Music

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

If slightly happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states connected to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men 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 core 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 curing passes into breast milk.

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.

Story by Jeff Milo
Photo courtesy of Blue Black Hours

The first weekend of March brings us the third annual Hamtramck Music Festival, a four-day celebration of local music with several unique venues and bars hosting lineups of live performances, featuring more than 150 bands. (www.hamtramckmusicfestival.com)

There can be a lot to choose from, but Ferndale Friends picked power trio Blue Black Hours for their potent and enthralling live presentation, creating atmosphere around the vibe of their signature rock sound with optimized lighting effects, haunting fog and trippy video projections.

Blue Black Hours defy concrete categorization, blending the wavy haze of psychedelia to the muscular thrum of proto-metal and the sludgier, swirlier and sometimes supernatural sensibilities of ‘70s rock. Not pop. Not garage. Very much their own thing.

Blue Black Hours features John “Spurzo” Spurrier on vocals/bass, Scott Lyon on guitar, and Ken Blaznek on drums. Lyon and Spurrier have been playing music together for more than 20 years, pairing with various drummers as the band has evolved. Ken Blaznek joined the band earlier in 2015. Blue Black Hours officially formed in 2005.

“Though we have many varied musical influences,” Spurrier noted, “we never set out to play any particular style or genre. Instead, we would play a lot of improvisational jams and structure our sound around what comes naturally from there. When it comes to writing, we prefer to be in the moment, letting the inspiration flow and acting as conduits for how the song would want to be created. With the music, lyrics and overall vibe, we always had a vision of connecting or reconnecting with an “otherworldly” realm.”

Now, the band has dropped a few names online through their Facebook and Bandcamp pages just to give listeners a reference point: Hawkind, The Doors, Black Sabbath. But it’s better to infer that BBH are conjuring the spirit or the energies of those bands, affecting an ethereal sense of escape or transcendence through a delicate storm of reverb and distortion, often surging or swelling their collective sounds into some kind of aural vortex (the fog is quite evocatively apt for this mad metaphor I’m cooking,) to where the music, the tones, timbres and tight percussion, start to seem as though they’re enveloping the audience (or listener.)

Perhaps you could just picture those blue, black hours, a time of evening darker and more foreboding than twilight and yet also something as spurring or enticing as that gossamer glimmer of pre-dawn light, sparking some sense of the celestial right here on earth, optimally past sunset, now…that…is part of the essence of BBH’s brew of rock. (Telling song titles include Darkness To Light and Sunlight and Dust.)

“That prog or psych genre label seems to tie in with an ‘otherworldly’ vibe, which we are naturally drawn to,” Spurrier said. “Most prog or psych tends to be ‘above the belt’ music, whereas most straight-up rock ‘n’ roll tends to be ‘below the belt.’ We’re fans of both sides of the proverbial ‘rock belt,’ therefore, we play rock ‘n’ roll that covers the whole body. We have the dark, gritty sound of the oil and graveled streets of the city in our music, but with the serene nature of the woods and rivers of the Upper Peninsula in there, too.”

You can wind up tumbling down an Internet rabbit-hole, through message boards and blogs, when it comes to debates or postulations over where a certain band fits, genre-wise. For BBH, it’s more about forging a composite vibe utilizing several of rock’s more sublime elements to hone an optimally transportive experience. BBH co-produced their self-titled full length with Jesse Wozniak in 2012 and began gaining more momentum, locally, since then. It wasn’t until 2014 that they properly released Blue Black Hours. At that same time, they put out a sensational EP titled Sunlight and Dust. Both are currently only available on BBH’s bandcamp: https://blueblackhours.bandcamp.com/

The band said that they are planning to get back into the studio to record the third album soon. Also in the near future, Blue Black Hours and Sunlight and Dust will be available on CD (again) as well as cassette. The two recordings have started bending a few ears toward their direction, some locally, but some internationally. “We plan on doing some touring soon and hopefully hit Europe, where it seems we’re getting some good recognition.”

Meanwhile, close to home, “We are excited to play the Hamtramck Music Festival,” said Spurrier. “We’re glad this is going back to the tradition of what was once known as ‘The Blowout!’ This will also be our first show back with our new drummer, Ken Blaznek, at Paychecks Lounge, on March 5 (a Saturday).”

You can find official set times and the full lineup here: http://hamtramckmusicfestival.com Highlight Paycheck’s Lounge, however, as that’s where you can hear (and see) BBH.

After ten years, Spurrier looks back on he and Lyon’s adventures as “…a series of very interesting inspirations and synchronicities. Honestly, this musical journey would make for a very interesting biography, someday… Really, we were brought together by what would seem to be a sort of divine intervention.

More info:
https://blueblackhours.bandcamp.com/
http://facebook.com/blueblackhours
http://hamtramckmusicfestival.com

If some 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 heartiness problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition 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.

Hey! IT’S THE HOLIDAYS. YOU’RE ANXIOUS. WHAT’S THAT PERFECT GIFT TO GIVE THAT WILL ALSO MAKE YOU FEEL FULFILLED? I’VE GOT IT. LOCAL MUSIC. WHILE I WAS PUTTING TOGETHER THIS COLUMN, I FOUND IT WAS TOUGH TO NARROW THINGS DOWN. THERE WERE SO MANY AWESOME LOCAL ALBUMS RELEASED THIS YEAR FROM METRO DETROIT ARTISTS. YOU COULD EASILY FIND THE PERFECT GIFT EITHER AT FOUND SOUND IN FERNDALE, OR MAYBE UHF UP IN ROYAL OAK OR STREET CORNER MUSIC IN OAK PARK, JUST BY WALKING IN AND ASKING WHERE TO FIND THEIR “LOCAL MUSIC” SECTION. OR, YOU CAN FIND THE SONGS ONLINE, VIA BANDCAMP.COM OR THEIR MAIN MUSIC SITES (I’LL INCLUDE SOME LINKS.) THE ONLY THING LEFT TO DO NOW IS MAKE A LIST & CHECK IT TWICE! (THEN PRESS “PLAY”.)

RYAN DILLAHA & THE MIRACLE MEN – MIRACLES IN MONO

This poetic singer/songwriter demonstrated his knack for classic honky-tonk, but he couldn’t shake his lingering lean towards a more rock ‘n’ roll swagger. With a tremendous team of players like The Miracle Men having congealed a brotherly chemistry with the Ferndale based Dillaha, they were able to transmit the rock energy of their live shows onto a record that is as pastoral as a heartfelt folk anthology and yet also wears its blue collar scuff marks with quiet pride, as though emitted from a beer-splashed jukebox. ryandillaha.com

DESTROY THIS PLACE – ANIMAL RITES

Because this quartet doesn’t take anything for granted; that’s what makes them dangerous. Local music fans have been seeing these four players in other bands over the last eight or nine years so you already know they’ve got the pop/rock goods; but that doesn’t mean any of them approach DTP’s blitzing songs and live shows with any sense of local super- group entitlement. In fact, Animal Rites shines because of how much attention and meticulous care each player contributed to the overall composition. It may be the loudest, hardest and fastest they’ve ever played in their lives, but their savvy sutures a new kind of grace onto that grit. destroythisplaceband.com

OLD EMPIRE – HOW TO MAKE AN ENTRANCE

Old Empire perfected the popera, or mini pop opera, with their latest batch of rockers. The local quartet go back to the riffy qualities and driving backbeats of seminal indie-rock and imbue it with a sweeter layer of harmonization between its male/female co-leads, laying out rich narratives resonating with eerily relatable sentiments and wisdom-ringing gut punch encounters from a weekender’s life “on the scene.” Old Empire makes the pop jams for the converted cool, the reformed scenesters who’ve attained a more worldly sensibility. Fun, freewheeling stompers that also make you stop and think. oldempire.bandcamp.com

PROTOMARTYR – THE AGENT INTELLECT

This Detroit quartet became the darlings of several tastemaking blogs and hipster music zines across the country with their last record’s exceptional blend of post-punk

caustics, no-wave defiance and art-pop dynamism. Their latest demonstrates a sensibility for effective minimalism; the right tone of guitar over the sparsest clasp of drums and bass with that gravel-ly lead vocal, settin g moods of ponderous dread and cathartic cool. protomartyr.bandcamp.com/releases

VSTRS – VSTRS

VSTRS (as in, Visitors…as in, from an alien world…) are a mixed bag of music, from post-punk to new wave, to alt-rock revivalism and anywhere in between. Spacemen 3 or Mercury Rev or Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins might be good reference points, but that would also leave out some of their other inclinations towards a bit of krautrock and spacey psychedelia. visitorsarehere.bandcamp.com

ANCIENT LANGUAGE – FOLK SONGS

Initially the instrumental compositions of electronic music producer Christopher Jarvis, his brother Zachariah joined a year ago to add funky flourishes of live bass. Fans of seminal trip-hop, ambient electronica and evocative dream-pop should tune in. ancientlanguage.bandcamp.com

800BELOVED – SOME KIND OF DISTORTION

The psychedelic, shoegaze-informed, pop-ensconced noise rock of visionary songwriter / producer Sean Lynch, this trio put out their most invigorating and provocative album to date. Listen now! Their facebook page has hinted at an inevitable self-imposed demise. 800beloved.bandcamp.com

FLINT EASTWOOD – SMALL VICTORIES

This Detroit-based project is powered by Jax Anderson, a force of nature when it comes to forging endearing and relatable lyrics onto irresistible arrangements of dance-pop synthesizers, cinematic sounding guitars, window-rattling bass and nimbly-footed percussive hooks. flinteastwoodmusic.bandcamp.com

THE WHISKEY CHARMERS – THE WHISKEY CHARMERS

I’m continually charmed by the Charmers, a local duo that mine the darker sides of folk, blues and country twang to unearth a literary-tinged mysticism crossed with a quasi campy, geek sophistication; imagine if murder ballads and

ghost stories had a lot of surf-rock reverb. I could imagine their music being on almost any Jim Jarmusch soundtrack. thewhiskeycharmers.bandcamp.com/releases

MEXICAN KNIVES – MEXICAN KNIVES

Dynamic, dark-sider surf punk, with a bit of SW country-rock valiance; sounding something like Quentin Tarantino’s alternate universe conception of CBGBs-era New York grime rock. mexicanknives.bandcamp.com

GEORGE MORRIS & THE GYPSY CHORUS – WE WILL GO TO HELL FOR THIS
A bit of throwback-ish minimalism, bringing an edgy indie- rock aesthetic to a piano and synth-centric pop balladry. There’s a universe of difference between 28 and 18, and Morris, who was initially whisked away to L.A. for his first breakout rock band, has such an endearingly wiser and relatable take on life, not to mention an uncanny sense for the most persistent earworm melodies. georgemorris.bandcamp.com

TUNDE OLANIRAN – TRANSGRESSOR

There are several adjectives I could employ to elucidate this remarkable lyricist, performer, choreographer, designer, and producer; words like awe-inspiring and show-stopper and pop-iconoclast. Electronic, hip-hop, soul, R&B, dance-pop… Everything at once. Tundeolaniran.com

MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE THESE ON YOUR LIST, TOO!

Moonwalks – Lunar Phases – http://moonwalks.bandcamp.com/
Muggs – Straight Up Boogaloo – themuggs.bandcamp.com Valley Hush – Don’t Wait – valleyhush.bandcamp.com Mountain Club – Time Waits for No One – mtnclubmusic.com Crappy Future – Internet Cache – crappyfuture.bandcamp.com
JUNGLEFOWL- Strut – junglefowl.bandcamp.com
LT. Bad – Electromagnetic – ltbad.bandcamp.com
Casual Sweetheart – Always/Never – casualsweetheart.bandcamp.com
Pink Lightning – Blue Skies – pinklightning.bandcamp.com

If something happened with our soundness, 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 connected to erectile dysfunction. 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 disfunction 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 malfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

Story by Jeff Milo | Band photo courtesy of The Blueflowers

The Blueflowers make country-rock in the same way David Lynch once made a soap opera. The configurations and certain thematic elements are familiar, but there’s something supernatural just below its surface, something bewitching pulling you into their sublimely-shifted world of Americana-twang. These could just as easily be ghost stories as torch ballads.

The Ferndale-area sextet recently rocked a local label showcase (Gangplank Records) at The Loving Touch as a way to cap off a very busy year that started at the end of 2014, when they released their most captivating album to date, At The Edge of Disaster. Though the band is planning on taking the winter off from performing, its lead singer and co-founder Kate Hinote is planning a special acoustic showcase at the Rustbelt Market this February.

More about the Blueflowers, though; besides the twinge of Western twang, there’s also piquant portions that invoke surf-rock (like something from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack) and a keen retcon of dream-pop (as if Mazzy Star’s eloquence was cannonballed into the glammed whimsy of The Sundays or Echo & The Bunnymen.) Even then, it’s a bit more eclectic than all that. You could call it “folk-noir” or “western-gothic.”

The band includes Hinote on lead vocals, her husband, Tony Hamera on electric guitar, Erica Stephens on bass, David Johnson on acoustic guitar, Jim Faulkner on drums and Erin Williams on organ and backing vocals. They morphed out of a previous project between married songwriting duo Hamera & Hinote (called Ether Aura.) They put out their first album as The Blueflowers in 2009 and the current lineup solidified by the end of 2011.

Listen at: www.theblueflowers.com

Milo: Last year’s Edge of Disaster was one hell of an album. A full on production; cinematic-sounding, crisply rendered, evocatively spooky and swooning. Tell us more of the story behind the recording.

Hinote: I think we knew right away that (Edge) was going to be darker than previous albums, and that we wanted to press it to vinyl. (Hamera) and I were not even remotely prepared for parenthood and the insane sleep-debt and chaos it would bring, nor for the emotional challenges and rewards that come along with it. We did, however, know we had more music to make and I had so many feelings right at the surface that I absolutely needed an outlet for at that time.

Milo: I was going to ask about that, about what it’s like to have a creative partnership with one’s
husband, but I have to imagine new parenthood, by itself, would influence these songs’ creation.

Hinote: Anyone that knows me would say I can be intense, but being a mom and being responsible for keeping another human, besides myself, alive, amplified that intensity by 100. I ended up being drawn to older ideas that Tony had written that had a darker feel to them and I intentionally leaned towards gloomier themes and more dramatic vocal lines and delivery. I remember vetoing ideas that I thought were “too pretty,” though some pretty things still made their way onto the album. We realized each song wound up with its own sort of character and that the delivery of the vocals was going to be a bigger part of the final production.

With (Hamera) and I, that songwriting relationship grows and changes over time. We wrote two albums together as Ether Aura, and now four as Blueflowers. As I gained more experience writing, he would challenge me more with the music demos he would give me and I think, ultimately, Disaster ended up being so intense for us because it really was the most collaborative that we’ve been writing an album. Being in the middle of a creative process like this adds intensity to the day- to-day when you both feel passionately about the work and you’re going to wake up next to that person the next morning. I have never worked harder on anything in my life and Tony feels the same.

Milo: Talk about the chemistry between the band, as well as how (Ferndale’s) Tempermill studios is sort of your home recording base.

Hinote: (Hamera)’s been working out of Tempermill longer than I’ve known him, which is 19 years, and (Dave) Feeny has been a wonderful and generous resource to have on our side. (Feeny heads Gangplank Records.) There is definitely a family- like dynamic to our band. We have moments where things aren’t all puppies-and-rainbows, just like any family. I mean, you’ve got three women and three men and in that you have two married couples, so in that there are all kinds of chemistry and dynamics and hormones flying about our practice space. As far as song creation, (Hamera)’s the ringleader and he knows what he wants from everybody but each still contributes their own parts and helps shape the dynamics of each song. It has to be made with family. No room for egos in our process, and we’re fortunate that that’s not ever been a problem.

Milo: Tell us about your acoustic showcase!

Hinote: I wanted a showcase with friends at a venue where people could sit and listen and hear every note, yet not have the pressure worrying about drawing an audience, so that it could be a fun gig. The Rustbelt Market wound up being perfect for this. We’re planning half-hour sets from “The Half Bloofs” (Williamss, Johnson and Hinote,) Ryan Dillaha, Anthony Retka, Thirty Men (with Emily Rose,) Escaping Pavement, Mike Galbraith and more. Meanwhile, the Bloofs will be coming back in April and we’re thinking about releasing a digital single.

Check it out on February 7 at the Rustbelt Market: Winter Acoustic Showcase: Blueflowers Acoustic Trio, Anthony Retka, Ryan Dillaha, Escaping Pavement, Mike Galbraith, Thirty Men, and more. 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. / Free. Rust Belt Market is at 22801 Woodward Avenue.

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 folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you have to look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition 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 curing passes into breast milk.

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Story by Sherrad Glosson | Photos by Bernie Laframboise

It was a Tuesday night when I walked in a church in Ferndale down in the basement and witnessed about forty to fifty men sitting in chairs. A woman sat at the piano and a man stood in front of them, behind a podium, reading a booklet. As I walked in, he looked up and waved me to come in. I grabbed a seat in the back. I pulled out my phone to check the time and suddenly I heard the sweetest harmony I’ve ever experienced from a group of men…the sound of the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus ringing off the walls of the basement.

It took me so much by surprise that I pulled out my cell phone to make a post on Facebook to tell people how great they sounded. These men must be gearing up for something, I thought, sure enough they were getting ready for their holiday concert just a few weeks away.

I caught up with Brian Londro, the Minister of Music at the Metro Community Church and the artistic director for the Men’s chorus, a few days prior to their practice. We talked a little bit about these miraculous men I’ve heard so much about. The Detroit

Together Men’s Chorus has been in action since 1982 and is among the top three longest-running gay men’s choruses across the country. Although started as an exclusively gay men’s chorus, lately they have been getting straight men to join them as well. “We are trying to be diverse and always looking for new people” said Brian. They do two major concerts a year. One is in December for the holidays and one is in the spring, called “The Pride of Disney,” which he said is going to be a good one.

I asked Brian about the overall goal of the Men’s chorus. “Our mission is to be an example through music and bring people close together through it. Our vision is to make a difference in people’s lives through our concerts in a positive way.”

“Our focus is to continue to produce quality music, create different concerts, and build the diversity of our style,” said Brian, after mentioning their award for being the winner of the vote for the 2015 Best Choir award from Channel 4. He explained that because things are changing in Detroit and people are coming back, things are getting better, especially with the gay community. Most had left because of the lack of support, but now that Michigan is more receptive they are coming back home.

Music is not all the DTMC does. They also do a lot of fundraising and community work around the city. They help support the Pig and Whisky event in Ferndale, the DIY Festival, and they have a newly-minted social group with the chorus members, helping them stay a tightly-knit group. At the moment, they are in the planning stages of a benefit concert for the Judge Greg Mathis Community Center. “I love Judge Mathis. He’s one of my heroes,” said Brian. The men of the DTMC are clearly on a mission; not just to sing, but also to give back to the community.

If you ask me, I’ll be the first to tell you; if they continue to sing like they were singing when I stormed into their rehearsal, they are going to be the talk of the town after their next concert on Saturday, December 12 at 7:30 P.M. at Lamphere High School in Madison Heights. For more information you can check out Detroit Together Men’s Chorus on www.dtmc.org

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 coupled 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 disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

By Adam O’Connor

Fri.-Sun.; July 17 to 19

PIG & WHISKEY, BROUGHT TO YOU by Metro Times and the WAB (Woodward Avenue Brewers), is an annual outdoor event in downtown Ferndale that celebrates everyone’s favorite summer themes – BBQ, whiskey, and entertainment. From July 17 to 19, a variety of Southeast Michigan’s best barbecue joints and restaurants will showcase unique and delicious pork, beef and barbecue dishes for purchase. Add craft beer, whiskey, live music and family fun to the roster, and you have a pretty versatile event.

For more information, please visit the Pig and Whiskey Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PigandWhiskey

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 impotence and other states connected 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 malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition 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 therapy passes into breast milk.