Local Entertainment guide for Southwest Michigan Covering music, art, and culture

smashmags.com SEP 2015 INTERVIEW LALA’S PAGE 23 MUSIC | EVENTS | ART & CULTURE | FOOD & DRINK SMASH GUIDE TO LOCAL WINE - page 19 ALSO: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON FILM REVIEW, ARCADIA JAW JACKER, BEST BURGER IN BC ..AND MORE SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN’S SOURCE FOR MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT & CULTURE SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE PAGE 1
smashmags.com SEP 2015  INTERVIEW  LALA   S  PAGE 23  MUSIC   EVENTS   ART   CULTURE   FOOD   DRINK  SMASH GUIDE TO LOCAL ...
smashmags.com PAGE 2
smashmags.com    PAGE 2
More living. Less driving. More home. Less money. 125 Sunnyside Drive, Battle Creek – $795,000 This stunning family home is located on beautiful Goguac Lake with sandy bottom for swimming enjoyment. Beautiful view year around, you will be able to unwind from work the minute you walk in the door! This home was built in 2009 and has tons of features: • Designed with an open floor plan, all space is functional • You will love entertaining in the chef’s kitchen complete with granite countertops, stainless appliances, custom cabinets, pantry with granite top and even more storage • Four bedrooms, three with walk-in closets • Four bathrooms with large linen closets and storage • Finished basement, two large storage areas, central air, plumbed for 5th bathroom • Sprinkler system • Security system with motion & standard settings • Three car garage with pull down stairs and attic space • Fantastic, well-kept, quiet neighborhood with friendly neighbors For sale by owner: Call 269.963.9922, email ksamson@ctsmail.net or search 125 Sunnyside Drive, Battle Creek on forsalebyowner.com SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE PAGE 3
More living. Less driving. More home. Less money.  125 Sunnyside Drive, Battle Creek      795,000 This stunning family hom...
IN THIS ISSUE from the publisher Feeling Alive: A Review of This Year’s Already Dead Tapes Compilation........................................ 5 BURGER BRAWL: BATTLE CREEK......................6-7 P.O. Box 1376 Battle Creek, MI 49016 It’s been nice knowing you although you were not around much with your hot days and blazing sunshine. Publisher As we SMASH our way into the fall season it’s time to look forward to bon fires, hoodies and last chance cookouts, but along with that are many other exciting things to do and see inour area. smashmags.com Robin Cunningham Indie-rock Lives in Kalamazoo SEPTEMBER 24-25 LOUIE'S TROPHY HOUSE GRILL |- SEPTEMBER 26 BELL'S BREWERY . FIVE YEARS OF THE ALREADY DEAD FAMILY REUNION...8-11 Editor Bruce Tuck PAW PAW WINE & HARVEST FESTIVAL September 8-13 .....................................12-13 Creative Director Nicholas Zastrow S E P TEMBER M USIC BOAR D ............ 14 Writers 36th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals North Plus...................... 16 BEER SNOB...or not.................................... 18 Arcadia Ale’s : Jaw Jacker SMASH WINE GUIDE Tasting…Tasting Wine, two, three..............................19-22 ERIN LAMONT LALAS BURLESQUE SHOW...................23-24 S MA S H AT TH E M O VIES: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Review........ 25-26 SMASH MUSIC CORNER.......................... 28 FEATURED STORY REM: MURMUR.......... 30 Visit smashmags.com to sign up for our email list so you can always keep up with whats up! smashmags.com Good bye summer? John Barrett Kasi Casterline Todd Cope Nick Hatzinikolis Gabriella E Latta Kathryn May Colin Smith Bruce Tuck Advertising This month we celebrate WINE...yes its time to put away the cold beers for those hot days and sit back by the fire and enjoy the fruits of southwest Michigan. We have compiled a list of all the great wineries with a focus on the biggest wine and harvest festival in Michigan as well as all the great SMASH articles you have come to enjoy. Grab a copy, hit the road (with a DD of course) and get your wine fix. Robin Cunningham 269-986-3912 rates@smashmags.com Events and Shows Submit listings to events@smashmags.com Disclaimer SMASH Magazine is dedicated to providing a platform for artists and musicians to promote and display their work. Because they have a unique way of expressing themselves it is important for people who pick up the magazine to understand you might not always like what you see. There are also articles that may contain sarcasm and adult content. This publication is intended for a mature audience. PAGE 4
IN THIS ISSUE  from the publisher  Feeling Alive  A Review of This Year   s Already Dead Tapes Compilation...................
Feeling Alive: A Review of This Year’s Already Dead Tapes Compilation by Colin Smith The Already Dead Tapes compilation is essential for anyone into local, underground music. Available online, it’s a pay-what-you-want album of 23 songs from artists both near and far. There’s plenty on it for basement punk connaisseur as well as those who prefer indie pop, free jazz, or ambience. It kicks off with a very layered “new years 2k15” by more eaze (who is an experimental pop artist perhaps better known as Marcus M. Rubio). There’s some hip-hop from Darko the Super, and then a few tracks later there’s a sprawling epic by Regular Fucked Up People with “Against the Wave,” which, contrary to the song title, feels like riding the wave. This track stands out not because of its length, but because of how it blends both noise and pop. ent atmosphere, Anybody But The Cops ends the record with chugging guitars and drums in “Emma’s Famous Coffee.” With an apt title, the song will wake you up, but it’s maybe not for people with high blood pressure. Still, the syncopated and unexpected rhythms as well as the running, melodic bass lines built up to a satisfying end to a mix of eclectic DIY artists. There’s something for everybody on this compilation. If you hadn’t heard the free jazz improvisation circling from the Alamo Theater last year, or the garage rock emitting out of basement venues or Louie’s Trophy House during other years, the Already Dead Festival running its fifth “family reunion” this September from the 24th to the 26th. The local label, running part of its operations at Satellite Records, is hosting music at Louie’s and Bell’s. A day pass is $9 and the three-day pass is $25. With such a diverse mix, the good news is that you’ll bound to find something you like; the bad news is, depending on your tastes and preferences, you may skip over a few tracks. But rest assured, it all feels like deliberately pieced together music, whether it’s free jazz or indie pop. The Chicago band Longface features lurching drums and angular guitar lines, at times sounding reminiscent of the mathy The Dismemberment Plan. About a Million sounds professional amateurish by a sheen and intentional naivety, kind of like a young Calvin Johnson in Beat Happening. Local band Boring People sound very ‘90s, channeling the vocals of Pixies’ Black Francis and the angular chords of Kurt Cobain. As they repeat the lines “I broke my own rules,” the key to indie rock, it seems, is to challenge the rules. And Forget the Times does this well in “Marlon Morrison,” as the drums create a rhythmic motif while guitar feedback and a few reverberated chords chime throughout the track. Whereas the compilation started with subtle percussions and an ambi- SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE PAGE 5
Feeling Alive  A Review of This Year   s Already Dead Tapes Compilation by Colin Smith  The Already Dead Tapes compilation...
CEREAL CITY BURGERS - 3.6975 I am going to do you a HUGE favor right now. I am going to reveal to you the very best burger in Battle Creek. Saving you from the hours of research put in by me and my expert team. So the next time you are chillin’ in The Creek, craving a juicy mouthwatering specimen of burger perfection you can B-line it to best burger in town. And that’s my commitment to you. I’m going to do the hard work, finding you the best eats in Southwest Michigan. And it will all be right here, every month, in your favorite magazine for local culture and entertainment. Now let’s meet the judges… Who better to critique the local dive burger scene than The Battle Creek Metropolitan Area Mustache Society (BCMAMS). If you live under a rock and haven’t heard about these cool cats, they have one goal. Make Battle Creek more awesome. They do this by putting on stellar community events and fundraisers that definitely make my home town totally bomb. I rounded up a few members and my bestie, Rebecca Lomonaco and took them on a down and dirty burger crawl. I asked former Ms. BCMAMs Sunny Graves, to join this madness but I was completely embarrassed when she reminded me that being a vegan she sticks to that veggie lifestyle. So I asked, where does a vegan get a good burger in BC? Big shocker here, there’s not a lot of options, she cited some chains that I’m not going to mention but she would LOVE to see some black bean burgers on these menus… hint, hint. Cereal City Burgers has a pretty notable reputation. The owner’s father brought us the late BC Burger, which closed in 2004. I had heard of the legend and it was known for lines of patrons waiting for their delectable dive burgers. They are using the same recipes at CCB to deliver that tasty treat to the droves of loyal BC Burger fans. However, on this day, we felt they missed the mark. In their defense, my team felt this was not CCB’s best performance. Nonetheless, Ben Duval stated, “They got top end buns”. Everyone agreed the bun was where it was at, and the patty had great flavor, though a bit peppery. But a dry burger caused their score to suffer. Ok, yes, I know I probably didn’t include YOUR favorite burger joint. But we chose four locations that we felt had what we were looking for in this ultimate burger battle. I’m sure you’re thinking, taste testing burgers, easy, no big deal. Well I’m going to speak for myself here… my tummy sure didn’t appreciate the abuse it was submitted to. So we kept it short and sweet. Here’s the lineup, Cereal City Burger, Jack’s, Ritzee and Brady’s. There’s also an honorable mention, a little secret I’m exposing, as well as my childhood burger joint. We are using a 5 star scale here, 5 being the best. JACK’S - 3.5325 So this was the exact opposite experience. Jack’s had a “super juicy” burger but was lacking the flavor explosion we were hoping for. Joe Peck felt that if the bun was switched out for the Cereal City bun it would have been in the top two. Yeah it was a good burger, but nothing to write home about. smashmags.com PAGE 6
CEREAL CITY BURGERS - 3.6975  I am going to do you a HUGE favor right now. I am going to reveal to you the very best burge...
Mexico’s thoughts; “It’s how a burger should be made”. That’s no lie my friend. “It’s a great burger” straight from Tony Timmer. I even snagged the opinion of the reigning 2014 Ms BCMAMs, Neva Poll, who prepared me for what she knew I would ultimately discover. “Brady’s always has everything fresh! Everything from the burger patty, toppings and bun!” I learned from a nearby patron that the owner buys that earth shattering burger from a local meat market, Kim and Lynn’s on Goguac & 20th. I think they deserve some major props for their contribution of that top shelf meat. I had already heard some raving reviews and claims that Brady’s was #1, and I am so glad I found out for myself. RITZEE - 3.525 Prior to our burger brawl adventure this is the only burger on the list that I had experienced. I love me some olive burger and if ever find myself in Urbandale I’m going to hit them up. But I have to say the team was drastically divided here. And I myself was disappointed with the outcome. Two bad eggs skewed the data with their ridiculously low scores. You know who you are. Had I thrown out the outliers their score would have increased to a respectable 4.3, but I’m going to tell it like it is. They’ve got a moist flavorful burger but don’t take my word for it, I think Ben Duval sums it up. “That’s a tasty burger, Ritzee, it just feels right”. BRADY’S - 4.8475 Ok here it is people. Numbers don’t lie. They won by a freaking landslide and it was well deserved. This was my first time biting into a Brady Burger and my reaction speaks for itself. It was truly a life changing moment for me. Ken (Smith) SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE BELLEVUE DRIVE IN FIGGS BURGERS Remember I told you I had a secret? Well here it is. Have you ever heard of this place? I hadn’t. Unfortunately Figgs wasn’t open during the evening hours we went out for our burger shenanigans. So BCMAMS founder, Jeremy Andrews, did me a solid and completed the necessary research over his lunch. Here’s what he had to say. “Figg is something special. It’s like discovering water in the desert. It’s also something of a legend and a well-kept secret. It’s unassuming yet magical.” I trust this guy, food is kind of his thing, and he urged me to taste it for myself. So the very next day, by complete chance, changing my course to avoid a train, I find myself at the intersection of Angel St and Hamblin Ave. And there it stood, in all its glory, Figgs Burgers. Could I do it? Another burger? I had to. Jeremy had compared it to the rib place on House of Cards. And I completely agree. Amazing burger, great guy and now you know! I know we are competing for the best burger in BC. But I grew up in a small town not too far from here and you know how the local food from your childhood holds a special place in your heart. I had to give a shout out to the Bellevue Drive-In. Yeah they still have those. You pull up in your car, roll the window down and step back in time as they place that tray on your window complete with a frosty mug. I have ordered the exact same meal since I was a kid… Olive burger deluxe with hand battered onion rings, and washed down with a crisp refreshing root beer. This was the first of many food adventures. I take this stuff seriously and I’m going to tell it like it is. Stay tuned next month. SMASH on. PAGE 7
Mexico   s thoughts     It   s how a burger should be made   . That   s no lie my friend.    It   s a great burger    stra...
Indie-rock Lives in Kalamazoo FIVE YEARS OF THE ALREADY DEAD FAMILY REUNION SEPTEMBER 24-25 LOUIE'S TROPHY HOUSE GRILL |SEPTEMBER 26 by John Barrett - “DJ Verve” on WIDR’s Birdland September is generally a busy month on Kalamazoo’s music calendar. As students return to WMU and Kalamazoo College, the number of basement shows and local events climbs precipitously. The annual Audiotree festival brings national attention and national acts to the center of town. On a smaller scale the Kalamashoegazer festival, typically held September or early October, brings many regional shoegaze and dreampop acts into our humble city. And speaking of local, one of Kalamazoo’s biggest music events is sponsored by a cassette label which began in our town, and since 2011 has attracted many bands to the area each September, rising talents from across the country and on occasion across the world. This event began through the energies of Sean Hartman, guitarist of Forget the Times and manager at Satellite Records. For a time Hartman had roomed with fellow musician Josh Tabbia, who was planning a move to Chicago. When Hartman mentioned his desire to start a cassette label Tabbia suggested they could do it jointly and Already Dead Tapes and Records was born. That was in 2009, and the initial release was a CD called Voice Recordings, long out of print, and Sean does not have a copy himself. Nearly all the later releases have been cassettes, with around ten vinyl issues on a release catalog nearing 180. The early releases were mostly the projects of Sean and Josh, and the bands of people they knew. In time, submissions began to come in; Sean says “We were really amazed at how quickly we were getting submissions for all over the world.” Several tapes came in from Russia, and for a time fully half of the artist roster came from outside the United States. And this for a cassette label whose products were usually released at a hundred copies or less, sold mostly through mail order. Submissions these days are rare at Already Dead, where most BELL'S BREWERY of the albums come from inviting the groups in question. It remains a busy enterprise to this day, and in time led to the Already Dead Family Reunion. Intended as a showcase for the groups on the label, the first Family Reunion was held at WMU’s Wesley Foundation in 2011, and featured Hordes, About a Million, Plastic Crimewave, and several local acts. With each passing year, the band list grew longer, with more acts coming outside the Already Dead roster, in fact from outside the country. Ireland’s No Monster Club, on the bill in 2013, was asked to return this year and was unable to make it. Also a growing feature was the final day’s afterparty, held at a secret venue and featuring additional bands not on the main show. Last year’s Reunion, a five-day affair including Forget the Times playing their own score to a silent movie, was the biggest event yet. As Sean puts it, “Everytime I do something like this, it just starts to grow.” Given the logistics of the 2014 Reunion, it was decided to scale things back. Returning to three days, the show heads on Saturday to Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, for the first time in Reunion history. Four acts that have played every Reunion so far do so again for 2015: Morseville Bridge, About a Million, Forget the Times, and Problems That Fix Themselves. With each event starting at 6:00 PM, over twenty hours of music will be seen by those able to witness the whole thing. With so much music coming up on this weekend, it might seem overwhelming if a lot of these groups are not familiar to you. No worry: the paragraphs below will do their best to describe the various talents, and Already Dead has a free download on its Bandcamp page, with musical samples from a lot of these groups. Below are the performing bands in alphabetical order, along with their day of performance but not the times, as those are not yet posted. Enjoy the list, and prepare yourself for the musical times ahead! smashmags.com ABOUT A MILLION SATURDAY, BELL ’S ABOUTAMILLION.BANDCAMP.COM featuring Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, the new incarnation gigged extensively and released two albums, the last of which (Windmills) was nominated for a Jammie award. Ranging in size from three pieces to seven, the group called it quits in 2012 and has since returned for a show in 2014 and now the Reunion. Separately, the member Shouters remain active in Kalamazoo music, with singer Alex Quinlan opening a show for Peter Walker and bassist Rory Svekric also heard in Boring People and Anybody But the Cops. Composed of Pennsylvania musician Anthony Leitch and a rotating cast of assistants, About a Million is one of the four groups who have performed at every Family Reunion. (The others are Morseville Bridge, Forget the Times, and Problems That Fix Themselves.) On his recordings he often sings all the parts and plays all the instruments; stylistically he moves from shimmery dreampop to Woods-like lo-fi rock, with meditative acoustic musings in between. Six albums to date with the latest, Workin’ SATURDAY, AFTERPARTY FACEBOOK.COM/AMSTATIONSMUSIC on Quittin’, released in March. AM STATIONS ACKLEY KID Likable post-punk quartet from Chicago, garnished with insistent vocals and beeswarm guitars. On September 23rd they’ll be playing a sort of pre-Reunion show at Chicago’s The Keep, along with several other acts who will be playing Kalamazoo. Artists at the Chicago show include Watermelon, Crown Larks, Imbue + Sobright, and a variety of others. FRIDAY, LOUIE’S ACKLEYKID.BANDCAMP.COM Named for an annoying minor character in Catcher in the Rye, this Kalamazoo outfit is known locally for keeping the flame of early punk, no frills, no compromise. A fixture of local shows since 2009, they first called it quits in 2013 but are back for a snarling good time at this year’s Reunion. A 2012 album is available for free download on SATURDAY, AFTERPARTY their Bandcamp page. FACEBOOK.COM/ANYBODYBUTTHECOPS ANYBODY BUT THE COPS ALMANAC SHOUTERS THURSDAY, LOUIE’S Straightforward punk power from Kalamazoo; this trio shared the Corner Record Shop’s only vinyl release with Problems That Fix Themselves. Bassist Rory Svekric (playing three times this Reunion with Almanac Shouters and Boring People) also works at Satellite Records and runs the DIT Kalamazoo website to inform people of local shows. The groups latest release, This Machine Sews Patches, was issued by Already Dead in March. THEALMANACSHOUTERS.BANDCAMP .COM Another reunion of sort will take place on Thursday: the return of a ‘folk-punk’ unit that first formed during a road trip in 2009. Their name a reference to The Almanac Singers, a landmark ‘30s group PAGE 8
Indie-rock Lives in Kalamazoo FIVE YEARS OF THE ALREADY DEAD FAMILY REUNION SEPTEMBER 24-25  LOUIE S TROPHY HOUSE GRILL  S...
BORING PEOPLE FRIDAY, LOUIE’S BORINGPEOPLE.BANDCAMP.COM One of Kalamazoo’s busiest outfits, Boring People has played locally in many different contexts, including an acoustic set as part of a free-jazz show. A bare-bones quartet with an edgy side, they shared the first Satellite Records vinyl release with Regular Fucked Up People. Their latest release, Onan, came out on cassette by already Dead in June. A return act from last year’s Reunion, won’t.) Many tapes and CD’s available, this Chicago duo makes a sound including several from his alter-ego somewhere between indie-rock, the personality, Doc Heller. noisy side of jazz, and the Twilight Zone. Punchy basslines recalling The Minutemen meet scratchy guitars, a raft of effects pedals, an occasional blast of trumpet, and creepy voice loops. Three albums so far, including a demo; they’ll be playing a Wednesday show in Chicago along with AM Stations and lots of other Reunion bands. DAYMAKER SATURDAY, AFTERPARTY FACEBOOK.COM/DAYMAKERCHI Daymaker is a Chicago outfit led by singer Jessica Gorse; she’s also a visual artist who sometimes draws live at shows and projects the results on the walls of the venue. Solid shoegazey pop with a strong sense of whimsy; the contrast between the wiry guitars FRIDAY, LOUIE’S and little-girl voice is quite striking. CROWNLARKS.BANDCAMP.COM Their first full album, released in June, This Chicago quintet must have a time includes remakes of four songs from an machine in its gear; their album Blood earlier EP, plus some new ones and a Dancer is a heavy dose of ‘70s prog, few spoken-word surprises. mixed by with jazz and some modern elements. Mixed among the draggy vocals and hazy smog of guitars you can hear growling trumpets, free roaming drums, and sounds not easily described. Their second recording and first full-length offering, Blood Dancer SATURDAY, BELL ’S is available on cassette and limited BROWNCOMPANY.BANDCAMP.COM edition LP, of which only a few dozen remain. Hopefully they still have copies Back at the Reunion after a 2012 when they reach Kalamazoo. appearance, this local quintet comes with credentials as long as this article. THURSDAY, LOUIE’S Named for a defunct Kalamazoo paper FACEBOOK.COM/THEELECTRICNATURE mill, the lineup includes two WIDR DJs: Brad Miller, who has performed John Mostly a project of one man (Thomas Cage compositions during downtown Potter from Athens, Georgia) with events, and Richard Bowser, a member occasional helpers, the Facebook of Violent Apathy, Kalamazoo’s original page describes The Electric Nature punk band. They serve up stoner as “nightmare hippie noise,” but rock at its most guitar-drenched; at that doesn’t really describe it. Some last year’s Carnival of Souls event at songs weave looped guitar textures Shakespeare’s they impersonated in a way that hints Lou Reed’s Metal Hawkwind, which gives you some idea Machine Music; others are more direct, THURSDAY, LOUIE’S of their sound. FACEBOOK.COM/DARKOTHESUPER employing ‘80s synthrock beats and filtering it through a wind tunnel. Bouncing in from Philadelphia, Clearly Potter is fond of early electronic Already Dead’s first-ever hip hop artist experimentation; of some of his albums has been getting a lot of attention reflect that. But other pieces are quite lately, including celebrity tweets from danceable and are very accessible; at unexpected sources. Inspired by the least as the indie-rock world define that late Minneapolis rapper Eyedea, his term. rhymes blend basic DIY rhythm beds, confident melodic delivery, and weird, stream-of-consciousness lyrics that have you scratching your head even as you’re tapping your feet. Check out FRIDAY, LOUIE’S his Youtube video of “Jack’s Raging COMFORTFOOD1.BANDCAMP.COM Bile Duct” while trying to figure out what the song means (here’s a hint: you CROWN LARKS BROWN COMPANY FORGET THE TIMES THURSDAY, LOUIE’S FORGETTHETIMES.BANDCAMP.COM Fronted by Already Dead co-founder Sean Hartman, this Kalamazoo quartet has played every Family Reunion so far, with no plans of stopping. At last year’s Reunion they concluded the event at Alamo Drafthouse by improvising a live score to the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which went over so well they’re done it twice more with different films. As the group members have many different musical interests, you classify this band at your own peril. Their album Universal Language commingles floating guitar textures, xylophones, and much effects pedal loopery. Earlier efforts have more a grindy flavor; the Facebook page offers the description “post everything”, which fits them well. A double LP is in the works, to challenge the eardrums sometime in the near future. THE ELECTRIC NATURE DARKO THE SUPER COMFORT FOOD SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE FREE CAKE SATURDAY, BELL ’S FREECAKEFOREVERYCREATURE. BANDCAMP.COM The full name of the group is Free Cake for Every Creature, it’s a quartet from Philadelphia, and they specialize in lo-fi quirkiness coming from the mind of Katie Bennett. Soft guitars, charmingly awkward female vocals and a mood somewhere between art school and an 8-year old’s birthday party. Speaking of which, Katie’s discography includes a compilation, Kid Katie, of the songs she wrote and sang at that age into her parents’ answering machine. As a bonus Kid Katie includes Free Cake performing one of her childhood songs, and a booklet describing those days, told in a childlike spirit she still retains. ...continued on next page PAGE 9
BORING PEOPLE  FRIDAY, LOUIE   S BORINGPEOPLE.BANDCAMP.COM  One of Kalamazoo   s busiest outfits, Boring People has played...
IMBUE + SOBRIGHT FRIDAY, LOUIE’S FACEBOOK.COM/MUSICBYIMBUE Both initially from Hattiesburg Mississippi, this duo works with a lot of ‘90s influences to create something that’s sort of dancepop, sort of synthgroove, and sort of indescribable. I*t all creates a foreboding atmosphere, something that seems familiar but of a type I’m not sure I’ve heard before. Kronovisor, the first album by the duo together, was released by Already Dead in May. website puts it, this Chicago quartet was unusually ambitious when it came to their first recording. The Life & Death of Longface is an album-long song cycle concerning the Southern musician Longface, his venturing north to seek his fortune, and his return home when he discovers his girlfriend Pachoulia is pregnant. (Pachoulia?) The humorous murmured vocals are told behind a maze of harsh guitars, a complex musical presentation of this simple story. This album is the group’s only release to date; expect to hear songs from it during their set. FRIDAY, LOUIE’S FACEBOOK.COM/ MEZZANINESWIMMERS SATURDAY, BELL ’S INSECTFACTORY.BANDCAMP.COM Hovering in from Silver Spring Maryland, this is a guitar-driven ambient project, where melody is set by pedals and slowly turning knobs, where loops and the shape of the room sculpt the resulting sound, and where the harsh crackle of old electronics blend with slow guitars for an effect surprisingly soothing. Many different recordings available; the latest, DtsNmsPlcs, is a compilation of live performances from 2005 through 2012. Samplers and irregular beats run wild on this crazy project, the brainchild of New York’s Mike Green. While sound clips of all kinds sped up, slowed down and seemingly tossed in a shredder, Green adds his bemused New Wavestyle vocals, sounding almost like Bowie in places. Despite the obvious use of electronics, there’s something very low-tech about this, with some effects sounding like a skipping record and others like somebody fiddling with a volume knob. The newest release, 2013’s Cougar Opaque, offers six tracks of vocal strangeness, plus a lengthy instrumental from an earlier EP. MORE EAZE SATURDAY, BELL ’S MOREEAZE.BANDCAMP.COM LONGFACE SATURDAY, BELL ’S LONGFACETHEBAND.BANDCAMP.COM Offering “angular anti-pop”, as one OBODY MORSEVILLE BRIDGE THURSDAY, LOUIE’S MORSEVILLEBRIDGE.BANDCAMP.COM MEZZANINE SWIMMERS INSECT FACTORY limited edition of forty; there is also a CD called Accidental Prizes, released a few weeks ago. The recording alias of Austin composer Marcus Rubio, More Eaze utilizes a palette of synthesizers, samplers, and loops, creating a stew that is partly trance, partly electropop, and partly an impressionist breeze. His work on Already includes a cassette, (frail), in a smashmags.com Another five-time performer at the Reunion, Morseville Bridge is a oneman band from Flint named after an abandoned bridge in Saginaw County. Thick guitars meet blunt vocals, fueled all the while by busy drums and a whole lot of attitude. Four albums released so far, with a few representative tracks available as free downloads. As with many groups on this program, a September 23rd appearance at Chicago’s Keep precedes his set at the Reunion. MU VONZ THURSDAY, LOUIE’S FACEBOOK.COM/MUVONZ Serving up a slow fusion of electronica and R&B, Mu Vonz may be the most mysterious figure at this year’s Reunion. The Internet offers almost no information; he was apparently based in Berkeley in 2014, but where he is today is beyond my knowledge. It’s easier to deduce where his music is: Soft synth textures and primitive beatboxes, behind sexy growled vocals that might be electronically slowed. It’s a detached sort of music, the sort you could hear in the stranger type of ‘70s movies. Two cassettes so far on Already Dead; the newest, Blasé, was released in July. FRIDAY, LOUIE’S FACEBOOK.COM/PAGES/ OBODY/142171879173035 A quartet whose members reside in Philly and Ithaca New York, this group’s music is a virtual definition of haunting. Craggy backwoods vocals that speak of worry, mixed with music that sounds like lonely wind blowing through barbed wire. Spectral guitars, tiny wisps of cello or pedal steel creaking in the background, and a burly ol’ drum, thumping doom with every beat. This is music for a cold prairie morning, and you’ll feel it as strongly as they. Their lone release so far; get yours while copies are still available. PROBLEMS THAT FIX THEMSELVES SATURDAY, BELL ’S PROBLEMSTHATFIXTHEMSELVES.COM Another of the festival’s five-time performers, Problems is the project of Josh Tabbia, co-founder of Already Dead. He handles most of the label’s day-to-day operations, as well as creating the cover art for a great many releases. Begun in 2007 by Tabbia and a number of collaborators, since 2011 the group has been a duo of Josh and Alex Borozan, working outmoded electronic to create floating, haunting, environments. Lots of vinyl, cassette, and digital music available, including a clear square split single shared with Anybody But the Cops. PAGE 10
IMBUE   SOBRIGHT  FRIDAY, LOUIE   S FACEBOOK.COM MUSICBYIMBUE  Both initially from Hattiesburg Mississippi, this duo works...
PUBLIC SPEAKING SATURDAY, BELL ’S One of Kalamazoo’s most popular bands, this trio was one of the highlights at the recent Fat Guy Fest held at Shakespeare’s Pub. Energetic beyond belief, they join tuneful precise guitar lines with some of the strongest throat-shredding punk screaming you’ve heard in ages. Lots of releases to choose from, including a massive number of split singles. Their latest record, a 4-track EP shared with three groups, was released in June. FACEBOOK.COM/PUBLICSPEAKINGMUSIC Based in Brooklyn, James Anthony Harris refers to his music as “organized sound”, the same term employed by legendary composer John Cage. Working mostly with keyboards and processors (and the occasional horn or violin from other musicians), Harris creates floating soundscapes that stand majestically one moment, and march on the dancefloor the next. His voice has that icy ‘80s style that works well in this context; some tunes are quirky experiments while others would fit on a Fixx album. A prodigious talent who already has a large catalog of recordings, Public Speaking is a voice you should hear. TRAUMA HARNESS THURSDAY, LOUIE’S TRAUMAHARNESS.BANDCAMP.COM Take primeval punk, as raw and impassioned as The Germs, then put it behind a wall of static and you have Trauma Harness. A trio from St. Louis, this group calls itself “punk” and “noise” several times on its Bandcamp page, and both terms fit very well. They’re also quite versatile: the EP Thanksgiving Songs has a tune in the Sisters of Mercy vein; they’ve even SATURDAY, BELL ’S got a jokey cover of Alabama’s “I’m FACEBOOK.COM/SEWINGNEEDLE in a Hurry.” The catalog is stuffed with singles and EP’s; one even has a cover A quartet based in Chicago, these of Alice Cooper’s “The Man Behind the guys rock moody and gentle and Mask.” slow tunes, blunt and angry when the tempo goes up. Guitars vary between wiry intricacy and fuzz-steeped fury; behind them drums crack like a force of nature, and vocals wisp through with a sweet sort of menace. Their latest, Vote of No Confidence, was released on cassette by Already Dead. An LP is also available, limited to 500 copies. SEWINGNEEDLE WATERMELON THURSDAY, LOUIE’S FACEBOOK.COM/WATERMELONROOLZ Our only Connecticut band in this year’s Reunion, Watermelon is a duo that makes noise the old fashioned way, with guitars running amok and keyboards that sound older than I am. There’s some punky influence on some of their material, but the vibe I get strongest comes from no wave, and the earliest examples of industrial music. Take abrasive textures, layer them with growing volume and add a kitchen sink or two – that’s more or less what they’re doing. Much of their catalog is out of print but a new album, Wamamemmon, was released in July. VIDEO DAUGHTERS REGULAR FUCKED UP PEOPLE FRIDAY, LOUIE’S RFUP.BANDCAMP.COM A trio from Chicago, like many of the acts here they’re doing a Wednesday set at Chicago’s Keep before heading to Kalamazoo. An interesting mix of styles collides here, with folksy harmonizing, walls of echoed guitar, and a fair bit of noise layered on top. A split single with Boring People was the first release on the label of the Satellite Records store. YEESH The three members of Video Daughters (none of whom are female, by the way) come from Brooklyn and they carry the banner of early no wave, low on polish and high on noise. Their repertoire includes a cover of Pere Ubu’s “Navvy,” delivered with maximum speed and clatter. To hear this is to remember the artier acts of the early ‘Eighties; many of that genre’s musicians went on to more mainstream projects, but the no wave sound in full strength can still grab your attention, as this music shows. Whiteness Where the Water Was, the group’s newest, was released in 2014. A postpunk trio from Chicago, their fourth album No Problem was released in March. With taut guitars, crisp drums and an insistent vocal that sighs and screams at the same time, these guys remain melodic no matter how noisy they get. And trust me, they can get noisy. Their latest, released on Already Dead, is also available on LP. FRIDAY, LOUIE’S VIDEODAUGHTERS.BANDCAMP.COM STORM ROSS THURSDAY, LOUIE’S FACEBOOK.COM/STORMROSSMUSIC If you wanted to know what electronica would sound like played on conventional instruments, the answer is provided by Storm Ross, the guitarist for Skeleton Birds. Played mostly alone with the assistance of drums (and on the newest album, trombones!) the resulting drone is stretched, echoed, layered, and turned very loud. You could compare it to Beast in the Field, only less metal and more trancy/ cerebral. The Green Realm, his newest, was released on both green and black vinyl, the green quickly selling out. SATURDAY, AFTERPARTY YEESHBAND.BANDCAMP.COM FOR MUSICAL SAMPLES OF SOME GROUPS: ALR E ADY DE ADTAP E S .B AN DCAMP. COM/ALBUM/ALREADY-DEAD-FAMILYREUNION-5-SAMPLER THE REPTILIAN FRIDAY, LOUIE’S THEREPTILIANBAND.BANDCAMP.COM SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE PAGE 11
PUBLIC SPEAKING  SATURDAY, BELL    S  One of Kalamazoo   s most popular bands, this trio was one of the highlights at the ...
PAW PAW WINE & HARVEST FESTIVAL September 11 - 13, 2015 Fall in Michigan signals its arrival with the slow turning of leaves in over 19 million acres of woods which crescendo into vibrant crimsons, oranges and golds, finally exploding in their annual blaze of color. It is this time of year that we also celebrate the many bounties we have to offer and one in particular is grapes. With over 2,500 acres under winegrape cultivation in our state, Southwest Michigan boasts the majority of the wine-grape harvest. The wineries of Michigan specialized in sweet and fruit wines well into the 1970s. With the growth in demand, starting in the latter half of the 20th century, for locally grown and locally labeled U.S. fine wines, several existing Michigan makers of sweet wine experimented with upgrading their production, and new vintners entered the scene. With nearly one third of all the grapes grown in Michigan being for wine, it is no surprise that there are well over 100 wineries state wide. Paw Paw, Michigan is home to two of the states largest wineries, St. Julian and Warner with many smaller operations open throughout the area. Paw Paw, Michigan plays host to one of the largest events in Southwest Michigan, The Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival. Drawing nearly 50,000 local and out of town visitors each year, The Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival is a celebration of our areas wine rich history, dating back to the end of prohibition and kicks off on Friday, Sept. 11, and will run through the weekend. The annual event is the end of summer celebration, filling the streets of Paw Paw, Michigan with the sights, sounds and flavors of fall in our state. Unique entertainment choices are abundant from Country music to Magicians and Rock & Roll to contemporary it will all be there on four entertainment stages, along with three festival tents, local beer tasting and of course grape stomping! The festival kicks off with wine tasting tours directed by Paw Paw’s St. Julian Winery and Warner Vineyards, and also features a car show, toy soldier and toy tractor show, carnival for all ages, and so much more. The City of Paw Paw welcomes each and every one of you to enjoy what makes this Pure Michigan. Wine Tastings Entertainment Arts & Craft Show Grape Stomping Fireworks Food Family Fun & much more! WWW.WINEANDHARVESTFESTIVAL.COM smashmags.com PAGE 12
PAW PAW  WINE   HARVEST FESTIVAL  September 11 - 13, 2015  Fall in Michigan signals its arrival with the slow turning of l...
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 2015 10AM - 8PM 10AM -11AM CHRIS HILL MAGICIAN 11:30AM - 1:30PM NOAH & FRIEND TASTING ROOM & SALES WARNER VINEYARDS 2PM - 4PM SCOTT SPEARS 10AM - 4PM WINERY TOURS (10AM - 5:30PM - TASTINGS; 10AM 8PM - SALES) ST. JULIAN WINERY 4:30PM - 6PM BLUESTAR HWY. 5PM - 11PM CARNIVAL MIDWAY 125 INDUSTRIAL AVE., NEAR ST. JULIAN’S 5PM - DUSK MARKETPLACE THROUGHOUT DOWNTOWN PAW PAW 5PM - 12AM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT WINE & HARVEST FESTIVAL TENT 5PM - 8:30PM SIERRA SHAME 8:30PM - 12AM BRONK BROS. 6PM - 12AM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ST. JULIAN WINERY 7PM - 9:30PM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT JOE WANG & THE TEST PILOTS, LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE 9PM - 11PM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT HAIRMANIA, 80’S HARD ROCK WARNER VINEYARDS DUSK FIREWORKS OVER MAPLE LAKE SATURDAY, SEPT. 12, 2015 7AM - 11 AM PANCAKE BREAKFAST LIONS CLUB 8AM - 3PM GRAPE ESCAPE CLASSIC CAR, TRUCK & MOTORCYCLE SHOW 8AM GRAPE LAKE 5K RUN/WALK 9AM - 6 PM ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR 9AM - NOON KIWANIS TURTLE DERBY MICHIGAN AVE. AT GREMPS ST. 9AM - DUSK MARKETPLACE THROUGHOUT DOWNTOWN PAW PAW 9AM - 5PM THE HALLOWEEN ATTIC TAYLOR’S FLORIST, GIFTS & DÉCOR 9:30AM - 11AM GRAPE ESCAPE MOTORCYCLE RIDE REGISTRATION 10AM - 4PM STOMPYLAND. MICHIGAN AVE. 10AM - 11PM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE 6:30PM - 8:30PM THE MICKEYS 9PM - 11PM CENTERLINE ENT. DJ & LAZER SHOW 10AM TO 4PM TOURS; (10AM - 5:30PM - TASTINGS; 10AM - 8PM SALES) ST. JULIAN WINERY 10AM - 5PM TOY SOLDIER & TOY TRACTOR SHOW, AMERICAN LEGION HALL 10AM - 8 PM WINE TASTINGS, SALES & LIVE ENTERTAINMENT, WARNER VINEYARDS 11AM COCA-COLA GRAPE STOMP LAKEFRONT 11AM GRAPE ESCAPE MOTORCYCLE RIDE, DYCKMAN ST. AT MICHIGAN AVE. 11AM - 7PM HOLE-IN-ONE LAKEFRONT 11AM - 5PM SLOPPY JOE LUNCH MASONIC TEMPLE 11AM - 2PM WATERBALL COMPETITION HARRY L. BUSH BLVD., IN FRONT OF FIRE STATION NOON - 11:30PM CARNIVAL MIDWAY 125 INDUSTRIAL AVE., NEAR ST. JULIAN’S NOON - 12AM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT WINE & HARVEST FESTIVAL TENT NOON -3PM TONY FIELDS & DOUG DECKER 3PM - 6PM DUMELA PROJECT 6PM - 9PM SLIM GYPSY BAGGAGE 9PM - 12AM DROP 35 3PM - 12AM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ST. JULIAN WINERY 6PM - 10PM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ROOT DOCTOR, WARNER VINEYARDS SUNDAY, SEPT. 13, 2015 7AM - 9AM 34TH ANNUAL VINEYARD CLASSIC BICYCLE TOUR REGISTRATION 8AM - 9AM VINEYARD CLASSIC BIKE TOUR 9:30AM MORNING PRELUDE/PRAYER LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE 10AM - 5PM ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR 10AM - 5PM MARKETPLACE THROUGHOUT DOWNTOWN PAW PAW 11AM CHURCH ON THE LAKE LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE 11AM - 3PM SLOPPY JOE LUNCH MASONIC TEMPLE 11AM - 4PM WINERY TOURS (11AM - 5 PM - TASTINGS & SALES) ST. JULIAN WINERY NOON - 5 PM CARNIVAL MIDWAY 125 INDUSTRIAL AVE., NEAR ST. JULIAN’S NOON - 2:30PM HOLE- IN-ONE, LAKEFRONT NOON - 5 PM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT (2PM - 5PM - YELLOW BRICK ROAD DUELING PIANOS) WINE & HARVEST FESTIVAL TENT NOON - 5 PM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT WINE TASTINGS & SALES, WARNER VINEYARDS NOON - 3 PM THE HALLOWEEN ATTIC TAYLOR’S FLORIST, GIFTS & DÉCOR 12:30PM MUSIC LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE 1PM ST. JULIAN FESTIVAL PARADE DOWNTOWN PAW PAW 1PM - 5PM LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ST. JULIAN WINERY 2PM DUCK RACE FOR OUR TROOPS BRIGGS POND 2PM - 5PM THE UNKNOWNS WARNER VINEYARDS 2PM VOCAL CONCERT LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE 2:30PM COCA-COLA GRAPE STOMP FINALS, LAKEFRONT 2:30PM NEW FELLOWSHIP WORSHIP TEAM, LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE 3:15PM WORSHIP ARTS PRODUCTION LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE 4PM HOLE-IN-ONE FINALS, LAKEFRONT 4PM CONCERT - JEAN WATSON, LAKEFRONT AMPHITHEATRE MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT WWW. WINEANDHARVESTFESTIVAL.COM. PAGE 13
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 2015 10AM - 8PM  10AM -11AM CHRIS HILL MAGICIAN 11 30AM - 1 30PM NOAH   FRIEND  TASTI...
SEPTEMBER M BACKROADS SALOON 15325 W MICHIGAN AVE MARSHALL 269-781-7091 RICKY GUNN Friday 4, 9pm DALE VAUGHN Saturday 5, 9pm BRIAN LORENTE Friday 11, 9pm MEGAN RAE BAND Saturday 12, 9pm LEE GANT Friday 18, 9pm DAVID SHELBY Saturday 19, 9pm YOUNG HEAVY SOULS PRESENTS Saturday 19, 9pm SQUARE DANCE KALAMAZOO Monday 21, 7pm VOX VIDORRA WSG KALAMAZOO FUNK COLLECTIVE Thursday 24, 9pm MUSTARD PLUG WSG FREIGHT BANDITS, CAMP DAD Friday 25, 9pm Saturday 26, 6pm CZARS 505 DANI JAMERSON 505 PLEASANT ST Saturday 26 BELL’S ECCENTRIC CAFÉ 355 E KALAMAZOO AVE KALAMAZOO 269-382-2332 SOUTH HAVEN 269-983-1188 REGGAE NIGHT FEATURING DI MASCHINE Friday 4, 10pm JAROD KNOX Saturday 5, 10pm TURKUAZ WSG DUMELA MICKEY OTT PROJECT FUNDRAISER Thursday 3, 9pm PLEASANT DRIVE WSG CRIME FUNK, OHM TOWNE HEROES Friday 4, 9pm EIN PROSIT Saturday 5, 1pm ART GOMPERZ, STEVE KAMPE, DANNY DINE, SKIP BIRDSONG BLUES BAND Saturday 19, 10pm GROUND EFFECT, ASSISTANCE OF ANTHONY, M102 SPEEDY ORTIZ WSG PALEHOUND, ANYBODY Friday 25, 10pm BUT THE COPS, PETRILLO Wednesday 9, 8pm THE CRANE WIVES ALBUM RELEASE WSG BIGFOOT BUFFALO Thursday 10, 9pm MEGAN DOOLEY WSG DELILAH DEWYLDE & THE LOST BOYS, BLAKE ELLIOT AND THE ROBINSON AFFAIR Thursday 17, 9pm 139 S EDWARDS ST, KALAMAZOO 269-978-8451 AUDIOTREE MUSIC FESTIVAL Saturday 5, Noon BUCKCHERRY WSG SAVING ABEL Friday 18, 7pm THE DOCK@BAYVIEW ALREADY DEAD FAMILY 12504 E. D AVE REUNION 5 HOOSIER HIGHWAY Friday 25, 9pm DISTRICT SQUARE DARK HORSE BREWERY 511 S KALAMAZOO AVE MARSHALL 269-781-9940 THE STRAIGHT STORY Thursday 3 LASALLE Thursday 10 THE SIN BROTHERS Thursday 17 LESS IS MORE Thursday 24 smashmags.com RICHLAND 269-731-4911 COYOTE MOON Friday 11, 6:30 – 8:30pm ERIC & ROBIN PETERSON Friday 18, 6:30 – 8:30pm MOTHERS, ROUCHE, 2070 Saturday 19, 8pm THE DONKEYS, MAJOR MURPHY, THE UNCANNY Monday 21, 8pm 214 E MICHIGAN AVE KALAMAZOO 269-381-9212 IRISH SESSIONS Sunday 27, 8pm Fri. 25 & Sat. 26 230 N ROSE ST KALAMAZOO 269-373-7990 THE GO ROUNDS Friday 11, 6pm KOFFEE KLUTCH 2 W MICHIGAN AVE GALESBURG 269-665-5282 SINGER SONGWRITER NIGHT Every Thursday GALESBURG CAR SHOW WITH BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR Fri. 18 & Sat. 19 LONDON GRILL Saturday 26, 8pm ABSOLUT ADDICTION KALAMAZOO VALLEY MUSEUM DANI JAMERSON FIONA DICKINSON, THOSE WILLOWS, RAE FITZGERALD, LUCAS OSWALD Friday 25, 6:30 - 8:30 Saturday 19 Saturday 26 Saturday 12 PLAIN JAYNE SINKER, CHANTEYMAN, Fri. 25 & Sat. 26 37.ENT M89 SPORTS BAR & GRILL DROP 35 Friday 11 DANI JAMERSON BAND DAVID MAXSON & ROBYN WHITE DANI JAMERSON BAND Every Sunday 4-6pm Thursday 3 BROOK FARMS Friday 3rd, 7pm JARED KNOX Friday 4 DAVID LLOYD Friday 10th, 7pm TYPO Fri. 11 & Sat. 12 WHISKEY BEFORE BREAKFAST SHELAGH BROWN Friday 17th, 7pm BAND Friday 18 THE BOG ROAD Friday 24th, 7pm POP CULT Friday 25 THE BREAKOUT BAND LOUIE’S TROPHY HOUSE GRILL 440 EAST NORTH ST. KALAMAZOO 269-385-9359 THE PLURALS, THATS BLOOD, TRUE F.O. THE FREE LIFE Saturday 5, 8pm 129 E ALLEGAN ST OTSEGO 269-694-6970 Fri. 4 & Sat. 5 HAT TRICK Fri. 11 & Sat. 12 BOOM TOWN Fri. 18 & Sat. 19 MRGAN RAE BAND MAUDE’S TAPHOUSE 117 E ALLEGAN ST OTSEGO 269-692-3377 MOXIEVILLE Friday 4, 7:30pm SCHLITZ CREEK BLUEGRASS Thursday 10, 7pm SHELAGH BROWN BAND THE PUNKNECKS, CASKET RATTLERS OUT OF FAVOR BOYS Friday 11, 7:30pm DAN AGNE Friday 18, 7:30pm Friday 25, 7:30pm Thursday 17, 8pm LIPSTICK JODI, GOOD PERSONALITIES, AMERICAN WIFI Friday 18, 8pm 191 ANGELL ST. BATTLE CREEK 269-962-2121 ST JOE TRIO, CASEY ROCKIN ROWE Friday 4, 8pm FEAR FACTORY, ONCE HUMAN, BEFORE THE MOURNING, THE BLOODLINE DOUGLAS JAMES BAND Saturday 12, 6pm THE CLASS ACTS, THE LAKE EFFECTS, KING MEDIAN, CARDBOARD HIGHWAY Saturday 12, 8pm THE MUSIC FACTORY NOB HILL 4218 S SPRINKLE RD KALAMAZOO 269-349-2965 SPENCE, ILLUMIRA, COPPER HOUSE Friday 18, 6pm BOBAFLEX, SEPTEMBER MOURNING, 8 FOOT GRIMISS Saturday 19, 6pm ROAD TO THE RED CARPET BATTLE OF THE BANDS Sunday 20, 1:30pm ANOTHER LOST YEAR, BLACKLIGHT DISTRICT, ARTIFAS, ELISIUM Friday 25, 6pm OTHERWISE, FIRST DECREE, HAVEN FIRE Saturday 26, 6pm MR. PRESIDENTS NIGHTCLUB 304 N. BURDICK STREET KALAMAZOO 269-381-1110 ALISON WONDERLAND SINGING BARTENDER Every Wed. at 5pm Sunday 6, noon PAGE 14
SEPTEMBER M BACKROADS SALOON 15325 W MICHIGAN AVE MARSHALL 269-781-7091  RICKY GUNN  Friday 4, 9pm DALE VAUGHN  Saturday 5...
MUSIC BOARD OLD DOG TAVERN 402 E KALAMAZOO AVE KALAMAZOO 269-381-5677 TOM DUFFIELD CATS IN THE HAT BLUES JAM Sunday 20, 6-9pm BRASS RAIL Friday 25, 5-8pm Mondays from 5 to 7pm ROOTSTAND CD BRANDEN MANN Tuesdays at 8pm BLUES JAM 6-9pm Every Sunday STEVEN LEE PESCH Thursday 3, 7-11pm HIRED HANDS Friday 4, 5-8pm REAL FANTASTIC’S Friday 4, 9pm DOUBLE STRUNG WSG MISSY ZENKER Saturday 5, 9pm 7TH SON BLUES JAM Sunday 6, 6-9pm STEVEN LEE PESCH Thursday 10, 9pm BRASS RAIL Friday 11, 5-8pm PM BUYS WSG NORTHERN FIRES AND THE BLISSES Friday 11, 9pm SAVAGE OMS/DOCTOR DEATH CRUSH/ HAHA LALA/ARMS AKIMBO Saturday 12, 9pm GATOR BOYS BLUES Sunday 13, 6-9pm ALEX MAYS Thursday 17, 7-10pM 400 RABBITS/COMBAT CORDUROY/GHOST BUNNIES Thursday 17, 9pm UNLEASHED Friday 18, 9pm HARRY FEST TANNER THOMPSON/ DANI JAMERSON/ BULLET THEORY/33/ CROSSROADS BLUES BAND RELEASE Saturday 26, 9pm CROSSROADS BLUES BAND RIVERSIDE PUB 405 W PEARL ST MARSHALL 269-781-5940 CHRIS BOCANEGRA & JAROD Every Thursday @ 8pm BILL SLAGHT Friday 11, 9pm Sunday 27, 6pm STRANGE BREW OVERTIME PUB & GRILL ENTERTAINMENT WITH BILL SLAGH 517 E MICHIGAN BATTLE CREEK 269-964-0872 STRANGE BREW Friday 4 PLAIN JAYNE Friday 11 ABSOLUT ADDICTION Friday 18 FORTE Friday 25 PAPA PETE’S 502 SOUTH BURDICK KALAMAZOO 269-388-2196 WHO HIT JOHN Friday 4 BRIGHTWELL Friday 18, 9pm Thursday 25, 9pm RUPERT’S BREW HOUSE 773 W MICHIGAN AVE. KALAMAZOO 269-337-9911 JAZZ JAM Every Tuesday BLUES JAM Every Thursday THE SAVAGE OMS Saturday 5 ABRAHAM Saturday 19 OFF THE LEDGE Friday 25 BRANDON MANN SINGER SONGWRITER Saturday 26 Friday 11 HYBRID STATE Saturday 12 LAYERCAKE PRESENTS Thursday 17 SHAKESPEARS LOWER LEVEL 214 EAST KALAMAZOO TREE LOVE COLLECTIVE KALAMAZOO 269-488-3330 Friday 18 TOMB OF TEETH Thursday 24 BABZ AND FRIENDS Friday 25 LONGEST WINTER Saturday 26 Saturday 19, 4pm SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE SPENCE, DARLING DOWN, ILLUMIRA, FLOPS EGO Saturday 19, 9pm SKULX Sunday 20, 8pm DMITRI MATHENY GROUP Thursday 17, 8pm JIM SHANEBERGER BAND Friday 18, 9pm AFTER FUNK, THAT FREAK QUINCY, BARN ON FIRE KING SLAYER, BLACKGATE, DRINK THEIR BLOOD TREADING BLU Friday 25, 9pm Saturday 26, 9pm STATE THEATRE 404 S BURDICK ST KALAMAZOO 269-345-6500 KICK OFF PARTY HIRED HANDS, DJ MEL V Saturday 19, 9pm Tuesday 22, 8pm SCHROCK BROTHERS Friday 25, 9pm ALEX MAYS Tuesday 29, 8pm WAREHOUSE 1299 COLUMBIA AVE BATTLE CREEK 269-979-9273 SXX Wednesday 2, 5-8pm saturday 5, 9pm BEANIE SIGEL, FREEWAY LOU WILSON BLUES FEST Saturday 12, 7:30pm WILCO, WILLIAM TYLER Saturday 19, 7pm MARTILA SANDERS & GEE Q Wednesday 16, 6:30pm Friday 25, 9pm LIVE ON CHARITY PUNK THE LA LAS BURLESQUE SHOW Friday 18, 8pm Sunday 27, 5pm JONNY LANG, THE RECORD COMPANY Friday 25, 8pm THE UNION CABARET & GRILL 125 S. KALAMAZOO MALL BRANDEN MANN & THE KALAMAZOO 269-384-6756 REPRIMAND, MARCY BEACH JAZZ MIX Friday 11, 9pm HAIRMANIA Saturday 12, 8pm KVBA BLUES CHALLENGE Sunday 13, doors @ 2pm Show @ 8pm Every Wednesday THE BRENA TRIO Tuesday 1, 8pm SHELAGH AND ROBBIE Tuesday 15, 8p GLJO Wednesday 16, 7pm PAGE 15
MUSIC BOARD OLD DOG TAVERN 402 E KALAMAZOO AVE KALAMAZOO 269-381-5677  TOM DUFFIELD  CATS IN THE HAT BLUES JAM  Sunday 20,...
More than 2,500 street rods and muscle cars from all over the country and parts of Canada are expected in Kalamazoo for the 36th Annual National Street Rod Association’s Street Rod Nationals North Plus. Street rods are classic custom cars and specialty vehicles produced before 1949. Muscle cars are performance-oriented cars generally from the 1960s or 1970s, but any vehicle manufactured earlier than 1985 is welcome. From the budget home built street drivers to the rare collectibles, there is a passion that is shared amongst true performance enthusiasts and they all come together every year to show off and pay tribute to an era of vehicles that time has passed. The owners include people from all walks of life who love cars, love the style of cars built in certain eras, and others who cherish the memories of cruising in autos they worked on themselves in their younger years. Everyone will enjoy the spectacular vehicles as well as the vehicles’ owners, and other activities including manufacturer exhibits, arts & crafts, vintage parts, live entertainment and food to make this a day to remember. The 36th Annual National Street Rod Association’s Street Rod Nationals North Plus is set for Friday through Sunday (Sept. 11 - 13) at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairgrounds, at 2900 Lake St. Even though you may not be in your rod everyone is welcome to attend the event. Bring the whole family for a day at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairgrounds. Spectator gate hours will be Friday, September 11th and Saturday, September 12th from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 13th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The per-person cost of admission is $15 for adults and $6 for children ages 6 to 12. Children age 5 or less are admitted free of charge. Take a day or make it a weekend, but do not miss the opportunity to see the best of the best all in one location. It will be a day to remember. smashmags.com PAGE 16
More than 2,500 street rods and muscle cars from all over the country and parts of Canada are expected in Kalamazoo for th...
SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE PAGE 17
SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE   PAGE 17
THE NON-BEER SNOBS GUIDE TO LOCAL CRAFT BEER BY BRUCE TUCK With the onslaught of micro-breweries and tap houses popping up all over the country and Southwest Michigan having some of the best, it is fitting that we bring you our monthly review of some of local flavor. If you are a beer snob, you may not want to read this, it may not give you an in-depth perspective of each ingredient and how it pairs with the others but it will give you a perspective from your average beer drinker. Since summer has almost passed undetected, I guess we should look forward to the harvest season, fall,Halloween, color changing and colder weather, but not without tasting a seasonal brew from Arcadia Ales. Jaw Jacker has become a standard for the fall seasonal ales around our area, even with the increased number of small craft breweries. While I am not a huge fan of the spiced flavor of most of the local offerings this time of year, I will give you this about Jaw Jacker: Jaw Jacker is a spiced amber-wheat ale that is incredibly smooth drinking and does not leave you craving salty snacks or other foods to dull a hoppy after bite. It is far from that, the taste is smooth and mellow with a spice note that is almost sweet to the taste. This orange ambers pumpkin-like notes come from a combination of the finest malted barley, a small amount of wheat and the addition of cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg (in the exact proportions of a family pumpkin pie recipe) without any pumpkin in the recipe. smashmags.com “SPICED LIKE YOUR GRANNY'S BEST PUMPKIN PIE” STYLE: PUMPKIN / YAM BEER While I do not know exactly what foods Jaw Jacker would complement, I can only imagine drinking an ice cold Jaw Jacker alongside a turkey dinner topped off with a big slice of pumpkin pie. Arcadia Ales Locations Be warned, with fall approaching Jaw Jacker will be a hit, so set your sights on Arcadia and grab a Jaw Jacker or 12 and enjoy what’s left of the warmer weather . ABV: 6% BATTLE CREEK KALAMAZOO 701 E MICHIGAN AVE KALAMAZOO, MI 49007 (269) 276-0458 103 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE BATTLE CREEK, MI 49017 (269) 963-9690 PAGE 18
THE NON-BEER SNOBS GUIDE TO LOCAL CRAFT BEER BY BRUCE TUCK With the onslaught of micro-breweries and tap houses popping up...
Tasting…Tasting Wine, two, three - What is better than a cool fall day? A cool fall day driving down the tree lined country roads on your way to your favorite winery!! Southwest Michigan is teaming with choices for your pallet so we comprised a list (may not be complete but to the best of our knowledge) of wineries in our area. So Jump in the car (with a DD) and take a tasting tour of the wines of Southwest Michigan with us. 12 CORNERS VNEYARDS BARODA FOUNDERS WINE CELLAR 1201 N BENTON CENTER RD 8963 HILLS ROAD PHONE: (269) 927-1512 PHONE: (269) 426-5222 BENTON HARBOR, MI 49022 EMAIL:INFO@12CORNERSVINEYARDS.COM WEBSITE: WWW.12CORNERS.COM 12 Corners Vineyards & Winery is one of Michigan’s newest wineries located in Benton Harbor, Michigan. 30 acres of vineyards surround the hilltop winery that offers guests wine tasting or wine by the glass in one of many outdoor seating locations over looking the vineyards with a tasting room in South Haven just steps from Lake Michigan. Rental space is available for large parties or functions. BARODA, MI 49101 EMAIL:LEN@FOUNDERSWINECELLAR.COM WEBSITE: WWW.FOUNDERSWINECELLAR.COM Baroda Founders Wine Cellar has a wide selection of wines ranging from classic varietals (our Lake Michigan Shore Series) to fruit-flavorenhanced (Baroda Antique Series), as well as delectable dessert wines. We have a wine for every palate! With over 40 years experience, our wine master, Len Olson, uses local luscious grapes to produce high-quality award-winning wines. Come in for a tasting and tour. We love to share our knowledge of wines and to meet new wine-lovers! CHERRY CREEK CELLARS 2199 NORTH CONCORD ROAD ALBION, MI 49224 PHONE: (517) 531-3080 EMAIL: INFO@CHERRYCREEKWINE.COM WEBSITE: WWW.CHERRYCREEKWINE.COM Our family run Vineyard and winery features premium handcrafted Wines in our intimate tasting room. Come visit us and sample our craft, have a discussion with John (our winemaker). We feature 12 wines ranging from Bordeaux blends to our now famous Fetter Hahn- Black Raspberry Cordial. ...continued on next page SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE PAGE 19
   Tasting   Tasting Wine, two, three  -  What is better than a cool fall day  A cool fall day driving down the tree lined...
CODY KRESTA VINEYARD & WINERY DABLON VINEYARDS FREE RUN CELLARS 45727 27TH ST MATTAWAN, MI 49071 PHONE: (269) 668-3800 EMAIL: SUPPORT@CODYKRESTAWINERY.COM WEBSITE: WWW.CODYKRESTAWINERY.COM 111 WEST SHAWNEE RD. BARODA, MI 49101 PHONE: (269) 422-1309 EMAIL: INFO@DABLON.COM WEBSITE: WWW.DABLON.COM 9185 UNION PIER ROAD UNION PIER, MI 49129 PHONE: (269) 469-6885 EMAIL: INFO@FREERUNCELLARS.COM WEBSITE: WWW.FREERUNCELLARS.COM Cody Kresta is a small, family winery specializing in hand-crafted wines produced at our vintage 1882 homestead in southern Michigan. All grapes used in our wines are grown in the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation, including those from our own estate vineyard. We purposefully keep the volume of our winery small so we can ensure the quality of all our wines. Set in the heart of Southwest Michigan Wine Country, Dablon Winery and Tasting Room is the area’s newest winery. Our winery specializes in small, boutique wines made in the old world style. We look forward to hosting you at our estate winery & vineyard, where you can enjoy a wine flight, wine by the glass or simply take in the view of the beautiful rolling vineyards. Groups of ten or more, please call to make a reservation. Free Run is the new venture of Round Barn winemaker Matthew Moersch, and brother Christian. Honoring their birthright and looking to the future, winemakers Matt and brother Christian are continuing the family wine legacy at Free Run Cellars. Implementing new winemaking and vineyard techniques, focusing on single vineyard production and producing new and different flavors are the focus of Free Run. May - October, Wednesday - Saturday, 12:00n - 6:00pm and Sunday, 12:00n - 5:00pm. November - April, Saturday 12:00n-6:00pm and Sunday, 12:00n - 5:00pm. DOMAINE BERRIEN CELLARS CONTESSA WINE CELLARS 3235 FRIDAY RD COLOMA, MI 49038 PHONE: (269) 468-5534 EMAIL: WINE@CONTESSAWINECELLARS.COM WEBSITE: WWW.CONTESSAWINECELLARS.COM Third generation wine maker Tony Peterson has created an art of making wine, old world charm and the very best of modern amenities at the Wine Cellar. A vast selection of fine wines, served in a elegant tasting room reminiscent of the Italian villa. Open seven days a week from noon - 5pm. smashmags.com 398 EAST LEMON CREEK ROAD. BERRIEN SPRINGS, MI 49103 PHONE: (269) 422-1309 EMAIL: WINERY@DOMAINEBERRIEN.COM WEBSITE: WWW.DOMAINEBERRIEN.COM Come visit our winery and vineyard with fine wines, tasting room and sales room for your special purchases. Established in 2001, our winery is nestled among the grapevines on our family’s 80-acre farm. All of our wines are made from grapes grown and hand-picked in our vineyards. Our estate bottled, handcrafted wines are available for tasting and sales Wednesday through Monday from noon to 5pm; closed Tuesdays. Enjoy a picnic on our beautiful deck! GLASS CREEK WINERY 450 N. WHITMORE RD. HASTINGS, MI 49058 PHONE: (269) 948-2752 EMAIL: GLASSCREEKWINERY@LIVE.COM WEBSITE: WWW.GLASSCREEKWINERY.COM We are a small family run winery located five miles northwest of Hastings Michigan. We offer a variety of wines from our dry, oak aged cabernet sauvignon to our sweet fruit based wines. We are dedicated to offering wines of exceptional quality for affordable prices. Stop by our free tasting room to sample our wines and visit with us. Tasting room hours are Tuesday - Sunday 12 pm to 6 pm. PAGE 20
CODY KRESTA VINEYARD   WINERY  DABLON VINEYARDS  FREE RUN CELLARS  45727 27TH ST MATTAWAN, MI 49071 PHONE   269  668-3800 ...
GRAVITY 10220 LAUER ROAD BARODA, MI 49101 PHONE: (269) 471-9463 EMAIL: INFO@GRAVITYWINE.COM WEBSITE: WWW.GRAVITYWINE.COM Everyone is affected by Gravity. Come enjoy our signature Flights out on our beautiful covered deck overlooking the private lake and vineyards. Our first vines (Cabernet Franc) were planted back in the late 90s. Since then our vineyards have expanded to encompass 42 acres, with more being planted every year. Feel the pull, see you soon! KARMA VISTA VINEYARDS LEHMANS ORCHARD 6991 RYNO RD COLOMA, MI 49038 PHONE: (269) 468-9463 EMAIL: INFO@KARMAVISTA.COM WEBSITE: WWW.KARMAVISTA.COM 2280 PORTAGE RD. NILES, MI 49120 PHONE: (269) 683-9078 EMAIL: INFO@LEHMANSORCHARD.COM WEBSITE: WWW.LEHMANSORCHARD.COM A winery and tasting room in the middle of the vineyard on top of one of the highest hills in Berrien County. We are a few miles inland from Lake Michigan on a beautiful hillside vineyard above the small town of Coloma. Somewhere between Napa and Bordeaux, yet 90 minutes or less from Chicago, South Bend, Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo. Join us at our tasting room as we watch traffic on the highway far below us and try to decide why everyone else is in such a big hurry. Wine with a point of view. Family owned since 1929. We offer tree ripened hand picked fruits to buy at the farm. The fruit is sustainably grown using many integrated management and organic growing techniques. Our winery currently makes ten fruit wines, four grape wines, two fortified wines, one ice cider, six hard ciders, and four meads (honey wines); all of the fruits used in the winemaking were estate grown. We sell frozen apple cider year round and fresh apple cider in the fall. We also carry forty different value added products, all made at the farm, including nut butters, original trail mixes, vinegars, jams, chutneys, and relishes. Our small nursery sells fifty varieties dwarf size heirloom and disease resistant apple trees perfect for back yards. Check website for dates and times open. HICKORY CREEK WINERY LLC 750 BROWNTOWN ROAD BUCHANAN, MI 49101 PHONE: (269) 422-1100 WEBSITE: WWW.HICKORYCREEKWINERY.COM Creating world class wines from grapes grown exclusively on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore, Hickory Creek’s team of owners, Michael de Schaaf, David Leslie and Gottfried Hart, bring to bear the distinct perspectives of three premier wine-growing nations: America, Australia, and Germany. Open Monday - Saturday 11 am to 6 pm and Sunday noon to 6 pm. LAWTON RIDGE WINERY 8456 STADIUM DRIVE KALAMAZOO, MI 49009 PHONE: (269) 372-9463 EMAIL: CHALTOM@LAWTONRIDGEWINERY.COM WEBSITE: WWW.LAWTONRIDGEWINERY.COM We are one of Michigan’s newest wineries, offering 11 different selections in our tasting room, stop in for a free tasting. We are close to Kalamazoo with easy access from 131 or I94. A great place to start or end your wine tour. Open noon-6:00 Mon.- Sat., Sunday noon5:00pm. LEMON CREEK WINERY 533 EAST LEMON CREEK ROAD BERRIEN SPRINGS, MI 49103 PHONE: (269) 471-1321 EMAIL: WINERY@LEMONCREEKWINERY.COM WEBSITE: WWW.LEMONCREEKWINERY.COM Lemon Creek is a name with over 150 years of grape and fruit growing experience. Exclusively family owned and operated this quaint 300 acre farm is located in the country side of Berrien County. Found just six miles off the lake, this winery, vineyard and fruit farm is a perfect family destination. Enjoy wine tasting in a newly remodeled tasting room. With over twenty four ...continued on next page SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE PAGE 21
GRAVITY 10220 LAUER ROAD BARODA, MI 49101 PHONE   269  471-9463 EMAIL  INFO GRAVITYWINE.COM WEBSITE  WWW.GRAVITYWINE.COM  ...
different wines to choose from, made from nineteen different estate grown varietals, there is sure to be a wine for any palate. Step outside with a glass of wine in hand and wander on over to the fruit market where you can find any number of fruits seasonally. Want to experience the countryside a little more? Grab a basket and allow us to give you a wagon ride into the orchard where you can pick your own fruit right off the vine or tree. Open year round, there are a number of annual events and festivals to experience. Those along with wine specials can be found monthly on the Web site, as well as current wine listings, home wine maker opportunities, fresh fruits in season and more. Come and spend some time in the country. Bring a picnic, have a glass of wine and take time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life with the ones you love. ROUND BARN ST. JULIAN WINERY 716 S. KALAMAZOO STREET PAW PAW, MI 49079 PHONE: (800) 732-6002 EMAIL: WINES@STJULIAN.COM WEBSITE: WWW.STJULIAN.COM Located off I-94, exit 60. Come taste over 50 award winning wines, juices & spirits. See why we were named Tasters Guild “Winery of the Year” in 1998. We offer free tours year-round. Monday through Saturday, tours run every hour beginning at 10 am, no tour at noon, the last tour begins at 4:00 pm. On Sunday, tours run every hour beginning at 11:30 pm, the last tour is at 4:00 pm. All ages are welcome and our facility is handicap accessible. $5 to sample six wines and keep complimentary logo glass. If you are planning on coming with a group of eight or more, please call ahead. TEMPO VINO WINERY 260 E. MICHIGAN AVENUE KALAMAZOO, MI 49007 PHONE: (269) 342-9463 WEBSITE: WWW.TEMPOVINOWINERY.COM Located in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, Tempo Vino Winery is a unique experience for all wine lovers, from the curious novice to the seasoned connoisseur. Our wines are hand crafted in small batches from grapes grown around the world. There is no other winery in the area where you can actually taste and make wine from grapes grown in France, Italy, Germany, Australia and California. We select the best crops from top vineyards each harvest, and import the juice to our winery for winemaking. Not only can you stop in and sample our wines at the tasting bar, you can even make your own private label wine. Closed Sundays. 10983 HILLS ROAD BARODA, MI 49101 PHONE: (800) 716-9463 EMAIL: INFO@ROUNDBARNWINERY.COM WEBSITE: WWW.ROUNDBARNWINERY.COM We are a winery, distillery and brewery that offers complimentary wine, brandy and beer tasting. We host a variety of events throughout the year such as wine dinners, festivals, open houses and parties TABOR HILL 185 MT. TABOR RD BUCHANAN, MI 49107 PHONE: (800) 283-3363 EMAIL: INFO@TABORHILL.COM WEBSITE: WWW.TABORHILL.COM Tour our winery and learn how fine wines are made. Our casual walking tours take you along the vineyard, through rows of oaken casks that hold the aging wines. After the tour we personally invite you to our wine tasting rooms and sample the fruits of our labor. Also, browse through our gift shop filled with unique gifts, wine accessories and more. Enjoy an intimate lunch or dinner overlooking the countryside and our vineyards in our handicapped accessible, smoke free restaurant. Reservations are suggested. smashmags.com WARNER VINEYARDS WINERY 706 S. KALAMAZOO STREET PAW PAW, MI 49079 PHONE: (800) 756-5357 EMAIL: WARNERWINES@PROVIDE.NET The Midwest’s most picturesque winery. Nestled along the banks of the beautiful Paw Paw River with a covered bridge, historic paidcar, water tower and a 100-year-old Michigan historical site building. We offer tours and tastings of our award winning wines, champagnes and alcohol free sparkling juices. Join our Wine Club and receive our signature wines along with cellar and tasting notes. Enjoy a meal in our Waterworks Station Cafe. Open seven days a week. PAGE 22
different wines to choose from, made from nineteen different estate grown varietals, there is sure to be a wine for any pa...
ERIN LAMONT OF THE LALAS BURLESQUE SHOW by Nick Hatzinikolis (Laughing) It work, well with the Los Angeles tie in. The Lalas, Los Angeles’ hottest burlesque show is heating up the State Theater in Kalamazoo on September 18 at 8:00 PM — for one show only. Prepare for a wild night as LA’s finest performers entertain you with their brains, beauty and bustiers and is produced by Western Michigan University alumni Erin Lamont. SMASH: I know you have ties to WMU and the Southwest Michigan area, can you talk about your experience when you were in school and in the area? Erin Lamont is originally from Detroit, Michigan and graduated with both a B.A. in dance, and a B.B.A. in Marketing from Western Michigan University. It was in college that Erin found love in choreography and at 21 Erin single handedly produced, directed and managed her first dance production: “Getting There” which sold out every show. Erin’s credits include: Tosh O, CSI:NY, the People’s choice Awards with Neil Patrick Harris, Spike TV’s “the Video Games Awards”, Lady Gaga, The Miss Universe Pageants. Her other Film / TV credits include: Ciara, Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, The Gambler w/ Mark Wahlberg, Skechers, Nike, ABC, NBC, Puma, Wyndham Resorts, EMI Records, Playboy, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Disney, Spike TV, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the NBA L.A. Clippers Dance team. SMASH magazine is very happy to talk with Erin Lamont, Erin is the creator, director and driving force behind the Burlesque troupe The LaLa’s. The LaLa’s will be preforming at the State Theater in Kalamazoo on Friday September 18th SMASH: Erin, thank you very much for your time today. ERIN: Thank you, thanks for having me today. SMASH: Erin, my first question to you is, what is a LaLa? ERIN: Laughing, Well, my last name is Lamont, so being from the Midwest, there were a lot of Erin’s at dance classes and in college there would be upwards of 4 or 5 Erin’s in a class the professors and other students started playing off your last name mine was “Lala”. When I started the Burlesque show I was asked what our name was. We didn’t have a name for it and I was thinking well “Lala” sounds good. It is a playoff Los Angeles but that not the truth, it’s from my maiden name and those girls are my Bitches! SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE ERIN: Sure, I went to western for my double major in dance and business. I’m originally for the Detroit area, I left there when I was 17 and move to Kalamazoo until I was 21. I went to school there and graduated from Western Michigan University. While I was going to school, I worked as a cocktail waitress at Wayside, that’s how I paid my way. I had to pay for pointe shoes and books. SMASH: Do you get the chance to come back to Kalamazoo? ERIN: Not very often, not to Kalamazoo, my parents were still living in Detroit up until about a year ago and I live out here (California) so, no I don’t get back there that often at least not in the last year. SMASH: Well, I have to believe there will be a lot of people happy to see you come back, at least for a day or so. ERIN: Yeah, it will be exciting to come back to Kalamazoo! It will be a nice homecoming! SMASH: Erin, looking at your bio, you have several impressive TV / film credits on your resume, could you talk about the people you have worked with? For example, you did the Vitamin water commercial, The People Choice awards, several beauty pageants, you also worked with Lady Gaga, Trace Adkins, and have done TV spots on CSI: NY, etc. Did you do these projects before you created the Lalas Burlesque show? ERIN: It’s all a great experience, we (The Lalas) do also do some of the commercials and TV things that you see. SMASH: So all of you are “cross –functional”, it not all the Burlesque show? ERIN: Not at all, it is in conjunction with the Lalas. About 50 percent of my work is TV and commercials, pageants and about 50 percent is the Lalas, but when I do a project, I try to tie in and bring in my girls to jobs as well. When I do work with actors and dancers alike, whenever a project calls for dancers I bring in my girls. I pretty loyal to my girls because they are loyal to me! I work with a lot of choreographers, it seems the higher you get in the industry the less work they do, so they have their assistants do the work. I’m not like that at all, I don’t like to have auditions, I’ll go to a production company and say “Hey, I have five dancers now that can do the job and there is no need to look any further. Because I know my girls, there is no need for a rehearsal, there is nothing better in the industry that a direct booking! I try to as many of those as possible. SMASH: Are you the Lalas manager in addition to the creative director? ERIN: We have 2 agents, 1 that books all the TV / film projects and 1 that does all of our international bookings, when you are constantly hustling, you end up doing most of the work as well. I just can’t set back and wait for my phone to ring! SMASH: So Erin, what was it that made you come up with the idea of a traveling Burlesque show in the first place? ERIN: It was as easy as my husband and I were dating at the time in Manhattan Beach and this is all pre kids, pre mortgage and dogs. We went to enjoy some happy hour on a Friday. We went bar hopping around as we stopped in a place that had a Burlesque show playing. I looked at Jesse (Husband) as said “This is terrible” That Monday, I called the manager of the bar and lied when I told her I have a Burlesque show, she said fine, come in for an audition. I called some of my dancer friends, we put a little number together and went into the audition and got the job! We were booked there for a year! That’s how it all worked out. SMASH: Can you talk about the crowd reaction to the Lalas? Do you find that many of the patrons of the show have a familiarity with Burlesque or is it all new to them? ERIN: The reaction is “Crazy great”! A lot of people come to our show and they don’t know what to expect. We get a lot of married couples usually in the 25- 40 age range usually the guys will say “yeah, ...continued on next page PAGE 23
ERIN LAMONT OF THE LALAS BURLESQUE SHOW by Nick Hatzinikolis   Laughing  It work, well with the Los Angeles tie in.  The L...
I’ll go because of the classic rock music and there are pretty girls” and the girl will say “I’ll go because of the awesome costumes and it’s hilarious!” We are the NON –Threatening Burlesque show, we do a 90 minute that is more comedy than anything else. My favorite part of it is when the audience is cracking up with laughter because of something I have done through the girls dancing, there is nothing better! Sometime it takes the crowd a little while to get going and warm up, and there is some shyness in the beginning, that’s just how it is. About 20 minutes into the show they start standing, clapping and screaming because they loved a part of a number. When you bring someone up on stage that person is shy but after a few minutes they are all in the moment and enjoying themselves! We bring people out of the shell…if they need it. Sometime they don’t and they play right along but if needed…(Laughing) SMASH: Ah, so there is “crowd participation”, can some of the people at the State Theater expect to be called up on stage? ERIN: Oh yeah, the show is much more than the music and the watching the dancers on stage, we are in the crowd as much as we are on stage. I like to say “No one is safe. Ever!” And the more you try to avoid eye contact with the girls, I guarantee they will call you out! Be ready! SMASH: Can we talk about the girls in the dance troupe? ERIN: Absolutely! Chantel who is one of the dancers will not be in Kalamazoo, she is currently on tour, working with Ariana Grande and won’t be available for the show in Kalamazoo. Let’s talk about Tonya Kay. Tonya Kay is from Hillsdale Michigan! She will have some crowd representing for sure at the State Theater! She is the hostess with the most-est. She has amazing timing and just by giving you a look the crowd has a reaction. She is very subtle and very, very witty. SMASH: Is Tonya the dancer with the metal bikini? ERIN: Oh yeah! She’ll make sparks fly in Kalamazoo! Next is SaraAnne, is a 6 foot red head, and she is from Minnesota so more Midwest vibe with her. SaraAnne is VERY sexy, the over the top bombshell type. But at the same time, SaraAnne will be the one messing with the audience, she like to get in there and mess with people. Melissa is about 5 foot nothing, she is the big things in small packages type, she looks very, very sweet and innocent. She actually worked the magic carpet at Disneyland by day was a Burlesque dancer at night. She really is a “fire-cracker”. Next is Michelle is Puerto Rican is the opposite of some of the girls in which she will shove you out of the way. She has been known for taking your drink from you and chugging it on stage! There once was a couple that had a bottle of champagne for a celebration about a year ago, they had just popped it, she grabbed it and started drinking it and never gave it back! She is “Brisk” and people love her and the “use and abuse” part of her personality. smashmags.com SMASH: Who had to pay for the champagne? ABOUT THE LALAS BURLESQUE ERIN: Laughing, good question I never even thought about it, I’m sure they did, they actually loved it! Moving onto Laura, she is COMIC! Oh my gosh, she is so funny! And she is also one of the newest Lalas. Laura is actually still in competition on the NBC TV show “America’s Got Talent”. She just flew there over the last day or so because her dance company is in the semi-finals which is being taped now. Laura will get the crowd going. She’ll be the one yelling “What the Hell?” just to get people laughing, she’s just crazy! The crazy blonde, no other way to put it! She is out there funny. Definitely not a typical burlesque show, The Lalas is a Los Angeles based burlesque troupe delivering an extra special dose of fun. Lead by creator and choreographer Erin Lamont, The Lalas dancer troupe includes Chantel, Tonya Kay, SaraAnne, Melissa, Michelle and Laura. SMASH Erin, can you talk a little about the selection process to become a Lala? ERIN: I have known some of the girls from other projects, but audition is what I use. I am very, very, very picky! The important part is making sure they can “roll with the punches”, and be able to travel well and get along with the other girls. None of the diva sh#t is not put up with! You gotta be flexible in this business. SMASH: How would you view the average person’s expectation that goes to your show? ERIN: the crowd is usually 50 /50 men vs. women split, sometimes you have the drunken bachelor / bachelorette parties that show up and those are fun too, but I would say it’s a prefect date night out! With the audience participation, the costumes, the classic music and dancing it’s a sexy mix of dancing, music and comedy. And we have our own apparel line that will be set up at the merchandising table. A recent review from AXS: LA Dance Music Examiner Jim Strzalkowski: “Audiences are in for an overthe-top extravaganza performance, which goes way beyond traditional burlesque. The Lalas put on a tongue-in-cheek presentation, which includes comedic shenanigans, daredevil aerial tricks, Indiana Jones style whipping vignettes, jazz dance, pointe ballet and of course the girls exercise their talent to tease. While The Lalas Burlesque dancers love their bras and undies, they do a lot more than just perform while scantily clad. Whether it is performing a bluesy and seductive cigarette-filled show to the likes of Peggy Lee or rocking out to AC/DC and James Brown, The Lalas have the market covered when it comes to live burlesque entertainment. Breaking walls, The Lalas go way outside of the box and you never know what you are going to get!” THE Bright Star Bushel SMASH: Erin, as we wind up, Is there anything else you would like the SMASH magazine reader to know about the Lalas? ERIN: we are really very excited to be at the State Theater and to be back in Kalamazoo! We really do love performing and that is what all of the girls are good at. It’s been 10 years or so since I graduated from WMU and it feels so great to have this major, International dance troupe. It’s my baby, my group and I can’t wait to show it all off in Kalamazoo at the State Theater on September 18th! Local Fresh Food Delivered to Your Door Support area family farms. Weekly, monthly, and seasonal plans June through October. 7-10 vegetable and fruit items, meat add-on available. SNAP, EBT, Bridge cards accepted. Plans start at $25/month. PAGE 24
I   ll go because of the classic rock music and there are pretty girls    and the girl will say    I   ll go because of th...
FILM REVIEW by John Barrett Jr. - “DJ Verve” on WIDR’s Birdland – 12-4 PM Sundays Rated R;147 minutes. Directed by F. Gary Gray; starring O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, Neal Brown Jr. as DJ Yella, Aldis Hodge as MC Ren, Paul Giamatti as Jerry Heller and R. Marcos Taylor as Suge Knight. Far more than a music movie, Straight Outta Compton is also a poke in the face of complacency. You see the partying and the fights with rivals, but always in the background is Compton itself, a hive of pressures from which you must escape, amid a variety of factors trying to keep you there. Sharply intercut with contemporary newscasts to remind us of the Rodney King beating and other police confrontations, you cannot watch Straight Outta Compton and not see parallels to today, parallels which every day seem to come ever closer. You don’t have to be super-familiar with these events to enjoy this movie, but there are times it helps. This is the case when Eazy-E starts his bad cough, and it also happens when guest figures appear in the story. It’s neat seeing a guy in the back of a recording studio and realizing a moment or two later, “Hey, that’s Tupac!” Unlike many biopics, this one has massive involvement from the film’s subjects. The co-producers include Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E’s widow; the actors spent long hours with the group getting their voices and mannerisms down. Director F. Gary Gray has long history with the group, having worked with Ice Cube on 1995’s Friday and directed NWA videos back in the day. And it starts out the way you would expect, with a bang. In the late ‘80s before he became Eazy-E, we see rockrunner Eric Wright enter a crackhouse to collect payment that isn’t coming. Words get loud, pieces get flashed, and in a terrifying scene spotlights beam through the windows as the law trudges its way through the neighborhood. The stash gets hidden, bullets pop, people run wherever they can, and suddenly a giant tank busts through, slamming a woman against the opposite wall. If you you didn’t think this would be a different kind of music movie, you do now. Little by little, the early scenes show the participants coalescing, how they got together and what shaped their minds. We see a young Ice Cube jotting rhymes in a school bus when gangbangers pull alongside, brandishing weapons and talking trash. Soon after come the LAPD, boarding the bus with their pieces displayed, shouting a speech meant to scare the kids straight but only strengthening their distrust. Hours later Dr. Dre has a fight ...continued on page 27 E H AW SO ER DESIGNing m PRINT L WEB L WOOD M E TO G E T MORE INFO AT letsaweso.me SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE PAGE 25
FILM REVIEW  by John Barrett Jr. -    DJ Verve    on WIDR   s Birdland     12-4 PM Sundays Rated R 147 minutes. Directed b...
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with Lonzo, the owner of the club where he is DJ’ing. (Dre and Lonzo had been in the World Class Wreckin’ Cru, which also featured DJ Yella.) Lonzo wants romantic slow jams in his club but when Cube shows up and tries some realism rap, the crowd goes wild but so does the owner. Dre is fired, but leaves happy with Ice Cube, convinced he can go another direction. Gray’s visual style is quite arresting, moving from hazy, smog-filtered colors in the early scenes to tight focus and gleaming hues when the guys make it big. The actors re-recorded the whole of the Straight Outta Compton album themselves, to help them experience what the real band went through. You feel the thrill when Eazy-E, financing their first record session, steps before the mic the first time and discovers he can do this. You also feel depressed when Eazy, collecting records in a pressing plant, runs into Jerry Heller, an agent/manager from the ‘70s who wants to get back in the business. “You can speak for a generation,” Heller says truthfully to Eazy. “I can help you,” he says less truthfully. ROBIN CUNNINGHAM CALL TODAY TO FIND YOUR NEW HOME (269)986-3912 To remind viewers of the ‘90s cultural climate, Gray intersperses real newscasts of the era, showing the Rodney King footage in full along with Tom Brokaw concerned about the menace of rap. As a prelude to their famous Joe Louis Arena concert, we see an officer warn the group not to perform the song the cop calls “F the Police” but everyone else calls by its true name. This of course becomes the centerpiece of the show and is the musical highlight of the movie. The staging is masterful as we see the MCs moving closer to the crowd, the crowd raising fists in defiance, and the cops slowly pushing past the fans. The shots that fire offstage, and turmoil surrounding cops and rappers, is the stuff that gave the band its rep, and cement its role in music history. The constant spotlight also has its toll, as things move very fast from this point on. Not seeing the rewards from their efforts and growing suspicious of Jerry Heller, Cube and Dre make their exit from the group. In short fashion we see a man from Priority Records pitching the label to Ice Cube, later getting his office trashed by Cube when the royalty checks don’t come. We see Dr. Dre, both performing and producing for Death Row Records and the fearsome Suge Knight, a man unafraid of using muscle to get what he wants. We see Dre working with the likes of Tupac and Snoop Dogg, and there’s even an in-joke of Cube writing some dialogue for Friday, the 1995 film in which he starred and F. Gary Gray directed. As the stars of Dre and Cube ascend, the others recede to the shadows; the film never spends much time on MC Ren or DJ Yella, and Eazy gets less attention until the nervewracking ending. His money gone by the mid-’90s, Eazy breaks from Jerry Heller when his wife discovers his agent was siphoning money. The manager goes ballistic when Eazy fires him, saying this is how the game’s played and cursing Eazy for being disloyal. (The real Jerry Heller, who is still alive, is quite unrepentant, saying in a recent interview “I took nothing that wasn’t mine.”) During this scene, we see Eazy cough for the first time, and someone in my audience starting to groan. Eazy thought it was asthma, but it proved to be AIDS. To make this even worse, Eazy’s medical troubles happened right as the group was planning to get together again. The final hospital scenes are hard to watch, as various members come to meet their friend and can only see a motionless form on life support. As the screen fades to black we see a dedication to Eazy-E, and then a stream of news clips as the credits roll and “Straight Outta Compton” blares loud on the soundtrack. It’s a buddy film, it’s a musical history lesson and it’s an political indictment. You can also call the film a major slap to the face, from some guys who were fed up with what they saw and wanted to tell the world. Believe me, they did. SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE WINE ISSUE 720 Capital Ave S.W. Battle Creek, MI 49015 Office: (269) 968-9293 EXT. 223 Email crc1020@live.com SERVING THE BATTLE CREEK AREA FOR ALL YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS www.troxelrealty.com PAGE 27
with Lonzo, the owner of the club where he is DJ   ing.  Dre and Lonzo had been in the World Class Wreckin    Cru, which a...
IRON MAIDEN – THE BOOK OF SOULS GENRE: HEAVY METAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 DURAN DURAN – PAPER GODS GENRE: NEW WAVE RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 LEONA LEWIS – I AM GENRE: ADULT CONTEMPORARY RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 The upcoming sixteenth studio album by British The fourteenth studio album from British new- The fifth studio album by British singer and songheavy metal band Iron Maiden, due to be released wave rock band Duran Duran on Warner Bros. writer Leona Lewis. It will be released on 11 Sepon 4 September 2015. It is the band’s first studio Records. The record was announced on 15 June tember 2015 by Island Records UK after Lewis double album, and therefore also their longest 2015 via an official press release posted on their took leave from Syco Music in June 2014. Recordto date, with a total length of 92 minutes. It also website, confirming a scheduled world-wide re- ing began in mid 2013, during the production of lease date of 11 September 2015. The record was marks the longest gap between studio releases in produced by Nile Rodgers, who had previously Lewis’s first Christmas and fourth studio album, the group’s career at five years, following 2010’s worked on the band’s “The Wild Boys” single and Christmas, with Love (2013). Recording sessions The Final Frontier. The album was produced by Notorious album, and Mark Ronson, who pro- resumed in January 2014 with producer Poet, long-time Iron Maiden collaborator Kevin “Caveduced All You Need Is Now (2010). The first sin- Toby Gad and Wayne Wilkins. I Am is preceded man” Shirley. The album cover features the origigle, “Pressure Off”, features vocals from American by the release of “Fire Under My Feet” and the nal version of the Iron Maiden logo, not used on a singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe. album’s title track except for in the United States studio album since 1995’s The X Factor. where “Thunder” precedes the album. The album cover, designed by artist Alex Israel, Plans for the band’s sixteenth studio were first refeatures icons that represent the band’s history. The album’s lead single, “Fire Under My Feet”, vealed by vocalist Bruce Dickinson in September This includes lips painted by artist Patrick Nagel 2013, who expected a release in 2015. Dickinson’s for their Rio album; also representing the Rio al- was released on 7 June 2015. Written by Lewis treatment for a cancerous tumor pushed the al- bum is a pink telephone and a chauffeur’s cap and Toby Gad, the track peaked at number 51 on bum’s launch back to 4 September, with the title, alluding to that record’s closing track; a sumo the UK Singles Chart following its release. In adartwork and track listing revealed on 18 June. On wrestler, silhouette of a female, and a champagne dition, it peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 7 August, the band announced that a video for glass representing their controversial video for 100 Hot Dance charts. “I Am” was released to the the song “Speed of Light” will be issued on 14 “Girls on Film”; an image of a tiger nodding to iTunes Store in the UK on 16 July 2015 as the secAugust. Released by Parlophone, this is the band’s their third album Seven and the Ragged Tiger; a ond single in the UK. “Thunder” will be released first original studio album not to be issued by EMI, stylized ice cream cone taken from their “Perfect as the third official single from I Am and will also after both companies were acquired by Warner Day” single. The deluxe physical copy of the re- serve as the lead release from the album in US Music Group in 2013. In the US, the album will be cord comes with sixteen stickers of Duran Duran markets. It will impact US contemporary hit and issued by Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG. smashmags.com iconography to mirror the album cover. adult contemporary radio on 27 July 2015. PAGE 28
IRON MAIDEN     THE BOOK OF SOULS GENRE  HEAVY METAL RELEASE DATE  SEPTEMBER 4, 2015  DURAN DURAN     PAPER GODS GENRE  NE...
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Berry had just released their first single “Radio Free Europe” on the “Hib-Tone” independent label, and were on their way to virtually founding the musical genre known as “Alternative Rock”. A LOOK BACK AT ROCK RECORDS YOU NEVER HEARD, OR MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN BY TODD COPE R.E.M. was formed out of a meeting in January of 1980 between Stipe and Buck at the Wuxtry Record Store in Athens, where Buck was an employee. Peter Buck noticed that Stipe was buying all the records that he was saving for himself, and a friendship soon followed out of their mutual admiration of punk and protopunk artists like Patti Smith, Television and The Velvet Underground. R.E.M. released an EP “Chronic Town” in 1982, on the fledgling I.R.S. record label, which was recorded at “Drive-In Studios” in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and produced by Mitch Easter along with the band. It confused radio programmers and critics alike, but eventually began to gather steam as listeners began to embrace the odd compositions with jangly guitar and mumbled, obscure lyrics. Chronic Town was ranked second in the EP category of the Village Voice Pazz and Jop critics poll in 1982. For this month’s edition of VVR, our musical travelogue takes us all the way down to Georgia, the Peach State. Good Lord, is it hot here! As a 14 year old youth in 1981, I recall taking a trip with my mom &cousins down to the rural community of Commerce, GA. We hopped in the Vista Cruiser station wagon and hit all the tourist traps along the way, with mom and cousin Arlene nervously filling up the weighted ashtray on the dash with butts, and we gleefully bought all sorts of useless crap and inhaled In January of 1983, R.E.M. entered “Reflection Studios” in Charlotte, NC., again with Mitch Easter and also Don Dixon at the helm, and recorded their first full length album “Murmur”, a somewhat darker album in mood, with atmospherically brilliant songs, and a higher fidelity, almost 3 dimensional production. Murmur begins with a re-recorded version of “Radio Free Europe”, a stunning, spirited piece of alternative pop, with Stipe’s nasally, flinty vocals and Buck’s circular arpeggio guitar style, that is a nod “Pull your dress on, and stay real close..Who might leave you, where I left off..A perfect circle of acquaintances and friends..Drink another..coin a phrase..” (Lyrics from “Perfect Circle” off of “Murmur” by R.E.M. - 1983) all sorts of deep fried diner vittles. The southeast was experiencing a severe drought in the summer of 1981, which made inner tubing down Hurricane Shoals a bit tricky, as the water level was so low, the rocks would scrape your butt along the way. It was hard to buy a thrill in 1981. Major league baseball was on strike, so we had to settle for watching Richmond Braves games on TBS instead. Yes, this was “roughingit”. I did get to watch my Georgia cousin Mike throw a rock at a Water Moccasin on the bank of the river, killing it instantly. Pretty kewl.. I remember being taken aback, when walking into a diner in Commerce, GA., and seeing all the men wearing side arms as they sat at the lunch counter. Yes, this was a different world. 20 miles southeast of Commerce, in the college town of Athens, GA., a city I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, a young group of University of Georgia students, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill smashmags.com to the jangly folk-rock bands of the 60’s, such as The Byrds. It has been said of Peter Buck that he plays guitar like someone who works in a record store, which is a compliment in regard to his vast knowledgeof recorded music. Mike Mills’ rumbling Rickenbacker bass and Bill Berry’s driving percussion rounded out the tune, and it became R.E.M.’s first charting single, peaking number 78 on the Billboard singleschart. The song is ranked number 389 on the Rolling Stones list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. “Pilgrimage” is more dreamy southern pop with an opening bass/piano hook that lays the foundation for the murmuring of Stipe’s cryptic lyrics, and culminates into a catchy chorus featuring Mike Mills’ background vocal harmonies that became a mainstay of the R.E.M. sound. “Talk About the Passion” opens with a double tracked guitar riff that many a guitarist, myself included, has stumbled across byaccident while jamming in the bedroom. It combines a wonderful mix of acoustic and chiming Rickenbacker electric 12 string guitars with some tasteful strings thrown in as well. “Perfect Circle” is an elegant piano ballad and the mood piece of the album, primarily written by drummer Bill Berry. Two upright pianos were recorded together, giving a honky tonk, slightly out of sync, other-worldly effect. It is a very emotional song, that Michael Stipe interpreted as being aboutlonging in a relationship. “Sitting Still” was the B-side on the original Radio Free Europe Hib-Tone single from 1981, and is probably my favorite song on the album. Fantastic up-tempo jangly pop with the bass and drums dictating the direction of the song. R.E.M. were like The WHO in a sense, with Mike Mills’ bass being the solo instrument similar to the role John Entwistle played within The WHO. Peter Buck purposely refused to record any guitar solos on Murmur, as to avoid the whole guitar hero cliche. I actually covered this song with my Battle Creek area band “Leroy Hell” back in 1988. We were sort of the local equivalent to “The Dead Milkmen”. We performed Sitting Still at the old “Two-Johns” bar on Avenue A and 20th Street, but alas, the provincial town folk of BC just didn’t “get” R.E.M. for some reason and believe it or not, wanted to hear Skynyrd?(Two-Johns is now a strip club, so there’s evolution for ya..) “We Walk” is quirky pop from Michael Stipe. The tune that probably laid the foundation for future quirky R.E.M. tunes like “Shiny Happy People”. Michael Stipe once said that The Archies meant more to him than The Beatles, so there ya go.. Murmur was released on April 12, 1983 and reached number 36 on the Billboard album chart. It had only sold about 200,000 copies by the end of 1983, but was eventually certified gold (500,000 units shipped) by the RIAA in 1991. Rolling Stone Magazine named Murmur their top album of 1983, beating out Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, The Police’s “Synchronicity”, and U2’s “War”. They also rated it at number 8 on their list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s. R.E.M. went on to an uber-successful career of course, selling more than 85 million records, becomingone of the world’s best selling music artists of all time. In 2007, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in September 2011, R.E.M. disbanded amicably, announcing the split on their website. Murmur is one of those albums that must be listened to from start to finish. I know I’ve said that before, but the sounds on this record absolutely jump out at you, especially on vinyl. This album goesbest with humidity and beer. My go-to record when I’m cleaning the bathroom.. Todd Cope is the guitarist for King Kooler (www.reverbnation.com/kingkooler) and is currently flashing nosy Edna from Adam & Eve.com. This time, I think it’s love... PAGE 30
Berry had just released their first single    Radio Free Europe    on the    Hib-Tone    independent label, and were on th...
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