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Blowout 2013: Night 3

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Loretta Lucas didn't impress me at Thursday's preview, but it was the first act of the night, and no one else was playing. The 9:00 performance didn't start until 9:30, even though everything was set up by about 9:15. I listened to just one song, and even though I was pleasant surprised at how much I liked it, I was too annoyed to stick around.

On to the New Dodge Lounge for Blair Alise and the Bombshells. Also late, but not ridiculously so. Blair is kind of a throwback crooner, and her band sounded tight. The problem was that the lyrics just didn't seem cultured enough, and this is coming from someone who still laughs when he sees Amy Poehler farting in a rerun. Once she's older (she's 16) and lived a bit more, I'm sure she'll get there, and I can tell everyone that I saw Blair Alise before everyone knew who she was.

Back to PNA Lounge for Craycrays. I must be late to catch on to how awesome they are, because the room was nearly full. The lead singer didn't like it when the crowd was too stationary. He would charge into the people in the front row to get them to move around. The guy that ended up spilling half of his beer as a result didn't seem that bothered by it.

The Oscillating Fan Club wasn't having trouble filling up the room at Small's either. Another good reason to go to Small's was that the Detroit BBQ Company was set up there. Their sauasge was greasier than I would have liked, but their coleslaw was awesome. It was the only time that I didn't think of coleslaw as just a cabbage and mayo slurry.

I ran into the Detroit Party Marching Band at Joseph Campau and Yemans. I don't see why some people get all bent out of shape about the marching band. Oh, you and the same boring people were having the same boring conversation about the same boring bullshit, at the same boring venue you always go to, and the unexpected arrival of the marching band is the reason your night didn't turn out so well? I think you need to have more surprise tuba blasts in your face.

PNA Lounge again for Mexican Knives. The band that was supposed to go on before them, Boy Wonders, didn't show up for some bullshit reason. Mexican Knives decided to start early. Maybe that's not a good thing to do when music fans are trying to maximize their itineraries. Since I thought they wouldn't go on until 1 AM, I only saw their last song. Speaking of maximizing, this night's schedule didn't utilize the concept of staggering set times. Most bands of the night were started on the 00's. How am I supposed to get "blown out" if there's always dead time that can't be filled by running over to another bar?

I was never super into Sponge when they were getting massive radio play, and I sure as hell don't want to try whatever their new material is. I went over to Whiskey in the Jar for Sunlight Ascending. It's spacey instrumental music without that whole masturbatory vibe that Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor give off.

Before Sunlight finished I could hear the marching band again. They were playing in the alley behind Amicci's Pizza. The crowd starting flowing out of the Whiskey to check them out. A couple of dog-walkers got caught up in it, to the point that they didn't notice that their dog had run off. It's just a living being that's become dependent on you. No big deal.

After several songs, including one by R. Kelly, the marching band, the revelers that had accumulated, and even the dog all crammed into Whiskey. This was around 1:55 AM. To me this a great example of the unexpected that can happen in Hamtramck during the Blowout.

Bands I saw that night that I'm putting in the "whatever" category: Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, 500 Club, Beekeepers, and Sponge.

I just can't call myself a fake journalist if I don't address some of the ill will in Hamtramck about the partial move to Ferndale. On Friday night the place to be for Blowout abstainers was the Outer Limits Bar, a long ago venue for the Blowout. Before Saturday night got under way, someone printed up stickers, stuck them on to old empty album sleeves, and passed them out to some of the bars. If you can't make out the writing at the bottom, it says "METRO TIMES WHITE FLIGHT FEST 2013".

While some Hamtramck residents simply said that they wouldn't be going to the Ferndale leg next weekend out of resentment, others were more vocal in their opposition. "It was our thing, and yes some sponsorship was always involved, but it was called the Hamtramck Blowout, and then suddently it became the Metro Times Blowout. I take exception to that fact.", said Tony (Topcat) Liggett. "Nobody else would do this when it started. We were the perfect place. We had the venues, and we had the people willing to cooperate to make it happen."

It wasn't all anger though. There was also some sadness mixed with pragmatism. "Well, I do wish more Hamtramck venues were available for the Blowout. Everyone is concerned about losing the festival to Ferndale, but there used to be a lot more options available when I first started coming to the Blowout in 1995. Lots of those bars are gone.", said August Gitschlag, a bartender at Whiskey in the Jar. "Besides that, I do try my best to make sure that Whiskey is a fun and entertaining spot for the large number of first time visitors the festival brings in, so that hopefully they see Hamtramck is safe and fun, and come back again another night."

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I'm a dork, I live in the Detroit area, and sometimes I take blurry photos on an outdated camera