Cops. If you think they only show up at anti-authoritarian punk rock shows in Putin's Russia, think again. They also showed up at blues-rock band JuxTApose's CD release party ... twice.
Ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek wasn't always the mile-conquering fitness expert he is now. In fact, the winner of ultraRunning's top honors and advocate for veganism used to be a hunting, fishing Minnesotan carnivore, who hated running.
"[Running] was kind of like punishment; we would have to run laps in gym class and at soccer and basketball practice," Jurek said. "While I was involved with Nordic skiing in high school, I ran because I wanted to get in shape for ski season, but it wasn't something I enjoyed."
He's not a stand-up comic, but sometimes he tells jokes. Nor is he a musician, but sometimes he plays rock music in front of people.
Not an actor, but he pretends to be someone he isn't. Hal Sparks is an artist, an emissary of human emotion, and these are some things that he does.
If you've ever tipped back a beer at one of Grand Rapid's assorted open mic nights, chances are you've heard of Karisa Wilson. As one of the cities most revered artists, her name has gained prestige — only heightened when her debut album, Little Girl, won Album of the Year at the Jammies in 2008.
William Beckett lost his band and his label last year, but that hasn't slowed him down. He leapt into a new solo project that will release three EPs and tour across the country this year — all as an independent artist.
Beckett was the frontman of the pop-rock group The Academy Is... until the band disbanded last October. Beckett started the group back in 2003, and over the next seven years The Academy Is... produced three studio albums and four EPs.
Throughout the years, opera has fallen into a certain stereotype: Fancy, expensive, formal, elite and ritzy. But Opera Grand Rapids wants to show the community that opera is not just a fat lady in a helmet with horns; nor is it custom for attendees to wear Victorian wigs, top hats or spectacles.
Every Wednesday afternoon, local chefs and West Michigan farmers converge in a warehouse located at the corner of Hall and Godfrey Streets to buy and sell produce and other products produced by the farms.
Since 2004, Grand Rapids band La Dispute has been inching toward success one fan at a time. The members kept at it for four years, playing small shows here and there, until one e-mail changed everything.
Heavier Than Air Flying Machines might always be a question mark of a band. Nothing about the gritty, high-gain debut album, Siam (released last September), is typical, nor anything about the band's spastic live performance. But then again, that's just the point of the band.
Chris Danner is excited to bring the national tour of The Addams Family to Grand Rapids in May. That's in part because Danner has called Grand Rapids home for many years.
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