Kris Hitchcock has many theories about why music-loving people inevitably turn to country. His strongest philosophy reveals that we all sprout from insubordinate teens that eventually need a story to cling.
If you missed the West Michigan Noise! Convention at MXTP in Grand Rapids this summer, or the Dog Days of Summer festival at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo last August, then you also missed out on seeing West Michigan's newest rising star, Wires and Lights.
Though the Grand Rapids classic rock/blues/reggae fusion group The Legal Immigrants has been in existence for almost two years now, the band was well-kept secret -- until now. That was when a series of networking victories led exposure with a drastically higher profile.
Earlier this year, ConvoTronics appeared on both the Detroit and Long Island stops of the Vans Warped Tour. They performed on the brand new "Bring It Back" stage — an experimental new platform for rap and hip-hop artists to showcase their music, which member Julius Hayes described as "euphoric."
There will be a public trollstomping on Aug. 11 at MXTP. Dwarf Corpse, a folk-metal band from Grand Rapids, will execute the little-known but visually impressive maneuver when it plays the Grand Rapids music venue with Battlecross. This, of course, raises the question: What exactly is trollstomping?
On 20 Division Avenue, just beside the intersection of Division and Fulton, sits a gray and white building. Outside the front door is a sign shaped like a vinyl record. It reads, "Dodd's Record Shop: New & Used Vinyl." But don't let this simple building and sign fool you. Dodd's Record Shop is a music lover's paradise.
For Breathe Owl Breathe, East Jordan's earthy folk outfit, reaching a national audience may have been a long road (one that spanned over seven years), but the trials never exceeded the joy.
An old bar on Grand Rapids' West Side has been updated to look ... retro.
The new Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill is a throwback to the ‘40s and ‘50s with live rockabilly music, Southern cooking and a retro look. Opened last weekend, the Tip Top is the brainchild of Ted Smith, general manager of the Orbit Room, and Frank Lehnen, who owns Rocky's Bar & Grill in the North Monroe corridor.
Over the years Grand Rapids has had its fair share of quality music venues. From the oft-remembered classics such as the Reptile House, the Orbit Room and the old Intersection in Eastown, to new stalwarts like Founders, the DAAC, and MXTP just north of downtown, there has nary been a shortage of places to play.
It didn't take long for a little rock and roll anarchy to turn up at the newly re-launched Val-Du-Lakes Amphitheatre. The moment arrived just three songs into the first live set in more than a decade at the legendary outdoor theater. Sal Coz Costa, the lead guitarist for opening night opener My Darkest Days, invited fans to tip over a barricade fence and rush the stage.
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