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A band of bands

September 12, 2012 - Steve Schulwitz
I'm not sure many people are aware of it, but Northeast Michigan has a thriving and diverse music scene. The bands and individual performers do more than provide entertainment to listeners, but also lend a hand in improving the bottom line in local small businesses' budgets.

Many of the bands also help local causes and team with charities to help raise money for the needy, as well as public awareness. There are some bands who could be on the verge of significant notoriety and national acclaim and some who are just getting under way but show promise. One by one I am going to spotlight a band, what type of music they play, and where they can be seen. The musicians who make up these bands are hardworking and talented, so supporting them and the businesses that hire them is important.

* The Darwin Project: This is the biggest band in NE Michigan, bar none. They recently released their second album "Beautiful" and are on a national tour where they will be playing in 28 states in 30 days. The band's music can be heard on local rock stations, as well as satellite rock networks. The Darwin Project is frequently an opening act for prime-time performers in medium- to large-scale venues around the state and play a catchy brand of melodic rock and roll sure to get stuck in your head. Five stars and a must-see and hear. Don't hesitate. Buy, listen and enjoy this band, which is on the cusp of great things.

* D3ad by Monday: Regulars in the NE Michigan music scene. Rest assured if you want an enjoyable evening of quality music and showmanship, this band is playing somewhere near you and are highly recommended. They play frequently at The Black Sheep, Chief's, Burton's Last Resort in Alpena, as well as other larger local musical showcases. They also cleaned house in the 2012 Northeast Michigan Music Awards, including "Best Band." D3ad by Monday is also ready to release their debut EP, which will be available soon. This band is the master of self-promotion via social networking, and it is paying off. The N3XT Big Thing? Could be.

* Assault the Silence: Loud, proud and heavy. No music scene is complete without a metal band capable of cracking your ribs with a heavy power cord or thrill with a shredding guitar or drum solo. The band has been much more visible in the Alpena area over the last half a year and are amassing an impressive following. They are also hosting a fundraising event on Sept. 22 in Hubbard Lake in which the proceeds go to a family who lost its home to a fire. In other words, they care about the community. If you crave a night of head-banging or need a release of aggression, these guys are for you.

* She Screams of Royalty: A group of young men from Hillman who are about to release a new album. Although they play more often in other markets, the talent and creativity these youngsters display is impressive. Samples of their tunes are available on Youtube and Facebook.

* Bobbing for Piranhas : A trio of young men who nail it. They are tight. They sing beautifully together, and in my opinion, the best is yet to come for this band. The talent is undeniable, and they are possibly the best sounding and tightest band of those listed. It will be fun to watch them grow as musicians and develop their own material.

Obviously there are many other bands and musicians I don't have room to comment about, such as Murder of Crows, Human Wreckage, the Jimmy Tolin Band and Hollywood Vampires, just to name a few, but they are all active in the area and deserve your ears and eyes. You can learn more about many of them on Facebook and Twitter. Check all of them out and spread the word. Our local music is a source of pride along with our arts and culture in Alpena, and it should be celebrated and supported.


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