Dave Feeny started the Detroit Sounds and Spirits Holiday Spectacular six years ago as “a joke. We just decided to do something for fun.”
There are plenty of smiles these days, but no laughing. The Spectacular has grown into one of the most anticipated annual events on the Detroit music calendar, and it’s raised more than $13,000 for the Coalition on Temporary Shelter’s work to aid the homeless.
“It’s turned into this thing that’s uncontrollable,” says Feeny, a member of the Detroit bands Blanche and American Mars as well as a producer who runs Tempermill Studios in Ferndale.
“I had, no (kidding) 60 or 70 bands contact me about trying to play the thing this year. And I remember trying to talk people into it a few years ago.”
The White Stripes’ Jack White helped put the Spectacular on the map with a solo performance at the inaugural event, which was held at Detroit’s C-Pop Gallery before it moved down the block to the Magic Stick. At tonight’s show, Feeny expects to troop about 30 acts onstage, including American Mars, The Hard Lessons, the Great Lakes Myth Society, The Go, Paincakes — a heavy metal combination of Thunderbirds Are Now! and Recital — and others, along with dance performances and the Serenity Court puppet show. Blanche frontman Dan Miller (aka Arthur P. Dottweiler) and former Goober & the Peas member Tom “Junior” Hendrickson (aka late-night “bedroom” DJ Brice Rivers) will emcee.
“It’s good. It’ll sell out, and we’ll make some money,” says Feeny, who produced the new American Mars album, “Western Sides,” which is due out Jan. 15. “It’s my best Christmas present, on Christmas Eve taking a check over to COTS. As sobering as it is to walk around and see those surroundings, you think that maybe we’re helping them do something with this money.”
The 6th Annual Detroit Sounds and Spirits Holiday Spectacular takes place Friday (Dec. 21) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $15. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www. majesticdetroit.com.
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