Martin Atkins discussing Pigface 6, Chinese rock, and more

Ever the creative band, Pigface’s new album 6 certainly continues the worthy experiment. The brains behind the band, Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd., Killing Joke, Ministry, NIN), discusses 6 along with his discovery of the underground Chinese rock n roll scene and the creation of his new school in Chicago.

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Red Light Winter director Brock Yordy shares vision for theatre

Brock Yordy, director of the Kalamazoo premier of playwright Adam Rapp’s Red Light Winter, stopped by the NCH today.

Yordy discusses his intimate staging of the provocative play where the audience may just be close enough to see the actor’s tear. But that’s how Yordy envisions modern theatre, with real emotions, genuine gritty characters, and real language that could eclipse the draw of prime time television.

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Interview with Ian Gorman

Who Hit John bassist Ian Gorman stopped by the Nonchalant Cafe for an interview Friday. The Kalamazoo-based American roots music ensemble recently released a new album called Heirloom. Gorman, who was involved in the recording of WHJ’s first full-length release Old Gray Road, has since joined the band full-time. Gorman discusses the making-of the record and what the band is up to these days.

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May Erlewine Interview

May Erlewine’s new album “Love Labor” is the lastest breath of fresh air from one of Michigan’s most prolific songwriters. “Love Labor”, a follow-up album to Erlewine’s “Mother Moon” release, features a cast of talented musicians and friends crafting a vision filled with love, spirit, and environmental stewardship. The album is also a reflection of an enduring devotion to folk music and the role of a folk musician in these troubled times.

In a phone conversation ahead of a venture into Kalamazoo for a show at Bells Eccentric Cafe, Erlewine discusses the creation of “Love Labor” and her recent experiences in Mexico and Belize among other insights from a truly evolving artist.

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Interview with Mission of Burma’s Roger Miller

Boston-based Mission of Burma released just one record before they broke up in the early 1980’s. Almost two decades would pass until in 2002 a rumor of a reunion came to fruition. 

To the delight of fans, Mission of Burma, with Roger Miller on guitar, Clint Conley on bass, Peter Prescott on drums and Bob Weston replacing Martin Swope on tape loops, has since recorded two more albums, ONoffON and The Obliterati.

In 2007 the band headlined the the annual Barking Tuna Festival in Kalamazoo. I called up Miller to discuss what it was like being back in Mission of Burma and playing in front of a legion of new fans.

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Interview with Mike Shimmin

Percussionist Mike Shimmin stopped by the Nonchalant Cafe Hour for a conversation about his music and travels around the world.

The award winning jazz percussionist has immersed himself in a number of new rhythmic styles ranging from sounds indigenous to northern Africa to the Celtic sounds of Scotland. Shimmin was in Kalamazoo performing with his Ann Arbor-based band Millish.

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Interview with the Total Blam Blams

Jason Heystek (pictured on far right in photo), guitarist and vocalist for Grand Rapids-based the Total Blam Blams, joined me today on the Nonchalant Cafe Hour ahead of the band’s show in Kalamazoo.

Heystek, known to many WIDR listeners as the legendary Ukulele de Jason from his days as a co-host on the NCH, discusses the disappearance of the big guitar solo in rock music; the potential that one day he’ll smash his guitar on-stage; and the Blam’s “kick-ass” lead singer, Nora Hemgesberg.  

Click here to stream the interview: The Total Blam Blams Interview