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Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog

Wild At Heart

Well, only one more day left until the new year. It seems like time has been going so fast. It has been 7 months since my mom passed away which has made the holidays a little sadder than previous years. I am usually up north while my parents are heading south but now I have my dad up here so I won't be going to as many concerts or movies the next few months. Still, I can't complain too much and it is nice spending time with him even though he drives me crazy. If it wasn't for football season and car shows on cable, I don't know what I'd do.

You have a lot of list out there of best of this and that so I thought I would do one of my top 5 things of 2012.

5) Made the move to Dish. After a good decade or two of not having cable, I got it for my dad so he had something to watch. I don't catch a lot of TV shows which I mostly watch on Hulu or get from the library (like season 7 of Dexter and season 2 of American Horror Story) but I have enjoyed the Velocity Channel with all the car restoration shows, shows like Pawn Stars (love learning the history of all the odd things that come into the store) and being able to watch all my college basketball and football games. The price is still way to high for all the crap channels but it does come in handy at times.

4) Toronto Fan Fest. It has become a staple event every year. This year I went to their comic con in March where I got to see the entire original cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation which was a lot of fun. In The summer, I had a great, if abbreviated time checking out all the cool artwork (both local and national), seeing all the great fan costumes, looking at all the cool toys (both new and old), getting tons of free things and meeting some of the biggest names in science fiction/fantasy like the Terminator's Linda Hamilton, Gremlins director Joe Dante, Knight Rider's David Hasselhoff and cast members of both Walking Dead and Orphan Black to name a few. Walking on the field across from the convention center and seeing a TARDIS on the hillside is one of those cool moments and going into restaurants and watching patrons stare at people dressed like various magna characters and super-heroes is priceless.

3) Finding the website which had an extensive collection of ebooks you can read online and some you can get through their lending library. I am loving this because I have a list of science fiction books that I started back in 1986. I have about 45 books I have been unable to find for reasonable prices or at various libraries. I recently read Stanley Weinbaum's "New Adam" and just started Mark Clifton's "I'd Rather Be Right" and they have a couple other books on my list which I look forward to reading. The site can be a bit unstable at times and I am not a huge fan of reading on the computer for large chunks of time, but it is nice to be able to track down some rare books in the comfort of my own home.

2) Rochester Jazz Fest. Sure Michigan has a more solid traditional jazz base, But I have really enjoyed the diversity of acts this festival gets such as singer Youn Sun Nah, the Dirty Dozen Jazz Band, Dr John, David Byrne w/St Vincent, clarinetist Anat Cohen, Trombone Shorty and so many others. There is a lot of experimental jazz and international acts which I really enjoy plus some good national acts thrown in. It is a great time and well worth the money.

1) The museums of Toronto. The cultural life of Toronto from theatre and restaurants are incredible, as well as awesome concerts (like New Order, Nick cave and the Bad Seeds, etc) but it is the museums that really stand out to me. This year I saw the Patti Smith photography exhibit and David Bowie exhibits at the Art Gallery Of Ontario, the wonderful Mesopotamia exhibit (closes Jan 5th) at the Royal Ontario Museum and the amazing David Cronenberg exhibit at the TIFF (which is still going on until Jan 19th so catch it quick) not to mention the many smaller galleries around the area. I love working with these establishments and bringing you interviews with the various curators, etc of some of my favorite places to visit.

I hope you all have a safe holiday and Happy New Year!

Here are a few shows to catch this week if looking for something to do

Tuesday (12/31) - Gories @ Magic Stick, Zac Brown Band @ Joe Louis Arena

Wednesday (1/01) - Zac Brown Band w/Trombone Shorty @ Joe Louis Arena

Friday (1/03) - Ana Popovic (Anti-Freeze Blues Festival) @ Magic Stick

Saturday (1/04) - Bettye Lavette (Anti-Freeze Blues Festival) @ Magic Stick

A last minute reminder: I want to be sure you are all aware that this year’s 2014 Kresge Artist Detroit Fellowships are in Dance/Music and Film /Theatre. There are $25,000 awards for Metro Detroit emerging and established artists. The deadline for applying is January 31, 2014 and the instructions and application can be found here so please pass this along to any eligible artists as this is a wonderful opportunity to be recognized and funded for your art.

Upcoming: St. Lucia at The Magic Stick 1/24

If you were lucky enough to catch Two Door Cinema Club or Ellie Goulding at sold-out performances in 2013, chances are you also caught the lush dream-pop of St. Lucia opening the show. With the release of the breakout album When The Night in October, 2013 was a big year for the Brooklyn based band and the future appears even brighter. Led by South-African born Jean-Philip Grobler, St. Lucia kicks off a headlining tour of North America in Philadelphia next month with a stop at the Magic Stick in Detroit on January 24, before wrapping up in Los Angeles in February.
While the band is preparing for the upcoming When The Night Tour, we had a chance to chat with Jean-Philip about the year that was what's on tap for 2014.

MCB: I started following St. Lucia after seeing you open for Ellie Goulding back in January and it seems like you’ve been going non-stop since then with touring and a full-length album. Has this year been a watershed moment for you?

St. Lucia: I suppose it has in some ways, but I still feel like we have a lot to work for and things to achieve. Everything has grown for us in this past year, a lot more people have become aware of us through what I think is a combination of us touring and putting out a lot more music that we're really proud of. I only hope to keep being able to do work that I and we are proud of and that we can get on stage and feel excited playing to people night after night. 

MCB: You’re starting right back up with a headlining tour in January and February of 2014, do you plan to take some time off after the tour? Or is there more St. Lucia business at hand?

SL:  When we start the tour we'll be pretty much fresh off of a 3 week long vacation. I'm actually answering these interview questions from my old bedroom in my parents’ house in South Africa, so I doubt that we'll be in need of a full-on vacation once the tour is over. Maybe just a few days break or something. I'm actually aching to get back into the studio to work on some of the new St. Lucia material I've been working on my laptop on the road, so hopefully that will happen or some kind of production project. I'm sure some other tours will come up too, but for now it seems fairly open. 

MCB: I know you have your hands in a lot of different things, you produced a great album for another band I love, Haerts.  Will St. Lucia continue to be your focus for 2014 and beyond or do you have any other projects you’re looking to take on?

SL: I'm definitely focusing a lot more of my attention on St. Lucia these days. My time in the studio is so limited that the little time I have I'd like to focus on making a great second album. People seem to expect new music from a band way quicker than they used to these days, and so every spare moment I have I'm developing new ideas. That being said, I do really enjoy working with other artists because it can be so refreshing and help you to see music from a different angle, but I think the trick is not spreading myself too thinly. 

MCB: I went on vacation to the island of St. Lucia when I was a kid, so the name of the band resonated with me before I even heard a note of the music. What is the significance of the name St. Lucia?

SL: We are actually named after St. Lucia in South Africa. I grew up in South Africa, and as a child I used to go on vacation to St. Lucia, which is close to the ocean and a wilderness refuge. The place is somewhat similar to what I imagine St. Lucia in the Caribbean to be like. A lot of people go there to escape, and it's tropical, humid and hazy. I came upon the name by putting a pen down on a map of South Africa, and the 5th try was St. Lucia. The moment I hit it, everything about the project made sense. The imagery that the name St. Lucia evokes for people is one of escape, of something exotic, tropical, hazy, and perhaps something filled with nostalgia and memories. This is a lot of what our music is about. 

MCB: When I’m playing DJ sets I love to put on “Elevate,” and people go nuts. The chorus is huge and it just has a great vibe. How do you go about writing an anthem like that?

SL: Ha, thank you! Well, I don't really go 'about it', per se. These songs, melodies and ideas just come to me out of what seems like thin air. I'll be walking down a street or doing something completely unrelated to music and I'll catch myself singing a melody I don't recognize, and I'll realize that an idea has just popped into my head. I'll either record it on my voice recorder, or if I'm close to my studio (which is rare these days) I'll go there and start to work on it. From that point, I'll record every idea that comes into my head and try to judge what I'm doing as little as possible. This often takes a number of months of work on and off, because the moment I feel like I'm forcing something I'll stop and come back to it later. Then, once I have too much information I'll stop recording and start the process of editing and deciding what parts to keep. Elevate, at it's most bloated point, had something like 250 audio tracks. That's obviously including room microphones and doubles etc. I double a lot of things an obscene amount of times, like I routinely record around 16 tracks of the same bass synth line on different synths and at different octaves and with some of them slightly out of tune and with different choruses. I just keep doing this until it feels right and then eventually I have to give it to a mix engineer and together he and I will attempt to make sense of this mess before us. 

MCB: One of my favorite tracks off your first record is “The Old House Is Gone,” which is poppy, but has kind of an unorthodox arrangement and a melancholic edge to it. Can you talk a little bit about that song and are there more experimental angles that you would like to explore in the future?

SL: I feel like everything I do is always at its' very least a little bit experimental. I want every song to surprise people in some way, whether it's to surprise them with its' simplicity, or with its' complexity. I'm always experimenting and trying new angles for songs. For example, there are about 5 or 6 completely different versions of We Got it Wrong, all of which were recorded from the ground up. When I get stuck with a song, I'll often feel like I just need to start recording it again in order to reconnect with the initial inspiration of the song. Even though that is a lot of extra work, it's through that process that I'm able to get back into the flow of coming up with parts naturally and trying new things. So yes, I hope to continue to experiment with what I do. That being said, I don't value 'experimental' or 'arty' music over 'pop' music, because I think that both art forms can make you feel things just as acutely. 

MCB: Lastly, I’m really excited to see you guys again in January, is there anything you would like to say to the good people of Detroit?

SL: We've always really enjoyed playing in Detroit, whether it was with Ellie Goulding or Two Door Cinema Club. There's so much incredible history in your city, and I really hope to be able to explore more of it when I'm there next. 


St. Lucia's debut album When The Night is available now Neon Gold Records and plays The Magic Stick on January 24th with Sir Sly. Grab your tickets for the show right here. 

Check out more St. Lucia right here.


Celebrate New Years Eve at New Way Bar

New Way Bar in Ferndale has a star studded line up of great local bands to bring in the new year. A $5 cover is pretty inexpensive compared to some door covers seen on this night. Champagne toast at Midnight. 21 years old and up are welcome.

George Morris

The Handgrenades

Le Voyage

Happening Now: Hockeytown Winter Festival Dec. 27-31 at Comerica Park

If you're not of the sporting persuasion, you may not know that the center of the North American Hockey universe has descended on Detroit and Ann Arbor for the 2013 Hockeytown Winter Festival and 2014 Winter Classic, respectively. This weekend, extending through Tuesday, the CoPa will be buzzing with hockey fans from across the globe.

Friday and Saturday kicked off the action on the ice with the Great Lakes Invitational tournament, a decades old tradition of college hockey in the D featuring Michigan and Michigan State. Sunday and Monday will showcase minor league hockey matchups leading up to the Alumni Showdown on Tuesday, featuring former Red Wing and Maple Leaf greats like Yzerman, Lidstrom and many more. 

But even if you're not into watching hockey, there is plenty to check out at the Winter Festival. Located in parking lots 1 & 2 outside Comerica Park, the Coke Zero Fan Zone is open December 27-31, 2013, and will welcome thousands of hockey fans per day. Enjoy entertainment complete with live music, interactive hockey games, Red Wings Alumni autograph and Q&A sessions, a unique synthetic ice skating rink, pick-up hockey, outdoor fire pits, special food and beverage options and much more.

The two stages within the Molson Hockey House and the second in the Coke Zero Detroit Red Wings Experience tent are filled with entertainment including local bands, Q&A sessions with Red Wings and Maple Leafs alumni, family interactive shows and many prize giveaways. The Q+A sessions on the main stage fesature former players answering burning questions from you, the fans. It's a really unique opportunity to be up close and personal with your favorite former Wings.

Also available on the main stage is a slew of live music like local rock legends The Muggs. Grab a beer and keep warm while rocking out and maybe playing some bubble hockey. You can check out the day to day lineup right here.

And of course, what would a winter hockey festival be without lots of cold beer and hot, greasy, food, eh?  Admission to the Coke Zero Fan Zone is free with a paid ticket to one of the games or just $5 if you want to hang out for the day without going to the game.

Check out more about the Hockeytown Winter Festival right here. 


::::The Whigs:::: 1/15 in Ann Arbor at Blind Pig

The Athens Georgia trio- The Whigs visit the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Jan 15th with special guests The Hounds Below and Silent Lions. Listed as one of Rolling Stone Magazine's "10 artists to watch", The Whigs are touring heavily in anticipation of their next record due out in April of 2014
$10 adv./ $12 day of
18+ Doors 9:00pm


NYE: Thirstwave Thursday (on a Tuesday) at Small's

I know what I'm doing for NYE...
New Year's Eve Special
"Thirstwave Thursday" on a Tuesday
31 Dec 2013/2014

Join us Tuesday, December 31st for a very special Thirstwave Thursday... on a Tuesday! 

Come spend your New Year's Eve with us! As always, this event has NO COVER! (Why, because we love you!) FREE noisemakers, party hats and beads at the door!

We're also offering a complimentary champagne or PBR toast at Midnight for EVERYONE in the building! We'll also have a complimentary appetizer buffet throughout the evening!

We'll also be giving away tickets to see SKINNY PUPPY at The Majestic Theater on Feb 19th, 2014!

DJ Pleasure Kitten, DJ Elektrosonik and DJ Aaron Hingst will be spinning New Wave, Retro Alternative, Dark '80s, '90s Alternative from 9p-4am! 

Expect music from:
Soft Cell:Sisters of Mercy:Adam Ant:B-52's:Go-Go's:The Cure:Gene Loves Jezebel:Depeche Mode:New Order:Strawberry Switchblade:OMD:Tones on Tail:Ramones:Bauhaus:Fad Gadget:Vicious Pink:ABC:Murrayhead:Soft Cell:The Cult:Human League:Yaz:Berlin:Stiff Little Fingers:Alien Sex Fiend:David Bowie:Happy Mondays:Elvis Costello:Joan Jett:Missing Persons:Peter Murphy:Nena:Public Image Ltd:Billy Idol:Psychedelic Furs:Tom Tom Club:The Normal:The Clash:Tears For Fears:Ministry:The Smiths:Roxy Music:Pet Shop Boys:Siouxsie and The Banshees:Iggy Pop:Joy Division:Echo and The Bunnymen:X-Ray Spex:Talking Heads:Blondie:Erasure:Duran Duran:Killing Joke

Oh yeah, did we mention it's FREE? ;)

Tons of great drink specials all night long!

TOMORROW: Yacht Rock Holiday Jam @ Small's

Smooth Jams Yacht Rock Holiday Social
Friday, December 26 2013

Featuring Slow Jams own, Erno The Inferno. Your hosts, Salty Joe and Captain Dana, invite you to join us for an evening of outstanding Yacht Rock staples, cheap-o beer specials, $3 boat drink specials, swag and more!

We'll have a Mr. & Miss Yacht Rock costume contest too. 

It's just $5, and $1 per person will be donated to help keep things at the Detroit Riverfront lookin' really smoooth. 

We're accepting food donations as well to help out our friends at Forgotten Harvest as well! Can't get south for the holidays? Stop by on Hamtramck's historic Nautical Mile, and catch up with friends while Keepin' The Fire alive. Smooth sailin', and see you then!

UPCOMING: Gary Numan @ Crofoot 28 March

Big Black Delta
Roman Remains
Friday, March 28, 2013
The Crofoot Ballroom

As an Electro and Industrial music pioneer Gary Numan’s influence has been recognized by a diverse array of the world’s greatest artists—from Prince to Lady Gaga, Jack White to Kanye West; Beck to Queens Of The Stone Age, and The Foo Fighters to Nine Inch Nails. Numan’s impact was crystallized in the U.S. some three decades ago with his now legendary performance of his worldwide hit ‘Cars’ and ‘Praying To The Aliens’ to an audience of 40 million people on the US TV institution that is Saturday Night Live—a performance that changed the sound of popular music forever.

While Numan’s unique, pioneering style continues to connect with fans from the worlds of EDM, Industrial, Hip-Hop, Metal, and Indie-rock, he remains as focused as ever in pursuing his own singular vision. Numan has never stopped trying to innovate and his latest album ‘Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)’—released 15th October 2013–is evidence of this desire to never standstill. Utilizing many new sounds and ideas whilst retaining the feel of a classic Numan record, the softly spoken Numan posses one of the most distinctive voices in music. His unique vocal style evokes a feeling of machinery and icy alienation whilst provoking strong emotions within the electronic noise of classic albums such as ‘The Pleasure Principle’ and ‘Telekon’ that connects with his loyal and ever-growing fan base of self-proclaimed Numanoids.

Marking Numan’s first full-length studio album since 2006’s ‘Jagged’, ‘Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)’ sees the Award winning electro-pioneer team-up with Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck and producing partner Ade Fenton to unleash his heaviest and most accomplished album to date. However, the seven-year wait between albums was not something Numan intended. After the critically-acclaimed reception of ‘Jagged’ he planned to swiftly follow-up the album with ‘Splinter’; having announced the title of the record many years ago as his next project after envisaging the sound of the album in his mind. But plans for the release of ‘Splinter’ constantly changed as Numan went through phases where he found it impossible to write due to a crippling lack of self-confidence brought on by severe bouts of deep depression. Despite this dark time Numan continued to tour, including being personally invited by super-fan Trent Reznor to join Nine Inch Nails during their set to perform several of his own songs including ‘Cars’ and ‘Metal’, which NIN had previously covered, on the band’s 2009 ‘Wave Goodbye’ tour. Numan also managed to co-write the single ‘My Machines’ with Battles, and Numan’s music continued to stay in the spotlight thanks to bands such as Jack White’s The Dead Weather covering the classic ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’. For all his success over the years, Numan has never felt confident of his talents or comfortable with his role as a songwriter and during the making of ‘Splinter’ he would constantly throw out ideas and start over again and again. But Numan wasn’t only contending with completing new music, his personal life was full too, with a much publicized move to a new home in Los Angeles with wife Gemma and their three young daughters.

Numan’s permanent relocation to the US reinvigorated his creativity and had an immediate positive effect, with ‘Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)’ eventually being finished in his LA studio at the start of 2013 with Fenton as producer. The album features 12 tracks ranging from the classic Numan melodies and vocal delivery of ‘I Am Dust’ to slower velocity anthems such as ‘Where I Can Never Be’ and the orchestral strings of ‘The Calling’. Carefully curating the talents of guitarist Robin Finck to add a rich, eastern texture on several tracks, Numan ensured that ‘Splinter’ is most definitely an electronic album. Right from the start, it’s thrilling to hear Numan’s voice—almost unchanged from his early years—set against a backdrop of cold, dark electronics. And there’s both a real edge and sense of urgency to the new material, in the whiplash choruses and thundering bass lines of ‘Everything Comes Down To This’ and ‘Love Hurt Bleed’. There’s also a lingering sense of pain and isolation. ‘My Last Day’ and ‘Lost’ are two of his finest songs, an aching sense of loss communicated with a signature directness showcases his unique writing capabilities. Whilst ‘We’re The Unforgiven’ and the title-track en-rich the sound with weird hooks and Arabian riffs in a dark escapism from some of the more personal lyrics on the album.

IN FEB: Leslie & the Ly's @ the Pike Room 10 Feb

Dean and the Delilahs
Boone County Comedy Troupe
Monday February 10

Leslie Hall first became an internet sensation when she uploaded pictures of her gem sweater collection online. After quickly attracting over 2 million hits, she was left with an $800 bill for exceeding bandwidth. In order to pay back her mother, Leslie did what any 200 lb plus Iowan girl would do, she became a lady rapper. Since then, Hall has toured relentlessly with Leslie and the LY's, self-released 5 full-length albums, and produced such viral video hits as Gold Pants, Zombie Killer, How We Go Out, Blame the Booty, and Tight Pants/Body Rolls. The band's ever-evolving live show features elaborate props, flashy costumes, and Las Vegas style production at Midwest prices. You will squeal with delight when Leslie tumbles and triumphs across the stage.


Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog

Wild At Heart

Looking back at my hopefuls for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, it seems that two of my picks are getting in this year. Peter Gabriel and KISS are joined by Cat Stevens, Linda Rondstant, Hall and Oates and Nirvana. I can't say I'm over-surprised by Nirvana but I am by the other three. While good artists, it is hard for me to put them in over groups like the Zombies, Deep Purple and Yes who seem to really embody rock N roll, thus proving the Hall is more of a music Hall of Fame than purely rock N roll. With Nirvana, I recognize that they made alternative more appealing to the commercial market, had some good songs and propelled the idea of the slacker generation. Still, I have never been a huge fan of them musically but they seem to have cemented themselves in musical history like another short lived band, the Sex Pistols, who also influenced music and culture despite few actual albums. I was also excited to see the E Street Band get in under the Musical Excellence category. In 2012, the Hall worked to get backing bands like the Crickets, Miracles, Famous Flames and the Comets in but the E Street Band while more recent had some great talented musicians that have done a great job both backing Bruce Springsteen, and many others, and additionally having some great individual accomplishments themselves.

Well, I hope you have a great Holiday weekend and here are some upcoming concerts to enjoy:

Thursday (12/26) - Hard Lessons @ St Andrews Hall

Friday (12/27) - Styx @ Ceasars Windsor, Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Palace of Auburn Hills, Suicide Machines and Black Dahlia Murder w/ Mustard Plug and Koffin Kats @ Majestic Theatre, Verve Pipe @ Loving Touch

Saturday (12/28) - Maze feat Frankie Beverly @ Detroit Opera House, Hellen opens for South Normal @ Magic Bag

I'll leave you with a performance by Youn Sun Nah who was responsible for my favorite concert performance of the year as she played 2 popular sold out shows at the Rochester Jazz Fest. This is a beautiful rendition of "My Favorite Things"which you might recognize from the 'Sound Of Music'. Have a happy holiday season.

Have a Merry Christmas!!

The return of the Singles + Jeremy and The Harlequins at Lager House Detroit - Saturday 12/28/13

Looking for a real treat this xmas?

Get on over to Lager House this Saturday night for 
Jeremy and The Harlequins are a trip through the early days of American rock ‘n roll. 

A perfect kick off to your lead up to NYE 2014!

In this day and age of over produced, digitized music, Jeremy and The Harlequins are a breath of fresh air. Their sound is stripped down and the lyrics are playful and honest. Nostalgic, and at some times haunting, Jeremy and The Harlequins are a trip through the early days of American rock ‘n roll. 

The band came together serendipitously after singer, Jeremy Fury, and guitarist, Craig Bonich’s, latest New York City based line-up, previously named Romans, disbanded in April of 2013. As fate would have it, Jeremy’s brother, drummer Stephan Fury, returned from Paris, France to spend time with his family in their hometown of Toledo, Ohio. While in Ohio, Jeremy and Stephan began collaborating on a compilation of songs that Jeremy had written over the past few years. 

After opening the vault of material, the Fury Brothers enlisted the bass talents of musician and friend, Nathan Cogan. Days later, guitarists Craig Bonich and Patrick Meyer drove from New York City to Toledo to assist in the creation of the new music. Craig had miraculously met Patrick only one day prior to leaving for Ohio and spent the entire drive indoctrinating Patrick into the sound and vision Craig and Jeremy dreamed of. Upon their arrival into America's heartland only a few days prior to July 4th, the new line-up celebrated America's independence with an impromptu first show at a local bar in Maumee, Ohio having never played together before. 

The five spent less than week in a whirlwind of rehearsals. The result was ten undeniably passionate rock 'n roll songs. Recorded in two days just outside of Detroit, at Tempermill Studios (The White Stripes, Loretta Lynn) the music is live and present; captured true-to-form by the finest analog equipment. Upon completion of the recording, the group procured the talents of producer and guitarist extraordinaire, Matt Verta Ray (Heavy Trash, Speedball Baby), for the ever-important mix. 

The record rings with urgency, containing an energetic and youthful feeling bands today desperately seek, but can rarely attain due to modern recording techniques. Jeremy's vocals, recorded live in just a few short hours, punctuate the passion and gusto that is the soul of the group. These raw vocals are supported by bare guitars that rock unadultered and get straight to the point, while the melodic and present bass lines and simplistic drums, free from superfluous fills, resonate deep inside you. References to musical greats such as Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly are sprinkled throughout, yet Jeremy and The Harlequins have managed to find their own, unique voice. 

Motor City Movement - What Makes it Work

Motor City Movement is coming back to the Crofoot this Friday, Dec. 27th for its EIGHTH showcase of dance. Since 2010 MCM has been putting on vivid and exciting dance shows highlighting the talents of local and national dancers and choreographers. With near capacity shows, high energy and a sense of community among the attendees each show is always a wonderful and memorable evening. Having seen and photographed more than a few MCM shows I have witnessed the tremendous amount of hard work and activism from the two people behind it all, Jill Zmijewski and Ryan Nunley. Here's some Q& A with Jill and Ryan on the history of MCM and why they do it.

How has MCM changed since your first event back in 2010?

Jill:  Though MCM has kept relatively the same format since our first show, we have grown so much as far as the production level, notoriety and elements of the show.  Through trial and error, we have learned things that do work and things that don't. Our show runs much smoother than it did in the beginning as the more shows we do, the better we understand the process and what is need for a killer show.  We have added a workshop, where dancers can take classes from choreographers featured in the show. (December 28th) We've also begun to sell apparel which has been a big hit and fun for us to design!

Ryan: For our first show, we would have been happy with 50-100 audience members. We had a stand-up comedian as the host and a musical performance, Detroit rapper Finale, at intermission. We have decided against the intermission and a musical performance, and have added more groups just to keep the focus on dancing. We haven't changed much, it's really hard to stay away from keeping the focus on dancing. Plus, all the performances in the show are thought up by the choreographers, they get to do what they really want to do, it would be really wrong of us to give them input on their upcoming performance.

Maybe it's just me but over the past couple years there seems to be a popularity explosion for dance - what do you attribute it to - Youtube, So You Think You Can Dance, people like you?

Jill:  It's not just really has exploded into the mainstream world.  Its such an exciting time to be a dancer or dance lover!  I absolutely attribute shows like So You Think, America's Best Dance Crew, and Dancing With the Stars. It has brought the awesome world the we always knew about to the eyes of the public. I also think the fact that these shows highlight ALL different kinds of dance is a huge part of their success and why people are going crazy over dance!

Ryan: It became enjoyable to watch for me years ago. This was before So You Think You Can Dance, Americas Best Dance Crew or Dancing with the Stars, to my knowledge, had even aired. I have never taken a class or performed in choreography (for the most part), but I really enjoy watching people dance, professional or not.

What's the most rewarding part about putting on your events?

Jill:  For me it definitely seeing all the hard work the different groups performing put into their pieces for the show.  I love when I see how excited they get when we send them their acceptance email.  I love seeing Facebook posts about how their rehearsals are going great.  And the energy in the room the night of the show is like nothing I've ever felt!

Ryan: I really enjoy seeing all the hometown talent that Metro Detroit has. A lot of talent leaves our area for New York or Los Angeles, but this area still has an abundance of talent. I want to think that before Motor City Movement there wasn't a platform such great talent to be seen, like they can be seen on MCM nights. There are a lot of MCM dancers that have a competition background, but once they graduate from their studio, they aren't left with stages to perform on like they had.
A disappointing thing to do is send out emails that unfortunately tells a group that they will not be performing at the upcoming MCM. We are not at all trying to be the end all be all of dancing in Metro Detroit, we try to keep a good length and amount of diversity in a show.

Any surprises you can hint at for your show on Dec. 27?

Jill: Well it's not a surprise, but we have Will Thomas from Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance as our host. He is an amazing dancer and has such a fun personality...I think he's going to be a huge hit as host!  We are also selling some really cool new apparel!  And, I don't know if I'm making it a bigger deal than it is, but I think my routine is going to surprise a lot of people. It's still my trademark jazz style, but it has a comedic side to it, too.

Ryan: Honestly, no big surprises planned. We don't really try to surprise. I think the biggest one for me was for last years December show when I was in a coma.We try to give away all of the information for the upcoming show, to get everyone interested.

Do you have a vision or goal for MCM? Where you'd like to see it headed in the next few years?

Jill:  I would love to see more groups that we have not seen yet submit to the show.  It'd be awesome if we could get some groups from Chicago, Ohio, Canada!  I'd like MCM to get more involved in the community and have a year long presence as opposed to just when we hold our shows.  I'd also like to build our workshops and possibly even do traveling conventions.  Sky's the limit!

Ryan: I agree with Jill. Seeing new groups performing at MCM is what I really enjoy. We love groups that continue to send in submissions, but there is still a lot of unseen talent that don't send anything in. We receive a lot of hip-hop and jazz submissions, but I love having a great diverse show. We have been thinking about taking a smaller version of MCM over to the west side of the state, and seeing new groups from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Muskegon & Chicago, just to name a few. Also, having monthly workshops taught by some of our choreographers will probably happen.
There also may be an opportunity for a few of the MCM groups to go on a paid mini Michigan tour in the near future.

What's your best advice you can give a dancer that is just starting out but shows potential?

Jill:  Work hard and don't give up! You will be sore, you will be tired, you will miss out on some parts of a "regular life", but you need to accept these things and roll with the punches if you want to improve.  The life of a dancer is a hard one, especially when you decide to make it your career, but it is the most rewarding life if you put in the work to become successful.

The pictures used in this interview were taken at last year's show and capture only a bit of the wonder the show brings. Be sure to be at the Crofoot at 7:30pm for another night of this unique and exciting showcase.

Post and Photos my Mikel O.D. of MPAD Media






STREAM "FUCKMYLIFE666": (Via SoundCloud)

Against Me! have announced their upcoming Winter 2014 headlining tour. Hitting the road in advance of the release of their highly-anticipated sixth full-length album,Transgender Dysphoria Blues, the 22-date tour begins on Tuesday, December 31 in Pittsburgh, PA at the Altar Bar and will visit markets such as Cleveland, OH onSaturday, January 4, Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, January 9, Birmingham, AL onFriday, January 17, Nashville, TN on Sunday, January 19, and will culminate in a performance at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Sunday, January 26. Support on the entire run will be provided by The Sidekicks and The Shondes, and more information on tickets can be found on Against Me!'s official website.

Against Me! have also recently released the first song from the upcoming full-length. Titled "FUCKMYLIFE666," the track was recently released on Against Me!'s acoustic
True Trans EP but receives the full-band treatment on the upcoming album that will be released through the band's own Total Treble label in North America onTuesday, January 21 (Resist Records will release in Australia and Xtra Mile Recordings to the rest of the world.) 

Transgender Dysphoria Blues is now available for pre-order through iTunes HERE, and those ordering the album will receive an instant download of "FUCKMYLIFE666" with their purchase. Additionally, a physical presale for the album can be found in theTotal Treble webstore, which offers exclusive vinyl and bundles not available anywhere else.  

Transgender Dysphoria Blues is the intense follow-up to the Against Me!'s previous full-length album, White Crosses, and stands as another major benchmark for the band and its career spanning 10+ years. Recorded at Studio 606, Earth Sound Studio, Motor Studio, Total Treble Studio and mixed by Billy Bush (Garbage, Muse, Tegan and Sara), Transgender Dysphoria Blues is an insightful and highly-provocative 10-song offering written by frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, whose material examines one's grappling with gender dysphoria, the loss of a young friend and pure self discovery, as well as love and ultimate acceptance. Featuring Grace's signature, explicit songwriting and dominant vocals, the album also features longtime guitarist/vocalist James Bowman, drummer Atom Willard and Fat Mike of NOFXon bass for "FUCKMYLIFE666" and "Unconditional Love."

With its lineup firmly in place that includes new bassist Inge Johansson, Against Me! will be making the following appearances during December and January. Tour dates below.

31 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar

02 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Intersection
03 - Newport, KY - The Historic Southgate House
04 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
05 - Buffalo, NY - The Town Ballroom
07 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
08 - New Haven, CT - Toad's Place
09 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade
10 - Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony
11 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon
12 - Virginia Beach, VA - The Jewish Mother
14 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
15 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern
16 - Greenville, SC - The Handlebar
17 - Birmingham, AL - WorkPlay Theatre
18 - Memphis, TN - The New Daisy Theatre
19 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
21 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
22 - Jacksonville Beach, FL - Freebird Live
24 - St. Petersburg, FL - State Theatre
25 - Orlando, FL - The Beacham Theater
26 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room


Detroit's Crud Hosts Annual “Cruddy Xmas” at Diesel Concert Lounge on December 28

Crud Hosts Annual “Cruddy Xmas” at Diesel Concert Lounge on December 28
Live Music and Sideshow Performers Bring Wicked Winter Fun
Join acclaimed electro rockers Crud for a wickedly fun post Christmas celebration on Saturday December 28 at Diesel Concert Lounge (33151 23 Mile Rd/inside the Premiere Bowling Complex) in Chesterfield, Michigan.  Doors are at 7 pm and ages 18 and over are welcome to attend. Advance tickets are $10 ($12 at the door) and now available online or at Diesel. 
In addition to a rare live performance by CRUD, the event includes industrial rock by Cybertrybe and Throttlebody, and Blackmarket Rebellion, jaw dropping sideshow titillation by Adam Arcana, snake charming belly dance by Shetan Noir, plus Rock N’ Rummage vendors hawking their cool collectibles.  Jimmy Doom will reign as “Satan Claus” handing out presents to the naughty and nice!
Crud will be celebrating the release of two new singles “New Hell Rising” and “Murder of Crows” – which will be available for sale on Itunes and the night of the show.
Crud features Sponge lead singer Vinnie Dombroski and burlesque beauty Danielle Arsenault on vocals.  The all-star line up also includes David Black (Seduce) on guitar, Dana Forrester (Dead in 5) on bass, and new drummer James Trunko (Mound Road Engine.)
Crud’s music has been featured all over television and film – most notably “Sons of Anarchy,” “CSI” and “Sherlock Holmes.” 
For more information about the show please contact the venue at 586-933-3503 or
For more information about CRUD please visit or


Mexican Knives - Quarters - Milwaukee, WI - 12/20/2013

After making the drive from Detroit to Milwaukee on a lousy cold and icy night, and after many technical difficulties, The Mexican Knives tore apart the stage at Quarters.  Exploding out of the gates with a couple of short and sweet 60’s garage rock stompers, front woman Ruth Synowiec and band mates slowed it down with a bluesy R&B swayer.  Ms. Synowiec delivered the smoky, boozy vocals perfectly; reminiscent of home town neighbors The Detroit Cobras.  On record Ms. Synowiec sounds like a cross between Janis Joplin and Shirley Manson.  Live is a completely different, sounding like The Shangri-las hanging out with the Gun Club, which sounds like trouble.  “Killer Snake” brought it all to an end, a perfect two minute sleazy, and surf stomper showcasing the big 60’s garage rock guitar sound.  One more song to close and it was over, packing plenty of songs into 30 minutes.  I would like to see their record collection because they are too young to be playing this kind of music.  Or maybe I’m too old.