iSPY Magazine 2 YEAR


January 29, 2012

The Buzz – February


Frontier Ruckus // Feb. 2 / The Ark

by iSPY Staff

Rolling Stone raves that Michigan natives, Frontier Ruckus, are “The perfect recipe for Gothic Americana.”

In the words of Cleveland Scene, Frontier Ruckus “delivers spirited, acoustic-based roots music driven by David W. Jones’ banjo and fleshed out with saws, horns and other left-field touches. Frontman Matthew Milia’s vocals convey a dreamy, twangy quality, like someone who’s wandering aimlessly through the woods at night. He recalls Michael Stipe in his vivid wordplay and oblique imagery.”

Need we say more?

What’s unique about Frontier Ruckus is they use country instrumentation to depict not a rustic utopia but life along the interstate as most of us live it. They’ve got an attractive lyrical streak, and each of their albums so far has been brilliantly original in concept. They’ve been working on new music, and they’ll be bringing it to The Ark at 8 p.m. on February 2, so don’t miss it! Tickets are $15. For more information, visit


FlashClash // Feb. 3 / Magic Bag

by Ian Cruz

Hey, Ferndale. I heard you guys like to dance – is that so? Because FLASHCLASH – the astounding new age rock/electro/house groove band – is going to be invading the Magic Bag on February 3.

With their bleeps and bloops, Flash Clash remains the strongest “psycho-electro” band hailing from Michigan. The band seems to have great affection for outer space and the psychedelic. According to front man Yorg in a recent interview with MetroTimes, he describes their shows as having “visuals shooting at the audience from all angles, choreographed lights and black light jungles.”

In support of their latest effort, “Born of Astronauts EP,” FLASHCLASH is making their rounds all across the mitten state – so don’t miss their February 3 stop at the Magic Bag, as it promises to be an out-of-this-world experience.


William Fitzsimmons // Feb. 9 / The Ark

by Ian Cruz

This February will bring William Fitzsimmons, bearded wonder and singer/songwriter from the plains of Illinois, to Ann Arbor. With three albums under his belt since 2005, Fitzsimmons has made a name by blending bittersweet melodies with melancholic guitar and some more lighthearted backing electronic vibes. He specializes in soft spoken lyrics with themes of family matters, depravity and autobiographical word schemes that drive listeners into a naturally intimate state of mind. His first studio album, “Gold in the Shadow,” showcases diverse creative sides from Fitzsimmons. In fact, “Gold in the Shadow” was named one of the best Singer/Songwriter releases by iTunes in 2011.

Tickets are available for his February 9 show at The Ark via the web or at the door. Arrive early so that you don’t miss out on Dennison Witmer’s opening performance.

Heroes On Parade // Feb. 10 / Blind Pig

by Marissa McNees

Making their return to Michigan on February 10 are, quite literally, the local heroes of Heroes On Parade. The band will be headlining a show at the Blind Pig this month after a successful summer on tour with the Vans Warped Tour and Rockapalooza.

With the release of their full-length debut, “Where Are We?,” Heroes On Parade made a huge impression on the pop-punk scene by selling out their limited edition pre-sales in the first week of release. Since then, it’s been nothing but success for the Detroit natives.

Often compared to Paramore, don’t mistake this group for anything but themselves. It’s easy to get compared to a band with a strong leading lady on the forefront, but Jenny can hold her own with the likes of Paramore as well as Forever the Sickest Kids, Chidos and the many other artists Jenny and her bandmates encountered on the road.

You definitely won’t want to miss this group as they make their way to Ann Arbor. Special guests include Jack & The Bear, VP and Undesirable People. Cover is $8 for ages 18 – 20 and $5 for 21 and up. For more information and a list of tour dates, visit


Third Annual Chili Cook-Off // Feb. 12 / Corner Brewery

by David Nassar

Looking for a way to warm up now that snow is on the ground and winter has officially hit?  Look no further than the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s Third Annual Chili Cook-Off. A can’t-miss event for local chili-aficionados, the event promises to serve up steaming hot bowls of some of the tastiest and most unique chili concoctions you’ve ever seen.  While you’re there, you can wash it all down with the Corner Brewery’s delicious brews and throw down a bid at the silent auction. All proceeds from the event and the silent auction will go towards supporting the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, one of the country’s oldest and most beloved community theaters.

The festivities kick off at noon and last until 3 p.m. Full-priced tickets cost $20 and include 10 chili tastes, 5 sample beer tastings and a keepsake beer glass. Chili-only and kids’ tickets are also available, and all children under five years old are admitted for free. Advanced tickets can be purchased by calling 734-971-2228, or you can purchase them at the door the day of the event. For more information and to take a peek at some of the silent auction items, visit the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s website at


The Broadway We Love // Feb. 14 / Kerrytown Concert House

by Mary Simkins

It’s a Valentine’s date for a good cause. The Kerrytown Concert House sponsors this night of nostalgia featuring some of the most beloved Broadway tunes of all time from The Great White Way, and featuring several up-and-coming musicians accompanying critically acclaimed tenor Aaron L. Sanko.

Proceeds from the event benefit The Neutral Zone, a teen center in Ann Arbor focused on the promotion of artistry and leadership in teens.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $30 for assigned rows 1 – 2, $20 for Assigned Rows 3 – 5, $15 for general admission and $10 for students. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit For more information about The Neutral Zone, visit


Artini Martini Bar Crawl // Feb. 17 / Ann Arbor Bars

by Mary Simkins

The Artini Martini Bar Crawl is a great way to get to know Ann Arbor’s bars. With the goal of determining the most artful martini in Ann Arbor, participants will spend the evening tasting carefully crafted creations at various establishments, with the night’s proceeds benefitting the Ann Arbor Art Center.

The night will end with a vote, and a new champion will wrest the title from the 2011 winners, Alley Bar (who are not participating this year). Participating restaurants include: Babs’ Underground, Black Pearl, Cafe Felix, La Dolce Vita, Melange, Ravens Club, Rush Street and Vinology.

The crawl will get started at 7 p.m. on February 17. The event is sponsored by Pearl Vodka and costs $40 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the Ann Arbor Art Center (117 W. Liberty) from noon until 8 p.m. daily. To purchase tickets online, visit

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