Thursday, July 31, 2014

Head Down to Corktown Thursday Night for The Punk Show

If you're in the mood for a great punk rock show, head down to Corktown Tavern this Thursday night. Our pals in The Dewtons will be hitting the stage along with City Mouse, Bastardous and Due North.

We've told you before that The Dewtons are one of the best Detroit punk bands to see live. They always put on a great show and have more energy than a lot of bands in the area. The guys have been playing out of town a lot lately, with a few hometown shows sprinkled in here and there. However, some of the members also have other music projects going on right now. So your chances to see this band live might become fewer and fewer.

Bastardous is a great band featuring some of Detroit's favorite rockers, Tony DelBel, Nick Gigler and Rich Tschirhart. Due North is an awesome band, we've told you about a time or two before. They just released their first full length, Saving Daylight, that you can learn more about here. And last, but not least, City Mouse is a band hailing from both Kentucky and California and they're currently making their way across the US of A.

Doors will open at 9 p.m. on Thursday and the bands are set to start around 9:30 p.m. 21 and up are welcome. Corktown Tavern is located at 1716 Michigan Ave. in Detroit. For more info on this show, click here.



~C

Leon & Lulu: Made to Eat in Michigan


Next week Clawson's famous lifestyle shop Leon and Lulu is inviting local Michigan artisans into the space to showcase their food, sauces, and baked goods to the public. The event is called Made to Eat in Michigan. It will feature food and baked good from a variety of Michigan companies including Birdie’s Something Chocolate ,Cooper Street Cookies, Debra Foods, Gus and Grey, Imerman Cake Company LLC, Joseph Wesley Black Tea, Maria's House Made Salsa & BBQ Sauce, Motown Soup, Royal Oak Roasters, Spanitz Brothers Sausage,The Brinery, The Twisted Pretzel LLC, Treat Dreams and Z's Dipping & Sauces Inc.

They will be giving out FREE samples from 6-8 p.pm. on Tuesday, August 5th. Leon and Lulu is located at 96 West 14 Mile in Clawson, Michigan. For details on this event and upcoming events you can follow L&L on Facebook here.

Leon and Lulu is one of our favorite shops in Michigan! We love that they are adding more and more events to their schedule, especially since they are featuring local companies. Keep up the great work and make sure to check out the shop if you haven't already!


~S

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Do You Want to Play at Dally in the Alley???

Dally in the Alley, one of the best events in Detroit, is just over a month away. This one day festival is historically held the Saturday after Labor Day and is in it's 37th year. Dally celebrates "life in the Cass Corridor" by bringing together vendors, artists, musicians, and the public to literally take over the alleys between Forest and Hancock and 2nd and 3rd. It is the unofficial end of summer and a celebration of the upcoming Fall season. It is also time for the city to welcome in a new crop of Wayne State students.

We get it, it's still the middle of summer and this event isn't 'til September 6th. But, we need to talk about it early because Dally is currently looking for this year's musical guests and time is running out! Dally in the Alley prides themselves in bringing together a wide variety of musicians from the tri-county area. They do not seek out talent for the event. Instead, they ask bands and musicians to submit their best music for them to review. They listen to ALL of the submissions and narrow it down to a handful of artists that will take over the 5 stages.

If you want to play this year's Dally, you need to get your music in by the end of the day on Thursday, July 31st. To be considered, send your tunes to music@dallyinthealley.com, but there are quite a few rules to keep in mind. The ones that really stand out are that you must be local, you have to be available on September 6th, and you have to be willing to play for free.  This festival is made possible because of volunteers, this includes the musical acts who offer up their time and talent. You can check out all of the other details, and the rules and regulations here.

So times a wastin'! If you want to be a part of Dally get your band's best music sent over right away! We look forward to seeing yet another great lineup this year and to partying at Dally with all of you!


~C

This Thursday Night at Third Street Bar!

Lately its felt more like fall and less like the dog days of summer. In fact, I have worn hoodies two nights in a row. Which is odd because August is supposed to be the hottest time of the year.  Luckily we're supposed to have a bit of a heat wave the next couple of days, with temperatures getting all the way up to the high 70s! Can you believe it? Regardless of the heat or lack there of, it is still the middle of summer and we want to keep the summer fun going.

This Thursday is the perfect excuse to get out, drink on a patio, and listen to some good ol' rock 'n' roll. Third Street Bar is continuing their Thursdays at Third Street series with music from After Dark Amusement Park. This event is FREE and there are great drink specials available and Dangerously Delicious Pies.

The fun starts at 7 p.m. and all ages are welcome. The forecast says there may be some rain on Thursday, but a little rain never hurt anyone! Plus, thisevent will happen whether there's rain or shine. So, grab an umbrella and head down to the bar for a super fun Thursday night!


~C

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Making a Violent Movie with Davey Havok

These days there are a million different things being funded online. At this point, there is so much out there that a lot of good campaigns are getting lost in the shuffle. We have all become a little jaded when it comes to funding a project or idea online. For instance, I recently found a fundraiser for the World's Largest Jockstrap, a fund to build a Floating Pool in the Middle of a River and a grilled cheese that had the face of Jesus burned into it. There is simply too much out there and a lot of it is bullshit.

When online funding first came into play, it was a little easier to get the word out about what you were doing, but the clutter has made it more difficult. That is why I knew I had to write about an Indiegogo campaign to fund a punk movie set in the '90s that stars Davey Havok from AFI. This seems like an awesome idea and a movie that I would like to see. I think a lot of you out there might be similarly intrigued by the teaser and together we can help them reach their goal.

I had a chance to ask the movie's writer and producer, Clint Carney, a few questions about the project. You might know him from his band SYSTEM SYN. He is a Los Angles based painter, musician, writer, sculptor, and prop maker, and the mind behind a movie called The Violent. Watch the teaser for the film below and check out what he has to say about the project. If you like what you see and hear, throw a couple of bucks their way and lets see a movie that tells a different story about punks and skins in the '90s, one that we know to be a little more true.


HID- What inspired you to write this film? Why do you think that this story needs to be told?
Clint Carney- "For one thing, I don’t think there are any high school movies out there that accurately portray what it was like to be a part of a subculture in the mid nineties. At least there aren’t any that I can relate to. I think it was a strange time, not too far before the Columbine school shooting, where perhaps many adults weren’t really paying attention to what was going on with the youth. At high schools nowadays, you have metal detectors, floodlights, uniforms, zero tolerance policies for drugs and violence, etc. It was much different back then, and I think it’s a part of American history worth remembering. Also, Hollywood only ever shows us racist nazi skinheads in movies. You rarely, if ever, see a film with Traditional Skins or SHARPs (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) in it, and I thought it would be an interesting subculture to introduce to filmgoers. Punks and Skins are a diverse group, represented by people from many different racial and social backgrounds. I didn't want to make another movie stereotyping or marginalizing this group, but rather, I wanted to give a realistic glimpse into their world."

HID- Why did you decide to use IndieGogo to fund the film?
Clint Carney- "When you don’t have the backing and money of a major studio, it can be extremely difficult to make people aware of your movie. IndieGogo offers a nice user-friendly platform which is helping “The Violent” to get attention from a very large audience. And of course, it also provides a channel for people to chip in to help make this film a reality."

HID- How did Davey Havok become involved?
Clint Carney- "Davey and I are both touring musicians and had run into each other at various shows over the years. He’s one of the nicest, most genuine guys that I've met. I hadn't seen him in while, and then we reconnected backstage at a mutual friend’s show (Trevor Friedrich of The Witch Was Right). I mentioned the project to him, and he expressed interest in reading the script. I was very pleased to hear that he had enjoyed it, and I asked if he’d like to come on board to be a part of the film. Thankfully, he agreed."

HID- What kind of rewards can a person get for contributing to this campaign?
Clint Carney- "We’ve got a lot of great perks; exclusive shirts and posters, autographed copies of Davey’s book, props from the film, invitations to the premiere, even walk-on roles in the movie, and more."

HID- Where will the movie be filmed?
Clint Carney- "We’re shooting it all in Los Angeles County, California, mostly in the suburbs. So many film productions are leaving our state these days, and as a life-long resident, I want to help bring money and jobs to our local economy."

HID- When will it officially be released if it gets made?
Clint Carney- "It will get made for sure. I won’t stop until it does. I’m hopeful that we’ll have a 2015 release date, but the specifics will depend largely on when we complete our funding goals. Aside from the IndieGogo campaign, we’re also actively seeking funding from private investors interested in owning a piece of the film."

HID- Have you ever done anything like this before or is this new territory for you?
Clint Carney- "I've worked in the film industry for a few years now, creating artwork and props for many high profile movies. More recently, I've begun directing and producing music videos. The Violent however, is my first step into the world of producing a feature film."

HID- Where can we look at some of your past work?
Clint Carney- "I recently directed a video for my band, SYSTEM SYN, and you can find that here. The Director of Photography on that video is Kelly Jones, who will be directing The Violent.
You can see some of the other film and television productions that I've been involved with on my IMDB page here."



~S

Family Fun and Free School Supplies

This Saturday, August 2nd Ferry Park in Detroit is hosting an event for the whole family. They are inviting anyone who's interested to come hang out and enjoy free live entertainment, storytelling, free food, face painting and more. They see it as a way to "restore the neighbor back into the "hood"  They will also be giving out FREE backpacks filled with school supplies to families in need, each family is eligible to receive 2 backpacks.

The event runs from 1-7 pm and the park is located at 2243 Ferry Park, Detroit, Michigan 48208.


~S

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beard Balm

Beards, a few years ago I thought they were a trend but it is becoming clear that they are here to stay. It seems that most men and women like a good beard and a good beard starts with how you care for it. Are you conditioning it? Are you shaping it? Are you making sure that it is soft to the touch? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself. If the answer to any of them is no, it is time to get into the habit of taking care of your furry friend.

There is a called Beard Balm that wants to help you get your beard into shape.  Check out what they have to say about beards and pick yourself up some Beard Balm if you plan to grow out that face mane!
HID­- What motivated you to come up with Beard Balm and start selling it?
Beard Balm- "I was looking for an all natural product that I could trust; a product where I knew exactly where all the ingredients came from. I also didn't want a product with all those added filler ingredients that didn't do much except harm my body and the environment. So I originally developed Beard Balm for myself and thought it would be nice to share with other bearded men who were looking for a similar product."
HID­- Why do you think that beards are in style these days?
Beard Balm- "Beards came into style because good product became available. Now beards can look clean and put together; making them more acceptable in places that...have other people present."
HID­- What makes a good beard?
Beard Balm- "It's very simple....don't shave, condition it and wear it with confidence and pride!"
HID- How does using Beard Balm improve the overall quality of your beard?
Beard Balm- "Beard Balm helps to condition your beard and skin beneath it. Our all natural ingredients help to strengthen your beard hairs and restore moisture; lessening breakage and split ends. The nice scent, soft feel and mild hold that Beard Balm offers is a nice added bonus!"

HID­-Do you use Beard Balm everyday? Give us a quick rundown of how beard balm is used, as I personally have never had a beard and would like to know how this works.
Beard Balm- "I use it at least once ­a day, usually after a shower, sometimes throughout the day if my beard is feeling a bit dry. I take a small amount (the amount varies, depending on personal preference and size of beard) and rub it between my fingertips. I usually start inside my beard, to make sure I condition my skin, and work my way to the ends. Then I take my beard in both of my hands and train it... bearded men will know what I'm talking about."
HID­- Do you manufacture the products here in Detroit? If so where?
Beard Balm- "We do! We operate out of PonyRide in Corktown. PonyRide is a really cool co­working space where you can find other Detroit based companies such as Detroit Denim, Empowerment Plant, Smith Shop Detroit and Anthology Coffee... just to name a few."

HID­- How much does a can of Beard Balm cost? How long will that can usually last?
Beard Balm- "$16 and depending on the size of your beard it can last anywhere between 2­-6 months. On average, about 3 months."
HID­- Is it weird to name your beard?
Beard Balm- "No, if you think of your beard as a separate entity with its own personality, then by all means, give your awesome furry friend a name!"
HID­- What types of alternative uses have you found for Beard Balm?
Beard Balm- "I've had lady friends who have said it works awesome on their cuticles, eyebrows and even directly on their hair. I've even used it on my cheeks when I'm biking on colder days to help with the wind burn. Also, works awesome on dry elbows, heels, etc."
HID­- Anything else that you want our readers to know?
Beard Balm- "Beard Balm is awesome for all different types of beards of all different sizes. We have a not so hidden agenda to beard the world!"


~S

See White Shag Unplugged!

Back in the '90s I was obsessed with MTV’s Unplugged. Do you remember watching bands like Nirvana, Hole, The Cure, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Kiss, Alice and Chains, and Oasis strip down and play their hits as raw as possible? I have been finding those performances online and re-watching them. Unplugged was an innovative idea that was ahead of its time. It gave you a chance to look at the music from a different perspective and to be able to see the artists for the songwriters and performers that they truly were.

Local artist Audra Kubat has started inviting bands to come into Union Street and play unplugged versions of their music. She has already had Eddie Baranek of The Sights and Troy Gregory in to perform. This week she has invited rockers White Shag to come on in and perform. Jorge and Laura will be playing an acoustic versions of their songs and some select covers. This will give fans a chance to see the band in a whole new light.

The show starts at 9 p.m. this Tuesday, July 29th. The show goes through midnight and it is FREE to attend the performance. The bar will also be featuring $2 Michigan pints on tap. Union Street is located at 4145 Woodward in Detroit. Very cool idea, we look forward to seeing who else Audra brings in!


~S

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Best Party in Town is Tonight at Small's!

Tonight, head out to Small's to celebrate the birth of everyone's favorite bar owner, Mike Mouyianis. They are throwing a big bash featuring a great lineup of bands. Local favorites Golden Torso and RawDogs will be hitting the stage, but more importantly tonight is the return of Skeemin' No Goods! It has been years since the guys in Skeemin' No Goods have hit the stage here and fans are pretty stoked! To top it off, there will even be a special set from Feisty Cadavers. So whether your an old school Detroit rocker or you're part of the new generation, there is something for everyone at this show. By far the best excuse to party in Detroit tonight!

Doors to Small's open at 8 p.m. and RawDogs hit the stage first at 9:45 p.m. Make sure you head out early to check those guys out, they have been working on new tunes, they have a new guitarist playing with them, and they always bring the party. Cover is $10 at the door.

Make sure you wish Mike a Happy Birthday as well as his pals Dan Kelly and Chuck Burns! Happy Birthday guys! We hope it's a blast!!!

~C

Win Tickets to See Disclosure with ShoolBoy Q and More!

It's finally Friday which means that we want to give our readers some FREE stuff. This week we have a set of tickets to giveaway to see Disclosure at Freedom Hill alongside ScHoolboyQ, Kevin Saunderson, Ryan Hemsworth, Tom Trago, and hometown hero Erno the Inferno.


This event is being called Wild Life and it is traveling across the U.S. with dates in Los Angeles, Berkeley, and Chicago. They will be making their stop in Michigan on August 2nd.


Disclosure has been recently recognized for their latest album Settle which features the single "Latch". Check out the music video for that song below.


Tickets for this event are $34 in advance and will be $40 the night of the show. You can purchase tickets in advance here. We also have one set of tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader courtesy of AEG Live. To win those tickets, you must add us on twitter (@hipindetroit) and tweet us with the hash tag #IWANTOGOWILDATTHEWILDLIFETOUR. We will tweet one lucky winner a few days before the show and make sure that they are on the guest list +1. We have a feeling that tickets are going to sell out, so you may want to purchase you ticket in advance and guarantee that you can get through the door and into the party.

Freedom Hill is the prefect place to enjoy the music and dance the night away. Think of it as a smaller, nicer, version of DTE. Freedom Hill is located at 14900 Metro Parkway in Sterling Heights. Doors open at 4 p.m.  and the music goes 'til 11 p.m. 


~S

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BFF Fest - July 26: Seraphine Collective Shifts the Scene’s Status Quo

Inclusivity; the idea of it, the beauty of it, the need for it, and, more so, the absence of more initiative to foster it… That inspired BFF Fest

“Women are grossly underrepresented in this scene,” said Erin Norris (guitarist/singer of Casual Sweetheart). “I get bummed out when I hear people say: ‘Well, I don’t know any good female musicians or bands…”

Best Fest Forever has been organized by the Seraphine Collective, an online-born co-op working towards establishing a safe, active and supportive community for female musicians in Southwest Detroit. That, (inclusivity) along with underlining that this “isn’t just some Women Who Rock fest,” says co-organizer and singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist Jen David (of Illy Mack and Mama Roux).

Much more than that, as elaborated by co-organizers Dina Bankole (singer/guitarist, Secret Twins and Swimsuit) as well as Norris, BFF Fest is about shifting this scene’s stagnant status quo and toppling the typical politics/inner-workings and perceptions idly clung-to around here when it comes to live music event; particularly, the lack of diversity amid the artists performing said-events.

BFF Fest subverts “the stereotype,” said David, “that women with guitars are a rare breed.”

Bankole said the original impetus for BFF Fest was also acknowledging “the lack of fun, summertime music festivals with diverse line ups. It’s the same-ol’-same-ol’ around here.”

Shelley Salant, an proven avid supporter/promoter and contributor to local music for years, based out of the Ann Arbor/Ypsi scene (Rebel Kind, Shells) initially joined with Bankole a year ago for the planning of this event. Bankole admits that, at first, she resisted that apparent need to emphasize the ‘female, POC, LBGTQ’-centric nature of the festival’s line-up of performers. “Not necessarily because of backlash or stigma,” said Bankole, “but…just to see if anyone noticed.”

“Music is sexless,” says Norris. “(Musical) notes are sexless. Instruments are sexless. Events should probably be sexless, too.”

For about 12 hours on July 26, BFF Fest will take over Trinosophes (concert venue/coffee café / generally cool Eastern Market hang-out). This diverse line up of which we speak features:

Rebel Kind, Kelly Jean Caldwell, Isles of ESP, Loretta Lucas, 
Blizzard Babies, Mexican Knives, Little Animal, Marx Marston, 
Mama Roux, Bárbara Eugênia, Sros Lords, Junk Food Junkies, 
Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, Diskette, Double Winter, Drinkard Sisters, 
Sex Police, Van Houten and Deadbeat Beat. 

Norris is excited and inspired, having never seen a line-up with this many female musicians before.

The line-up also features Norris playing guitar in Casual Sweetheart, which includes Bankole on drums and bassist/singer Lauren Rossi Harroun. Harroun founded and facilitated the blog (Seraphine Collective) that would go on to play a key role in inspiring this Fest and its overall mission statement.

That mission includes highlighting, celebrating and promoting the talents of Michigan’s diverse community of musicians and artists, while prioritizing the participation of women, POC and LGBTQ performers to elucidate the need for, along with balance and diversity, an overall stronger and more supportive music scene in Detroit, in Michigan. The hope is to expand that supportive atmosphere out as far as it goes; in the Midwest and in North America., and, eventually, the world, the universe, the galaxy and all else beyond.

“(It) started out as (Harroun)’s blog that featured individual profiles of female musicians currently making music in Detroit,” said Norris. “It was also (Harroun)’s idea to start a collective with hopes of creating a safe, active and supportive community for female musicians.”

Formal planning meetings were held and continue throughout this year, to strategize towards attaining a space, be it through grants, fundraising or otherwise. The hope is to repurpose a vacant building into a type of community center, a gathering place, a resource library; able to facilitate festivals, educational programming, a space for rehearsals, a recording studio and office-space for an aspiring label.

“I came in to the Collective,” said Bankole, “to helm the record label and festival parts of the project. I’ve wanted to start a record label for a long time. There are so many great bands in Michigan that should have records out and get substantial support from a label, especially female fronted, or female-membered bands that just aren’t getting the attention they deserve.”

Bankole admitted that it is frustrating that “…BFF had to happen intentionally.” The conversations BFF Fest (and Seraphine Collective) hope to start include considering the need for shaking up the “same-ol’-same-ol,’” as Bankole put it, with most shows and festivals’ lineups (between Ann Arbor and Detroit), disappointingly dotted by the same bands getting the same headlining spots, or, other times, slotted as “supporting” acts for “big” shows.


Throughout the curation of BFF, Bankole “met so many cool new bands” that she doesn’t mind putting together an “intentionally” diverse festival, for now; at least until the day when “…Michigan’s music scene catches up to reality and modernity.”

The keyword may not just be inclusivity, no; it might actually be more about “balance.”

“We focused on showcasing celebrated and up-and-coming female musicians,” Bankole said, “regardless of their band’s makeup. The goal was a good mix in ratio opposite of the average show (which are largely male-dominated). So, (BFF Fest) is kind of like: ‘Hey…here’s a diverse, inclusive line-up you don’t see often, but should.”

The idea is to channel any frustration with a scene’s stagnation into something positive; David declares that she was tired of being the only female musician playing a gig. “I’m tired of line-ups that reduce women to only being fans, not performers. I’m tired of gender roles in general.”

David said she wants BFF to be an enlightening experience for the music community, particularly for any booking agents or fellow musicians in attendance that happen to have it seep in that an awesome band of women is awesome not just “because they’re all chicks” with guitars, but, truly, because they are purely, undeniably, elementally, altogether “…awesome.”

And Seraphine is driven by a similar sharing of encouragement, one member inspiring the other and the next member inspiring yet another – one band being awesome and spurring the next band to reach higher toward their very own next-levels.

“I find it kind of amazing that we could make a festival like BFF Fest happen,” admits Bankole. “We couldn’t do something like this in any other major city without some serious cash. Trinosophes is letting us use their space for free and our friends have pitched in to help.”

Portions of the cover charge go to benefit the Ruth Ellis Center, a nonprofit organization working to provide safe haven to homeless and at-risk youth. Bankole noted that Ruth Ellis Center was an ideal partner because of their particular outreach extending to LBGTQ youth, (up to 40% of homeless youths are LGBTQ), but also because the organization is also fundraising, this summer, with the Ally Coalition to build a new Community Health Center to provide services to 25% more youths currently under their care.

Says Bankole: “I would strongly encourage other bands/festivals to donate to the Ruth Ellis Center as well. The total development costs for the new health center are expected to reach $250,000. Start planning a fest right now!”

BFF Fest’s bands run the gamut – categorically defiant by genre and blending everything from neo-soul and trip-hop revivalism to paisley psychedelia and hardcore punk; scuzzy garage and spaced-out experimentalism to throwback AM radio vocal-pop.

And BFF Fest intends to come back next year, bigger and better—according to the organizers. But, beyond the music, this year, there will also be a clothing swap. Attendees are encouraged to bring clean, wearable clothing items, with seasonal items to be donated to the Ruth Ellis Center.


When you arrive, seek out the merch table where you’ll not only find recordings and swag for individual BFF-featured bands, but also the new BFF ZINE and MIXTAPE.

Visual artists Molly Soda and Dan DeMaggio will augment the ambience during the latter half of the festival with live art projections, tripping-out the Trinosophes milieu.

Saturday, July 26 – 3pm – 2am @ Trinosophes (1464 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI) $8 all day, all ages (3:00P - 2:00A)

\/\/\/ VALLEY STAGE \/\/\/
3:00P- Drinkard Sisters
3:50P- Sex Police
4:40P- Van Houten
9:10P- Sros Lords
10:20P- Blizzard Babies
11:30P- Isles of ESP
12:40A- Rebel Kind

/\/\/\ MOUNTAIN STAGE /\/\/\
3:25P- Double Winter
4:15P- Diskette
5:05P- Deadbeat Beat
6:15P- Little Animal
7:25P- Marx Marston
8:35P- Mama Roux
10:55P- Mexican Knives
12:05A- Loretta Lucas
1:10A- Kelly Jean Caldwell


$1 of every ticket will be donated to Detroit's Ruth Ellis Center in partnership with The Ally Coalition.



~Jeff Milo

Getting SILI with Tart to Celebrate the Release of The Hard Lessons Newest Album (WIN TICKETS)


This Saturday The Hard Lessons are returning to Ferndale to play The Magic Bag. They are celebrating the release of their latest album Start What You Finished which can be streamed in full here. They have invited a few great bands to open the show, this includes Silent Lions, Tart and Bermuda Mohawk. This is a solid lineup and a great way to celebrate the release of some new music.
Photo Credit Renee Granados
The Hard Lessons are not only releasing a new LP, they are also releasing an album of live music that will be called Down Off The Ceiling Vol. 2: Live at Small's. They have given us a track called "That Other Girl" to preview today. You can download it for FREE here.They are hoping that this will be the first of many live albums that they intend to release.



Tart also got into the spirit of releasing new music and sent us a song called "Lobbyist" which is the first song off of Knots their debut EP. You can hear that song here.

The Hard lessons even gave us a set of tickets to giveaway to one lucky fan! If you are interested in winning a set of tickets to the show simply send your full name to hipindetroit@gmail.com. We will draw one lucky winner the morning of the show and email them with details on how to claim their prize.

Silent Lions teamed up with Tart to answer some of the silliest questions that we have ever asked any band. Check out the silly answers that we received and get taste of the electric personalities that will be taking the stage this Saturday.

Zee and Adam
Photo Credit Sara J. Winston
HID- What's your worst/best memory of high school and why?
Zee & Adam- "My worst memory of high school was when my school won a competition to have Ne-Yo play a private concert for us, and then they cancelled it because they thought his lyrics were inappropriate. In response, the student body took to the cafeteria with “Free Ne-Yo” signs and chants. Alas, democracy didn't win that day."
Dean Tartaglia- "Best memory is battle of the bands my junior year. Came in second place w/ my band Mind Riot (yep, that's a Soundgarden reference), but everyone in the crowd knew we should've won (the band that did win was mostly made up of jocks and they had more friends than us... guess that's just how the world works?). Played four Nirvana covers, smashed our guitars, and it was the first time I ever crowd surfed while playing a show. It all took place in the gym so it felt just like the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video. Later that night I was kicked out for starting too many mosh pits, and one of the teachers threatened to call the cops. Apparently I was "inciting riots".

Worst memory is also music related unfortunately. I was asked to put together a band for the homecoming pep rally, so me and my four favorite musicians at school spent weeks working on a rendition of C&C Music Factory’s "Everybody Dance Now". The entire performance was a disaster. Our singer was off key and well ahead of the beat, our guitarist's strap fell off, and in my attempt to keep the crowd interested I tried a Pete Wentz 360 jump and my wireless guitar input flew out and got stuck under the bleachers... It was such a nightmare they had to cut us off in the middle of the song... I don't even remember going to homecoming that night, I think I just stayed in my room and cried."

HID- If you knew today was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it and why?
Zee & Adam- "Blaring all the shitty music I had to listen to in secret all these years from my car windows while I drive down Woodward naked and chain smoking."
Matt Klein- "I'd certainly want to cram all the emotions and experiences I could, assuming it's merely MY last day and not a day full of apocalyptic mayhem. I'd eat an amazing breakfast listening to whatever all-time favorite record fits that moment. Turn my phone off and watch a great film. Write and record a song to feel that purge of inspiration and moment of release. Speaking of release: sex. Finally, have the opportunity to play the drums to the point of blissful exhaustion in front of a crowd unknowingly witnessing my final performance. And then have an incredible after party with good friends until I faded to nothingness like from a Polaroid if my parents had never fallen in love."

HID- If you had the chance to go back in time for 24 hours, where and when would you go?
Zee & Adam- "2001, before Apple released the iPod, to cash in all my savings and buy some serious stock."
Matt Klein- "Segue accomplished. I would Doc Brown it back to 1984 and be a fly on a wall in Prince's studio during the non-stop session writing and recording 'When Doves Cry'. I want to be there for the moment he decided to take the bassline out. Then we would dance."

HID- If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
Zee & Adam- "A coney from Lafayette Coney Island, Rock n' Rye, cornbread and wing dings. Extra hot. Blue cheese on the side. Hold the celery. But gimme dem carrots."
Matt Klein- "Natural Jiff Peanut Butter. Just bring me the jar and a spoon."

HID- How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?
Zee & Adam- "1, 2, crunch... right? I feel like we learned this in school."
Dean Tartaglia- "372? 376? I did it/counted once, tho I think Tootsie Roll pops are gross..."

HID- Rank the colors of the rainbow from best to worst and state why?
Zee & Adam- "Roy G. Biv organized them so nicely, it's hard to argue with that kind of logic. Except everyone knows that most yellows suck."
Dean Tartaglia- "From best to worst:
1. Indigo. It's SiLi's spirit color, and has always been strangely spiritual/soothing for me.
2. Red. Was my favorite color as a child, brings back all my favorite memories from growing up. Also, a predominantly large number of t-shirts I own are some variation of red.
3. Blue. Ocean. Sky. Color of my eyes. Connectivity. Life force. Dig?
4. Green. Forest. Grass. Leaves... I really love climbing trees. Green has made an unprecedented revival in my life, I'm just feeling it right now.
5. Orange. I like sunsets, cantaloupe, and Frank Ocean's album... Can't think of anything else though... Orange often makes me angry...
6. Yellow. Idk man... just no love for yellow right now...
7. Violet. Don't even get me started... the evil twin of Indigo, black sheep of the rainbow family..."

Dean and Matt

HID- If you could get rid of all the songs from a particular singer, whose would you delete and why?
Zee & Adam- "This is tricky.. Probably Hanson. Too much mmm, not enough bop."
Matt Klein- "I generally disregard and ignore music I dislike, rather than hate on it. But, I'll choose: Taylor Swift... she seems like an entity of evil hidden inside a bland human shell. If horror movies have taught me anything, her guitar is where she stores the souls of her ex-lovers and rivals."

The show takes place at The Magic Bag this Saturday July 26th, doors are at 8 pm. You can secure your ticket to the show by purchasing them in advance here.


~S

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Passalacqua Takes Detroit to Church

Photo Credit:  J. Townsley

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a beautiful house in Hamtramck to preview a few tracks from Passalacqua’s upcoming album Church. This album is the combined work of Detroit hip-hop duo Passalacqua and the real life family duo SYBLYNG a.k.a. Seth and Jax Anderson (of Flint Eastwood). They have been collaborating on this album for over two years and wanted to have an official get together to discuss the music and answer any questions that attendees might have.

The listening party and subsequent album release party, which will take place this Saturday, July 26th, were the brainchild of Assemble Detroit, “a movement that organizes young people in Detroit to continually re-imagine the way the city could be rebuilt.” The party will be the first event held at Eight & Sand, home of The Detroit Bus Company. Opening for Passalacqua will be Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle. Dante Lasalle, Charles Trees, and Nothing Elegant will also perform.
The album is one of the best pieces of music that I have heard to date. The beats are enticing and the lyrics are thought provoking. It was an honor to hear Brent, Brian, Seth, and Jax talk about the process of writing and recording this album. It was also mind blowing to watch the preview of the first video that will be released for the song "Baptism". It was filmed by The Right Brothers and you can see the trailer for the video below.


Tickets for this event are available for $10 presale here. The warehouse is located at 3901 Christopher in Hamtramck. The party is officially called Revival. We promise, you're going to love this album, this lineup, and this event. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE DETROIT!

~S

Catch Olivia Millerschin at Campus Martius and On NBC All in One Day!

Photo Credit: JR Magat Photography
Earlier this year we told you about Olivia Millerschin, a female singer/songwriter from the Rochester Hills area. Well, things were already going great for this young lady, but over the last few months they have gotten even better! Back in April she was in the running for 2 Detroit Music Awards and performed at the big event at The Fillmore. She has appeared on local TV networks a few times and was a guest on Mitch Albom's show. She played the Ann Arbor Art Fair. She even put out a new EP called Over the Weather, which you can check out here. She has been one busy lady, to say the least!

Well, Olivia doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. Earlier this year, she formed a new group called Livy, Matt, & Sammy and they auditioned for NBC's hit show America's Got Talent. They performed in front of Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howard Stern and they made it all the way to Judgement Week on the show, which is a pretty huge deal! You can tune in on Wednesday, July 23rd at 8 p.m. to see if they make it to the next round. In support of Olivia's trip to AGT, WDIV Local 4 also did a feature on her that aired on Tuesday. You can check that out below.


We love that voice and her ukulele too! We wish Olivia the best of luck and can't wait to see what she does next. 

If you would like to see Olivia Millerschin perform live, head down to Campus Martius at lunch time today. She will be playing in the park from Noon 'til 2 p.m. with Bryan Reilly. To hear more from Olivia and to see what she does next, make sure to like her on Facebook here.


~C

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Little Animal and Boudoir Noir at The Lager House

Sometimes bands have to switch up the formula and take things in a new direction. Bands break up, make up, switch members, switch genres, and form new projects that better fit who they are. We have been following Maria Rose and the Swiss Kicks for a few years and we recently found out that they are taking the band in new direction. It was time to be out with the old and in with the new.

Maria Rose will now be known as Boudoir Noir. I won't go into details about the change up, I'll let Maria explain that in a second, but I will tell you that you can check them out this Thursday, July 24th at PJ's Lager House with Little Animal, Psalm, and Estuaries. The show starts at 9 p.m. and is only $6 at the door. The band made a teaser to get you excited for the event, you can watch that below.


You can also check out the band's first music video, which they have already recorded and released below.


This show promises to offer up a whole lot more than we've ever seen before. Check out what Maria had to say about the show and the change up below.

HID- What made you decide to change the name and the direction of the band?
Maria- "We started to feel like we had grown out of Maria Rose and The Swiss Kicks. That band was how we got our feet wet and developed our sound, but it was time for something new.

It all started with the band name, Boudoir Noir. It kept haunting me until I couldn't ignore it anymore. The more I thought about the name Boudoir Noir, the more I started seeing images of this elegant, electronic, urban cabaret with live pole, hoola hoop and burlesque dancers. The music started to evolve naturally into this sensual, sexy sound with trip-hop type beats that would go with all of that."

HID- What does live dancing during the show mean? Can you give us any details?
Maria- "This show coming up at PJ's Lager House will have two very talented Detroit pole dancers- Charley Crystal who helped produce Michigan Pole Dance and Air Festival and Nekia Morris who owns Vixen Pole Fitness in Detroit. We will also have an amazing hoola-hoop dancer, Christy Soulshine. When the space permits it, I would love to eventually have an aerial silk dancer with us at shows in the future! I've also been looking into linking up with the local burlesque scene and playing at shows like that.

HID- In your promo video for the show you are dancing with a hulu hoop, how did you learn how to do that? will you be doing this live too?
Maria- "Hahah!!! I wish that was me! The hoola-hoop dancer in the video is my friend Amanda Luna. I've seen her freestyle in the audience at festivals and I've always been mesmerized by how well she moves. I just had to have her on stage with me! Amanda's friend Christy Soulshine will be subbing for her at PJ's but she will be joining us for shows after that."

Maria Rose performing in the Motor City Pole and Aerial festival
 Photo by: Spilt Sugar

HID- In your music video you are pole dancing, how long did it take you to learn this and how often do you do it to stay in shape? Do you own your own pole?
Maria- "I am obsessed with pole dancing. It's my other favorite thing to do besides music. I've been dancing for about 7 years now. I used to teach at a pole studio in Flint, but now I have my very own Xpole at my house that I practice on 2-3 days a week. It's an amazing exercise that builds up a lot of strength and flexibility and makes you feel amazing. Also, part of the reason for this name change is so that I could have a theatrical outlet for pole dancing. I wanted to write music that would go well with making pole dance videos and posting them on our YouTube channel."

HID- Why should someone come to see your band?
Maria- "Because our performances are a whole visual, aural, and emotional experience. We aim for our shows to be a way of stepping out of the mundane, everyday, and stepping into the "Boudoir" so to speak. A sensual, seductive place that you can unwind and relax in."

HID- Anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Maria- "We're going to be going on first that night so make sure you get there at or before 9 p.m.!!! Also, we will be releasing our new songs as singles with videos to accompany them. Our first single will be out next month! You can keep updated with us by checking out our website www.boudoirmusic.com or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/boudoirnoirband."


PJ’s Lager House is located at 1254 Michigan Ave. in Detroit.



~S

Win Tickets to See The Rx Bandits and The Dear Hunter WSG From Indian Lakes

The RX Bandits are coming to Detroit four days after the release of the band's newest album entitled Gemini, Her Majesty. RX hasn't released any original music since 2009’s Mandela and it is time for something new. It will be exciting to see the band playing their new music live at St. Andrew's Hall right after its release. RX’s lead singer Matt Embree has one of the best voices in music today. You can listen to Rx here. I suggest checking out And the Battle Begun and The Resignation, those are my two favorite albums from the band. They are playing alongside The Dear Hunter and From Indian Lakes.

The Dear Hunter recorded and released one of my favorite concept albums of all time. In 2011 they released a set of EPs that they called The Color Spectrum. The music on each of the EPs corresponded to the name, specifically Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet and White. In my opinion, you can literally hear the colors as you listen to the songs. Black, Indigo, and Yellow are my three favorite EPs off that concept album.

From Indian Lakes is an indie rock band from California. They have released two full lengths called The Man With Wooden Legs and Able Bodies.They will be releasing their latest album on Triple Crown Records at the end of 2014 and are touring for most of this year. You can hear their music here.

The show will take place on July 26th at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit. Tickets are $27 in advance and can be purchased here.

This is one of the most solid lineups I have seen come through our city in a long time and I wanted to make sure that we could get a couple of fans in the door to join us for some fun. Live Nation was nice enough to give us two sets of tickets to giveaway for the show. To enter to win, please email your full name to hipindetroit@gmail.com. We will draw two lucky winners a few days before the event and they will be invited to bring a friend and come watch the show.

St. Andrew's is located at 431 E. Congress St. in Detroit. Doors for the show are at 6:30 p.m. and all ages are welcome to enter and attend the show.


~S

Monday, July 21, 2014

Interview with Jose Garzón Before He Heads to Town This Tuesday!

Jose Garzón is one of those musicians who has done it all. He has toured with some of the biggest bands around, including MxPx, Sunset Lily, The Absentee Ballot, FLF and The Bunny The Bear. He has played the bass, the guitar, and been the vocalist, depending in which project you're discussing. These days he's touring as a solo artist, playing and singing original music that he has written over the years. You can check out his solo stuff here. His latest album is called The Heartbreak Symphony In Drop D. He’s calling this tour "The Back to the East Coast" tour and is playing Tuesday, July 22nd at Hatchy’s in Utica.

We had a chance to ask him a few questions about himself and his music. His personality is just as awesome as his music. Check out what he had to say below.
HID- You have sang in quite a few bands and played bass/guitar in others. Do you have a preference and why?
Jose- "I started off as a guitar player, but began singing because I started writing lyrics and stories that turned into songs. Bass is definitely the most fun to play on stage, but I just love music!"

HID- You are a trained chef. What's your favorite meal to cook when you are not on tour?
Jose- "I was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. So, I LOVE Ecuadorian food. My favorite meal to cook when I'm home is Bistec a caballo. It is a skirt steak that is cooked slow with peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It is served on a bed of rice and topped with a fried egg. It's amazing!!"

HID- Why did you name this tour #backtotheeastcoast and use a Back to the Future icon?
Jose- "I was just on the east coast as direct support for The Bunny The Bear (Victory Records) this past winter. Fans continued to post on my social media sites "come back to the east coast". So, when it came time to name the tour, all I can think about was that and my favorite 80's flick is "BACK TO THE FUTURE" haha that's it .."

HID- What do you think of when you think of Detroit? (We love to see how others view our city!)
Jose- "8 mile. Hardcore pawn. Josh Kassabian."
Tickets for the show are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Hatchy’s is located at 7759 Auburn Road in Utica and doors for the show are at 7 p.m. For more on Jose, check out this awesome podcast I found where he talks about his life with Mike Herrera of MxPx: http://mikeherrerabestlife.tumblr.com/search/jose.


~S

Pig and Whiskey 2014

Last week thousands of people from all different walks of life descended onto Ferndale, Michigan for the 2014 Pig and Whiskey festival. This was a three day affair that featured live music, cold beer, strong whiskey, and all the BBQ a person could ask for.

The sun was shining throughout the weekend, which drew a bigger crowd than previous years. Apparently, after the longest winter in recent history it was time for everyone to get outside and have a good time.  Earlier in the day there were a lot of families and late at night the kids filled the streets.

This year's musical lineup was one of the most solid local festival lineups of all time, there wasn't a bad act from start to finish.  The weekend was filled with memorable performances, including The Beggars, Blaire Alise and the Bombshells, The HandGrenades, Pony Show, Seven Birds one Stone, The ILL Itches, Sean Forbes, and many more.
 
I discovered a few new bands that I am looking forward to seeing again in the future. This included The Electric Lion Sound Wave Experiment, they played a killer set on Saturday. I was dancing the entire time they preformed.

This year I didn't attend the festival as a patron, instead I worked the drink ticket booth right next to the beer tent. This helped me see the event from a whole new perspective. It truly is a weekend for locals to kick back, let there hair down, and have some fun.  It is amazing that music, food, and alcohol can bring so many different people to one place.  There is not an average age, and no typical patron at this festival. In fact, there were a lot of people who told me that it was their first time in Ferndale while they were buying their tickets. They came out and tried something new. A lot of people had so much fun on Friday that we saw them again on Saturday. It was a great opportunity for local bands to win over some new fans.

The Detroit Derby Girls worked extra hard to serve up as many beers as possible.  They brought a ton of positive energy to the event by yelling, screaming, ringing bells, and making sure that everyone had a great time. I hope that everyone remembered to tip these ladies so they can keep serving up more fun for years to come.

I think we all owe a hung thank you to the organizers and sponsors of this festival. It was amazing to see how smoothly things ran throughout the weekend.  There are so many moving pieces that have to come together to make this event happen. We are lucky to live in a place where there is enough good music, good food, good alcohol, and good people to make something of this magnitude possible.  I hope that this festival continues to grow and prosper over the years because it truly is one of the best events of the summer.  In the words of Nine Inch Nails "The pigs have won tonight. Now, they can all sleep soundly, and everything is all right."  


~S

Friday, July 18, 2014

"I Do Mind Dying" at New Center Park

Summer is in the air and life is good. Maybe it's the sunshine,  maybe it's the leisurely lifestyle that comes along with the season. Whatever it is, everyone seems to be happier and and life is more fun this time of year.

One of the best parts of summer is outdoor concerts and this Saturday, June 19th there is a great one. To make things even better, it's free. Saturday starting at 8 p.m. music will take over New Center Park for a show called "I Do Mind Dying". This show features a long list of great musicians, such as James Linck, Tunde Olaniran, Miz Korona and Little Animal. There will also be DJs, projection art and live art. You can check out the list of musicians and artists involved in this event here.Tunde and Miz Karona were the minds behind this event and they have promised a one of a kind experience.  This show will be all about bringing people together and showing them something that they have never seen before. Tunde is taking over Detroit, Miz Karona is a legend and James Linck sings like an angel, you do not want to miss this one.

All ages are welcome to this show. New Center Park is located at 2998 W. Grand Blvd. near the Fisher Theatre. This is a great excuse to enjoy Summer, enjoy some music, and enjoy life.

~C

Win Tickets to See Subhumans at the Magic Stick!

There's an awesome show at the Magic Stick this Sunday night and I haven't been this excited for any show in a long time!  I also don't think I'm the only one feeling this way because punk rock legends the Subhumans are hitting the stage in Detroit for the first time in years.

Hailing from England, The Subhumans were formed in 1980 and released quite a few EPs as well as a few full lengths before they parted ways in 1985. Even though they were officially "broken up" they have went on a few small tours and even released a new album back in '07. But, it has been years since the band hit the stage in Detroit. So, this is a pretty rare chance to see then live in the Motor City. What makes this show even better is that they will be playing in the Magic Stick Lounge which is a very  intimate setting for a band like this. In case you aren't sure what to expect on Sunday, check out a video of Subhumans playing "No" live below.


Also on the bill for Sunday night are Mischief Brew & Bad Assets. Tickets are only $13 in advance or $15 the day of the show. You can pick yours up ahead of time here. Since we are so excited about this show we asked our friends at Black Iris to let us give away a pair of tickets. All you have to do to win is tell us on Facebook or twitter that you want to see Subhumans on Sunday. Write on our timeline or tweet at us (@hipindetroit) to be entered to win. We will draw our winner the morning of the show. Good luck!

~C

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Be Yourself, Not Yourselfie


Technology innovator and Ponder creator Jim McLuckie wants you to be yourself, no filter. Ponder: Video Q & A is a meet up application for people to connect through 20-second videos. Users are asked a random personal question and they respond in a short video clip.

Admittedly, I found making my first video a little scary. Full disclosure: I was in my pajamas with no makeup on, but this is part of Ponder’s appeal. McLuckie views Ponder as the antithesis of social networking apps that create manicured or glamorous personas for its users. I sat down with McLuckie, prior to Ponder’s launch, to find out how he got in the business of getting real.

KT: Tell me a bit about how Ponder came about?
JM: "I saw Vine and how they were creating these bite-sized videos and I thought that was such a great way to capture peoples’ personalities in little bursts. You need to give direction so they know what to say and do, so that’s where the question and answer part came in. After you’ve recorded all these videos, you have this video profile that captures who you are in ways that pictures and text never could. Creating pictures and text profiles is daunting. They’re not fun, nobody likes creating them, or writing about themselves, and they don’t do a good job of what they set out to do, to be your first impression to someone. With Ponder, you get a better sense for someone just by seeing a single video."

KT: Who do you envision using Ponder?
JM: "The primary user to me is someone who wants to connect with people in their area, whether you’re new to the area and looking for new friends, you’re single looking for other singles, or you’re really into Game of Thrones and want to talk to other people who share your passion. At the heart of what we’re doing is providing a way for people to be who they are while exposing them to people they may not have met otherwise. And what’s the number one thing we tell people when meeting someone new? Be yourself. Video is raw, and we want people to embrace that.

But we’re still very, very new, so we’re still learning about how people are using Ponder and who the primary user will be. They may be different from who we have in mind, so only time will tell."

KT: Will it be diversified for niches like private groups, or does that defeat the purpose?
JM: "We want to build it into a community. Right now, with us being so new and just starting to gain users, it’s wide open, you see everyone. But as the community grows, we want to provide ways for people to group themselves together based around interests or a central idea."
KT: How do you come up with the questions?
JM: "I wish I had a more exciting answer, but we pretty much just brainstormed and dumped a bunch of questions into a list, picked the ones we thought would appeal to a wide audience, then grouped them into categories. We focused on light and fun questions to start with so that people would feel comfortable and willing to open up. In this next release, we’re going to have a Featured Question that we can change at will, so that will allow us to experiment and see what people respond to most.

I want to dive into deeper questions. Light and fun is good, but at some point when getting to know someone, to really know them, you have to see their scars and hear their war stories. It can be such a relief to talk about those things, and it would mean a lot to us if we could provide that outlet. We just have to be sure that when you swipe to the next question, you get a cat video."
 KT: What would you say to someone who has hang ups about doing a video as opposed to the typical selfie/text format of social networking?
JM: "Just try it! Be yourself, don’t overthink it; don’t worry about the lighting or the angle. Find a question that makes you smile and hit record. Once you get over that initial fear and do that first video and you watch it back, you realize how fun it is. It’s oddly liberating in its simplicity.
We got that reaction a lot when we were demoing it at our booth at Movement. People would be hesitant to record a video, so we would pick a question for them and have them hit record. After they recorded that video and watched the playback, they would light up and say, “That was fun! Can I do another?” That’s such a stark contrast from sitting at the keyboard staring at a giant text box that says “Tell us about yourself.”"

KT: Who did you create Ponder with?
JM: "My two co-founders are Celeste Filiatrault and Carl Larson. Celeste is the maker of pretty things. She does all of our graphical work, from the interface to the website to our promo materials. Carl has primarily helped with funding, from bootstrapping to helping us raise some initial funding. He’s going to head up our marketing efforts as well."

KT: How did you take the plunge into a mobile startup from a corporate job?
JM: "The first day I started my first office job at a software company nine years ago, I knew I needed to get out of there. Since then I’ve just been scheming and doing other creative things, like comedy, short films, writing, starting a band, and other side projects to see what would stick. The problem I would always run into was that I was trying to turn these hobbies into careers, and that always sucked the fun out of it. And while I liked doing some of those things like comedy, and while I wasn’t bad at them, I wasn’t in love with them enough to keep going, you know?

I’ve always been a computer nerd. I’ve been working on computers since I was six years old, and I remember even back then thinking, “This is what I want to be when I grew up.” But I always wanted to do creative stuff, and I fought against making a living with computers because I thought it wasn’t creative or artistic. One day it just clicked. I realized technology is art. Engineering is creative. It’s creating something out of nothing. It’s as central to our culture today as music or film or any other art form.

And for years I had all of these ideas for different software projects. When I landed on this one, and I was like all right, this is the one I can’t ignore; I can’t not do this one. I saw a need for it and opportunity for it. I had no idea how to make it happen, but I started reading and working and just doing it. When I hit a point where I couldn’t work full time and do this, I quit my job. I quit out of necessity. I wasn’t doing quality work at my day job because I was distracted and Ponder needed more time and attention, so I had to quit. It was equally exciting and terrifying. Some days I think I’m in way over my head, but that just means I’m on the right path."

KT: As for tech in Detroit, do you see many software startups or funding sources for app development?
JM: "It’s a growing industry, and it’s exciting for us to be a part of it. A lot of startups have been founded especially in Detroit and Ann Arbor in the last few years. Michigan as a whole has seen a big increase in investment, which is great for our economy and great for all the startups that need that funding to start out. It’s a fairly new movement, so there’s a lot of learning going on in every front. But everyone is learning together, which gives Detroit a really unique opportunity to set itself apart from other tech hubs."

KT: How do you define success (specifically to investors) when it isn’t a traditional revenue paradigm?
JM: "As a free consumer app, our initial success is through growth and retention. We have to get users--lots of users--and we have to get them to come back. We need to create enough value for people to sign in on day one and continue signing in after that. When we have those users, we can explore various means of revenue. We have several possible ideas; it’s just too soon to tell what would work best."

KT: What is the ultimate goal for your company, big deal, Inc.?
JM: "I would like to become a software company that does more than just one product. We’re going to learn a lot from Ponder, and I would like to take that experience and try new things and take bigger risks. And I’d love to do it all here in Detroit."

Ponder - Video Q&A is free and available in the App Store. Download it today and use the code hipindetroit to sign up. For more information, check out the Ponder site.


~KT