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
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, debuting new technologies and inventions, and celebrating geekdom. Maker Media produces two annual flagship Maker Faires, partners with museums to produce Featured Maker Faires, and works with communities to license Mini Maker Faires around the world.
On July 26-27, 2014, The Henry Ford in Dearborn will be the place to visit when Maker Faire Detroit returns to The Henry Ford for two days of unconventional ingenuity, unbridled creativity and a whole lot of forward thinking. More than 400 makers will bring their wares, ideas, inventions and solutions to this two-day festival offering everything from robots, flame shooters and animatronics to solar-powered mechanical sculptures and fashionable finds. Go to The Henry Ford, roll up your sleeves, and make something.
The event runs from 9:30am-6:00pm each day.
The Henry Ford is located at: 20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI 48124
For information on tickets, parking, makers, lodging and more visit the extensive Maker Faire Detroit website
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 TAPE EATERS VHS CONVENTION IS FREE TO ATTEND!
The Convention runs from 11:00am-8pm.
Films will be shown from 11:30am-8pm.
TIME WARP COLLECTIBLES
SILVER BULLET PICTURES/AUTUMN HOME ENTERTAINMENT
RUBBER WOLF? GRAPHICS
And tons and tons of used VHS!
TAPE EATERS FILM SCREENINGS SCHEDULE:
11:30AM- ADJUST YOUR TRACKING (encore matinee showing)
1:00PM- SIX DAYS IN ROSWELL
2:30PM- MARLEY’S REVENGE: THE MONSTER MOVIE
3:45PM- CITY OF DREAM DEMONS
5:05PM- BACK FROM HELL (followed by 15 min director Q&A)
6:45PM- REGOREGITATED SACRIFICE
(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...http://tapeeaters.weebly.com/
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.
And You and I
Close to the Edge
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
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
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!
For more information on the band check out www.whiteshag.com or reverbnation.com/whiteshag
At its core, The Infatuation are the brainchild of founding members Marco Lowe and Christian Draheim, and Detroit Block Party is the culmination of that dream. The duo make up the songwriting/production team Dra/Lo, and their unique, funky flavor is all over this record. But the band as a whole is what brings the music to life, both on tape and live. The Infatuations have a retro-soul vibe in the same vein as Vintage Trouble or Fitz and the Tantrums, but with a distinct Detroit rock edge. You can dance to and just as easily play air guitar to any song on the record.
"Tonight We Celebrate" kicks off the record as a perfect radio-ready dance party anthem. With a slinky-funky disco groove, and an infectious refrain, it's nearly impossible to resist singing "Don't stop the mu-sic!" As with "Dancin on My Knees" and "Diamond Disco", the band sometimes rides the line of cliched disco, but pulls it back in with Draheim's edgy rock guitar work. Add to the mix the storng, soulful voice of Caleb Gutierrez and The Infatuations are a four star restaurant. Gutierrez really carries the record and keeps listeners engaged as he easily shifts dynamics between sweet and soft on "Yesterday Morning" and sharp and assertive on "Box of Shells." And even though the band switches up the vibe here and there, it has a cohesive feel that makes you want to listen to the whole record without having to skip around.
All in all, Detroit Block Party is exactly what it says it is. A funky, rockin' dance record with a little something for everyone. Make sure you grab a copy and catch the band at one of the many live appearances this summer.
But, you don't have to take my word for it. Take a listen right here and give it a spin.
A music lover trough and through, I jumped at the chance to cover the "Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power" touring exhibit brought to you by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and having it's final U.S. touring stop at the Henry Ford in Dearborn. A large collection of over 250 pieces of memorabilia from 70 women in rock and roll history.
There was so much to cover in regards to the exhibit that I released my "Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power" review in five parts over the last few weeks. This is the conclusion.
Alongside all the instruments, outfits, and lyric sheets, the exhibit has some truly unique pieces on display. Enjoy this sampling of them.
On display is Queen Latifah's 1987 Morrellian High School Yearbook. See her as "Dana Owens" on the bottom row.
A few Aretha Franklin artifacts includes this demo cassette for “Rhythm of the Freeway" and a tape box for “When the Light” with Paul McCartney...
Here is a 1985 dressing room door note Aretha Franklin used prior to performances...
Amongst all the Yoko Ono artifacts in display are her porsche glasses from 1980...
On display are two faxes sent from Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones to Marianne Faithfull in 2006 and 2008. "Keith doesn't do e-mail" Faithfull says.
Here is Kate Pierson's wig from the 1989/1990 B-52's Cosmic Thing world tour....
Fan of Blondie? Then your sure to dig Debbie Harry's blonde wig along with her blue mini‐dress outfit with built in tights/boots..
See the large collection of over 250 pieces of memorabilia from 70 women in rock and roll history for yourself. The "Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power" exhibit runs till August 17, 2014 so be sure to stop by before it's engagement ends. You will not be disappointed.
**All photos by Adrianne Johnston**
Admission Ticket prices are as follows:
MEMBERS- free of charge
NON-MEMBER SENIORS age 62 & up- $15
NON-MEMBER ADULTS age 13-61- $17
NON-MEMBER YOUTH age 5-12- $12.50
CHILDREN 4 & under- Free
Details: 313-982-6001 or The Henry Ford Website