Someone recently e-mailed me, suggesting that for Detroit music fans, the Hamtramck Blowout is sorta like Christmas in March. Now in its 11th year — and originally just a pipe dream by former Metro Times music editor and current contributor Chris Handyside and then-marketing director Brian Boyle — the Blowout is certainly a Detroit institution at this point. There was some controversy on the Internets earlier this fall as to whether the festival was happening at all this year, but — believe me — there was never any question. In fact, when I first applied for this job a year ago this month, I was told that compiling editorial copy for the Blowout would be one of my primary responsibilities. So there has never been any doubt as to whether the festival would continue or not. Hell, that'd be akin to canceling Christmas, right?
Being the largest local music fest in the country, this year's 230-plus artists include perhaps the most eclectic mix yet, running the gamut from synth-pop to noise pop to hip hop to balls-out rock 'n' roll (as well as everything in between), from the legendary Scott Morgan to the kids in the Displays — and that's quite a gap.
It's all in the spirit of fun — and I'm told that Blowout is the toppermost of the poppermost when it comes to Motor City fun. Lord knows we need it. So enjoy yourselves ... and don't forget a tip of the hat to this year's producer Eve Doster, who worked her ass off to make this 11th year the best Blowout yet. And don't forget tonight's opening party at the Majestic Theatre complex, featuring appearances by Cetan Clawson, Mega Wedge, the Silent Years and Bump. —Bill Holdship, Music Editor
From laughs to a tear
by Khary Kimani Turner
BlackReign and Ohkang kick up drama cloaked in jest.
by Daniel Johnson
Zoos of Berlin rise on ticks of tension and resolution, musical or otherwise.
by Bill Holdship
Silverghost strives to bridge the gap between its founders' rock and synth-pop sensibilities.
by Brian Smith
The poised manboys of Satin Peaches weigh in on new releases, blindfold-style.
by Metro Times music staff
Fast facts about selected acts.
Blowout Official Program Guide
Printable full Blowout Schedule (PDF format).
Blowout Venue Map
Printable Blowout map (PDF format).