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Henry Ford Estate to celebrate centennial with folk music festival

This August marks the 100th anniversary of Henry and Clara Ford taking up residence at Fair Lane, a palatial estate surrounded by farm land in Dearborn, Michigan.
According to a release by the Henry Ford Estate, the Fords called Fair Lane home from 1915 to 1950. "Upon Clara’s death," they write, "Fair Lane was given to Ford Motor Company, and in 1957 Ford donated the estate and the farmlands to the University of Michigan for construction of the Dearborn campus. In 1966, it was among the first in the nation to receive the prestigious designation as a National Historic Landmark from the National Register of Historic Places. In June 2013, ownership of the Estate transferred from the University to the Henry Ford Estate, Inc., a new 501c3 corporation that will now restore, reimagine and reopen the Estate."
To celebrate Fair Lane's centennial, the Ford Estate will host the first ever Fair Lane Folk Festival on its grounds on Saturday, August 1, from 4-10 p.m.
The full lineup of musicians includes NBC’s "The Voice" finalist Joshua Davis, Matt Wertz, Frontier Ruckus, Rayland Baxter, The Accidentals, PigPen Theatre Co., Rachel & Dominic Davis, The Giving Tree Band, Chris Bathgate, Thunderwude and The Green Gallows.
In addition to live music, attendees will also be able to enjoy Michigan craft beers in the Bell’s Beer Garden, a variety of food trucks and local artisans and vendors.
Advanced tickets are available at two prices levels:
$25 general admission - Includes admission to festival, parking in a university parking lot, and access to estate grounds. If still available, tickets can be purchased on site on the day of the event for $35.
$75 VIP - Includes VIP parking at the estate, admission to festival, access to House, VIP reception in the air conditioned Pool Room with snacks, drinks and private acoustic performances.  VIP tickets are limited.
More information: fairlanefolkfest.org

Lincoln Park Historical Museum wants your help celebrating MC5's 50th anniversary

Did you know that most of the founding members of seminal Detroit rock group the MC5 met 50 years ago while students at Lincoln Park High School? Now you do.
To help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the band's formation, the Lincoln Park Historical Museum will host an exhibit honoring its native sons this summer. The News Herald is reporting that the exhibit will be kicked off with a reception on July 11 and a tribute concert at the Lincoln Park Memorial Band Shell on July 12. Both events will be open to the public.
According to the News Herald, "Museum curator Jeff Day is looking for MC5 memorabilia and material for the exhibit…and is specifically looking for items that show the group’s ties to Lincoln Park, such as high school photos."
“It’s important for us to approach it from an angle of their early history,” Day said. “I’ve talked to some local fellas here who went to high school with them and played ball with them. I’d like to show who these guys were and where they came from.”
Read more in the News Herald, "The Voice of Downriver."

Henry Rollins digs obscure Detroit bands

Ever heard of long gone metro Detroit rock bands like Sonic's Rendezvous Band or Death? Henry Rollins has. And he considers them top o' the underground heap.


"One of the most undermentioned American rock bands of the last century. It was, literally, a Detroit supergroup. Fred 'Sonic' Smith of the MC5 on guitar, Scott Morgan of the Rationals on guitar and vocals, Gary Rasmussen of the Up on bass, and Scott Asheton of the Stooges on drums. This is both post-Stooges and post-MC5. In my opinion, both Smith and Asheton, two of the most solid musicians to come out of the entire Detroit late-'60s, early-'70s scene, both realized their mightiest playing in this band. Most of their recorded output is live material that is fairly easy to locate. They made a single of one of their best tracks, 'City Slang,' and released it in 1978. In a little over 5 minutes, the band delivers some of the most thrilling, blowout, burn-up rock and roll. Smith's tone and attack is without peer, Asheton's solid drive is the epitome of rock drumming. The band is a cohesive thing of perfection. I was introduced to this song in the early '80s and have never recovered."

Read the rest here.

Berliners envision defunct Fisher Body factory as dance club

Germans like Detroit grit: Visionaries there are thinking of retooling an abandoned factory into a dance club. And they're exploring sending their creatives to the city as resident artists.


"On each of his last 15 visits to Detroit, Dimitri Hegemann has visited his old friend, Fisher Body 21...

Fisher Body 21 is a decrepit six-story building that is covered in graffiti, lined with smashed windows and, according to state authorities, dangerously contaminated. Built in 1919, the former auto-parts plant in Detroit was deserted two decades ago.

But where others see a case for the wrecking ball, Mr. Hegemann and his friends see the first step toward the revival of America's abandoned city...

Mr. Hegemann, founder of a Berlin nightclub and record label, is spearheading a project called the Detroit-Berlin Connection, an effort by the movers and shakers in this city's music scene to help restart the Motor City. The Berliners compare Detroit to their city after the fall of the Berlin Wall and say it has all the ingredients for a similar rebirth as a center of underground culture: deserted buildings, cheap rents and a gritty reputation...

Katja Lucker, head of the Berlin Music Board, a government-funded agency that promotes the city's music scene, said she is discussing funding a Detroit residency for German artists with officials in both cities. Ms. Lucker, a political appointee who wears Adidas high-tops and a Detroit Tigers jacket around town, said her trip to Detroit this May made her see the city as "a healing place" that would rejuvenate burnt-out artists. "People are jogging in the streets because there are no cars," she said. "It's so inspiring."

More here.

Local school districts rank as best communities for music education

Several southeast Michigan districts – Ann Arbor, Oak Park, Bloomfield Hills, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Fraser, and Rochester – are attuned to excellence in musical education.


"This year, the NAMM Foundation designates 376  districts  as Best Communities for Music Education and 96 individual  schools  as SupportMusic Merit Award winners. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education...

More than 2,000 schools and school districts participated in this year's survey, resulting in a 21% increase in designations."

More here.

Folk music gets new play in Michigan

Michigan was supposed to be just another stop on folklorist Alan Lomax's folk-music documentation road trip, but Lomax parked his car here for quite a while.


"Detroit is famous for its music, from the Motown hits of the 1960s to the cutting-edge punk of Iggy Pop to the rap of Eminem. Little known, though, is that Michigan was also fertile ground for folk music, brought to the region by immigrants in the early 20th century and played in the logging camps, mines and factory towns where they worked.

Legendary folklorist Alan Lomax discovered the music in 1938 when he visited the Midwest on his famous 10-year cross-country trek to document American folk music for the Library of Congress...

Lomax, son of famous musicologist John A. Lomax, spent three months in Michigan on his research, which also took him through Appalachia and the deep South. He drove through rural communities and recorded the work songs and folk tunes he heard on a large suitcase-sized disc recorder powered by his car's battery.

The trip was supposed to cover much of the Upper Midwest, but he found so much in Michigan that he made only a few recordings elsewhere in the region."

Metro Detroit schools tops in country for music education

Strike up the music! The NAMM Foundation has called out the school districts of Berkeley, Bloomfield Hills, Dearborn, Ferndale, and Troy, as being among the best in the nation for music education.

Read the full list here.

NAMM Foundation calls Ferndale "Best Community for Music Education"

Troy, Berkley, Bloomfield Hills, Fraser, and Ann Arbor all made the list but Ferndale was selected as the bestest. (yes, we know that's not a word).


"The district's music program includes a vocal music program that begins in kindergarten, instrumental music beginning in fourth grade, band, orchestra and choir programs for middle and high school, and a State Championship marching band.

What Ferndale offers for music education is especially significant considering the district's small size, Jamison said.

"We're still offering basically everything," he said. "We have most everything that schools two, three or four times our size have.""

Read the rest here.

Troy-based CEO is pluckin' talented

Yeah, business is important but there must also be music. John Smith is president and CEO of Ross Controls Co. and trustee for Lawrence Tech and plays a mean banjo.


"This is a club where a CEO takes cues from a crane operator. Brian Newsom directs the Ban-Joes of Michigan and is chairman of the North American International Banjo Convention. He spent 42 years as a crane operator, helping build Joe Louis Arena and General Motors Co.'s Poletown plant.

One of the clubs is Canadian. "Hence, we've got the international thing going on," Newsom said."

Read the rest here.

Paste Magazine lists 12 Michigan bands you gotta listen to

Okay, let's start off by mentioning my intense love of Lightning Love, Chris Bathgate, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. But that's just the tip of the local music worth owning iceberg. Paste spotlights a dozen Mitten-based bands that you should be spreading the gospel about.


"Lightning Love is a trio that features siblings Aaron and Leah Diehl along with guitarist Ben Collins. Aaron’s simple, appropriate drums are a great backbone for Leah’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics that explore subjects that range from every day routines (“Everyone I Know”) to the more ridiculous (“Friends”). The band just released the excellent Girls Who Look Like Me EP on Quite Scientific Records."

Read the rest here.

Harper Woods' Mack Avenue artist wins a Grammy

Put another notch in Metro Detroit's music cred belt. The Grammy this time is for jazz. Which, as anyone will tell you, is what we has.


"Mack Avenue Records bassist Christian McBride received his first GRAMMY Award as a leader at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. McBride won in the “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” category for his big band debut, "The Good Feeling."

Read the rest here. Watch the videos about McBride's work below.

Farmington music firm scores Super Bowl ads

It used to be a bait shop. Now, it's home to Yessian music, a firm that's created soundtracks for Budweiser and Hyundai commercials. At this year's Super Bowl their musical efforts could be heard in five different commercials.


"Generally, Yessian will compete with several other companies to produce the best music for a particular commercial. For the Budweiser "Eternal Optimism" commercial, they wowed ad agency Anomaly with a mash-up of "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult and "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida that matches a visual movement through time, from the early 1940s to today. Rapper Flo Rida's 2011 hit doesn't readily evoke a 1950s aesthetic, but Emmy Award-winning composer Dan Zank, who works out of the New York office, was able to make the sound fit a different time period."

Read the full story here.

Eminem, gospel style

Listen. Watch. Wait for the goosebumps to subside.

Grosse Pointe's The Selected of God Choir does up Eminem's Lose Yourself.


Proceeds from iTunes sales of the single will benefit local charities.

Watch the video below.

It's official: world's youngest professional drummer lives in Macomb

Okay, this Macomb musical prodigy is seven years old. Seven! Julian Pavone recorded his first CD at 20 months. He has appeared on about 150 television and news shows. And now he's in the Guinness Book of Records.

Feel inadequate yet?


"Julian Pavone was certified as of March 21, 2010, when he was 5 years, 10 months and 3 days old, Guinness announced Tuesday.

The rules for London-based Guinness say a drummer must play on at least one commercial record and be paid for the work. The drummer also must have given at least 20 concerts of 45 minutes or longer within five years."

Read more here.

Watch the video here.

Metro Detroit's creative community gets its own incubator

In the rush to create new economy jobs in metro Detroit the talk has mostly centered around incentives and support for engineering, life sciences, green energy, and computer technology. But building a creative class is more than hot on the job market front.

Enter Detroit's new Creative Ventures Acceleration Program, an incubator oriented toward design, film, music, and social media. And it's getting national attention.


"The Creative Ventures Acceleration Program offers local entrepreneurs access to resources, services, strategic counseling, development support and other services that seek to "increase the density of creative-sector businesses in the downtown area," according to the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, a business accelerator that developed the program.

Backed by $500,000 in funding by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the U.S. Small Business Administration, among other groups, the program features a 12-month curriculum for "ventures-in-residence" to better identify development goals and best practices."

Get the rest of the story here.

The mighty Motown musical tradition continues

Local boys Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott (aka Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.) are just the latest in a long line of great Detroit musicians. Their debut album has reached the ears of the L.A. Times Music Blog, and for the most part, they like what they hear.


Give Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. this much: The young Detroit duo has only one full-length to its name, but it's one decorated with more than a few pop peculiarities. Putting aside the coy playfulness of the act's name, Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott actually specialize in tenderness, crafting a collection that places a premium on harmonies and a studious reliance on electronics.

Read the rest of the review here.

London hearts Detroit. London, Ontario, that is

You know a city is digging your scene when they rename one of their streets: "Pure Michigan Ave"


Tourism London general manager John Winston says "Michigan and Ontario have always been great neighbors." He says the week is "an opportunity to exhibit the meaning of true friendship by showcasing the City of Detroit’s history, traditions and people."

Read the rest of the story here.

Detroit's rock scene could teach new tech firms a thing or two

HuffPost blogger, Oakland University professor and Grosse Pointe resident Jason Schmitt reads into the genetic code of Metro Detroit's ever inventive and endlessly innovative rock scene and see a template for how new technology firms and entrepreneurial endeavors can find similarly earth-shattering successes.


"If you are interested in corporate creativity, my first finding of pocketed communities takes the form of a "no duh." Nearly every creative-inspired leadership book I have read mentions the importance of keeping the creatives away from the nitty gritty. The importance of not micro-managing is brought up to allow the big ideas a culture in which to flourish. The interesting notion is to think of these ideas on a larger scope than the brick and mortar office. To zoom out and look at this as a more city culture than corporate philosophy. And to look at the ramifications that working from home can have on this process. Metro Detroit has enough room to allow distinct lifestyles to play out in separate Petri dishes. In a Second Life, 2.0, global access world, the dictates of "neighborhood" are changeable, sculptable, and extremely important.

Family-owned radio in Detroit is an interesting second ingredient to the homogenization kryptonite this region seems to possess. Plain and simple, Detroit is not as quick to pick up on national music trends. By not basking in the newest ideas, this region has maintained a more focused creative demeanor. Media that reflects the region's view and not national dictates, is extremely important. This finding makes reassessing your RSS feed content, and choosing what streams of information you want to seep into you, or your workforces' brain, more important.

The third finding is Detroiters make great audience members."

Read the rest of the story here.

Detroit drives techno

People often talk about the need for Metro Detroit to harness its vast musical culture. It actually works the other way around with local musicians harnessing the region's culture to drive musical innovation. The most recent example is how a Metro Detroiter invented Techno and how local musicians are still harnessing it and the region for inspiration.


Berry Gordy Jr., founder of Motown Records, claimed that Detroit’s assembly lines inspired the sound of his label’s music. The originators of techno dance music, which also got its start in the city, were subject to these surrounding influences, as well, though the mood of the town had changed dramatically by the early 1980s.

"Detroit is a cold place with a heart made of metal," said Michael Banks, a producer and co-founder of Underground Resistance, a politically charged techno outfit in Detroit.
"For me, the car industry affected techno music by its efficiency aspects," Mr. Banks, who also records under the name Mad Mike, explained.

Juan Atkins, a Detroit music producer, is widely credited with inventing the techno genre. He coined the term in 1984 from the novel "Future Shock" by Alvin Toffler. That same year, Mr. Atkins released the song "Techno City," a recording that popularized the word in Europe.

Read the rest of the story here.

Ann Arbor-native musician Andrew WK bares his teenage soul

Raised in Ann Arbor, musician Andrew WK rose to fame with his 2001 hit "Party Hard." But, before he was the big rockstar in the dirty white jeans and the greasy long hair, he was a teenager in Ann Arbor. A teenager with a crush. A teenager with a restraining order against him because of a song. He talks about it in the Guardian.


I was in high school in the 1990s, in a town called Ann Arbor in Michigan. I had a crush on a girl and was deeply and passionately fixated on her. She had a baby face, a 14-tooth smile, large eyes, a crowned forehead, an oversized brow and a tender style. She consumed me with both lust and hatred – lust, because I was truly drawn to her beauty and soft skin, and hatred because she rarely spoke to me, wouldn't look at me much and never gave me a chance to show her my deep affections. I used to call her house just to listen to her say, "Hello?" Then I'd hang up, terrified and shaking with nervous ecstasy.

In our senior year of high school, when I was 17, we were required to make a final project which was presented to the head of the school and graded as our final exam. This was when my crush was at its absolute height. I decided to write a song dedicated to her and submit it as my final project for graduation. The song was My Destiny. I've never recorded another song like it, and now – listening to it after all these years – I can see why.

Read the entire article here.

Tax incentives: Music style

The film incentives seemed to work so well so why not apply them to the music industry, too? Well, that's the plan with these new tax credits for music makers.


It makes for an enchanting vision: the revival of Detroit as a music-making capital, teeming with studios, session players, producers and smash hits.

With Michigan's newly revealed recording tax incentives, music lovers can only be intrigued by the prospect of restoring real enterprise -- and dollars -- to Detroit's legacy as one of the world's great music cities.

Amid thriving film production here, prompted by related tax credits, there's plenty of precedent for Michigan as a music hub. Indeed, from the historical point of view, a tax incentive for music is far more fitting than one for film.

Read the entire article here.

Los Angeles-via-Ann Arbor multi-instrumentalist isn't your typical soul artist

Mayer Hawthorne could be the cleanest and newest looking record sandwiched between Issac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield at your local record shop. It sounds old, scratchy, and raw, like it's still 1972. The thing is, Mayer Hawthorne is actually a "29-year-old white kid from Ann Arbor."


Los Angeles-via-Ann Arbor singer/DJ/producer/multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne basically does everything on A Strange Arrangement, his debut full-length for Stones Throw. He has a sort of throwback Detroit soul sound and cites Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Barry White, Leroy Hutson, Smoke Robinson, etc., as influences. It's smooth stuff that ought to be enjoyed by a wide demographic. Maybe the Strange in the album title comes from the fact that the somewhat nerdy Hawthorne isn't your usual soul crooner? As the copy at Stones Throw puts it:

Few expect such heartfelt sentiment to come from a 29-year-old white kid from Ann Arbor, but he has caught the ear of his family at Stones Throw, as well as BBC Radio 1 host Gilles Peterson and producer/DJ Mark Ronson.
Read the entire post, watch the video, and download an mp3 here. (A link doesn't get much better than that, really.)

Ann Arbor-based Ghostly International releases app for iPhone and iPod Touch

"There's an app for that," the iPhone commercial says regularly. It's catchy, that's for sure. And now, if you're a Ghostly International fan, well, now there's an app for that. The iPhone and iPod Touch will read your mood and create a playlist using catalogs from Ghostly and its sister label, Spectral Sound.

Sounds better than a mood ring.


Ann Arbor-based Ghostly International has just released an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Called Ghostly Discovery, the application works as a mood-reading jukebox containing Ghostly's and sister label's Spectral Sound's catalogs, allowing users to create space-age playlists for what they want to listen to based on their emo(tional) state and digital (or) organic preference. After setting your own parameters, you get the option of reading artist bios and purchasing MP3s. Ghostly Discovery is free at the iTunes Store. Download it now, we say. Get it and find Dykehouse's 'Chain Smoking.' You'll want to hug it, guaranteed.

Read the entire post here.

What's stopping Detroit from capitalizing on its rich music scene?

Madonna, Mitch Ryder, the White Stripes, Bob Seger, Eminem, Kid Rock... oh, then there's Motown with the Temptations, the Four Tops, Diana Ross... Wait, how about Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, the MC5... oh, and Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. Whatta list -- and all from Detroit (or the Detroit area). So, with such a lofty legacy of musicians, and coupled with the pulsating, overflowing, vibrant scene of local musical talent, why has it been so difficult for Detroit to capitalize on its musical riches?


All of these cities have made their music scene a major tourist draw. And not just for the big festivals, but week in and week out at clubs and small theaters. People gravitate to these places as destinations to hear great live music.

But that hasn't happened for Detroit, despite the decades of immensely popular music associated with the city.

W. Kim Heron is the editor of the alternative weekly newspaper The Metro Times. A veteran Detroit journalist and music writer, Heron says Detroit did once have such a district. But it got buried, literally, a half-century ago when they built the freeways that intersect this automobile capitol. "Our Beale Street is somewhere under I-75," Heron says.

One member of the Detroit City Council says Detroit needs to do more to promote its musical legacy. Her name is Martha Reeves. And yes, she is that Martha Reeves from Martha and the Vandellas.

"I've gone to other cities and seen statues and plaques depicting the wonderful, great artists that were created and discovered in the different hometowns," Reeves says. "And since Motown left Detroit in the '70s, there has been very little memorabilia."

Read the entire article here.

Detroit's Hitsville USA is a tribute to the soul

Motown was more than just music, it was a movement. And though it left Detroit for Los Angeles in 1972, it never really left Detroit. Still standing is Motown's studio A, later incorporated as a Motown museum.


The Motown Historical Museum in Detroit, which celebrates its 24th anniversary this year, when Motown Records is celebrating its 50th, includes a tiny white house known as Hitsville, where singers were discovered by Berry Gordy and trained by studio executives to become the hottest thing in music.

The house, where groups like the Four Tops and the Temptations and artists like Stevie Wonder recorded their greatest hits, is a time capsule of the glory years of Motown.

Read the entire article here.

Bob Dylan gives cred to Rothbury music fest

Bob Dylan, dudes! He's coming to Michigan to play the Rothbury festival. And though the lineup is jam-packed with acclaimed artists, his presence jacks up the cred of the young festival.


Still, his presence on Rothbury's bill lends a crucial gravitas to the fledgling fest. Bands such as EOTO and Chromeo may tickle the antennae of fans who live and breathe music, but Dylan brings a broad, built-in credibility that lifts the event's visibility among more casual onlookers.

That said, it would be a mistake to think Rothbury is aiming to fill 2,200 acres with peers of the 67-year-old musician. As last year's debut festival demonstrated, Rothbury is a commitment -- four long days and nights in the elements, on a sprawling site that can leave even the heartiest young souls spent by the end. Tickets are sold only as four-day passes, and while it's not implausible to buy a weekend pass for an afternoon visit, Rothbury is designed as a live-in camping event.

Read the entire article here.

AMPing up Detroit's modern media economy

Hear it loud and clear: Non-profit (and new Detroiter) Allied Media Projects calls for the city to focus on community media.


Allied Media Projects (AMP) is the local host of the annual Allied Media Conference in Detroit, which attracts North America's most creative and skilled media makers and social justice organizers…

Through the conference, AMP has fostered conversations about community media potentially transforming Detroit and other "dying cities" throughout the world. Folks in Detroit -- or anywhere that requires a hustle to survive -- know that creativity is an abundant and renewable resource. We can build on that. Here are some key steps we can take to use community media to rebuild Detroit’s economy for the 21st century.

Read the full story here.

Ann Arbor native, Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton dies at 60

Sometimes music happens that changes things. Influential music ebbs and flows, there are peaks and valleys. There are a few that lead while most follow. The Stooges was one of those leaders. It's hard to argue the Stooges' place in rock history. And the man behind those three-chord, punk rock riffs, Ron Asheton, was found dead in his Ann Arbor home last week. A tribute to Asheton will be held on Jan. 17 at the Music Hall for the Performing Arts in downtown Detroit.

Will Iggy show up?


Three high school friends in Ann Arbor — Mr. Asheton; his drummer brother, Scott; and the singer James Osterberg, who later changed his name to Iggy Pop — formed the nucleus of what was first called the Psychedelic Stooges. Influenced by free jazz, garage rock and Chicago blues, the Stooges’ first two albums — “The Stooges” and “Fun House” — are the best showcase of Mr. Asheton’s sound: two- or three-chord riffs with an open, droning, low E string and solos filtered through distortion and wah-wah pedals.

After the high point of “Fun House,” things became more complicated. The bassist, Dave Alexander, was fired, and the band was dropped by its label, Elektra. Iggy Pop, individually, was signed by David Bowie’s production company, MainMan. A new guitarist and songwriter, James Williamson, joined the group. On “Raw Power,” the band’s final studio album, Mr. Asheton was demoted to playing bass.

The Stooges lasted from 1967 to 1974. Having progressed from a noisy, anarchic joke to a great, confrontational rock band and back to a joke, the members were broke and addicted to heroin, except for Mr. Asheton, who increasingly took responsibility for holding the band together from day to day.

Read the entire article here.

For more information on the tribute go here.

LimeWire talks to Ghostly International

LimeWire interviews Jeff Owens, the label manager for Ann Arbors favorite electronic music label Ghostly International.


It's the season of scary, and we recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Owens, the label manager for Ghostly International and Spectral Sound. Founded by Sam Valenti IV in 1999 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ghostly is one of America's most innovative and influential independent record labels. Continue reading to find out why...

Read the entire article here.

The jazz and the weather brought them out in droves

Opening night kicked off a successful tribute to "The Prince of Motown" Marvin Gaye. And, thanks to the weather, the people kept coming and coming throughout the entire weekend.


Jazz Fest publicist Matt Lee said the festival experienced its biggest opening night ever Friday, thanks in part to the lovely weather.

"The core constituency comes out no matter what," Lee said. "But good weather is going to enhance that...You can have the Beatles there, and if the weather ain't right, it ain't going to be good."

Read the entire article here.

Saline-based Wadia Digital rolls out new iPod docking technology

Some homers are hookin' up with Apple. Saline-based Wadia Digital has started a roll out of a new player dock for a few versions of the iPod.


The Saline high-end audio company Wadia Digital said Monday it had begun shipping the 170iTransport, a digital player dock that provides CD-quality audio from full-resolution file formats stored on currently available iPod nano with video, iPod classic and iPod touch models.

Read the entire article here.

Ferndale-based Paxahau emerging as local promoting powerhouse

Paxahau was the first independent promoter to produce a stage at the 2005 Detroit Electronic Music Festival. In 2006 they were given full management responsibilities of the festival. Now they have become a significant player in promoting Detroit's worldly famous electronic music scene.


In the past decade, Huvaere's firm has grown to include a Web archive, booking agency, record label and an event production company which produces an average of 20 events a year.

"We're more of communications than anything," Huvaere said during an interview with The Oakland Press. "We registered the Web site in the fall of 1998 and from that date which we actually celebrate our anniversary."

"We'll be celebrating our 10th anniversary this fall," Huvaere said.

Read the entire article here.

Detroit's electronic music festival grows in ticket sales and volunteers

This year's Detroit Electronic Music Festival - Movement - will take over Hart Plaza on May 24-26 with double the volunteers and triple the ticket sales of last year. Moby, Richie Hawtin, and Carl Craig are just a tiny fraction of the performances taking place.


To date, Paxahau has 235 volunteers to work this year's festival, which is up from last year's 115.  More than 40 of the volunteers are from out of state, and Paxahau expects to max out volunteers at 250 shortly, and will then rollover volunteers beyond 250 to staff the 2009 festival.  
Additionally, festival ticket sales are triple of what they were at this time last year.
"We truly believe that this year's increased interest, on all levels, is a direct result of our work to continually upgrade the festival experience, from the artist line-up to the drastically enhanced sound systems as well as weatherproofed staging," stated Jason Huvaere, festival director.

Visit Movement 08 here.

Kick out the jams with a rare A2 Records anthology

A2 Records was founded by Hugh "Jeep" Holland, a University of Michigan student, and it boasted quite an impressive lineup of '60s Michigan rock groups, such as MC5. Jeep died in 1998 and left A2's masters with his brother Frank. England-based Ace Records purchased them and this Tuesday will be bringing these rare albums together into one product.


"A-Square (Of Course): The Story Of Michigan's Legendary A-Square Records," which will be available only as an import CD from Ace Records, includes tracks from The Scot Richard Case, MC5 (the rare "Looking at You"), The Prime Movers (featuring a young Iggy Pop on drums and lead vocals, circa 1966), The Thyme, The Up and more.

Read the entire article here.

Detroit rock city, and everyone knows it!

Despite all the hipsters with their asymmetrical haircuts, the crashing of bowling pins, and the babbling of local drunks, the Magic Stick is still all rock 'n' roll. Everyone's played there, or will eventually play there. It's almost a rite of passage for Detroit rockers. And so naturally Rolling Stone lists the venue as one of the Best Rock Clubs around.


Pretty much every Detroit band — from the up-and-coming White Stripes to the Detroit Cobras — has played the Magic Stick, a funky, high-energy pool hall above the Garden Bowl bowling alley. Local talent plays most nights, alongside national acts like Tokyo Police Club and the Breeders.

Read the entire article here.

Keepin' tabs on the artists

Stand up and be counted if you're an artist in Washtenaw County. Well, actually, it's more like sit down, fill out a survey, and be counted. Between April 1 and May 17 the Washtenaw County Arts Alliance will launch an Artists' Census. The census will become part of the Arts Alliance's cultural plan for the county. They are urging everyone to participate. Who knows, maybe you'll find out you're an artist - and you just never knew it.


"Artists are the creative DNA of Washtenaw County, and provide the spark that makes our region such a great place to live," Tamara Real, Director of the Arts Alliance, said in a press release.

Real said the census would aid in building "visibility and credibility" of several artists in the community.

"It's easy to know how many arts organizations are in the country, but individual artists are often over looked."

Read the entire article here.

Detroiter provides Obama soundtrack

What "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" was for Bill Clinton, a song by a Detroit artist could be for Barack Obama.

Detroiter Mike-E's "Everything Will Be Alright" has been played by the Democratic frontrunner at rallies, in promo videos and on (surprise, surprise)www.barackobama.com.

Creative companies asked to participate in regional survey

Creativity? Oh, we've got it, all right. Anyone who knows the metro area knows our downtowns and side streets are bustling with stores that are part of the creative economy, from local fashion designers to graphic artists to Web specialists. Detroit Renaissance and Crain's Detroit Business are trying to survey southeast Michigan's creative economy.


The creative economy can be a foundation for economic development. But to grow existing companies and attract new creative-economy companies, Southeast Michigan has to show the world – and its own business population – the creative talent that lives here.

Read the entire article here.

'Rockin' for Vinnie' benefit will be held Nov. 3

A family active in the local music community was beset by tragedy when 12-year-old Vinnie Olcenik was killed in a car crash on September 29. The community is coming together with a benefit on November 3.

WRIF, Silver Media Group and other sponsors are organizing "Rockin' for Vinnie", a 12-hour benefit and rock auction on November 3 starting at noon. Seventeen bands will perform and there will be an auction including autographed items from Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue and many more. Auction items are updated daily in the blog at www.myspace.com/gluemomma.

Metro Times releases annual 'Best of Detroit'

As they wont to do each year, the Metro Times has released its annual "Best of Detroit" awards.

Check them out here.

Egypt's national orchestra makes stop in Detroit on Oct. 27

Umm Kulthoum Orchestra, the national orchestra of Egypt, will perform at the Detroit Opera House on October 27 for an Arab American National Museum fundraiser.

Tickets range in price from $25 up to $150. To purchase call the Arab American National Museum at 313-6240-0200 or go to www.accesscommunity.org.

Sept. 20-22, Detour brings Detroit 30 bands in 3 days

On-line pop culture magazine Detour is officially celebrating its launch with three nights of 30 bands.

From September 20 through 22, venues include CAID and the Magic Stick. Check here for all the deets.

Read mode's coverage of Detour here.

SE Michigan humming with activity over Labor Day weekend

So much to do over Labor Day Weekend...

Downtown, there's the Detroit International Jazz Festival, while the Michigan State Fair wraps up on Monday. There's also the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival. Finally, Oakland County has Arts, Beats & Eats.

Only in Detroit: Herbie Hancock, Alice Cooper, Danica Patrick and the Polish Muslims.

Find out more about the 3 Days in the D tourism promotion here.

metromode hopes you have a great holiday weekend!

Detroit's Bohemian National Home to host improvisational music fest June 8-9

The Bohemian National Home will host its second annual Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music June 8-9, featuring some truly avant garde musicians.

Headliners include the Sun Ra Arkestra, Faruk Z. Bey Quintet, Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter and Andrew Barker.

Slows Bar B Que and People's Records will be in the house. Call 313.737.6606 for more info.

Soultracks launches expanded and redesigned website

Ann Arbor-based SoulTracks, the nation's most popular soul music website with over 3 million annual visits, has enhanced its website to meet its growing readership's needs.


"SoulTracks over the past four years at a rate beyond our wildest expectations," said SoulTracks publisher Chris Rizik. "And our readers have been asking for even more. More interactivity, more news and more features on both classic soul and modern soul artists. Soul Music is again one of the fastest rising musical genres in the world, and the new SoulTracks will continue to grow with it."

Read the entire article here.

Detroit Life "metaverse" event on Second Life tonight

Detroit Life is a city stimulation on Second Life. Tonight it is hosting live DJ sets and an avatar meet and greet with Kevin Saunderson and Mike Clark.


Detroit Life is a Motor City centric environment developed within Second Life by Loudbaby.com for the purpose of building community, fostering entrepreneurship, enabling social networking and promoting a progressive, positive image of America's 6th largest Metropolis to the World! Detroit Life also presents a unique opportunity for savvy businesses to promote their brand and message to a hip taste maker audience.

Read more here.

Proof documentary debuts Apr. 12 at Museum of African-American History

A documentary memorializing a frenzied 24-hour period spent recording an album just months before Proof's death debuts April 12 at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.


"You see how focused he is on his music, how intense he is," says DJ Jewels Baby -- aka Julius Myers -- who posed the 24-hour challenge to Proof in Jackson, Mich., in January 2006. "This is a chance to see his greatness."

Proof, who gained worldwide fame as Eminem's right-hand man onstage and in the group D12, got together with Jewels later that month at Jewels' home studio on Detroit's west side and sat down to write an album's worth of rhymes. Sure, Red Bull helped them stay awake as the clock ticked away, but more than that, it was the spirit of creativity that drove them. "It was almost like we were kids again," Jewels says.

Read the entire article here.

New record label to focus on A2 folk and indie rock scenes

Ann Arbor-based Jeremy and Brian Peters, along with New York-based partner Justin Spindler, have started an independent record label called Quite Scientific.


Jeremy Peters said the trio decided to start the label because a lot of great local acts weren't getting the chance they deserve.

"There's all this good music going on in this scene - the local folk scene, the local indie rock scene - that's not getting paid attention to, or getting lumped into the Detroit scene incorrectly,'' he said. "We're just trying to publicize and show other people all this good music from this area. It's just kind of a co-op idea. Everybody's friends help out each other to a certain degree.''

$400,000 awarded to arts community to establish Cultural Alliance of SE Michigan

The Cultural Alliance of SE Michigan has received $400,000 in start-up funding from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan along with the McGregor Fund and the Hudson-Webber Foundation. The Alliance will work to increase collaborations between and visibility of arts and cultural organizations in the seven-county SEMCOG region.

The Cultural Alliance will represent the arts and culture community in regional planning efforts and will market the programs and amenities of member organizations to a diverse group of audiences.

The chairman of the Cultural Alliance’s board will be Steven K. Hamp, former president of The Henry Ford and Chief of Staff of Ford Motor Co. “The Cultural Alliance represents a new era for the arts and culture in our region,” he said in a release. “It embraces all dimensions of the cultural community: performing arts, visual arts, history and historic preservation, community cultural activities, arts education, science and nature, libraries and literature. Our goal is to foster innovation and creativity and enable our many and diverse cultural resources to contribute more dynamically to the people and communities of southeastern Michigan.”

All participating parties stress the Alliance’s inclusiveness, as organizations both big and small, fledgling and established, will have access to the collective’s resources and expertise.

More than 60 organizations from across all seven counties participated in an 18-month planning process to develop the Cultural Alliance, and several hundred will be invited to participate.

Source: CFSEM
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

Martha Reeves tours Travel & Leisure around Motown

Motown singer-turned-Detroit City Councilwoman tours a Travel & Leisure writer around Motown.


Can you imagine being a girl-group scholar and having the lead singer of one of the most important groups in history elected to the city council of a major American city on a platform with a wide tourism plank, and being a writer for a travel magazine like the one you’re holding? Can you guess where this is going? Armed with a picture of Reeves I took as a teenager at the Garden with a primitive Instamatic, I went to Detroit to consider her shot at turning a brave, if besieged, Midwestern city into a destination. As Detroit struggles with an estimated $150 million budget shortfall, a homicide rate for the crime rolls, and a hemorrhaging auto industry, Reeves largely proposes to do this by leveraging the city’s musical heritage—meaning Motown, Aretha Franklin, and more contemporary figures like Madonna and Eminem.

Read the entire article here.

Local music gets spotlight on new weekly PBS show

Local PBS station WTVS has started a new weekly hour-long music series focusing on top independent talent in Metro Detroit.

The whole idea began with footage that metro Detroiters James McGovern and Greg Sharrow originally produced for www.canyouhearmetv.com, an online platform the two created to showcase select indie artists from around the country. Ultimately, Detroit Public Television picked up the Detroit episodes and packaged them for the series.

"Detroit is known for its music scene -- it's Motown," says McGovern. "It's our hometown and there's so much respect we have for the city. We hope to create a better image for it by bringing music here and promoting the local scene."

Click here for the full story.
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