Call it the freshening of the festival.
If many of the names playing this year’s Metro Times Blowout seem new or unfamiliar, it’s by design according to producer Eve Doster.
“It was important to not have a lot of the same old same olds,” explains Doster, who’s in her third year of helming the 13-year-old event, during which nearly 200 bands will play at 15 venues starting Thursday in Hamtramck, with a Wednesday night opening party at Detroit’s Majestic Complex.
The change, according to Doster, came from “more of a self-criticism” within the Blowout organization. “It was, ‘How do we keep this relevant? How do we draw in new, young people? What are they listening to? What are they interested in?’
“It was very important to draw a new, young crowd, but let them know this is Detroit and ... be an introduction to the scene.”
Doster estimates that about half of the Blowout bill — chosen from nearly 1,500 submissions — is new to the festival, while a significant number of the bands are “artists who have performed several times at Blowout, but with their new permutations.” Among the latter are: Fidrych, which grew out of precursor Prochsleeper; Eyer Department, which features former members of Ethos; Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., which was co-founded by Josh Epstein of the Silent Years; local veteran Kenny Tudrick’s Cannon and the Sugarcoats, the new venture by former Sponge and current Detroit Cobras guitarist Joey Mazzola.
But Blowout will also feature plenty of “old” favorites, including perennials such as the Hard Lessons, the Sights, 60 Second Crush, Bump and the Polish Muslims.
Interestingly, many of those names — new and old — group together nicely into similar topic areas. Here’s how some of this year’s Blowout bands fare in the name game ...
Civic Pride: Carjack (10:20 p.m. Thursday, Paycheck’s); Bill Bondsmen (12:40 a.m. Sunday, Atlas Bar), Kommie Kilpatrick (11:40 p.m. Saturday, Atlas Bar)
It’s a Big World: Zoos of Berlin (11:20 p.m. Thursday, Paycheck’s); Black Irish (11:20 p.m. Thursday, Painted Lady); Polish Muslims (12:20 a.m. Saturday, Painted Lady); Millions of Brazilians (1 a.m. Sunday, Gates of Columbus Hall); Los Minstrels Del Diablos (12:40 a.m. Sunday, Small’s); Prussia, 11:20 p.m. Saturday, Jean’s)
Family Affairs: The Mydols (9 p.m. Thursday, New Dodge); October Babies (10:20 p.m. Friday, Whiskey In the Jar); James & the Rainbros (10:40 p.m., Kelly’s Bar); the Grateful Dads (2 p.m. Saturday, Cafe 1923); Secret Twins (10 p.m. Saturday, Gates of Columbus Hall); Child Bite (11 p.m., Gates of Columbus Hall)
Animal Instincts: Cougar the Tiger (8:40 p.m. Thursday, Whiskey in the Jar); Macrame Tiger (10 p.m. Thursday, the Belmont); Fawn (9:20 p.m. Thursday, Paycheck’s); Snakewing (8:40 p.m. Thursday, Small’s); Wolfbait (11:40 p.m. Friday, Small’s); Blue Snaggletooth (12:40 a.m. Saturday, Small’s); Beekeepers (11 p.m. Friday, Jean’s); Detroit Cobras (1 a.m. Saturday, Gates of Columbus Hall); Dog Latin (9:40 p.m. Saturday, Whiskey in the Jar)
Songs of the Sea: Octopus (midnight Friday, Gates of Columbus Hall); Sh! the Octopus (12:40 a.m. Sunday, Whiskey in the Jar)
Winged Wonders: Bat on Fire (10:40 p.m. Thursday, Kelly’s Bar); the Meadowlarks (9:20 p.m. Thursday, Gates of Columbus Lounge); Pigeon (9:40 p.m. Friday, Small’s); Bloodbird (10:20 p.m. Friday, Baker’s Streetcar)
Good Sports: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (9:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Majestic); Fidrych (11:20 p.m. Friday, the Belmont)
Blinding Us With Science: Isosceles Mountain (9 p.m. Thursday, Skipper’s); Electromags (9:40 p.m. Thursday, Kelly’s Bar); Rogue Satellites (10:20 p.m. Friday, The Belmont); Marco Polio & the New Vaccines (12:40 a.m. Saturday, Paycheck’s); the Metldowns (10:20 p.m. Saturday, Painted Lady)
Mind Your P’s and...: The Q (8:40 p.m. Thursday, Kelly’s Bar)
Politically Incorrect: The Handgrenades (8 p.m. Thursday, Jean’s); Fur (midnight Thursday, Atlas Bar); Jesus Chainsaw Massacre (10:40 p.m. Thursday, Whiskey in the Jar)
Monster Mash: Phantom Shakers (9:20 p.m. Thursday, Painted Lady); Legendary Creatures (10 p.m. Thursday, Skipper’s); Slow Giant (1 a.m. Saturday, Jean’s).
The 13th Annual Metro Times Blowout takes place Wednesday (March 3) at the Majestic Complex, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit, and Thursday-Saturday (March 4-6) at venues in Hamtramck. Weekend wristbands are $18. Visit www.metrotimes.com/blowout for schedules and other information
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