Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Odds and Ends...of the Year!

2011 is winding down and it's been a heck of a year here at the library. February saw us up and running again, delighted that all our old patrons (and tons of new ones) found their way back to us. In March, we  started up First Stop Friday again with the electrifying Sheefy McFly and the Delorean and Electric Lamp Rays. We had a hugely successful Summer Concert series with The Bridge Project, Jeffrey Zook and Bret Hoag and The Candy Band. The music collection, both mainstream, indie and local has grown enough for us to have to expand the shelves already, and those CDs are being checked out in fat stacks. The new year promises more great bands for First Stop Friday, with Superbomb and Old Empire playing on January 6th. Next year's summer concert series will be a go thanks mostly to the bake and jam sale we held last month, and I'm mulling over some interesting, out of the ordinary options.

Later this month, the epic Mittenfest will grace Ypsilanti again. After raising a record $15,000 for youth literacy non-profit organization 826michigan (http://www.826michigan.org) last
year, Mittenfest will return with 5 days of music in its sixth consecutive year. Mittenfest VI will be held over New Year's weekend, December 28 through January 1 at Woodruff's in Ypsilanti, showcasing a range of independent musical talent from across the state and beyond. Highlights for me include FAWN,  Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms, Matt Jones and the Reconstruction, Drunken Barn Dance, Electric Fire Babies, Black Jake and the Carnies, Passalacqua, Chris Bathgate, and the long-awaited return of Great Lakes Myth Society.  Get your butt out to Ypsi this weekend!

Here's some video from December's First Stop Friday.

Here's to an awesome 2012!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A few things to share

Well, I suppose it happens with most blogs...things get in the way, embarrassment sets in, and a few months go by with no updates. It has happened here. But, I'm here to make amends. First, with some videos from November's First Stop Friday. With Passalacqua and Ferndale Acid Scene involved, it was a lively show to say the least. Here's a taste!


Ferndale Acid Scene

December's show will be on the 2nd and The Ashleys and The Science Fair will play. BE THERE!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Stop Friday: The Blueflowers and Woodman

Next Friday, the library will host another First Stop Friday show. This time The Blueflowers and Woodman will grace the "stage".

It took some reminding, but the upcoming show represents the 1 year anniversary of First Stop Friday. There was a big gap, to be sure, but it's hard to believe I've been doing this for a year. In a lot of ways, it feels longer, because the idea percolated for awhile, and there were some special events that included music which I organized. I hope that next September, I'll be looking back on a full year's worth of bands. As it is, I'm marveling at the talent I've had walk, stumble under the load of an amp and stride through the library's door to play music for free in what many consider to be an odd venue. Thank you bands of Michigan for being open to new things, amazingly generous and so so talented. I could do this thing for 50 years and always be surprised and astounded by what I hear from musicians in this area. Here's to another year!

Monday, July 18, 2011

First Stop Friday: SROS LORDS and Them Fostrohs

I owe you all pictures and videos from this month's show, but I didn't want that to keep me from announcing August's line-up. SROS LORDS and Them Fostrohs will be playing on Friday, August 5th! Come and check them out!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Stop Friday Coming up July 8th!

First Stop Friday
Please note that July's First Stop Friday is not actually on the first Friday this month. Let's face it, no one is coming to a library show on the Friday before the Fourth of July. So join us for a show on July 8th. Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor and Phantom Cats will be rocking the library. SOYSV will be doing a special stripped down set.

Summer Concert Series

We're broadening our musical horizons this summer with a summer concert series. We're gonna get some jazz and music for kids in here in addition to our FSF shows. Join us in our (hopefully) sunny courtyard for more free music!

July 11th - The Bridge Project - 16 piece jazz band performing music by contemporary Michigan composers

July 25 - Jeffrey Zook and Bret Hoag - Music for flute and guitar

August 8 - The Candy Band - Four Detroit Moms perform Punk-inspired music for kids

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Stop Friday Recap: Shithouse Yonder and Electric Firebabies

It was another great Friday at the Ferndale Library. Shithouse Yonder played down and dirty punk-inspired rock and Electric Firebabies funked it up with sweet riffs, bombastic percussion and effects-laden vocals. Audiences for both were good especially considering the fact there was about a thousand things to do in town for Pride weekend. The addition of lights made me realize that it's only a matter of time before I start begging the library for funding toward our own set! Enjoy these videos and check out the photos that follow.

Shithouse Yonder

Electric Firebabies

Shithouse Yonder

Electric Firebabies

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First Stop Friday; Electric Firebabies and Shithouse Yonder

This month brings us two super-fun bands, albeit in different ways. Shithouse Yonder is fast, loud, fun and punk-inspired. With clashing drums, driving guitars and vocals delivered with a bit of a sneer these guys will have heads bopping. Keep an ear out for "Dukes of Hazzard".
Electric Firebabies is electro-infused soul that will have you dancing before you even realize you've gotten out of your chair. There's definitely a B-52s vibe, with a lot more funk. Some have called it DJ Rock, I just call it a good time.

Join us for another First Stop Friday on June 3rd! Doors at 6:30 PM and we'll have you outta here by 9!

Monday, May 9, 2011

First Stop Friday Recap

Once again, the talent around town astounds me. This past friday, Electric Lion Soundwave Experiment and Robin Goodfellow blew the doors off the library's community room. Electric Lions were loud in every good way and Robin Goodfellow was poppy and so danceable, I though I might realize my dream of a dance party in this joint. To top it all off, everyone in both bands was lovely. There are lots of good people in Detroit bands, and don't let anyone tell you differently.

I've got some pictures for you, but you should know that some snazzy videos should be available later this week. Keith Dalton, a man with lots of great video equipment and a passion for all things Ferndale is starting up a video clearinghouse for Ferndale events. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/ferndalemi
Keep an eye on the 780s for links to videos of the show!

Electric Lion Soundwave Experiment

Robin Goodfellow

Friday, April 29, 2011

Corrections, THE FRONT PAGE, and Amazing Coworkers

1. Please note that Robin Goodfellow will be taking Computer Perfection's place on our May 6th First Stop Friday bill. Don't fret, RG are going to give you an amazing show and CP will reschedule. Stay cool my babies!

2. You know how I feel about the following things: a) Timothy Monger b) positive press for the library/First Stop Fridays and c) THE FRONT PAGE. I love all of these things/people. Which is why it's super amazing that I was not only interviewed by Mike McConnell, the story appeared on the front page (with a picture of Tim Monger above the fold), and TM said the following lovely things about his experience at the FPL, "It was one of my favorite gigs we had last year,” said Monger, 28, of Britton in Lenawee County. “I was shocked at the turnout and reception for an after-hours library show. The audience was wide ranging in age and, while they were very attentive, there was also a nice loose feeling in the place.” Read the full story here.

3. Last but not least, the tireless local music journalist, Jeff Milo, who I am proud to say is a co-worker of mine, posted on the FPL Observer, not only an interview with new FSF family band, Robin Goodfellow, but appropriately spacey video of them. Check it all out here!

Don't forget that next Friday....ONE WEEK FROM TODAY, is the library's next First Stop Friday concert.

Friday, April 8, 2011

First Stop Friday: Computer Perfection and Electric Lion Soundwave Experiment

On the coattails of the best-attended FSF yet, is another amazing line-up at the Ferndale Library. Mark your calendars, people, this is gonna be super fun!

Computer Perfection, are decidedly pop, but not simply so. Slightly spacey, especially in the vocals, they put out songs that will have you bouncing along, and then when you're in the groove, you'll hear something surprising, which serves to draw you in even more. Seriously, I really feel like people are going to dance!

Electric Lion Soundwave Experiment are definitely spacey. Certainly what one would call psychedelic rock. Expect rich full sound and dark atmospheric ambiance. And volume, yes, these guys like it loud!

As always, First Stop Friday is FREE an all ages are welcome! Doors are at 6:30 PM and music usually starts around 7PM. Tell your friends!

Monday, April 4, 2011

April First Stop Friday Recap

Before I tell you all about the super busy, super awesome month we've had here at the FPL, I want to deliver some sad news. Spitting Nickels experienced the loss of their keyboardist Ben Borowiak on March 28th. My thoughts go out to Ben's family, friends and bandmates. Their show here was one of our first and they're forever in the First Stop Friday family. A benefit for Ben's family will be held on May 7th. Details here.

The library's been a hopping place this last month what with our Ferndale Reads festivities. On March 29th, we had a visit from best-selling author (and the library's new best friend ;) ) John Connolly. John not only regaled us with stories about his life and writing, but he was also kind enough to sign everyone's books and give each a good chunk of his time. A lucky few of us got to hang out with him afterward at the WAB, and though my alcohol-processing enzymes will be low for quite some time, it was an experience I will never forget. To bring it back to music, John hosts a weekly radio show called ABC to XTC that you can listen to here. I'll even do the math for you: Tuesdays at 10:00 AM GMT (that's 5:00 AM EST) and rerun on Saturdays at 21:00 GMT (that's 4:00 PM EST).

As if hanging out with an author wasn't enough, we also had our best-attended First Stop Friday concert to date. Jura and Oblisk rocked the house so much that people had to sit on the floor! Thank you guys for playing! Pictures below!



Thursday, March 17, 2011

First Stop Friday: Oblisk and Jura

First Stop Friday is rolling again! March's show was a big success and it looks like April's is going to be a record-setting event. As of five minutes ago, the Facebook event showed that 48(!) people have said yes and 50 (!) have said maybe. I can't wait. Here's a little about the bands who will blow your mind on April 1st.

With its driving rhythms and soft compelling vocals, Jura creates chiming shoegaze that will draw you in. Their debut self-titled album came out last year on Forget Records and was described by our very own Jeff Milo as "Meditative and dreamy; packed with shimmering guitars, buzzing drawls and humming cosmic quarries of rounding delicate roars" in his Real Detroit review. Jura is the voice/guitar of Martin Starman and the guitar/percussion of former Asha Vida member Eric Pieti. In 2008 Jura added Frank Lee, drummer for demonic kraut rock band, Red China. Frank can also be seen giving high-fives to people at The Natural Food Patch.

Neo-psychedelic area favorites, Oblisk create shifting walls of sound and propulsive trip-hop. Deep Ian Curtis-esque vocals by Asim Akhtar are a perfect match for the chugging ambience they create. Weather Patterns, their latest album, out on Candy Colored Dragon, was called "Heavy, dynamic, fuzzy, and often incomprehensible, Weather Patterns is perfect for drifting off and becoming lost in the music. An example of shoegaze at its best, Oblisk creates a deep grove, distorted ambient background, and powerful vocals able to lull the listener into a sense of serenity with intermittent urges to dance" by Detroit Underground. There has been a promise that "projections w/ live video mixing will be in effect," so come prepared for an aural and visual spectacular.

Let me know if you're going to be there: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Natural-Food-Patch/66433742819?ref=ts&sk=wall#!/event.php?eid=158684764187661

Thursday, March 10, 2011

First Stop Friday: Sheefy McFly and the Delorean and The Electric Lamp Rays

What a triumphant returm for First Stop Friday at the FPL! Amazing psychedelic sounds and visuals from The Electric Lamp Rays and an energetic, raucous set from Sheefy McFly and the Delorean. I could not have been more pleased with the performances, turn-out, or the excitement level. At one point, I looked around and said to myself, "I'm totally running a venue here!" Thank you, members of the bands for being awesome and to all my regular attendees.

Here's some videos and photos from the night.

The Electric Lamp Rays

Sheefy McFly & The Delorean


The Electric Lamp Rays

Sheefy McFly & The Delorean

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bits and Bobs

Photo by Deleano Acevedo

The Ferndale Library is back in action. Neither Snowmaggedon nor Federal holiday could keep us down on Monday and we opened our doors and arms wide to Ferndale once again. Over the past few days I've witnessed patrons taking their stacks of ten CDs (that's the max we allow out at once) up to the circ desk. As the purchaser of music at the FPL, this warms my heart. I've been ordering new things like a madwoman, so expect to see lots of new musical treasures. If something you want is checked out, don't forget that you can place our CDs on hold through our online catalog.

A Ferndale Patch article by Deleano Acevedo about the local music collection went up this week. Deleano makes me and my project sound amazing. Plus the pictures are pretty good too!

Tomorrow, The Ferndale Fine Arts Boosters are having an Irish themed fundraiser for musical instruments, instrument repairs and other things Ferndale Schools need to keep music and other fine arts education alive in Ferndale.

The FPLs annual community read program is starting out it's month of programming next Thursday with The Crooked Man's Open Mic Night. Read, sing or perform your work at the library! All of the events are centered around The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, so come and pick up your copy of the book for free at the library! Also, check out the library's Youtube channel for some comedic reinterpretations of fairy tales the staff has worked on in anticipation for Ferndale Reads.

Next Friday, First Stop Fridays are back! Sheefy McFly and the Delorean and The Electric Lamp Rays will perform. Doors are at 6:30 PM Music begins at 7.

Blowout is next week too! Four nights of running around Hamtramck's bars, halls and dives and sampling the best Detroit's music scene has to offer. It is my goal to put up my Blowout picks early next week, so if you don't see anything by Tuesday, write me a comment! Take a look at the schedule.

Whew! That's a lot of stuff! See you at the library!

Monday, January 31, 2011

First Stop Friday is BACK!

Things are moving again. Slowly, but there's progress. As the library awaits new carpet and the finishing touches that it needs to reopen, we've all been planning big things for March. First Stop Friday concerts will start back up in March! I'm pleased to say that Sheefy McFly and the Delorean and The Electric Lamp Rays will be kicking us back into gear! Both of these bands have a library connection. Sheefy McFly played the FPL's first stand-alone music event at the library back in May 2010. I can't wait to see him and the Delorean do their thing in our much bigger space! The Electric Lamp Rays' keyboard player is a longtime library employee at the Royal Oak and Berkley public libraries. I was fortunate enough to share some desk time with him at RO and when I mentioned my concert series (and SMatD) he was excited to join in the fun!

If you're planning on coming, let me know!


Thursday, January 20, 2011


A few months back, when I presented at MLA, I was approached by someone from a review magazine called Foreword to write an article about putting together a local music collection at your library. It's finally out! Please read it here: http://www.forewordreviews.com/magazine-feature/creating-a-local-music-collection-at-your-library/. What's really awesome is that it also appears in real-life print, too! Nothing like holding a magazine, and seeing your name in (blue) print.

Stay tuned for an announcement regarding March's First Stop Friday concert!