GREAT News from AP just came in today that the Cleveland Rock Hall of Fame has once again nominated the Mighty MC5!!

The number of punk fans who can ID an MC5 song that doesn't begin with a profanity-laden promise of jam-kicking-out is ever-dwindling, but they still feel Important -- one of the defining names of proto-punk -- and no one would be tremendously surprised to find out they'd been a down-ballot inductee a decade ago without anyone really noticing. The Stooges are already in and the New York Dolls haven't been nominated in 15 years, the MC5 seems like a solid pick here.

Legendary Drummer Dennis Thompson feels it is a great honor to be nominated with all the many greats of rock and roll history!

So all of you legions of MC5 fans get on all of your devices and let's share this story world wide... VOTE FOR THE MC5!!!!




Stu Hamm: Live at the Token Lounge
Keith Mansfield

Stuart Hamm is an American bass guitar player known for his session and live work with numerous artists as well for his unconventional playing style and solo recordings. Full Bio Here

When I first got the assignment to go see a bass solo show I thought, really? When I found out that bassist was Stu Hamm, my thoughts changed to, well, this could be interesting. Stu Hamm, for the uninitiated, has played with pyrotechnical guitar shredders like Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen & Steve Vai. Stu has recorded and toured with everyone from Bette Midler to Chic Corea, Michael Schenker, and everyone in between.

This intimate show at the Token Lounge on Sunday night was unique and delightful. There were no backing tracks, no loops just Stu, his bass and his stories. He opened the show with, according to him, an old Irish drinking song made famous by Jimi Hendrix.

That would be The Star Spangled Banner followed by America the Beautiful. He told the audience about moving to California at the behest of his old college pal Steve Vai. This little story, one of the many he shared, was followed by his bass solo of Zeppelin's Going to California.

Stu performed songs from The Beatles, Satriani, Vai and even the Partridge family.  All in all, a different but very enjoyable evening with the promise of returning in August with his full band. 

The show was opened by special guests The Kenny Hill Group. A tight three piece band from Redford that rocked several instrumentals and got the small but passionate crowd cranked up and ready.

Keith Mansfield


"5 CARAT ROCK" Shines Brightly For SWEET CRYSTAL

DETROIT:  “5 CARAT ROCK”– the fifth release from fifteen time (and counting) Detroit Music Award winning rock band SWEET CRYSTAL is shining even brighter, thanks to their ongoing collaboration with engineer/producer  Chuck Alkazian (Christina Aguilera, Mitch Ryder, Pop Evil).

The new 7 song, 8 track (more on that later) EP features all the stellar guitar tones and solos, keyboard melodies and arrangements  and dynamic vocal performances of previous SWEET CRYSTAL releases, but it’s the addition of Pearl Sound Studios (Canton, MI) signature live drum tracks and Alkazian’s bass playing that makes this the most powerful and poignant project to date for the band – and that’s saying a lot.

“There are some pretty sweet themes behind the original songs on 5 Carat Rock” says founding member Marq Andrew Speck. “The opening track “Even Now” is based on how our lives parallel the story of Lazarus in the Bible. “Come As We Are” is the first full out praise-n-worship song we’ve ever written. “Jericho” equates the walls we build in our lives to those of that ill-fated city in the Old Testament and “Can’t Turn Back” is a reflection on how we react as we encounter the world around us. There will be a song or two (Ed. Note: or more) in 5 Carat Rock that touches everyone right where they live.”

The physical CD (released on the Nightcrier Music label) also contains bonus tracks not available as downloads: SWEET CRYSTAL not only covers music from two iconic artists (Bob Dylan and Motley Crue), but perhaps the most interesting cut is Track 8 - “Sgt. Penney 1945 (Live)”. This historic audio archive is a restored live recording from a young soldier, originally broadcast in 1945 from the Pacific front during World War II back to a Detroit radio station. “There is a very unique connection between this decorated warrior and the band that made this well worth documenting on this release” says Speck.

The core trio of musicians that make up SWEET CRYSTAL - Marq Andrew Speck (lead vocal, anything with keys), Bill Blatter (vocals, anything with strings) and Steve Wieser (anything hit with sticks) remains standing strong on the front lines of the Michigan music scene. Their music, message, mission and ministry continue and show no sign of slowing down any time soon.

SWEET CRYSTAL and 5 CARAT ROCK – still “Reaching The World, One Song At A Time ™”!

Follow SWEET CRYSTAL  on FacebookTwitter and at www.sweetcrystal.com

Previous Releases Also Available At http://sweetcrystal.bandcamp.com/




Cinetopia International Film Festival is here again! They have ten days of film screenings, special events, celebrities, filmmakers and film fans experience excellent cinema at venues throughout the Detroit region.

Thanks to the help from their Cinetopia partners at the Arab American National Museum, Cinema Detroit, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, College for Creative Studies, the Henry Ford Giant Screen Experience, the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, the Maple Theater, Redford Theatre, Campus Martius, New Center Park, Ford Resource and Engagement Center, and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, together with the Michigan Theater and the State Theatre in Ann Arbor, movie lovers now have approximately 120 screenings from which to choose over the festival’s ten days!



Sun, Jun 5 7:00 PM

Detroit Film Theatre

Sun, Jun 12 7:00 PM Ann Arbor

Michigan Theater - Auditorium

There’s a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk – every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late ’60-early ’70 band, the Stooges. Iggy Pop, an outstanding artist known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics, sings at the Baloise Session in Basel, Switzerland, where he was honored with a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.

This fantastic performance features many of Iggy Pop’s top hits, including I Wanna be Your Dog, The Passenger, Lust for Life and many more. Advance tickets and festival passes are available at the Cinetopia Film Festival website. - See more RETROKIMMER.COM



Ron Perry in Ann Arbor (my photo)

Guess who came out to Ann Arbor last week to show me his completed footage for his DETROIT ROCKS documentary...that's right... my pal Ron Perry! Everybody but everybody is in this film!

What dedication Ron Perry has to devote so much time and energy to bring this Detroit Rock history to the world! I have seen many other rock docs about Detroit but this one is light years better and more in depth!

Ron brought 2 hours of edited film for me to see featuring  early Doo Wop groups, Detroit's first rock star Jack Scott, Nolan Strong (Mind Over Matter), the Larados, then gets rocking with Mitch Ryder/Detroit Wheels. Next up was The Rationals, some excellent history of the Grande Ballroom that the fans will love. He has a tight section on The MC5. I just loved it... I am in it a couple of times talking about Scott Morgan's fainting fans and my only trip at age 15 to the Grande in 1971!

Ron's film has  FABULOUS new footage and images which I had never seen of MITCH RYDER AND THE DETROIT WHEELS. It was so GREAT!. That band was my very first musical obsession and I adore them to this day...

The Rationals got the star treatment they have always deserved in this movie too! Can't wait for their fans to see this!!

The MC5 section focuses on their MUSIC and has great images...MC5's monster drummer, Dennis Thompson will love this and he is one of the film's narrators...

Dennis Thompson's Interview 

I loved what I have seen so far and the fans will not be disappointed with this Detroit Rocks Documentary! Great work Ron and Nick!! All of our favorite Detroit Rock friends are in this!



 10 Awesome Guitar Accessories for Savvy Guitarists. #6 is a Life Changer

You have the guitar, you have the skills, and you think that’s all you need to start producing hits. However, to sound more interesting, play better and be sure that you can manage a live performance meltdown, you also need the right accessories.
So, excluding the obvious leather guitar strap, here are ten accessories that are mandatory for all sophisticated guitarists.


Sometimes guitars need repairing, and since some parts of them are very small or well-hidden, even if there is light in the room, it will still be difficult to spot the problem. For example, you probably won’t be able to see the broken bit of solder in the volume pedal that gives a bad connection.

String Winders

Strings are disposable, as you know by now – they can break from all sorts of reasons. So giving that, the process of replacing them will go smoother if you try to use a peg or a string winder. With it, you can wrap the strings on to the post somehow faster than if you were doing it by hand.


If you wish to make attack-less notes and somehow emulate the sound of instruments like the cello or the violin, then you need an e-bow. Using a battery that is powered by a magnet, without having to make any contact, it can excite the string on top of which it is located. Since the attraction is magnetic, its response will be a bit delayed. That is why it is preferable if you use it on passages that are more melodic and lyrical.


Tuners have become almost as indispensable as the guitar itself these days. And it’s not so surprising since there are many options available, from tuning forks, pitch pipes, or electronic tuners that are also very cheap. They are especially helpful for beginners because they are very accurate and fast and thus, learning how to use them is simple. The most popular types of tuners nowadays are the clip-on, pedal-shaped and the portable ones.


If you wish to keep a steady tempo, then metronomes are what you’re looking for. They aren’t new on the musical market – they’ve been around for about two centuries now. Nowadays there are electronic models that are considerably smaller than the older ones. You can even download apps that turn into metronomes.

The Wrenches

Although there are plenty of fancy accessories in this list, the wrenches and the other tools that usually come with them are somehow indispensable and potentially life savers. The reason is that guitars will always need general maintenance and setup; somewhere along the way you will need to fix or adjust a bridge height, truss road or cut strings. Usually, you must own a couple of screwdrivers, hex wrenches and string cutters. An alternative is to get a toolkit that is guitar-oriented in which you will virtually find anything that you might need.

Cleaning Supplies and Cloths

You will need a cloth for the guitar’s body, but you will also need them for wiping the strings down. The reason for doing that once you’ve finished playing is that it keeps them fresh-sounding and lasting for a considerably longer time. It is best if you have a cloth for polishing and cleaning and another one for the wiping of the strings.
The cleaning supplies come in handy as well. You might think of getting products that focus on string cleaning, polish, but also a fingerboard conditioner.


It is inconceivable to have a guitar and not have slides, so what you need to do is figure out which type do you want. You can decide based on comfort and your tastes, but an experienced guitarist usually has a complex set of slides for different styles.

A Case

Now this might be seen as the mark of a truly dedicated guitar player. However, getting a case is optimal not only for cosmetic reasons but because it protects your instrument better, especially if it is a hard shell one. Also, you can use it to deposit other accessories as well.


Since no one plays only with their fingers anymore, you will probably want to own a selection of guitar picks. You should strive to get picks of various thicknesses and materials. Different picks give different options regarding tone and flavor also.

What other accessories for savvy guitarists would you recommend? Write them in the comments section below.

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