POWER Surge — Motor City Talent Agency Hosts Launch Party, Prepares for Detroit LIVE Music Festival

POWER co-owners Kelly Adolph, far left, and Donna Kassab, fourth from right, gather with members of SIAS and Quantum Split during the April 20 launch party at CLUBHAUS Detroit. Photo by Brian Stratton

A new talent and events agency is powering up Detroit’s arts and entertainment scene.

Known as POWER Events | Entertainment, the Detroit-based agency hosted a launch party April 20 at CLUBHAUS Detroit to showcase emerging music, modeling, acting and athletic talent in the Motor City.

About 200 guests attended the launch party hosted by POWER co-owners Donna Kassab and Kelly Adolph and watched a fashion show featuring models wearing casual, modern styles with a bohemian flair from UnitedFront. Draped in hues of gold, cream and light blue, models sashayed down the runway to dance and hip-hop tunes spun by Detroit-based DJ Kobra Kinney.

Attendees also munched on appetizers by Detroit Catering Company and JusNCredible Eats and drank Hawthorne Vineyards wine served Brut Detroit and signature cocktails by Top Shelf Bartini.

“We received positive feedback about our plans to bring more events and entertainment to the city,” Kassab said. “I kept hearing, ‘thank you, this is so fun.’ There was a lot of excitement in the room.”

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Sound Choices — Ypsilanti, Mich. Native, Rap Artist Hosts The Poppin’ College Tour Friday at U-M for High School Students

Amir “Lady Heat” Young, center, hosts The Poppin’ College Tour at the University of Michigan.

 

For Amir “Lady Heat” Young, each day begins with a series of small decisions.

Those small decisions result in larger choices that ultimately shape the future.

“When you wake up, you have a choice. When you do your homework, you have a choice. When you don’t, those things add up,” she said. “At the end of the day, I try to illustrate that your everyday choices take you down a path that leads either closer to or further from your dreams.”

Lady Heat is ready to ask that question to 68 Ypsilanti, Mich. high school students during the third installment of The Poppin’ College Tour at the University of Michigan’s East Hall on Friday.

Launched by Lady Heat in 2014, The Poppin’ College Tour is an educational program designed to encourage disadvantaged and at-risk youth ages 13-19 to attend college and make positive life choices.

Continue reading “Sound Choices — Ypsilanti, Mich. Native, Rap Artist Hosts The Poppin’ College Tour Friday at U-M for High School Students”

Local Natives Summon Spirit of Fleetwood Mac in ‘Tusk’ Cover

 

Kelcey Ayer performs with Local Natives at Royal Oak Music Theatre on March 31.

Local Natives know how to properly channel the primal energy of Fleetwood’s Mac “Tusk.”

The Los Angeles-based indie rock band recently covered “Tusk” as part of Spotify’s “Music Happens Here” video series, which highlights how “local culture has inspired music throughout history” and kicks off with an inaugural 26-minute episode about Los Angeles.

“To say Fleetwood Mac has a huge influence on our music is a bit of an understatement,” the band wrote March 21 on their Facebook page. “As part of a new Spotify series called Music Happens Here, we covered Tusk in the same room, same studio as Fleetwood Mac covered it.”

I was elated the moment I read those words on Local Natives’ Facebook page. If you’re a Fleetwood Mac fan, then it’s not stretch to like Local Natives’ music, which features lush harmonies, adventurous percussion and multiple singer-songwriters.

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Thanks, Mom and Dad – My Parents’ Early Appreciation of The Beatles Finally Rubs Off

I used to think The Beatles were overrated.

While growing up, their name popped every time I read about my favorite artists’ musical influences, listened to “best of” musical countdowns on the radio or watched a documentary about the history of rock and roll on TV.

My parents raved about The Beatles during their early college days at Ohio University in 1964-1965. The songs “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Eight Days a Week” served as the soundtrack of their transition from youth to adulthood.

Anytime The Beatles were mentioned, my parents fondly recalled dancing to their songs at college mixers, watching them play on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and getting excited about the British Invasion.

Over the years, my dad and I would have this recurring conversation:

“Dad, Were The Beatles really that big of a deal?”  I asked.

 “L, They were a big deal. Everything changed overnight here when they played ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ Before The Beatles came here, all that boring folk music was popular. That stuff put me to sleep,” he said.

 “I still don’t get it,” I said while shaking my head in disbelief. “I guess I had to be there.”

Continue reading “Thanks, Mom and Dad – My Parents’ Early Appreciation of The Beatles Finally Rubs Off”

‘Magnificent (She Says)’ – Elbow ‘Little Fictions’ Opening Track Fuels New Personal Journey

There’s something “magnificent” about Guy Garvey’s voice.

It soothes my musical soul and provides a lush sonic backdrop on a warm Saturday afternoon in mid-February.

Garvey’s voice quickly transports me to a faraway land with purple majestic mountains stacked against the horizon and an azure blue sea crashing up against the beige sand that’s massaging my toes.

This is the mental image I conjure in my mind while hearing “Magnificent (She Says)” by British alternative progressive rock band Elbow.

The first single from Elbow’s seventh album, “Little Fictions,” sets the scene for a 4.5-minute “head-trip” filled with love, hope and personal growth.

Continue reading “‘Magnificent (She Says)’ – Elbow ‘Little Fictions’ Opening Track Fuels New Personal Journey”

“Samain Night” – Loreena McKennitt Journeys to Ann Arbor

Editor’s Note: My husband Brian writes his third post for The Stratton Setlist about the Oct. 12 Loreena McKennitt show at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, Mich.

On Christmas morning in 1994, I opened a gift from my parents that had the unmistakable shape of a CD. As I tore off the wrapping paper, revealing the cover, I was greeted by a woman with a harp, wearing vaguely antiquated clothing, standing on a hill overlooking a lake. It turned out to be “Parallel Dreams” by Loreena McKennitt, an album by an artist I had never heard of.

My dad had heard about Loreena McKennitt on public radio driving home from work one night. He knew that I was interested in Enya and other Celtic and New Age music, so he thought I’d be interested in her as well.

After looking at the hazy album art, I turned the CD over and read through the song titles – “Samain Night,” “Standing Stones,” and “Ancient Pines” among others. They certainly sounded interesting.

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‘Fill in the Blank’ – Car Seat Headrest Track Questions Self-Discovery on ‘Teens of Denial’

In August, Car Seat Headrest made their energetic late night TV debut performing “Fill in the Blank” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Will Toledo and his three bandmates pounded out the opening track from “Teens of Denial,” the band’s critically acclaimed album that was released in May.

Throughout the performance, “Fill in the Blank” song lyrics flash on four screens behind the band, and fittingly, some of the words are omitted from the lyrics.

Instead, the blank spaces beckon audience members and fans to fill in their own words.

Car Seat Headrest's "Teens of Denial" features the opening track, "Fill in the Blank."
Car Seat Headrest’s “Teens of Denial” features the opening track, “Fill in the Blank.”

As a Car Seat Headrest fan, I scratch my head wondering how I should fill in those blanks.  This song couldn’t come at a better time in my life, and in a sense, it serves as my personal anthem.

It’s an anthem of internal struggle and second guessing – Who am I? What am I doing? What have I accomplished? Where should I go next?

These four questions periodically enter my head and cause me to re-evaluate my life choices and direction.

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