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48 Music Articles | Page: | Show All

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.

Excerpt:

"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.

Excerpt:

"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.

Excerpt:

"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).

Excerpt:

"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.

Excerpt:

"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.

Excerpt:

"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.

Excerpt:

"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.

Excerpt:

"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.

Wow.

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?

Excerpt:

"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.

Excerpt:

"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.

Excerpt:

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"

Excerpt:

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 Detroitís 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.

Excerpt:

"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.
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