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Show review: Gosh Pith, Nigel & the Dropout and Marcus Alan Ward

Most nights I have to drive at least 30 minutes to get to hear some local music I really love. The suburbs of Oakland County just isn’t the place to catch indie dance synth bands. Thursday night though I got lucky and was able to see three bands bring their unique versions of indie, dance and pop to Keego Harbor’s B One Ballroom.
Marcus Alan Ward  photo: MPAD Media
The opener of the night was Marcus Alan Ward who drove up from Cleveland for the show. He started his set with an amplified version of Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets.” MAW then followed it up with a short set of R&B and funk all with a gritty rock edge. With his talents on full display, playing synth, guitar and singing, I could hear Prince, Hendrix and a more current R&B influence in his songs.

Nigel & the Dropout photo MPAD Media
Nigel & the Dropout were on next and honestly I hadn’t heard much about them before the show but one guy told me they were his favorite local band. From their first song I was immediately blown away with their sound and visuals. They play a mix of indie electronic with soaring guitars. I would say they sound like MGMT, if they never ended up self indulgent and sucking, so that’s not really a good comparison. On most the songs they share vocals with the guitarist doing most the vocal chores. For only two guys they effectively make a lot of wonderfully, blissed out noise. Towards the end of the set one song had an epic intro that transformed into a punky, electric track. They have plenty of potential to get places and I could imagine their songs used in movies for indie club scenes.

Gosh Pith photo by MPAD Media
Last up was Gosh Pith. A band I have heard a lot about but never seen play. Again just 2 guys, but the sound is a complete left turn from Nigel & the Dropout. They play an original mix of dub, psychedelic and indie dance that comes across as hazy, mysterious and kind of sexy. Under dark lighting, they both sing different parts in each song but the guitarist probably sings the most with his distinctive voice. When I met him he was kind of a low spoken guy but on stage his voice takes on this strange quality, a sort of a reggae chanting, very rhythmical and hypnotic.
My only disappointment with the entire night was there weren’t more people to make the trek out to B One because they missed a high quality show. Who knows how many more we’ll get in the suburbs of OC?
You can see more pics of the show at MPAD Media




Adrenaline Mob MS

Adrenaline Mob is on tour supporting their newly release album, Dearly Departed. They timed the tour to be a part of the Machine Shop's 13th anniversary. This Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the Machine Shop in Flint, MI Adrenaline Mob will be opening for Drowning Pool.

Adrenaline Mob
Opening for Drowning Pool
wsg: Full Devil Jacket
Machine Shop
3539 Dort Hwy.
Flint, MI

Adrenaline Mob 2014

MCB DO NOT MISS - WIN FREE TICKETS: Benjamin Booker live at Magic Stick Detroit Monday 3/30/15

Well its Friday and a chilly one at that 
but the ol MCB has a quick fix for that gang

Sure you have plans for the weekend 
but what about Monday night?

Let's think ahead people!

If you caught the Jack White shows last year then you were introduced to Benjamin Booker who was the opener for both gigs and in case you didn't notice he is playing this coming Monday over at soon to be dance club The Magic Stick Detroit

Read some more about Benjamin Booker here 
and get your tickets now

Broker than a joke? 

email for your chance to win


High Risk featuring Shigeto at Trinosophes on April 1st

Doors at 8pm
General admission: $12
Reserved seating: $20

Advance tickets available at Trinosophes. Reserved seating going fast!

Kopecky at The Blind Pig Friday 3/27

Formerly known as the Kopecky Family Band, the Nashville based group Kopecky head out for tour after SXSW. They hit The Blind Pig on Friday March 27th. 

New album "Drug for the Modern Age" available May 19, 2015

- ITUNES ($7.99 pre-order & immediately download "Quarterback") -
- AMAZON (digital, CD and vinyl) -

NEXT MONTH: Midwest Media Expo 10-12 April @ Marriott RenCen

From the people who bring us the hugely successful and mad fun Youmacon comes the more broadly pop-culture-focused Media Expo. With six separate tracks, the expo has tons to offer whatever kind of fandom you got, and the RenCen location offers a great way to spread out without ever getting too far away from something cool. You should definitely check it out.

April 10-12, 2015

What is the Midwest Media Expo? 
Is this a Downtown Detroit Comic Con?

The Midwest Media Expo is a popular culture event similar to most Comic Conventions. Instead of focusing on only comics, the Midwest Media Expo is a celebration of all popular media, including: Animation, Television, Film, Literature, Video Games, Tabletop Gaming, Comics, and Internet Culture. The Midwest Media Expo will bring a unique all-ages blend of interactive events, celebrity guest panels, and live musical performances to Downtown Detroit.

In 2005 we created our first event, Youmacon, with the goal to produce a fan convention WE would want to attend. All of our events offer the very best in engaging special guests, interactive live events, free–to–play video game rooms, and high–quality fan created programming.

Ten years later, we expanded our vision to include the first Midwest Media Expo, which brought nearly 2,500 fans to the Renaissance Center to participate in our wide array of live events, special celebrity panels, tabletop and video gaming, and much more.

For the low admission price of either a one-day or a 3-day weekend pass, we offer our attendees admission to every one of our special events, the exhibitor hall, artist alley, special celebrity guest panels, musical events, and more!

Next week: Chappo with Big Data at The Shelter Detroit

New York's psychedelic disco-inspired quartet, Chappo return to Detroit next Thursday night, April 2, opening for Big Data. With a Flaming Lips meets the Killers vibe, CHAPPO's synth take on west coast psychedelia bring us from the 60's into galaxies far away. Now the band moves on to support the release of their latest LP, FUTURE FORMER SELF with their leading single, "Hang On". Entertainment Weekly says the slow-building single, "proves how cosmic CHAPPO can be, setting countryish slide guitars adrift in a synthesizer nebula." Their new release Future Former Self finally comes out on May 12th on Votiv Music. 

"Come Home"

Big Data with Chappo
Thurs. April 2        8:30 
 The Shelter, Detroit


Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms CD Release This Friday at The Berkley Front

Spreading his legs from Destroy This Place, Ryan Allen, also of Thunderbirds Are Now! and Friendly Foes, will celebrate today's release of "Heart String Soul" this Saturday at The Berkley Front.  This is the second solo release from the  Destroy This Place guitarist, and also a pop junkie's bona fide dream. Allen spoke of recording with his father, starting a label, and discussed one of my favorite tracks off the album, "Young American Nomads." 

Motor City Blog: Let's begin with Two Brains Recording Company. What made you want to start your own label?

Ryan Allen: Starting Two Brains was really done out of necessity. I could have spent time trying to find somebody to release the album (and I'm very much appreciative that Scotty Hagen and Bellyache Records released my first solo album), and while I'm super confident in the recording and the songs, I would never expect anybody to necessarily want to release a pop album by a 35 year old guy with no band who can't really tour. So instead I just decided to keep with the theme of this project, and because it's so personal to me, just releasing it under my own "label." I put that in quotes because really the label is no more than a logo, a Facebook page, a website and a couple of releases under its umbrella. By those standards, anybody can start a label. But it's not like Nick (my label partner) and I went and got it incorporated or anything. It's just a stamp to put on our projects to make it feel more legit. It should also be said that I couldn't have done any of this with out Nick Piunti's help. He's the man.

MCB: Are there plans to add more artists to the label?

RA: Not currently. The label's purpose is to release solo music by myself and Nick Piunti, who is putting out an incredible pop record in March on Two Brains as well. It might grow in the future, but I certainly don't have the money to release anything by anybody else, let alone myself.

MCB: What is the record label's philosophy?

RA: To break even.

MCB: I listened to the album, but noticed this is a solo album. Will there be a backing band playing with you?

RA: Yeah, the whole idea behind Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms is that it's me and whoever I ask to contribute to the recordings. This time around I played almost all of the guitars, bass, percussion, and singing. I had Sean Sommer (Destroy This Place) play drums on nine of the 11 songs (I played them on "Keep Me Around" and did a second drum track on "Why Are You Freaking Me Out?"). My brother Scott Allen (Thunderbirds Are Now!) played keys on a few tracks, as did Zach Curd of the Pop Project. My dad sang on one song, and played a little organ, bass and guitar here and there. Nick Piunti played some guitar on a track as well. Andy Reed - who graciously mixed, mastered and gave it some extra TLC - also played a little guitar and did some harmonies. So it's really my thing but the folks who contributed to it added their own flavors to the mix, which I'm really happy about. For the live show, Sean Sommer will be playing drums, and Mike Majewski (The Silent Years/Rescue) is on bass. It's coming together really well so far, and I hope we can keep playing together after the show.

MCB: I saw you mentioned recording this album in your childhood home and recruiting your father to help engineer. What was that process like, and why there? Is your father in the music business?

RA: Yeah, it seemed like a really natural thing for me to do. I'm surprised it took me this long to finally do it. My dad has played music all my life (and since he was 13 or something) and has been really influential and helpful to me in my own music "career" (I hate that word, but I don't know what else to call it). My dad has recorded various things for my bands over the years, and he's had a pretty nice studio in the basement for a real long time. He's a great musician and just a good guy (he's my dad, after all!), and we had a blast doing the record together. It gave us a chance to bond and spend time together, and making a record with my dad is probably one of the things I'm the most proud of in my life.

MCB: Would you say that there is a certain theme that run through the album?

RA: Yeah. The album is the probably the most personal thing I've ever done. There are lots of songs about my wife, my son, my family, my friends, my experiences playing music for so long. There's a few tunes about just my observation of things around me and my opinion on life in general, and it all congeals together to form - what I think, anyway - is a pretty complete thought. It's really just about where I'm at as a 35 year old guy with a family and a full time job, but also with a real passion to create art and share that with whoever might want to listen. 

MCB: One of my favorite songs on the album is "Young American Nomads". What was the inspiration behind this song? (I love the build-up towards the end)

RA: Thanks! I feel like it's kind of a weird one on the album, so I'm glad you like it. Lyrically the song is more or less about a time in my life when I didn't really have much to worry about but hanging out with my friends and trying to have as much fun as possible. It's kind of a snapshot of my time during college - which is a time period that I really haven't written about much in any of my other songs, and some lyrics are very specific to events that happened. There's a line about throwing eggs, which is a real thing that happened back in school that will go down as one of the most fun nights ever. My roommates and I went to some party and we all got super drunk, ended up wrestling each other all the way back to our apartment, got into our place and started throwing eggs at each other inside the house. The next day we woke up with smashed eggs all over the place and it was just a huge mess. The crux of the song is kind of about how that kind of thing could never really happen now because of the way that life's real responsibilities take over, but that it's fun to look back on things like that and think about how they shaped you. 

Musically it was really based on trying to fit that opening riff in the song. Most of the song existed besides that riff, but I felt like the song needed something unique and I came up with that (which is kind of a rip off of George Harrison's "What Is Life"). Anyway, I was pumped on that, but then struggled to figure out a bridge for the song, so instead I wanted to just go for a big The Who-style ending. Sean really kills it on the drums on that song.

MCB: I know you're still playing shows with Destroy This Place, but do you have plans to tour in support of this latest effort?

RA: Not particularly, but I'd definitely entertain trying to do a few out of town things if there opportunity presented itself. Chicago, Toronto, Cleveland, even New York... those places aren't far, and if it was workable, I would for sure explore the option. 

"Heart String Soul"  is available to purchase now, and is also included in the price of admission. Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms will perform at The Berkley Front at 9 PM this Saturday (March 28th) with support from Love Axe and Javelins. Admission is $10/$15 for couples, and free if you've already purchased the album (bring proof of purchase to the show).

Ticket Giveaway: ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD- at The Loving Touch April 28

email for your shot at winning a pair of tickets

..And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Your Favorite Enemies


Doors: 8PM
Showtime: 9PM
Tickets: $13 advance / $15 day of show
tickets available here

Find Trail of Dead on these sites

DO NOT MISS: Mai Tai Hawaiian Night and Slack Key Guitar - Tonight at Jazz Cafe Music Hall Detroit

Mai Tai Hawaiian Night and Slack Key Guitar
                    Contact Us

Jazz Cafe


Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
350 Madison Avenue

Detroit, Michigan 48226






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Led Kaapana

Mike Kaawa

Hawaiian Masters


March 25th  / 8pm  $25




Led Kaapana  & Mike Kaawa  are masters of the Hawaiian style of music known as slack key guitar (Ki Ho'alu). Led is the NEA National Heritage Fellow and one of the best slack key players alive today. He has a style that comes from his family in the days before TV, radio, internet -- it's down-home and real. His finger-pickin' style extends to autoharp and 'ukulele as well, and his vocal range encompasses baritone to Hawaiian falsetto singing (leo ki'e ki'e). Mike is Hawai'i's finest 12-string guitar player and one of its most highly regarded musicians.


A master of the slack key guitar, Led Kaapana  has been one of Hawai'i's most influential musicians for four decades. His mastery of stringed instruments, exceptional picking style on slack key guitar and 'ukulele, and extraordinary baritone to leo ki`eki`e (falsetto) vocal range, have made him a musical legend. With easy-going style and kolohe (rascal) charm, he has built a loyal corps of "Led Heads" from Brussels to his birthplace on the Big Island of Hawai'i. In 2011, he was honored with an NEA National Heritage Fellowship  for his artistic excellence and his contributions to our nation's traditional arts heritage.


Mike Kaawa  is Hawai'i's finest 12-string guitar player and one of its most highly regarded musicians. Known as "The Hawaiian Boy", he describes his music as "Hawaiian with attitude". He started performing at a young age and briefly flirted with rock-and-roll before committing himself to Hawaiian music. He is a regular at Hawaii's Slack Key Festivals and popular venues. A captivating performer, Mike has created his own unique, robust sound in his playing, with a distinct vocal expression that comes straight from the heart. Often teaming up with Led Kaapana, they released Force of Nature  late 2008 which earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Hawaiian Music Album.


Hawaiian musical legend Ledward Kaapana  is unrivaled in his exceptional picking style on slack key guitar and 'ukulele, and baritone to falsetto vocal range, a delightful performer with rascal charm. Joined by Mike Kaawa , Hawaii's finest 12-string guitar player.



A master of the slack key guitar, Led Kaapana  has been one of Hawai'i's most influential musicians for four decades. His mastery of stringed instruments, exceptional picking style on slack key guitar and 'ukulele, and extraordinary baritone to leo ki`eki`e (falsetto) vocal range, have made him a musical legend. In 2011, he was honored with an NEA National Heritage Fellowship .


Led is joined by longtime collaborator Mike Kaawa, Hawai'i's finest 12-string guitar player and one of its most highly regarded musicians. Known as "The Hawaiian Boy", he describes his music as "Hawaiian with attitude". Mike Kaawa is the perfect match for Led. Since they began performing together in the early 2000s, they have crafted a remarkable musical rapport much like jazz musicians' improvisations with each other.


Mike Kaawa

Led is joined by longtime collaborator Mike Kaawa, Hawai'i's finest 12-string guitar player and one of its most highly regarded musicians. Known as "The Hawaiian Boy", he describes his music as "Hawaiian with attitude".


All tickets are $25 and available at Music Hall box Office or or



Detroit Music Hall | 350 Madison Avenue | Detroit | MI | 48226

TONIGHT FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY: Withering Bog Bodies by Chris Pottinger @ MCBW

Chris Pottinger's stuff is the best kind of creepy-cool-weird, and you're going to want to see it in person.

Artwork by Chris Pottinger
Wednesday, March 25, 6:30pm - 11:00pm

Chris Pottinger is a visual artist and musician residing in the metro Detroit area. He creates drawings of mucous covered mutants which coexist in a stagnant swampland.

Withering Bog Bodies will present a series of giclee prints and original artwork for one night only. Come out, drink beer and view some gelatinous, tooth covered pimple-beasts and prickly yolk secreting pus sacs!


Paperhaus with Duane the brand new dog & Palaces at UFO Factory 3/26


2110 Trumbull
Detroit, MI 48216


DUANE THE BRAND NEW DOG (FORMER teenage weirdo / CURRENT brand new dog)

Paperhaus (DC kraut pop)

Mechanical Heart (Power Couple/Psych Rippers)
Rabeah Lteif & Amy Elizabeth Faunce from Electric Lion Sound Wave ExperimentBeset by Creatures of the Deep)

WIN FREE TICKETS: JSBX live in A2 - John Spencer Blues Explosion at Blind Pig 4/22/15

We heard the old haunts on the LES are now referred to as" New Bro City"
"Proof the city hasn't lost its soul just yet" 
New York Post

email for you chance to win a pair of solid gold tickets
to the JSBX show out in A2 on 4/22

stay tuned for a few more contests including a phat Free Vinyl Friday listing for this year's
Record Store Day!!!

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Brand New Album!   
Out March 24th Through Mom+Pop
US Tour Begins April 8th
Listen To DO THE GET DOWN On Pitchfork


1. Funeral
2. Wax Dummy
3. Do The Get Down
4. Betty vs. the NYPD
5. White Jesus
6. Born Bad
7. Down and Out 
8. Crossroad Hop
9. The Ballad Of Joe Buck
10. Dial Up Doll
11. Bellevue Baby
12. Tales of Old New York: The Rock Box
13. Cooking for Television
New York City is a big place. A loud place. Some of that noise is music. And some of the music is noise.

Sucking it all in and turning it loose with prejudice, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion takes a ferocious bite out of the Big Apple with their new long-player, Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party 2015, the first record of the new era that demands to be stopped and frisked! 

Like the best sides that percolated up from the Bronx, the Lower East Side, and Greenwich Village across the 1970s and ‘80s – Freedom Tower is more than a high-octane dance party record, it is a document of New York City, a chronicle of grit and terror and love!

It’s all here: The Hustler and The Trust Fund Baby, the Mosh Pit Casualty, the Celebrity Chef, the Crooked Cop, the Struggling Artist, the Sucker MC, the forgotten Sex Workers and Last-Chance Cinderellas. Within these grooves are cold-water tenements, blue-chip galleries, dingy Avenue B studios, and the last real warrior poet whose dark magick brings garage rock ghosts back from the grave!

Freedom Tower is a radical portrait of New York City set to the savage funkacide of the Blues Explosion, locked and loaded with the most deadly, predatory guitar riffs that primitive magnetic tape can handle…. From start to finish, Freedom Tower is overmodulated, cooked with dirt, and finished in acid rain! Freedom Tower is packed with the kind of beats and rhymes that will make even the most reserved Walter Mitty jump back and say “damn!”

For nearly a quarter-century the Blues Explosion have been sweating, freezing, eating, drinking, fucking, fighting, winning, and losing in New York City, perpetrating some of the most timeless moments of musical mayhem in the history of Manhattan and beyond. As ever, Jon Spencer tells the tales, Judah Bauer plays the blues, and Russell Simins smashes things to bits... And as always Blues Explosion stomp on the faux underground oasis peddled by bourgeois hipsters and marketing jocks to deliver the real deal —  rock’n’roll that is unapologetically nasty and strong. 

Rehearsed and polished in a string of secret gigs and unannounced opening slots in theaters, hotel bars, and dives  (often under assumed names), and then recorded at the legendary Daptone House Of Soul in Bushwick and mixed with hip-hop cult legend Alap Momin at the cutting edge of Harlem, Freedom Tower is the most provocative statement of urban pathos and panache ever recorded.
Play this record at all-night rent parties, picnics, discotheques, and protests!

There are eight million stories in the Naked City — but there is only one Blues Explosion!  

Freedom Tower - dig it now, while you still can!
Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015 is available to pre-order now from iTunes, and direct from the band with exclusive JSBX tote bag and slipmat. All pre-orders come with an immediate download of Do The Get Down.

Apr 8 - Iron Horse Music Hall - Northampton, MA
Apr 9 - Brighton Music Hal - Allston, MA
Apr 10 - Johnny Brenda's  - Philadelphia, PA
Apr 11 - Black Cat - Washington DC
Apr 12 - The Southern - Charlottesville, VA
Apr 14 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
Apr 15 - Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC
Apr 16 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
Apr 17 - The Bottletree - Birmingham, AL
Apr 18 - Mercy Lounge - Nashville, TN
Apr 19 - Zanzabar - Louisville, KY
Apr 20 - Radio Radio - Indianapolis, IN
Apr 21 - Pyramid Scheme - Grand Rapids, MI
Apr 22 - Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI
Apr 23 - The Basement - Columbus, OH
Apr 24 - Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, OH
Apr 25 - Rex Theater - Pittsburgh, PA