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The Local Scream Radio Show Proudly Presents a New Monthly Column by Paul from Lords of October, UNCLE SALEM SPEAKS! Tell Your Friends.. Don't Be Scared!

The Local Scream Radio Show Proudly Presents a New Monthly Column by Paul from Lords of October, UNCLE SALEM SPEAKS! Tell Your Friends.. Don't Be Scared!

 

April 21st 2018

UNCLE SALEM SPEAKS

Episode 1: 2017 Strikes Back 

     HEY kids, this is your ol’ pal Uncle Salem here, the very same who likes to howl at you from the stage with my band of monstrous misfits in our cool ghoul group “Lords of October”. 

     I’ll be here spinning tales of the supernatural every month, and I was humbled and thrilled to be asked to do so by the creepy-cool boils and ghouls at The Local Scream. Here in this space we shall cover the deepest corners of the artistic mind…Halloween, horror, music, movies, books…and maybe even My Little Pony. Ya never know what strangeness will knock on Uncle Salem’s metaphysical door. And if you think I’m above talkin’ Halloween in January or April or whenever…think again. BAHAHAHA… 

     Here this month, we will take a look at the BEST of horror films in 2017…the wrap up, as it were, of the year in horror. The ‘top 10’. The cream of the crop. The scariest and the weirdest! 

10) THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE 
This bizarre, beautifully made little flick stars Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch as father and son coroners who investigate the wrong corpse. RUN, IT’S ALIVE!! 

9) THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS 
Here is one of the most surprising “zombie” movies you’ll ever see. Stunning acting by all and a perfect ending highlight this one, with the great Glenn Close as a scientist trying to find the zombie “cure”. BRAINNNSSS! 

8) ANNABELLE: CREATION 
Right upfront, I was not a huge fan of the first Annabelle film…thought it was predictable and sorta unnecessary. But this gem of a sequel tells a story worth telling without all the clichés of horror tropes. Creepy. 

7) 1922 
The first of several Stevie King adaptations on my groovy list, 1922 is a Netflix film starring Punisher (AKA Thomas Jane, who is actually not playing the Punisher here) as a dude who may have gone just a little too far in his pursuit of money… 

6) CREEP 2 
Another flick that, at least for yer spooky buddy here, outshines the original, which was interesting but somewhat inevitable. The sequel features a cat and mouse game between tow very fascinating participants, and has social relevance that makes it feel all too real. Now check out my video podcast… 

5) GERALD’S GAME 
This Netflix stunner is the 2nd Steve King film on Uncle Salem’s must sees of 2017. Directed by my favorite new genre director, Mike Flanagan, who seems to get better and better with each new picture. Soon he will debut the new Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House”, and that is well worth keeping an eye out for, kiddies. “They” said Gerald’s Game was an un-filmable novel. “They” were wrong. DEAD WRONG! 

4) THE DEVIL’S CANDY 
I thought this would be all kinds of silly…but its super fun and creeptastic, with a stunning performance by the obsessive and possessed Ethan Embry. Ya see, he’s an artist and he’s painting the craziest stuff in his garage and…well, the devil is in the details. Literally. He bonds with his little girl over metal, and in a subversive twist on this subgenre, metal is the good guy. Yay, METAL! 

3) MOTHER! 
Here it is, the most controversial movie on my lil’ list. But I don’t really know why it is…its pretty understandable if you just use yer little brain! Yeah, yeah, yeah, the allegories run rampant, but the narrative is present in one of the most challenging and original spook shows in quite a few minutes. Michelle Pfeiffer is especially evil in this flick, and isn’t that fun?? Meow. 

2) GET OUT 
The top two flip-flopped in my mind all year long, but here is one of the two instant classics…GET OUT, a wonderful creepish horror. Yeah, it has a conscience. Yeah, it has social relevance and blah blah blah. But even beyond that, this is a darn good horror yarn, kidlets. From the opening scene (just a classic moment of horror) to the score, the soundtrack, the acting, and the tension of the hypnotic conceit, Jordan Peele write and directed a beast of a movie for the ages. RUN, RABBIT! 

1) IT 
Our good friend Stephen King’s third great film adaptation of 2017! Uncle Salem sat in the dark of the theater and watched the first scene with a super giddy feeling, children. There it was…a new icon. An ancient, shape shifting icon in the form of the dancing clown. BRRRRR, if there has been a better performance from a horror monster since Robert Englund first donned that nasty glove in Uncle Wes’ original “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, I musta missed it…and I don’t miss anything! I picked “IT” by the slimmest of margins over “Get Out” because of everything IT needed to be…a blockbuster horror movie for the mainstream that straddled the line between appealing to the horror fanatics, fans of Stevie and the looming presence of Tim Curry’s iconic Pennywise. This thing succeeds on so many levels, even the flaws are interesting. YOU’LL FLOAT, AS WELL! 

There ye have it, nieces and nephews…the best of horror 2017. Such a great year for the macabre, and don’t be letting ‘em tell ya otherwise. Some honorable mentions that could just as easily been present here: 
SPLIT 
A CURE FOR WELLNESS 
THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM 
IT COMES AT NIGHT 
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER 
THE VOID 
HAPPY DEATH DAY 
LITTLE EVIL 
TRAGEDY GIRLS 
THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER 

     See ya next month, where I will have all new surprises in store. Until then…support local music, and WATCH HORROR FILMS, KEEP AMERICA STRONG! 

Yer pal,

Uncle Salem

 

 

 

January 7th 2018

UNCLE SALEM SPEAKS

Episode 1: 2017 Strikes Back 

      HEY kids, this is your ol’ pal Uncle Salem here, the very same who likes to howl at you from the stage with my band of monstrous misfits in our cool ghoul group “Lords of October”. 

      I’ll be here spinning tales of the supernatural every month, and I was humbled and thrilled to be asked to do so by the creepy-cool boils and ghouls at The Local Scream. Here in this space we shall cover the deepest corners of the artistic mind…Halloween, horror, music, movies, books…and maybe even My Little Pony. Ya never know what strangeness will knock on Uncle Salem’s metaphysical door. And if you think I’m above talkin’ Halloween in January or April or whenever…think again. BAHAHAHA… 

     Here this month, we will take a look at the BEST of horror films in 2017…the wrap up, as it were, of the year in horror. The ‘top 10’. The cream of the crop. The scariest and the weirdest! 

10) THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE 
This bizarre, beautifully made little flick stars Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch as father and son coroners who investigate the wrong corpse. RUN, IT’S ALIVE!! 

9) THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS 
Here is one of the most surprising “zombie” movies you’ll ever see. Stunning acting by all and a perfect ending highlight this one, with the great Glenn Close as a scientist trying to find the zombie “cure”. BRAINNNSSS! 

8) ANNABELLE: CREATION 
Right upfront, I was not a huge fan of the first Annabelle film…thought it was predictable and sorta unnecessary. But this gem of a sequel tells a story worth telling without all the clichés of horror tropes. Creepy. 

7) 1922 
The first of several Stevie King adaptations on my groovy list, 1922 is a Netflix film starring Punisher (AKA Thomas Jane, who is actually not playing the Punisher here) as a dude who may have gone just a little too far in his pursuit of money… 

6) CREEP 2 
Another flick that, at least for yer spooky buddy here, outshines the original, which was interesting but somewhat inevitable. The sequel features a cat and mouse game between tow very fascinating participants, and has social relevance that makes it feel all too real. Now check out my video podcast… 

5) GERALD’S GAME 
This Netflix stunner is the 2nd Steve King film on Uncle Salem’s must sees of 2017. Directed by my favorite new genre director, Mike Flanagan, who seems to get better and better with each new picture. Soon he will debut the new Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House”, and that is well worth keeping an eye out for, kiddies. “They” said Gerald’s Game was an un-filmable novel. “They” were wrong. DEAD WRONG! 

4) THE DEVIL’S CANDY 
I thought this would be all kinds of silly…but its super fun and creeptastic, with a stunning performance by the obsessive and possessed Ethan Embry. Ya see, he’s an artist and he’s painting the craziest stuff in his garage and…well, the devil is in the details. Literally. He bonds with his little girl over metal, and in a subversive twist on this subgenre, metal is the good guy. Yay, METAL! 

3) MOTHER! 
Here it is, the most controversial movie on my lil’ list. But I don’t really know why it is…its pretty understandable if you just use yer little brain! Yeah, yeah, yeah, the allegories run rampant, but the narrative is present in one of the most challenging and original spook shows in quite a few minutes. Michelle Pfeiffer is especially evil in this flick, and isn’t that fun?? Meow. 

2) GET OUT 
The top two flip-flopped in my mind all year long, but here is one of the two instant classics…GET OUT, a wonderful creepish horror. Yeah, it has a conscience. Yeah, it has social relevance and blah blah blah. But even beyond that, this is a darn good horror yarn, kidlets. From the opening scene (just a classic moment of horror) to the score, the soundtrack, the acting, and the tension of the hypnotic conceit, Jordan Peele write and directed a beast of a movie for the ages. RUN, RABBIT! 

1) IT 
Our good friend Stephen King’s third great film adaptation of 2017! Uncle Salem sat in the dark of the theater and watched the first scene with a super giddy feeling, children. There it was…a new icon. An ancient, shape shifting icon in the form of the dancing clown. BRRRRR, if there has been a better performance from a horror monster since Robert Englund first donned that nasty glove in Uncle Wes’ original “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, I musta missed it…and I don’t miss anything! I picked “IT” by the slimmest of margins over “Get Out” because of everything IT needed to be…a blockbuster horror movie for the mainstream that straddled the line between appealing to the horror fanatics, fans of Stevie and the looming presence of Tim Curry’s iconic Pennywise. This thing succeeds on so many levels, even the flaws are interesting. YOU’LL FLOAT, AS WELL! 

     There ye have it, nieces and nephews…the best of horror 2017. Such a great year for the macabre, and don’t be letting ‘em tell ya otherwise. Some honorable mentions that could just as easily been present here: 
SPLIT 
A CURE FOR WELLNESS 
THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM 
IT COMES AT NIGHT 
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER 
THE VOID 
HAPPY DEATH DAY 
LITTLE EVIL 
TRAGEDY GIRLS 
THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER 

     See ya next month, where I will have all new surprises in store. Until then…support local music, and WATCH HORROR FILMS, KEEP AMERICA STRONG! 

            Yer pal, Uncle Salem

The Local Scream Radio Show's Very Own Maiden of Mayhem Ms. Heather Metal gives all you Screamers a peek into her diary! 
Don't Forget to check out Heather's Bands:
Heather Metal's: Stolen Future Orchestra & Smokesum & Jammsum!

The Local Scream Radio Show's Very Own Maiden of Mayhem Ms. Heather Metal gives all you Screamers a peek into her diary! Don't Forget to check out Heather's Bands: Heather Metal's: Stolen Future Orchestra & Smokesum & Jammsum!

Heather Metal's Diary..

By: Ms. Heather Metal

Read all about what it's like to be an artist and performer in the local scene in Flint and the State of Michigan from a female perspective, The Local Scream's Very Own Heather Metal!

 

 

Heather Metal's Diary.. 

Amphitheaters..  

Dear Diary,  

     The Amphitheatre. What an amazing gem to have in right in the heart downtown Clio, Michigan. Or any city lucky enough to have one. evenings, throughout summer, The Clio Amphitheatre seats fill up and the music travels into everyone’s soul that is attending and in those that are walking or bringing their children to play in the park. The back side of the stage borders the city park. For any music lover, this is one of the most beautiful sounds to have drifting through the air and into your own home.  

     In 1987, the 3,000 seat Clio Amphitheatre was built right smack dab downtown Clio with not a bad seat in the place. And, a nice size stage. Of course there was opposition by some due to the location being within a stone throw of their homes and concerns about noise pollution.  

     Some but not all of the performers or bands to grace the stage: Billy Idol, Lynard Skynard, Styx, Heart, Reo Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, B.B. King, Smokey Robinson, Neal McCoy, Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Joe Bonamassa, Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd, Tom Jones, Smokey Robinson, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Hall & Oates, Journey, Clay Aiken, Huey Lewis & The News, Jewel, Toby Keith, Lyle Lovette, John Mayall, Big and Rich, Larry The Cable Guy, LeAnn Rhimes, Martina McBride, Jeff Foxworthy, Michael Bolton, Collin Raye, Collin Ray, Brad Paisley, Lori Morgan, Sammy Kershaw, Trisha Yearwood, Dwight Yokum, Joe Cocker, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, George Thorogood, Crosby Stills and Nash, The Oakridge Boys, Willie Nelson, and our very own Grand Funk Railroad! Some of these performers were just starting their careers.  

     It’s not hard to daydream of the days when you could buy a beer, sit on the lawn, have a smoke, listen to great performances, and hang out with your friends at one of the best venues around. A smaller version of “Pine Knob” and 5 minutes from home (Mt Morris). And affordable.  

     The last major act I was lucky to see perform was June 26, 2004. Kenny Wayne Shepherd opened up for Paul Rodgers of Bad Company. A concert that not only myself, but all that attended will most likely never forget. Kenny sat on a chair, in the middle of the stage and played just beautifully. Every Bad Company tune that Paul Rodgers did was near perfect and all within arms-reach from where I sat in my seat. How cool is that?  

     Nelson played the last night the Amphitheatre was open as it closed down the very next day. Unfortunately booking big acts cost a lot of money and the Amphitheatre was spending more money than it could bring in and had to file Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.  

     Oh, diary, it broke many hearts to see it close, including my own. No one really knew what was to become of the Amphitheatre. Would it be torn down? Would it be left to fall apart? The shutdown lasted for two weeks and then the City of Clio invested $40,000 and had a plan to re-open and revive, but with smaller shows. Particularly tributes. With the Board of Directors and a great group of volunteers, the first tribute band, The Bee Gee’s was booked. That show flicked the lights back on to the darkened stage. Even now, August 2017, you can catch The Rock Show – a Tribute to the 80’s (Aug 8) and Boogie Dynamite Disco Tribute (Aug 15).  

     Diary, this summer marks my third living in downtown Clio and being able to sit in my yard or walk/ride my bike to the park, and take in the musicians bringing their A game to our little town. Dreams would love to see the Amphitheatre bring in more major acts and we sit on the lawn with a beer, smoking cigs, and hanging out with friends. First we would need to get beer back into the venue and get rid of those pesky anti-smoking laws I guess. Another would be to perform on the same stage that some of music’s major artists have once played!  

     If you have any great memories of some shows you’ve seen at the Clio Amphitheatre, feel free to share them with us on our FB page. Photos, stories, ticket stubs?  

Diary. I am off to dream some of these wonderful dreams. 

XO - Heather

 

 

 

HEATHER METAL’S DIARY –

Music starts with those that create & support it. 

      Let me tell you, since I was taken in by the Michigan music scene, I have only seen some wonderful people helping to keep the live music alive.  Talented people, family & fans, production & entertainment companies, bars, venues, music schools, and shows like The Local Scream are only a small part in keeping the music playing through the airwaves.  Music starts with those that create it and those that support it. 

      It starts with learning to play an instrument or to be able to sing.  When a child says at 5 years old, they want to play the guitar, by all means get them that guitar!  If they love to bang away on your pots, pans, table top, or anything that sounds like a drum, get them a drum set!  If you watch a child love to perform on their make shift stage, it may be play acting right now, but a future Front man or woman in the making.  What is locked inside, from a young age, is the person they are destined to be.  I watched my niece begin playing on a little child’s plastic keyboard.  Her gift for learning by ear was amazing.  She began piano lessons and her teacher was amazed at the little piano protégé that was inside this little girl.     

     So many children are over looked for their talent or if life is harder for them than most, their potential may never be found.  Adults tend to not pay attention to those little clues.  Adults think that kids are just playing and not serious.  But if you really listen to and watch the little ones, they are the ones that will keep the music alive. 

     The vast amount of everyday looking people with jobs or their own businesses, also have amazing musical talent that cannot be judged by the book.  Work clothes, age, tattoos, piercings, and their own fashion sense might hide on the outside, who they really are, but these were the children of yesterday.  The dreamers and the doers.  The ones who managed to get their hands on an instrument and worked hard to feed their families and continue to entertain and create their own original songs.  Putting their thoughts into words and those words into the music they create. 

     Why should local music be free?  Keep in mind, those national acts you love & pay big money to see, were once local artists and not everyone breaks out on the internet.  A lot of blood, sweat, tears, and no pay come along with doing something that you were created to do.  The cost of producing a cd is not cheap.  Same with preparing for a show, t-shirts, stickers, musical instruments, & providing lights and the sound system.  I see over and over when someone invites family, friends, and fans to a show, the first thing is they want to know if it is free.  Is paying $5 or $12 to much to help a loved one or favorite band to keep creating the songs that you clean house, bang your head, ride in the car, or make love to?  The beat that makes your body want to move!  Who wouldn’t love more than anything but to see your favorite local artist’s hard work go from local to national?   

     I will use Tool as an example.  Back in 1993 we went to Lollapalooza at the Milan Dragway.  At that time, Tool was on the side stage.  The band formed in 1990 and that year, in 1993, released their album Undertow.  By the 2nd half of that years Lollapalooza, they were on the main stage.  The boost Tool gained from these concerts helped the Undertow album to be certified gold by the RIAA in September 1993 and to achieve platinum status in 1995.   It could happen that easy for any of our local Michigan artists.   

     To help a child or less fortunate person grow into their own musical talent or for a musician to go from local to national, they all need your support of the love of music to help make that happen.  The entire planet is based on us helping each other.  We all have jobs that rely on someone paying for the products in order to keep the business open.  Like food.  A farmer has to buy the seeds and plant them it in the ground.  The farmer has to supply the land, water, chemicals, equipment, and employees in order to grow and produce food for us.  He then sells it to the market and the market then sells it to us.  There is not one occupation that doesn’t require someone to make it and someone to buy it.  It’s the same with music.  We need those to love and nurture it, create it, and then put it out for us to support and to buy it.    

After all what would your day be like without music in it?   

\m/ – Heather Metal

 

 

Frontman of the Hella Cool Band, STIFLING EDITH, JD Dombrowski is also a writer covering the local music scene for The View. Check out his band and his articles in The View.

*All Content Originally Published in The View.

Frontman of the Hella Cool Band, STIFLING EDITH, JD Dombrowski is also a writer covering the local music scene for The View. Check out his band and his articles in The View.

*All Content Originally Published in The View.

Screams From The Edge..

 By: John "JD" Dombrowski..

The Views expressed by the brilliant mind of Mr. John "JD" Dombrowski may or may not reflect the views of The Local Scream Radio Show and/ or anyone else for that matter!! but they're damn sure fun to read!!

 

 

DOWNTOWN FLINT NEEDS TO ROCK  (Well, sometimes anyway…) 

Everyone is understandably excited about the re-opening of the beautiful and historic Capitol Theatre in Downtown Flint after a 37 million dollar (hard to say that without using a Doctor Evil accent and air quotes!) renovation. Post 1976, the Capitol hosted dozens of world famous rock bands on the main stage with a decided bent towards heavy rock and metal during its last ten years of operation. In addition to the big stage, The Capitol’s appropriately named “The Lobby” was a venue inside a venue that served as a gathering place for rock and metal fans and a local proving ground for many Flint area musicians around the turn of the 90’s. One of the ancillary benefits of all those big shows at the Capitol is that other live music locales sprang to life in downtown Flint and that’s the era that our citizenry refers to when they wistfully recall Flint’s rock music scene of the eighties and nineties. “The Local” is a non-profit all-ages music hall in the heart of the city that has carried the torch of independent music for many years since that time. I would love to see the reborn Capitol Theatre host a semi-annual collaborative concert with The Local celebrating and featuring the local musicians that have and are still laboring to keep music alive in this area. They would be well attended, inspirational and validating experiences from both sides of the stage. I’m overjoyed that there is a beautiful concert and event venue in downtown Flint and even more excited by the possibility it presents to engage, inspire and encourage the artists that live here and to give birth to new possibilities. Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd; at least think about, powers that be… 

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE… 

Need an idea for those nights where the roads are impassable the visibility impossible and there is not one interesting movie out of the millions on Netflix? I invite you to go to reverbnation.com and type Flint, Michigan in the location bar. There is a simply staggering number of musical groups from the tri-county area in every genre, from gospel to death metal and everything in between with free music and video content, searchable by genre. 

Flint native John “JD” Dombrowski owns Batteries Plus Bulbs of Burton, serves as Burton Chamber of Commerce Chairman, doesn’t believe in spare time and sings for “Stifling Edith”. He is good looking, and knows more about rock music than you do.

 

 

LOCAL ROCK HISTORY: TAKE NO PRISONERS EDITION 

TAKE NO PRISONERS was a locally originated music program on Comcast Cablevision’s Public Access Channel 17 that premiered in 1989 and spanned what was probably Genesee County’s most prolific decade of home grown music to date. TNP featured live music and interviews with Mid-Michigan artists of the era when local TV news anchors were revered as major celebrities and the opportunity to be on the same screen that held Matlock and Letterman the previous night was thought a nigh unattainable dream. 

Before he penned “Rivethead”, the bestselling chronicles of his adventures on a GM assembly line, Ben Hamper took his TNP Radio show to Comcast, which he co-hosted with Jerry Humphery. It was every band’s goal to get on the show and it provided inspiration and milestone moments for hundreds of musicians. They had a tremendous amount of viewers, especially when you consider that Comcast’s locally originated programs were not (thanks Flint Journal) listed in the local TV guide, which was how we knew when our favorite programs were on before the advent of channel listing technology, as barbaric as that may sound. 

I am aware of this lackluster lack of listing because my stupid friends and I produced and hosted a long running local Variety show of our own called Technical Difficulties that came on right after Take No Prisoners upon our show’s debut in the early nineties. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of public access Television, here in Genesee County, Comcast had a long standing agreement with broadcast authorities to provide not only air time but access to television production equipment as well as a staff to provide education and administration of the channel. Channel 17 was meant to ensure that the general populace had equal access the airwaves, hence the “Keep TV Free!” flag flown in the Take No Prisoners opening credits. TNP director Steve Hester was a Comcast staffer who also instructed my crew in the use of camera and editing equipment as well as the vagaries of how to produce a (hopefully) watchable product on a zero dollar budget. 

Long before YouTube made everyone a TV show host, this was a rare opportunity to produce and broadcast original video content and be educated on how to make it happen. If you had dreams of being a televised newscaster, muckraker or entertainer this was a tremendous opportunity to pursue a dream and make it happen or to give it a try and find out your dream was stupid while young enough to identify and pursue another; a valuable experience in either case. But Take No Prisoners was something else; it was our MTV back when MTV actually mattered to us. Ask anyone who appeared on that show and you will see a glint of whimsy in their eye and a wry smile crease their face. It’s what accompanies the memory that, for a little while anyway, you were a rock star. To see TNP episodes, you can go to www.takenoprisoners.info. 

Flint native John “JD” Dombrowski owns Batteries Plus Bulbs of Burton, serves as Burton Chamber of Commerce Chairman, doesn’t believe in spare time and sings for “Stifling Edith”. He is good looking, and knows more about rock music than you do.

 

 

Making the scene.. 

Looking back at the year in music, 2017 may have been most notable as the year of the heartbroken fan. Be it from accident by way of excess or circumstance, tragic illness of body or mind or just the rigors of age, tiles in the soundscape of my youth fell by the wayside in alarming numbers. For some, it may feel disingenuous to mourn a person you have never met and may not have liked if you had. Personally, I’m not impressed by fame or money and I detest the zeitgeist of celebrity worship. But songs can take on a deeper meaning through association with events or relationships that endear an artist to us at a level that feels personal.  

   

Case in point; when I think of the magical Christmases of early childhood I can’t picture them without hearing my mom singing along with Glenn Campbell’s “Old Toy Trains” from his Christmas album. And so, Glenn felt like a family friend all my life and I was very sad at his illness and passing. Tom Petty wrote songs that spoke to me when I was an adolescent, young adult, and a middle aged man. I never met Chris Cornell, Gregg Allman, Fats Domino, or the brilliant Gord Downie, but for widely varying reasons felt an unearned kinship and marked their passing sadly.    

When Pat Dinizio of The Smithereens passed away last week, I’m not ashamed to say I cried for a solid hour. I worked second shift the first eight years I was a father. I used to race home to try to see my kids before they went to sleep and it broke my heart when I didn't make it in time, which was most nights. Sometimes I would sing Pat’s beautiful song "I will kiss your tears away" to them. Sometimes I would sing it to myself when I missed them. Sometimes I still do. Again, I never met Pat Dinizio, but I felt a strong appreciation and affection for him for all he added to my life.  

   

What’s the point? The people within your immediate reach should always be more important than those who add to your life from afar, but that doesn’t diminish their contribution. Mourn the loss, celebrate the gift of song, and support your music community. They are writing the soundtrack of your family’s life.  

   

Merry Christmas and a Rockin New Year- JD  

Flint native John “JD” Dombrowski owns Batteries Plus Bulbs of Burton, serves as Burton Chamber of Commerce Chairman, doesn’t believe in spare time and sings for “Stifling Edith”. He is good looking, and knows more about rock music than you do.

 

 

MAKING THE SCENE- WHALEY EDITION 

Like many others who have spent years in the retail service industry, the first few Christmas songs of the season fill me with a sense of dreadful foreboding; indeed, my steadfast wife can still be driven mad with a well-placed chorus of “Have a Meijer Christmas”, decades after leaving their employ. However, I still get excited for a music tradition that has been embracing the spirit of Christmas giving for an incredible THIRTY SIX YEARS running - "The Whaley Jam", the annual two day concert event benefiting  Whaley Children’s Center. For some perspective, consider that this concert event has been going on for four years longer than Willie Nelson’s “Farm Aid”! 

The Whaley Foundation has served the needs of area children who have suffered from horrible abuse and neglect since incorporating in 1924 to the present. While not in any way affiliated with the foundation, since 1981 organizers of the Whaley Jam have sought to help lighten the hearts of these local children in need with gifts of cash and toys, donated by generous concert attendees, through the Whaley Children’s Center. 

Hundreds of people have given of their time and talents to make this event come together over the years. In addition to the many musicians, local business sponsors, and auction donors, club owner George Zaravelis has provided a permanent home for the event at Jester’s Lounge in Flint since 1999. Incredibly, sound engineer Keith Jennings, owner of Rock House Productions, has participated in every Whaley Jam. This year’s event features the added treat of Keith’s recently reconstituted band HYPYR on the roster of performers as it was in 1981, when (for yet more perspective) I was a starry eyed 14 year old clutching a transistor radio to my head, listening to Jeff Holbrook extoll the enormity of the event and wishing I could be a part of it someday. If you want to take part, the 2017 Whaley Jam is being held December 1st and 2nd, admission is $10 or a new unwrapped toy and includes a taco bar dinner. Shows start at 5PM at Jesters Lounge, G3112 North Center Road, Flint 48506. For further event details, search “Whaley Jam” on the Facebook events tab. 

SINCE WE’RE IN THE SPIRIT OF THINGS: Yeah, I know it’s early for Christmas music, but Flint’s own highly melodic rockers CRIMSON HIGHWAY are donating proceeds to charity from their Christmas single “Moments” available for download through bandcamp.com. For details on this and their highly anticipated November album release, check them out on Facebook @CrimsonHwy or on crimsonhwy.com. 

Flint native John “JD” Dombrowski owns Batteries Plus Bulbs of Burton, serves as Burton Chamber of Commerce Chairman, doesn’t believe in spare time and sings for “Stifling Edith”. He is good looking, and knows more about rock music than you do.

 

 

 

Making the Scene By: John JD Dombrowski   

MAKING THE SCENE By John “JD” Dombrowski   

When I was a young man living in Flint in the 1980’s, socializing looked much different. Things like the internet and cellular phones were largely unheard of, reserved for the likes of Al Gore and James Bond. For meaningful social interaction we were forced to actually go places and do things; it was horrible!   

But as a music lover, one of the benefits of these comparatively limited entertainment options was that I could go out almost any night of the week and find a variety of music being performed, in most cases very well. Perhaps it’s the fond memories of those less distracted times when music flourished that causes the general public’s blasé attitude about area music today.   

As both a musician and a music fan, I’m deeply disappointed when I hear the stock complaints A) there’s no good bands anymore! And B) There’s no music scene in (insert your town)! It’s ironic; thanks to social media and digital distribution it has never been this easy for bands to reach and cultivate a fan base. Conversely, it’s never been harder to coax people away from their homes and electronic devices into traditional public gathering places for fun and fellowship. There is a lot of great music happening, it’s just buried under the avalanche of other entertainment options that has accompanied the proliferation of the internet.   

For instance; the music world is all abuzz about the brash, Zep-inflected groove rock of Frankenmuth’s own Greta Van Fleet, and with good reason. But they didn’t just drop from the sky three months ago. It takes a lot of work to make something that cool, familiar and fresh at the same time, and they have been after it since they formed five years ago. How is it that the rest of the world caught onto them before most of the home crowd? The point being, there are excellent locally based musicians waiting to be experienced, encouraged and patronized within a twenty minute drive for most people reading this. If you want a scene, be a part of it- the internet will still be there when you get home. And face it, no one was ever asked to dance while alone, watching cat videos…   

VIDEO OF THE MONTH: Check out the aforementioned Greta Van Fleet’s “Highway Tune” on youtube. LOCAL ARTISTS- WHERE TO FIND THEM: Check outthelocalscream.com. Features nothing but made in Michigan artists of all styles. On Facebook, Dustin Swerdan passionately promotes local original artists; @711EntertainmentFlint is his address.

  

  

  

Catching up with Dustin Swerdan  

Editor’s note: Contributing writer, John “JD” Dombrowski, reports regularly for the View Newspapers on the topics of local bands and the local music scene. JD’s voice is familiar to many readers through his connections with the Flint and Genesee community as a local business owner, Burton Chamber of Commerce Chairman, promoter and through his own bands. I had the opportunity to catch up with 711 Entertainment’s Dustin Swerdan on September 23rd between his guest hosting spot on the Local Scream internet radio show (thelocalscream. com) in the morning and preparation for his landmark Twentieth 711 Entertainment Showcase at Flint’s world famous Machine Shop concert lounge later that evening. Add the previous night’s third shift worked at General Motors to that schedule and you can see how 711 has turned into more of a 24-7 experience for Dustin- and he wouldn’t have it any other way.  

“I love the live music experience and approach every show I put together as a music fan first; I book bands that I have seen perform that left me wanting to see more.” It’s an approach that has allowed him to enjoy the burgeoning Mid-Michigan original Rock scene from both sides of the stage.  

“In 2011, I threw a birthday party for a friend at a local club and hired a couple of my favorite local bands to play. It went over so well I was asked by the club owner to put more shows together for him; one thing led to another and soon I was had become the talent buyer at several local clubs.” In 2014, Dustin put together his first 711 Showcase concert at the Machine  

Shop, featuring locally sourced original music bands that he had worked closely with and it has been a successful arrangement that has lasted for  

20 shows so far. “I can’t thank The Machine  

Shop’s owner Kevin Zink enough for all he has done to encourage me as well as bolstering local music scene. When I started doing this, there were not very many places you could find original music being played and now you can catch Indie bands playing at least a half dozen places around Genesee County any given weekend.” All thanks to guys like you, Dustin.  

Keep up with 711: facebook.com/711EntertainmentFlint 

JD Dombrowski

 

 

Making the scene, Halloween edition  

Editor’s Note: John “JD” Dombrowski is a contributing writer with the View Newspaper Group. He is known throughout the community as a business owner, Burton Chamber of Commerce chairman, musician and music promoter. R ock and roll and Halloween have always had a lot in common. Both feature lots of screaming, people wear outlandish costumes, you earn a small sense of satisfaction from having come through either intact and they both involve taking candy from strangers, whether literally or metaphorically. When executed properly, everybody goes home tired, happy and looking forward to the next time.  

The Lords of October is a band that embraces the dual escapism of Halloween and rock music year-round. I met them this spring when they appeared with Stifling Edith at The Burton Zombie Shamble, a benefit for local charity. Prior to meeting them, I had seen the photo that accompanies this article and I assumed, as I’m sure you just did, that a rare, shared skin condition must have brought them together and helped forge their musical bonds. As it turned out, it’s elaborately done makeup reflecting a deep commitment to presentation. In an age of dwindling stagecraft, these guys really put their backs into it and have been terrorizing the Midwest for several years now. Their eponymous EP “Lords of October” and their album “Equinox” are both available online at Amazon and CD Baby.  

Singer “Uncle Salem” spoke with me between rehearsals for their upcoming spot opening for Corey Feldman at The Machine Shop on November 2. Rounding out the horror-infused punk/ metal band is guitarist Aleister Hulmod Kane, bassist Lucifer Fulci and drummer October Phoenix. Uncle Salem moonlights in humanity as Flint area author Paul Counelis. I asked Paul: why?  

“The four of us have always enjoyed the horror genre and think of Halloween as kind of our happy place,” he said. “The idea was to have a new kind of horror band and the costumes and makeup were the biggest no-brainer when we realized what we wanted to do.  

“We want to promote love and joy through our ‘dark dreamer’ style of music and are back in the studio working on a concept record about a haunted house with one heck of an interesting twist. Hoping to have that out early 2018.”  

For more about Lords of October, look for them on Facebook and underneath beds everywhere…  

HALLOWEEN “YOUTUBE” TRICKS AND TREATS: Open your pillowcase for some Mid-Michigan produce- check out the new video from Lords of October - “Autumn Fire”. Alsodon’t miss Stifling Edith’s ode to loving the unlovely in the elegantly bizarre lyric video for “Warts And All”.  

Happy Halloween! 

  

JD Dombrowski

 

 

Flint Feastival II By: John JD Dombrowski  

FLINT FEASTIVAL II: FOOD TRUCKS, ROCK AND ROLL AND FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY  

The smells of food trucks searing meats and bass players charring in the 90 degree sun were in the air Saturday, June tenth at the beautiful Flint Farmer's Market. The second annual Flint Feastival, a brilliant invention that combines the independent business artistry of Mobile restaurants and regional musicians originates with Flint, Michigan's own comedy rock stalwarts, Plethora.  Show-goers as well as pleasantly surprised patrons of the market's regulars were treated to a wide palate of Michigan Rock and Roll and a taste of the areas happily expanding fleet of mobile food purveyors. Stine's BBQ, Rio Concho Catering, Halo Burger and Flint Fresh Mobile Market were among the food trucks represented. Playing music during g  

   

ale force winds and the first blistering heat of the year were Isaac Ryder, The Paco Higdon Band, Standing Sun, Stifling Edith and headlining their creation, Plethora. "Performing in high winds was challenging but thankfully I was able to load up on enough pulled pork beforehand to keep from blowing away" said a sunburned but laughing Lee "Headwound" Hudson, guitarist for Stifling Edith. "It was a great day and I hope we are back here next year."      

   

   

   

    

FLINT FEASTIVAL II: FOOD TRUCKS, ROCK AND ROLL AND THOU...  

We had a blast playing at the second annual Flint Feastival, a brilliant invention from the twisted minds of Plethora, Flint Michigan's own comedy rock stalwarts. Held again at the beautiful downtown Flint Farmers Market, show-goers and unsuspecting patrons of independent food purveyors were treated/subjected to a wide palate of Michigan Rock and Roll. You're welcome, Flint. The smells of food trucks searing meats and bass players charring in the 90 degree sun were as pervasive as the spirit of camaraderie in the local indie rock community. Gale force winds and the first blistering heat of the year could not put a damper on the day's spirits. As the elder statesmen of this and most other shows we play at, it's not lost on me that Stifling Edith seems to surprise audiences with our energy, attitude and attack on a crowd- and I love that. Short story- we rocked. Other Band Impressions: Isaac Ryder (formerly Joel Rydecki Band) was was a late addition to the line up and man, are they good. Definitely worth a listen when they roll through your area. Paco Higdon Band is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites; Weird Al disciples with great songs, stage presence and the talent to rock your socks off while making you laugh, a rare perfecta in music. Standing Sun was a welcome throwback to heavy rock heroes of the 70's, excellent performers AND the drummer stuck around to help break down the stage, even with a 90 minute drive home ahead of him- just because he's cool. That is the sort of character that makes friends and builds community. Plethora was freaking Plethora- a three piece assault on the senses that never disappoints, complete with costumed extras, an expanded battle suit for Captain 'Merica and the drive to make cool stuff happen in Flintopolis again and again. Well done, lads.   
And the Spirit Award goes to Stifling Edith's own Sir Michael Bricker, who is not only the manliest bass player in the world but labored long and hard under the glaring sun and high wind conditions to assemble the stage, run sound all day and turn in punishing bass line after bass line.   
All in all, a great day for rock and roll. Let's do it again. 

5 months ago 

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