STRONG ARM: Making the Ultimate Vigilante Film right here in DETROIT. An interview with MAIN ANTAGONIST ROBERT SMITH by JEFF HOWITT

September 1, 2015 by  
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With relative crowd funding from their Indigogo campaign met to supplement what Musician-singer for Friends of Dennis Wilson, Impresario-founder of the FiberGlass FreakOut, collector and restorer of the classic and vintage and now Filmmaker, Anthony Moran is already bringing into this production. I’ll let the man himself say a few words before we get to the interview with Robert.






Independent American Pictures was founded in 2014 by myself Anthony Moran.  It consists of a small group of dedicated film lovers from Detroit, Michigan who have the experience and desire to make the ultimate "Vigilante" film.  Inspired by all of what we here at IAP consider classics such as, Death Wish, Rolling Thunder, Vigilante, and Ms.45.   The city of Detroit is unlike any city in the world!  Anyone who knows anything about Detroit knows that the city is rapidly changing.  Our goal is to encapsulate the grit and grime of the "Real Detroit" and use it as it the background to our film STRONG ARM;  a revenge thriller about a mentally troubled ex-Iraqi American war vet named Sgt. Ramsey, who returns to his hometown only to see it ravaged by violence, death, and drugs.  When Ramsey's sister gets killed by a group of local drug dealers & snuff filmmakers, he then unleashes all the anger contained within him, extracting revenge on his sister's killers.  There are no good guys in this film.  In Strong Arm the dirt is so deep, that no one is clean.  In order to fight well, you have to play dirty. Ramsey is prepared and willing to do what it takes and more to avenge his sister's death.”




MCB: Hey Robert. Thanks for sitting down with MOTORCITYBLOG for a chat. You've been a familiar face in the Detroit Music community for a number of years with your own bands, most notably PAIK and your current steady DARK RED. You’ve also been an accomplice in some long running institutions like The Detroit Cobras. During what period did you play with them and did you get on any recordings? 

RS: I played with the Cobras from 2000-2001. I was on bits of the second album and we had “Shout Bama Lama” on the “Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit” compilation.

MCB: Your pre-Garage Boom band PAIK is seen as a progenitor to the Space Rock and ShoeGaze scene around here. In the mid '90's was there much of a peer group for you or were you pretty much in true innovative Detroit fashion an anomaly amongst the bands? 

RS: We brought PAIK here in ‘99 and at that time the Garage thing was getting so big there really weren't any local bands aside from Windy and Carl that were doing Space Rock.

MCB: Didn’t PAIK also tour with Sonic Youth at one point? 

RS: Actually we only opened for Sonic Youth in Boston, which was still incredible. Meeting your heroes and having them be extremely nice is always a great feeling. We did tour with BMRC a few times and went out with Stephen Malkmus. Those were definitely very memorable tours.

MCB: In the upcoming independent film, STRONG ARM, you are playing what is described as the Main Antagonist in this vigilante tale. Chris Turner, drummer in DARK RED, also is acting along you as a henchman of sorts. What do you think Anthony Moran saw in you for the part?

RS: Since Tony is making a film that looks like it could be from the ‘70's, he liked the look we have that could be easily described as "retro". 

MCB: What made you want to take on the character ? 

RS: I've always wanted to try my hand at being a screen villain. I've always been a huge fan of film and a huge fan of film villains. 

MCB: This isn't your first appearance in a film. You also had a part in the feature, TO KILL THE IRISHMAN.  How did that come about ?

RS: My friend Dave Krieger was working on that film and got me involved.

MCB: Abel Ferrera at one point also asked you to be in a film. That's pretty interesting company to keep...

RS: Yeah, when he was filming Game of Death here I was almost hired to play one of the assassins. Apparently he has a very volatile personality and was eventually booted off the project.

http://strongarmmovie.com/


Even though the crowd funding campaign for this film is officially closed and will be made by Whatever Means Necessary, any independent effort truly is that. It’s own island. Please consider making a donation directly to the filmmakers. 

TONIGHT! Mac Sabbath with Sros Lords & Bronze Mambas at the Majestic Theatre in Detroit

September 1, 2015 by  
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Mac Sabbath's first show on their 2015 East Cheeses Tour kicks off in Detroit TONIGHT!
The self-appointed founders of "Drive Thru Metal", the band is primarily a parody of English heavy metal group Black Sabbath, utilizing lyricism and imagery centered around fast food.

Performing in elaborate costuming, the band's line-up consists of vocalist Ronald Osbourne, guitarist Slayer MacCheeze, bassist Grimalice and drummer the Catburglar, alternately known as "Peter Criss Cut Fries". Mac Sabbath's concerts are described as a "multi-media show with video, theatrics, audience participation and sing alongs", featuring an array of food-related props which tie into their overall theme.
The band's repertoire includes such parodies as "Pair-a-Buns" ("Paranoid"), "Frying Pan" ("Iron Man"), "Sweet Beef" ("Sweet Leaf") and "Never Say Diet" ("Never Say Die"), while the band's T-shirts read "We Sold Our Soul for Cinnamon Rolls" (parodying the compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll).



The lineup for the evening shapes up like this:
Mac sabbath
Sros Lords & Bronze Mambas
Upstairs of The Majestic Theatre on 4140 Woodward in Detroit.
on
Tuesday, September 1 
8pm 
$10 in advance/$15 at the door
All Ages. 
You can purchase tickets at HERE.
 



JEFF GERMAN & THE BLANKETY BLANKS CD RELEASE PARTY!

August 31, 2015 by  
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Americana artist and former Detroiter, Jeff German & the Blankety Blanks will celebrate their new record release when they return for a hometown show on Saturday, September 19 at 9 pm at PJ's Lager House in Detroit. Their second album, “12 Packs, 8 Tracks, and Black & White TV” is set for release on September 18. 

The Blankety Blanks will headline the Detroit show which features two local acts kicking off the night of music.

Matt Dmits (9:30 pm) - Americana singer-songwriter Matt Dmits brings his soulful country tunes to the stage. Facebook.com/mattdmitsmusic

Petals of Power  (10:30 pm) - Quirky power rock from this new Detroit band by musician Kevin Perri formerly of the Junk Monkeys. Facebook.com/petals-of-power

Jeff German & the Blankety Blanks  (11:30 pm) - The band hails from Columbus, Ohio but guitarist/frontman Jeff German is a native Detroiter from Lincoln Park. He is known around these parts for his previous work fronting the rockabilly trio The Flyin' Saucers, who regularly performed here. He also fronted The Curdogs and was the sideman to Bloodshot Records artist Lydia Loveless and americana singer Amy Black.

The band released their debut album "12 Rounds" in 2014 on Wisconsin indie label Slothrop Records. Describing his music as "Midwest music for the working class," the album received airplay and accolades around the world. They released a maxi single “Woodshed” in spring of this year to preview the upcoming album.

The second release for Slothrop Records is titled “12 Packs, 8 Tracks, and Black & White TV.” The songs recall a simpler time when entertainment was all about lazy afternoons sittin' and drinkin' on the front porch listening to your favorite tunes and later gathering around a black and white television to catch your favorite performer on one of the three channels of variety shows.

The band took a more organic approach to recording this album, shunning the studio for the great outdoors. German talks about the recording process for “12 Packs…,” “We recorded the record at a campground that a friend let us use for a number of days. We just lived there and made music. It was completely relaxed. I think the record reflects that. It's a diversion from our first record, which was very guitar driven. This record is warmer and full of interesting and really beautiful sounds and melodies.” 

The CD will be available at the show for $10 and vinyl LPs will be forthcoming and available on the bands website. 

For more information on Jeff German & The Blankety Blanks check out www.jgblanketyblanks.com

The show is on Saturday, September 19, 9 pm at PJ's Lager House located at 1254 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, 48226. 313-961-4668, www.pjslagerhouse.com 21 & over are welcome and cover is $6.

GANG OF FOUR KICK OFF THEIR U.S. TOUR IN DETROIT!

August 31, 2015 by  
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U.K. post-punk stalwarts Gang of Four will kick start their 25-city tour to promote their new album,
“What Happens Next” on September 28 at The Loving Touch in Ferndale. The band just released a video for the song, “The Dying Rays” which features German star Herbert Gronmeyer, who starred in the critically acclaimed film “Das Boot.”

The highly influential band made its debut in 1977 playing a mix of punk and funk with heavy social and political themes. They are widely considered one of the leading bands of the late 1970s/early 1980s post-punk movement. Their debut album, “Entertainment” ranked at Number 483 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and is listed by Pitchfork Media as the 8th best album of the 1970s. David Fricke of Rolling Stone described Gang of Four as "probably the best politically motivated band in rock & roll."

The mid-80s found the band digressing from their early sound into electronic territory, but the darker themes remained. The new album, “What Happens Next” continues to explore this electronic fare, but still retains the signature edgy guitar sound. The album also features guest vocalist Alison Mosshart of The Kills and The Dead Weather singing on two songs.

The current line-up of the band consists of sole original member guitarist Andy Gill. Gill's influence can be heard in music by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello told Rolling Stone that, “there's no one more influential on my guitar playing than Andy Gill.”

Gill is joined by musicians John Sterry (vocals), Thomas McNiece (bass) and Jonny Finnegan (drums).

The show is on September 28, 8 pm at The Loving Touch located at 22634 Woodward Ave. in Ferndale.

Tickets and event information is available at www.thelovingtouchferndale.com

For more information on the band check out www.gangoffourofficial.co.uk

Show Review: The Chuch/Psychedelic Furs at Royal Oak Music Theater

August 29, 2015 by  
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The recent package tour of The Church and The Psychedelic Furs had '80s music fans out in full force for a sold out show at the Royal Oak Music Theater this past Saturday night. Some may call this pairing of bands a nostalgia tour but can it really be considered a 'nostalgia' tour if one of the bands has continued to release music since their inception?


Celebrating their 35th anniversary as a band, the Australian psychedelic rock band The Church played first. They treated the packed house to a select set of songs from their 21 album career and highlighted  three songs off of their latest album, 2014's “Further/Deeper”. Their most recognizable hits, “Reptile”, “Metropolis,” and “Under The Milky Way” brought the biggest cheers of course, but the band's energy and enthusiasm was also duly noted on this night. The band's performance far outshined the headliners on this particular show. This was mentioned by more than one attendee I spoke to after the show. This was my first time seeing the band live and I was glad I had the chance to finally see them.


This is the first time the two post-punk, neo-psychedelic bands have shared a bill after an attempt at a dual tour in 1988 fell through. But while The Psychedelic Furs have continued to tour playing their hits, they have not released any new material since the 1991 album "The World Outside." Not content to rest on their laurels, The Church have not only produced a recent album but a video for the song "Laurel Canyon." 


The Psychedelic Furs have always been one of my all-time favorite bands. I have seen them live just about every time they have toured thru Detroit so this reviewer has seen enough shows to compare them!  The show started off strong with the one-two punch of “Heartbeat” and the rousing “Mr. Jones” off their second album (one of my favorite songs), followed by “Heaven,” seemed promising. The energy was there at the onset but they quickly changed pace, slowing it down and delivered mid-tempo songs from the “World Outside” album throughout the middle of the set. They featured two unreleased songs; “Little Miss World” and  “Wrong Train.” Only two songs from their debut album showed up in the set list, “Susan's Strange” and an encore of “Sister Europe.” The back half of the show they played the hits “Pretty in Pink,” “Love My Way,” and “Heartbreak Beat,” but by then the energy in the room diminished. The second encore was the song “Sleep Comes Down,” but sleep came down midway thru the show for this reviewer. It should be noted however that Mr. Butler's voice is still as strong as ever.

According to their website they have “hinted” at a new album but no new songs were introduced at this show, the latest being the 2012 unreleased “Little Miss World”. While I'm not giving up on the band and it is always nice to hear the hits, it would be nice to hear what new songs they could come up with now and I would love to hear them mix it up with a better paced set at the next show.

For more info on The Psychedelic Furs visit their website at www.thepsychedelicfurs.com
For more info on The Church visit their website at www.thechurch.net

Detroit City Art Walk FREE This Weekend in Corktown

August 28, 2015 by  
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The Detroit City Art Walk is happening this weekend, August 28th and 29th, 2015, up and down Michigan Ave. in the Historical Corktown district of Detroit. 


This two day/night event will feature both local and international artists from Detroit and surrounding cities, states and countries. 

The Detroit City Art Walk will happen in various establishments including bars, cafes, clubs and restaurants along Michigan Ave. in Detroit's Corktown district during the businesses normal hours. 

Bodies of work will be composed of such mediums as glass and metal sculpturing, fashion, drawing, painting, watercolors, wood, poster art, mixed media, pottery and video installations.

Detroit City Art Walk happening in Corktown

Featured Artists:
Gary Grimshaw 60's, 70's poster iconic artist of the Grande Ballroom
Leni Sinclair Photographer 60's through 80's 
Carl Lundgren
Mark Arminski
Michele M Crimi
Micheal Palmer
Designs by RebeccaMich
Lyman Woodard
Moosey Moose
Cokko Swain 
Pauly M Everett
Jade Ashmore
Ashley McFadden
Brian Sheehan
VJ StrokeNfold
Samantha Curry
John Juan
Marcus Concernicus
Shawn Michelle Scott
Tyler Vosgerchian

The Detroit City Art Walk Locations: 

(Hours will be consistent to businesses normal business hours)

McShane's
PJs Lager House 
Motor City Wine
Corktown Tavern
LJs Bar 
Ottava
Mercury Bar
The Works

Sponsored by:
The Afterhours Network
Detroit Dungeon 
BUZZ TV 
Detroit Ink Art For Life
Fred's Unique Vintage Furniture & Antiques
Facilitec 
Eve's Downtown Gourmet
Klever Designs
Zipr Magazine
Start Gallery
Detroit Art Collective
DJVJ4Hire

TICKET GIVEAWAY!!! Mac Sabbath at the Majestic in Detroit on Tuesday, September 1

August 27, 2015 by  
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Mac Sabbath's first show on their 2015 East Cheeses Tour kicks off in Detroit on Tuesday, September 1 and MCB has your free ticket in!
 
The self-appointed founders of "Drive Thru Metal", the band is primarily a parody of English heavy metal group Black Sabbath, utilizing lyricism and imagery centered around fast food.
 
Performing in elaborate costuming, the band's line-up consists of vocalist Ronald Osbourne, guitarist Slayer MacCheeze, bassist Grimalice and drummer the Catburglar, alternately known as "Peter Criss Cut Fries". Mac Sabbath's concerts are described as a "multi-media show with video, theatrics, audience participation and sing alongs", featuring an array of food-related props which tie into their overall theme.
 
The band's repertoire includes such parodies as "Pair-a-Buns" ("Paranoid"), "Frying Pan" ("Iron Man"), "Sweet Beef" ("Sweet Leaf") and "Never Say Diet" ("Never Say Die"), while the band's T-shirts read "We Sold Our Soul for Cinnamon Rolls" (parodying the compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll).



The lineup for the evening shapes up like this:
Mac sabbath
Sros Lords & Bronze Mambas
Upstairs The Majestic Theatre on 4140 Woodward in Detroit.
on
Tuesday, September 1 
 
8pm 
$10 in advance/$15 at the door
All Ages. 
You can purchase tickets at HERE.
 
And MCB is giving away a three pair of tickets to the show!!!  
Just drop a e-mail to ambervillainfilm@aol.com with "Mac Sabbath" as the subject and along with your "full name" and your "favorite fast food place" in the body of the e-mail  for your chance to win. Winners will be sent notification on Friday!
 
 
 



TONIGHT: Aux 88: Portrait of an Electronic Band at MoCAD

August 26, 2015 by  
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This self-produced documentary is a culmination of Aux 88's hard work and commitment to the art of electronic music. Aux 88 are an electro group from Detroit, composed of Tom Tom (Tommy Hamilton) and Keith Tucker (DJ name DJ K1). As pioneers of Detroit Techno, they recognize that, as global leaders of this genre, it is critical to share their history and, in a sense, the history of electronic dance music. 

The documentary, and accompanying soundtrack, was completely created and produced by Aux 88, the first group in Detroit Techno to create their very own documentary, with input from other artists around the world. 

Directed by Aux 88. 

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit 
4454 Woodward 
Detroit 

DOORS AT 8, FILM AT 9! 

$8, $5 for members

Tickets available at the door, 
or in advance: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/nomob?event=2074599

Got your cosplay ready? YOUMACON this Halloween Weekend

August 25, 2015 by  
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YOUMACON 2015
October 29–November 1, 2015
Cobo/RenCen — Downtown Detroit

THIS SATURDAY: Aug 22nd- DIMEBASH: A night of tribute and celebration of Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott

August 18, 2015 by  
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This Saturday is the DIMEBASH: A night of tribute and celebration of Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott (Pantera/Damageplan). Dimebag is no longer with us, but his legend lives on and he is an inspiration for many musicians in the rock genre today.

Live bands for the evening include:
Facelift (Alice In Chains Tribute Act)
Warpath
Cover Band Killers
Larry And The Big Guys 

Other highlights include a best Pantera/Dimebag tattoo contest sponsored by Lucky Monkey Tattoo with special Dimebag memorabilia for the winner.

There will also be a Dimebash beard contest sponsored by Badass Beard Care. Special Dimebag memorabilia for the winner with the very best beard.


Vendors Rock and Rummage and Defy Doom by Shawn Michelle Scott will also be on hand selling the coolest of goods at the show.

There will also be a raffle with proceeds going to charities in Dime's name. One raffle item includes this original painting by Defy Doom by Shawn Michelle Scott...

 

It all goes down at Simons After Dark located at 4936 Allen Road, Allen Park, MI 48101
on Saturday, August 22

Doors at 7PM.
$5.00 cover 


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