Comedy Best Bet: Mike Birbiglia

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Monday, 25 August 2014 13:35 |

Comedian Mike Birbiglia has been on the roll to end all rolls for the last several years. It all started with his critically acclaimed one-man show, Sleep Walk With Me, and cascaded right into his current touring pièce de résistance, Thank God for Jokes.

Jazz Best Bet: Chick Corea

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Monday, 25 August 2014 13:30 |

 One problem our planet faces every day is a definitive lack of truly great jazz keyboardists. Is this dearth of instrument-specific talent a greater threat to the survival of humanity than, say, the clean water shortage? Well, probably not, but still, it’s nice to look at accomplished members of our society to gauge just how far we’ve come as a species. And that’s where Chick Corea comes in.

Indie Best Bet: Rodrigo y Gabriela

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Friday, 25 July 2014 15:10 |

Now, here’s a combination as peculiar as salt and pepper on top of chocolate ice cream: jazz, metal and world music fusion. But one particular ingredient serves to spice up this delectable array of oddly paired musical genres, and that’s the sweet sounds of an acoustic Spanish guitar.

Pop Best Bet: Katy Perry

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Friday, 25 July 2014 15:07 |

We all remember back when Katy Perry was experiencing her first same-sex kiss, couldn’t wait to tell the world with a giggle, a flourish of blushing, hair twirling and that she’d actually liked it.

Rock Best Bet: Halestorm

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Friday, 25 July 2014 15:05 |

Amid a sea of sweaty dude bros and popping jugular veins, it’s more than a little refreshing to encounter a ballsy female fronting an aggro-rock muscle band. The front-woman in question here is Elizabeth “Lzzy” Hale, and along with her band Halestorm, she’s been spending the past decade-plus carving out some pretty badass territory for herself.

Singer Songwriter Best Bet: Crystal Bowersox

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Friday, 25 July 2014 14:23 |

As a Michigander, native or otherwise, you might be often tempted to wonder what Ohio has done for us lately. OK, sure, it has produced a handful of presidents and astronauts, but that was then, man. I’m all about the here and now. Well, rest assured, you feisty Mitten dweller, that our friendly neighbor to the immediate south has been working its oddly shaped keister off to bring us one of the most exciting singer-songwriters since Chrissie Hynde first busted out of Akron.

Country Best Bet: Jennifer Nettles

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Thursday, 19 June 2014 16:01 |

You might call her the country and western Jenny Lewis, if you were so inclined. Or maybe even one half of the twangy, hetero version of the Indigo Girls. Whatever artist or sub-genre you’re tempted to compare Jennifer Nettles to, don’t.

Comedy Best Bet: Bobcat Goldthwait

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 16:21 |

Ah, Bobcat. What exactly would the modern American comedic landscape look like without the significant contributions of the feline-monikered mic-master?

Blues Best Bet: Kalamazoo Blues Festival

Written by Emma Kat Richardson | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 16:17 |

Get out your whiskey flasks and toss out those fake IDs, kids! This year, the Kalamazoo Blues Festival is finally turning 21, so it’s safe to expect the 2014 incarnation of this grand Western Michigan tradition to be significantly less, well, blue.

Rock Best Bet: Beck

Written by Lindsay Patton | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:58 |

No longer the mop-headed kid singing "Soy un perdedor" on his '94 breakthrough, Mellow Gold, Beck's gotten inventive in recent years. He's gone from being an anti-folk punk to making sad white boy songs to releasing an album of just sheet music.

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