MUSIC | EVENTS | ART & CULTURE | FOOD & DRINK APR 2015 INTERVIEW BRIAN VANDER ARK – THE VERVE PIPE SMASH RELAUNCH MAJOR CHANGES AHEAD ALSO: ARIA FLAME, RESTAURANT REVIEW: EL GALLO BLANCO, ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: MIKKEL NEEB...AND MORE SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN’S SOURCE FOR MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT & CULTURE APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE PAGE 1
MUSIC   EVENTS   ART   CULTURE   FOOD   DRINK  APR 2015  INTERVIEW  BRIAN VANDER ARK     THE VERVE PIPE  SMASH  RELAUNCH M...
Kalamazoo Valley Community College Artists’ Forum Presents The JIM LAUDERDALE BAND APRIL 10, 2015 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20 Available at KVCC Bookstores: TTC 269.488.4030 AWH 269.373.7951 Doors open at 6:45 p.m. www.kvcc.edu/artistsforum For additional ticket purchasing options call Dave Posther, 269.488.4476. smashmags.com Dale B. Lake Auditorium Kalamazoo Valley Community College 6767 West O Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49009 PAGE 2
Kalamazoo Valley Community College Artists    Forum Presents  The  JIM LAUDERDALE BAND  APRIL 10, 2015 7 30 p.m. Tickets  ...
APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE PAGE 3
APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE   PAGE 3
IN THIS ISSUE THE RELAUNCH ISSUE................................. 5 from the publisher HAPPY APRIL SMASHERS, Big changes ahead for Smash Magazine P.O. Box 1376 RESTAURANT REVIEW: EL GALLO BLANCO...................................... 7 Battle Creek, MI 49016 There are not many Mexican restaurants in Kalamazoo, but EGB covers all of your bases. SMASH INTERVIEW: BRIAN VANDERARK - THE VERVE PIPE..... 8 VINTAGE VINYL REVISITED DENNY MCLAIN AT THE ORGAN............ 12 A PRIL MUSIC B O ARD ......................... 14 APRIL 3 @ RUPERT’S BREW HOUSE......................................... 16 The Still Tide, King Median, Soma and The Savage Oms TARTAN DAY 2015....................................... 19 The largest piper-led, tartan-clad, scottish pub crawl in Michigan (that we know of) BAND REVIEW: ARIA FLAME................................................. 20 ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: MIKKEL NEEB.......... 22 Aircuda Custom Airbrush Art SMA SH MUSIC CO R NER.................... 25 smashmags.com Publisher Robin Cunningham Editor Bruce Tuck Creative Director Nicholas Zastrow Well here at SMASH we aren’t waiting that long. April is blooming with amazing opportunities and expansion possibilities. We have a new and improved look, an amazing website and huge changes thanks to our new Graphics Guru, Nicholas Zastrow. We are now SMASH, Inc. and are preparing to go live with investment opportunities. Todd Cope Colin Smith Carrie White SMASH Radio is coming back and will be available on our new kick ass website, where you will be able to listen to all things local as well as be able to choose which genre you are in the mood for! Advertising Best of all, we are expanding to reach all of Southwest Michigan. Events and Shows So if you have ever been interested in working for a magazine, we are looking for Writers and Distribution team members so send us a message at www.smashmags.com ITS ON!!!! Writers Robin Cunningham 269-986-3912 rates@smashmags.com Submit listings to events@smashmags.com SMASH RADIO IS BACK!!!!......................... 26 SMASH Magazine has always supported local music and is excited to bring back SMASH Radio April showers bring May flowers? Time to SMASH some S**t Disclaimer SMASH Magazine is dedicated to providing a platform for artists and musicians to promote and display their work. Visit smashmags.com to sign up for our email list so you can always keep up with whats up! smashmags.com 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 THE RELAUNCH ISSUE................................. 5  from the publisher HAPPY APRIL SMASHERS,  Big changes...
SMASHMAGS.COM SMASHMAGS.COM BY: bruce tuck Have you ever rolled into a town, a stranger in a new place, no friends, no one to show you around and no knowledge of what the new destination had to offer? Over 6 years ago, a young lady from Ft Lauderdale, Florida with roots in Michigan, made the move to Battle Creek. With that move came a huge culture shock, from the all-night lifestyle, sandy beaches and tropical weather of south Florida to the seemingly laid back, less exciting southwest Michigan area. I say seemingly, only because there was no information about the amazing entertainment and cultural options available in our area. There are any number of publications that could be picked up to find things to do in Grand Rapids, Flint or Detroit, but, there was nothing that covered the fun and excitement we have right here in our own back yard. So hence the birth of SMASH Magazine. Very simply, Smash Magazine was created to fill the void left by those publications and offer its readers a taste of the many Music, Entertainment and Cultural events available on any given day in the Greater Kalamazoo Area. APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE  The new fresh Smash Magazine website, smashmags.com. Soon to have the new Smash Radio and exclusive online only content. Smash Magazine prides itself on being locally centered and community oriented. We look deep into the heart of the surrounding communities to find great local music, amazing culinary options as well as support local entertainment establishments. In July of 2012, SMASH Magazine hit the streets as a modest 12 page publication with a small distribution base of 500 physical copies, no web presence and one person with a dream. With the addition of a writer/photographer the magazine began to see growth with distribution and coverage in the Kalamazoo area. Soon after the writer/photographer departed and the magazine took on a full time partner to assist with writing, creative direction and distribution. This partnership brought on new opportunities to branch out and cover a broader area that included Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Marshall Areas. Smash was well on its way to becoming a household name as they stepped into the public eye, sponsoring local festivals and events (Leilapalooza, Festivus, Stash Bash, Kalamazoo Blues Festival and Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival) and even MC’ing the largest rock festival in the area, Rockapalooza in Jackson, Mi. in front of thousands. It was the beginning of a bigger and better Smash. ...(continued on next page) PAGE 5
SMASHMAGS.COM  SMASHMAGS.COM  BY  bruce tuck Have you ever rolled into a town, a stranger in a new place, no friends, no o...
July 2012 Smash inside this edition Leilapalooza Marshall Blues Festival Vibe@5 The Rogue Artist Movement The first issue of Smash Magazine In October 2013, Smash updated their magazine format to a more streamlined publication that included a change in printers, printing formats and a bound magazine for improved readability. This also led to another milestone with coverage in over 200 distribution locations and 4,000 physical copies. website that will not only allow you to view content from the current and passed issues, but content you may not see in the magazine. Add to that the relaunch of SMASH Radio which will be available on the smash magazine website, free for you to listen to everything local. With all the major changes happening, one thing was clear to SMASH Magazine, the time was now to become SMASH, Inc. that’s right, SMASH is now incorporated. So sit back, relax and relish in the great things coming your way as Smash ventures out to cover all of Southwest Michigan from Marshall to the Lake and South Haven to the State Line. Now, 2015 has brought on HUGE changes, amazing upgrades and an all new SMASH Magazine. They saw a need to make your magazine bigger, better and easier to read. Smash has brought on a new Creative Director/Graphic God who has not only revamped the look of the entire magazine but has created a one of a kind April 2ND- Hula Hoop Or Die 3RD- OG Presents 4TH- Affiliated Party 9TH- Super Thirstday 10TH- Walsher Clemons 11TH- Primus After Party FT. Frizzle Fried 17TH- Stiky Fut 18TH- OG Party 19TH- Kutt Calhoun 20TH- 420 Party 23RD- House Party III 24TH- Ohm Town Heros 25TH- DJ Word Every Monday ✧Open decks ✧$2 You-call-it Every Tuesday ✧$2 Tuesday ✧$2 Miller Lite and Bud cans ✧$2 Long Island’s 502 South Burdick Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Every Wednesday (269) 388-2196 ✧Artist Night ✧$3 You-call-it Open 7 days a week To Keep Up with The Latest LIKE Papa Pete’s On FACEBOOK smashmags.com PAGE 6
July 2012  Smash inside this edition  Leilapalooza Marshall Blues Festival Vibe 5 The Rogue Artist Movement The first issu...
The White Chicken EL GALLO BLANCO DOES NOT DISAPPOINT BY: COLIN SMITH There are a few Mexican style restaurants in Kalamazoo, and one often overlooked nook is El Gallo Blanco located down Portage Street. Outside the cars seem to pass by, but looks are misleading: inside the place is packed, especially during lunch and dinner. The food is served fresh, spicy, and it’s easy on your wallet. A lot of their food is delectable, messy, and eaten with your fingers but all of it must be homemade. Scoop out the chunks of fresh avocado in their guacamole, taste the sweetness of their icy horchata (sweet rice milk), notice the dates marked on their salsas that note freshness, and, best yet, savor their handmade corn tortillas. The staff is attentive and the food is served quickly, but because the place can be packed it may be wise to try calling in for takeout during busy hours. With their inexpensive a la carte options, it’s easy to try a selection of signatures: the consistent taco; the fried corn sope served with cactus, sour cream, and cheese; the crusty-bun ‘torta’ sandwich; or the stuffed shell gordita. But if you’re looking for neat fish tacos served with lime and margaritas, this is not the place to go. El Gallo Blanco has only the room in the restaurant and space on the menu for fans of food. There are not many Mexican restaurants in Kalamazoo, but El Gallo Blanco covers all of your bases by offering a wide variety of homemade and fresh Mexican food for a small price. Oh, and as for salsa, go with the verde. 2838 Portage Street, Kalamazoo Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm Sunday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm elgalloblanco.com Regardless of what you may pick, each a la carte option comes with a choice of meat, and many of their consistent options include chicken (‘pollo’), steak (carne asada), marinated pork (‘al pastor’), or if you’re feeling adventurous try the cow tongue (lengua)—the tongue that it won’t taste you back. By the way, tacos, gorditas, sopes, tostadas, and tamales are no more than $2 each. With this, you could try a host of options, pay for a tasty drink and still pay no more than $10. As far as the price to quantity ratio, you get a whole lot of bang for your buck. APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE PAGE 7
The White Chicken EL GALLO BLANCO DOES NOT DISAPPOINT BY  COLIN SMITH  There are a few Mexican style restaurants in Kalama...
Brian Vander Ark - The Verve Pipe With sales of more than a million albums worldwide, success on radio, TV and film, and sold-out concert dates throughout the world, The Verve Pipe, formed in Michigan in the early 90’s, is best recognized for their radio hits ‘Photograph,’ ‘Hero,’ ‘Happiness Is,’ ‘Never Let You Down’ and the #1 single, ‘The Freshmen.’ In 2014, The Verve Pipe released their first rock album in over 13 years with Overboard, a collection of ten new songs including ‘Crash Landing’, ‘Hit and Run,’ and the haunting title track ‘Overboard.’ This long incubating project brought a renewed energy and focus to this self-produced album that resulted in their most inspired writing and recording to date. The Verve Pipe continue to perform throughout the U.S., including appearances at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Festival, Hangout Music Festival and SummerStage in Central Park and many more. SMASH: Background – Michigan has a lot of music history in every genre. Who were your biggest influences and how did they guide your musical direction. smashmags.com BRIAN: First of all, we said we were from East Lansing, because that is where our drummer was from and where we did all of our business. I am actually from West Michigan and was living in Kalamazoo when Verve Pipe was put together and had been for about 8 years, so I’m familiar with the scene there and not so familiar with the scene in East Lansing but he took the reins in East Lansing to handle the business end. So there has always been this argument about where we are from, but we like to call ourselves a Michigan band. Influences for me were always Singer/Songwriter guys that could tell stories, write lyrics and could play with words in a way that was interesting to me with melody. Elvis Costello was a big influence to me, these guys that can do things tongue in cheek, always loved the tongue in cheek. Musically, Hüsker Dü, big melody guy and heavy guitar guy. So I think that’s what defined Verve Pipe, at least that sound. their own songs and brought them to the band then the band put instruments to the songs. So it didn’t change the songwriting a bit, I don’t think. I’m still the same songwriter, the band may go through phases of how we record things, we may follow trends of the 90s but we don’t really follow the trend anymore, its wide open because we don’t play for the radio, were not a radio band we don’t pander to the radio and we don’t write songs to get on the radio. So the songwriting hasn’t changed, the only thing that may have changed with the new members is the energy, if anything, everyone that is in the band now is eager to be in the band, where there was a sense of entitlement before with the old members. That’s what hurt the band in the last ten years. SMASH: Being the lone original member of The Verve Pipe, how have your lineup changes affected the writing style? SMASH: Coming out in the 90’s like you did there was a lot of big names at that around, which was one of my favorite times in Rock music. With names like Soul Asylum and others. It was great to have a Michigan entry into that ring for sure. BRIAN: We never really sat down as a band and wrote anything. Everyone wrote BRIAN: Sure, Soul Asylum were peers of ours, geez we played with them and bands PAGE 8
Brian Vander Ark - The Verve Pipe  With sales of more than a million albums worldwide, success on radio, TV and film, and ...
BY: bruce tuck like Gin Blossoms, Seven Mary Three and all of the great 90’s bands. SMASH: How does working with a huge record label like RCA Records compare to working on a smaller label and does it affect your creative freedom? BRIAN: I would never sign with another record label unless it was an astronomical deal. We do so much better without the major label support now, I mean there’s a difference, say you sell 10,000 albums and you only take 10% and split that among five members. As opposed to now when you take almost 100% of that, it’s much more lucrative. With the advent of the internet and internet radio, satellite radio, iTunes and streaming, it has become the way to go. There’s a cliché about artistic control, the fact is that labels give you artistic control. What they do is, when they are signing you, they give you total artistic control and young bands will go like WOW, I get total artistic control. It’s a bunch of bullshit, every band has artistic control. It’s one of the bargaining chips they throw into the mix, it’s a lot of the manipulation of the big labels. So, NO we always had control and we wanted to write radio hits, so writing APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE “Photograph”, ”Colorful”, “Never Let You Down”, were all songs that were intended to be singles. RCA didn’t do anything but the promotion. They paid for everything up front so we took the money, went into the studio, recorded something and handed it to them, said go out and promote this thing and they did, they did a great job at that. The band was a number one selling band and had a lot of popularity and that was really nice. Then we went into the studio and recorded another album that didn’t really follow the trends of radio or Mtv so by the time we recorded 911, which was the last album with the original members. It was the end of an era. SMASH: The music scene is ever changing and ever evolving and said you are not played on the radio anymore, but I still hear your songs on the alternative stations occasionally, but you have maintained a certain niche even in today’s market and doing things like the family friendly album why do you think that is? BRIAN: Ahh the Family album, the family album gets played more on the radio than anything else, I mean satellite radio plays all the family album stuff and kids al- bum goes great, more kids show up for the family friendly shows than we have at our adult shows. I don’t know if it’s true now but two or three years ago it sure was, a couple thousand kids would show up for these shows it was crazy. That’s changed now that we put Overboard out, but now come April 11 at bells, we are in Ann Arbor playing a kids show before, so bells will be our 2nd show that day and might even be our third. SMASH: I have always enjoyed the fact that bands are able to pull the younger generations into the music. With all the crap that is out there, all the techno, overproduced stuff from these pop artists it’s nice that rock n roll still holds something and the kids still enjoy it. BRIAN: Well, I’m currently working on a kid’s version of “The Wall”, a conceptual album for kids and frankly pulling my hair out over it, because it’s a difficult project, but in the end it’s going to be worth it. Now I imagine I want to listen to these songs as an adult and hope that adults that grew up in the 70’s and 80’s want to listen to them the same way. ...(continued on next page) PAGE 9
BY  bruce tuck like Gin Blossoms, Seven Mary Three and all of the great 90   s bands.  SMASH   How does working with a hug...
SMASH: The Verve Pipe has been a part of the Michigan Music scene for many years and I think we can all say confidently that you guys will go into the history books with all the other Michigan rockers – how does that make you feel? BRIAN: Well, the great thing about making it, being from Michigan, is the fact that your whole life you hear that you have to go to LA or New York to make it nationally in the music industry. We proved that it’s not the case, we proved that we can do it in our home state. I’m not sure who said it but it was said that “if you can’t make it in your own town you’re not going to make it anywhere”, that for us was a great achievement. With parents and girlfriends who thought we were never going to make it, we proved them all wrong and it was a really great feeling. It’s also a great feeling to be from this area because whenever we toured in Europe or Japan or wherever I lived in the world, New York or LA, coming back to Michigan, we were home. It was nice to have that touchdown where we were comfortable and taking a break from writing to go to the store or walking downtown with my family to our favorite restaurant to get a bite to eat, as a songwriter from Michigan it’s the way to go. SMASH: You have played in every size venue in front of amazing crowds big and small, how if at all does that affect your performance and do you prefer one venue over the other? BRIAN: The best shows are always the small ones, the best shows are the ones that the bands are closest together. Whenever we play the big stage now, we make sure that we are not spread out on the stage where you can’t get next to somebody because they are so far away, which happens quite a bit. Even when we play my favorite place of all times, The State smashmags.com Theater in Kalamazoo, we kept ourselves close because you have to be able to have that communication. Not just vocal but you have to have that musical connection, musical communication. We can’t do that when we are 100 feet away. That’s the good thing about the Bells shows, like back in the old Club Soda days, you were packed on stage, right next to each other, the place was packed and they were right there with you like the extra member of the band, like some people say, the crowd is like the 6th or 7th member of the band by proximity. SMASH: I prefer the small venues, as a fan, you feel closer to the bands. I know I have sat up in the nose bleed seats for a show where you need binoculars to see the stage and I’ve been up in the front row as well. In the small venues there is no bad spot to see a show. BRIAN: I can’t tell you the last time I was out to see a show. You know as a band the last thing you want to do on your down time is to go see a show. I can tell you this that I have zero interest in going to an auditorium and sitting in the nose bleed seats where I have to have binoculars to see the show. SMASH: It’s been 13 years since your last studio album. How long has this process taken, how long have you been writing this album? BRIAN: Start to finish it was about a year. I started writing songs about a year ago, so I wrote all the songs then gave the demo to the band to take into the studio. From the time of inception of the album to the time it was released was about a year. I think with the kid’s album I’m optimistic that it will be done quicker. SMASH: The road can be a tiring experience, how do you keep yourself occupied during the down times? BRIAN: Family! It’s all family. I have two girls, so any time I have, I spend with them and that’s it. Whether I’m playing princess or board games, it’s nothing but the kids that’s for sure. I really have to keep normalcy for their sake, my wife is a musician as well, so we try to make it as normal around the house as possible. In order to do that, I have to focus 100% on family during the down time and 100% on writing and the music when I’m supposed to be working and creating. My kids are a huge influence on me and my writing, so it’s hard to not have them say something funny and not say that would make a great song and quick go jot something down. So for us it’s always playing and for my wife and me, it’s going to movies, we love movies, we are big film lovers and we love to read, pretty boring stuff, but that’s what we need for sure. You can see the premier of The Verve Pipe’s new video for “Overboard” at www. interviewmagazine.com/music and check out everything new with The Verve Pipe at www.thevervepipe.com Smash Magazine would like to thank Brian Vander Ark again for taking the time to do this interview, it was an extreme pleasure. We look forward to the show at Bells on April 11. April 11 PAGE 10
SMASH  The Verve Pipe has been a part of the Michigan Music scene for many years and I think we can all say confidently th...
Monday Happy Hour All Day $3 Off pizzas till 11pm Tuesday $2 Wells all day $5 BBQ Pork Until Midnight Wednesday Ladies Night Half-off drinks for the ladies! 6 pm to Close Happy Hour for the Guys 10pm to Close Thursday $1.50 Retro Beers All Day $5.00 Veggie Nachos 10pm-1am Friday $5 Bump-and-a-Wash A shot of whiskey and Miller beer Saturday 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave. 269-381-5677 www.olddogtavern.com Every Tuesday Tom Duffield Open Mic Night Sign up at 7pm Every Wednesday DJ Dance Party 9pm - 1am Every Thursday Free Music 9pm - 1am $3 Captain Morgans, $5 glass of wine, $5 Mimosas All Day $6 Bloody Mary Bar until 2pm Every Friday & Saturday Sunday Every Sunday $5 Mimosas, $4 Bartender’s Choice Mixed Shots All Day $6 Bloody Mary Bar until 2pm ACROSS THE STREET FROM..... APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE Live Music 9pm - 1am Every Saturday Ben Jammin and Analisa 10am Duffield Caron Project 5pm Brunch Music 11am-2pm Blues Jam 6pm-9pm HOURS OF OPERATION MONDAY 11am - Midnight TUESDAY - FRIDAY 11am - 2am SATURDAY 10am - 2am SUNDAY 10am - Midnight PAGE 11
Monday  Happy Hour All Day  3 Off pizzas till 11pm  Tuesday   2 Wells all day  5 BBQ Pork Until Midnight  Wednesday  Ladie...
A LOOK BACK AT ROCK RECORDS YOU NEVER HEARD, OR MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN BY TODD COPE DENNY MCLAIN AT THE ORGAN “Fo, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the Earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”(Song of Solomon 2:12 from 16:11 King James Bible, a verse narrated annually at the beginning of each season’s first spring training game by former Detroit Tigers radio announcer and icon, the late, great Ernie Harwell) Yes, I actually own this record... No, it’s not rock, but trust me, your grandpa Joe mixed many a wicked highball whilst bopping to “At the Organ” by Denny McLain, as he stared off into space at the Z-Brick wall pattern in his basement bar, grumbling under his breath about that “sumbitch LBJ”. The 1960’s through the early 80’s was the zenith of the home organ. smashmags.com That big heavy piece of musical furniture that lost basically 100% of its resale value the moment the outlet store loaded it onto the delivery truck on its way to your abode. Every mom & grandma had to have one, my mom included Mom played “by ear” and would regale us with rambling incoherent melodies, disturbing enough to make Charlie Manson confess his sins. We kids mainly just had fun goofing around on it, playing with the Leslie control, trying to get the intro to “Star Trek” just right. The “Funky Clavi” was a fun patch as well, even though the name sounded like some sort of STD, pertaining to a completely different type of organ. Organ music was very popular in steak houses and cocktail lounges back then, and Hammond’s, Kimball’s and Lowrey’s could be found everywhere. The most vivid memory of organ music for anyone over 40 though, would most likely be trips to the ballpark to see a major league game. We who were fortunate enough to grow up in Michigan, in the era where baseball was played at Tiger Stadium, will always remember that special first time we walked up the dark corridor, into the light, and saw that magnificent field for the first time, with the organ music chugging away. Back in 1968, the Detroit Tigers were on top of the baseball world, winning the World Series and helping to heal the city of Detroit in a time of civil unrest. Their golden boy on the pitcher’s mound, who paved their way to the American League pennant was on top of the world himself, and that man was Denny McLain. Dennis Dale McLain, born March 29, 1944 in Markham, Illinois, was a talented, brash young prospect who started out in the Chicago White Sox organization, and was later selected off waivers by the Detroit Tigers in 1963 at the age of 19. He quickly progressed through the Tigers farm system, making it to the parent club in 1964. By 1966, his mid-season record of 13-4 earned him the role of starting pitcher for the American League in the 1966 All Star Game, where he retired all nine batters that he faced with just 28 pitches. In 1968, McLain won an astonishing 31 games, finishing with a record of 31-6, a 1.96 earned run average, and was the first pitcher to win 30 games since 1934, being only the 11th in history to do so. This is a feat in baseball that will most likely never be repeated, due to Major League Baseball adopting a 5 man pitching rotation in the 1970’s, which reduces the amount of games that a pitcher would be able to start, compared to the original standard 4 man pitching rotation. McLain’s stellar 1968 season earned him the Cy Young and MVP awards for the American League, as well as a Time Magazine cover story. This did much to inflate his ego as a maverick and a loose cannon, often criticizing fellow players, coaches, management, fans, and the media. He had an addictive personality and indulged his every personal whim, and as being the first Detroit Tiger in history to make $100,000 in a season, he had the means to do so (that was a lot of money back then). Denny McLain bought himself an airplane and learned how to fly. His penchant for gambling, often led him on wild excursions, flying from ballgames to Las Vegas to gamble, and then on to the next Tigers game on very little sleep. Denny also had an affinity for Pepsi Cola, and was known to drink 100 Pepsis per week, and kept a cooler of Pepsi in the backseat of his car, so he could just reach back and grab one after another. He later stated that he cut his consumption down to 60-70 per week, but also admitted that he had switched to the 16 oz. bottles in the process. Pepsi offered McLain an endorsement contract with the company, but McLain soon realized that he and the Pepsi rep shared a mutual interest in gambling, and after talking about how much money they were losing, they agreed that they could make more money “taking the action” on bets and attempted to set up a bookmaking operation, as hands-off silent partners, which in the end, PAGE 12
A LOOK BACK AT ROCK RECORDS YOU NEVER HEARD, OR MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN BY TODD COPE  DENNY MCLAIN AT THE ORGAN    Fo, lo, the ...
resulted in McLain being suspended by MLB for the first 3 months of the 1970 season Another facet of Denny McLain’s enigma was that he just happened to be a professional organist, trained by his father. McLain had his own musical trio, and would fly around from gig to gig between his starts with the Tigers, often performing in Las Vegas. Denny McLain made more money performing with his trio than many ballplayers did on their own salaries. McLain’s success on the playing field allowed him to receive endorsements from the Hammond Organ Company, and led to him being approached by Capitol Records to record “Denny McLain at the Organ”, released on Capitol in 1968. Featuring covers of many contemporary songs of the day, such as Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man”, “Cherish” by the Association, and Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”. At the Organ showcases McLain at the helm of the mighty Hammond X-77, being the first time this organ was ever put on record. With his band bopping along, this album is a 60’s cocktail party tour de force. “Extra Innings” is a nod to McLain’s day job, and keeps regurgitating the ending just when you think it’s finally over. McLain did one more album for Capitol in 1969, “Denny McLain in Las Vegas”, and by 1972 his baseball career was over as well. Traded to the Washington Senators, McLain suffered arm problems and finished with a dismal 10-22 record in 1971. After short stints with Oakland and Atlanta, at age 29 he was out of the big leagues for good, finishing with a career won-loss record of 131-91. Denny McLain’s post baseball years were tragic, going to prison a few times for drug trafficking and racketeering, relating to ties with organized crime, as well as embezzlement of pension funds from the Farmer Peet meat company in Michigan, which he co-owned. After prison, McLain remained on the baseball scene, serving as an analyst for various radio programs and still gives an occasional interview to this day, still speaking his mind and being controversial as ever. Finding a copy of At the Organ gets increasingly harder as years pass. It has become collectable as a novelty, due to McLain’s infamy and legend, and commands a higher price as a result.(Plus it’s just damn funny and weird seeing a baseball player on an album cover) Every vintage record store owner seems to have a copy sheathed in plastic, adorning their walls as decoration, with a decorative price to match. Dropping the needle onto vinyl takes you back to that hot summer’s day at Tiger Stadium in the early 70’s, before the era of political correctness, sitting in the center field bleachers and smelling the cigar smoke of that twisted old coot behind you, teaching you exotic new cuss words you never heard before, yammering aloud “BRING BACK BILLY MARTIN!!!” Play ball! Todd Cope is the guitarist for King Kooler (www.reverbnation.com/kingkooler) and is currently lamenting his legacy as the forgotten Cowsill. APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE PAGE 13
resulted in McLain being suspended by MLB for the first 3 months of the 1970 season Another facet of Denny McLain   s enig...
APRIL MUS BACKROADS SALOON 15325 W MICHIGAN AVE MARSHALL 269-781-7091 HAIR MANIA JOEL MABUS CD RELEASE WSG WHO HIT JOHN? April 10 – $10 730pm, Show: 830PM Seated Show KALAMAZOO VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DALE B LAKE AUDITORIUM 6767 WEST O AVE KALAMAZOO 269-488-4030 THE VERVE PIPE HUBIE ASHCRAFT & THE April 11 – $18adv/$20 day of 8pm, Show: 9pm DRIVE Saturday 4, 9:30pm JIM LAUDERDALE DC WSG AB – FREE Friday 3, 9:30pm BRIAN LORENTE & THE USUAL SUSPECTS April 16 – 8pm, Show: 9pm Friday 10th, 7:30pm DAVID SHELBY LARRY MCCRAY April 17 – $10 8pm, Show: 9pm KALAMAZOO VALLEY MUSEUM Friday 10, 9:30pm Saturday 11, 9:30pm KRIS HITCHCOCK Friday 17, 9:30pm TRIG COUNTY Saturday 18, 9:30pm SIERRA SHAME Friday 24, 9:30pm UNION GUNS Saturday 25, 9:30pm CHARLIE HUNTER TRIO 230 N ROSE ST KALAMAZOO April 18 – $13adv/$15 day of 8pm, Show: 9pm 269-373-7990 Seated Show HOMEBREW DEMO April 22 – 6pm 355 E KALAMAZOO AVE KALAMAZOO 269-382-2332 PHOFFMAN TRIO W/ ANDERS BECK & MIKE DEVOL – $15 WSG KAITLIN ROSE April 2 – 8pm, Show: 9pm SLIM GYPSY BAGGAGE – FREE WSG DUMELA PROJECT April 3 – 8pm, Show: 9pm ZION LION - $6 April 5 – 8pm, Show: 9pm SQUARE DANCE KALAMAZOO - $5 FEATURING THE MONEY CREEK BOYS April 6 – Lesson: 730pm, Dance:8pm AXIS: SOVA – FREE WSG FORGET THE TIMES April 9 – 8pm, Show: 9pm Friday 3, 7pm HOUSE OF BOOGIE – ALL WISAAL & BOHEME VINYL FUNK & SOUL BELLY DANCERS DANCE PARTY – FREE April 24 – Show: 830PM BELL’S ECCENTRIC CAFÉ THE ERLKINGS AND GROOVE PLATTER BELL’S SPACE PROM FEATURING THE LONG PLAYERS April 25 – $10 - 8pm, Show: 9pm YOGA IN THE BACK ROOM April 26 – $10, $5 for employees 12:00pm ULTIMATE PAINTING April 30 - $10 Live Painting Competition 8pm WEEKLY EVENT: TEAM TRIVIA Every Sunday – FREE 5pm, Trivia: 6pm THE DOCK@BAYVIEW 12504 E. D AVE RICHLAND 269-731-4911 PLAIN JAYNE Saturday 4th MEGAN RAE BAND Saturday 11th smashmags.com Friday 24, 7pm KOFFEE KLUTCH 2 W MICHIGAN AVE GALESBURG 269-665-5282 SINGER SONGWRITER NIGHT Every Thursday FREDDY WEBSTER Friday 3 6:30-8:30 Friday 20 Friday 27 EARL GRAY LOUIE’S TROPHY HOUSE GRILL Thursday 30, 6:30pm SOIL, BEYOND THREASHOLD WSG SUSAN AQUILA, NOVENA VANDETTA, AMERICAN NIGHTMARE ,PLETHORA 440 EAST NORTH ST. KALAMAZOO 269-385-9359 ANALOGUE EARTH, MICHIGANDER , STEFANIE HAAPALA Friday 3, 9pm WILLAMENA WSG AARON WRIGHT Saturday 4, 9pm Thursday 9, 8pm WHISKEY BEFORE BREAKFAST MAUDE’S TAPHOUSE 117 E ALLEGAN ST OTSEGO 269-692-3377 MOXIEVILLE Saturday 4 LUKAS PEDERSON Friday 10 Wednesday 15 ALL PEOPLE, MOLD, ODD DATES, CAMP DAD DALE WICKS Saturday 11, 9pm Friday 24 SINGER SONGWRITER NIGHT WITH MEGAN DOOLEY GABRIAL JAMES Thursday 16, 7:30pm KAITLIN ROSE, LESS IS MORE, BRIAN KOENIGSKNECHT MANGIA PIZZA & PASTA CO. Friday 13 Friday 10, 6pm Saturday 18 LONDON GRILL DAVID LLOYD STEVE KAMERLING OUT OF FAVORE BOYS DRINK THEIR BLOOD, KNIVES ARE QUIET, THE Friday 17 DREAD RETUEN DAN EGNE & ROD Friday 10, 9pm BENSON Saturday 18, 9pm Friday 6 Thursday 23, 6:30pm BRUCE MATTHEWS NO BAILS, HEAVY LIDS, Saturday 11 BUCK BILOXI & THE FUCKS, CHOKE CHAINS SCHLITZ CREEK Friday 17 6:30-8:30 BROOK FARMS HORUS Friday 3, 6pm CHARLIE BURGSTAHLER Friday 17, 8pm & PAT MURTAGH THATS BLOOD, Friday 10 6:30-8:30 POLYCHROME MATT SCHWARTZ & VIOLENCE, CASKET DON MATHEWS RATTLERS 214 E MICHIGAN AVE KALAMAZOO 269-381-9212 STEVE KAMERLING Thursday 16, 6:30pm DAVID LLOYD 3112 S. 9TH STREET KALAMAZOO 269-372-4600 DAVE CLEVELAND Thursday 2, 6:30pm DAN WILLENBERG Thursday 9, 6:30pm Saturday 25 NOB HILL 4218 S SPRINKLE RD KALAMAZOO 269-349-2965 POST 530 Fri. 3 & Sat. 4 MANUNKIND, TEN GAUGE RAGE, FRIENDS OF THE ROAD Saturday 11, 7pm EVE TO ADAM WSG I-EXIST, COLDVILLE, ONE STEP FROM FALLING, THE NOVELLA Friday 17, 7pm HEAD P.E., ALIEN ANT FARM, FIRST DECREE, BROKEN LIKE ME, NOVA BLAST, THE SEAGULLS Saturday 18, 6pm KING OF THE FOREST Friday 24, 6pm SCREAMING FOR SILENCE CD RELEASE SWG GIVEN SIX, EYES FOR FIRE, DRIVEN Saturday 25, 8pm MR. PRESIDENTS NIGHTCLUB 304 N. BURDICK STREET KALAMAZOO 269-381-1110 ALISON WONDERLAND SINGING BARTENDER WITH DAVID LLOYD THE DANI JAMERSON BAND Every Wed. at 5pm SOUTH COUNTY OLD DOG TAVERN Fri. 10 & Sat. 11 Fri. 17 & Sat. 18 ABSOLUT ADDICTION Fri. 24 & Sat. 25 402 E KALAMAZOO AVE KALAMAZOO 269-381-5677 TOM DUFFIELD THE MUSIC FACTORY 191 ANGELL ST. BATTLE CREEK 269-962-2121 DEVERAUX, ASHES OF Tuesdays at 5pm BEN JAMMIN AND ANALISA Every Saturday 10am DUFFIELD CARRON PROJECT PAGE 14
APRIL MUS BACKROADS SALOON  15325 W MICHIGAN AVE MARSHALL 269-781-7091  HAIR MANIA  JOEL MABUS CD RELEASE WSG WHO HIT JOHN...
SIC BOARD Every Saturday 5-8pm BLUES JAM 6-9pm Every Sunday BRASS RAIL Friday 3, 5-8pm BEN DANIELS BAND Friday 3, 9pm WHISTLE STOP REVUE Saturday 4, 9pm GO ROUNDS & THE ANTI VILLAINS, RESURRECTION BRUNCH Sunday 5, 11-2pm 7TH SON BLUES JAM Sunday 5, 6pm JASON SINGER Thursday 9, 9pm HIRED HANDS Friday 10, 5pm MARCI LINN BAND Saturday 11 9pm OLD TIME JAM OVERTIME PUB & GRILL 517 E MICHIGAN BATTLE CREEK 269-964-0872 BLUES JAM TYPO SOMA, KING MEDIAN, THE SAVAGE OMS, THE STILL TIDE Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th Friday 17th & Saturday 18th PLAIN JAYNE Friday 24th & Saturday 25th PAPA PETE’S 502 SOUTH BURDICK KALAMAZOO 269-388-2196 HOOLA HOOP OR DIE #WGW Thursday 2nd Sunday 12, 2-5pm GATOR BOYS BLUES BAND AFF PARTY Friday 3rd Saturday 4th NASHON HOLLOWAY SUPER THIRSDAY FLY PAPER WALSHER CLEMONS THE REACTORS WSG FULL FRONTAL CORTEZ AND MERCY BEACH PRIMUS AFTER PARTY W/ FRIZZLE FRIED NASHON HOLLOWAY Friday 17th Thursday 16, 9pm Friday 17, 9pm Saturday 18, 9pm Sunday 19, 11-2pm CATS IN THE HAT Sunday 19, 6pm ABIGAIL STAUFFER Thursday 23, 8pm ROOTSTAND Friday 24, 9pm Thursday 9th Friday 10th Saturday 11th STIKYFUT 420 BASH Monday 20th Sunday 26 6-9pm OC 45, BIKE TUFF, DRUGS IN THE CARPET STEREO GARDEN Saturday 4, 9pm Tuesday 14, 8pm Friday 17, 9pm Saturday 11th, 10pm JASON SINGER THE WERKS, THAT FREAK QUINCY Friday 17th, 10pm Monday 20, 9pm FISH LIPS ONE THE ONLY METALLICA TRIBUTE, BONEHAWK, ARRAKIS Saturday 18th, 10pm FRIENDS OF THE ROAD Friday 24th, 10pm Friday 24, 8pm BRANDEN MANN SINGER SONGWRITER NIGHT STATE THEATRE Saturday 25th, 10pm SATELITE RECORDS 808 S WESTNEDGE AVE KALAMAZOO 269-381-0218 404 S BURDICK ST KALAMAZOO 269-345-6500 STRAIGHT NO CHASER Thursday 9, 7:30pm PRIMUS & THE SIR RICHARD BISHOP, CHOCOLATE FACTORY ROBERT MILLIS, SEAN & WSG THE FUNGI FIONA ENSEMBLE Tuesday 21st 6pm, $5 NAAN VIOLENCE Tuesday 28th 6pm, $5 OHM TOWN HEROES SHAKESPEARS LOWER LEVEL RUPERT’S BREW HOUSE 773 W MICHIGAN AVE. KALAMAZOO 269-337-9911 APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE BELLO SPARK Tuesday 7, 8pm THE MARK NISKANEN DUO Thursday 9, 8pm THE NATIVE HOWL, THE PRO CON PRO ALBUM BIG BOSS BLUES GASOLINE GYPSIES RELEASE WITH LOST Friday 10, 9pm Friday 10th, 10pm YEARS, THE SHORT LIFE RUMBLEFISH TREE KNOCKA STYLEE Saturday 18, 9pm HOUSE PARTY III GRAHAM PARSONS & MIKE SAVINA Thursday 2, 8pm Friday 3, 9pm HAR-DI-HAR, NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL, SAXSQUATCH & BRIDGE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM BAND, WINDJAMMER Thursday 23, 8pm Sunday 19th THE ANDY MURFIELD EXPERIENCE Saturday 4, 9pm LUCIUS FOX, DRINK RADIATOR KING, THEIR BLOOD, FOSSIL SQUIRREL SHAPED FISH EYES, WORLD MAP April 4th, 10pm Wednesday THE SOUL EXPERIENCE KUTT CALHOUN Friday 24th CROSSROADS BLUES BAND Friday 3rd, 10pm JAZZ MIX Every MINE ENEMIES FALL Monday 6th 6pm, $10 Saturday 18th HOODANG Sunday 26, 11-2pm Every Thursday, 10pm Friday 3, 8pm FUNK IT UP Thursday 23rd Saturday 25 9pm Every Tuesday, 10pm SUDDEN RAGE ROYAL RUMBLE Sunday 12, 6-9pm TRIBUTE SHOW WITH PLEASANT First 3 Sundays from 4-8 DRIVE, ITEM 9 BAND, COMBAR CORDUROY, pm BRANDEN MANN & THE JAZZ JAM REPRIMAND IRISH SESSIONS 214 EAST KALAMAZOO KALAMAZOO 269-488-3330 CRIS KAUFFMAN Saturday 11, 8pm MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER WSG LUNASA Tuesday 28, 7pm THE UNION CABARET & GRILL Saturday 11, 9pm NATHAN HOLLEY Tuesday 14, 8pm ROXY COSS Thursday 16, 8pm MANNER EFFECT Friday 17, 9pm THE HIRED HANDS Saturday 18, 9pm SHELAGH & ROBBIE Tuesday 21, 8pm MAS QUE NADA Thursday 23, 8pm KRIS LAGER BAND 269-978-8451 DROP 35 Friday 3rd RUSTY’S BIG ASS BAND Saturday 4th BRIAN RANDALL Friday 10th THE REAL FANTASTICS Saturday 11th WINGS STADIUM 3600 VANRICK DR. KALAMAZOO 269-345-1125 AVETT BROTHERS Saturday 18th, 8pm M89 SPORTS BAR & GRILL 129 E ALLEGAN ST OTSEGO 269-694-6970 MEGAN REA BAND Friday 3 & Saturday 4 HAT TRICK Fri 10 & Sat 11 ABSOLUTE ADDICTION Fri 17 & Sat 18 DANI JAMERSON BAND Fri 24 & Sat 25 ZARZUELA RUSTY’S BA BAND 301 E MICHIGAN AVE MARSHALL 269-789-9180 ALEX MAYS RENE MEAVE TOM KNIFIC QUARTET ADAM PARR WAREHOUSE COW - KJELL CROCE, JIM OLIVER, BOB WENTWORTH Friday 24, 9pm Saturday 25, 9pm Tuesday 28, 8pm Thursday 30, 8pm 1299 COLUMBIA AVE BATTLE CREEK 269-979-9273 Saturday 4th Saturday 11th Saturday 18th OPEN MIC – JIMJAM Saturday 25th SAVING ABEL WSG 8 FOOT GRIMISS Thursday 2 125 S. KALAMAZOO MALL KALAMAZOO 269-384-6756 139 S EDWARDS ST, KALAMAZOO WILD BULL PAGE 15
SIC BOARD Every Saturday 5-8pm BLUES JAM  6-9pm Every Sunday BRASS RAIL  Friday 3, 5-8pm BEN DANIELS BAND  Friday 3, 9pm  ...
BY: bruce tuck From the original Oakland Pharmacy and the likes of the infamous Boogie Records, the building at the Campus Corner, 773 W. Michigan Ave in Kalamazoo, has seen its share of iconic places come and go. Following a decade of assorted lounges, cafés and coffee shops, the old Oakland Pharmacy building again found a certain degree of success with The Strutt, a popular café, bar, coffee company, brewery, recording studio, record company, and performance venue, which was opened in 2007. The Strutt ceased operation in 2012, and “the campus corner” now houses the next chapter as the place “Where Good Friends Meet.” Rupert’s Brew House, opened its doors in October of 2013 with 7 beers on tap in the most laid back, comfortable atmosphere in town. Where you can come sit by the fire place, give Captain Stooby a pet (197lb Great Dane) and enjoy some of Kalamazoo’s best craft brews as well as see live shows 5 nights a week. From Comedy and open mic’s to live bands, you can enjoy it all at Rupert’s. If you can’t stick around, stop by, have a pint and grab a growler to go. If you have not heard, Rupert’s is now the only licensed small distiller in Kalamazoo County. Do not miss your chance to hang out and meet the owners, it’s sure be a great time! COMING UP APRIL 3, THIS PROMISES TO BE A GREAT SHOW! smashmags.com THE STILL TIDE Having left behind New York City’s jagged cityscape for the mountains of Denver’s skyline, indie rock trio The Still Tide has at last found a place to call home. Written and recorded in the aftermath of the move, their new EP Half Empty Rooms refracts the grit and urgency of city life through the lens of Colorado’s clean air and open space, creating a sound that occupies the liminal area between folk song and shoegaze, aspen trees and streetlights. Since the release of their last record, Tinder (one of KRCC’s top albums of 2014), the band has been busy working on new songs and developing the rich and dynamic palette of tones that has captivated their new fans. Joined by her longstanding bandmates Jacob Miller (Anthony Ruptak, The Kissing Club) and Aaron Latos (James Fearnley, These United States, Karl Berger) on this four track release, songwriter and lead vocalist Anna Morsett (Ark Life, Kaki King, These United States) carries listeners through a humbling search not just for a place to hang her hat, but also her heart. Since their departure from NYC, they’ve shared stages with Kaki King, John Vanderslice, Angel Olsen and Pure Bathing Culture among many others and have been featured on Colorado Public Radio’s Open Air live studio sessions. Playing what Pueblo PULP has called “bar music for space cowboys” and striking what Blurt Online described as “… a little sweet spot where indie rock, shoegaze and folk rock all intersect” the band has certainly come into their own and are looking forward to the busy year ahead. Following their album release and tour kick-off show at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver on March 27th 2015, the group will be taking their new songs and seasoned, luminous sound on the road, touring throughout the United States and Europe this spring and summer. PAGE 16
BY  bruce tuck From the original Oakland Pharmacy and the likes of the infamous Boogie Records, the building at the Campus...
APRIL 3 AT RUPERT’S BREW HOUSE KING MEDIAN No one knows just how old Camden Krusec is. Some say he rivals the infamous Batman villain Ra's al Ghul in age. He was once a hermit in the mountains far away, until he decided to attend school when he forgot to become literate again (it happens). To exact revenge on his high school bullies he created his bandmates in a secret laboratory: Colin Smith (guitar, vocals), Ken Tsuchiya (more guitar, more vocals), and Dylan Polcyn (good looks, keyboard, but mostly dancing) were birthed from nothing but a lock of Camden's hair, puppy dog tails, and the eyes of newts. Drummer Brian Dalluge was found digging for cans on their college campus, and was soon recruited after the then new-found band heard him rhythmically clinging bottles and cans, and he said "just clap your hands." After stealing all the bands funds to buy "more rhythm," Brian was excommunicated and sent to Siberia in an international exchange program, switching places with former KGB Ryan Pate. Since then, they've joined forces to battle crime in Gotham... though, they don't care about Metropolis. APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE THE SAVAGE OMS SOMA Based out of Kalamazoo Soma is a local funk/rock band looking to get down on some grooves. Straight outta Compton, Jordan Compton that is, providing you with the soulful lyrics and heartfelt piano lines that make all the ladies weak in the knees Adam Hastings was born in a log cabin. It is in this cabin that he cultivated mass and skill. Adam has been described as follows, "He is a big guy, and he bangs hard." The Savage Oms were born in the basement of The Vine Street Apothecary in January of 2011 as a three piece act featuring Lachlan MacQuarrie on lead guitar and vocals, Don Brower on drums and Brandon Donlon of Pastel Arsenal on bass guitar. Donlon relocated to East Michigan in 2012 and in fall of 2013, The Savage Oms reformed as a two piece with two of the three original members, MacQuarrie and Brower. In spring of 2014 Steven Lynn joined the Savage Oms on bass guitar. The only member not from Michigan Michael Serota found the band on a pilgrimage from the UP. Prepare yourself to have your ears funked by this bad man. Cale Simanskey never even played a guitar before this recording, not once. His voice is like a silk bag of puppy ears. PAGE 17
APRIL 3 AT RUPERT   S BREW HOUSE  KING MEDIAN No one knows just how old Camden Krusec is. Some say he rivals the infamous ...
smashmags.com PAGE 18
smashmags.com    PAGE 18
TARTAN DAY 2015 THE LARGEST PIPER-LED, TARTAN-CLAD, SCOTTISH PUB CRAWL IN MICHIGAN* *THAT WE KNOW OF National Tartan Day is observed each year around April 6, which is the anniversary of the signing of the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath on that date in 1320. Our own Declaration of Independence was heavily modeled on this document. In fact, almost half of the signers of our Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent. Our celebration will be a ticketed event with Live Music and lots of scotch and Scottish ale abounding! Wear your Tartan any way you choose; scarf, shawl, sash, hat, boxer shorts, KILT, whatever! (Remember there will be a kilt contest!) Show your Scottish pride and join us for an evening of remembrance, irreverence, and Fun!!! We’ll meet at Winston’s/London Grill downtown at 4pm. We’ll take a Tartan March of sorts, complete with pipers from the Kalamazoo Pipe Band, down the Kalamazoo Mall to Tibbs Brewery for tastings and a partial reading of the Declaration. Then east on South Street to Portage Street, and back to London Grill for:  DINNER (ON YOUR OWN, OFF THE MENU AT LG) DOOR PRIZES (LOTS OF BEER!) KILT CONTEST (FOR BOTH THE LADS AND LASSIES!) LIVE MUSIC AND...TWO LIVE DINNER DATE AUCTIONS! Our MC for the event, Chris Falk, will be heading up the bidding to Win a Dinner for Two with one (or both!) local celebrities: Television/Radio Personality Lori Moore or Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell. $12 at the door, or call London Grill (381-9212) for advance purchase or credit card purchase. Entrance fee includes 1 Beer Ticket, 1 Door Prize Ticket, and a Tartan Day Button. FIRST 75 PEOPLE THROUGH THE DOOR ALSO RECEIVE A COMMEMORATIVE T-SHIRT! Doors open at 4PM. APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE PAGE 19
TARTAN DAY 2015 THE LARGEST PIPER-LED, TARTAN-CLAD, SCOTTISH PUB CRAWL IN MICHIGAN   THAT WE KNOW OF  National Tartan Day ...
Aria Flame is an American neo-classical symphonic metal band with European flair hailing from Michigan. Utilizing operatic and rock style vocals, powerful guitar riffs and solos, symphonic keyboards and intricate bass and drums, the members of Aria Flame are truly professional performers. Their musical compositions are characterized by eerie diminished chords, occasional circus-like melodies, well formed bass and percussion. The lyrics describe ones journey from being taken into the darkness only to be reborn as the mythological phoenix. The word Aria comes from the classical word meaning “song” and the word “flame” represents the phoenix. Combining the two words reflects the combination of styles in their music. Aria Flame was formed after the disbandment of singer and composer Aziza Poggi’s former band Dendura. Dendura was a successful Egyptian themed metal band that was heard on The Comedy Central network, seen in magazines such as Metal Hammer, and opened for international touring acts such as Epica, Doro Pesch, Edguy, Scar Symmetry, Unexpect and The Agonist. Aria Flame was created in spring of 2011 by singer and composer Aziza Poggi and drummer Erik Sales. Dendura bassist Greg Cloon was brought into the new project shortly thereafter with guitarist Daniel Cruzan joining the group in early 2012. Keyboardist Joop De Rooij (ex-Magion) was added to the group late 2014 and will participate on select USA concerts and all European dates. From their inception, Aria Flame has enjoyed success with Aziza becoming a member of Eve’s Apple (a worldwide community of professional metal singers), opening for international touring acts such as Delain, Xandria, and Trillium, releasing a music video for their song “Divine World”, and releasing their debut EP in 2014 titled “A World of Silence”. The EP was produced by bassist Greg Cloon and mixed and mastered by Grammy award-winning producer Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Nevermore, Queensryche, etc.). Following the debut release was an accompanying performance in Europe’s prestigious “Metal Female Voices Festival” which introduced the band to a worldwide audience sharing the stage with Therion, Leave’s Eyes, Diabulus en Musica, Serenia, and more. smashmags.com Aria Flame has received stellar reviews from Sonic Cathedral, Powerplay Rock Magazine, Metal-Temple and has been seen in many international magazines being praised for their unique sound and performance. Currently, the band are setting up additional national and international tours, recording more music videos, and planning to re-  “...a score of 10 out of 10.” “...It’s not often we have an American release that can compete with the best from Western Europe. . .or Eastern Europe. This one can. In a word, this is killer material, maybe the best American production I’ve ever heard. And on a par with the best material in the genre anywhere in the world.” -Doctor T, Sonic Cathedral lease a full album of new music in 2016. You can check them out on May 1st at The Music Factory in Battle Creek, Michigan alongside Dirt Chili & Revelations - Iron Maiden Tribute. www.ariaflame.com Aziza Poggi Greg Cloon Vocals & Bass Composer Daniel Cruzan Guitar Joop De Rooij Keyboards Erik Sales Drums May 1 PAGE 20
Aria Flame is an American neo-classical symphonic metal band with European flair hailing from Michigan. Utilizing operatic...
STEP BACK IN HISTORY! LINCOLN SHOT! Take a step back in history and witness the dastardly deed that ended the life of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln. For four days, from April 16 through 19, 2015, the City of Coldwater, Michigan will observe the sesquicentennial of the death of President Lincoln. The feature of the weekend will be reenactments of highlights of the Presidency of Lincoln concluding with his assassination at the Ford’s Theatre. These reenactments will be presented in the historic Tibbits Opera House, built in 1882 and recently refurbished. Other activities will include Lincoln’s funeral procession including a re-creation of his funeral bier, and funeral train. Be an eyewitness to history from your seat in Witness the John Wilkes Booth arrest Experience Living History displays Dance at the Grand Ball Observe Lincoln’s Funeral Procession Ride the Funeral Train See the Horse Drawn Bier Sunday Attend the Eccuminical Sund Service Hear Lincoln’s most powerful speeches Observe the Civil War reenactors Sample foods of the 1860’s Learn about the life and times of Lincoln Give homage to one of our greatest Presidents the beautiful 1882 Tibbits Opera House. You’ll hear Lincoln give the famous Gettysburg Address, witness the surrender of Robert E. Lee, the reception Capping off the weekend will be a Grand Ball and ecumenical Sunday service. of the President at Richmond, V and A, a number of other historic vignettes. This is an excellent chance for youth to learn about the life and times of one of the Presidents. call 517-278-0241 email dyee@discover-michigan.com country’s favorite FOR INFORMATION FOR RESERV ATIONS AND INFORMATION CONTACT visit our Facebook page Sesquicentennial Lincoln Assassination Anniversary Re-enactment Re-enactor inquiries welcome APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE PAGE 21
STEP BACK IN HISTORY   LINCOLN SHOT  Take a step back in history and witness the dastardly deed that ended the life of the...
MIKKEL NEEB AIRCUDA CUSTOM ART BY CARRIE WHITE MN: Aircuda was a recent name change a couple years ago. I wanted something flashy and different that incorporated air for my main focus of airbrushing and Cuda was my favorite pure black German Shepard that we used to have, I miss that dog! SMASH: So how did you discover your talent for airbrushing and art in general? Smash Magazine is always looking for talented artists in our area. We never seem to run out of referrals from people saying, “Hey, You have got to check out this artist!” It’s probably one of the best things about this job, and to my delight I get to see some pretty damn good art! When I was told about this really amazing guy that does custom airbrush creations, I did what I usually do and went to his web site to check it out and, as in most cases, I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, some of the photos I looked at for a really long time, amazed that someone could make an airbrushed painting look so real. You would think he had been doing this his whole life, but after talking with him I found out that’s not the case. Here is what Mikkel Neeb, owner and creator at Aircuda Custom Art, had to say. SMASH: Where does the name Aircuda come from? smashmags.com MN: I started signs 5 years prior to airbrushing. I got started in doing rustic signs in 2003 when I came across an article in a log cabin magazine which featured Matt Zudweg Award Winning Signs. It was a really cool fly fishing sign that he hand painted and distressed, I immediately emailed Matt and asked him how was this sign painted. To my surprise he emailed me back and gave away some of his secrets lol! One email led to another and soon we became good friends. Eventually he invited me up to his home in Howard City, MI. and there I was able to see every aspect of pure sign making in person. I still believe if this life event never took place I wouldn’t be where I am to this day, I can truly say I owe him big time! So, in 2007, I had rotator cuff surgery and was stuck at home not being able to do anything. I remember I bought my very first issue of Airbrush Action Magazine and was floored by some of the art in those pages. Honestly I never knew what an airbrush was capable of. My stepdad had bought me my very first airbrush which I had used only for adding drop shadows on my signs, that’s it! I think he knew I’d find out eventually the purpose of it and I sure did. I tried to duplicate a picture that Cory Saint Clair had painted in that mag and it turned out awesome for my first attempt. And that’s all it took, I was super hooked from there! As far as art in general, I only took the basics in high school and didn’t do anything till I was 33 and started doing the signs. SMASH: How much of your time do you spend painting, and how long does it take you to finish one? MN: I spend quite a bit of time out in my shop; always have a job or getting ready for one. I usually spend a couple hours a night out here and always Sat, Sun and Mon out in the shop. It really varies on how long it takes me to paint something. The Lion I did in oils took about 2 weeks, only because that was my first try with oils on canvas. But normally I can paint a project within a week, not counting any prep work like paint repairs, priming and clear coating. SMASH: Do you have a favorite subject? PAGE 22
MIKKEL NEEB AIRCUDA CUSTOM ART BY CARRIE WHITE  MN  Aircuda was a recent name change a couple years ago. I wanted somethin...
MN: My favorite subject is of course skulls! Everyone thinks I’m nuts but when I first started airbrushing everyone said you better learn to paint skulls since that’s a vast majority of what gets painted on bikes. SMASH: What is the strangest thing you have been asked to paint? MN: Really haven’t had any weird requests yet, but I’m just getting started.  pretty cool being the only artist doing signs with hot glue textures. SMASH: Where you born in Kalamazoo? tank, helmet or guitar. So if you like what you see and are thinking about that new motorcycle you might want to get in touch with him quick! MN: I was born and grew up in kazoo.  SMASH What do you think about the West Michigan art and music scene and what kind of music do you listen too? SMASH: Is Aircuda your full time gig or do MN: I really don’t go anywhere, seems like I’m always out in the shop as reminded by my loving and supportive wife. MN: I work full time as truck driver delivering man’s favorite beverage, BEER!  I like rock, Chevelle is my favorite band. you have other talents/jobs? I’m currently taking on work from Kalamazoo Choppers now since they lost their airbrush artist. As far as talents I paint rustic and new signs, custom airbrushing of course, I dabble in acrylic and oils on canvas and recently started doing one of a kind hot glue signs. I know of no one that does this so I think it’s After our conversation I was even more impressed with his passion and dedication for his craft. He spends all his time either with his family or working on his art. With summer coming up I’m pretty sure Mikkel is going to be very busy with his airbrushing, whether it be on a new bike You can see more of Mikkel’s work at aircuda.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AircudaArt APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE PAGE 23
MN  My favorite subject is of course skulls  Everyone thinks I   m nuts but when I first started airbrushing everyone said...
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GENRE: POST-GRUNGE/ROCK FLY LEAF - BETWEEN THE STARS RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 2014 WWW.FLYLEAFMUSIC.COM GENRE: AMERICANA/ROOTS ROCK JOHN MELLENCAMP - PLAIN SPOKEN RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 2014 WWW.MELLENCAMP.COM GENRE: COUNTRY JASON ALDEAN - OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 2014 WWW.JASONALDEAN.COM Between the Stars is the fourth full-length studio album by American rock band Flyleaf. The album was released on September 16, 2014 through Loud & Proud Records. The group funded the album through PledgeMusic. It marks the groups first record to feature Kristen May on vocals, replacing original vocalist Lacey Sturm who exited the band in 2012. It is also the groups first album to be recorded by producer Don Gilmore. Studio recording was completed in Los Angeles, CA. The album’s lead single “Set Me on Fire” debuted on July 1, 2014 at Revolver. Plain Spoken is the 22nd studio album by American singer-songwriter and musician John Mellencamp. It was released on September 23, 2014 by Republic Records.[7] Plain Spoken marks the first project of Mellencamp’s new lifetime recording contract with Republic Records. The album’s cover photo was taken by actress Meg Ryan, Mellencamp’s on-again-off-again girlfriend. Old Boots, New Dirt is the sixth studio album by American country music artist Jason Aldean. It was released on October 7, 2014 via Broken Bow Records. Its lead single, “Burnin’ It Down”, reached the top of the US Hot Country Songs chart during its second week of availability. The album sold over 8,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 33 on the Billboard 200 chart. Kristen May stated about making the record: “When we started writing this record, we had a common hardship. Their singer had quit, and my previous band had broken up. As writers, we weren’t really sure how to move forward. At the same time, we all had this shared feeling of hope and a second chance. Music came out of those experiences from coming together and persevering through whatever doubts and trials we faced in our lives. It felt like home once we began making music.” She also stated: “I hope it’s an album people can listen to for years to come. We put our hearts and souls into it, and I want them to hear that. APRIL 2015 - THE RELAUNCH ISSUE The 10 songs on Plain Spoken tackle a wide variety of subject matter, with some songs taking on a personal tone, some dealing with society problems in the 21st century, and others serving as character sketches of down and out and troubled people. “Tears in Vain” touches on Mellencamp’s recent divorce from Elaine Irwin, his wife of 18 years. The song’s lyrics hint at infidelity on Irwin’s part (“I just sit here by myself/As you meet your friend down the road”). “Blue Charlotte” is a folk-based acoustic love song sung from the perspective of a man spending his final days with his dying wife. The spiritually-centric “Sometimes There’s God” outlines various situations when God is present in a person’s life (“Sometimes there’s God/When sickness is healed”), and other times when His presence isn’t so apparent (“Sometimes you work/Only in vain”). “Lawless Times,” the album’s closing track, rails against the various aspects of today’s society that seem less than moral, from “creepers tapping on your cell phone” to the widespread digital theft of music (“If you wanna steal this song/It can be easily loaded down”). The album was produced by Aldean’s longtime producer Michael Knox. The album’s second single, “Just Gettin’ Started”, was released on November 10, 2014. “Tonight Looks Good On You” will be released as the album’s third single The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. It is Aldean’s second album to reach number one on the chart, following his 2012 album Night Train. The album was originally predicted to sell up to 400,000 in its first week in the US, however it only sold 278,000 copies. On December 8 2014, the album was officially certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipping over 1 million copies. As of the second week of March 2015, Old Boots, New Dirt has sold 875,000 copies in the United States. In Canada, the album debuted at number 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 16,000 copies. PAGE 25
GENRE  POST-GRUNGE ROCK FLY LEAF - BETWEEN THE STARS RELEASE DATE  SEPTEMBER 2014 WWW.FLYLEAFMUSIC.COM  GENRE  AMERICANA R...
SMASH Radio is BACK!!!!! BY: bruce tuck SMASH Magazine has always supported local music and is excited to bring back SMASH Radio. Previously, Smash Radio was streaming from a separate website, we have now integrated it into the smashmags.com site so while you are browsing the latest articles or looking for a great show to attend, you can tune in and listen to your favorite artists from Southwest Michigan. Smash Radio will be available on the website and all the music will be separated by genre, this will allow, you the listener, to partake in only what you are in the mood for. With permission from the artists, the listeners will have the smashmags.com option to download their favorite local performers as well. For the local musicians, this is your opportunity to promote your album, get your music heard all over Southwest Michigan and potentially all over the world. It’s as easy as sending your music and cover art to submit@smashmags. com along with permission to play the music on the website and permission for download by the listeners. LETS GET READY TO SMASH IT!!!! Guidelines for submission: Be Local (Southwest Michigan – from Southaven to Hastings, South to the state line and fro Marshall to Lake Michigan) Provide Smash Radio permission to play the music Send submissions in .MP3 Format Provide us with your album cover art Provide us permission to allow downloads or request to not allow PAGE 26
SMASH Radio is BACK         BY  bruce tuck  SMASH Magazine has always supported local music and is excited to bring back S...
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