Archive for the 'music' Category

Someone actually read a post!

Woo hoo! I thought I was the only one to read this blog, and today I got a comment from Alberto Cottica, member and founder of the band Fiamma Fumana, which is a band that I’ve really enjoyed since first seeing them in Detroit in 2001. They were so good at the Detroit Festival of the Arts, that we went back to see them a second time a day or two later at the same festival. I also ran many blocks in the humid summer heat to get money from an ATM to buy the first album on the spot!

Pretty cool to get a comment from my favorite economics accordionist! I hope they come back to Detroit again soon.

I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m too up on Detroit today. There’s mixed reports out on Detroit. The good one is the report that the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership has “helped 45 companies either expand or locate in the Detroit region, generating investments totaling $66 million and adding 644 new jobs during the year ended June 30.”

The bad new, of course, starts with the area’s foreclosure rate, which is second worst in the nation, just behind Stockton, California (yuck) and just ahead of Las Vegas, Nevada (again, yuck). What a great group to be in: Stockton the overpriced, overly bland bedroom community of Northern California’s Central Valley, and Las Vegas, overly bland stucco tract housing in the dessert surrounding Sin City, were only the worst of society enjoys a stay.

The second bit of bad news contradicts the first bit (o.k., only bit of good news) of the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership report about business expansion and creation. According to the Detroit News, the state’s economy is stalled, and that business growth in the area fell dramatically in the last twelve months.

When Detroit bottoms out it may become a good investment. Question is when will that be? We’ve got much needed water (if it doesn’t all drain out…), and cheap land. Unfortunately, I think we’re still on the way down…but one day, it’ll head back up (I hope).

Trying to be positive…

After two rants, I had decided to try to be a little more positive. I don’t want to be that person. There are some things I do like here, beyond the usual family and friends (those that haven’t already left that is). Detroit has some great events that take place every summer including, but not limited to:

The Detroit Festival of the Arts has passed. It was June 8th through the 10th. Located in Mid Town, near WSU, the DIA, and CCS, it’s always got an interesting and eclectic line up of local and international musicians. When the weather is good, it’s probably one of the best events in Detroit (in my humble opinion).

Comerica CityFest (formerly TasteFest) is held July 4th through the 8th in the New Center area. With four stages and some major acts (at past festivals: Wilco, Jet, Carl Craig, etc.), this is often my favorite venue for live music in Detroit. Not much beats the atmosphere at the stage next at Lothrup and Second, this year called the Pure Detroit stage. Late at night with great, live, electronica, street dancing (break dancing), and an always interesting, large, mix of people, makes for a great night.

The Concert of Colors, taking place at the Max M Fisher Music Center, July 19th through the 22nd, has both indoor and outdoor stages. It used to be held at Chene Park, overlooking the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario, which was spectacular on nice evenings. The newer venue is good, but doesn’t quite have the same atmosphere. The line up, however, is as good as ever. One band I’m interested to check out is Fiamma Fumana, a group from Italy that I saw at the Festival of the Arts several years ago. The four members put on an interesting performance, mixing electronica, Italian folk, and traditional instruments. Great live, then, and hopefully now as well.

Arts, Beats and Eats isn’t actually in Detroit, or really even near Detroit, but it’s in the Metro area, so I guess it counts. Taking place over the Labor Day weekend, this festival always has a good mix of music, and a pretty decent art fair as well. It’s always absolutely packed, and sometimes the heat is absolutely un-bearable, though it doesn’t seem to stop anyone from coming. It’s also almost impossible to park anywhere nearby for less than $10 anymore (in the early years it was always easy to find close by free parking). In the past I’ve seen great shows by groups such as Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and the Twistin’ Tarantulas.

Of course there’s a lot of other things going on in the area (Dalley in the Alley, hydro-plane races, etc.), but these events are certainly some of my personal favorites.