Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Steve Barman Show

Sometimes people think of things that would be nice to do. Steve Barman is one of those people. He's done oodles of interviews, reviews, and articles pertaining mostly to the music scene in and directly surrounding Detroit. My band's first gig was a show he put on so he could get higher-quality equipment to do such things with. It was recorded on VHS, as though to prove a point. Aw, how cute we were. Barman has been co-running the music blog MotorCityRocks for a while now, documenting the city's events and ideas. It's wise of Barman to use the opportunity he has in Detroit DIY talk-show history to bring in voices from various aspects of Detroit metro culture. By widening the scope of interests covered, he can help localized groups step away from this inversion that so plagues them (us). It also, conveniently, makes it so there are much more possibilities for upcoming episodes, seeing as it's just a baby right now. I'd like to see it come into almost a themed talk show, where the content is always as diverse as it is now, but loosely centered around a topic or word or person. The bridging aspect of the project is important; as they say, "commitment to fostering the link between contemporary art and contemporary society" is key in Detroit's growth.

The third taping for The Steve Barman Show is coming up this Sunday, so you should go if you can. It features family band Woodman, activist, professor and writer Shea Howell, and artist Mary Beth Carolan.

Here's the sneak peak for episode two.

You can watch the pilot and find out more here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Personal Account of New Year 2011 at the Stick

(Midnight and On)

I'm behind the stage at the Magic Stick. The walls are finally all black in here in an effort, I guess, to make it harder to scrawl over them. Three eighteen year old boys giggle as they paint "Silverghost Marco Polio New Years" or something like it across them anyway in broad red strokes. Scottie throws the door open and yells inside.
"C'mon, come on stage with me! It's almost midnight, babe." Half worried about leaving the whole bottle of acrylic red paint with the punks, I still turn my attention to the countdown. I hop up two steps and every light on the platform is on. All the headliners are there, too, in their various paints and decor. I can't really see much, but a lot of my friends, both babyfaced and bruised, are out there on the dark floor eagerly following the projected timer behind us that looks more like a bomb display than a celebration. May as well be, some are probably saying to themselves.
"Can we play one more after the ball drops?" Sean asks Del.
"Yeah, sure! Not like a one ten-minute-long song or anything," and they both laugh.
"Haha, yeah, of course not."
We all count backwards in unison like some huge, drunk kindergarten class until I get to smother Scottie's face with mine, several times and passionately, thoughtlessly. That's it for my fame this night, and I go out to find Steven while the band ends with a ten-minute-long song. I need to paint Steve's body. Feeling creative, I brush his exposed skin with calligraphic and ceremonial lines, circles, dots and boxes, red, red, red. Then I search for Jaye and he tells me something sincere while we get ready to become a parade whale, Chinese New Year style. A beat starts.

Umbrellas broken and raised, we pump them like Jersey Shore stars under the whale body canopy and snake our way up to the the stage before surrendering the costume to the greedy, euphoric crowd. Time to dance. Everyone is fixated on Steven's hypnotic, pentecostal frenzy while on stage Michael and Kyle face off in a battle of synth, guitar and two-step, while Scottie, true to form, rips into his kit without hardly moving his long and already bare torso. After this point my memory gets lazy, due in equal parts to relaxation, Labatt, and my fair-weather friend Mary. There's music for some time, then the switch to Marcie and Del's act, from which I am constantly distracted. There is an hour of conversation with various Lisas, Chrises, Wendys and Pierces, but I don't remember it.

All of a sudden it's 3am and there's barely anyone there, but the bar still serves. Wendy and I decide we should do shots and I'm in Ferndale mode so I think it's a really good idea to buy four shots of Jameson. It is not a good financial decision. But it does go down easy and there's never anything wrong with having whiskey at the end of a night, right?
Steve is at the helm of our often trio, guiding the organization of most things Marco Polio into one trunk. We get home in decent shape, spouting philosophical nightdreams and whining as we wave goodbye. Partly covered in confetti, I slumber in peaceful denial of the anvil of dawn. Denial works as voodoo in this situation, and I wake up at 9 with a case of the missing hangover.