Carr Center installs outdoor ballroom at Detroit’s Paradise Valley/Harmonie Park

July 24, 2014 by  
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Detroit’s Harmonie Park has been transformed (temporarily), thanks to the installation of a huge, walkable, interactive art exhibit. The …

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Ed Hamell Really is the Happiest Man in the World

July 23, 2014 by  
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I had my MasterCard “priceless” moment last Friday night. A six pack of beer, Bud light Lime, $6.99. Donation to a house party,  $10. The opportunity to hear Hamell on Trial in a basement with friends, priceless.
I’ve known about Ed Hamell of Hamell on Trial for about 15 years (maybe even longer),  going back to when I received his first press release from Mercury records with his single that introduced me to a singer that really was like his song “Big as Life.”   I loved the hell out of that song as Ed tells a story of misguided racism by the media that still brings a tear to my eye.
The years that followed I’d see Ed’s name pop up every now and then, usually in a UK music magazine that would heap loads of praise on him for being one of America’s great storytellers and songwriters. He released albums that were full of crime and wit. Shady and colorful characters he met appeared on the albums like a psychedelic version of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. However, I didn’t get Ed’s real magic and charm until I experienced him live about 8 years ago. He played a small club on the very east side of town in front of a crowd of about 20 people. He joked between songs and played a beat up guitar like a madman that had made a deal with the devil. I interviewed him that night in his car while rain splashed on the windshield and he told me stories about music and touring.
I’d almost recently forgotten about Hamell on Trial. I tucked him into a corner of my brain where smart, talented people that don’t fit in go while the rest of my mind space is full of hollow, entertainment candy that never satisfies. But I was fortunate enough last week to find myself invited to house party that Ed was playing. That’s part of Ed’s life now, playing intimate parties around America that afford him enough to travel to the next stop and maybe take in some fun for him and his son, Detroit (coolest name for a kid ever). I spoke to Ed  before he played and he told me about his travels the last few years, including a recent trip to London. Those people over the pond still get what makes Hamell on Trial great.

The night kicked off with Ed introducing my friend’s daughter with her ukulele.  It was her first real audience so she was full of fright but took a bold approach and sang some songs that made us all beam and tear up. I could look over shoulder and see that Ed was sharing in this special moment. Around midnight, Ed strapped on his rugged guitar, the same one I saw him with years ago, opened with a few jokes and then tore into his set. He started the show with some songs from his new album “The Happiest Man in the World” and made us laugh by telling us about hard and bad times that still fill him with joy. His guitar playing was ferocious. There were times I thought I saw smoke coming off the strings. It didn’t take long before everyone in the room, even the young  and jaded, were transfixed by Ed, realizing they were in the presence of an authentic entertainer. He took requests and I had him play “Big as Life”. We laughed hard during “When You Are Young” and sang with him on several others. He ended the night imploring us to shout an expletive that I enjoyed yelling along with my daughters. Then, we all, everyone in the room, surrounded his table of CDs and albums to buy a couple and put in a few dollars to get his son a new Xbox.
That night has made me think again about what it takes to make a great show. It’s not fancy lights, a packed house or even a good PA. It’s songs with melodies that speak to the heart and mind from a gifted artist that has lived a life true to his art.

Post and pics by Mikel O.D. of MPAD Media – Detroit’s Anti-Blog
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THIS WEEKEND: Maker Faire Detroit on Saturday & Sunday (July 26-27) at The Henry Ford in Dearborn

July 23, 2014 by  
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   Maker Faire is an award winning, family friendly event celebrating technology, education, science, arts, crafts, engineering, food, sustainability, and more. Maker Faire has become part of pop-culture, a place for experiential marketing…

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UPCOMING: TAPE EATERS VHS CONVENTION on Saturday, July 26 in Ann Arbor

July 23, 2014 by  
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The 3rd Annual Tape Eaters VHS Convention will happen on Saturday, July 26th, at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, located at 2900 Jackson Rd, in Ann Arbor, MI.

TAPE EATERS specializes in Horror, Grindhouse, Science Fiction, Exploitation, Drive-In, Sleaze and generally weird releases on VHS, along with other “forgotten” formats, like beta & videodisc, plus posters, magazines, and other related merchandise. 


The Convention runs from 11:00am-8pm. 
Films will be shown from 11:30am-8pm.

Guests include:












And tons and tons of used VHS!



11:30AM- ADJUST YOUR TRACKING (encore matinee showing)
5:05PM- BACK FROM HELL (followed by 15 min director Q&A)

(Please keep in mind that this schedule can change, so check day of at the show, for any posted changes to the schedule. Intermissions between films will be very short, so keep that in mind also.)

Lots of VHS prizes and goodies at the show!

Visit the conventions website here… – Detroit’s Anti-Blog
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REVIEW AND PHOTOS: YES @ Meadowbrook Music Festival

July 23, 2014 by  
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Review by Michael Doré
Photos by Paul Hitz

Rochester Hills, MI – July 22nd 2014 – The great aspect of being at a Yes concert is knowing that if someone didn’t want to be there, they wouldn’t be. The band will never be mistaken for a flavor of the month, or the hot new group rising up the charts in the summer months. To be quite succinct, it is not a see, or be seen, type of show.

Formed in 1968, the group has evolved, disbanded, re-formed and has a current line- up that includes former members as well as new the addition of Jon Davison as the new lead singer (if you want to consider 2012 as new) whom in the true tradition of rock stardom was plucked in “Rockstar” fashion from the tribute group Roundabout.  Alan White on Percussion is also known from his younger days with the Plastic Ono Band prior to joining the group. After a brief break from Yes in the early 80’s, he has been with the band consistently since 1972. Geoff Downes on Keyboards rejoined his mates in 2011 after a cup of coffee stint in 1981. Downes has had a steady career and Is  looked upon with respect for the cultural significance of his work with the group Asia,  and the shot heard round the MTV generation world “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Original members Steve Howe on Lead Guitar and Chris Squire on Bass are still the heart and soul of the prog rock icons.

Yes is an acquired taste and was at the front of the prog rock genre in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This tour was put together as a gift for the die- hard fans that have followed them from their inception.  Starting the trip, Yes learned a lesson from the previous show in Detroit and reversed the order of performance to start with “Siberian Kahtru” instead of “Close to the Edge” for the performance of the album in its entirety. If you were new to the group, this made for a hefty start to the show as you were looking at 40 minutes for 3 songs.  This is not to mistake the group as an early precursor to the DMB or Widespread Panic Jams, as what the group does is take you on a journey. You can follow the music and be surprised at the different levels of intricacy that can be developed.

As with any artist, the band played a cut from the new album “Heaven and Earth” which was received warmly from the relatively full Meadowbrook Music Theatre. All new music has the herculean task of immediately being compared to the bands past classics and with the FM airwaves no longer playing the current hits from the classic artists, this was no different.

“Fragile” was performed in order and very close to the original cut, including the sound from back in the day which was distorted a bit by the placement of the speakers as well as the overall weak sound system at the amphitheater. Despite the weak sound, the hash bash crowd was feeling every bit of what the band was giving them. Davison was more than passable as the lead singer; in fact he had the soul of what Jon Anderson originally brought to the band and let the audience know that he felt what they felt in both the performance of the music as well as the enjoyment of the experience.

The true love was directed at the 67 year old Howe on his Gibson, still plugging away on all of the strings that define the eclectic mix of the sweeping solos of the group. Squire, as an original founding member is still having fun, after 6 decades of playing the same Bass lines. Like many others, he did not seem to be put off that this was now a job as opposed to a passion.

Encores were what you would expect, with the radio hits of “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Starship Trooper” putting a cap on a night for a crowd that enjoyed a show of perfect length on a summer night. This is the type of show that outdoor venues are for. What make a band are memories and Yes rekindled many of those for an appreciative fan base.

Set List:
Siberian Khatru
And You and I
Close to the Edge
Believe Again
Cans and Brahms
We Have Heaven
South Side of the Sky
Five Per Cent for Nothing
Long Distance Runaround
The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
Mood for a Day
Heart of the Sunrise
I’ve Seen All Good People
Starship Trooper – Detroit’s Anti-Blog
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MGM Grand Detroit celebrates Detroit’s 313th Birthday with specials at TAP

July 22, 2014 by  
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TAP at MGM Grand Detroit Celebrates Detroit’s 313th birthday
TAP offers specials for $3.13 on Thursday July 24


MGM Grand Detroit will celebrate Detroit’s 313 birthday with special pricing on several of their most popular food items and all domestic pints. 


TAP’s 313, $3.13 specials:

·      Coney Dog with Coney Chili, onions and mustard with a side of fries.

·      Small Detroit House Nachos

·      Two beef sliders with your choice of American or Swiss cheese with a side of fries.

·      All domestic pints


Food specials from 11am-11pm and pints all day.


Additionally, the MGM Grand Detroit/ NHRA dragster will also be on site for the celebration.


MGM Grand Detroit 1777 Third Street Detroit, MI 48226

                        – Detroit’s Anti-Blog
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Rockers White Shag perform Unplugged Shows this Summer!

July 22, 2014 by  
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There are two chances to hear the hard rock band White Shag in a way you haven’t heard them before! They will be performing two unplugged acoustic shows this summer! White Shag will be the special guests and will perform an acoustic set on Tuesday…

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Mosaic Singers do Detroit proud, earn Gold, Silver Medals at the World Choir Games

July 22, 2014 by  
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They came back with gold … two of them as matter of fact …plus two silvers and the experience …

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Album Review: The Infatuations – "Detroit Block Party" out now on AcidGroove Records

July 21, 2014 by  
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Summer. Party. Record.  That’s really all you need to know about The Infatuations new album Detroit Block Party (Acid Groove Records).  With a familiar Detroit flavor thrown in as an added bonus, the band has a familiar sound that references …

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Interview with Matt Fink of The World’s Greatest Prince Tribute: THE PURPLE XPERIENCE

July 21, 2014 by  
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The Purple Xperience, a five-piece Prince tribute band who have been zig-zagging  the country since February of 2011 will play the Magic Bag this Friday. Led by Matt Fink (a/k/a Doctor Fink), a member of Prince and The Revolution from 1978 to 1991, The Purple Xperience is a band that leaves no one disappointed. You might remember Dr. Fink from many of Prince’s videos as the keyboardist in scrubs. His notable work with Prince includes co-writing credits on the songs “Dirty Mind”, “Computer Blue”, “17 Days”, “America”, and “It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night,” as well as performing credits on the albums “Dirty Mind”, “Controversy”, “1999″, “Purple Rain”, “Around the World in a Day”, “Parade”, “Sign ‘O’ the Times”, “The Black Album”, and “Lovesexy .” During a phone call last week with dogs barking and TV interruptions, I spoke to Matt Fink about the band and the tour that will take him far away from his seemingly normal family life.
MCB: How long the Prince Tribute been around?
Matt: About 3 years,  our first shows were late November 2011. A couple of friends of mine and I were doing an event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 and they approached me about doing a Prince Tribute band. I wasn’t looking to do something like this but after I thought about it more and more, it sounded like a good thing. Prince can’t be everywhere so I thought it would be cool for me to go out and play some of the material as well.
MCB: What’s the story behind how you found your front man?
Matt: Marshall Charloff  introduced himself to me back in the early 1990s. He was a big Prince fan and an inspiring songwriter as well. He’s younger than me but coincidentally we went to the same high school growing up. He brought me his music and I thought he was real talented. We stayed in touch over the years and he was one of the people that approached me at the Hall of Fame Gig.
MCB: Did you perform with Prince in Detroit during the 1999 or Purple Rain tours?
Matt: Yes, I was in the Revolution and in the band before we had that name. This was late ’78 to ’90. I thought Detroit was great. A great audience with one of the more vocal, fanatical fan bases in the US. They were and boisterous and loved Prince. 
MCB: What’s a typical set for your band?
Matt: We play all the hits from Prince and a few deep cuts that are album favorites. Primarily we do songs from the Purple Rain era but you will hear all the classic hit songs.
MCB: What’s rewarding for you to perform live these days? 
Matt: I really enjoy reconnecting with the fans and they like to come out and see that I’m playing. 
MCB: In the early days with Prince in Minneapolis, did you have a hard time getting acceptance at shows?
Matt: It took about 3 years of a building process of playing out. He had full support or the record label and they worked to bring him to the general public. Prince also worked real hard to create music that appealed to the mainstream which he did with Purple Rain. It was inclusive to all the ethnic groups in America. Michael Jackson kind of kicked it off and then MTV picked up on it, so there wasn’t the segregation that was prevalent in the industry at this time.
MCB: On his early records Prince always made a big deal about writing and playing all the instruments, but the band seemed pretty tight, so how true was this claim?
Matt: There was quite a bit of influence from the band on that material. We were used as session players but the Revolution was very instrumental to the chemistry that surrounded him in that era. I brought my own influences into the band at the time and we learned from each other and fed off each other. 
MCB: You’ve been around the music business to see the formats move from vinyl to cassette to CD to digital. What do you think of each? 
Matt: Things have changed because of all the digital selling markets and most of them are singles driven with the MP3, AAC and MP4 formats. A lot of engineers from the past complain a lot about the audio quality not being as good as vinyl or even CDs. I tend to agree. When you compare playing Purple Rain on vinyl then listen to it on MP3 you miss some of the things in the music and things don’t pop out in the mix like they should.
MCB: Where are the most surprising Prince-crazed places you play? 
Matt: Well, how about parts of Ireland that were absolutely insane when we came out. The audience was amazingly loud.
MCB: What’s your opinion on pop music of today?
Matt: I really like a lot of what I’m hearing. I like a lot of the new styles of electronic music. I get a kick out of dubstep because it is so heavily influenced by synthesizer music and I really enjoy the high energy aspect of it. My son who is a keyboard player as well has written some dubstep music. I’m just sort of an eclectic person.  I even enjoy some good country music once in a while.
MCB: As far as diversity of talent do you think there will be another Prince? 
Matt: Yes, I do, in fact there is a new artist signed to RCA that I just met last week for the first time that is already being touted as the next Prince. Her name is Gabi Wilson. She joined us on stage in San Francisco and did Purple Rain. She played the solo and sang, just nailed it.
THE PURPLE XPERIENCE featuring Doctor Fink (of The Revolution)Friday, July 25 – at the Magic Bag, Doors 8 p.m. – $17 – Detroit’s Anti-Blog
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