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Show Review: Johnny Marr + Meredith Sheldon at St. Andrews Hall 11/23

Sunday night saw two incredible talents on the bill at historic St. Andrews Hall.  Former Smiths guitarist and songwriter Johnny Marr was in town in support of his new disc, Playland and he brought along rising star Meredith Sheldon to open the night.  Ms. Sheldon has broken away as a solo act with a stripped down and strikingly dynamic sound while Johnny brought out an airtight backup band to rip through his material, both old and new.

With an inauspicious start to the night, Meredith Sheldon took the stage with just the aid of an open-tuned, black fender guitar to polite applause.  You may recognize Ms. Sheldon from her previous project Alamar, who opened for Johnny Marr on his last US tour.  If you're not familiar with her, just picture the lovechild of Jeff Buckley and PJ Harvey, who happens to look a bit like Natalie Portman.  Her sweet demeanor belies the weight and intensity of her material. While not overly heavy or aggressive, her mix of unorthodox chords and sweet, soaring vocals left this reviewer quite transfixed.  While playing a mix of older material (if you consider 2012 a long time ago) and untested, super new songs, Meredith added in a spot-on cover of The Replacements' gem, "Answering Machine."  The crowd grew in size and enthusiasm as her sat drew to a close, with the promise of a new album next year.

After a brief stage change, the crowd swelled with anticipation for the veteran rocker Marr, who has enjoyed a resurgence of success with his first full-length The Messenger, released just tow years ago and this year's follow-up, Playland.  While his new material is extremely well-crafted and vital, it was obvious from the opening chords of "Panic", that the crowd was most fired up to hear Smiths songs.  With a business-like professionalism, Marr and his young mates blasted through note-perfect renditions of classic tracks like "Headmaster Ritual" and newer material like his current single, "Easy Money."

To the untrained ear, it would be hard to differentiate the old from the new, his band was that tight and his performance with that fresh.  There was no malaise at dragging out the old hits, and there was no over-indulgence or filler. Having seen both Morrissey and Marr on separate occasions, I can say without a doubt that Marr's version is far more vital and authentic. As such, all the cell phones in the house were ablaze as the band led into the opening sounds of closing number "How Soon Is Now."
And perhaps the most fitting track of the night was the last song of the encore,  the Smith's haunting ballad "There is a Light That Never Goes Out."

TONIGHT! TAUK @ Blind Pig Ann Arbor - 11.30

TAUK is heavy instrumental rock fusion created by Matt Jalbert (guitar), Charlie Dolan (bass), Alric “A.C.” Carter (keyboard-organ), and Isaac Teel (drums). The transcendent instrumental band seamlessly brings together genres as diverse as melodic rock, fusion, gritty funk, progressive rock, ambient, classic rock, hip hop and jazz.

The Oyster Bay, New York-based quartet has received accolades from a number of tastemaking authorities, including an “On The Verge” feature in Relix Magazine and frequent rotation for the singles “Mindshift”, “Sweet Revenge”, “Dead Signal” and “In the Basement of the Alamo” on Sirius XM Jam On. Despite their years of experience as a musical unit, the quartet is a young promising band that Jambase calls “a guaranteed quickly-ascend band.” The Washington Post describes the band by saying: “TAUK’s instrumental music melds genres and styles, creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that – thanks to a penchant for improv – offers limitless possibilities” and The Deli Magazine singles out the band’s compelling melodic sense through explaining: “the quartet has a rare ability to channel emotional melodic leads, and all without a lead singer.”

The band’s latest album, Collisions, is a breakthrough in that it finally captures the essence of TAUK’s entrancing live shows. It’s a thoughtfully composed album with captivating hum-along melodies, but this time the band was able to road test the songs, allowing the recorded versions to reflect the group’s adventurous improvisations. The 10-song album spans delicate ethereal textures, highly imaginatively funky drumming, labyrinthine arrangements, and fiery solos—often in the same song. “We called it ‘Collisions’ because it calls to mind how, when things come together, it is often explosive and leads to something completely different,” bassist Charlie Dolan explains. Alric “A.C.” Carter, keyboard-organ, adds: “It also evokes how we are very different as people, but within the band, we find a way to work together and compliment each other’s musical ideas as an egoless unit.”

On Collisions the band worked with longtime collaborator Grammy-winning producer Robert Carranza (Mars Volta, Jack Johnson). Carranza helped the band find the optimum mix of song structure, breathing jam sections, and warm & clear fidelity. Also enhancing the experience of Collisions is the album’s stunning puzzle-like cover art done by Jeff Jordan, graphic artist who previously worked with Mars Volta, among others. The album’s deconstructed and post-modern abstractness perfectly reflect the sonic character of the music. Alric “AC” Carter explains: “In the artwork it’s clear to see there are many parts that build the entire picture. It’s like a song where some parts play supporting roles and other sections instantly grab your attention. However, the most important aspect is the bigger picture.”
TAUK has built a dedicated and loyal fanbase through tireless touring. Festival highlights include Bonnaroo, The Hangout Music Festival, Summer Camp, LOCKN’, Hudson Project, FloydFest, Bear Creek, Art Outside and The Allman Brothers’ Peach Fest. TAUK’s broadly appealing musicality has allowed the band to be direct support to such diverse artists as The Funky Meters, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Papadosio, Lettuce, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, moe., Dopapod, Tim Reynolds & TR3, Toubab Krewe, The Revivalists and many more.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Nov 20 - Greenville, NC @ Peasant's Pub
Nov 21 - Boone, NC @ The Local
Nov 22 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West w/ Papadosio
Nov 28 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues w/ Papadosio
Nov 29 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's w/ Papadosio
Nov 30 - Ann Arbor, MI @ The Blind Pig
Dec 2 - Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry w/Dopapod
Dec 3 - Wilmington, NC @ Ziggy's By The Sea
Dec 4 - Charleston, SC @ The Charleston Pour House
Dec 5 - Athens, GA @ New Earth Music Hall w/Dopapod
Dec 7 - Birmingham, AL @ Workplay w/Dopapod
Dec 9 - Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlie's w/Dopapod
Dec 10 - Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm + Brews w/Dopapod
Dec 11 - Asheville, NC @ New Mountain Theatre w/Dopapod
Dec 12 - Charlotte, NC @ The Chop Shop w/Dopapod


TONIGHT: POSTPONED! Sharon Needles @ Andiamo Warren

My favorite Drag Race winner and yours
wsg Detox and Darienne Lake
and local luvs Deangela and Deja

Feb 26, 2015. Doors @ 7pm, show at 8pm

For VIP meet and greet reserved seats, call 248-268-2840


Show Preview, Q&A with Alyssa Simmons, Hatchey's, Friday, Nov 28

Alyssa Simmons is a local singer with determination and a work ethic bound to take her music to big places. She’s been featured on local and national TV shows and performed with artists from Peter, Paul & Mary to Ted Nugent. A few weeks ago I saw Alyssa perform an acoustic set that displayed her knack for covering a wide range of music with a versatile voice that put a new spin on several songs. This Friday night (that’s Black Friday for you shoppers) at Hatchey's it’s her coming out party for her new album “Now or Never” to show off her own brand of old school rock’n’roll with a modern edge. In between promoting and preparing for the show Alyssa spent some time filling me in on her love for singing and Detroit.

MCB: What’s the first album you bought with your own money?
AS: Ace of Base "I Saw The Sign" .... I think I was 8 & bought it with my piggy bank money.

MCB: When did you start singing?
AS: I've sang my whole life, but started taking voice lessons at 9 years old. I was lucky to have a supportive family who traveled constantly for auditions, competitions & showcases when I was young. An early story would be when I got to perform at the Apollo Theatre in NYC as 'Showtime Kid' at 12 years old.

MCB:  Who do people tell you that you like?
AS: Pee Wee Herman, I get a lot. ;) ...... No but really I usually hear from people that my voice is soulful w/ a rock edge. I've heard Joss Stone, Grace Potter & more. Ironically my songwriting has been compared to P!NK, which is a huge compliment to me because she's one of my favorite artists.

MCB: What can people expect from your new release "Now Or Never"?
AS: A musical monster, lots of guitar driven songs w/ poppy melodies & years worth of stories.

MCB: What is your favorite song from it and why that one?
AS: Each one is special to me, but 'This Is War' stands out above the rest. It's dark, bold & incredibly uplifting. At times we all can be our own worst enemies, belittling who we are & what we can do. I wrote this song for myself which started w/ the chorus line "This Is War & I'm Boxing my Shadow" from there the story escalated to a new place & exploded on paper. It's about picking yourself up no matter how down & out you are, realizing that you're not alone & pushing forward. It's a song I'm proud to have written.

MCB: Favorite local venue and why?
AS: Love St. Andrews & Fillmore. Always have seen great shows there.

MCB: What’s one another local band you think people should see?
AS: There are so many great artists in this city. So much underground talent everywhere you go. I couldn't possibly list just one & leave out the rest.

MCB: What do you like most and least about Detroit?
AS: I love that it is network of creative people, it's a close knit scene here.

MCB: What makes singing worth it for you?
AS: How it makes you feel inside, it lifts your soul. Singing is everything to me, it always has been & I have a feeling it always will be.

MCB: Most embarrassing moment so far….
AS: I have many, but I'll stick with this one where I was singing on stage & a person in the audience held up a hand written sign that told me my fly was down. Pretty embarrassing way to find out, super self- conscious now. Haha!

MCB: You will know the band is successful when…..
AS: Used to say TRL or MTV, sadly those shows are long gone. A girl can dream! But I'd really just say when an audience starts singing my songs, the lyrics I wrote... that in itself is high point for me.

MCB: Where’s the best place for people to go hear more from you?
AS: and coming soon

Alyssa Simmons photo by Mikel OD/MPAD Media


Black Widow

A delicate and dangerous predator makes her way to the Fillmore. Maria Brink, the frontwoman of In This Moment unleashes their seductive sound on Detroit. The visuals will pull you in, infect you with the venom of their sound, leaving you wanting more.
I can't wait to see the visual feast that will unfold before us.  In This Moment through the years, has grow, develop, evolve into the force before us. Maria started as a young innocent girl who has lived with and been infected by, life, traumas, experiences. She is trying to balance light and dark, highs and lows. Making those choices, she has become a poised and powerful creature, the Black Widow, a heroine. That is this album, this show.
I would share some photos from the tour, but that would spoil the treat. The shots I've seen leave me breathless. Maria and the boys have set themselves apart in giving us a sonic and visual banquet that one can only accept the invitation to step into the parlor of the Black Widow.
That invitation is for Wednesday 26, November 2014 at the Fillmore of Detroit, Michigan. This a is sought after ticket. If you have yours, I'll see you there. If you don't have one, beg, borrow, or steal yours to be there. It is the event of this concert season. If you can't make the Detroit show, check the tour. Maybe it will come close enough to make the trip.

In This Moment
Doors 6:00pm
@ The Fillmore
2115 Woodward Ave.,
Detroit, MI
Twelve Foot Ninja
3 Pill Morning


Q+A With Meredith Sheldon - Playing Sunday Night w/Johnny Marr at St.Andrews Hall

We recently caught up with super-cool singer/songwriter/rocker Meredith Sheldon before her show with Johnny Marr tomorrow night to chat about going solo, the sea, and scary bums in Detroit. Dig it.

MCB: Ok, so first off I want to thank you for taking the time to chat.  Second, i hope the weather improves between now and Sunday because it has been utterly miserable as of late. Did you get caught up in the blizzard this past week? How is the tour going so far?
Meredith Sheldon: I certainly hope it improves! We have been fortunate enough to avoid the blizzards, though the stories I have been hearing are nothing less than harrowing. We've had a few bumps in the road dealing with tour buses breaking down and such but it has all worked out. The shows have been going really well so far and everyone is safe so I'm happy to bundle up and bear the cold!
MCB: You're playing solo on this tour, do you have a different mindset when you're performing alone on stage rather than with a band? More freedom? Less to hide behind?
MS: I've really been enjoying playing solo this tour. When you play with other people there is a harmonization of all the players' energy on stage, which is a very cool thing, but it's also very interesting and liberating to experience just my own energy up there. I used to be afraid of that because I had specific ideas of what I thought people liked and I wanted to give only that version of myself. My intention for this tour instead was to be as much my whole self as I can be without censoring or protecting myself, and practice being with the audience from a place of greater honesty. This has been proving so rewarding! Much less scary than I thought, and now I'm sort of kicking myself for spending so much time in fear of that which I always was anyway...

MCB: Do you use a different gear on stage for a solo set? 
MS: I have a much simpler guitar set up, though it wasn't terribly complicated to begin with. I love playing with distortion, but in this context it feels a bit intense. I have some nice delays and reverbs that I keep on all of the time, and I am enjoying playing through an old Deluxe. Thats it! 

MCB: I love your music ("Metal Hand" is my personal fave), it's raw and emotive with an accessible sensibility, but for the life of me I can't pin it down exactly. Where does your sound come from? What inspires you, musically or non-musically? 
MS: I suppose it's the ultimate compliment to say you can't pin it down...that would be too easy! I have had such a wide and changing range of inspiration over the years. When I was young it was all about Hendrix, Zeppelin, Billie Holiday, Puccini. Then I discovered Big Star, The Kinks, PJ Harvey..the list really goes on and on. I like the grit and electricity of the rock stuff, but particularly when melody is strongly woven into the music. I can see that has influenced my guitar playing. I also had classical singing training in my teenage years, and though I may have tried to make my voice more gritty, I think I've ended up just incorporating that aesthetic. Non-musically, I am most influenced by my environment and the people I interact with, live with, love, am irritated by... ultimately, my own internal processes as triggered by others... this is the root of all my writing. 

MCB: I think "A La Mer" would have been a better title for your EP sketches, but I trust you know what you're doing. :-) What is the significance of the title A La Mar? And are there more editions to come? Please tell me there are some new recordings in the works. 
MS: The story is... A La Mar is going to be the title of my full length record, which I hope to finish up this year. I had gotten impatient with myself and wanted to release some of my older songs, almost like cleaning house. So I began releasing the songs that had been "maybes" for the album as I decided they would not go on. I originally intended to use Alamar as a band name, but as I ended up being a solo artist, it got reassigned. It means two things: a) it is one of my favorite independent films ("Alamar"), and b) it translates as "to the sea" which I interpret as a dedication to the sea and all that represents for me. 

MCB: I know you've played here before, has Detroit been good to you? Any crazy stories? 
MS: Nothing too crazy, thank goodness! I have only played Detroit once before and my bandmate at the time had a near fight with a crazy man outside the venue and I was actually a bit afraid for our lives for a moment, but I'm holding out that this time I will get to see a friendlier side! I hear its the up and coming place, no? It has undoubtably churned out an amazing number of wonderful musicians.

MCB: Thanks again for your time, I'm really looking forward to the show! 
MS: Thank you! 
Meredith Sheldon opens for Johnny Marr at St. Andrews Hall on Sunday night. Doors at 7pm.
Grab your tickets right here.

And check out "Metal Hand" below.

TICKET GIVE AWAY for Frank Caliedo at The Royal Oak Music Theater December 11
Defeat the Label and Funny or Die bring you the 2nd annual Bullying is no Joke fund raiser.  Email for your chance to win and click below for details.



BULLYING INJOKE For information, please contact Kevin at 248-962-DTL1 (3851) or



Interview: Mini Mansions

Photo by Clay Lerner

On Wednesday, I braved freezing temperatures and unnecessary traffic from Detroit to Columbus to witness my first Mini Mansions performance. Lured in by Queens of the Stone Age bassist, Mikey Shoes aka Michael Shuman, I fell hard upon my first listen of their cover of "Heart of Glass" by Blondie. Consisting of three sharply dressed men, the ballsy harmonies in their perfect show were seemingly tighter than their pants. Tyler (keyboardist, guitarist, and vocalist), for some reason, took time out of his day to answer my questions about Mini Mansions, Alex Turner, and his current go-to album.

Motor City Blog: Where did the concept and sound of Mini Mansions come from? You don't sound like any other artists coming out of L.A. currently.

Tyler Parkford: Well, we had this dreamy lure that we were going for but not a specific concept.  if anything, we wanted our work to be regimented by the instrumental limitations we enforced (bass, keys, cocktail kit drums).  Michael (Shuman) and I had been writing our own lo-fi material way before all this, so we did have a basic idea of the strange terrain laid out for us, but no idea how we'd navigate it at first.

MCB: Upon first hearing about Mini Mansions, roughly a year or so ago, the very first track that came up on YouTube was the cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass", why that particular song?

TP: Michael had this sort of epiphany listening to it from his car radio, like wanting to watch a sped-up party in slow-mo. Blondie's version is like a manic disco ballad littered with hopelessness, so we simply accentuated that same melancholy from our own side of the discotheque by slowing down the mirror ball and dimming the lights a lot more.  

MCB: Let's talk about the full-length album. Doing research I did see Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys and Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys are taking part. How does a band get these two to appear on an album, even after going on a tour with Arctic Monkeys?

TP: We're all good homies with the Monkeys, so Alex was in and out of the studio bringing beers and treats and jokes and spicy conversation.  We had an open verse on this song Vertigo that we were trying to fill with a sort of hip hop English alter ego, and we thought Alex would be perfect.  He loved the tune so he went forward and wrote the words/melody and laid it down raw.  Turned out perfect.  As for Brian Wilson, that was mainly through (guitarist) Zach Dawes.  He'd been doing a lot of session work for TBone and other people and got asked to play bass on one of Brian's new songs for an upcoming record.  Zach actually had known him before through family friends, so they hit it off.  Brian ended up being really down with what we were writing and was more than happy to sing on this pseudo-dream-pop tune called "Any Emotions".  Still feels like a dream.  

MCB: After this tour with Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, you're playing a show with The New Pornagraphers and then on quite a few dates with Royal Blood, are there any plans to include Alex Turner on the road since these dates are all in the UK?

TP: Well, Alex is a scientific enigma that no one can tame, explain or plan for, he just shows up. One can only await his next manifestation and be prepared for the effects.    

MCB: Enough about Alex Turner. Is there a date in 2015 when we should expect your debut album?

TP: The specifics have yet to be 100 percent verified, but early March is planned to be our summit.  

MCB: Is there a certain theme that runs along with "The Great Pretenders"?
TP: It came from a lyric I wrote in a song called "Ordinary Man".  We all gravitated towards it immediately.  It felt both alarmingly simple and intriguingly undefined, like the title to a Steinbeck novel never finished or a historical mythology created by other beings to exemplify the (late) human race.  It’s hard not to apply a title like that to everything, but in context with the record, it has a lot to do with this impossible union between the constant refining of personal identity and the search for truth outside of that, or the costs of choosing one over the other before we die.  

MCB: What is your go-to album currently?

TP: "Ruins" by Grouper.  Its taking me everywhere. 

MCB: What are the best and worst things about touring? 

TP: These are all new songs so it’s really gratifying to perform them every night in front of a completely new mob of strangers, I love to zone out on the road, on that 80 mph meditation tip.  Don't even mind the late-night roll-away beds, feels like sleep-away camp for adults.  I really really really miss my bunny though.  He probably doesn't even remember me by now.      

Tour rolls on without a stop in Detroit, but if a road trip out of the city is on your mind, they are more than worth the gas money. Here is their dreamy latest single, "Death is a Girl".

MCB PICK OF THE WEEK: Black Lotus Presents: Will Sessions Stout Launch Party & Live Performance - Black Lotus Brewery Clawson - Sat 11/22/14 - Beer Pours @ 8pm ; Music starts @ 9pm

If you missed last month's FUNK NIGHT with WILL SESSIONS and their rise in Detroit's underground Hip Hop parties you missed out...we danced in their comet's tail a while as the ensemble free associated their genesis and osmosis and finally libations... Put The Needle On Thee Record...

Flash forward to Saturday November 22nd 2014 (yeah tomorrow yo) when Black Lotus will present the WILL SESSIONS STOUT at the Launch Party with a Live Performance at the BLB.

Black Lotus Brewery presents Will Sessions Stout, an American oak bourbon soaked stout. Launch party and LIVE PERFORMANCE at Black Lotus Brewery in Clawson 

REVIEW Echofest V by Joe La Grassa

Sonic Bliss - Echofest V Saturday, November 15th 2014



What I think every Echofest attendee wants is to be bombarded by sonic waves of distortion, buzz, fuzz, feedback, echo, reverb, delay, tremolo and the gamut of sounds that rows of pedals and knobs can deliver. That is exactly what they got! Upon entry, as a party favor, attendees were treated to a pair of diffraction glasses that were meant to enhance the experience. The pool tables were pushed aside and covered full of  band merch with many people eagerly grabbing up what they could from a cool band they just saw. There were 2 stages, the Main stage and the Second stage.


The Line-Up included Elephant Stone, King Buffalo, Coven Party, The Witches, Heaven's Gateway Drugs, Moss Folk, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Rogue Satellites, Matthew Smith, Dead Leaf Echo, Siamese, and the hosts Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor. Split between two stages, the room exploded in pulsating sound and vision. With the guitars swirling and the synths droning the air became electric with shimmering and shadowy live visuals being projected behind the stages through a variety of methods by Wayne Woodward.There was really no good time to "Go get a beer" or "Take a leak", as soon as one band ended, on the opposite stage another one was plugged in and ready to go. All one had to do is simply turn around and take five steps forward to see the bands and to be staring them in the face or at their shoes more likely. Many people were quite engaged and excited in the buzz of the night. Some actually sporting the diffraction glasses or at least putting them up to their phones or cameras much like a filter and taking some pretty cool photos just like I did.


In the past, PJ's Lagerhouse has been the home of Echofest. The Loving Touch proved to be a viable venue to encapsulate the proper environment that festival requires. With opposing stages, a spot for the merch tables and of course, a good bar, patrons could easily navigate to where they wanted to be. I caught the last song that Siamese played, as I walked in. Rogue Satellites shimmered through a hypnotizing set. When they ended, I turned around and a band I'm not familiar with, Dead Leaf Echo (NY) took to the Main Stage. I was immediately enraptured by their presence and sound. Traces of early Creation Records bands like House of Love and Ride, or even Kitchens of Distinction could be heard. What was this, a time warp back to '91 or 92? I was sucker punched in the ears by an amalgam of sounds that made up my teen aged, shoe gazing years. The phrase that I repeated in my head all night was, "They are what Interpol aspires to be."  King Buffalo (NY) also took to the stage with an impressive presence and sound. Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor and Elephant Stone closed out the night. Both bands delivered sets that entranced the audience. SOYSV treated everyone to a colorful, vibrant and hypnotic space and time. Elephant Stone harkened back to some classic psychedelic bands, complete with a Sitar. Taking their name from a Stone Roses song, they certainly nod to the late 80's, early 90's shoegaze and bliss era, but they have a strong sound that encapsulates many genres.


As an excited Echofester, I certainly felt that it was executed seamlessly and that attendees were beyond pleased. It is a noteworthy annual event that I look forward to attending. I hope that it generates a support system for these amazing bands to flourish. Shine on You Crazy Diamonds…


check out more at





THIS SAT: One-Eyed Betty's FestiVALE in Ferndale

One-Eyed Betty's
Saturday, November 22, noon to midnight

If you enjoy world-class, once in a lifetime beer, great food and Americana music, then FestivALE is destined to be the party you do not want to miss -this year and every year to come.

One Eyed Betty’s Second Annual FestivALE is a 12-hour street-party in downtown Ferndale on Saturday Nov. 22 with a celebration of Michigan Breweries and Belgian Christmas Beers, cold-weather Comfort food and live Americana music.

Festivities will take place in a giant heated tent over the parking lot east of One-Eyed Betty’s, and on Troy Street. Inside the tent will be the music stage with beer-garden style seating & standing and the street will be lined with 0ver 100 Christmas trees, bonfires, heaters and street performers.

FestivALE is a holiday celebration highlighting the release of special Christmas Beers, with an equal focus on Michigan breweries with some of their special seasonal brews and flagships. The Breweries include Bell’s, Dark Horse, Short’s Brewing, Arbor Brewing, Kuhnhenn, Greenbush, Odd Side Ales & Founders.

In addition to our “Main Beer Booth” where many of the areas best seasonal beers will be pouring all day; there will be two “Very Special” beer booths that will be sure to delight with it’s rare and unusual line-up, the “Christmas Beer Booth” and “Michigan’s Best Beers Booth,” where you will be able to enjoy a very special brew from each of the participating Michigan Breweries. These limited, small kegs will be tapped on a scheduled, first-come-first-serve basis. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale and Van Eecke’s Christmas Leroy at the Christmas Booth. Founders KBS, Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth, and a few “pub-only” brews by Kuhnhenn and Shorts, just to name a few.

Food stations include “Roast Beasts” such as whole roast pig, lamb, goat, or portabella, a giant Tartiflette and One-Eyed Betty's famous fried donuts. The event features some of the area's best Folk & Americana bands such as The Ragbirds, CraneWives, Ryan Diallah & the Miracle Men, Delilah DeWylde & the Lost Boys, The Accidentals, Escaping Pavement and the acclaimed national touring band; Mountain Heart.

Inside One-Eyed Betty’s, the restaurant will transform into a “free pinball” hall with over 20 machines.

FestivALE begins at noon on November 22nd. The entrance is located on West Troy near One-Eyed Betty’s. Live music act ends at 11pm and the street party ends at midnight. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Tickets include entrance, a commemorative cup and 3 drink/food tokens. Minors are welcome only in the company of a parent or legal guardian. The party goes on in the event of Rain, Show or Shine.

TOMORROW NIGHT! SomeKindaWonderful with New Politics and Bad Suns at Saint Andrews Hall Detroit

The show to be at this weekend takes place at Saint Andrews Hall tomorrow night 
(Saturday) with the high energy stage show of New Politics, SomeKindaWonderful and Bad Suns. All three of these young bands have had a massive breakout year. 

Cleveland's, SomeKindaWonderful released their self-titled debut album in June which debuted at number 8 on the iTunes Alternative Albums chart. Their single "Reverse" made noise on alternative radio, hitting the top 20 of the charts. The band blends soulful rock music with a bit of hiphop and a touch of nostalgic classic rock. Lead singer, Jordy Towers says, “We’re a spectacle, like a circus; it’s just real entertainment”, of the bands live show. On September 24, SomeKindaWonderful released their inspired take on 2pac and Dr. Dre's "California Love". Their music has received the remixed treatment by Passion Pit, Oliver Nelson and Vanic. Even more impressive, prolific music video director, Marc Klasfeld, directed their music video for "Reverse". After a few listens to their debut album, it's easy to see how these guys are getting buzz from almost every media outlet in existence. 


Denmark's, New Politics make their third stop in Detroit this year in support of their 2013 effort A Bad Girl in Harlem and their upcoming February 2015 release, Vikings. Their single "Harlem" was one of 2013's biggest alternative radio hits and follow up "Tonight You're Perfect" made headway on to the adult pop charts. They recently previewed their new album with the single, "Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens)" which is rocketing up the radio charts. They've served as opening acts for Pink, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Jane's Addiction and Alice In Chains. Lead singer, David Boyd, is known for breaking it down while in concert, dancing into the audience with high energy fanfare. 2015 is going to bring huge things for this band with the release of their sophomore set. 
"Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens)"

California's Bad Suns have hit the big time with their debut album, Language and Perspective. Singles, "Cardiac Arrest" and "Salt" have picked up support from America's leading alternative rock stations and they've spent 2014 touring across the nation. Their music draws comparisons to The Cure and other New Wave bands of the 1980's. Their just released video for "Salt" depicts an individuals internal battle with gender identity. Expect to see these guys back on their own tour soon. 


SomeKindaWonderful with New Politics and Bad Suns
Saturday, November 22            7pm
 Saint Andrews Hall          Detroit


Thadeus Gonzalez at Viper Room 10-30-2014

Kelli in LA here, and I've got something to share with you Detroit folks. It's called Thadeus Gonzalez.

What's a Thadeus Gonzalez? It and he is a powerful group of dudes from Oakland, CA who know how to rock the fuck out. Fronted by the band's namesake, Tad dishes out vocals so fierce, you ask yourself, "Where the hell have you BEEN all my life?!" For souls aching for that perfect grinding, high-octane rock n roll (Detroit, you know what I'm talking about), ache no more. For those wary of newcomers and snobby about their rock n roll tastes, you can actually let your walls down...because if you don't, soon Thadeus Gonzalez is going to knock 'em down!

 More photos here.

Last month in Los Angeles, they performed at the world famous Viper Room on the Sunset Strip and did not disappoint. Their musical energy and presence is just as in-your-face as Tad himself is as he belts out their tunes. It feels somewhere in between being at a Motley Crue concert and crowd-surfing at a Motorhead show.

More photos here.

With most of the members having played in Electric Sister, no doubt that same energy and chemistry is still there. And ladies, they still sound like you wanna let them in your pants.

Don't thank me, just go listen. You're welcome.



HH 1

The Detroit rock scene is alive and kicking. The next generation of musicians are inspired by their predecessors. The Ritz is showcasing a group of these bands, youthful bands playing music with the fury of old rock shows.

HH 1

HazardHead and Trace of Lime have a history, starting around the same time, they've played numerous shows together, supported each other, and matured into well seasoned musicians. In true Detroit attitude, they are using their success to help each other and other bands to share their success.

Trace of Lime

HazardHead and Trace of Lime have a good following and they are using that to help even younger guns. Despite their youthful years Royale and Phoenix Rising are worthy to share the stage with their "elders."

Having a chance to check out Phoenix Rising's music, they play with passion soulfulness beyond their years. This 4 piece is rising. Their unnamed new song impressed me.

Phoenix Rising 1

Royale is a bit of an enigma. There isn't too much info on them, just music on Bandcamp. But music is enough. It's catchy, jangly, and will get you moving.


Tonight's show will include a few fun surprises. If you want to know they are, you'll have to make it out to the Ritz tonight. And with the line-up, it promises to be a rocking night.

& Trace of Lime
@ The Ritz
24300 Hoover Rd.

Doors @ 6:00
Jordan Mosher
Rolling Blue
Phoenix Rising
Minus Two

$10.00 Pre-Sale
$12.00 Day of Show
All Ages w/Parent 
Facebook Event





Show Preview: Thanksgiving Is Still Murder Wed. Nov. 26 The Magic Bag

There’s a killer show coming next week on the busiest bar night of the year, Thanksgiving is Still Murder at the Magic Bag. Headlining the show, The Smiths United will play their Smiths and Morrissey songs that they have rehearsed and played so much they may as well claim them as their own. While they will play all the crowd favorites like “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” and “This Charming Man” they always throw in a few surprises. Hopefully the night will include their gripping version of “November Spawned A Monster.” I think with Re-cure this is the first time we get a Cure tribute experience. I have never seen the Cure play live so I am looking forward to them getting “Close to Me.” I was never a big Siouxsie and the Banshees fan until I saw Playground Twist play and they made me realize just how many great songs S&B put out. They stick to the darker sides of Siouxsie with the lead singer channeling Siouxie Sioux in both voice and fashion. In between sets Mikel O.D. (that’s me) will be DJing old and new dance tracks that I promise will provide smiles and some shuffling of the feet. Sure there’s a million other things going the same night but this show is a guaranteed good night out.


Detroit-Berlin Connection : Public Workshop 11/29

WIN TICKETS! Little Big Town at Detroit's Masonic Temple on Dec 4, 2014

Little Big Town roll into Detroit on Thursday, December 4 with openers Brett Eldredge and Brothers Osborne at The Masonic Temple. They released their sixth studio "Pain Killer" album last month and are continuing with a round of dates in support of the album. The band were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry last month by Vince Gill and were invited to join by Reba Mcintire. They were also recently joined by popstar, Ariana Grande, at the CMA Awards to perform "Day Drinking" and Grande's "Bang Bang". 

"Day Drinking"

Email and tell us something that is both little and big at the same time (no perverts!) for your shot at a pair of tickets to check out Little Big Town at the Masonic Temple on December 4, 2014

SHOW REVIEW: St. Lucia wsg Vacationer at The Crofoot Ballroom on November 12, 2014

In the almost two years since St. Lucia made their first stop in Detroit their status has elevated immensely. The New York tropictronic(tropical + electronic) outfit headlined the same room in which they served as an opening act for Two Door Cinema Club one year prior. St. Lucia were back, more polished, more flashy and ready to embrace their newfound stardom. St. Lucia played Pontiac's The Crofoot Ballroom on Wednesday night with Philadelphia's Vacationer serving as opening act. The last time that they played the Crofoot Ballroom they had just released their debut album, When The Night, and were still learning how to adapt their album to the stage.  This time, it is tough to not believe in their potential to perform on a much larger stage relatively soon. Their songs are big and melodic with enough rock and pop appeal to enrapture radio with their future offerings. Lead singer, Jean-Philip Grobler, has honed his performance skills with years of experience as a child in South Africa's Drakensberg Boys Choir. His unique vocals are flawless and each member of the band proves to be entertaining and intriguing. Grobler announced that this was the bands last tour before heading back to the studio to go record their sophomore album.

This show was noticeably more polished as the band looked much more comfortable performing on stage together. Front man, Grobler, was able to show off his stage commanding showmanship with ease. They were also working with an upgraded arena-ready light show and new enhanced staging. Percussion is a key element for St. Lucia, two of the five band members play percussion, though on “Wait For Love” four fifths of the band were playing percussion. Another key change to their staging was that the percussionists were now on an elevated platform behind the band. Their set contained favorites such as the Alt-Nation hit “Elevate”, the melodic “Closer Than This”, the dance infused “September” and closer “When The Night.” St. Lucia have made it to Detroit 5 times in the past 2 years opening for the likes of Ellie Goulding, Foster The People and Two Door Cinema Club, and if all goes right, as it seems it is, they'll continue on to headline much larger venues. Let me just say this, this was my fifth time seeing St. Lucia and every single time has been much more impressive than the last.

Philadelphia's Vacationer opened the evening with a short, but spirited set of their brand of island friendly rock music. They played much of their 2014 release, Relief. The biggest response during their set was during alternative radio mainstay, “The Wild Life”, and the chilled out “Everybody Knows”. Lead singer, Kenny Vasoli, is particularly animated and interactive with the audience. Their set on Wednesday evening went back and forth between chill music and party music. Vacationer fans seemed to be out in full force, as many of them packed in early in the evening to get a good viewing spot for this up-and-coming band.