So many people hibernate and disappear from their local scenes during the winter, and I find this disheartening. I mean the snow is out, sure, the cold can be biting, I get it, but come on people, we live in a world where temperatures fluctuate and if we hole up for parts of the year you are only going to miss out on some of the best parts of the Michigan music and art scene.
For me January was one of the most rewarding months for shows, having performed in Homegrown for the fourth year, hosting the Middle of the Mitten Music Festival, and seeing the one and only Shigeto kick off his spring tour at MOCAD in Detroit. Details below on each event.
Homegrown – January 24th
Being a part of Ann Arbor Wordworks for the past 4 years has been one of the best experiences of my life. Being challenged and impressed daily by my group mates I was very happy to be able to put together Homegrown:Poems from the Ann Arbor Underground this year. Our show was held at the Lydia Mendlessohn Theatre on the campus of University of Michigan. One of my favorite theaters in the area we had an incredible show that featured guest poets and rising musical star Dan Henig. Sounds by the famous DJ Cataclysmic of Tree City and The Branch Out Collective made the show jump. Oh and I did a few pieces of poetry too.
To everyone that was able to make it, I truly thank you and look forward to making 2013 a successful year for my own performing of poetry.
Middle of the Mitten 5 – January 24th-26th
The Kick Off party for of MOTM 5 was taken by Homegrown (who isn’t overbooked these days) but I was thankfully able to make the entire show for Day 1 and Day 2 on the 25th and 26th. We worked really hard these past few months on creating a festival that featured some of the Mitten’s best in rock and folk music.
Highlights from Day 1 was the Lansing Unionized Vaudeville act that included over 15 performers, and a saw fiddler. We also had a sell out crowd at SCENE metrospace.
Day 2 was held in Lansing at The Loft and was a tough and cold night but the stage was hot. The Handgrenades from Detroit tore up the stage as the opening act and it went all night long. A very successful MOTM and we are currently looking forward to our upcoming spring show, to be announced shortly.
Shigeto Kick Off Show – February 1st
One of my favorite artists, Shigeto, who hails from my hometown of Ann Arbor, I had the pleasure of being just a fan for the last event of January (which I realize technically was February 1st). Zachary “Shigeto” Saginaw has been on steady career growth over the past few years. I saw him in Brooklyn two summers ago, when he called Williamsburg home, at a welcome home show from his first cross continent tour as the drummer for School of Seven Bells. Unaware that he would break out I have had the pleasure of hanging out with Zach and seeing him open his spring concert tour in his new home of Detroit was truly incredible. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, better known as MOCAD hosted the event with a gallery opening for their own new 2013 series. A packed crowd of everyone from Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Lansing, it felt like a house show with the style of New York Fashion week. Joining Shigeto was Charles Trees, another friend and Ann Arbor musical juggernaut and Bill Spencer.
Shigeto played an unbelievable set intertwined with live beat creation, drums laced with his jazz ancestry and new age sound, and finally a booty shaking DJ set that made every hipster forget how cool they wanted to seem and just let loose.
For those of you who’ve made it this far thank you and I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Shigeto tracks that has been remixed by Charles Trees, Ann Arbor pt 1.