iSPY Magazine 2 YEAR


May 29, 2012

The Buzz // June


The Red Hot Chili Peppers // June 1 / Joe Louis Arena

by Paul Kitti

The Red Hot Chili Peppers used to be the hardest partiers on the street – even by rock and roll standards. Now well into their forties, the hangovers are certainly fewer and farther between, but there’s something more special than ever about these musical game-changers now that they’re in the twilight of their turbulent careers.

Their historical identification – manic funk bloomers in the fertile eighties, elite rock gods in the confused nineties and revered legends in the tech-obsessed ‘00s – puts them in the company of U2 and Bruce Springsteen, having remained beloved and hard-working cultural staples while other acts have risen and disappeared. These recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees will bring more to their show at the Joe Louis Arena than amps and guitars – they’ll bring a vigor that time hasn’t been able to shut down, an ongoing restlessness that spreads through audiences, seeping through the generation gaps.

On celebrating his fiftieth birthday this October, bassist Flea told Rolling Stone his plans: “On acid, running down the street naked, howling at the moon.” By now we know that these guys don’t joke about such things, and they’ve got the scar tissue to prove it.

The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available at

Little Dragon

Little Dragon // June 1/ Joe Louis Arena

by Paul Kitti

Sweden’s Little Dragon are an interesting tag-along choice for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ current tour. Maybe the pairing is rooted in balance – for every ferociously funky, Flea-patented bass riff, Little Dragon layers one quietly beneath an assortment of artful dance-pop instrumentation. For every bold and bruised, California-tinged note from Anthony Keidis, Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano sends one to the roof with dark beauty and soulful wings. Like the Chili Peppers, this clever five-piece hand-picked outside influences to build their sound, which, at its roots, is electronica. You’ll hear harnessed traces of soul and R&B throughout their latest album, “Ritual Union,” where jazz vibes and organic textures find an unlikely home in dance-pop. If getting both of these quality acts with the same ticket wasn’t already enough to ask, I’ve got my fingers crossed for an on-stage collaboration between the two.

Starkid: Apocalytour // June 4 / Michigan Theatre

by Treasure Groh

Formed just a few years ago, Team Starkid began writing and performing parodies of well- known books, such as the “Harry Potter” series and “The Hobbit.” While something of this magnitude is not for everyone, the group of likeminded individuals (the majority of whom met at U of M’s School of Music, Dance and Theatre) share a similar sense of humor and wanted to take it on the road.

In 2011 they struck out on a nationwide tour dubbed The SPACE tour. They clearly

enjoyed it so much that they wanted a reprise, which is where Apocalytour comes in. Created as a mock of this whole end-of-the-world-because-the-Mayans-said-so phenomenon, Team Starkid began touting the production earlier this year, beginning with Chicago, the group’s new home.

A combination of music, dance and theatre, Starkid: Apocalytour has a little something for everyone. The show is at 7:30 p.m. on June 4 at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor, and tickets can be purchased at

The Shins // June 6 / Fillmore Detroit

by Treasure Groh

It’s hard to believe that some people don’t even know who the Shins are. You may get a quirky head tilt or even an audible “who?” when mentioning that one of your favorite albums is “Oh, Inverted World.” It’s all the more harrowing because they’ve been a band since ’96 and releasing albums since ’01. Eleven years and some people still don’t get it.

Founder and frontman James Mercer has had quite the prolific career himself. Lending his vocal talents on some Modest Mouse Tracks, acting in a film that was screened at SXSW and recording a full album with notable producer Danger Mouse, forming the group Broken Bells. Yes, the last five or so years have been busy for Mercer, including finishing and releasing the Shins fourth studio album, “Port of Morrow,” a lengthy five years after their last album, “Wincing the Night Away.” All that hard work makes you want to appreciate this band even more.

Come and do so at 7 p.m. on June 6 when the Shins take over the Fillmore Detroit with special guests The Antlers and Deep Sea Diver. Tickets can be purchased at

Nas // June 9 / Chene Park Amphitheater

by Aimee Mandle

Nearly twenty years ago, heavyweight rapper Nas released one of the most influential albums that helped shape East Coast hip-hop. “Illmatic” is still celebrated today as being a definitive record that spoke to the Queensbridge lifestyle and hardships with honest lyricism.

Over the years, Nas has put out nine studio albums, two collaboration albums and four compilations. In between the records and musical acclaim, he has earned himself notoriety from his well publicized personal life and epic feuds with other artists. Luckily, that is all behind Nas and he’s moved on to calmer waters – like his collaboration with other big names, such as Damien Marley, putting energy into raising political awareness through his music and wrapping up upcoming album “Life is Good.”

If you want to get a chance to see the prolific rapper perform live alongside DMX, tickets start off at $39 and go upwards to $89. And with overwhelming positive reviews from previous concerts, it is sure to be a high-energy, dynamic show. Nas will be performing at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 9 at Chene Park Amphitheater in Detroit. For tickets, visit

Grillin’ 2012 // June 10 / Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

by Marissa McNees

Here at iSPY, we’re not all just fun and games. We love to help out a good cause – and, hey, if that includes fun and games, well that’s even better.

On June 10, Food Gatherers, Washtenaw County’s food bank and food rescue program will host Grillin’ for Food Gatherers, an event to help our neighbors fight hunger.

Residents are invited to join Food Gatherers in an afternoon of great food and entertainment. The Common Grill, Grange Kitchen and Bar, Shalimar Restaurant and the Quarter Bistro are just a few of the local restaurants contributing to the event. One ticket can get you grilled chicken, gourmet sausages and tofu dogs, salads, grilled corn and dessert provided by Zingerman’s Bakehouse and Creamery.

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum will provide fun activities for kids of all ages, and for the big kids in attendance, a cash bar with beer and wine will be provided along with relaxing massages by Body Wisdom Massage Therapy and a food-inspired silent auction.

Live musical entertainment will include Back Forty, The Appleseed Collective and George Bedard and the Kingpins with Martin Bandyke of ann arbor’s 107.1 broadcasting the event as master of ceremonies.

Advance tickets are $50 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 – 13. To purchase tickets in advance, visit or call 734-761-2796. Tickets may also be purchased at Zingerman’s (Delicatessen, Roadhouse and Bakehouse), as well as Saline Picture Frame Co. and Dexter Picture Frame Co. Tickets purchased at the door will be $60. One adult ticket purchase will provide 120 meals for our neighbors in need.

Radiohead // June 11/ The Palace of Auburn Hills

by Paul Kitti

Radiohead has a tendency to amaze and frustrate (often at the same time). Plagued by unwanted celebrity and towed into new musical frontiers by a martyr-like dedication to the purity and purpose of their craft, Radiohead remains an impossible band: impossible to emulate, ignore or fully understand. From “The Bends” to “The King of Limbs,” their career has been something of an unpredictable experiment that has challenged the industry from every angle – but does anyone else have a lurking sense that they’ve always been in control of their own destiny? Their live performances are accordingly transcendent, a sensory overload where precision collides with seeming uncontrollability. The resulting sparks are awe-inspiring.

Only a handful of tickets remain for their show at the Palace of Auburn Hills on June 11, a couple weeks before a string of ten sold-out shows across Europe. This will be the first time we see Radiohead here in Michigan since they played in 1997 at what is now the Fillmore. Catch them while you can.

Tokyo Police Club // June 17 / The Fillmore

by Paul Kitti

Tokyo Police Club take 90’s emo and post-punk basement rock and scrub off what remains of the grunge, creating a sound more likely to soar towards the telephone lines than stick to the garage wall. That sound – in the company of The Strokes but with more twinkle and slightly less attitude – has landed the Canadian foursome on The Late Show three times, as well as the stages of Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella. You may know them from their coming-of-age anthem “Tessellate,” or you may have skimmed through applauding mentions in GQ, Rolling Stone and Spin. They’re currently on tour with Foster the People and will be stopping at the Fillmore on June 17. Tickets are available at Doors open at 7 p.m.

Foster the People // June 17 / The Fillmore

by Amanda Slater

Say what you want about Foster the People, but they’re not your typical Top 40 one-hit-wonder band – although that might be what those who were unfamiliar with them prior to the explosion of their single “Pumped Up Kicks” might be inclined to think. However, those who have been following Foster the People for a while have been familiar with “Pumped Up Kicks” for over two years now and gobbled up the entirety of Foster the People’s full length debut album “Torches” when it was (finally) released last summer.

“Torches” is one of those rare albums that is purposeful and entirely listenable, containing only songs that sound like they could be singles. That being said, if you haven’t given “Torches” a complete listen, don’t bother going to see Foster the People perform live at the Fillmore Detroit. You won’t appreciate the full experience and will just be waiting the entire time to hear “Pumped Up Kicks.”

But, for those who are fans of the album, seeing Foster the People live is not something that can be missed. While they don’t do anything overly exciting – no fireworks or impressive laser light shows – but they do put on a great live show and they sound good doing it. That means you can expect them to play almost every track on “Torches” during their sold out 7 p.m. show on Sunday, June 17 at the Fillmore Detroit. It will be a packed out show that’s bound to turn into a giant dance-party. And, if you ask me, those are the best kind of shows.

The Ann Arbor Marathon // June 17 / Downtown Ann Arbor

by David Nassar

Strap on your kicks and lineup in front of the Big House for the inaugural Ann Arbor Marathon on  Sunday, June 17.  Participants will start on Main Street and head towards North Campus before circling back and crossing the tape on the 50 yard line of Elbel Field, visiting beautiful and historic sites of Ann Arbor and the Huron River along the way.

Proceeds support Ann Arbor Public Schools, and there are a number of other charities you can donate to through the event’s website.  If 26.2 miles isn’t your thing, there will also be a half marathon, a 5K and a 1.2 mile kids’ marathon. Walkers are also welcomed, so there really is no excuse to not get out there for a great cause (though, I’m working hard on mine!). The marathon is limited to 2,500 participants and the half marathon is limited to 5,000, so register early! View all the race information at

Nada Surf // Blind Pig / June 22

by David Nassar

It’s a 90’s revival as power-pop nerd rockers, Nada Surf, take the stage at the Blind Pig on Friday, June 22. While it seems they never did match the popularity of their 1996 hit, “Popular,” Mathew Caws and the boys have been going strong for nearly 20 years now.

“The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy,” their first full album of original material in nearly four years, was released this past January to generally positive reviews. And, after years of record company disputes, it seems that the newly independent Nada Surf are reborn and rocking out as hard as ever. Supporting them that night will be the San Francisco-based band, Waters. Tickets are $16 in advance and $18 the day of the show. Ages 18 and up.  Doors open at 9 p.m. For tickets and information, visit

SEMPO // June 27 / Michigan Theater

by Marissa McNees

Looking for a great opportunity to network, meet other professionals and learn about the ever-growing industry of search engine marketing?

The Michigan chapter of SEMPO, Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, will host “Telling Our Story; Michigan, the Search and Social State” on June 27 at the Michigan Theater in what will be a great opportunity for students and professionals to connect and learn about social and search engine marketing.

As the largest non-profit trade organization in the world, SEMPO aims to bring together talented search and social marketers to share ideas, experiences and grow as digital marketers. The recently launched Michigan chapter of SEMPO will provide events, educational opportunities and networking.

The program includes an opening presentation by Linda Girard, co-founder of Pure Visibility, and a presentation by keynote speaker Brian Kaminski, COO of iProspect.

Participants will also be able to take part in a panel discussion, “How to Integrate Teams to Tell One Story,” and will be provided with lunch and an opportunity to mingle with other search and social marketers.

Registration is $10 for all SEMPO members, $25 for non-members and $15 for students. Visit for more event registration information.

Scissor Sisters // June 27/ Royal Oak Music Theater

by Paul Kitti

New York’s own Scissor Sisters specialize in extravagance. At least they let you know their intentions right away – their name is a reference to a sexual position, and they wear this spirit of over-the-top-ness on their sleeves along with an assortment of other accessories. It makes sense, then, that these five expressive individuals received a lot of love in the UK where their debut was a number one bestseller and the charts seemed to be a Scissor Sisters playlist. They found a home in Europe while the states remained a little too uptight for their untamed wackiness and sensual bravado, but that was in 2004 – they’ve broken through most international borders since then, infecting the world with their glamorous, disco-infused dance-pop.

When they come to Royal Oak Music Theater in June, expect a stylish, glitzy dance romp along the lines of a modern cross between “Saturday Night Fever” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” In the meantime, check out their bizarre music videos and be on the lookout for their new album on May 28.

The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at

Electric Forest Festival // June 28 / Double J Ranch

by Marissa McNees

Returning for a second year is the 2012 Electric Forest festival in Rothbury, Michigan.

After much success in its first few years, the Rothbury festival took a year hiatus in 2010 before returning full-force in 2011 revamped as the first annual Electric Forest—a name paying homage to the Double J Ranch where the event is held.

“[We're] looking at creating a way for people to walk away from the experience being wowed and knowing that regardless of who’s booked and what’s going on, they know they want to return next year,” said Electric Forest’s art director, Tia Christiansen.

“They’re ready for the overall experience because they know that the event is going to be amazing.”

This year’s lineup should prove to be just that.

The String Cheese Incident will headline three shows over the weekend, joined two nights by STS9 as well as performances throughout the weekend by artists such as Thievery Corporation, Girl Talk, Santigold, Steve Aoki, Ghostland Observatory and many more.

Introduced this year will be a series of curated events hosted by Electric Forest partners ESL Music, Dim Mak, Check Yo Ponytail and Paxahau.

“We try to be aware of what’s going on in the art scene right now and how we can bring together a little bit from the variety of areas and locales, “ said Christiansen.

“We want a little something with the Denver vibe or a splash from New York or what’s going on in Chicago and Detroit. Part of the goal is to really engage and activate the art scene that’s in the local region.”

Electric Forest will take place June 28 – July 1 at the Double J Ranch in Rothbury, Michigan. Ticket packages and full lineup information as well as a festival guide are available at


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