Strength in Numbers – Stephanie Belcher Launches New Online ‘Business Management for Musicians’ Course

Stephanie Belcher prepares for her new online course, “Business Management for Musicians.”

With an incredible knack for numbers, Stephanie Belcher is one of the music industry’s premier economic and financial educators.

She has an innate ability to interpret and define the complex world of financial management, economics, and tax accounting for emerging and established creatives.

Belcher became fluent in the language of financial management after spending nearly two decades working in artist management, booking, promotions, and marketing. She’s also served as an accomplished business manager, marketing and economics entrepreneur, and tax accountant for 10 years.

“After moving to Michigan and regularly attending concerts, I started to hear there were musicians who needed their taxes done,” said Belcher, who’s based in Livonia, Mich. “More and more people kept coming to me for advice, and I absolutely loved helping them.”

Now, she’s ready to share her music, financial management, and economic expertise with artists, musicians, and creatives through a new online course and mastermind group.

Through the online course, interested participants can subscribe to Belcher’s content, which includes videos, chat sessions, online workshops, and other tools for those wanting to sharpen their financial, economic, and business knowledge while working in the music industry.

“I’ve come to embrace my role as an educator for financial information to creative people, and I enjoy it because it allows me to combine emerging music, financial management, and economics while connecting with people,” she said.

Continue reading “Strength in Numbers – Stephanie Belcher Launches New Online ‘Business Management for Musicians’ Course”

Advertisements

‘Acoustic Introduction’ – Trey Simon Celebrates Latest EP with Friday Release Show at 20 Front Street

Trey Simon knows how to make an introduction – an acoustic one, that is.

The Rochester, Mich., soulful singer-songwriter will introduce his latest EP, “The Acoustic Introduction of Trey Simon,” to fans at 8 p.m. Friday during a special release show at Lake Orion’s 20 Front Street.

Simon will play tracks from his current EP, debut songs from his upcoming full-length album and perform with special guests Kenny Watson and Stephie James.

“We’ll have physical copies of ‘The Acoustic Introduction of Trey Simon,’ which will have bonus tracks from the full-length that’s coming out,” Simon said. “If people buy the CD, then they get the four acoustic songs, but they also get one-minute clips of these full-production songs that are coming out.”

Simon released the four-song “The Acoustic Introduction of Trey Simon” EP in July as a follow-up to his 2014 debut EP “What the Future Holds.” With “Acoustic Introduction,” Simon and Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer Quentin “QueWeezy” Dennard II opted for a simple, stripped-down sound with upbeat pop songs and romantic, soulful tunes.

“My whole vision for the EP is that I really want to build a relationship with people. I’m not looking to get rich quick, I’m not looking to become some big overnight thing,” Simon said. “I really want to build a community and movement around my music and with people. I want people to fall in love again, I want to blend cultures together, and I think the best thing to do is just give people an unfiltered, un-jazzed, unpretentious, just right-to-the-core introduction of me.”

Continue reading “‘Acoustic Introduction’ – Trey Simon Celebrates Latest EP with Friday Release Show at 20 Front Street”

Musical Feast – Pond Jam Festivalgoers Experience First Taste of Mercury Salad Sandwich’s Savory Acoustic Funk over Labor Day Weekend

Mercury Salad Sandwich’s Kyle Kipp, Dan “Ozzie” Andrews, Kurt Bonnell and Brooke Ratliff

 

Rapid City, Mich. – Pond Jam festivalgoers will feast on Mercury Salad Sandwich this Labor Day weekend.

They’ll heavily ingest the tasty “acoustic funk” tunes of the burgeoning folk rock and Americana quartet from Ypsilanti, Mich., during their 4:30 p.m. Sunday set on the Pond Jam Second Stage.

It’s also the first time northern Michiganders will sink their teeth into Mercury Salad Sandwich’s delectable music, said Brooke Ratliff, the band’s vocalist, guitarist and percussionist.

“Some of our fave local bands, like Dragon Wagon and Fangs and Twang, are regulars at Pond Jam. There’s a notorious video from Pond Jam of Fangs and Twang playing their jamming song, ‘Big Foot,’ while people in Yeti costumes dance,” she said. “It just seemed like a great time, so we sent them some music, and they let us in.”

A private event, the fifth annual Pond Jam will boast more than 60 bands on four stages today through Sunday at a family’s Rapid City wilderness getaway located about 20 miles east of Traverse City, Mich.

Pond Jam festivalgoers will see an eclectic set from Ratliff and her three Mercury Salad Sandwich bandmates, Kurt Bonnell (acoustic and electric guitar), Dan “Ozzie” Andrews (acoustic and electric bass) and Kyle Kipp (drums and guitar).

“We are playing our folk rock and acoustic funk tunes and debuting one mellow original called ‘The Road,’” Ratliff said. “We are Mazzy Star fans, and the song is our tribute to them.”

Continue reading “Musical Feast – Pond Jam Festivalgoers Experience First Taste of Mercury Salad Sandwich’s Savory Acoustic Funk over Labor Day Weekend”

A Cut Above – Detroit’s Allye Gaietto Hosts Saturday Freight Yard Show, Brings Smart Jazzy Pop to Motor City

Allye Gaietto by Patty Rooney/Rooney and Company

For Allye Gaietto, the Dequindre Cut Freight Yard serves as the quintessential outdoor music venue for burgeoning artists.

The Detroit jazz pop singer-songwriter decided to host Saturday’s live show at the freight yard after biking through the former Grand Trunk Railroad line.

“Having a car-free greenway in Detroit is great. It’s fun to see so many people out walking, running, biking and just hanging out on any given weeknight,” Gaietto said. “When I saw the post asking for musicians to play at the Freight Yard, it felt perfect. Detroiters never have enough summer, so the chance to play outside on a Saturday afternoon is a no-brainer, and with the BUILD Market, food trucks, beer and games, it looked too fun to pass up.”

Gaietto will play her first freight yard show Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and perform her newest song, “Normal Stuff” as well as tracks from her 2016 debut EP, “Some Kind of Heaven,” a few covers and some deep tracks for her headlining set.

Neo-soul singer-songwriter White Bee, also known as Shannon Barnes, and pop singer-songwriter Ally Evenson will join Gaietto to round out the freight yard show.

Earlier this month, White Bee released a new video for her single, “Beat State,” while Evenson’s latest single, “All My Days and Nights,” is featured on the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME) Sessions Vol. 4 album, which drops today.

“I’m excited to have White Bee in the lineup for her vocal talents, guitar chops and songwriting skills. I feel lucky that she was able to hop on the bill at the last minute and bring her talents to the show,” Gaietto said.

“Ally is a student at DIME, where I work. I’ve heard her play a few times for student shows and other events, and kept thinking that she needed more attention from the Detroit music scene at large. I think all three of the songwriters on this show make music that is interesting and often challenges the listener to go a little deeper, while still being accessible ‘smart pop.’”

Continue reading “A Cut Above – Detroit’s Allye Gaietto Hosts Saturday Freight Yard Show, Brings Smart Jazzy Pop to Motor City”

Riding High — The Lows Perform Saturday at Inaugural Motor City Muscle Festival

 

The Lows will play Motor City Muscle on Saturday.
The Lows will be riding high this weekend with a coveted slot at the inaugural Motor City Muscle festival.

The Detroit-based hard rock band will join more than 120 artists, including Ace Frehley, The Dead Kennedys, Belinda Carlisle and Sponge, during the free festival, which includes seven stages of music and a muscle car showcase today through Sunday in downtown Detroit.

The Lows will take the stage in Detroit’s Hart Plaza at 3:15 p.m. Saturday for their hour-long, 15-song set. Fans can expect original Lows’ tunes and covers from Detroit music legends, including Alice Cooper and The Stooges, as well as ‘90s grunge classics.

For Angelo Coppola and his Lows bandmates, the festival is an incredible chance to help revive the rock music scene in the Motor City.

“Basically, I think there’s not enough of the straight-up rock sound going on anymore,” said Coppola, frontman for The Lows. “There are some great bands like Greta Van Fleet and some others from Detroit doing it. I think the world needs more of it, and I think tons of people personally want something to change with mainstream music. We’re just trying to hopefully be part of it carrying the torch and bringing it back around.”

The Lows EP
Coppola learned his band would join the all-star rock music festival lineup after he submitted “Road Trippin’,” a track from The Lows’ 2017 self-titled debut EP for a 12-song Motor City Muscle compilation album.

“The criteria for that was the song had to be about cars, and it had to mention Detroit in the song,” he said. “I went back into the studio where I recorded the EP, and I just changed one line of the first verse with producer Chuck (Alkazian) to include a reference to Detroit in there, then I submitted it, and they picked it for the album.”

Continue reading “Riding High — The Lows Perform Saturday at Inaugural Motor City Muscle Festival”

‘LIFE Goals’ – Ann Arbor ‘Attic Folkster’ Peter Felsman Drops New ‘-pf’ Album, Hosts Bike-able Listening Party Today

Peter Felsman, far right, performs with “-pf” members Max Lockwood, Julia Knowles and Rebecca Rosen at the Threads All Arts Festival in Ypsilanti, Mich. Photo by David Newton

Starting at noon today, “attic folk” rocker Peter Felsman will take his new “-pf” album to the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich.

He’ll meet up with “-pf” (pronounced “dash” “pf”) friends and fans to listen to “LIFE Goals,” the band’s newest album, which drops today.

It will be a “reverse progressive” listening party of sorts where people can listen with Felsman throughout the day as he bikes along to the folkish rhythms of “LIFE Goals.”

“I’ll be biking around town to listen with whoever wants to join me,” said Felsman, “-pf” frontman. “I’ve created a Facebook event and invited people in the Ann Arbor bike-able area to message me if they’d like to host a listening event where other people can join or if they’d like to join one.”

LIFE Goals cover art

In classic “-pf” style, the release of “LIFE Goals” coincides with another academic milestone for Felsman, who’s pursuing a doctorate in social work and social psychology at the University of Michigan.

The album marks the beginning of Felsman’s two-year fellowship with the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE), which takes an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding human development in a changing world.

Felsman’s research fellowship is conducted internationally in conjunction with the Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Zurich, the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan.

“LIFE Goals” also highlights the first time “-pf” has recorded an album in a proper recording studio, the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based La Luna Recording & Sound owned by Ian Gorman.

Continue reading “‘LIFE Goals’ – Ann Arbor ‘Attic Folkster’ Peter Felsman Drops New ‘-pf’ Album, Hosts Bike-able Listening Party Today”

Travelers’ Rest Day 2 – The Decemberists Give Exquisite Full Performance of ‘The Crane Wife’

Jenny Conlee performs “The Crane Wife” with The Decemberists at Travelers’ Rest.

There’s something transformative about hearing a band perform an entire album live.

It’s a slightly different interpretation than what’s heard on a turntable, in the car or through a phone.

Some songs become livelier, longer and more emotive while others take on a new identity for fans.

That’s what hit me Sunday night at Travelers’ Rest.

I started photographing The Decemberists when the opening chords of “The Crane Wife 3” rang out from the stage in front of me.

While I tried to concentrate on my shots, I heard the crowd roar with contagious excitement and turned around the see a long line of fans jumping up and down at the barricade at Big Sky Brewing Company in Missoula, Mont. In that moment, I connected with their energy and enthusiasm.

That energy and enthusiasm stemmed from the Portland, Ore., indie rock band’s special performance of their 2006 concept album, “The Crane Wife.”

A special musical treat for those of us who love The Decemberists and cherish the opportunity to hear an entire album front to back LIVE.

In “The Crane Wife,” the album’s storyline focuses on an old Japanese folktale of a poor man who finds an injured crane on his doorstep and nurses it back to health. Once the crane is released, a woman appears on the man’s doorstep, and he instantly falls for her. They quickly marry.

The woman offers to weave beautiful clothes out of silk to help earn money for the couple. At first, the man agrees to never watch his wife make clothes, but forces her weave more as their income grows and becomes oblivious to her declining health.

With a growing income, the man’s greed increases, and one fateful day, he catches a glimpse of her weaving and discovers his wife is an actual crane plucking feathers from her own body and weaving them into the loom. She sees him, flies away and never returns.

“This is only the second time we’ve done one of these full albums through other than ‘Hazards of Love,’ or ‘The Tain,’” said Colin Meloy, frontman for The Decemberists. “I never know whether just to not talk through it just to give you the full album experience or just to ruin the whole experience would be chattering in between, so I’m obviously doing both and neither.”

Continue reading “Travelers’ Rest Day 2 – The Decemberists Give Exquisite Full Performance of ‘The Crane Wife’”