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Hamtramck Music Festival 2017

The 4th Annual Hamtramck Music Festival took place on March 2-4, 2017.
(I wasn't at the opening night for its limited offerings on Thursday)

Friday Night
I'm grateful for the early evening offerings at places like Cafe 1923, Bank Suey, and the Hamtramck Public Library. Even though there wasn't much else to choose from at the time, I would've made it to see Lac La Belle no matter where they fell on the schedule. Their American folk sound at the library didn't need a lot of amplification, and it sounded great. I stuck around for Panch Villa Skull afterwards.
Cabin 7 exhibitied their big band ska sound at New Dodge Lounge, adding some variety to the night.
Vespre was the first band scheduled to play PLAV Post 10, and they still hadn't started twelve minutes after they were scheduled to, thus causing me to lose interest and go elsewhere.
At Polka Dot, the former Atlas Bar, Remnose made a better impression. Their softer sound made it easier to focus on their lyrics. It's clear they put a lot of thought into them, as they don't fall back on using the word "like" every other line.
The corner of Yeman and Joseph Campua must be a tough spot to keep a bar open at. Mars Bar became Temptation Louge, which has now become Hamtramck Korner Bar. What's different now is that they've annexed the adjoining space and knocked a few holes in the wall to double their floor space. Sidewatcher was having some troubles with the sound system, but I think they're worth seeing again.
I couldn't pass up seeing Prude Boys at Planet Ant Hall. After seeing them for the first time two years at this festival, I try to see them whenever they're on a festival schedule.

The Planet Ant Hall is a great addition to the lineup of venues for the festival. If the small stage at the adjourning Ghost Light Bar was thrown in, it could fill the role played by the Knights of Columbus Hall for the Blowout.
After circling a few other places and not being impressed by what I saw, I came back to Planet Ant Hall for Mexican Knives to close out the night.

Saturday Night
It's hard to get into Kelly's Bar to see bands, because they play so close to the door. It was worth the sacrifice of personal space to try out Dear Darkness. They play with a lot of heart, and make you forget that they're formed from only two musicians.
Coming back to PLAV Post 10 on Saturday felt like an awful choice. Twenty minutes after The Sugar Bombs were supposed to start, and they still hadn't begun. I don't know if it was the venue's fault, or they just had the bad luck to book acts that don't respect the festival goers and the festival's tight schedule. I just crossed the whole lineup at that place off my list.
The Detroit Party Marching Band caused the crowd to spill out of the front door at Jean's last year, so having them at Planet Ant Hall was a wise choice.
Tart at New Dodge Lounge delivered with their hard sound, and made me glad I wasn't at the PLAV.
Despite Lo & Behold backing out of the festival officially, they still had live music going there. I'm not interested in adding my opinion on the related controversy, but you can read about it at the Metrotimes if you care to. What's lacking from the piece is that the HMF was started to fill the vacuum left by the Metrotimes Blowout trying to expand out of Hamtramck and shifting to the month of May, before that festival had its last installment in 2015 and quietly went away.
I haven't made an effort to to see Qween Kwong before, as it seems like they've been getting a lot of coverage stemming from their story, and not their sound, which tends to discourage me. I won't make the choice to miss them again, even if they get covered for the wrong reasons.

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 With a face for radio, a voice for print, and the prose of a new immigrant, I'll stick to amateur blogging