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(March 31, 2010)
In today’s music game, sometimes I wonder if new formats will be created; such as the days of when hip-hop was a new genre to our ears. The only way we can evolve is to have new blood pumped into the scene and this week’s subject is just that. From the city to the suburbs, twenty two year old “Stir Crazy” has been busy daily, producing bangers. In the day and age of most production being created on computers, Stir Crazy still keeps it old school by using hands-on hardware sequencing. One recent project he produced “Dood Computer” was first released only on cassette tape with a free digital download card. Stir crazy Explains, “Once I had a keyboard/piano in front of me it took up my life” he ad’s “I would say I do hip hop with metal and rock influences with a splash of wicked and darkness at times.” In 2003, Stir Crazy was created and influenced by his dad’s friend and mentor DJ Rec who was a part of Eminem’s crew in the 90’s. Rec produced beats and did DJ work on many of Eminem’s older work.
Now with a catalog and endless hours of studio time Stir crazy’s music has appeared on Bizarre, Project Pat, Tech N9ne, ICP, Twzitid, and many others releases. His long relationship with Shaggy 2 Dope's younger brother Tre Pound got him placement on a couple of Psychopathic records. “Some people just click and I really love and respect their whole family as they all have helped me out a lot. With out them I would not even be close to where I am now. No one else could give you the type of motivation and work ethics like they can.” Stir crazy states. Check out his other CD’s with Ikkurruz ,T.O.N.E-z as well as his new absolutely free “InSTIRmentals” project at www.StirCrazy.BandCamp.com
The Zone Radio with Origix & DC airs Mondays 9 p.m.-12 a.m. 89.3 FM, stream at whfr.fm Visit 2raw4fm.com
Lac La Belle - Trumbullplex Detroit - Thur April 1st
NEXT WEEK: Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor w/ Dead Meadow & Imaad Wasif - Magic Stick Detroit - Thur April 14th
Dead Meadow / Imaad Wasif / Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor
Thursday April 14th 8pm
Magic Stick Detroit
Download the new SYSV LP for FREE
DANZIG is back after 6 yr hiatus - World Tour in 2010
We don't usually post "news" but this is a good one
DETH RED SABAOTH
Extensive Global Tour Schedule Planned for 2010
The charismatic and complex singer/songwriter Glenn Danzig is set to unleash his first new Danzig studio album in six years. Deth Red Sabaoth, produced by Glenn and recorded in Los Angeles over the course of 2009, will be released on June 22, 2010 (Evilive/The End Records).
The 11-track collection, penned by Danzig, is laced with Glenn's lycanthropic growls and blues-infected wailing. Tracks including "Black Candy," "The Revengeful," and the first single, "On A Wicked Night," emit a spectral glow to rival the highest points in Danzig's colossal discography. Part 1 of the exquisite two-part "Pyre of Souls" opens with acoustic guitar, haunting piano, Glenn's plainsong vocal, and an almost dirge-like feel; Part II explodes with electric guitars and a driving, mesmerizing cadence.
"I think that fans will really dig this new album," said Glenn. "I've been told several times that the album has a cool vitality to it, it sounds energized, and I got that feeling when I was recording it. I wanted it to have an organic sound, bigger and thicker, so I went out and bought some 1970's Kustom tuck 'n roll bass amps to play some of the guitar parts through. You'll hear real reverb, real tremolo on this album, which sounds completely different than the stuff that's done with computer chips."
Joining Glenn in the studio for the recording of Deth Red Sabaoth were guitarist Tommy Victor (Prong, Ministry), a Danzig cohort on and off since 1997, and drummer Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative, Seventh Void). While Kelly has toured with Glenn intermittently since 2002, this is the first time he has recorded with the band. Glenn handled the bass chores for most of the album, and played drums on "Black Candy."
As is with all of Danzig's releases, the CD cover artwork for Deth Red Sabaoth is provocative and ominous. The cover is an original piece created specifically for the CD by the award-winning artist Joe Chiodo whose work has graced not only Danzig's Verotik publishing line, but the covers of numerous graphic novels and comic books, including "X-Men Unlimited." Deth Red Sabaoth isn't the first time one of Chiodo's paintings has been part of a Danzig package - one of his erotic "good girl" pinups was part of 2007's The Lost Tracks of Danzig.
Deth Red Sabaoth marks Danzig's ninth studio venture that began back in 1988 with the Rick Rubin-produced, Platinum-certified, Danzig. A live version of his oedipal projectile "Mother," was a major hit, and added to his iconic status that began a decade earlier when he founded the near-mythic punk band Misfits and then Samhain. Sales of ten-million albums later and having been dubbed "goth-punk's godfather" by SPIN, Glenn Danzig is arguably the most versatile talent to emerge from hardcore's first wave, and truly is a renaissance man - a graphic designer, photographer, comic book publisher and composer. His venture into composing and recording classical music yielded Black Aria, that debuted at #1 on Billboard's Classical charts, and Black Aria II, that had Glenn sharing the Billboard/Classical's Top Ten with Itzhak Perlman and Andrea Bocelli. His indelible stamp is on artists like Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, and he has written songs that have been sung by a diverse array of artists, from Metallica to Johnny Cash.
Over his decades-long career, Glenn Danzig's intense musical and lyrical statements have left a permanent mark on rock music, and continue to do so going into the 21st century. Glenn's song "13," originally written for Johnny Cash and then recorded for Glenn's own Satan's Child album, was the opening song in last year's box office smash and Golden Globe winner, "The Hangover."
Danzig - Glenn, guitarist Tommy Victor, drummer Johnny Kelly and bassist Steve Zing - also a founding member of Samhain with Glenn - plan to tour extensively to support Deth Red Sabaoth; dates will be announced shortly.
Solex vs. Cristina Martinez + Jon Spencer - Amsterdam Throwdown, King Street Showdown!
Solex vs. Cristina Martinez + Jon Spencer
Amsterdam Throwdown, King Street Showdown!
(Bronze Rat Records, May 18)
The Tripwire Premieres “Galaxy Man” MP3!
Punk rock royalty Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez and Dutch electronic heroine Elisabeth Esselink, aka Solex, bring you the single “Galaxy Man” - premiered on The Tripwire! Taken from the forthcoming album Amsterdam Throwdown, Kingstreet Showdown!, "Galaxy Man" is 2 minutes and 40 seconds of life-affirming therapy! A re-animation party with Link Wray’s corpse on the decks! In outer space!
To whit: an instant pop hit.
Elisabeth, Cristina and Jon - they understand.
May we all follow their lead and join hands across the world
as we look skywards and contemplate our place in the universe.
And as we stand united, let us shake our collective ass.
Amsterdam Throwdown, Kingstreet Showdown! is back-to back with it, kicking off with the sugar-fix that is “Bon Bon”: a dirty, funky bastard of a concotion, complete with strings. “Dog Hit” is a tale of irresponsible pet ownership, as if told by sexed-up and AWOL philharmonic orchestra members on mephedrone! “Aapie” is a tribute to our ancestry and invites us to unleash our inner monkey! As you can see, there is something for all tastes.
Throughout, Elisabeth Esselink has ingeniously fattened up a rich tapestry of cool, the perfect canvas for Cristina and Jon, who pepper-spray it with personalized lunacy whilst shrugging off the wannabes scrambling for their plinth.
Amsterdam Throwdown, King Street Showdown! will be released on May 18. Consider it the most exciting collaboration/confrontation since The Jetsons Meets The Flintstones, and get ready for a genre-bending dance-off!
You lucky bastards you.
FREE TICKETS: Mixed Martial Arts // FightXC @ Fillmore Detroit - Friday April 23rd 2010 7pm
Mixed martial arts will return to Downtown Detroit when regional promotion FightXC makes its debut at The Fillmore Detroit (formerly known as the State Theatre) in late April with a show designed to pack the building.
FightXC is promising The Fillmore Detroit’s management team a show stacked with all-star caliber regional talent, as well as some appearances from MMA’s elite performers on April 23rd.
Albert Rowe, FightXC’s promoter, stressed how thrilled he was with the partnership between his MMA promotion and one of Detroit’s most storied venues.
FightXC, which is headquartered in Redford, Michigan, made a profound impression on the local MMA landscape on January 22nd when it sold out its first major show at Crystal Gardens in Southgate.
Jennifer Berkemeier, special events director for The Fillmore Detroit, expressed her excitement at having FightXC perform in her building.
“The Fillmore Detroit is thrilled to have FightXC grace our lovely building, and we hope this is just the first of many live mixed martial arts events that FightXC will allow us to host for them,” Berkemeier said. “MMA is a sport with a huge, burgeoning fanbase, and The Fillmore Detroit’s management team is looking forward to contributing to its growth.”
So Champions of Breakfast and Kommie Kilpatrick pulled together a pretty cool idea and have executed it quite well. They took 5 songs from one another a covered/remixed them in their own style. Kommie Kilpatrick is a synth/electronic based dance duo that sings over laptops and mixers whereas Kommie Kilpatrick are high-speed thrash punks that have quick-to-the-point 1 minute songs. Needless to say, the take on songs from one band to the other will very very interesting. To commemorate this endeavor they are releasing a limited run of 50 cassette tapes. You can catch live performances and procure said tapes this Thursday (tomorrow) at the Lager House.
There is a really good interview about the project hosted by Jeff Milo over at Deepcutz here where the bands interview one another. I really suggest getting an early start to your weekend and checking out the culmination of this project as something this unique doesn't happen too often.
Personally, I am a fan of the remix/cover phenomena that has become prevalent as of late. I really saw the exponential increase within the indie circuit flourish when Crystal Castles and Health became mainstream entities and released 45's and mixtapes completely compiled of remixes. This was something that was common already in the worlds of hip hop and electronica. Lately, everyone is taking part in the whole remix avenue, from Devendra Banhart remixing Phoenix to Thom Yorke remixing DOOM. Even Lykke Li torrented a remix comp of all the songs from her debut LP. It's really a cool way for an artist to fall in love with a song and say, "If I wrote this song and did it my way, this is how it would sound." The line is increasingly blurred between the definitions of remix and cover. Take Crystal Castles for instance, their remix of Health's Crimewaves is for the most part an original song, simply using a tweaked 5 second vocal from the original. This remix/cover is the work that shotgunned Crystal Castles from the underground to indie overlords (that and their nonstop touring habits). So call it what you want, remix or cover, it's becoming a cool and original way to springboard your ideas of something you like and connect your originality with someone elses. Here's to remixes!
-jr is a musician/dj/blogger/writer from Detroit, MI. He performs in the band The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre and writes a cultural blog under the same moniker. When Dj'ing he uses the handle DJ JCM. He has been an integral part of the Detroit Music mechanation for the past 10 years. He knows just about everything about music on both a local and national level. His opinon is gold and is infallible. This is what's been in my ear lately.
Marvin at Motown -- Tony Roko on display at Motown Museum
2648 West Grand Boulevard
Plymouth artist Tony Roko's painting of Marvin Gaye will be on display at the Motown Museum exhibit in honor of the life and career of the legendary recording artist through the month of April.
"Roko captures the feel of Studio A", said Lina Stephens, Chief Curator at Motown, "We're excited to have the piece for our exhibit", Lina added of Roko's 36"x48" depiction of Marvin smoking in the famed studio. "No smoke - No sing was Marvin's policy on recording" said Roko, "Marvin always got his way, even when it wasn't good for Marvin".
Roko is best known for his stylized portraiture and his innovative use of auto body paints for his artwork.
PHOTOS: America's Beauty Show by Shane Glenn
10,000 bat shit crazy hairdressers convened on Chicago for the 10th Annual America's Beauty Show. The MCB credit card came in very handy for this outstanding event. This weekend I'm stealing the card again to bring you official NCAA coverage from Indianapolis. Stay tuned MCBers.
They Never Sleep Triple Feature - Small's Bar Hamtrack - Friday April 2nd
Friday, April 2, 2010 at 8:00pm
There will be a Video Shoot, a Rock Show plus the Movie Premier of "WADE", a short Grindehouse-style indie motion picture by Haynze Whitmore Productions about a zombie blasting vietnam vet, featuring appearances from Mike Hard, Queen Bee and part of the soundtrack by TH3YN3V3RSL33P!
UPCOMING: Buzzcocks! 22 May @ St Andrew's
I'm so excited about this, my sick-addled mind is just SPINNING. But first things first:
That's right, suckas. MCB has tickets before you do.
Email to win!
The Buzzcocks are, simply said, one of my favorite bands. Not my favorite old band, not my favorite former band. My favorite. What that means is every time I hear the Buzzcocks, I get happy. Listen. Get happy.
That could practically be my theme song.
Or maybe this is your theme song:
I've seen these guys once before, more than ten years ago, in the Shelter. The Shelter! I know I'm a dork and all, but in my world, that was practically like having the Beatles play your living room. They're in the middle of a big hump through Europe now, and I've been waiting for word that they are hitting this side of the pond. And check it out, they've just announced two US tour dates. And Detroit is one of 'em.
Sat, 05/22/10 08:00 p.m.
Saint Andrews Hall
Thu, 05/13/10 09:00 p.m.
The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
New York, NY
From the band's site:
We're happy to announce this series of special shows, where we'll be playing our first two albums - Another Music In A Different Kitchen and Love Bites - in their entirety + other hits!
So I know they'll be playing my favorite song (all six of 'em) and yours, too. Don't miss the bus.
PHOTOS: Puscifer at Royal Oak Music Theatre
Maynard James Keenan is a man of many occupations: Lead singer of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, a bottler of wines and now, star of the new documentary Blood Into Wine: The Arizona Stronghold. In typical fashion, MCB was invited to cover both nights of his performance with Puscifer in Royal Oak. Good wine, good music, bad-ass MCB.
WHAT'S ON? Turner Classic Movies celebrates Motown, 14 April
On April 14, 1960, Motown Records was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. and quickly shot to fame as the most successful brand of soul/R&B music in the country. Gordy amassed an amazing collection of chart-topping artists including Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.
The "Motown Sound" has been celebrated in many movies including the five selected by TCM for this 50th anniversary tribute:
Thank God It's Friday (1978)
Wednesday, April 14,2010 8:00 PM
However it may have been kicked into production gear by the success of John Badham’s Saturday Night Fever (1977) and the vogue for disco-themed entertainment off the dance floor as well as on (a passing popular fancy whose perniciousness explains the short-lived ABC-TV sitcom Makin’ It), the Casablanca Filmworks release Thank God, It’s Friday (1978) is stylistically closer kin to Grand Hotel (1932) or International House (1933) for its crush of disparate and desperate characters convening for one night in a common setting where miscommunication, mischief and mishaps flourish. Made in partnership with Motown Records (which had previously backed the Diana Ross vehicles Lady Sings the Blues , Mahogany  and The Wiz ), the film was a bid to get silver screen time for such clients as The Commodores and Donna Summer, whose seventeen-minute “Love to Love You, Baby” was an early disco smash. Summer’s audible approximation of sexual ecstasy within the context of the track earned her the nickname “The First Lady of Love.”
Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)
Wednesday, April 14,2010 10:00 PM
There is so much laughter and genuine affection between the subjects of Paul Justman’s Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002) that it is very easy to forget the Academy Award® nominated documentary is meant to be a heartbreaker. Not a behind-the-scenes look at Berry Gordy, Jr.’s home-based Motor City hit factory per se, the film is rather a belated championing of the session musicians who backed such Sixties chart toppers as Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, the Temptations, the Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas and Gladys Knight and the Pips (to name but a few frontrunners from Gordy’s stable of R&B thoroughbreds). The economic upturn following the Second World War led to an expansion of America’s automotive industry. In search of a better standard of living, many southern blacks migrated northward, with the car factories of Detroit a particular magnet for the southern Diaspora.
Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
Wednesday, April 14,2010 12:00 AM
The Motion Picture Academy® has a tradition of recognizing new talent in their midst during Oscar® season. In the organization's long history, it has often gone out of its way to honor Hollywood newcomers, from Marlene Dietrich -- nominated for her first U.S. film, Morocco (1930) -- to Marlee Matlin, who won for her big screen debut in Children of a Lesser God (1986). Rarely has the anticipation of a screen debut or the excitement over its success run as high as when Diana Ross stepped into the role of a lifetime as tortured jazz singer Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues (1972). An Oscar® nomination for her seemed almost inevitable.
The Big Chill (1983)
Wednesday, April 14,2010 2:30 AM
When it was first released in 1983, The Big Chill drew decidedly mixed reactions despite its commercial success. Some saw it as an insightful portrait of a generation lost between youthful idealism and middle-aged disillusionment, while others found it glib and self-conscious. True, it doesn't always hold up well with today's younger audiences, who don't always relate to the time period and the dilemmas that are the film's focus. But it was nonetheless a box office hit and it garnered three Academy Award nominations - for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close) - and a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen.
Norman...Is That You? (1976)
Wednesday, April 14,2010 4:30 AM
There's a Sexual Revolution Going On...And All the Leaders Are in My Family!
Tag line for Norman...Is That You?
With a title track by Smokey Robinson and closing song by Thelma Houston, Norman...Is That You? (1976) gave every indication of being Motown's take on the sexual revolution. What ultimately emerged, though, were a series of tired Borscht Belt gay jokes translated into black culture and a film that, though probably well intentioned, emerges as a collection of stereotypes that were already outdated by the mid-seventies. The one plus the film has going for it -- and it's a pretty big plus -- is a tour de force comic turn by star Redd Foxx.
FREE TICKETS: Spartacus - Old Redford Theatre - Fri/Sat April 2nd/3rd
The once deleted but now restored original overture and a flirtatious 5 minute sequence between Olivier and Curtis are included in this pristine 35mm film version. This movie is sponsored by Between the Lines-Michigan’s Weekly News for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Friends. Adding authenticity to this event Legion XXIV Roman Army reenactment Legionnaires and their entourage of slaves and Roman citizens will attend all three screenings to ensure order in the realm.
Based on a book by Howard Fast and a screenplay by Dalton Trumbo, Director Stanley Kubrick took on this film after Anthony Mann and Executive Producer and star Kirk Douglas clashed. This epic film dramatizes a true historical turning point as the Old Republic slips away into Empire. Thracian slave Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) escapes from owner Lentulus Bastiatus (Peter Ustinov) and with his compatriots (Jean Simmons, Tony Curtis, Woody Strode) lead a revolt which results in their deaths, some by crucifixion, at the hands of Crassus (Laurence Olivier). Spartacus is betrayed by Tigranes (Herbert Lom), a rogue Pirate leader. In the film Crassus is opposed by Gracchus (Charles Laughton) and Julius Caesar (John Gavin).
From the original theatre organ to the splendor of the Japanese Garden on a starry night, the all volunteer staff has carefully restored the theatre to its 1928 appearance. In an era when our Region seems in decline, the Redford Theatre is a shining point of light of wholesome family entertainment anchoring the Old Redford neighborhood, beckoning all who believe in the power of community to renew and restore.
Coming April 16 & 17: Three Stooges Film Festival with six Curly, Moe and Larry shorts from 1937, 1938 & 1939. Tickets for this popular Festival are $5. On April 30 and May 1 we screen Singin’ in the Rain with the cartoon Mr. Magoo Beats the Heat.
FREE TICKETS - CD: Minus the Bear - St Andrews Detroit - 4/25
NEW ALBUM, OMNI, OUT MAY 4th
A band known for an exhilarating live show and a devoted fan base developed through extensive touring, Minus the Bear are very excited to announce a headlining tour in support of their new album, OMNI, out May 4th. Beginning April 19th in Spokane, WA, the Seattle-based quintet will embark on a 6-week national tour and introduce new material from their upcoming album. To get fans excited, Minus the Bear are now offering first single, MY TIME, for free download at www.omnithealbum.com. With deep bass lines, provocative lyrics and use of the Japanese Omnichord synthesizer, MY TIME, is an exhilarating song revealing new layers in the band’s songwriting and inimitable musical style.
B*Lite - Crofoot Wednesdays FUNK SOUL DISCO BOOGIE - RAT RODs with Ping Pong on the side
UPCOMING: Ragamala Dance’s - Music Hall Detroit - Sat 4/24 8pm
Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts presents
Sva (Vital Force)
Saturday, April 24, 2010, 8:00 pm
Concept and choreography by Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy
With special guests Wadaiko Ensemble Tokara of Nagano, Japan
Led by mother-daughter Artistic Directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy (named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2010), Ragamala Dance has been featured at prestigious festivals and theaters worldwide for seamlessly carrying Bharatanatyam, the classical dance of southern India, into the 21st century while respecting the form’s rich tradition. With each new project, Ranee and Aparna push the boundaries of Bharatanatyam and convey what it means to be 21st century choreographers working within a classical, culturally-based tradition. “Under the direction of Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, the dancers render Bharatanatyam’s ancient gestural code, a spirited and spiritual language that speaks directly to the gods, both lucid and exuberant.” –Dance Magazine
Ragamala continues its 2010 touring season in Detroit with an exciting evening of work:
Ardhanareeshwara Stotram—the origin of creation is conceived as the celestial unity of the Divine Feminine, Shakti, and the Divine Masculine, Shiva. The transcendent balance of Ardhanareeshwara (the representation of God as half-male and half-female) reflects the constant symmetry of the world itself. Performed by internationally acclaimed soloist Aparna Ramaswamy, the ancient hymn known as the Ardhanareeshwara Stotram is a sublime homage to the sacred concept of duality.
Sva (Vital Force)
Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Saturday, April 24, 8pm
Box office: (313) 887-8500
The creation and 2008-2009 U.S. tour of Sva are made possible in part by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts Japan Program, and the Doris Duke Fund for Dance of the National Dance Project (a program administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation and MetLife Foundation). Sva was created with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
ABOUT RAGAMALA DANCE
Drawing from the exquisite Pandanallur tradition of Bharatanatyam, Ragamala’s Artistic Directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy bring to their audience a synthesis of the philosophy, mythology, and spirituality of their Indian heritage. Ragamala company members have been chosen for intensive study which steeps the dancer in the vocabulary, form, line, and spirit of Bharatanatyam. Combined with artistic virtuosity and aesthetic beauty, they present this highly sophisticated Indian dance tradition with contemporary ideas and multi-level collaborations and commissions.
The Indian dance system is the oldest and most comprehensive in the world, and Bharatanatyam is amongst the oldest of its classical forms. Bharatanatyam is comprised of two distinct components: ntritta, or abstract dance, utilizes a vocabulary of classical steps to create complex rhythmic patterns; and nritya, or expressive dance, utilizes the language of gesture, called abhinaya, to express various themes from Hindu mythology, usually those of love and devotion. Integrating elements of music, theater, poetry, sculpture, and literature, this multi-dimensional art is part of a dynamic living tradition that offers an infinite scope for understanding and exploring the body, mind, and spirit.
Tickets - $30- $40- $50 are available at Music Hall box office
or at www.ticketmaster.com
Music Hall Center For The Performing Arts
Detroit, MI 28226
UPCOMING SHOW: Crud/Cybertrybe @ iLounge 04.03.10
The Sights - Doop and The Inside Outlaws - Good Touch Bad Touch - Alvin's, Detroit - 03/27/10
By Krazy K
Motor City Blogger
Alvin's is in "Cass Corridor", which is infamously dangerous. But don't worry, I didn't get killed or mugged...just shot at a few times. No, it's a safe-feeling place because it's very close to Wayne State University, and there are plenty of thick, black-rimmed glasses wearing students roaming around (although they'd probably film you, rather than help you, if something happened). What is it with black rimmed glasses anyway...is Buddy Holly popular again, or are they all equally "unique" in their unintentional conformity. Oh well...I won't make fun of this phenomenon anymore (until next paragraph).
Alvin's has been through a handful of owners over the past few years, but this current ownership has a lot of things done right. The stage is big, it feels like a real venue, the sound system is not too loud, the bar is accessible, and they have a lounge away from the stage if you want to get away from the crowds. I read a review on Alvins before I went there and someone said, "a little too suburban looking to be in Cass Corridor". And what that person meant to say is that he doesn't like clean places, and he prefers to spill cheap beer(pabst blue ribbon)on his black-rimmed glasses. Whoops, just said it again. Now I'm just being mean.
My biggest complaint about Alvin's is two particular bathroom situations. First, the bathrooms are up a flight of narrow, metal edged stairs, seemingly ripe for unintentional suicide to anyone drinking alcohol...somehow they got a liquor license? I guess that's Detroit. And second, in the men's bathroom, it is still operating circa 1800 technology with a trough for us gentlemen to dangle our pee-pee's around (see picture...now that's photo-journalism baby!). How can you afford great renovations, glass block walls, guitars mounted on the walls, and yet still have a penis showcase in the men's bathroom? I have a problem with peeing in my own bathtub, little own a trough where we look like we're fishing for urinal cakes. And it's too suburban? Hah!
Great place overall, great sound, plenty of seating, nice bartenders, clean and welcoming, a long history of being a music venue...and they currently serve Hip-Hop IPA from Black Lotus Brewery (a great local brewer and venue in it's own right!)
Note from Editor: Alvin's has had 3 ownership changes in 5 years resulting in a hodge podge of show bookings and overall closings for months at a time - the previous owner who sold to the latest was a WSU Grad Lawyer who had high hopes but couldnt knock it up a notch - New ownership has taken the place from shit to shine including the bathrooms which compared to prior are good to eat off of....this place is seriously like a Hard Rock Cafe without the HRC and after a 6 figure investment that opened the grill for lunch and dinner they are now booking decent shows. Furthermore - the shit faced rif raff that used to hassle customers have been "handled" resulting in a top notch venue on campus that hosts TechTown events and is on its way to the top.
I'm really tough on bands and musicians, because I'm an elitist snob and musician myself. But rest assured, I do not play Jazz. I'm just sick of seeing people selling only energy and garage crock. I'd rather see someone play something more original and melodically dynamic...and in the rare instance that someone can sing, that's a plus.
The first band, Good Touch Bad Touch, was far and above the most interesting band of the night. They had a lot of versatility, and I was somewhat confused as to who I should compare them to, which is a good thing. They had pleasingly digestible and powerful pop-rock driven songs. Good vocal harmonies, and humble musicians. I even admit that I had to ask them who they sound like. No musician likes to compare themselves to other bands, but us readers need some kind of comparison, so they were kind enough to oblige me. Imagine "The Kinks", and "The Replacements", mix them in blender, and sprinkle some Detroit dust in there.
The second band, Doop and The Inside Outlaws, were probably the "sore thumb" of the night...meaning they stuck out. I'm not entirely sure how they fit the bill. They were more along the lines of Tom Petty, but with even more country swing. I liked them because they were dynamic and seemingly well-rehearsed, and the drummer even sang harmonies (which is no easy task). There was also a pedal steel(table guitar), which was proficiently used and probably the biggest reason I kept hearing the country flavor. They're a very nuanced country-rock pop band, Detroit's own version of Tom Petty, for lack of a better comparison. Perhaps one could argue they are pigeonholed in that genre because they didn't display a lot of variance, but if it works, you gotta stick to your guns (and spurs).
The headliner, and last band, was The Sights. Not surprisingly, their name starts with the word "The" (see: The Hard Lessons, The Muggs). Their own description of the band says, "The Sights continue to build on an incredible legacy of uncanny blues-rock-power pop". Legacy is defined as: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. Uncanny is defined as: being beyond what is normal or expected.
Well, I expected what I saw, which was pretty much the same type of music you can hear from any of the "THE" bands from Detroit. They all seem to blend together, with slightly different substance, but an overall similar experience. Perhaps selling more energy than originality, non-inspiring raucous vocals, and certainly not uncanny for anyone who has been to a handful of rock shows in Detroit. They were well rehearsed, and did have some bright spots in song structure.
But to their defense they have a lot of fans, and that means they are appealing to people. I'm not sure if their appeal is based more on musicality, energy, or marketing, but something is working with their masses. And I suppose it could be worse...at least garage-rock is still rock. They are still playing instruments. And I have to applaud anyone who hasn't turned to DJ's, auto-tuning, sequencers and electronica. Thanks for keeping rock alive guys! Now where are my glasses?
Check out the bands on myspace! Good Touch Bad Touch, Doop and The Inside Outlaws, and The Sights.
Vote for Redford Theater - "Best of Detroit"
(photos by Riaz K)
Dear Redford Theatre supporter:
We have the opportunity to win "BEST OF DETROIT" in the Metro Times. If we win, we will get valuable publicity and exposure in their weekly paper and on their website. We all know that the best publicity is word-of-mouth and free. This is one of those opportunities for us to raise our profile in Metro Detroit and continue to attract crowds to our events.
Will you please take the time to vote either online at this link: http://www.metrotimes.com/bod/poll.asp
or with a paper ballot. We have a limited supply of paper ballots, just let me know if you have someone who would like one. Deadline is March 31.
Here's the simple rules to make your vote count:
1. One person, one vote.
2. You must vote for a minimum 20 categories or the whole ballot is discounted.
3. You can mail in the paper ballot
Please vote for the Redford Theatre in "BEST PLACE TO SEE A MAINSTREAM FILM"
Please vote for the Three Stooges Festival in "BEST LOCAL FILM FESTIVAL"
And remember, vote for a minimum of 20 categories.
Feel free to recruit your friends, family and work acquaintances to vote for us too.
Thanks for helping,
The Publicity Team
Wild At Heart
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
It was an interesting week for shows. I managed to go to two shows last week where I prefered the opening bands to the headliners. Manchester Orchestra put on a decent show despite the fact that they don't understand the concept of a encore. After playing for about an hour and fifteen minutes, lead singer Andy Hall just said "we played for almost an hour and a half" and the band just walked offstage and the lights came up despite fans yelling for more. At least do a one song encore if you are doing a short set, esp when the fans are really into it. For me, I took away the sonunds of the Features, an American indie rock band from Tennessee which has a nice upbeat sound that reminds me a bit of Camper Van Beethoven. Then the next night was Matthew Good which just didn't inspire me. Luckily the opener, Automatic Loveletter (formerly Stars And Scars) put on a nice acoustic set with some frantic vocals by Juliet Simms that had me rocking. This weekend I also took in the Saturday Night Taylor Swift show which started by an all too short set by Gloriana which I think is an great up-and-coming country band and then fan favorite Kellie Pickler. Then the lovely Taylor Swift came out strong with the first song and the whole band, including taylor dressed as a high school pep band and cheerleaders. The show had numerous set and wordrobe changes ranging from renaissance influenced wardrobe to a beautiful yellow sundress she wore while walking through the crowd starting from the back of the stands to a small circular stage towards the back. The show ended with Taylor getting drenched in a small rain shower. The best part was the 8 minute fan scream fest where Taylor stood on stage looking like she was going to melt with joy on stage due to the reaction to her by her fans. I almost felt a tear in my eye watching her reaction. I have never seen a artist on stage look as appreciative for her fans that I have with Taylor. You rock girl!! Never thought I would enjoy this show as much as I did.
Taylor has two songs which talk about fairytales which was also the theme of the ballet Sleeping Beauty which played this past weekend. The ballet scenario that Tchaikovsky worked on was based on the Brothers Grimm's version of Perrault's work entitled 'Dornröschen'. In that version, the Princess's parents (the King and the Queen) survived the 100-year sleep to celebrate the Princess's wedding to the Prince. However, Vsevolozhsky incorporated some of Perrault's characters from other stories into the ballet, such as Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood who both looked sexy in their outfits when they danced. I esp liked the White Cat and Puss in Boots doing a very sexy and playful dance as well as dangerous playfullness of the one between Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. I have never been a huge ballet fan but this was a nice, unique show by the Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre which gave me a new appreciation for this form of dance. I can't say enough how much I love seeing productions at the Opera House which is a wonderful venue and a real Detroit treasure. Go to www.motopera.org for a look at their next show, the opera "Don Giovanni" which starts April 10th.
Now, here are a couple of films that have opened this week starting with "Greenberg" by Noah Baumbach whose previous films include "The Squid And The Whale" (one of my favorite films) and "Margot At The Wedding", two films which rely on strong dialogue and subtle storytelling. The film follows Roger Greenberg (Stiller), a 40 year old man who recently lost his job and is housesitting for his successful brother. Suffering from a slight depression, he is having a moment of disconnect from life and decides not too look for a new job and just exist. Through watching his house, Greenberg meets his brother's assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig) who is helping out and inbetween bad relationships herself. Greenberg also catches up with Ivan (Rhys Ifans), a friend he hasn't seen in years and holds an unresolved issue. The film itself, like all of Noah's movies, requires the audience to pay attention and their is some wonderful dialogue, esp a conversation between Greenberg and a bunch a teenagers about how he doesn't want to meet them in a job interview. If you like your films smart and intelligent, this film fits bill. Not as good as his last two but still better than most. My grade is a B.
There has been a big upswing in good animated films from companies other than Disney/Pixar and Miyazaki films in recent years. The latest is DreamWorks "How To Train Your Dragon" which tells the story of a mythical Viking village at the end of the world. This town has a slight pest problem in the name of a variety of dragons which burns their village and steals their food in a neverending battle between man and beast. In this town is a young Viking teenager named "Hiccup" who aspires to follow his tribe's tradition of becoming a dragon slayer though he prefers to use his brains instead of his braun. After capturing his first dragon, and with it his chance at finally gaining the tribe's acceptance, he finds that he no longer has the desire to kill it and instead befriends it. By hanging out with the dragon, he learns techniques to fight dragons without having to use weapons. When his relationship is discovered, the other Vikings capture the dragon and use him to find the fabled isle of dragons despite Hiccup's warning their is a bigger threat than the dragons. In the end of course everything works out but I won't tell you how. This story of a boy and his dragon is not the greatest animated film but it is a very enjoyable film which parents should enjoy as much as their kids. My grade is a B+.
Their is not a whole bunch going on this week as far as concerts but there are some nice shows coming up:
Tuesday (3/30) the crazy Black Lips @ Magic Stick, indie rockers Spoon @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, the strong local band Lettercamp opens for You Say Party! We Say Die! @ Pike Room
Wednesday (3/31) rockers Stone Temple Pilots @ Fillmore
Friday (4/02) blues great The Robert Cray Band @ Sound Board Theater (MotorCity Casino), the bouncy Grace Slick look-a-like Janelle Monáe @ St Andrews Hall, the wonderful local band the Fondas @ Majestic Cafe, the Swamp Sisters open for the Beggars @ Magic Bag, Finnish rockers HIM @ Clutch Cargos (listen to Wild At Heart for interview with lead singer Daniel Lioneye next saturady morning 8-10AM), local folkers Steppin' In It @ the Ark
Saturday (4/03) Japanese psychadelic masters Acid Mother's Temple @ Pike Room, stoners Cheech & Chong @ Michigan Theatre, Super 70's Soul Jam w/ the O'Jays and Stylistics @ Fox Theatre, Four Hour Friends open for Cannon @ Majestic Cafe, Bump w/ Electric Fire Babies @ Magic Bag, local band Pistol Day Parade @ New York New York (Chesterfield Twp)
Sunday (4/04) Emily Haines fronted Metric @ WFCU Centre (Windsor)
Monday (4/05) Strokes lead singer Julian Casablancas @ St Andrews Hall
Their is a special Black Eyed Peas event going on Tuesday, March 30th with over 475 theatres nationwide., NCM Fathom and AEG Live bring "The Black Eyed Peas: The E.N.D. World Tour LIVE" presented by BlackBerry to the big screen for an exclusive One Night Only concert event featuring an explosive two-hour performance by GRAMMY Award-winning The Black Eyed Peas broadcast LIVE as it occurs from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The performance will be preceded by 30 minutes of backstage footage from their tour that can only be seen in movie theatres! Go to http://www.ncm.com/Fathom/ConcertsAndMusic/event/BlackEyedPeas.aspx for theatre near you for showtimes including AMC Livonia 20 and Oxford 7 to name 2 of 20 Michigan Theatres involved.
On the music front, singer Johnny Maestro whose quality vocals, great song selections and recordings with dance-easy beats made the winning combination for charted hits with hits like "16 Candles" (the Molly Ringwald led John Hughes movie took it's name from this song), "Trouble in Paradise" and "Six Nights a Week" with The Crests and later a long career with The Brooklyn Bridge who had their biggest hit with "The Worst That Could Happen" has died of cancer at the age of 70.
Now for the Band Of The Week: Blackmore's Night. I wasn't familiar with this band until last week. I was playing "Stone Cold" by Rainbow when a listener called in for another Blackmore led band Deep Purple. While researching, I came across Blackmore's Night which is a Renaissance-inspired folk rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and his wife and vocalist Candice Night. They met at a football game in which he was playing and later Night did back-up vocals on Rainbow's album "Stranger in Us All". They became romanticaly involved when discovered that they shared a passionate interest in the Renaissance. Launched in 1997 as a pun of their own names. They are known for playing Renaissance Festivals as well as in stand-alone concert tours in appropriate venues including 'castle tours' of Europe where they perform in historic surroundings for an audience dressed largely in period costume. They have an incredible sound which I found solid and exciting. Hope you enjoy them too.
Also, in a recent BBC News interview former Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwell endorsed free music downloading, coming just as the British government plans to crack down on illegal downloaders. Hugh, currently touring the United States, argues that a new generation is exposed to his music through the internet and they, in turn, spend more money on his live performances. He says, “There’s a whole generation of people who have never heard of me or the band I used to be in, The Stranglers. The question is, how do I reach them?...As far as I’m concerned, the free downloading of music is something we should embrace and not fear… People introduced to my music free online are more likely to buy my records and come to my live shows”. Hugh is pioneering free downloads as his latest album, "Hooverdam", is available for free download at his website, Hughcornwell.com. I saw Hugh a couple of years ago when they opened for From The Jam at the Crofoot. He puts on an amazing show though the closest he is scheduled to be to Detroit is an April 10th appearance at the Abbey Pub in Chicago. Road trip possibility?
Catching up with Celebrity Apprentice which is a show I rarely watch. I typically hate reality shows which in my opinion have gone downhill since the glory days of "Candid Camera", "The Gong Show" and "That's Incredible". However my babe Cyndi Lauper is on the show. Episode 1 had her as project manager for team Tenacity as they raised money for charity by working a diner. Despite her team losing the first week, she managed to hang on. Episode 2 had both teams running a campaign for a company from my home town, Kodak, and the women nailed it. Watching the show, I realize how special Cyndi is and how wacky her decisions are. Esp telling was the way Cyndi was unable to pick the two members of the team to bring back to the firing line and how bad she felt when Carol was fired. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to interview her when she comes to town on July 1st at Motorcity's Sound Board. Watching her makes me realize more why I am a fan of hers. Also just got the Japanese copy of her EP Shine which was actually a full album in Japan which is awesome. I will keep watching the show until she gets fired which I hope isn't for awhile. I was also surprised by the strength of character for Bret Michaels on the show. Rockers rule!!
Have a good week. I have also rented a copy of "American Virgin" in which I was an extra in about a year ago so hopefully when watching it I'll see myself. If I do, I'll let you know. Take care and have a good week. Quickly on the sports front, congrats to Michigan St for making the Final Four and I am a big Duke fan so I'm glad they are there. In NCAA hockey, the hot Michigan team which I thought might go all the way lost to Miami (OH) who joins Boston College, the Big Ten's Wisconsin and my home town team, RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) in the Frozen Four which comes to Ford Field next week (April 8th and 10th) in what should be a great tournament. Later!
GARY GRIMSHAW BENEFIT APRIL 1 - FORANS Detroit
Lundgren, Mark Arminski and Leni Sinclair.
This is the inaugural show for the Grand Trunk Pub and Forans delux Diner.
The show has been put together by Don Bailey,the former owner of Butcher's
Inn that featured Detroit artists and their work for several years.
John Sinclair and Jeff Grand will be performing during the show.
No Cover, cash bar and the kitchen is open.
Please come out, enjoy, purchase ART and support Gary Grimshaw.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Grand Trunk Pub
610 Woodward (at congress)
City Center - LAger House Detroit - 4/5
After ten years of performing around the world, Thomas left his native Michigan and moved to New York City. He no longer had luxury of larger dwellings or soundproofed practice spaces. Instead, he had to adjust to the acceptable noise levels of apartment life...and thus with the addition of Howard, City Center came to be.
The band is touring behind their new limited-edition four-song short-player, Spring St. (Quite Scientific), and are making a concerted effort to play all-ages shows at art spaces and DIY venues in the hopes of recreating the same hands-on fan experience they cultivated with Saturday Looks Good to Me.
Heck-Rabi - Check this out!!
Here’s a little tease:
Easy As Hard Can Be, by Alan Ball (Natick, Ma.), directed by Marius Iliescu (Ann Arbor, Mi.).
A terminal, red-blooded codger contemplates life, death and transforms from his experience at the hospital. Great characters. Witty dialogue—“Your incorrigible.” “Don’t encourage me.” Funny and touching.
Furnishings, by Gregory Bailey (Vista, Ca.), directed by Katie Lietz Flannery (Livonia, Mi.) Parents cope with the frustration of raising a severely special needs child. Impressive physical performance.
All Kinds of Men, by Erman Jones (Oakley, Id.), directed by Alexandre Bleau (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). Dominatrix has some tricks up her…bustier. Good spankings, great props and a hilarious, unexpected story arc. This one took 1st place in the competition for good reason. You can catch the show again this Saturday (March 27) or next weekend (April 1-3). For more details, click here: http://motorcityblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/heck-rabi-wsu-detroit-theatre-march.html
Top Magic Records presents Elizabeth Butters - Cliff Bells Detroit - April 18th 2010
With entertainment from:
Brooklyn’s Elizabeth Butters is here to celebrate the release of her debut LP on Detroit’s Top Magic Records. Available only on 10” vinyl, with yellow or blue cover art, the LP features the songs which are the heart of Elizabeth’s being—the 1930s, highways and open roads, the Dust Bowl, and Bonnie & Clyde. True to the geography of the music, the album was recorded with the Soledad Brothers' Johnny Walker at his Masonic Temple residence in Covington, Kentucky in early 2008. Elizabeth has an encyclopedic knowledge of folk music, and this translates directly into her performances, which are marked by her uniquely charming voice and dulcimer skills. Elizabeth says she was born in the wrong era and suffers from nostalgia & false sympathies with the past. These sentiments are most evident in the presentation of her music. A purveyor of traditional American music, Elizabeth is a return to the real roots of folk with her dulcimer, pure vocal style & beguilingly simple guitar playing. The new record features many recognizable Appalachian folk blues classics, including Goodnight Irene, Will You Miss Me and Crow Jane.
Danny Kroha, a local legend in his own right, will regale us with the Detroit-blues inspired sounds that emit when Rust Belt acoustic guitars and slides meet, and those from his homemade diddly-bow. On the off chance you don't know, Kroha is the rock guitar master of The Readies and The Gories, and is formerly known as the skinny pale white wildman in the Demolition Dollrods. But aside from that rock business, Kroha knows his blues, a bit of knowledge that's a little too rare around here (though still better than most parts of the country, generally speaking).
NEXT WEEK: Leopold and his Fiction - Lager House DEtroit - APril 7th
OFFERS UNRELEASED SINGLE FROM UPCOMING THOM MONAHAN PRODUCED ALBUM EXCLUSIVELY ON TOUR
Wed Apr 7, 2010:
The Lager House - 1254 Michigan Avenue Detroit, MI DOOR TIME: 9 p.m.SHOW TIME: 9:30 p.m.PRICE: $5AGE: 21+Also on the bill: Hallway, Black Lodge
Returning to the studio to record their third album, Leopold and his Fiction encountered a number of firsts including the first recording with new line up of Daniel James (Vocals/Guitar), Micayla Grace (Bass Guitar/Vocals) and Jon Sortland (Drums/Vocals/Organ), working with producer Thom Monahan and the studio experience at The Hanger in Sacramento. For a sneak peak of the new album, go to Front Porch Musings (http://www.frontporchmusings.com/2009/11/leopold-and-his-fiction-big-ol-tour.html) and watch them perform “Virginia” live at The Independent.
Climbing to #30 on the CMJ charts for Ain’t No Surprise and making it into the top 20 with their self-titled debut, Leopold and his Fiction have earned praise from NPR, Relix and Big Takeover, among others. With live shows that prove to be as visually pleasing as they are audibly, SF Weekly states, “The local three-piece has more energy and soul on stage than I've seen in a long time…Lead singer Daniel James has a soulful, powerful voice that keeps your attention…He forced the crowd to come closer to the stage at the beginning of the set, and by the end he had half the room dancing.”
2010 Banff Mountain Film Festival - Cranbrook Institute of Science - Thurs/Friday April 8th/9th 7pm
Thursday and Friday, April 8+9, 7 pm