Promote your event / Contact MCB

email us anytime


Star Wars Night with the Detroit Derby Girls

Grand Prix Madonnas versus the D-Funk Allstars
Saturday, February 2nd at the Masonic Temple
$15, Doors at 6, bout starts at 7

Everything is better with Star Wars. Be on the lookout for these Star Wars themed items that will be passed out by the D-Funk Allstars.

A little input from Fatal Femme, Captain of the D-Funk Allstars:
Detroit Area Dork: What can you tell us about D-Funk's midseason draft picks?
Fatal Femme: We picked up two amazing transfers, Boomz and Rinky Hijinx. D-Funk is so excited to show them off during the Bout on Saturday. Due to an injury, Roxanna Hardplace will be sitting this one out, along with Ruby and Seoul. This is going to be a hard bout without them, but picking up these great vets is a huge plus for us.
D: Who do you think will have the most elaborate Star Wars costumes on Saturday?
F: This is way to hard to answer. This group of people LOVE over the top, and LOVE dressing up to theme even more. I have seen a sneak peak of Tig's from the Whippers costume, so I will have to go with her, ha-ha.

DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT with GOJIRA - St. Andrews Hall 2/10/13

Starting today, Devin Townsend--guitar virtuoso and musical genius--will be touring North America with GOJIRA and THE ATLAS MOTH

DTP will be touring in support of their latest effort, Epicloud, which features the hit single, "Lucky Animals".  Named one of the best metal albums of 2012 by Decibel Magazine, Metal, and countless others.

Devin Townsend Project, The Atlas Moth and GOJIRA
will be hitting ST. ANDREWS HALL here in Detroit 
Sunday February 10th
Doors at 7

Because we ALWAYS hook it up - MOTORCITYBLOG has a pair of tickets to give you for the show!  Shoot an email over to us for a chance to win!  (DTP/Gojira Tickets in the subject line)


RECEPTION THIS FRIDAY - Camera: Cinema Revised by Christian Helser

Now through February 24

Camera: Cinema Revised by Christian Helser

Reception Friday, February 1, 2013

6:00 pm - 9:00pm

Cafe 1923
2287 Holbrook


Detroit Derby Girls: Bouts 4 and 5

Bout 4
The first bout of the night was the Grand Prix Madonnas versus the Devil's Night Dames. Both of these teams entered this bout without a loss this season, and both of them were coming off of highs they achieved by starting the season strong. GPM, who came in second last season, has already defeated the reigning champs, and the Dames got their first win in two years.

In the very first jam, Racer McChaseHer scored 12 points for the Grand Prix Madonnas, while Pish Posh, jammer for the Dames got sent to the penalty box. The Dames got on the board in the next jam when Yo-yo scored 3, but they wouldn't score again until the 7th jam, when Yo-yo scored another 5. During that time Anomaly made a 10 point play for GPM, and along with some other scoring, they were ahead 29-8.

The Dames were again shut out over the next 4 jams until Swift Justice scored them 4 points, with GPM still far ahead, 41-12. A 5 point play from Pish Posh in the 13th, along with a startling leap manuever from Doom Shakalaka in the 16th when she scored 4 helped the Dames gain more ground, but they were still behind, 46-21. Over the next 8 jams they only managed to score 1 more point, with the first half ending 90-22.

The second half was even harder on the Dames, as they would only score another 14 points. As GPM's defense got tighter in the second half, so did their offense. Anomaly made big 16 point plays in both the 6th, and the 12th jams, along with a 12 point gain by Sham Wow in the 13th. Final score, 191-36.

GPM's Captain, Spanish Ass'assin:
Detroit Area Dork: What are you thinking right now about tonight's bout?
Spanish Ass'assin: I'm so ecstatic. The girls, they came out, and played the way that they normally do. We actually had a little pep talk at haft time. The holiday break happened right before the bout, so there wasn't a whole lot of practicing going on. You can always tell when people are away from their skates and away from their teams a lot, and it takes a minute to get back together. We had a little talk at half time, pulled it together, and the girls played just like they always do. I couldn't be prouder of them.
D: What do you think the team got right tonight?
S: When we realized we were letting our walls up a bit, we pulled that together. The score says it all. They scored 22 points in the first half, and only 14 in the second half. Walls make or break a bout. We were focusing on our defense first, and locking their jammers down, and they did it, and it worked. You take away their points, and it's pretty much downhill from there.
D: When the score is that far apart, do you try to go easy toward the end, or do you try to achieve that larger point difference, because there's an incentive to do so for the rankings?
S: Absolutely not. We know the Dames are notorious for being a second half team. We know they have a lot of heart. They fix what they're doing wrong in the first half, and they come at it hard in the second half. Part of that speech was "sure we're up by some points, but it's not enough, and it's not going to be enough". So we had to come out harder than we did in the first half and keep going, or else they were going to get on their love, their luck, and that winning high they came in with, and they were going to run us. We just kept going. We didn't give up. We never stopped. We didn't change much of the playing time. Our new girls got in and they got some good experience, but we weren't letting up one bit.
D: In bouts like this, where you have a big win, is it hard to find flaws that you need to work on in practice?
S: No, because it's very hard to play perfectly. Even when you win, and even when you get points, there's always something that feels wrong. When you see your bout footage reviews, you can see it. You can see what you can do better. You can see when they were scoring points, when they were getting out before us, those litle things. It's the same whether you win by 5 points or whether you win by 300 points. When you're not doing things right, things happen. So you gotta see those and you adjust, no matter how big or how little it is.

Manager of the Devil's Night Dames, Dr. Rocktopus:
Detroit Area Dork: What are you thinking right now about that bout?
Dr. Rocktopus: I think GPM played their game, and played it how they wanted to, and we had a hard time adjusting to it. That was our biggest problem with our game. They've trained really hard to play the way they want to play, and we let it get to us.
D: What does GPM do right?
R: Their recycling and their walls. They have very specific blockers for very specific jammers, and they have very specific plays that they ran like clockwork tonight, everytime.
D: Can you identify anything that your team did wrong tonight?
R: I don't think it's necesarily anything my team did wrong as opposed to just trying to figure out what GPM was doing right. I think that they did a lot of positive things. It was just finding a way to break their walls, that was our biggest problem. We just weren't able to do it tonight. There's a big size differential between our two teams. GPM definitely took advantage of their size.
D: After that victory in the first bout, were you expecting this one to go better for you than it did?
R: It's really hard to say, because everyone had their different styles of play. I think something that definitely hampered us was a lack of practices between our last bout and this bout. I think having a lot of strong practices, and getting to work on our skills. You know when you throw the holidays in, and then only having four practices, that makes it a little difficult to really work on what you want to work on.
D: What do you think you need to work on most for the next bout?
R: I think for the next bout it's just going back to playing how we play. We're a really scrappy team, and I think we play well against other scrappy teams. I think the matchup with the Pistoffs, we're both scrappy teams. We both go out and play hard derby, and I think that's where our strong suit is, just going out and playing hard derby.

Bout 5
Whereas the first bout was between two teams that went in without any losses, the second bout, D-Funk Allstars versus the Pistolwhippers, was between two teams without a victory. Ally Sin Shoverland put the first points on the board, putting D-Funk up 3-0. The Whippers didn't score until the 3rd jam when Meli Ali scored 4. The first explosive play of this bout came in the 6th, when Sam-I-Slam scored 14 points for the Whippers, putting them ahead for the first time in the bout, 18-11. The 8th jam had strong offensive plays from both teams, when Ally scored 8 for D-Funk, and Genniferal scored 10 for the Whippers, which still kept the Whippers ahead, 31-23.

Sam-I-Slam scored the Whippers 9 points in the 10th, helping them pull away and widen their lead to 41-28. D-Funk came back, as Ally scored 10 in the 11th, and Tinja scored 13 in the 12. D-Funk was now ahead 51-41. Roxanna Hardplace made another huge play for D-Funk when she scored 18 points in the 17th jam, putting her team ahead 70-47.

The trajectory of this bout would completely change from one jam to the next. The 18th jam ended with D-Funk ahead 70-52. In the next jam Lazer Beam scored 20 unanswered points for the Whippers, putting them back in the lead again. In the last couple jams of the first half an invisible gremlin was tap-dancing all over the controls for the scoreboard, but I'm pretty sure the half ended with the Whippers ahead 77-74.

The gremlin was back on top that scoreboard after halftime, and it didn't get run off untl the 2nd, and by that time D-Funk was on top again, 83-76. The lead was widened in the next jam, when Meryl Slaughterburgh scored 15. D-Funk held onto a modest lead, and made it an even bigger one when Roxanna made a 15 point play in the 13th jam, while the Whippers' jammer and 2 of their blockers were in the penalty box.

Another breakout play from Meryl gave D-Funk another 15 points in the 18th jam, keeping D-Funk ahead at 181-105. D-Funk didn't score again for the remaining 5 jams of the bout. Despite a 14 point performance by Lazer Beam in the last jam, they just couldn't bridge that gap, and D-Funk won 181-126.

Parting thoughts with Lazer Beam, Captain of the Pistolwhippers:
Detroit Area Dork: What's on your mind right now about this bout?
Lazer Beam: I think the Pistolwhippers have a lot of work to do. Never been in last place since I've been on the team, and we are now. We have to get back to practice, and start working on the basics again.
D: There were several lead changes through-out the bout, and then in the second half D-Funk really started to pull away. What happened?
L: Our jammers kept going in the box. The way that the game has changed so much, if you go to the box, you're in the box for a few jams, and jammers in the box will lose the game for you.
D: Was there a certain penalty that kept tripping you up?
L: Our jammers kept getting called for cuts. So if you think you're going to cut, you gotta fall, or if you're not sure if you're out, you gotta go behind everybody. It sucks that you gotta start all over again through that massive pack of great blockers that D-Funk has, or that any of the other 4 teams have, but you have to do it, because you can't win games in the box. That's just the history of the Whippers. We're notorious for going to the box, and it has to change.
D: In hindsight, how do you think you should have prepared for D-Funk?
L: I think that it was a very close game at first. I think that what we did to prepare for them was working until we started going to the box. It's one of those things where we can do down-ups all day long in practice for having to go the box, but when you don't have as many practices as you should have as a team, and you don't get to scrimmage other teams...playing in the games is totally different from practicing. I am really proud of my team though. We held it together. We didn't lose our cool. We've been working really hard. We've still got 2 more games to go, and we've got some time to prepare now. We're going to come back, and we're going to skate hard. Hopefully we'll win our next game.
D: So the holidays screwed up your practice schedule?
L: We only had 3 practices between our bouts, and normally we have about 10.
D: In the last bout you said the team had a jammer shortage. How would you compare it to this bout?
L: It was better. We have Mel back, and Sam did fantastic. We got to throw Boo in there as we needed. They were just stronger than us today. They were the better team today.

Mad Hatcher, Co-captain of the D-Funk Allstars:
Detroit Area Dork: What are you thining about this bout?
Mad Hatcher: I am really excited, because I think we addressed certain things we wanted to work on, and we actually accomplished them. It's a really fun thing when it actually works out the way you want it to.
D: What was that exactly?
M: We were trying to make sure to really take advantage of what was happening at the very beginning of the jam. We were really rushing to get the line, and get into position so that we could give the best advantage to our jammer, and we got a lot of lead jams. Our last game we weren't getting lead a lot, and we were really trying to work on little offensive moves that would help us get lead right away.
D: There were a lot of lead changes throughout the bout, and in the second half you really pulled away. What changed?
M: I think we went in at half time, and we were really able to evaluate what was working for us and what wasn't. We came back out focused and resolved, and we were really ready to win, and we tried to play smarter. I think it worked. We had better communication. We were watching for each other. We had better communication with our jammers. I think that's what happened.
D: Do you think the Whippers' gameplay changed in the second half?
M: I think it did. I was really impressed with their intensity throughout, and I could tell they kept fighting. They really did turn up the fighting level in the second half. I always love playing them, because I think we're fairly even teams, and we really like each other off and on the track, and we play a really fair game. They tried to turn it up, but we just kept going.
D: How's it going filling the vacancies left by all those vets leaving?
M: I think we've just tried to figure out what everybody's new roles are. We're getting better and better at that every time. We switched our lines around this time. We were really trying to pay attention to the new combinations of people and take advantage of that.

I like to question Mad Hatcher and Captain Fatal Femme together whenever I can, but sometimes I have to settle for one at time:
Detroit Area Dork: What are you thinking about this bout right now?
Fatal Femme: I'm thinking we finally came together as a team. I don't know if there was anything else we could have done to do any better. I'm really proud of us. I think we had a really good game.
D: While there were several lead changes in the first half, you really pulled ahead in the second. What changed?
F: We decided in the locker room that we needed to stay out of the box, we need to close off the inside, and wall up tighter. All those things we actually did, and it worked to our advantage.
D: Did the Whippers gameplay change in the second half? Did they fail to excecute like they were in the first?
F: I don't think so. I did notice that I hit Honey [Suckit] early in the second half, and I didn't see her again. I know she's a good jammer for them, and a good blocker for them, and I hope she's okay. I don't know if there was any game change that happened for them or not.
D: Does it feel good to win after coming off that first loss?
F: Yes, and it feels good that they had their full roster. They had all their jammers back, and we had our full roster. It's nice that we played each other at our best.
D: Is there one thing in particular that the team got right tonight?
F: Playing as a team. Covering for each other, recycling, and working together.
All photos by Dan Bachorik

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

Movement Electronic Music Festival Announces Phase 1 of their 2013 lineup

Detroit’s perennial Movement Electronic Music Festival announced the first phase of their 2013 lineup today. The annual festival will take place Memorial weekend, May 25-27, 2013. Last year’s Movement festival broke attendance records with a record 107,343 festival goers, the largest attendance since becoming a ticketed event in 2005. This year Paxahau have secured Movement alums Richie Hawtin, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson for the festival among countless others. Saunderson and May will perform a back-to-back DJ set to close out the event. Other notable names on the roster include livetronica act, Big Gigantic, who will be in Royal Oak next week, veteran house DJ John Digweed and festival co-founder Carl Craig. Art Department, Andy C, Dave Clarke, Dennis Ferrer, and upcoming EDM acts, Noisia and The M Machine are also on the bill. Movement has a long history of showcasing new talent before their mainstream breakthrough with Deadmaus, Pretty Lights, Benny Benassi, Excision, Girl Talk and Skrillex among the list of artists who have played the festival prior to becoming large-scale headliners. There has recently been talk of trying to lure some larger known talent to compete with Chicago’s dance heavy Electric Daisy Carnival Chicago, which is happening the same weekend. Expect a second phase of artists to be relatively released soon.

Three day festival passes are a steal at $79 for the entire festival. The VIP option for the five-stage festival is $199.

Purchase tickets and get more info here:

Here’s the official trailer for the 2013 festival to get you excited!

LEZ ZEPPELIN DOUBLE HEADER - Friday & Saturday Feb 1st & 2nd - Magic Bag Ferndale


Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2
Magic Bag Ferndale
Doors 8pm - $20

All Girls, All Zeppelin! The ladies of Lez Zeppelin return 
to the Magic Bag in Ferndale for a very special weekend of shows. 

The band kicks off Friday night with a performance 
of the classic debut album Led Zeppelin I 
in its entirety (along with a set of hits and rarities). 

Saturday night, the band returns to the stage 
performing Led Zeppelin II in its entirety (along with hits and rarities). 

If you love Led Zeppelin, then you can’t miss these shows. 

The Magic Bag
22920 Woodward Ave.
Ferndale, MI 48220

Show Review: Ellie Goulding at The Royal Oak Music Theatre January 28, 2013

Much has happened for British electro-pop singer Ellie Goulding since she first played the Royal Oak Music Theatre in August of 2011. She dated dubstepper Skrillex, toured with Katy Perry, secured a major US hit single, “Lights”, and released a sophomore album, Halycon. Goulding returned to The Royal Oak Music Theatre this past Monday evening to play to a sold out crowd. Goulding first played The Royal Oak Music Theatre as a relatively unknown in 2011, days before performing a noteworthy gig at that years Lollapalooza festival. Ellie Goulding is at a critical point in sustaining her radio career the US. The title track, from her debut album, “Lights”, slowly grew to become one of radio’s biggest hits of the past year, yet “Anything Could Happen”, the first single from Halcyon failed to make a dent in the US.

On stage, Goulding is immediately likable; her understated charm and playfulness shine throughout her stage show. Goulding opened her show with Halycon’s moody “Don’t Say a Word”, though the audience didn’t take to her direction and sang every one of Goulding’s syllables. Goulding’s live vocals are frail, yet haunting and keep you clinging on for more. Goulding continued her show with the title track from Halycon and then current single, the dubstep ballad “Figure 8”. The smooth and seductive cover “Hanging On” trailed, originally recorded by electronic musician, Active Child. She continued the show with a stripped down, acoustic version of “Guns and Horses”, which she played on the guitar, a favorite from her debut album. Many on this continent were first exposed to Goulding as part of the 2011’s Royal Wedding.  At the wedding Ellie Goulding performed her gentle take on Elton John’s classic “Your Song”. Goulding strips “Your Song” down to make it a tender and emotional ballad.

Goulding slowly brought back the beat with electropop anthem “Under The Sheets”, igniting a dance party with many of Goulding’s young fans singing along to every word. From there, Goulding launched into her most recent single “Anything Could Happen”. This song gained some recent notoriety due to a cover version on the most recent season of X-Factor. The floor-filler “Animal” followed, which could easily pass as a mainstream EDM (electronic dance music) mainstay. Goulding finished up the performance with “Starry-Eyed”, the Calvin Harris produced club banger “I Need Your Love” and concluded with her claim to fame, the inescapable “Lights”. During “Lights”, she transitioned into the immensely popular Bassnectar remix halfway through.

Though Goulding’s vocals aren’t as strong as some of her contemporaries, her distinct voice and delivery are certainly part of her allure. Goulding’s current problem in the US is that her electro-pop is too alternative for Pop radio, and too poppy for Alternative radio. Assuming that Goulding can secure a radio presence from this album, we’re pretty likely to see a long and promising career. Goulding had some of the most camera-happy fans that I’ve ever experienced. Much of the crowd was annoyingly snatching non-stop pictures via phones and cameras the entire time that Goulding was on stage.

Opening support was handled by band-to-watch, St. Lucia, who wowed the crowd with their explosive new-wave inspired electro rock. It seemed like much of the audience was getting their first exposure to the band and St. Lucia genuinely impressed. Formed in 2012, their brand of rock is similar to M83 and Cut Copy and it seems like they will gain a quick footing in the US. Goulding really couldn’t have had a better band handle the opening duties for the tour. St. Lucia seem to be working the touring and festival circuit this summer with an appearance on New York Cities impressive Governors Ball Festival line-up. Their debut album will be released later this year.

WIN TICKETS: FELA! - Opening night Feb 12th - Music Hall Detroit

Email for your chance to win tickets to FELA!

View our online press kit for Fela! On Tour 2013In Detroit Feb 12 - 17:
Afrobeat Maverick Comes to Life in Striking Multimedia Performance

If a song by the maverick founder of Afrobeat, Nigeria’s firebrand and musical revolutionary Fela Kuti, came to life, it would look like Fela!, on tour in the U.S. January through May 2013. A multifaceted performance rich with grooves, history, and visual intensity, Fela! chronicles the sonic evolution and politically defiant journey of one of Africa’s towering figures, from his musical beginnings to his unflinching opposition to government pressure and oppression. 

To capture Kuti’s unorthodox, action-packed life, Fela!’s creators shied away from traditional clichés and approaches, creating a painting; an ode to determination and truth to power by concentrating on one short, highly-charged period during the late seventies, This vibrant snapshot—powered by the unflagging energy of an on-stage band (with members of Antibalas) and performers like Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child) and –is the perfect vehicle to present Fela’s commitment and courage, and to show how art can become a stunning expression of human dignity.

Detroit Details:
Feb 12 - Feb 17 2013
350 Madison St.
Detroit, MI
Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Tix: $35.00- $115.00, Show: 8:00pm
Box Office: 313.887.8501 for tickets

MCB Anniversary Fundraiser for MHS - Friday Feb 8th 7pm - Music Hall Jazz Cafe Detroit

WIN TICKETS: Dirty Show 14

The Dirty Show is celebrating its 14th year and if you haven't bought your tickets yet good luck because odds are both weekends are sold out and if you are lucky you could win a pair of passes to the Valentines Day event at our MCB fundraiser on Friday Feb 8th at Music Hall DetroitMCB has been supporting the Dirty Show since before there was an MCB.

Jerry and Jeremy have created something that screams Detroit and it astonishes me to think how big the show has become. A few years ago we did some candid video interviews with the boys down at Bert's Warehouse a few days before the big opening night and I was blown away by the staggering amount of artwork that DOESN'T make it on the walls. I also had some fun by shocking the guys with some information during those interviews that my first son was actually born at Dirty Show 7 over at Tangent Gallery. (thats enough sharing for today) We were one of the few allowed to video and photograph throughout the years and we have always had the pleasure of giving away tickets to the shows.

 Thanks to the guys we have a few pairs of tickets for the Valentines Day Dirty Show up for grabs in our raffle at our show at Music Hall on Friday Feb 8th

Get all the details here

TwaT Bowl 2013 - Shirts vs Skins - Tangent Gallery Detroit - Sunday Feb 3rd 6pm

715 E Milwaukee St  
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 873-2955


Savoy Has Lasers and Know How to Use Them!

Savoy (Celia Levin)

Savoy is playing tomorrow (Wednesday) night at the Pike Room for the first time and their bringing a laser show that is sure to light up your night. I spoke to Savoy member, Ben Eberdt who explained to me that the light show is an integral part of their stage presence. "It was deigned for our show and we have a person that controls it as we perform. It was also designed for large or small venues so it doesn't matter where we play the sights will be amazing."

Savoy started up a few years ago in a more traditional indie rock band vein but as they continued to lean towards more electronic elements and incorporate it into their sound, they soon found Savoy as more of an electronic outfit. Ben adds,"We are an electronic group that has as much in common with the rock band as we do the DJ. Our sets are mostly our original music with other electronic, hip hop and dub step brought in but it's not like a DJ set where you just hear the latest hits."

"We've performed in dance clubs but we're also used to playing band venues, either one works for us."

As a preview to their show Savoy recently released their "Personal Legend" ep, which features 4 new tracks. Their songs are both instrumental as well as tracks with vocals. "When we can we will actually have the vocalist come on stage with us. I think we're doing that in LA. For other shows we have sampled vocals we mix into our set."

Savoy is performing with DJ Sheet and Ghost, the Pike Room, doors at 8pm.

PHOTOS: The Science Fair EP Release Party

On Thursday local rockers The Science Fair, supported by Ignoring the Echoes took the stage at the packed Hard Rock Cafe.  The Science Fair had everyone grooving with an eclectic mix of upbeat rock to jam out guitar solos and melodic grooves.

Check out their newly released EP OddYears Here

"Deviating from what is ordinary, usual, or expected, OddYears is a departure. While it's all within the realm of the band's influences, these three songs tell the story of time spent in uncharted territory, searching for a pattern or a meaning."


UPCOMING: Spank! @ the City Theatre 30 Jan-3 Feb

January 30 – February 3, 2013

SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody is the hilarious new musical that brings all the naughty fun of the best-selling book to life onstage at the City Theatre for 7 performances, Wednesday, January 30 through Sunday, February 3.

Your inner goddess will be laughing out loud with this clever re-imagining of the characters as they come alive with hysterical comedy, musical numbers, sexy and fun performances from the hunky leading man, plus lots of surprises! Fans can take a photo with the seductive star himself, and meet and greet with the entire cast after each performance.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 7:30PM
Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 7:30PM
Friday, February 1, 2013 - 6:30PM
Friday, February 1, 2013 - 9:30PM
Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 6:00PM
Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 9:00PM
Sunday, February 3, 2013 - 2:00PM

FREE TICKETS & CDs - Miss Tess & The Talkbacks - Cliff Bells Detroit - Sat 2/9

Thankfully our MCB Anniversary event "Behind The Eight Ball" is on Friday Feb 8th
and NOT on Saturday Feb 9th so we can catch the fantastic Miss Tess & The Talkbacks
over at Cliff Bells Detroit

Miss Tess and the boys have donated a bunch of goodies for our raffle 
but better yet we scored a pair of guest list spots to giveaway

hit us up to win - 




Date: February 9, 2013

2030 Park Ave. in  Detroit, MI 

Show time: 9:30 PM

Ticket price:  $10

Phone:  313 961-2543 

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 

Sweet Talk
Release Date: October 16, 2012

“When you decide to go into the studio,” reflects Miss Tess from her home in New York City, “the timing has to be just right.” In fact, uncanny timing informs and enhances nearly everything Tess does, from her disarming, behind-the-beat vocal phrasing to her solid yet gently swinging rhythm guitar. In the years since she first emerged, she has wisely learned to trust her sense of timing. “In this case, we had a batch of unrecorded songs, the studio I wanted to use was available, and the band was tight after touring all year.” The resulting album, Sweet Talk (available October 16), is Tess’s first studio album in three years, her first for Signature Sounds, and the debut of her newly christened backing outfit, The Talkbacks.

While still bearing hallmarks of the simmering, jazz-inflected sound that has made Tess and her former band the Bon Ton Parade a club and festival favorite, Sweet Talk introduces a more personal mix of influences. By blending her knack for melodic and rhythmic improvisation and interplay with elements of honky-tonk, western swing, and golden-era pop standards, she and her multifaceted supporting band have arrived at a style simultaneously refreshing and hauntingly familiar. “By changing the name of the band,” she says, “I wanted to let people know that our sound had evolved: now there’s a much stronger country and early rock’n’roll influence—and different instrumentation.”

Tess is no stranger to improvisation. 

Her vocals are spontaneous and playful, constantly reinterpreting and rephrasing her melodies without ever losing sight of the song’s underlying emotion. “I change the melody all the time in my own songs,” she says. “That’s my jazz background coming out. The band does the same thing. It keeps things interesting, night after night. That’s why we recorded almost everything on this album live in the studio…” To help choose the best from the multiple takes of each song, Tess relied heavily on producer Zachariah Hickman (who travels the world as the bassist in Josh Ritter’s band).

It’s this immediacy and willingness to go out on a limb that keeps Miss Tess and The Talkbacks from being a living museum of antique styles. “…when this quartet gets going, you can’t tell where the music is coming from,” writes Craig Havighurst in “1930 to 2020 would be a good guess. It’s got all the classic elements and all the trained chops of great jazz, but they definitely make a fresh statement.”

Her roots in these forms are genuine. 

 Raised in Maryland, her mother learned to play upright bass while Tess was still in the womb, and her saxophone-playing father rehearsed a big band in the basement of their home. “I come at it from an honest perspective and sing songs that I truly feel,” she says. “I grew up listening to this old music, so my passion for it is unavoidable.” Moving to Boston 2005 exposed her to the town’s thriving roots music scene, which in turn encouraged the flowering of her eclectic sensibilities. She left for New York five years later.

The vitality and bustle of New York certainly informs Sweet Talk, Tess’s fifth full-length studio album—even though it was recorded in a farmhouse in rural Maine. The opening shuffle of “Don’t Tell Mama” weds Tess’s jazz-bred insouciance to a pulsating R&B back beat, and builds to an unhinged drum solo from Meyer. Bassist Weller is also spotlighted throughout, with several notably facile solos (including the extended intro to “This Affair”). Tess’s nimble, chromatic phrasing on “Adeline” is answered by an incantatory solo by guitarist Graefe. Sweet Talk ends with an eerie, after-hours version of the Ink Spot’s “I Don’t’ Want to Set the World on Fire,” the only song not from Tess’s pen. “It was something of an experiment,” she explains. “I wanted to record it really slow and strange…to make it different.”

It is Tess’s own songs, however, that define Sweet Talk: evocative studies that strike an elusive balance between stylishly classic and insightfully contemporary. At turns defiant, cheeky, wounded, and raucous, the songs bridge the gap between Miss Tess—the fearless, spotlit starlet onstage—and Tess, the quietly thoughtful and compassionate personality behind the scenes. The combination of her footloose stage persona and direct, unabashed songwriting is key to what makes Tess’s music so uniquely powerful. “When I’m singing my songs, I feel like I can be incredibly honest with myself and with the people listening,” she concludes. “In an strange, ironic way, it’s actually very liberating.”

Listeners and critics agree. 

“I don’t know of anyone else right now touring in the Americana scene that has such an eclectic, jazzy, old school and interesting vibe,” says Clementine Cox on “There’s an authenticity present in Miss Tess’s music. It is not contrived, not too far a stretch for the skeptical imagination. "

 "She is real. And she is rare.”

Get more info and get to this show!

Eugene Strobe Solo Show (free!) @ Loving Touch 2/5/13

Come on out next Tuesday, February 5th to hear the solo performance of local talent: Eugene Strobe @ Loving Touch, Ferndale. It's a free gig, so treat yourself to your favorite craft brew or cocktail while your enjoy the entertainment. "Mystery DJ" guest. See you there folks! 
FB Event info here!


Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

Friday, February 8th, at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor
$10, Doors at 9:30 pm

Hailing from Michigan, Joe Hertler is a growing talent quickly garnering attention across the Midwest. Called "...a bourgeoning Michigan talent bound to be on everyone's radar soon" by Mostly Midwest, Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers promise nothing but the best. The latest release, On Being, showcases Hertler’s ability as a singer-songwriter to create cohesive songs that dance across genres and easily charm listeners. The album lies on the fringe of pop and folk rock, combining light, animated instrumentals with energetic vocals. Hertler's songwriting prowess shines in his ability to take listeners through a story without sacrificing his signature liveliness.

Over the past year, Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers have been building buzz across Michigan. With the release of the band's album On Being, the band has received critical acclaim across the state. All Around Sound referred to the band as "energetic, fun, and [with] a blindsiding wealth of songwriting talent", and Revue Magazine chimed in on the album, writing “On Being has a timeless sound that will sound great years from now… Hertler is that good".

Having recently played alongside artists like The Wallflowers, The Soil and the Sun, Youngblood the Hawk, Electric Six, Frontier Ruckus, The Civil Wars, Matt Pond PA, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Breathe Owl Breathe, Chris Bathgate, and Atomic Tom, as well as selling out their own shows across Michigan, they are no strangers to entertaining crowds. Bringing undeniable talent and natural charismatic exuberance to the live show, Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers’ performances are not to be missed.


The Detroit Historical Society continues its monthly film series with “Borderline: The Story of 8 Mile Road,” showing Saturday and Sunday, February 9 & 10 at 1 p.m. at the Detroit Historical Museum. Each screening is free to the public.

This 1997 Emmy-winning film, written and produced by Gary Glaser and Dave Toorongian, directed by Gary Glaser, and narrated by Kim Hunter; captures the spirit and eccentricity of metro Detroit's most provocative thoroughfare.  No other road in Michigan evokes a response like the one you get when you mention 8 Mile. From topless dancers and the neighborhood groups that battle them, to storefront preachers and the homeless people they minister, 8 Mile remains our area’s most notorious boundary.
Thoughtful commentary from Jerry Herron, director of American Studies, and Ronald Stephens, associate professor of Communications (both from Wayne State University), provides context and analysis. The documentary also features an interview with Mr. Belvedere, whose office is on 8 Mile, as well as clips from some of his classic commercials. Part history, part pop culture, this film, like a ride down 8 Mile, is both thought-provoking and entertaining. The run time for the film is 30 minutes, and it does contain explicit language so viewer discretion is advised..
The Film Series at the Detroit Historical Museum is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Midtown Detroit, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for all, all the time. Parking in the Museum’s lot is $5 at all times. Group tour pricing and information is available by calling (313) 833-1733. Permanent exhibits include the famous Streets of Old Detroit, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, Kid Rock Music Lab, Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” Frontiers to Factories, America’s Motor City, and The Glancy Trains. For more information, call the Museum at (313) 833-1805 or check out our website at

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

Wild At Heart

Almost lost track of time this week. I've been keeping busy doing overtime at work, nursing a cold and still getting out to enjoy Hockey Games @ RIT (go Tigers) or concerts at the Eastman School of Music. I just got the headliners for the Rochester Jazzfest and I always wonder what people are thinking when scheduling shows. Unlike the Detroit Jazzfest, the majority of the Rochester version does cost some money. I already plunked down the $170+ for my club pass but i like to keep track of possible headliners. Last year I caught Steve Martin and the Lost Canyon Rangers and was wondering what gems they might have. They ended up with four artists I have seen before and Pink Martini who has always intrigued me (I'll have to think on that and see what it is going up against). Now the other artists include David Sanborn and Willie Nelson along with David Byrne w/St Vincent (still waiting for that Talking Heads reunion though I would love to see St Vincent).

Now all these seem like interesting picks and while expensive it is the 4th choice I wonder about in choosing. They have Roger Hodgson of Supertramp fame. Now Supertramp is very popular in this area for whatever reason but I just saw him at Art Park in Buffalo for $5 and he is playing our fest with ticket prices between $70-125 and that just seems wrong. It reminds me of when I saw Air Supply at the Michigan State Fair and then they played McComb Performing Arts Center a few months later. It just seems wrong to have a band come around one day at a free or very cheap event and then back in short order at a high priced event. I never understood how that works out, esp in the case ($5 to $125 is a big difference). Of course it is worse when they play a high priced event and then come around for free. It just makes me wonder if people who book these events actually research bands that recently played the area. If I just saw him for $5, there is no way I would play that much and be forced to sit further away.

If you can explain how this makes sense, let me know. Otherwise just enjoy these shows, esp Angelique, who has a wonderful voice. I recently saw her with Cyndi Lauper and David Sanborn in Syracuse and she really impressed me.

Tuesday (1/29) - Chiodos @ Pike Room

Wednesday (1/30) - Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas open for the Growlers @ Magic Stick Lounge

Thursday (1/31) - Ana Popovic @ Callahans, Brothers Groove @ Northern Lights Lounge

Friday (2/01) - Angelique Kidjo @ Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor), Lez Zeppelin @ Magic Bag, Mitch Ryder @ Callahans

Saturday (2/02) - Umphrey's McGee @ the Fillmore, October Babies @ Frenchie's in Depot Tow (Ypsilanti), Trapt @ St Andrews Hall, Lez Zeppelin @ Magic Bag