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My Music: Motown 25 Music Special - Airs Saturday Night on PBS

Just beyond the 30-year mark of its original air date in 1983, the historical Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever special will be back on PBS on Feb. 28 as part of TJ Lubinsky’s "My Music” series.  In an age before hashtags and viral video, the televised special brought unforgettable moments like Michael’s first Moonwalk and one of Marvin Gaye’s final television appearances into the hearts and homes of tens of thousands. 

Mary Wilson (The Supremes) and Martha Reeves (Martha and the Vandellas) were in-studio at Detroit Public TV this month with a small live audience of Motown die-hards and personalities.  For these women, the special rebroadcast is an important part of the Motown legacy that they personally helped shape with careers spanning over 50 years as music legends and fashion icons.  

Wilson reminisced about key moments of the Motown special and how memorable of an event it truly was.  Smokey Robinson's reunion with the Miracles and the Four Tops/Temptations battle were highlights of the Emmy-winning program.  

On how she keeps motivated in her career, the Supremes founder noted "I don’t think just because you work hard you’re gonna make it, no I don’t believe that.  It’s more about what you are going to dedicate your life to doing. I enjoy doing what I do and to me that’s the key.  Find something you enjoy, that you still want to dedicate yourself to, and do well.”  

With a smirk she details that her days are often “actually 30 hour days”, and asserted that "The bottom line is to try to achieve happiness in your life. Life is about a journey to enlighten. I don’t know if there is a definition to success. I mean it’s like love. Can you explain love?"

In regards to Detroit’s influence on Motown, and vice versa, Mary Wilson is still extremely fond of her upbringing and confirmed that Detroit is always home.  From a young child growing up in Southwest Detroit to a chart-topping superstar, she expressed not wanted to have lived anywhere else.  "We had a great education system, we had great communities, even though in the days it was segregated,” she recalled. "I remember I grew up in Southwest Detroit and we would shop sometimes in Dearborn where we weren’t even able to live.  So it was never really perfect but it was the time we were living in and it was a great city.  I would love to be a part of helping bring the city back.  People in Detroit are really go-getters, and I am a part of that.  I would like to see the inner city nourish people back to where they should be.  Education is very important.  I’d love to see a performing arts center here that I’d love to be a part of.  We need to look at work and education.  Give the people jobs.  Educate them.  We are moving into a more technical age and we need to put your eyesight on that.  It’s something that we as a community of human beings need to look at.” 

Celebrate the milestone in American popular music 
with the return of 
Motown 25
8 p.m. 
Saturday, February 28, 2015 
Detroit Public Television, WTVS-TV (Channel 56).

A pledge to PBS will get you “Motown: Big Hits and More”, the new, 7-CD, most comprehensive Motown boxed set, that includes never before heard mixes and versions.  Also included is the"Motown 25" DVD.  

Chat all things Motown this Saturday night on TJ Lubinsky’s Facebook page after the public tv broadcasts at 10:30pm EST and again at 11:30pm and 12:30pm.   

And, as always... free stuff! Email with SUPREMES in the subject to win a couple of free Supremes vinyls leftover from the photoshoot with Mary Wilson!   

FREE VINYL FRIDAY! Shilpa Ray plays at PJ's Lager House on Tuesday, March 3!

Former backup singer for Nick Cave, Shilpa Ray, is playing a gig at PJ's Lager House on March 3. Nick Cave has said that she's "One of the most phenomenal things I've seen in a long time. She's going to be huge." Shilpa Ray just released a two song covers EP tribute to her childhood hero Lou Reed Ep on Northern Spy Records. 

Check out "Nocternal Emissions"

This week for Free Vinyl Friday were giving away some some Shilpa Ray music. Send an email to telling us why you need some Shilpa Ray Vinyl!

Shilpa Ray tour dates

2/27 Brooklyn, NY — Union Pool w/ Johanna Samuels, LIPS (fb)
3/01 Buffalo, NY — Nietzsche’s w/ Pine Fever
3/02 Columbus, OH — Rumba Cafe w/ Dana
Detroit, MI — PJ’s LagerHouse
3/04 Chicago, IL — Burlington
3/05-3/08 Columbia, MO — True/False Film Festival
3/10 Louisville, KY — Zanzabar
3/12 Tuscaloosa, AL — Egan’s w/ Cherch
3/13 New Orleans, NO — The Circle Bar w/ Slothrust
3/15 Houston, TX — Walters w/ Rosette and Giant Kitty
3/17-3/19 Austin, TX —SXSW
3/20 Hot Springs, AK — VOV Festival
3/21 Athens, OH — TBD


Interview: Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Photo by Tyler Zoller

So much has happened since my interview with Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band.  The Indiana trio released another music video, started tour, and today was announced to perform at Cincinnati's Bunbury Festival in June. I spoke with bearded frontman, Reverend Peyton, about his band's strenuous tour schedule and "real" music.

Motor City Blog: Let's talk about "Raise a Little Hell" and the music video. The music video was shot in Bloomington, who are the people that were involved in the shoot?

Reverend Peyton: They are all volunteers, fans, and friends. There are so many different groups represented.  It is amazing.  We had to close streets, raise up cameras in cherry pickers, and organize it all in one day.  There are cameos from people in all of our other music videos, too. The whole town came together to make this happen, and all in the name of good music and good times

MCB: I read that the band tours the majority of the year. How do you keep the energy up during your exhausting schedule and playing the same songs?

RP: First thing, and most important thing... We love it, we live for it.  I have a relentless desire to top myself too.  Also, good songs just never seem to get old, and we rotate some songs in an out of the set too.  That helps keep it fresh.  

MCB: There seems to be a resurgence of what I like to call, as a general term, Americana music. What're your thoughts on why it's again coming towards the forefront.

RP: I hope that from the heart, real, handmade music will never go out of style.  I really believe there is a movement around the world happening that goes beyond music. Everyone is tired of plastic food, plastic music, and fake imitations of everything.  I think there really is a real movement toward "real." I personally love it.  In this margarine world, we are butter. 

MCB: What inspired the name of the album, "So Delicious"?

RP: It is inspired by lyrics from the song "Pot Roast and Kisses." The song is fun and we have an amazing music video for it. It just felt right for this album. This album just is tastier and meatier than our other records, and I think it is just a fun title.  There are some heavy songs on the record, but I also believe some of the most fun songs we have ever laid down are on this record.   

MCB: Another stand out track on So Delicious is "Music and Friends", I took it as a fantastic of way of describing why you guys do the things you do, and just why the band has such long tours. Can you expand on that?

RP: Absolutely thank you, that song is a celebration of who we are and what we are all about for sure, but it also has some of the saddest verses on the record for me.  The verses are very personal.  All I ever wanted to be was a musician and an artist, but there is a lot of ugly stuff that goes along with the music business.  From mean spirited hipster critics to crooked promoters. The song for me is a reminder of why we put in the time, and why we work so hard.  And like the song says... Since I was 12 years old.  

MCB: As a person who has never had the pleasure of seeing the band live, what can we expect from the live show? Or should we just expect the unexpected?

RP: So many live bands simply phone it in.  They stare at their shoes, and they pretend the crowd isn't even there.  I refuse to do our show that way.  We want our live shows to be just that... a show. We want people leaving full of adrenaline and covered in sweat.  That's the way I leave the stage, and I believe a live music show is a community event.  It isn't just us regurgitating songs at the crowd.  It is a shared experience.  

The (mighty) Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band performs tomorrow night in Flint at The Machine Shop and this Friday at The Magic Bag in Ferndale.Tickets are $18 day of show and are available at the door or online, here or here. Thank me later.

THIS SAT: Schoolhouse Rock Live! @ Music Hall

February 28th @ 2 PM 

Families will soon be rocking out at MUSIC HALL CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS as Childsplay brings the hit cartoon series Schoolhouse Rock to life on stage. The TV show, which presented academic subjects through megahits like “Conjunction Junction” and “Just a Bill,” has received a bit of a makeover as Childsplay premieres an updated sound to the popular hits.  

“One of the things I really wanted to do was put a little more "rock" into Schoolhouse Rock,” said Director Anthony Runfola. “While this production will still feature a wide cross section of musical styles and the original melodies are all still there, we have given the music a fresh perspective.”
Critics raved about Childsplay’s production during its premiere in April/May 2014, calling it “imaginative,” “creative” and “energetic.”

"Director Anthony Runfola should be commended for this delightful production,” said Randy Cordova of The Arizona Republic. “It's fast-moving, energetic and, at an hour, the perfect length. Adults won't check their watches and kids won't grow restless in their seats. Quite simply, it's pure fun.”

Also getting a fresh perspective is the design of the show. The Holly Windingstad set was designed to reflect the digital age, influenced by both the ‘80’s video game Tetris and the current game sweeping the nation Minecraft. The multimedia elements will also be used in a “fun and complex way,” said Josh Kasselman with Limitrophe Films. Video is integrated with the choreography and even projected onto prop and set pieces.

“Even though Schoolhouse Rock may not be on TV anymore, the show is still used in classrooms by the teachers that grew up with it,” said Runfola. “The show will bring back great memories for the adults. But for the children, it's going to connect directly with their lives right now. I can only hope the music stays with them as it did with me and my generation!”

THIS WKEND: WSU 2015 Graduate Student Exhibition Opening

James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History Art Department Gallery 
150 Art Building
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
February 27–March 20
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10AM‐6PM, Fridays, 10AM‐7PM

Opening Reception February 27, 5–8pm

Wayne State University’s James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is pleased to announce the 2015 Graduate Student Exhibition at the Art Department Gallery, February 27th through March 20th.  An opening reception will be held on February 27th from 5-­‐8PM.

This exhibition features works by current WSU graduate students pursuing degrees in Art, Art History, and Design.  Graduate students from various disciplines in the Department of Art and Art History showcase their works for audiences ranging from students to instructors, visiting artists to curators, and local collectors and community supporters.

The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is a division of Wayne State’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, educating the next generation of visual artists, designers and art historians. Wayne State University, located in the heart of Detroit’s midtown cultural center, is a premier urban research university offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 28,000 students.


An Interview with Paper Diamond “Work Harder, Play Harder”

Last Saturday night Paper Diamond played the Crofoot and blew the lid off the stage. Besides bringing a couple of banging openers, like Buku and Gladiator, Paper Diamond created a visual and sonic feast that left the crowd more than satisfied. Before the show I got to spend a few minutes with Paper Diamond talking about the tour, his thoughts on music and his indisputable work ethic.

MCB: I actually interviewed you here around 4 years ago just down the road at a little basement club.
PD: I remember that.
MCB: How have things changed since then?
PD: It’s hard for me to think back like that. It’s all just forward motion for me.
MCB: Your latest ep Rain Drops is coming out soon, right?
PD:  Yes. We’re just working out some last minute label detail stuff. I wanted to put it out this week, but it might be the week after.
With this one it’s interesting, when I started my career as Paper Diamond 4 years ago I was writing all the time. Then I went into others things,  managing bands like Cherub, I had a record label, a clothing brand, and more. But having all this kept me away from writing. So, in 2014 I stepped back from all that and really just focused on writing and travelling. I want to put out as much good music as I can this year.
MCB: How would you say your music has changed since your last release “Levitate”?
PD: It’s just a different process. I like to keep things fresh and experiment, try new things out. I don’t like to re-use the same sounds for more than one song. I’ve been working with singers and rappers, writing for them. I don’t like the sound of my own voice, so I’ll write and tell them what to sing. It’s this whole new creative process I’ve been doing.  I’ve been writing differently and it’s super fun.

MCB: Sitting here with you under the crowd, you can hear the people on the dance floor moving and shaking.
PD: Yeah, we brought our own custom sound system in for the tour with more subs to make it just sound crazy. I want the show to be an experience for people. I’ve been getting back into some trippy stuff lately and I want to give people some of that. I remember being younger, going to shows and getting my mind blown. I want to take people out and give them something different.
MCB:What percentage of a year do you spend touring?
PD: Last year was a lot. And this year right after I finish this part of the tour,  I am going to Europe and we haven’t announced it yet but I am going to Australia and New Zealand after that around May. Then, there are some festivals coming this summer.  Later in the year I want to take some time off to write, shut everything else off in the outside world and create something new.
MCB:  I have been through periods, like the rave scene, where electronic music kind of came and went. But, this latest scene of EDM, that started around five years ago, it’s being incorporated into pop music and seems here to stay…
PD: I think that pop music is always looking for crazy shit to put into it. At least the good stuff does. That’s what people want. Electronic music is so diverse, Detroit’s got a great music background with people like J. Dilla. That is what’s so great about electronic music is anyone can create their own style. I’m a musician at heart. I love EDM, and I love everything else. I just love music. The thing about electronic music is it has the ability to do something that has never been done before. Like with Hendrix, he made a whole new style of music. It wasn’t about surf music anymore. I feel like as technology develops there’s always this new thing, more possibilities of pushing music into new places. I want to figure out what the new, new, brand new shit is.

MCB: You use to manage Cherub and now they are playing here at the Crofoot tomorrow. Is that gratifying for you?
PD: Well my contributions to Cherub were helpful in the beginning but those dudes already had it. It’s like I was in alley oop and they were already driving down the lane, you know what I’m saying? I just jump started it and I learned a lot from the process. I want to do it again someday.
MCB: I don’t think people understand how much work you put into your art…
PD: I’m working the entire time I’m on tour. I wake up and I start working on art and visuals. I mix new songs on speakers so I know what they are going to sound like on stage. It’s an everyday thing of trying to make things, bigger, doper, more fun. I want things to be next level, so when people leave they know they got something special.
MCB: What advice would you give to EDM artists just starting to create music?
PD: Well things are different now, technology is moving so fast. They can catch up very quickly, but I’m a musician, I can play a few different instruments and I can create a mood very quickly with music. So, maybe learn an instrument along with the technology.  Also, keep finding ways to be inspired, being inspired is what it’s all about.

Interview and photos by Mikel O.D. of MPAD Media

NXNE 2015 Lineup Announced • Tickets On Sale Now

Ready for NXNE 2015? We're getting there - and we're ready to share the first part of what's coming to Toronto, June 17-21.

A Place To Bury Strangers / Action Bronson / Aidan Knight / Alice Glass (DJ Set) / Amen Dunes / Anamai / Angel Olsen / Baths / Best Coast / Betty Who / Bishop Nehru / Blonde Redhead / Cathedrals / Coliseum / Deafheaven / Dilly Dally / Dinner / Glass Animals / The Gories / HEALTH / Heems / Ibeyi / Iceage / Jacco Gardner / K.Flay / Kate Tempest / Liturgy / Lower Dens / Lydia Ainsworth / Majical Cloudz / The New Pornographers / No Joy / Odonis Odonis / OM / Pentagram / Rae Sremmurd / Real Estate / Ryley Walker / San Fermin / Son Lux / Tink / Ty Dolla $ign / UNiiQU3 / Vince Staples / White Lung / Zola Jesus / & much more to be announced

So far it's a pretty diverse lineup. Whether you're a hip hop head or more in the "let's headbang to metal" camp, we're sure it's going to be a busy June.

Stay tuned for more news: we have even more up our 2015 festival sleeves (sleeves being something we need because it's February and it's stupidly cold outside.)

CONTEST: Marche Du Nain Rouge Detroit Neighborhoods Float Competition

Marche Du Nain Rouge Challenges Detroit Neighbors to a Float Competition

Who will stand up to show their city pride if the Nain Rouge shows his face again this year?

Organizers of the annual Marche Du Nain Rouge are asking neighbors to show their community spirit when the annual event returns to Midtown Detroit on March 22, 2015.

The procession honoring Detroit’s rising will again launch from the Traffic Jam & Snug parking lot on Canfield and Second, winding through city streets before stopping for a rally and celebration on the steps of the Masonic Temple. The event will begin at 1 p.m. 

Will the Nain appear again this year to try to wreak havoc on our city? If he does, he will be met with displays of pride from communities like Morningside and Warrendale, and West Village and Rosedale Park. Groups from all city neighborhoods — representing the heart and soul of the city — are asked to band together to build floats and processions for the Marche.

The neighborhoods with the best displays will be honored with accolades from near and far, and maybe a trophy and a cash prize to use for community improvements of their choosing. Three prizes will be offered: Two $250 prizes and one $500 grand prize. All city neighbors are welcome to join in the friendly competition.

As for the rest of the festivities, Francis Grunow, co-founder of the Marche du Nain Rouge and this year’s organizer, expects the event to grow just as it has since the first Marche du Nain Rouge in 2010.

“There will be more. Of everything,” Grunow says. “It will be quite simply the most fantastically unique, community art parade Detroit has ever seen.”

To help community groups bring out their best game, Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions is offering two free Neighborhood Float-Building Workshops in partnership with OmniCorp Detroit. These workshops will offer tips, ideas, and brainstorming sessions to help participants be Marche-ready by March 22.

“We will show folks how easy it can be to express themselves creatively,” says Ralph Taylor, President of Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions. “You can make a stunning visual display with simple materials and a little know-how.”

Just make your float and SHOW UP!
One note from the organizers: The float CANNOT be motorized!

Here are some examples from previous years for your inspiration machine:

NXNE Announces First Round of Music Programming for 2015


Today's first band announcements for NORTH BY NORTHEAST (NXNE), taking place June 17-21, 2015 in Toronto, features hip hop's rising stars, an arsenal of the strongest female performers around, and the best breaking bands in North America.

NXNE Music has confirmed performances by "Mr. Wonderful" himself, Action Bronson; indie rock supergroup The New Pornographers; rising hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd; sun-drenched Best Coast, described by Noisey as “Californian badasses, plain and simple”; Real Estate, whose recent album Atlas landed on Stereogum’s 50 Best Albums of 2014 list; Kanye collaborator Ty Dolla $ignAngel Olsen, who has earned comparisons to Leonard Cohen by NME and Consequence of SoundVince Staples, who XXL says is "beyond his years"Glass Animals, who were recently named Band of the Year by the BBC; Blonde Redhead, after releasing their much lauded ninth album Barragán last fall; rapper Tink, crowned "a no-bullshit teenage feminist" by FADER; Deafheaven, whose music was characterized by Pitchfork as "dire black metal to triumphant post-rock "; and Baths, called the "romantic black sheep" of electronic music by Drowned in Sound.

Also announced: Pentagram, the legendary doom metal band; ex-Crystal Castles member Alice Glass, who is currently recording her solo debut; HEALTH, who the LA Times say "constantly affirms that there is still ground left to break in modern music"; Iceage, known for their wild and genre-bending performances; Zola Jesus, who Exclaim! says "fits perfectly in the modern pop landscape alongside Lorde, Sia, Grimes and Florence"; fierce Vancouver punk quartet White Lung; OM, who The Quietus say "know their shit"; Liturgy, following the March release of their much-anticipated album The Art of Work; Ibeyi, praised by NPR for their “sonically stunning, wildly inventive work”; and Betty Who, whose album Take Me When You Go was named Best Pop Album in 2014 by SPIN.

Also confirmed for the NXNE Music lineup: A Place To Bury Strangers, Odonis Odonis, San Fermin, No Joy, Lower Dens, The Gories, Lydia Ainsworth, Bishop Nehru, Aidan Knight, Son Lux, Cathedrals, Heems, Coliseum, Ryley Walker, Kate Tempest, Jacco Gardner, UNiiQU3, Dilly Dally, Amen Dunes, Obliterations, K.Flay, + more to come.

This year, NXNE has made it easier for fans to get in to see their favourite bands. Instead of cursing the bouncer because the venue’s hit capacity, NXNE will offer festivalgoers a chance to purchase advanced tickets for select shows. Tickets for Northby Advanced shows are $20-$35 and are on sale now at

Also, fans who purchase three Northby Advanced tickets can upgrade to a full-festival platinum badge for an additional $60. As usual, that platinum badge will grant access (19+ and subject to capacity) to every NXNE show. Four-day ($49) and single day ($30) wristbands will also return for NXNE 2015, providing festivalgoers access to premium Clubland shows at venues including: Adelaide Hall, The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, Lee’s Palace, The Garrison, The Silver Dollar, and many more.

Spotify is the exclusive online streaming partner of NXNE 2015. "We are incredibly proud to be a part of this year's NXNE," said Jamie Herbert, Head of Marketing for Spotify Canada. "NXNE is an amazing celebration of music and Spotify will enhance the experience by enabling fans to enjoy unique playlists of artists and performers online." Check out the exclusive NXNE playlist here.

For additional information and to see more of the artists playing NXNE 2015, visit  More exciting programming and partnership announcements will be released in the coming weeks . . . stay tuned!

We acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters

THIS SUNDAY! Chinese Beijing Opera at Music Hall Center Detroit

The North American Chinese Coalition (NACC) along with Chinese Association of Greater Detroit (CAGD), Greater Lansing Chinese Association and the North American Chinese Society of Automotive Engineers are proud to present Beijing Opera performance by the Beijing Opera Troupe at the Detroit Music Hall to celebrate Chinese New Year on Sunday, March 1st 2015.
To usher in 2015, the Year of the Ram, The North American Chinese Coalition (NACC) has planned this cultural show featuring authentic Chinese Beijing Opera which is held in Detroit Music Hall. The cultural show begins at 3 p.m.
“The Spring Festival is the most important festival for Chinese people,” says Lisa Gray, Chair of North American Chinese Coalition (NACC). “We want to share our culture with the community.” The Spring Festival begins on the first day of the first lunar month, which this year is Feb.19, and continues for 15 days. It is a time for celebration and the gathering of family, particularly on New Year’s Eve, when families share a large, elaborate meal, view variety shows during the Chinese New Year.” Lisa says. The cultural show will echo these traditions, bringing a taste of Chinese culture to our community.
Beijing Opera is the embodiment of China. The largest Chinese opera form, it is extolled as 'Opera of the East'.  With history of 200 years, it originated from local drama from South China.  Beijing Opera is a synthesis of stylized action, singing, dialogue and mime, acrobatic fighting and dancing to represent a story or depict different characters and their feelings of gladness, anger, sorrow, happiness, surprise, fear and sadness.  The characters may be loyal or treacherous, beautiful or ugly, good or bad, their images being vividly manifested.  The combination of virtual and reality - a special technique of expression, keeps it largely free from the restriction of time and space on stage performance.
Beijing Opera Troupe is one of the most known art group in China.  Established in 1955, it developed many award-winning Beijing opera shows and has many 1st class performers.  Its performers have traveled to many cities around the world to perform.  They will perform at Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angles, Houston and Atlanta during this trip to the United States. More than 10 programs will be presented during the cultural show.
Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
350 Madison Avenue
Detroit, MI   48226

Tickets are $50 $35 and $25 


THIS WKEND: Great Lakes Comic Con @ Macomb Community College

February 27, 2015 • 5pm-9pm
February 28, 2015 • 10am-6pm

About the Great Lakes Comic-Con
The Great Lakes Comic-Con, or GLCC, is a comic, toy, and collectible event that runs annually in the Metro-Detroit Area (Michigan). The goals of GLCC are to provide a venue for collectors and dealers to get together, buy/sell some of their favorite collectibles, and support children’s literacy, as well as other child-related charities.

For The Great Lakes Comic-Con, we will be supporting Reading is Fundamental ( Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit organization in the United States.  The goal is a literate America in which all children have access to books and discover the joys and value of reading.

CALL FOR FILMS: Reel Michigan Film Festival, deadline April 17

Reel Michigan Film Festival
June 20, 2015
Downtown Northville, Michigan

2015 Reel Michigan date announced!  The 5th Annual Reel Michigan Film Festival will be held in Historic Downtown Northville on June 20th.

Entry Deadline for the Reel Michigan Film Festival is April 17, 2015. 

As part of the Arts and Acts Festival in downtown Northville, the Reel Michigan Film Festival 2015 will feature a diverse collection of Michigan-made short films beginning at 5pm, followed by a Q and A with filmmakers.

Reel Michigan is now accepting Michigan-made or Michigan themed short films, less than 20 minutes.  Reel Michigan welcomes all genres, from student films to the experimental.  The submission deadline is April 17th, 2015.  The entry form is available at

Visit to view trailers and for more information.

GIVE-AWAY: Nain Rouge: The Red Legend graphic novel

Most old cities have monsters of their own, but none of them compare to Detroit's Nain Rouge. It's a story and a character perfect for colorful comic treatment, and someone has finally done him justice!

by Josef Bastian and Patrick McEvoy

The Tale of the Harbinger of Doom in the Motor City

Folkteller Stories and Caliber Comics have teamed up to bring the story of the Nain Rouge legend to life in a full color graphic novel.  Released nationally in both print and digital, the Nain Rouge: The Red Legend is the follow up to the three novels based on the legendary Detroit folktale from writer Josef Bastian.

The Nain Rouge is the dwarf that resided in the Detroit area before the French moved in.  Shunned by Cadillac, the Nain Rouge placed a curse onto the entire region of Detroit. The curse, it is rumored, befalls anyone who creates evil of their own will, empowering the Nain Rouge with strength especially in recent decades with Detroit’s problems.  Each year, the Marche Du Nain Rouge in downtown Detroit, is a celebratory march to drive the Nain rouge from the city and attracts 1,000s of participants.

“We are so excited to share this wonderful story with the world in so many different ways,” said Bastian, who co-creator of Folkteller in addition to author of the graphic novel and the three books chronicling the history of the Nain Rouge. Illustrated by renowned artist, Patrick McEvoy, the 84 page graphic novel will be available at many of the area’s comic shops as well as online sites such as Amazon.

Bastian and his co-creator, Carl Winans, launched Folkteller Stories to spotlight what they term as a new genre, Crytofolk; a new style of immersive storytelling that resurrects old and obscure folklore and legends from around the world.  The Nain Rouge is the first of such endeavors that utilize descriptive narrative to present the tales in thought provoking, visually rich stories that appeal to a global audience.

The Nain Rouge is being released from Caliber Comics, the largest comic book publishing house based in Michigan.  Caliber has published over 1,300 comics and graphic novels and helped to launch the careers of some of today’s leading comic book writers and artists.  Gary Reed, publisher of Caliber, says that The Nain Rouge, “is a great example of the power of the medium.  Here we have a complete tale in one graphic novel that appeals to fans of comics yet also does a fantastic job of tying the legend into Detroit’s history.  It is more than fiction, it is also a chronicle of Detroit.”

Josef Bastian and Carl Winans will be signing at many of the comic shops in the metropolitan Detroit area such as Comic City, Green Brain Comics, Fun4All Comics, Rogues Gallery, and more.  The facebook page,, will have the signing schedule constantly updated.

MOTORCITYBLOG always recommends you get your goodies at local shops like our buddies over at Green Brain Comics, but we are going to give you a head start on chasing that little devil away for Spring by giving away a few copies of this gorgeous book to some of our frozen readers.

Email to get in on the draw.


CALL FOR ARTISTS: 2015 Drunken Historical Society Detroit Fete d'Anniversaire

2015 Drunken Historical Society Detroit Fete d'Anniversaire

The Detroit Drunken Historical Society, in conjunction with Corktown Studios, is calling all artists, designers, and makers to conceive and create visual interpretations of Detroit Folklore for a Detroit birthday celebration this summer.

The Detroit Drunken Historical Society would like to commemorate the City of Detroit’s birthday this July with a party celebrating the folklore of our city’s French past. We are seeking artists of all media to generate new works surrounding a selection of French-centric historical works of fiction provided.

The Detroit Drunken Historical Society is a meetup group that hosts monthly activities at local bars in Detroit for people to come out and learn about Detroit’s 300 year history in a casual, engaging environment.

When and Where
The pieces will be put on display and up for sale in a Silent Auction at Jam Handy on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit during the Detroit Drunken Historical Society’s City Fête d'Anniversaire on July 24th, 2015 at the Jam Handy

Pieces will need to be delivered to that location one (1) week prior to the event date. Exact time will be set closer to event date.

Who Can Apply
Artists can work in any medium, be any age, or in any stage of their career.

The Deal
Artists will receive a $100 stipend for each piece of work selected to be created, with $50 provided at award, and $50 provided when the piece is delivered for the final show. Each piece will be placed for sale via a silent art auction format, with the artist earning 90% of the sale price, 10% being sent to Corktown Studios for organization and facilitation in the event. Artists will set the value of the piece, with bidding starting at 50% of suggested value. Artists may propose up to 3 pieces.

FREE VINYL FRIDAY! Shilpa Ray plays at PJ's Lager House on Tuesday, March 3!

Former backup singer for Nick Cave, Shilpa Ray, is playing a gig at PJ's Lager House on March 3. Nick Cave has said that she's "One of the most phenomenal things I've seen in a long time. She's going to be huge." Shilpa Ray just released a two song covers EP tribute to her childhood hero Lou Reed Ep on Northern Spy Records. 

Check out "Nocternal Emissions"

This week for Free Vinyl Friday were giving away some some Shilpa Ray music. Send an email to telling us why you need some Shilpa Ray Vinyl!

Shilpa Ray tour dates

2/27 Brooklyn, NY — Union Pool w/ Johanna Samuels, LIPS (fb)
3/01 Buffalo, NY — Nietzsche’s w/ Pine Fever
3/02 Columbus, OH — Rumba Cafe w/ Dana
Detroit, MI — PJ’s LagerHouse
3/04 Chicago, IL — Burlington
3/05-3/08 Columbia, MO — True/False Film Festival
3/10 Louisville, KY — Zanzabar
3/12 Tuscaloosa, AL — Egan’s w/ Cherch
3/13 New Orleans, NO — The Circle Bar w/ Slothrust
3/15 Houston, TX — Walters w/ Rosette and Giant Kitty
3/17-3/19 Austin, TX —SXSW
3/20 Hot Springs, AK — VOV Festival
3/21 Athens, OH — TBD