Music

Story by Jeff Milo
Photos by David McNair

Singer/Guitarist Eugen Strobe became a frontman by necessity.  The leader of local trio Cosmic Light Shapes has never actively sought the spotlight, throughout three decades of playing music. While he did serve as a primary force for the founding of the annual Hamtramck Music Festival and then, most recently, captained the vinyl release of his band’s debut album last December, you’ll nevertheless have a tough time getting him to take any credit or adoration. He’s not your typical rock star.

“When I started playing music, the goal was just to play…” said Strobe. “Being in bands, that was more of like the ‘fantasy,’ ya know, the idea of
‘being up on a stage’ and ‘rocking out…’ and all of that… no, I loved it just because of music. I loved making sounds.”

The sounds that Strobe makes with his bandmates, drummer Zenas Jackson, and bassist Adam James, are a patchwork of psychedelic-pop, ‘60s rock, fluidly-structured prog, abstruse glam, and ambient/experimentalism. It spans the spectrum of bubblegum-pop and boogie-able ditties to psychedelicized intonations cast upon a darker, more ominous sea of jazz-like jamming. It’s, as Strobe says it, a metamorphosis of many things, “the tangible and the imaginary.”

Meanwhile, the other big musical component of Strobe’s life involves event-planning, particularly the three-day-long Hamtramck Music Festival, kicking off March 2, spread across the Detroit neighborhood’s venues and featuring close to 200 bands from around the region.

After more than a decade of being a side player for locally renowned groups like The Sights and The Witches, Strobe officially started showcasing his original works in late 2008, with Jackson as his main collaborator, to properly launch Cosmic Light Shapes.

“I had a workspace inside the Russell Industrial Center (in 2008); where my main goal was just to get out all the sounds that were inside my head. It had just been too long up to that point, and it was like a breaking point…”

Strobe and Jackson first performed as a drum/guitar/vocals duo, but eventually brought in the post-bop warble of an accompanying saxophonist during that first year. By 2010, they’d honed into a rock schema with bassist Jennifer Pearson augmenting the intricate rhythms. In 2013, they recorded their self-titled album with famed producer Jim Diamond in Detroit. But in the time it took to finally have those songs pressed to vinyl, the bass position shuffled, until 2014, when James joined as its permanent bassist.

“Just from playing sports, I learned about being a team player,” said Strobe, looking back on a 10-year odyssey of being more of an accompanist or collaborator to several local rock outfits. “It never bothered me to be just playing drums or just playing guitar in a band; I never felt like I had to be in front. So, being in front kinda’ happened by accident. It was my turn to put my stamp on something, so I wound up having to be out in front, for now.”

Strobe, Jackson, and James performed an album release concert back in December; you can listen to the single, “Can You See In 3-D,” online at: cosmiclightshapes.bandcamp.com

Meanwhile, Strobe revealed that he has enough sketched out song demos to fill two whole albums worth of material for Cosmic Light Shapes. BUT…, that’s going to have to wait until after the Hamtramck Music Festival.
The Hamtramck Music Festival was, and continues to be, a grassroots effort; an exemplary coordination of local artists, local music fans, and business owners volunteering their time to put on a multi-dayevent hosted across 20 unique venues, clubs, bars, and performance spaces. Venues like Paychecks Lounge, Small’s Bar, and even the Hamtramck Public Library, will have two nights of unique lineups featuring local bands performing both on Friday, March 3, and Saturday, March 4.

Initially organized in 2013 to fill the void left by the disruptive disbursement of the Metro Times Blowout, Strobe was integral in helping steer the efforts of the volunteer committee that booked, promoted, and monitored the first Hamtramck Music Festival. You can find HMF on Facebook, where there will be links and information about buying your weekend wristbands (as well as full schedules, lineups, maps and venue information). All proceeds from festival wristbands benefit Ben’s Encore, a local nonprofit awarding scholarships to music students and grants to under-served school music programs.

A smaller iteration of SXSW in Austin, or CMJ in New York, the Hamtramck Music Festival is a joyfully noisy and fun celebration of the local music scene. “We’re all giving each other a gift,” said Strobe, who prefaces any chat about the music festival with emphasizing the importance of the city, its residents, and its independent business community. “The organizers give the city and this scene a gift by putting on (HMF), and making it the best it can be. Hamtramck residents give a gift by hosting it, the businesses are also giving back to the fans, and so everyone’s sharing in this gift to where it builds a sense of community, a sense of togetherness, a celebration of local culture. That’s what brings me back, doing this for each other.”

And that brings the ostensible spotlight back to Cosmic Light Shapes. “Ideas for songs are always evolving. Any song I put together, I want it to happen as naturally as possible; I let the rhythm pave the way, at first, and then let the melodies color it in from there…” Sounds familiar, as he bangs the drum to start HMF, and he lets the melodies of each volunteer-organizer help him color it in from there.

Coming in to the Detroit music scene in the late ‘90s and early 2000’s, Strobe was inspired that so much diversity of genre could be represented under one venue’s roof. Thusly, he and the HMF committee strive for inclusivity that generates a refreshing smorgasbord of styles to heighten the experience of each music fan.
Keep it unpredictable, keep it organic, and keep it adventurous — that’s Hamtramck Music Festival, that’s Cosmic Light Shapes…and that’s Eugene Strobe.

By: Andrea Grimaldi
Photo: Bernie Laframboise

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) nonprofit organization started in 2001 with a goal to bring more awareness to the art that is fingerstyle guitar. Maintained by six enthusiasts, several in the Ferndale area, the MFGS aims to connect guitarists from all over the world with affordable local venues and interested crowds in Metro Detroit. The Society has been responsible for over 100 acts coming to Michigan, and hopes to bring in many more.

Fingerstyle guitar encompasses many genres and refers to the technique of a single guitar performing multiple parts of the musical arrangement. This means using advanced techniques to play harmonic melodies and low bass notes simultaneously while keeping percussion with the body of the guitar. The guitar is played with fingertips rather than picks. Many fingerstyle guitarists play solo, but there are also Italy’s Guitar Republic or the world-renowned California Guitar Trio. Many of the guitarists that the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society contact play classical guitar, or perform their own compositions that range from a classical-jazz mix to an avant-garde style, known as Contemporary Acoustic Guitar. However, not just any fingerstyle guitarist will be hosted. One of the caveats of the group is that one of the MFGS members must “love” the music of the artist they are bringing in.

Many of the musicians live to tour, using proceeds from one show to fund the next. These musicians depend on fans and groups like MFGS to help find the locations and audiences needed to sustain their tours. Although there are a lot of guitar fans and avid concert goers of all genres, it can be hard for small acts to reach these people. This is especially true for international acts. Members of the MFGS understand this and go above and beyond. They have even invited guitarists to stay in their homes and act as a local tour guide during their stay. Without the support of MFGS, Michigan could be completely skipped over on these small tours.

The guitar society used to book concerts primarily in Ferndale but they have recently spread out a bit further, booking shows in Lake Orion at 20 Front Street, and Livonia at Trinity House Theatre. They have also helped book shows as far as the Upper Peninsula, Grand Rapids, and Madison, Wisconsin. However, they hope to find a home base in Ferndale. The group is currently scouting the perfect location; a music-centered venue, intimate but not too small, professional but not too price-centered. Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society’s slogan is to Promote the Artist, Promote the Music and, with the perfect venue, the group is hoping to draw a bigger network of live music fans, creating a market for more concerts as well.

Concerts start in March in both Livonia and Lake Orion. In June, the group hopes to bring Italian guitarist Stefano Barone to Michigan. Barone has played across the US and is no stranger to Michigan. His music was featured as a backdrop for Ferndale video journalist Brian Kaufman’s documentary on the wolves of Isle Royale, “Predator/Prey: The Fight for Isle Royale’s Wolves.” Barone was honored to perform several of his pieces live before the world-premier viewing of this film at the Detroit Free Press Film Festival in 2016. Barone has also played many venues in Michigan, including the Detroit Institute of the Arts.

To keep an eye on upcoming fingerstyle guitar events, find their Facebook page or see their full calendar at  www.fingerstyle.org. These concerts are a unique and intimate experience and are not to be missed.

By Jeff Milo

Zander Michigan – 48018
Zander’s pretty unforgettable. It’d be one thing if his performance style, his music and his lyrics weren’t already charismatic and theatrical, but he’s often sporting a bow-tie, a stately blazer and a basher hat brimmed over a typically smiling face. With his third album, the local songwriter conjured a bit of his own mythology, inventing a city inside which the narratives of each song could play-out, with heartbreak, soul-searching, community spirit and existential contemplation, over a sonic gravel path of acoustic folk strums and rock ‘n’ roll riffs. I think most early fans remember Zander’s implicit nods to Dylan, but this album’s strayed admirably towards his own signa-ture sound and style.
www.zandermichigan.com

Anthony Retka – Fields & Fortresses
Local songwriter Anthony Retka’s heart has always been on his sleeve, going back more than a decade ago with Americana/folk projects like Tone & Niche. With Fortresses, his mind and his musings are both exceedingly more observant of the human condition with a weary voice melodically threaded to slow a pulse or percolate some goosebumps. There’s often a raging storm inside of Retka, but emotional torrent never sounded so sweet.
https://anthonyretka.wordpress.com

Counter Elites – Pledge of Aggrievance
We interviewed the two Ferndalians behind this terrifically tempestuous hardcore punk-rock band in the October 2016 Edition of Ferndale Friends. Together for four years now, they’ve industriously assembled several DIY recordings, satirical dadaist/gallows-humor propaganda sheets and a slew of sweat-drenched concerts (continually incognito with bandanas, sunglasses, wigs and more). While still keeping their tight tunes as aerodynamic as ever, the riffs and the reverb, the rhythms and the rhetoric are showing substantial stylistic evolution. Beautifully cathartic, philosophic, and at times straight up metal!
https://thecounterelites.bandcamp.com

Nolan The Ninja – He(art)
I can’t remember hearing hip-hop with such urgency, such ferocity, such profundity. Nolan The Ninja is Detroit-based emcee/producer Nolan Chapman, and his He(art) LP is a tour-de-force of vital conversation-starters lyrically catapulted with rapid/energizing cadences of words and beats, imbued with soulful brass samples, atmospheric jazz vibes and propulsive rhythm. The credits in the liner notes are also noteworthy, with plenty of cameos and contributions from big name producers and contemporary emcees in the recent renaissance of hyper-conscious hip-hop.
https://nolantheninja.bandcamp.com

Audra Kubat – Mended Vessel
This is the most powerful album on my list. Audra Kubat’s got a voice to freeze time. It’s supernatural; able, it would seem, to even alter the luminescence of the very room or space where you find yourself listening, glowing radiantly at the choruses or dimming to a chilled discreteness during her more muted verses. Mended Vessel finds the local composer/music-educator embracing her family’s roots in holistic healing and her own already-assured renown for reinventing the folk-singer trope. While her majestic voice is salve enough for any weary heart, there’s also excellent production and accompanying Americana-inclined instrumentation to sweeten the overtures.

Six & The Sevens – It Has To Be That Way
The second this EP kicks off, you feel like you’re flying… driving, running, moving, pure power pop with a bit of refreshing grease and grit, this local quintet have some dangerously enticing guitar hooks, classic garage-rock bluster, but sweetened with an earnest baring of hearts on sleeves. Some songs feel like ‘80s underground-indie (“Nothing To Say”), others like throwback ‘60s pop (“You Belong To  Me”), while others trudge some tremendous blues and funk onto the dancefloor (“Go, Go, Go”). And then, “By My Side” is full on tsunami of soulful rock, packed with such a full-sounding production by Zach Shipps (with a handful of songs also recorded with Jim Diamond).
www.sixandthesevens.com

Escaping Pavement – the Night Owl
Guitars, mandolins and mellifluous voices merged in melody are all you’re going to need… Ferndale-based songwriting partners Emily Burns and Aaron Markovitz are gracefully getting us back to the basics and the beauty of folk, country and bluegrass, exuding the power of the organic/earthy qualities of acoustic musical performances, strums and serenades.  The Night Owl is a fully realized folk odyssey, the recordings so full of intonation, heart and harmonies.

Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms – Basement Punk
Allen’s still a young man, but the pop-punk auteur got started in bands bouncing off basement walls in his teenage days, finding him nearly in his mid-‘30s with a deep well of perspective and perceptive poise. This collection has some tenacious and tough tunes that are as urgent and aggressive as anything on his resumé, along with some softer acoustic mini-ballads bearing the more heartfelt sides of “punk” without a shred of self-consciousness. Riffed-out and as rambunctious as anything you’d need, but enriched with more of a storyteller’s insightfulness.
https://extraarms.bandcamp.com

Zoos of Berlin – Instant Evening
We can’t limit this record to any genre-tag. These are ornate sonic smorgasboards of funky bass lines, caustic guitar drones, buoyant synth-pop runs and carefully reverb-coated vocal crooning all fused together into an uncanny harmony, with toe-tapping percussion that you could almost dance to and a nonchalant-chic or casual epic-ness simultaneously tightened by post-rock guitar riffs and salved by smooth clouds of ambient dream-pop.
https://zoosofberlin.bandcamp.com

FAWNN – Ultimate Oceans
FAWNN’s pretty much a super-group, with each member having fronted, or continuing to front, other local bands leading up to their formation in 2012. The rhythms are energetic and agile, the dual vocalists hit us with a sonic yin and yang with their harmonies, and the guitars are splashed with a splendid amount of reverb so as to evoke this dreamy fog, like gazing at a sunrise through a rain-beaded windshield or hearing distant thunder at a shore as the tide comes in. Each song is full with timbre and tone, a tidal din of pretty sounding drones barreling into ornately threaded earworm riffs.
https://fawnn.bandcamp.com

One of the longest-running and most popular winter events in Southeast Michigan is the Ferndale Blues & Music Festival. The annual festival is set for January 27 thru February 4, and includes live bands and music from blues and jazz to rock–n-roll and every-thing in between. The festival, held in downtown Ferndale and neighboring communities, showcases a large array of local and regional musicians and bands playing dozens of concerts in a variety of venues over the course of nine days. Volunteers work the events and help raise thousands of dollars for Ferndale Youth Assistance.

The Music Festival began in 2002 and has gained in prestige and popularity each year. Expenses are kept low, and all proceeds go to FYA, a not-for-profit 501c(3) organization. Venues include bars, nightclubs, restaurants, coffeehouses, churches, schools and community centers. Thousands of people will attend the events and more than 500,000 people will see the advertisements, website, Facebook pages, news stories, posters and programs.

All contributions, donations, and sponsorships are tax deductible. The Annual Blues & Music Festival is supported by the City of Ferndale, the Ferndale DDA, Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce, Ferndale Public Schools, elected officials, and numerous businesses, churches, and media outlets.

Event Co-chair Alyssa Atkinson; 248-259-0058
Event Co-chair Craig Covey, 248-721-6434

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Story By Malissa Martin
B& W photo by Daniele Lanci

Music has a way of entering the soul, enticing listeners to become one with the melody. Internationally renowned composer and guitarist Pino Forastiere has mastered this concept along with various music styles including jazz, rock, improvisational, and classical music.

And he’s coming to Ferndale! Thanks to the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society, Forastiere is stopping in Ferndale, while on tour in America, to perform in concert at First United Methodist Church (22331 Woodward Ave.) on Saturday, October 29, 2016.

Forastiere is a graduate of Santa Cecilia Conservatory, a very prestigious school of classical music in Rome. Throughout his career, Forastiere has played all over the world, including the New York Guitar Festival. He’s ff15640_pino_play1also toured with the International Guitar Night for 4 years. In January 2015 he released his fifth solo album “Deconstruction.”

Fifteen years ago, Forastiere moved away from using classical nylon-stringed guitars and decided to compose his music on lightly amplified steel-stringed instruments, after hearing a CD of the late American composer and guitarist, Michael Hedges.

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a nonprofit organization supporting the art or style of fingerstyle guitar. “Fingerstyle guitar encompasses a lot of different kinds of music, and basically we look for unique guitarists who are in a late level in their style. Most of them just do their original compositions, so that shows the unique component to this,” said President of the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society, Ron Stavale.

Stavale said it took a few months to plan the concert. “I knew about six months ago that Pino would be coming to the states. So our group helped him set up about seven concerts in Michigan, one in Ohio and one in Wisconsin. We don’t do that for all the artists, but if they’re from Europe and the language is an issue then we try and help them out,” Stavale explained.

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society has an average of six concerts and workshops per year. Although a workshop isn’t planned for Forastiere, the organization is open to having one if enough interest is garnered.

Tickets are $20 at the door and the show starts at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church (22331 Woodward Ave.) on Saturday, October 29, 2016.

For more information about The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society please visit www.fingerstyle.org or email the group at michfingerstyle@gmail.com.

Story by David Stone
Photos by Ed Abeska

One of the best ways to experience the magical skills of a truly great chef is to sample their appetizers. So it is exciting to see that the center of William Quasarano’s (A.K.A. “Chef Quas”) menu at the Twisted Tavern are indeed his amazing apps. Rest assured, they do have an incredible menu of amazing tacos, delicious burgers and sandwiches and a unique variety of flatbreads, too.

We will return to this wonderful menu later. But, first, let’s meet the man behind the menu; Chef Quas.He was born in Detroit and says he’s been “all over the East Side.” He graduated from Grosse Pointe North after ff14674_tt_rd_barstarting at St. Joan of Arc. He has lived in Las Vegas, Chicago, and up North. “I’ve kind of been all over,” he says.

When describing his introduction to the culinary field, he said, “I had my ninth birthday in my dad’s first bar, Hollywood Nights.” He later studied culinary arts under Chef Schneider at Macomb Community College.

After working at many other restaurants, Chef Quas joined Mark McConnell who, at the time, owned Boogie Fever in Ferndale. They worked together so well that the two decided to continue working together when Mark decided to refurbish the site, creating the Twisted Tavern and Red Door Nightclub.

At that time, they decided to focus on the apps. Quas describes Twisted Tavern as a place that does “family-style but with apps.” The menu clarifies this, saying that they come in “mine or ours” sizes. The menu further defines the two app sizes as “to share or not to share.” As Chef Quas put it, “It’s not like having to dish out $35 for an entree.”

McConnell has been a local entrepreneur since 1999. When Boogie Fever began to “show its wear,” Mark and co-owner Rob decided it was time to reinvest and renovate. They decided to open a restaurant in front and a nightclub in back, and that was how Twisted Tavern and Red Door were born.

Mark mentioned that he received “a ton of compliments on the decor,” and points out, “we’re not a dive but ff14674_tt_rd_interiorour menu is not priced like an expensive restaurant…you get a nice environment but you’re not paying the exorbitant price for it.”

When describing the business atmosphere in Ferndale, Mark likes to point to such things as our “close- knit business community.” He mentioned how the business community will “come together for city-oriented events.” And, he feels that the “city is organized to help the businesses.”

Now, back to the food.

As mentioned earlier, they serve many interesting salads and flat breads. They also have a wide variety of “grande twisted tacos.” Two interesting examples are the Asian-soy braised short-rib beef, lettuce, toasted sesame, and veggie-roasted seasoned veggies, lettuce, guac, pico de gallo. They have many interesting sandwiches too.

But the highlight of the menu are the appetizers; they have 13! For me, there were three standouts: First, the shark bites. The chef’s signature dish is Mako shark, lightly blackened and seared, and served with a cusabi sauce. Lollipop Kale, a hybrid of kale and brussel sprouts, is wonderful. It is then flash-fried and a “balsamic drizzle” is added. Instead of chicken wings, they serve fried duck legs in a mandarin glaze.

The Twisted Tavern is a wonderful place for a large group to have a very good meal, in beautiful surroundings, and at a reasonable price. The Red Door is a gorgeous nightclub where you can dance the night away. On Fridays, they play top 40s and current dance music. On Saturdays, they play dance music from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today.

Both Twisted Tavern and Red Door are located at 22901 Woodward.
Twisted Tavern, (248) 545-6750; thetwistedtavern.com
Red Door, (248) 541-1600; reddoornightclub.com

If something happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

Story by Derek Lindamood
Photos by Bernie Laframboise

A legendary local Ferndale dive bar, The New Way was purchased by current owner ç in 2013. D’Angelo was seeking to keep the neighborhood feel but improve the service-level and atmosphere while supporting the live music scene. “I was always interested in the bar business, and I thought I could own one and make it successful. I like knowing people’s names, providing something for the community, while trying to leave my mark. Dive bars are seen as comfortable, homey, welcoming and familiar—yet, can be kind of…grimy and poorly run”, he says. “My vision for The New Way Bar was to keep all of the positive aspects of the dive bar, yet get rid of the negative ones.” And he’s done just that. Well-run, clean, with consistently new entertainment genres and performers, and excellent service from the staff, it’s become a staple on the pub circuit in Ferndale.

The initial improvements made were a new sign, putting a patio out front for spring/summer, painting the inside, new chairs and tables, and adding six taps of draft beer. The bartenders are all incredibly friendly, talkative, responsive and welcoming. The prices are fair, the food menu is simple but satisfactory—chili and homemade soups are available during lunch. The bar area, consistently filled by wisecracking regulars, offers two televisions to watch sports (and debate them) with a big screen in the back room by the stage as well. The atmosphere breeds openness, the customers tend to be outgoing and approachable, and acquaintances are easily made. A wall separates the bar area from the stage area, making the New Way unique in that it can be a sports pub and/or a music venue simultaneously. There’s also ski ball, ping pong, pool and table hockey.

As for live music, the venue does not take money out of the cover charge at the door—bands get 100 per cent. “I like all of the bands that we host, I want to treat them great. Music is such a big part of why I bought ff-jj-nwb-jdathis place”, D’Angelo said. Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular for live shows, each night boasting three or four bands. Cover is five bucks. Each band brings its own slew of friends, relatives and co-workers filling the joint with folks looking to turn loose. Each night brings a completely different mixture of people, providing an eclectic and novel crowd each and every weekend. On the first Friday of every month, the New Way showcases seasoned comedians Blain and Diego who utilize new material to host a cast of up to five comedians, and it is well worth the cover price.

Monday nights are Comedy Night, hosted by Amit Jain. There’s no cover, and the format is open mic. Comedians from all over Michigan, and even Toledo and Windsor, make the trip to the New Way to bounce potentially new material off the New Way customers to see their reactions and gauge the laugh meter. Consider yourself warned: No topic is off limits, and most comedians are “edgy.” If you’re easily offended, stay home.

Tuesday Nights are Jazz. There’s no cover, and there’s a rotating list of jazz bands who play from 8pm-9pm. Then, from 9pm-11pm people can come and sit in to play along with the band. “The Jazz community is close-knit, they all bring in their own “chart” of music.” Jamie said. If you want to play along with the other musicians, come prepared.

Wednesday Nights are open rock night hosted by Brian Miller. Brian has been hosting the event for three consecutive years and have won Best Open Mic in the Metro Times. “Mostly, we get a lot of singer/song writers, a lot of acoustic”, Jamie adds. How does someone interested in performing get on stage? “Come in or call, tell me you want to sign-up, and you’re in a slot. On average a musician has time for two-three songs, depending on how busy it is”, D’Angelo maintains. The stage is open from 9:30pm – 1am.

The New Way is unique in so many ways. Outside events are organized by regular customers from within—such as Sunday afternoon bike rides from The New Way to the Lions or Tigers game and back, tennis matches and euchre tournaments. Renting Rosie the Racehorse to pet and feed in the parking lot during the Kentucky Derby, offering “mystery shots” in brown bags at a discount, giving the most loyal customers cellphone access to change television channels to the game of choice reached by democratic decision, and bartenders that remember your name as well as your order—hosting up and coming local bands as well as jazz musicians, while providing proving grounds and a forum for offbeat and aspiring comics, some of them first-timers on stage—The New Way Bar is my favorite spot in Ferndale.

If you like to look cool and dress to impress when you’re out on the town—go somewhere trendier. If you want to let your hair down, strike up a conversation with some new people, and see live entertainment—the New Way is the place for you.

New Way Bar, 23130 Woodward, Ferndale MI 48220, 248-541-9870

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

Story by Megan Fleming

Pig & Whiskey — featuring BBQ, whiskey, beer, and music — returns to downtown Ferndale July 15-17.

Co-hosted by Metro Times and Woodward Avenue Brewers, this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever: Nine Mile Road will be closed east of Woodward, providing more room to enjoy the party.

THE FOOD AND DRINK
More than a dozen southeastern Michigan eateries will have their best pork, beef, and barbecue dishes available for purchase. Jay Ray of Jay Ray’s BBQ, is returning to Pig & Whiskey for the second year. Of all the events he does, he said he enjoys this Ferndale bash the most. “It’s a great atmosphere, great music, and all great people that come down,” Ray says. Jay Ray’s will be serving ribs, pulled pork, mac and cheese, a loaded sweet potato (which he says was a huge hit last year), and he’s messing around with a “few cool ideas,” too. Joining Jay Ray’s for the second year at Pig & Whiskey are Zeke’s Rock ‘n’ Roll BBQ, Rub BBQ Pub, Old Carolina Barbecue Company, Woodpile BBQ Shack, Smoke Ring, Rubbed, and the Mac Shack.
Here’s a full list of vendors: Smoke Ring, Jay Ray’s BBQ, Detroit BBQ, Hog Wild, Stonewood Smokehouse, Crooked River, Old Carolina Barbecue Company, Taste ‘n’ Tell, Red Wood Grill, Zeke’s Rock ‘n’ Roll BBQ, Shredderz food truck, Union Joints, Rubbed, Rub BBQ Pub, Alley Taco, Smoke Shack, Woodpile BBQ Shack, and the Mac Shack. There will be plenty to drink, with six kinds of beer and more than 30 whiskeys available. You’ll be able to buy tickets for food and drinks when you arrive. Make sure to bring your appetite!

THE MUSIC
No summer festival would be complete without a packed lineup of bands. You’ll be able to catch the performances on a stage set up on East Troy Street. This year’s set features something for everyone, with a wide variety of musical styles. Friday’s lineup kicks off with Goober & The Peas, followed by Stone Clover, Holy White Hounds, and Le Voyage. Saturday will be a packed set, featuring eight bands: Electric Six, The Handgrenades, Earth Engine, Ohtis, Honebabe, The Blueflowers, American Mars, and Billy Brandt. Mustard Plug, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, the Beggars, Tart, Jill Jack, Mega Wedge: A Ween Tribute Band, and Kevin Thibodeau & the Cast Iron Horns will close out the show on Sunday.

*** The weather will be hot, the food will be good, and the music (and drinks) will keep you dancing. For a look at all the fun from last year’s festival, check out this album on Facebook. Mark your calendars, and for updates or more information, visit pigandwhiskeyferndale.com. Pig & Whiskey is from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, July 15 , 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, July 16, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, July 17; on East Troy Street in Ferndale; admission is free, but tickets must be purchased for drinks and food; all ages welcome.

If something happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

Story by Sherrad Glosson
Photos by Bernie Laframboise

JOHN ANNESSER IS BEST KNOWN as a musician. A singer, writer, and producer in many (perhaps any) genre, he’s done – rock, blues, country, folk, punk, jazz, fusion, and rap. Looking at his home’s nondescript exterior, you wouldn’t believe that there’s more than one studio built on the inside. The main studio has various guitars, a complete drum set, keyboards, and other instruments. Another room, called the Organ Room, holds – you guessed it -–an antique organ, as well as a grand piano. There’s also a control room.

As impressive as his musical resumé is, when we sat down, it was a different subject I asked about that happened not too long ago, in which John had to play the role of crimefighter.

It was Saturday, December 5, 2015. Motives of Existence, John’s band, was having a rehearsal. John, his wife Nancy, bass player John Hayes, drummer Dave Beck and a few other bandmates were getting some extra practice in at John’s father’s house, which also has an inhouse studio. After a while, they headed back to John’s place to finish up, and continued enjoying each others’ company on what seemed to be a normal Saturday evening. One of the bandmates decided to leave shortly after and, as he opened the door, the nightmare began.

Two young men came bursting through the door. One was armed with a handgun and the other with a shotgun. “It happened so fast” said John. “I knew that I couldn’t reach for anything because that gives the gunman a green light to do something drastic.” But John wasn’t giving up. Seeing an opening, he rushed for the gunman with the handgun and knocked it out of his hand.

He hurried to the second guy, who appeared a little apprehensive about what he was doing. The only laundry basket, and he managed to push Mr. Shotgun out the door and immediately locked it.

Meanwhile, in the front room, the first gunman was fighting for the gun, when John heard bassist Hayes yell, “I got the clip!” John started tussling with the gunman to prevent him from getting his weapon back. With the gunman on top of John and the gun pointed at him, he used every bit of strength to turn the barrel around and away from his face. Luckily, though the trigger on the gun was pushed all the way back, it didn’t fire.

Still, the fight wasn’t over. The gunman started pistol-whipping John, who absorbed a few blows to the head and more, shattering his forearm when he raised it for protection. John’s wife worked to distract the intruder, and John got loose. Then Hayes ended up with the gun, ordering the man out. The gunman fled out the back door and John called the police.

John says, “I suffered post-traumatic stress for a little while after it, but I have to continue to move forward and put it behind me.” The bad guys got away, but didn’t get the money they were after. The investigation continues.

You can check out Motives of Existence at their website: www.motivesofexistence.com

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Story by Jeff Milo
Photos by Dzendzel & StudioStead Photographic

THERE IS A DISTINCTIVE RELATIONSHIP between artist and audience, bands and listeners. There is an opportunity to instill inspiration, to offer escape, to alter preconceptions. That power and that connection are the biggest reasons local singer/key boardist/producer Matthew Parmenter has continued to write, record and publish music for almost 30 years, now, as both a solo artist and, notably, as the frontman for the symphonic-prog band Discipline. “Any musical offering is an act of faith,” said Parmenter. “It is always rewarding to hear fellow humans say they found something palliative or profound in the work.”

Back before the World Wide Web dominated the distribution, consumption, and business mode of recorded musical art, Discipline formed in 1987 in a Royal Oak high school. The band features Jon Preston Bouda on guitar, Matthew Kennedy on bass, Paul Dzendzel on drums and Parmenter on vocals and keyboards.

“We dabbled a bit with punk while in high school,” recalls Parmenter, “but it didn’t take.” They excavated treasures from Sam’s Jams (formerly where Rosie’s now operates) and Flipside (up in Clawson,) including seminal prog-rock records that the late 80’s mainstream radio stations were ignoring, like Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, and more. “Doing ‘art-rock’ in Detroit made us feel a bit like a lone-wolf around town,” recalls Parmenter. But they kept at it, developing a mailing list, with actual snailmail and allying with comparable prog-stylists in the region like Hope Orchestra and Granfalloon. In fact, it was another local group, Tiles, who showed Discipline a lot of support over the years. Tiles’ guitarist Chris Herin eventually took the spot of Jon Preston Bouda on guitar.

Discipline have evolved over the decades, through several records released through their own label Strung Out Records, a beautiful blend of operaticpop, post-punk theatre and a baroque-tinged electronic ambiance, primarily experimenting with a genre known as progressive-rock (or prog-rock). Some of their compositions spanned 15 minutes or longer, particularly on their dazzling 1997 odyssey Unfolded Like Staircase. “As a songwriter,” Parmenter said, “I have become less inclined to embark on epics. I rarely write songs running more than 15 minutes anymore, and 25 minutes is right out. I am still drawn to create a narrative space that exposes some particular observed tension and which, ideally, reaches an emotional summit.”

On stage, Discipline embody this captivating, Morpheus- ian grace in blending psychedelic performance art with elements of classical, jazz and Brit-pop. Parmenter points to The Beatles, David Bowie and Peter Gabriel as influences for the more rock and pop sides of Discipline, while also including jazz and classical icons like Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartok. The experimental rock of Van der Graaf Generator was a notable influential touchstone.

“In live performance, we have learned to allow, and even to foster, a sort of intentional imperfection,” said Parmenter. “Not to say that we ever played perfectly. Rather, in the early days accuracy and being precise seemed more important. Later on, rough edges and spontaneity came to matter more. Then the performances started to breathe, get human, have soul. Too much polish… can become boring.”

Go online and you’ll find various zines, blogs and sites devoted to “prog” music sending some substantial love towards Detroit’s Discipline. There is truly a galaxy-full of bands edging their own nuanced composites of this genre, with acknowledged pioneers such as Yes, King Crimson and Genesis. “If progressive rock were an iceberg, most people would recognize it only by the tip they can see sticking out of the water.“

Discipline are finishing up a new album, while Parmenter celebrates the release of his third solo album, All Our Yesterdays (via U.K.-based Bad Elephant Records) on March 1.

www.strungoutrecords.com and facebook.com/DisciplineBand
Listen at: disciplineband.bandcamp.com/releases
And find news on Parmenters solo work at: www.badelephant.co.uk/

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.