Friday, November 02, 2007

All the Kids At School Are Talking About It!!!

This has the distinct flavor of a lame episode of Happy Days. Imagine the split screen with Richie on the phone with Webvomit and Ralph on the phone MotorCityRocks... the phone calls then balloon across the screen all Bye Bye Birdie stizz.

The main difference is instead of phones, it's blogs and no one actually speaks with each other.

Of course I'm speaking of the game of chicken Detour and the Metro Times have initiated with each other; both have scheduled local music "festivals" or "showcases" on the same weekend in March. Bottom line, I don't really care who planned their's first or who pissed who off -- it'd be nicer if one event rescheduled to a different date.

Since I have a feeling that isn't going to happen (but no real reason good reason to suspect that) lets take a look at the players.

On one side you have the guy who put together the past Blowouts and who started a website, hiring away the music editor of the Metro Times in the process. The Detour crew is also just coming off a successful launch party that was sort of a smaller version of the newly announced Rock City event.

I don't know what the Metro Times has on their side beside the name recognition of their publication and the Blowout event. Maybe they'll be able to put together a great list of bands in addition to the bars of random metal bands, country bands and terrible bands that all bring some friends to see them. But as I recall most of the cool kids skip these bands and bars on their way to see the side project of Pas Cal's bass tech (they have a bass tech, right?)

My initial reaction is that Blowout won't have good bands that aren't at the Detour event (or at least good bands that I haven't seen 5 times). I say this in part because Detour has Loftus and is run by a guy who's nickname is "Tony Blowout" -- I have this sense he knows how to run one of these events and has a connection or two. I think there is a question as to whether or not the Metro Times even has personnel to organize, plan and pull of this event -- its not out of the realm of possibilities, but they've got to prove it.

Success factor two, the whole issue of my personal laziness (I know I'm not alone here). As much as I like Blowout and trying to remember where the Stanislaws Proletariat Hall of One Legged Veterans is located and not confusing it with League of Undersea Masovian Mariners (hint the later has port holes!!), I am more likely to commit to the Majestic Complex, even if seeing a band in the Garden Bowl blows the entire Detroit’s Defying the Law Bicycle Club after a particularly long and sweaty ride.

Success factor 2.5, the Garden Bowl venue and sound experience may be roughly on par with the LUMM, and while I like Smalls, the New Dodge and even the double stage thing at the Knights of Columbus, the Magic Stick and Majestic are very comfortable and very good places to see and hear shows.

Maybe I'm jumping the gun, but my initial reaction is that Detour's Rock City going to put a hurt on Blowout and it's cool factor may not recover.

Unless of course Fonzie shows up and tells the squares in charge to straighten out their differences before he straightens them out for them.

That Fonzie... he's cool.

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Anonymous Jasper said...

I hope you get a shitstorm of outraged commenters.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure he will, because you posted a link on Webvomit to tell us all that this site exists.

Anyway, you forgot the economic factor. You can get drunk in Hamtramck for less than $20. You can't do that at the Majestic Theatre Center.


6:07 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

I hate to say it, but I agree that Detour does have the edge personnel and venue-wise, plus they were booking bands earlier...

It's really lame that they have to make it a competition, though, is my strongest sentiment. All anyone is doing is diluting audiences all-around. This isn't good for fans, bands, or the people of Hamtramck. It all sorta reeks of the sort of backstabbery and grudges and competitiveness and "drag the other guy down" ethos the Detroit music scene is infamous for, rather than a more productive, "let's build a scene, benefit one another, collaborate, make shit happen" sorta approach that would be better for everyone.

Umm, I'm going back to living in New York now. Bye.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blowout starting booking bands for these dates ten years ago. Everyone knows this. It's a tradition.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to get all high-fallutin or nothing, but here is the end game for this particular competition:

10:27 PM  
Anonymous whalebomb said...

We should solve this problem the way they would on Happy Days...we'll have a sock hop. The goal is to trick the moms into letting the girls bop with us. Then at the end of the night I'll put on a pair of skiis and jump a shark.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't stand this anymore so I did a little research and talked to a ton of people last night. Anthony was not fired from Metrotimes. He was laid off along with some other people because the paper was not doing so well. They knew they had to let him go way before blowout but waited until right after to inform him so he would still do their event. He didn't have anything to do with the first blowout. He didn't start it. But he did work on eight of them even when he wasn't on staff at the Metrotimes. The blowouts done by Anthony made a ton of money for Metrotimes but he was hard to work with. They didn't use to make money until he took over the event.

NO ONE knew if Blowout was happening. No bands, no club owners, sponsors or radio stations. The dates were open and Anthony jumped on them. Rumor has it they had been working on something huge that week and decided to book an event around it. Someone mentioned the Romantics but that seems lame. All of this far from vindictive. And, if he wanted to hurt Metrotimes why wouldn't he go into hamtramck, book those bars and really kill blowout? He wanted to start a new tradition and grow it. The current way that Blowout works is tired. It needs a jolt of something to keep it going. People that i've talked to that claim to be close to the Detour people said that he approached Metrotimes about a plan to move the blowout to later in the spring and get Detour's support. Clearly this is not going to happen but it would be cool.

Metrotimes freaked out and rushed into announcing their dates and maybe they have a right to. It's clear that the Blowout wasn't happening until Rock City came on the map. But both sides should figure out how to make both work. The city could use another reason to get the music scene together instead of this useless fighting.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RC came on the map BECAUSE of Blowout. Be honest.

I keep thinking about the guys who organized MXMW--another anti-Blowout event. THEY had a reason, and because of them, Blowout righted some wrongs. THAT one was understandable.

This times it feel like sour grapes and revenge. At innocent people's expense. It is. Wear that badge. Have the guts...maybe musicians and music fans will appreciate settling one or two people's personal problems with their art and their money. You never know.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I have played quite a few of the Blowout years and I have to say there was and is tons of bitching in regards to that event. Same old Detroit shit. Slag slag, slag. Everyone in this town was asking if Blowout was happening, and the answer from so many was no. Detour booked those dates as they are perfect for most bands to start of the SXSW jaunt, and word was no Blowout. Also, if everyone was really so passionate about Blowout, why is it that so many bands said yes to Rock City? I bet your own band is playing RC, so shut the hell up.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Move the Blowout to late spring.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why move Blowout? It's a well-established tradition.

Why was Mike Mouyanis (Hamtramck Bar owner) quoted as calling RC "spiteful" if he didn't know about Blowout? Move RC to late Spring. I want to play both!

I'm interested to see how this bubbles up. Seems so obviously suspect.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Yale Bloor said...

Bitch Bitch Bitch .... who the F*%k will be a great weekend with lots of choices...everyone wins but the idiots that put it on, more music equals win win for the music fan.....if it is just to overwhelming for you get your passport and spend the weekend in Windsor at a strip club or move to the U.P. where your choices are simpler and your sister will seem more attractive......

8:31 PM  
Blogger Gorilla said...

Good point melody -- although I always dread waking up with Molson mouth... some how High Life mouth is better even if the cost is twice as much at the Stick.

Anonymous has been busy.

Most of that stuff about Tony and the Metrotimes jives with what I've heard, but I have no idea if he's difficult to work with, that's something I've not heard before.

But the bottom line people is that you're arguing mostly about hypothetical events -- some of this could wait until we know both events are really happening and line ups are announced.

I also briefly saw Loftus this weekend, he completely denied ruining everything for everyone ever, even when MCR's Big Matt threatened him... that last part only happened in my dreams.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have complained about the March dates for the Blowout for awhile. The Blowout is essentially an outdoor event, RC looks to be an indoor event. From the constant complaints you hear about cold weather, it is obvious whatever Viking blood us Americans inherited has been lost. Moving the Blowout to a later date could--Maybe--draw out-of-towners--who wouldn't think making the trek in March. A later start could make the Blowout even better.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Let's face it folks, neither of these events are "happening" for the betterment of the local music scene. They may be disguised as local music fests, even have local bands up on stage playing, but the real driving force behind these 2 competing festivals is the MONEY folks. You have one losing it on the one side, and you have the self proclaimed king on the other side who wants to take it. How much do those wristbands/tickets cost, and exactly how much do you get paid for agreeing to display your "art" at these fests? Oh yeah that's right, you get the exposure for you band right in front of those MAMOUTH "Metro Times" and now "Detour Magazine" banners.....
It's about their own exposure and "ad" dollars going into their cofers and nothing to do with "promoting" our great local music scene and the tremdendous talent that lies within, that is until they suck it all dry.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Gorilla said...

Mark I admire your cynicisms and appreciate trying to approximate the band's point of view. I also would completely agree that this is about making money, in blowout's case, it's definitely a huge boon to the bars. I've spoken with Paycheck about it before and makes as much in those 3 days as he does over the course of weeks the rest of the year. For venue's like the PLAV and Knights of Columbus, it's virtually charity... although I have no idea what they do with the money. I don't know exactly how much money it makes for everyone else, sound guys have to be hired, staffers, equipment... maybe the sponsors cover those expenses... you could be right and it might make a lot for MetroTimes etc.

Detour will make money for Majestic, no doubt about it and I suspect it's much more efficient and profitable to do it all in a single space.

However, three other points.

1. Did anyone make these bands perform?

2. Did anyone promise them a pay check?

3. Haven't you seen a band at blowout for the first time, and either bought some merch or made a point to see them again or told some people to see the show?

I've never depended on a band for rent and food, but I've never played a gig where I didn't have an agreement to the pay in advance, even if it was understood there was no pay. Once I got ripped off by a sound guy at Alvins, but one douche in about a decade isn't too bad.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dig the Christmas Special, the Halloween Ghoul Party, Dally in the Alley, Positively 4th Street, the old Peterboro gigs, the Blowout, Tastefest/Cityfest, and what other festival I missed. Whenever you get a bunch of bands together--whether they are for charity or for profit or just for fun--I'll take it.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never see anyone new at Blowout... all I do is go to see all my friends' bands play. I mean, is there really anyone new worthwhile to see ever? I kid.

Maybe they should bring back the Motor City Music Conference... that was a really well run festival!

7:43 PM  

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