Overflowing the seating area, lining the sidewalk up and down Atwater street and the walkway of the riverfront, people of all ages, colors, creeds and walks of life came down to celebrate one of the greatest guitarists who helped christen this city on the map of rock music for eternity. KISS shirts, Frehley's Comets shirts, even a couple people in Space Ace makeup gathered anxiously for the grand moment when Ace took the stage. As he emerged from the side door of the GM building across the street to cheers and chants of "Ace! Ace! Ace!", the crowd swelled forward to the stage, eager to absorb every bit of energy that was about to be unleashed.
Launching in to "Rip It Out" from his eponymously titled album, Ace displayed a spirited abundance of rejuvenation, an excitement to be playing in Detroit that fueled the fans in to a cacophony of cheers. Following that with a mix of originals, KISS songs, covers, and even a guitar solo, he had the riverfront truly rocking as only the "D" can rock. Suits and ties next to headband adorned tattooed rockers, moms and children alike, fists pumped in the air, the party went on in to the night, a fitting release to the end of another long summer week in Detroit.
D: Everything runs together at this point, it didn’t seem like it was too long ago but yeah, three months I guess. We’ve been focused a lot, been touring around this region a lot still, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, this whole corridor has sort of become our spots. We’ve been building it for a while now, and it’s paying off.
D: Everybody that really understands what the refuge of music is all about knows that we’re all here to support each other and kind of give each other that extra little boost. Hopefully that’s what we’re providing, a rock and roll release.
D: It’s good, you know when you think about it, when you do it this way, when you’re out here every night earning every single fan, all those little victories are even sweeter. You don’t need this monumental success or big happenings to keep on going. You just need to see those familiar faces, and them bringing a couple extra people every time, and it’s starting to grow, starting to build. This is an area that’s been a little while since we’ve come through here. We finished up in Chesaning, MI. about two weeks ago before we took a couple weeks off. Now we’re looking forward to being back here and seeing how many people show up.
M: Have you guys played at Uli’s before?
D: I though we had but we hadn’t. I met Uli a couple of times at a few shows here in Michigan and he was always talking to us about making out here to the venue to play.
M: You guys just got back on tour today right? This is your first night back on the road?
D: First night, right. We all actually left my house around 5am this morning to go to the airport and hop on a plane and got in around noon in Detroit. It’s one of those crazy show travel days you know.
D: Aww man, it was a little tough. You could almost argue that it’s like staying in battle. You go home and it feels so good, that it makes it even harder to leave but we needed it, our bodies needed it, and my throat needed it. We’re a band that tries to play five or six nights a week and it’s not like we sandbag or anything and we bring it every night. But you certainly need to take a break and rest every once in a while.
D: Actually this has been kind of backwards for us. We’ve been doing a majority of headlining shows so it’s been a grind, but the Volbeat opportunity was chance for us to get some more experience. Playing a shorter set, bringing out your bangers, just come out and bring the energy to set the tone. But tomorrow we start out with Nonpoint where we’ll be in that same opening position. You have to build the core fans headlining-wise which takes a little bit of time, and it gets hard when you play for those 25-30 people every night. When you can correlate that with a good supporting opportunity that’s where you really start to see an impact and hopefully in the second half of the year we can see some of that hard work pay off.
M: Are there any venues that you’re looking forward to playing in particular this time out?
D: Like I said, we’ve been kind of grinding it out here solo, we haven’t really had an chance to get out with a lot of friends on sort of that tour package, where you can go out and have a lot of fun, be in battle together, and share the moment. I think more than actual venues themselves we’re looking forward to getting out with friends. We’ll be joining up with Sether, Sick Puppies, our friends in Kyng, that’s going to take up our month of October. September we’re going to be heading back out headlining and taking out some bands we’ve discovered and got to know over this last little tour. It’s more the camaraderie that we find every stop a long the way than any particular venue. We’re still working our way up the ladder.
D: There are a lot of bands out here that are really living on their passion and it’s really hard to expand some times and get some more exposure. I can’t call them local bands because in this day of social media, you can get your name out there. There’s a band called Vilified out there down in Florida, a three piece band, these young dudes with a lot of talent that just need the experience and we’re looking forward to taking them out with us.
M: So will Eye Empire be coming to Detroit this time?
D: Yeah, actually with the Kyng, Seether & Sick Puppies show. We’ll be ending there and can’t to play the Fillmore. We’re looking forward to playing a good sized venue and hopefully get some good attendance. We’ve been kind of slicing through the jungle alone and so we’re looking forward to getting out with our buddies in Kyng.
D: It’s nothing that we focus on. A band in our position is not really about how many we’re selling, it’s about marinating momentum and building it the honest way. We’re not trying to get any marketing trend together and trick people in to buying our record. It’s more than just CD sales. There’s a mentality, an overall feeling that’s going to help keep us together that kind of extends beyond record sales.
M: Here in Michigan a lot of cities have been hard hit by the economy and people are looking for a release, an escape.
D: I’ve always heard the argument that pop music is an escape because it’s a type of art, there’s no need to be serious because it’s just people wanting to have a good time. For me I think that’s fine, but I think there’s a way you can get your release and still stay focused on the issues at hand and create a positive environment in order to change certain things. That’s what our music is all about, I know sometimes it seems kind of dark in content but there’s always that light at the end of the tunnel. I think a lot of people are looking for that light, whether it be our record coming out or a new song, or coming to our live show in the area, we hope they come out and get a little bit of that light and hopefully we can all keep each other going.
M: How is the band doing in radio markets? I know you mentioned some prior stations you were getting airplay on in Flint, Tampa, Madison and SiruisXM.
D: We still have a lot of friends in those markets who continue to help us out, along with a lot of internet radio stations. Radio support is definitely important but the reality is there is a lot of different ways to get your music out there and get discovered. It’s such an independent level, completely organic, and until it even becomes relevant for us we’ll just let things happen as they do and focus on the live show. But if the people start demanding it, I guess they gotta play it right? (chuckles)
M: Is there anything else you want to add to the interview?
D: I think more than anything we just want people to understand that music should not just be a refuge, but a refuge that gives you an empowering sense to get back out there to do something in their live and the world. For us we’re trying to find people who want to be a part of something where they’re present and active and they help themselves to grow. In the end I think that’s not only going to sustain not only our career but the music that people come to appreciate. If they are invested in it, then they are going to be there through the thick and thin.
M: Thanks for your time, I look forward to you guys kicking ass tonight.
D: Absolutely, thanks man!
Another Blisswave Productions show gone right, with performances by our local underground artist Guilty Simpson, and special appearance by Brainfeeder (Discovered by none other than Steve Ellison of Flying Lotus) LA's phenomenal experimental beat artists Ras G, Dibiase, and more!
TV Lounge was full of hip hop beat heads and smoke clouds in the air. We set up the camera as good as we could, if you ever been to the TV Lounge for a show you know there isn't much lighting, but we decided to get what we could and got lots of bits of new beats out and the illest stuff you could find from LA.
MR.DIBIASE's set was taking me back to my childhood, from Nintendo to urban classic beats of the late 90s early 2000s. I never got sick of anything he played, he started to warp a lot of sounds together to create some cut up of mixes.
The crowd became ecstatic once Guilty Simpson appeared behind the booth. We heard lots of good classics by him with very exciting beats being played behind him.
Guilty rapped to some new beats as well, and we captured some of that.
Ras G's opening really enchanted everyone, caught everyone's attention all at once. Near the end of the set, the speakers couldn't handle his positive vibrational beats and it decided to kick mid set.
Fortunately we got to hear most of the set before that happened.
Met a really interesting and very important being that night while shooting, and that would be the promoter from BWP. I am working towards going to more of his shows and reviewing as much as possible.
I'd have to say if he doesn't agree with me on this one, I'd call him modest, but he is changing the way Detroit hears music and making a difference in this city with these shows. Showing local fans and artists alike how to listen and enjoy the magic of music and share the love for hip hop.
These shows have been blowing my mind as of late,
So thank them, most of all. If not for this crew, we wouldn't be having any of these great artists perform these low key parties, that set off the weekend and gets your night going.
Very fortunate for us, they allowed free admission to anyone with a wrist band that got in, it was at the Russell Industrial and even more music was being played there.
Stick around more for these shows, they're worth checking out. It could end up being your new favorite spot to find good hip hop live at a very low price.
I'd like to say thanks to BWP and the artists for the amazing show, and I will continue to support your shows!
Video up very soon! Stay tuned.
Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
Wild At Heart
Just got home from the Summerland Tour which is coming to Detroit and was rocking to Sugar Ray, Lit and Everclear. It was a rocking show though I must admit to having a bit more fun Saturday night when I went to the Bug Jar, recently reopened after a couple of shootings outside the venue and with the newly appointed security guards, for a couple of Detroit bands playing through on different tours.
The lobby had a new art retrospective inspired by Prince where I hung out with Sisters Of Your Sunshine Vapor prior to the show. This was day 2 of Fuzzfest which had Shonen Knife the day before. The Frustrations opened the show and laid down a nice sonic riff as they played their guitars in the audience area and brought some nice energy despite going on an hour late. They are on a tour of the east Coast going towards Florida and then back up the midwest and you can check them out here www.facebook.com/FrustrationsBand.
With the show running late, I didn't get to stay long. I had to be up at 5:30AM and they went on near 1AM. So I stayed for a few songs wishing I could stay longer. Sisters Of Your Sunshine Vapor had this nice garage rock/psychedelic feel, almost channeling the Doors. They are heading towards Wisconsin and eventually Ohio but I think they made a great impression here in Rochester and it was great seeing two strong Detroit bands so far from home. Feel free to send more bands our way and check these guys out at http://www.sistersofyoursunshinevapor.com/
Speaking of Detroit, here are a few good shows coming up this week:
Tuesday (7/31) - Bouncing Souls @ Magic Stick, Crosby Stills and Nash @ Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre
Wednesday (8/1) - Chicago & Doobie Brothers @ Pine Knob
Thursday (8/2) - Sugar Ray & Gin Blossoms w/Everclear & Lit @ MotorCity Casino, Gaelic Storm @ the Magic Bag, "Sonic Lunch" feat Macpodz @ Liberty Plaza (Ann Arbor)
Friday (8/3) - The Muggs & Sights @ Small's, "Happy Together Tour" w/Buckinghams & Turtles @ Caesar's Windsor, Lou Gramm @ Ren Center
Saturday (8/4) - WAR @ Ford Field, Five Finger Death Punch w/Killswitch Engage & Trivium @ Meadowbrook Theatre, Sugarland @ Pine Knob, Daughtry @ Ceasar's Windsor
Sunday (8/5) - Matisyahu @ the Fillmore
Monday (8/6) - Yes & Procol Harum @ Pine Knob
Reach her directly at www.GwenJoy.com
Reach her directly at www.GwenJoy.com
The Japanese trio Shonen Knife has made major fans out of alt-rock's elite (Sonic Youth, Nirvana, and Redd Kross, among others) and built a solid, worldwide cult following with their Ramones meets the Beatles brand of sticky sweet punk-pop. Comprised of members Michie Nakatani (vocals, bass), Naoko Yamano (vocals, guitar), and Atsuko Yamano (drums), Shonen Knife originally formed during December of 1981 in their hometown of Osaka, Japan (all three members were working at the time as office clerks), before playing their first real show in March of the following year. Soon after, the group began issuing albums in their native land, including 1982's cassette-only release Minna Tanoshiku (English translation: Everybody Happy?), 1983's Burning Farm, 1984's Yama No Attchan, and 1986's Pretty Little Baka Guy (the latter of which was reissued with extra tracks four years later, under the title Pretty Little Baka Guy/Live in Japan). Although their records were only available in the U.S. via import, Shonen Knife struck a chord with the underground with a track of theirs appearing on the Sub Pop 100 compilation in 1986. Also, in 1989, a variety of alternative bands recorded renditions of their favorite Shonen Knife songs for the tribute album Every Band Has a Shonen Knife Who Loves Them.
1990 saw the first Shonen Knife release to be issued outside of Japan, a self-titled compilation that featured the entire Burning Farm and Yama No Attchan albums, as well as three tracks that were only previously available on the obscure Japanese comp Aura Music. Shortly thereafter, the group began touring America on a somewhat regular basis, supporting their 1991 release 712 with some dates opening for Nirvana just prior to the runaway success of Cobain and co.'s now-classic Nevermind album. With Shonen Knife now the hip band to name drop, the group signed their first major U.S. recording contract with Capitol, resulting in the release of one of their finest (and best-known) albums, 1992's Let's Knife. A year later, the group switched to the Virgin label, issuing Rock Animals, which would spawn a semi-popular MTV video with "Tomato Head" (even landing a spot on the station's popular animated series Beavis & Butthead).
1994 saw the trio perform as part of the traveling alternative rock festival Lollapalooza and contribute a cover of "Top of the World" to the Carpenters tribute album If I Were a Carpenter, while Virgin issued an 18-track collection of rare tracks, Birds & the B-Sides, in 1996. Although they were able to greatly expand their U.S. fan base, the group never obtained the breakthrough success that was expected by many, resulting in Shonen Knife returning to the independents and issuing such further releases as 1997's Brand New Knife, 1998's Happy Hour, and the 2000 Japan-only release Strawberry Sound (which featured the band's revamped lineup of Atsuko Yamano on bass and Mana Nishiura, who joined Shonen Knife after Nakatani left in 1999, on drums).
Vocalist Naoko Yamano was the only original member for the mid to late 2000s, but even after twenty-plus years, and difficulties maintaining a constistent line-up, the band showed no signs of slowing. In 2005, Oglio reissued the band's first four albums, and the band released Genki Shock in Japan; late that year, Nishiura was killed in a New Jersey traffic accident while touring with DMBQ. Both Shonen Knife and DMBQ performed at a tribute concert for Nishiura that was held in Kyoto in spring 2006, shortly before the U.S. release of Genki Shock. Shonen Knife continued on with drummer Etsuko Nakanishi, releasing a live album and another full-length titled Super Group in 2009. A few months after completing 2010's Free Time, drummer Nakanishi parted ways with the band, to be replaced by Emi Morimoto.
The 3rd Annual Detroit Bike Week is bigger and better in 2012 with “Sons of Anarchy” star Ryan “Opie” Hurst, Poor Boy Choppers’ bike giveaway, Guinness World Record-breaking rides, tattoo, wing eating and bikini contests, and much, much more! Kicking off Friday July 27 and running through Sunday July 29, Detroit Bike Week will once again be held at the beautiful Multi-Lakes Conservation Association in Commerce Township, Michigan. Tickets are just $10 per day or $20 for a weekend pass (kids 12 & under free) and are now available at detroitbikeweek.com or at the main gate during the festival. Detroit Bike Week hours are Friday from 12 pm – 1 am, Saturday 10 am – 1 am, and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm. All ages are welcome to attend. The first 10, 000 bikes through the gates receive a complimentary kickstand plate courtesy of Detroit Bike Week sponsor Progressive Insurance.
Last year’s Detroit Bike Week drew nearly 10,000 attendees. This year organizers hope to top this turnout with highlights such as an appearance by Ryan Hurst, “Opie” from FX’s hit biker drama “Sons of Anarchy.” Hurst will be on hand on Sunday, July 29 for a public meet and greet from 11 am – 12:30 pm and a private meet and greet (tickets for this are an additional $50) from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm. From 1 pm – 2 pm Harley Davidson riders are invited to join a ride lead by Hurst in an attempt to break the Guinness World Book of Records’ record for most Harleys in one ride. At 5 pm Hurst will give away a custom Bobber built by Poor Boy Choppers on the "106.7 The D" Stage to one lucky fan in the crowd. Everyone who attends Detroit Bike Week on Sunday will be entered to win (must be present to win).
Highlights throughout the weekend include a Custom Bike Show, Bike Classes, Cage Fights, Freestyle Motocross jumps and BMX stunts, Demo Rides, Burnout Pits, Poker Run and Bike Blessing. Between events, The Detroit Bike Week Saloon sponsored by Red Stag will be the place to hang out and enjoy drinks by Jim Beam, Miller, Twisted Tea, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade while being entertained by Mark Maze all weekend.
Approximately $20,000 in prizes will be up for grabs during the festival, including Poor Boy Chopper’s Bobber Giveaway, and these contests: Miss Detroit Bike Week Babe, Buffalo Wild Wings wing eating and Lucky Monkey Tattoo’s ink awards. Multiple Guinness World Book of Records will be attempted this year – and Detroit Bike Week attendees will be invited to help break records in a variety of motorcycle categories.
Additionally, fans of reality TV’s “Orange County Choppers” can see one of Paul Jr.’s custom bikes on display. The bike will be raffled off to benefit the March of Dimes in November – and attendees can check out the bike and buy their raffle ticket during Detroit Bike Week.
Throughout the weekend there will be great live music by Top Dog/Atlantic recording artist Ty Stone, Kid Rock tribute band Cowboy, Black Sabbath tribute acts, and great live and local rock by Robert James, Twistin’ Tarantulas, Citizen Zero, Kaleido, 60 Second Crush, Dirty Americans, Badd Habitz, Stealing Betty, SRP, Ray Street Park, Mound Road Engine, Paulina Jayne, and over 20 other bands.
With close to 100 vendors selling biker lifestyle and accessories, Detroit Bike Week will be a mecca for everything motorcycle!
Multi-Lakes Conservation Association is located at 3860 Newton Rd in Commerce Township, Michigan (in Oakland County just north of Novi). The venue is easily accessed from M-5 while still offering a beautiful ride into nature. Sitting on acres of protected land hosting lakes, rolling green hills and trees, the Conservation offers a secluded environment for festivalgoers to relax with friends and enjoy this wide variety of activities.
MOTORCITYBLOG is a sponsor of STEREOTERRA MUSIC FESTIVAL
Eye Empire Official Website:
Interview with DC from earlier in 2012 at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, MI.