This special Cheap Issue-themed playlist is a collaboration between WYCE, AMI Jukeboxes and Revue West Michigan. You can hear this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes and stream it on wyce.org — from Grand Rapids to the world!
On the weekend, he’s Paul Bauer, animalistic drummer for Kalamazoo-based funk/soul outfit The Mainstays. To a whole different throng of fans, he goes by the name Mr. Paul. Mr. Paul is the brains behind Small Sounds, a program that encourages musical exploration amongst young children but also an entity that has expanded into a one-man band of sorts to record and perform kid-friendly tunes.
“Grand Rapids is the only place in America that celebrates VD,” blares Monoxide Child, one half of Detroit-based rap duo Twiztid. The rap/rock ensemble is playing the Intersection on Valentine’s Day and he’s using the occasion to play with words, which is his stock-in-trade.
Seconds into talking with Marc-Andre Chagnon, aka Marx Menace, of the Montreal electro trio Black Tiger Sex Machine, it becomes obvious: 2015 was the most insane year of his life.
For some, Valentine’s Day is a time when lovers bask in each other’s undying devotion and blissful happiness. For others, like bassist Mike Ayley of emo-pop outfit Marianas Trench, it’s just another strange and confusing holiday. “Over the years I’ve become the most hopelessly romantic pessimist you’ll ever meet,” Ayley told Revue. “I’m a sucker for love, but have been jaded so many times.”
To say that Lamb of God helped usher in the new wave of American heavy metal in the early 2000s might understate the band’s significance in that movement. The Richmond, Va.-based band’s second album, New American Gospel, actually made Revolver Magazine’s list of the “69 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time,” and its follow-up records have done nothing short of establish the group as one of metal’s most important and influential players.
In the days before punk rock spread the word about DIY culture, and before Bandcamp and Soundcloud made it possible to put your music out there without even trying, folks who wanted to release a record on their own had to figure out the nuts and bolts by which a tune got turned into a piece of vinyl.
Given his pedigree — producer of platinum and revered maestro — Todd Rundgren’s opinion carries some weight and he’s fearless in expressing it. Let’s start with Adele, whom he calls “a victim singer.”
Each passing year provides new life and new opportunities to reexamine yourself, your opinions and your community. So as we all contemplate what 2016 will bring, it’s a great time to look at some of West Michigan’s best and brightest bands set to make this year one to remember.
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