If you have ever contemplated debilitating world issues like war, greed and corruption and thought, “We can do better that this” — you’re not alone. That’s what Anti-Flag has been preaching for more than two decades.
Most big-city orchestras and university-based classical programs take a diminuendo in the off season, but there is always a summer crescendo at the regional epicenter of summer classical music, the Interlochen Center for the Arts in the northwest lower Michigan, about 15 miles southwest of Traverse City.
In some ways Grand Funk Railroad has always been the Rodney Dangerfield of hard-driving rock ’n’ roll — they get no respect.
From the very beginning, the Flint-bred band made a gargantuan noise. Their bombast was not unlike the MC5, but Grand Funk skipped the cosmic revolutionary stance in favor of a more working class, populist worldview. In the argot of the time they were a “people’s band.”
But even at the height of the band’s popularity, in the first half of the 1970s, they took a beating from the critical establishment who mainly complained that they were too loud and lacked sophistication.
It was 27 years ago that New Kids on the Block released its breakthrough pop album Hangin’ Tough and began packing massive venues across the world with Beatlemania-style frenzies. That nostalgic vibe was thick at Van Andel Arena Saturday night when the group, along with openers TLC and Nelly, took over the venue with its Main Event tour.
For years, West Michigan concertgoers with eclectic musical tastes and festival appetites have had one reasonable option to satisfy their craving: Lollapalooza. But in Lansing, the often-overlooked music festival Common Ground provides a similarly vast array of genres. And this fest is cheaper, closer, spread over six days and provides attendees with a little more elbow room.
With a lineup that encompasses deep Afro-Cuban jazz, classic rock, country, comedy and dance, the 2015 summer concert series at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is filled with perennial favorites and some new faces.
This year’s season repeats 2014’s expanded schedule of 30 shows, which run between early June and early September. “It seemed like, because last year was so successful, that this was a good number to shoot for,” said Meijer Gardens spokeswoman Andrea Wolschleger.
So you slept on snagging tickets to the Melvins show June 16 at the Pyramid Scheme. And, like clockwork, it sold out quickly. Well, we’ve got the next best thing: a conversation with guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne, the heavy-as-hell sludge band’s chief songwriter.
King Buzzo chatted about the band’s latest LP, Hold It In, which features Osborne and drummer Dale Crover – but also Butthole Surfers members Paul Leary (guitar) and bassist JD Pinkus. The veteran doom band is also reissuing Electroretard on June 2 – it will be packaged with The Bulls & The Bees EP. Here’s what Osborne had to say.
Throughout the mid-to-late ‘90s, the ethereal image of a long-haired and lanky Marilyn Manson squirming about on stage while shouting about sodomy engrossed rebellious teens — but more importantly it horrified worrywart parents. That’s a trick from the ol’ Alice Cooper playbook: Terrify old people and the kids will flock to it.
Life on tour agrees with Colony House, and things have only gotten better since the group found a sound representational of its true inspirations. Since two of the members are children of Steven Curtis Chapman, a Grammy-Award winning Christian singer-songwriter, the pressure from record labels to head in their father’s direction could have nudged Colony House to follow someone else’s vision. But the trio has ultimately played to their strengths to churn out melodic, guitar-driven indie rock.
More than a decade after hitchhiking his way out of small town Illinois, singer-songwriter Pokey LaFarge has come to proudly embrace his Midwestern roots. Fresh-faced and 17, LaFarge left home in 2001 with little more than a mandolin, an honest appreciation for American history – both musical and otherwise – and the sort of audacious ambition only greats like Hemingway and Kerouac can rouse in a young man.
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