? Mike White- "Uber is meeting a huge regional need by providing safe, reliable, and convenient transportation options to Detroiters and while providing economic opportunity to our driver partners. We’re extremely excited to be a part of the economic redevelopment and growth occurring in the region.
Follow our progress on Twitter at @Uber_DET"