It’s not yours to take away….

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2016 by obscurrus

A few years ago, a local band formed, made up of members of other projects. They were humble, and very hungry.  They promoted their songs and their shows endlessly, were cordial to the crowd, and gave great show. They appeared, for all intents and purposes, to be going places.

As we worked with them, we saw something special and shared their music with other promoters, Internet radio stations and other people in our network… As we are wont to do with any of the artists in our family.  Their fan base grew, and what should have been a nice long ride, by all evidence, began.

I won’t go on with that part of the story, it’s a matter of record through not only our blog, but others. Locally it’s become legend and a prime example of what NOT to do if you are starting a musical career. But again, that’s not the story. The core members, the originals of this band made peace with themselves, the fans, and the promoters long ago, and they remain part of the family to this day.  No, this story is about the cause of the decay.  This is the tale of the disease that came in disguised as a band member, promising the world and delivering nothing. A burner of bridges and worlds that destroyed all he touched.  After destroying the band, friendships, fan base, and industry relationships, away he went.  While the original members of the band have split to the 4 winds, they have buried the hatchet amongst themselves and they kept the webpages and sites up and open as a shrine to that brief moment when they were poised to move the world.  This was the one repository of music and video files, pictures, and fliers, basically the one stop digital scrapbook for the entire band.  And here comes yet another lesson no musician should have to learn.

Through whatever mechanations or hunger that caused the original members to add this member (and I won’t name him, explanation later) to their line up, whatever youthful hubris and desire to take the fast lane to the big time allowed them to swallow what this pathetic joker was feeding them, they do as many bands do, they made him a brother, an equal partner member and handed him all the keys to the kingdom.  And true to form, this putz did what he has done from day one with anything he has touched.  He destroyed it.

Why start a new page when you find another sucker, err, I mean find another project to play with?  Too much work, just steal the one from the band you walked into (you remember them? The guys you fucked over, lied to, and manipulated?  The credit you stole, the fans you alienated, the songs and shows you ruined due to the complete lack of musical talent or ability to play?) Just wait a few years after the wreckage has cleared, use the administrator privileges you had to the old band page and wipe it clean! Because why should the actual people who started the band, wrote the songs, earned the fans, had the talent, did the actual work, oh, and tried to redeem themselves have memories of their hard work or passion or brotherhood together?  You were just the guy who walked in at the 11th hour, lied, connived, sucked, and ultimately POOFED out of the scene, so you can just undo it and take the likes that they earned and continue on your way.

There is a very special place in hell for people like you.  You’ll recognize it LONG before you get there, because it will be an eternal repeat of how the majority of your life will be all the way to the end.  You get what you put in.  You, put nothing in, you just take. You’ve already been found out here, where you’re originally from, and other places you’ve passed through, it’s only a matter of time before you’re smoked out of your new sleazing grounds.

I’ve not mentioned your name, because YOU never earned one, but you’ve earned a reputation, and there are a great many people who remember THAT in the industry.  Much like that time period when your actions caused your previously mentioned band to lose opportunities, traction, and fans,  you will get EXACTLY what you deserve.

All you brother and sister musicians out there,  if you didn’t grow up with a newly added band member, they didn’t come highly recommended by a reputable peer, if they don’t walk the walk much more than talk the talk. If they can’t put their money where mouth is, they are a hired gun, an employee, NOT an equal partner.  They don’t get publishing/performance rights, name rights, admin credentials, and they don’t get the power and position to take over your band.  If you have this guy already and you’ve given up any of the above, change your passwords now and rework your personel agreements.  EVERYBODY has to pay their dues in the real world, there are NO shortcuts to success.  People who exploit the system and skip the processes burn out and are forgotten quicker that you can blink.

To my musical brethren who have been afflicted by this cancer, I hope your messages have been received and the powers that be can reverse this situation for you and soon.  No one deserves to have their hard work and passion to be stolen or destroyed by someone who didn’t create it in the first place.

Peace and long live rock n roll

Uncle Doom


We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for this special announcement…

Posted in Bands, Community, Concerts, Family, Kalkaska, Michigan, Music, Northern Michigan, Uncategorized, Youth Events on November 2, 2014 by obscurrus

Last night (November 1, 2014, for those who don’t read this immediately), we celebrated music, family, and the return of our good friends FAMOUS LAST WORDS at the ODP PRESENTS: The Night THEY Came Home All Age Concert Event & Costume Party. We celebrated Halloween, ODP staff member Kennedy Flory’s 16th birthday, our first show back after a 2 1/2 month break, and our 28th anniversary. But mostly, we celebrated because there was a group of people who came together and shared a REAL moment enjoying live music and supporting the bands. More and more new people coming out and spreading the word about putting down a phone and LIVING, not vicariously through their computers, but actually standing shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, and being moved by an actual live band playing actual real live music. Much better memory than watching 30 second clip on YouTube, don’t ya think? Last night, over 100 people entered a room and shared an experience that was only 4 hours long from beginning to end… But that memory will last a lifetime. And after 28 years of helping to create those memories with, and for others, we look forward to helping create those memories for another 28 years. Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the show last night and support the bands, and to FAMOUS LAST WORDS, CHANGE IS, AZURE, & SERAPHIM for sharing killer sets with us.

Have you heard? The king is dead! LONG LIVE THE KING!!!

Posted in Music, Music News, Uncategorized on September 14, 2014 by obscurrus

So the other day, one of my early musical heroes, THE God Of Thunder himself, Gene Simmons of KISS, decided to decree that Rock is dead and then began a senseless diatribe on how it died and blah blah blah. You can read his statement HERE.

I’ve been involved in many aspects of music for 36 years now. I’ve been alive for 46. I’ve seen lots of trends come and go, and some come and go again.

Rock is NOT dead, Mr. Simmons. It cannot die. It cannot be killed. It can’t be stopped or quieted. It is a force of nature, created by the hearts of the young and perpetuated by the young at heart. It is born of the need to fly fast, hard, and free. To be the voice for the voiceless. The rallying cry of those attempting to find their way. The glue that binds the memories of our formative years and the soundtrack of our lives. Rock has always existed. There have always been composers who created the heavy, the ripping, the outside of the box. It didn’t need a label. It was always there.

Distortion, however, made it way cooler.

I think what you were trying to say, (but couldn’t) is that YOUR dreams are dead. That your heart, mind, and soul have aged along with your body. That creating a marketing juggernaut off 40 year old songs and licensed characters, charging insanely high prices for concert tickets, and branding everything from caskets to denture adhesive with the name of your band (especially after not creating NEW music for almost 2 decades) has killed your love of rock.

Because you have chosen “the music business” path, instead of being in the business of ROCKING. It’s all about the bottom dollar now. You cannot argue or debate this part away. Beyond top dollar ticket prices, your costuming of new band members as old band members, the lack of new original material, the ignoring of your fans wishes to see the original lineup at the Hall Of Fame induction, and the fact that your live show involves more production to hide the fact that neither you, or Paul, can rock n roll all night or party every day. Unless “partying” involves Velcro-ing on the latest jet black Chia Pets from Hair Club For Men and performing in a KISS tribute band with hidden vocalists backstage performing your parts. Much like before the make up came off, you have become a parody of yourselves again. What makes it unpardonable is the fact that your senses seemed to have taken leave along with your ROCK.

There are kids out there, now more than ever, creating new rock n roll. They are posting it on YouTube, SoundCloud, and FaceBook. They are paying to play shows, or playing for free in UAW halls. They are self recording and self producing. They are financing their own tour runs, getting fucked over by agents and venues. Yes there are pretenders, those that can only rely on computers and tricks to create generic crap, but for every one of them, there are 50 bands that have the skills and heart to ROCK. They don’t care about being millionaires. They don’t care about anything more than rocking out for the fans and tearing up ANY stage they can get on. They know what it’s about. They live to play and play to live. They hold on to the dream and blaze their own path. For each one that falls, 3 more take their place. The music reinvents itself constantly. But it hasn’t died. And it never will. As long as some one has an axe to shred or thump, drums to bash, and the ability to scream, growl, croon, and wail, rock can never die.

There are no rules in rock. It doesn’t exist to fit in a mold. It flips off “the man”. It crashes through boundaries. Each generation puts it’s own stamp and twist on it. It is the pulse of the youth and the young at heart. Even if you tried to bury it, it would be then “undead” and that is still NOT dead, it exists, crawling from the grave, to feast upon the living. There may not be another Zeppelin, or Metallica, or Beatles. The big record companies may fall, but rock can NEVER die.

You’ve based your argument on greed and the love of the almighty dollar, and that’s not rock n roll.

2014 ODP Music Awards Ballots

Posted in Bands, Community, Concert Promoters, Concerts, Family, Kalkaska, Michigan, Music, Music News, Northern Michigan, Youth Events with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2014 by obscurrus

10556910_807735222612054_2904952930375893239_oAlrighty Kids!

We are always about pushing the envelope of sanity, good taste, and music.  We have put in countless hours and days of putting together the best all age shows for you by bringing great new acts, old faves, and as many nationals as we can round up… NOW… YOU the FANS get to pick who you think is the best of the best.  You pick the bands, we give them the awards, and then on December 6th, you can come see them get their awards, play a few songs and hang out.  We will be announcing who will be headlining this show soon. This show will be held at the Kalkaska Civic Center, we are combining the ODP Awards Show with our annual Christmas Charity Concert and Lock In. More details coming soon.  RULES: NO BANDS CAN VOTE FOR THEMSELVES , NOR HAVE THEIR FRIENDS LIST SWAMP THE VOTE. ( THAT MEANS YOU CAN NOT ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO VOTE IF THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE TO SEE YOU)  BANDS THAT ACTIVELY OVERLOAD THE BALLOT WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE POLL. BANDS CAN VOTE FOR THEIR FAVORITE BANDS. THE VOTING IS ONLY OPEN TO FANS WHO ATTEND ODP SHOWS.  YOU CAN ONLY VOTE FOR BANDS THAT HAVE PLAYED AN ODP SHOW OVER THE PAST 1 YEAR.  THIS IS THE OFFICIAL BALLOT. We are watching IP Addresses and we know who is being legit. Who is the best of the best you’ve seen so far?  You tell us and we will build THE show of shows around your votes! Below is a list of all the bands that have played here and the Ballot Polls.  GET TO IT!














It doesn’t take blood to make family…

Posted in Bands, Community, Concerts, Family, Kalkaska, Michigan, Music, Music News, Northern Michigan, Uncategorized, Youth Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2014 by obscurrus

We’ve made a lot of friends over the years of working in music, and many have become family members. Certain bands have gone above and beyond, always making sure they get routed up here to spend a few hours playing for and hanging with the kids. Over the past couple of years, Victory Records Artists, THESE HEARTS, has been here more than any other national, and have built relationships with us and the kids, more than a performance or signing an autograph, they actually sit and talk, or shoot hoops, or play games. They stay in touch long after they head for the next town. They’ve become a part of the family. When we received word that Daryl Van Beek, one of the band’s guitarists, had been diagnosed with an ultra rare olfactory neuroblastoma, resulting in a large malignant tumor behind his right eye, we shared the information with our friends and we immediately dropped two scheduled shows and our own fundraising efforts to put together a benefit concert and barbecue to raise money to assist Daryl and his family throughout the trials of treatment, surgery, and recovery. Because that’s what family does. We contacted some of the bands that have shared the stage here with These Hearts and gave them first dibs at participating, and then worked outward from there. We are pleased to announce that the members of ACT AS ONE have reformed for this show, and will be joined by LIVE FOR TOMORROW, FIRE SAID THE ALBATROSS, and LONESOME GEORGE, along with a few more surprises. Great music, friends, food, and a good time, to help out a good friend and family member in his time of need. YOU can help out by sharing the event with YOUR friends, buying a bracelet online, at the show, or at Just Between Friends Boutique in Kalkaska, and joining us for the MUSIC FROM OUR HEARTS TO DARYL VAN BEEK BENEFIT “Show-B-Que” at the Kalkaska County Pavilion on June 7th at 4pm.


With a little help from our friends…

Posted in Bands, Community, Concerts, Family, Kalkaska, Michigan, Music, Music Tours, Northern Michigan, Uncategorized, Youth Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2014 by obscurrus

I’ve written a lot of things over the past 45 years. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever written.  I’ve sat on this for quite a while, trying to find a way to NOT write it, but it comes down to the simple fact, sometimes you have have to do things you don’t want to do…

When ODP started out in 1986, we had a family of Detroit area musicians and friends that were all about music and strengthening the bonds we shared through it. Networking all the things we needed to ply our craft, putting together shows that would allow younger bands and fans the chance to connect and share a few hours rocking out, outside of the bars, and backing each other up so that clubs couldn’t screw us over. We were a family and we supported each other.

In 1999 I commuted back and forth between Detroit and northern Michigan, and in 2000 I permanently moved to the Grand Traverse region and attempted to build that system again, but the local mindset of my generation fought it tooth and nail.  Other people however, did hear the gospel I was preaching and ran with it in their own way and all age shows popped up. We supported with advice and services, preferring to concentrate more on playing and recording in various projects, but always moving in the background and building a new network. In 2009 we started producing our own all age shows again, building a family of great people from all levels of the music scene and some great northern Michigan kids. Over the past 5 years we’ve seen a lot of bands walk across our stages; local, regional, and national. We’ve seen some ascend, we’ve seen some fall, one or two crash and burn, and we’ve shared triumph and tragedy with each and every one of them, as a FAMILY.

We’ve weathered subterfuge, sabotage, low turnouts, closed minds, naysayers (funny, I’ve been told for 27 years that you can’t do “DRY” music events, yet every show has people at it, without smoking and drinking), blizzards, rain, apathy, stupidity, and just plain crankiness. This isn’t an “A” market. Hell, this isn’t a “C” market, BUT, we have absolutely RABID music fans here, and we are happy to put these shows on for these kids.  Ask any band that has played here, they all say the same thing… 10 Kalkaska kids is like 100 kids anywhere else. 

ALL these bands, from local kids just starting out, to established national indie bands, want to play here because of that. Being central to everywhere in northern Michigan doesn’t hurt either, nor does what we do. We don’t do this for profit. We treat everyone with respect and as equals because as a performing musician for 35 years, I wanted BANDS and FANS to be treated the way I wanted to be treated. The shows are designed to be self sustaining. The door SHOULD cover venue rental, P.A. & lights, advertising, and all the band guarantees. If the door falls short, I use the “day job” check to pay for it. For 27 years, we’ve paid each and every guarantee agreed to. We’ve never made a band pay to play, or sell tickets, never taken a cut from any performing artist’s merchandise sales, never had less than a half dozen bands on a show, and never priced a show over $10 (unless it was a charity fundraiser or national bill with huge overhead) Our annual Christmas Charity Concert has between 14 and 20 bands on it and usually has one or more national band headlining it. Troutzillafest is two days long and has around 20 bands on it, and it’s free.  We aren’t allowed to charge, but we throw the show anyways. Because it’s for the KIDS and the BANDS.

For years, we did “Dinner & A Show” concerts with 6+ bands, 2 slices of pizza & a bottle of water with every paid entry or had reduced price food and beverages. Shows were ALWAYS $5-$7. Those days are gone now, due to the economy tanking and sponsors having to back out due to their overhead, but some things NEVER change. It’s ALWAYS about the kids and the bands. The bands get paid FIRST, then the venue and PA rental guy. Anything left over gets dollar menu for the working crew and the rest goes to the next show. We own the mixers, mics, cables, and stands, I run the stage and sound. Mickey runs the door and we’ve got the family members; our kids, the local kids, volunteers, and band members that help with everything else. It’s not about making bank. ALL of us, together, made this a safe outlet for kids and made this music scene grow. It doesn’t take blood to be family, Kalkaska is proof. No smoking, alcohol, drugs, bullying, violence, or drama allowed, just great music of all genres and a great time. Together.    

Kalkaska is a small village without a lot to do for young people. Heroin and Meth are a big reality here, as are weed and alcohol. Bullying is present in the schools and on the streets. We try to show the kids that you can have fun and enjoy things without all that crap, and they are all bound together by their love of music. The shows have the support of the village and county law enforcement, the mayor, and various members of the village and county boards, as well as the parents of many of our regular attendees. We’ve been called the best baby sitting service in northern Michigan because we treat the kids as if they were our own, the rules are clear and strictly enforced, especially for minors. Violations are dealt with immediately, whether it be a quick warning, a call to a parent, or a free ride in a police car. Everyone looks out for each other. As it should be.

For all the support we do get, we still carry the bulk of this on our own shoulders. As the economy down-turned, nowhere was hit harder than northern Michigan, and there aren’t many sponsor opportunities here. There are businesses that assist with the 2 biggest events (Troutzillafest and Christmas), but for the most part there is no help and no money. Most businesses won’t even allow fliers to be hung, and even with all the community events we are/have been involved in (for free), we are charged top dollar when we need services from the community.

We’ve made it 27 years by helping our friends, and now we are humbly reaching out to our  friends for a little help, those in the local, regional, and national levels of the music industry, the providers of services like us, above us and below us, and the lovers and supporters of music and the arts everywhere. We need help. We have balances due to those we utilize services from for show production, and due to several deep hits we’ve taken over the past few months and a reduction in hours at the day job (not to mention this horrid winter) we aren’t able to generate funds quick enough to pay off our balance. We can’t stop show production as that would cause ALL PRODUCTION to stop permanently and would also take away the chance of generating additional funds to pay off the balances. Of course, having the shows creates another bill, so if we can reduce overhead, the bills lessen, and what’s left over after payout can be applied to the balance. Our hope is to secure about $2500, which will allow us to pick up some gear that we won’t have to rent anymore, cutting out about 25% of our regular overhead, and have enough left over to completely pay off one of the bills. Overhead on just one LOCAL show is around $1000, so you can see the circular problem we now face to get back on solid ground. We appreciate our providers greatly for their patience, but we don’t like owing and knowing only one major disaster could end everything forever.

So friends, if you or someone you know, has a couple of quarters and could spare one, could you perhaps send it along to help us continue fighting the good fight? Help us in giving the kids somewhere safe to hang once (or occasionally twice) a month, to see great local, regional, and national bands, close to home, for a $5-$10 show with at least 6 bands, instead of driving 2-5 hours to spend no less than 3x as much for half the number of bands.  If you have played here before and loved it, help US, help YOU.  If you yourself can’t help, please share it with someone else who might, as awareness could help as much as a donation.  As you have stayed long enough to read the story of why we do what we do, please take a minute to check out the videos submitted by the bands and kids about what all this means to them and thank you for reading and sharing.


OR YOU CAN SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY PURCHASING A LIMITED EDITION ODP BOOSTER SHIRT HERE and HERE or find us on GoFundMe! if you like, we have some cool perks for larger donations up there as well.  Thanks for reading and sharing.


What’s old is new again? Oh HELL NO!

Posted in movies, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 5, 2014 by obscurrus

As always, the views expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone, no guilt by association shall be laid upon the cadre of souls which may or may not reside within this shell or surround it.

And now, a public service announcement…

Dear Hollywood,

We do not need, or want another version of Pet Semetary, IT, Wargames, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, or any other movie that was made in the last 50 years. We most certainly did not need a shot on shot remake of Psycho, a reimagining of Halloween, (or any Rob Zombie movie for that matter) a new Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, numerous reboots of Superman or Spider-Man or Batman. For the most part, these movies were perfect in their original form. Sure there were limitations to the special effects, but that too, was part of the magic. Does everything need a George Lucas rewrite every time technology leaps? Nope. What happened to suspension of disbelief? You know that generally accepted condition we all are supposed to fall into when watching or reading works of fiction? Where is our imagination? Why do we need EVERYTHING spelled out for us now instead of letting our minds fill in the blanks and interpret intention. 45 minutes of why Michael Myers is a killer? Ok. Not so scary any more because now I am supposed to be sympathetic to why this kid went batshit. I’ve already seen that movie a billion times, under a million different names, the first time was under the name Frankenstein (no one likes me, everyone hates me and treats me bad so I kill people) The original Halloween, Michael kills as a small child, no explanation. He comes back years later and kills again. No explanation. He is shot and stabbed and cannot be stopped. No explanation. Force of nature. No explanation needed. Sometimes, evil just is. Relentless. Unstoppable. Bad things happen to good people JUST BECAUSE. That shit’s SCARY. For real, in your head scary. No contrived “jump scares”. No, “I was abused/ignored/etc” poor me reasons. I am evil just because. No explanations needed.

I didn’t need to have Hannibal Lector explained to me. The mystery made him dangerous and menacing in a way that is now cheapened by the exposition of the origin. Some of us still LIKE to think for ourselves. Get a clue please.

By taking away all the work the audience should be doing, the filling in the gaps, the suspension of disbelief, the total immersion into a well crafted plot and story, you rob us of a complete experience. No provocation of thought. No meaningful interpretation or discovery. If we are spoon fed every aspect of the story the magic is lost. And we are all dumber for it. And the cycle continues.

Technology is destroying the collective imagination. In a sense, we have always told the same stories over and over, by tropes. It’s a love story (boy/girl meets girl/boy, this happens/that happens) it’s a ghost story (revenge/something left undone/warning etc). It’s a monster story (divine retribution/curse/nature run amok/etc) it’s a fantasy (dragons/elves/etc) fear of the unknown, blah blah blah. Little twists here and there. A new spin on old fables, myths, and legends. Good story telling. Remaking the same shit over and over because special effects got better? Not so much. If technology is your idea of better movie making, then think up a new story to make a movie about, I’ve already seen that one.

Writers and film makers need to get back to telling their OWN stories. It’s great that you have a love of something. Tell us the story of why you like it. Tell us the story inspired by the story you love. Don’t tell us the story we already know, we want new stories. Don’t you get it? Because some people flock to see the same flick remade over and over again is not the reason to keep doing it. If you feed them steak instead of reheated porridge, they will still flock to the theater.

Musicians, such as myself, will occasionally “reimagine” someone else’s song. 99 times out of 100, we put our own spin on it, reinvent it completely, modernize it, pay homage to the impact it had in the course of our art, much like a film maker does. Of course, by my own admission, I am then the pot calling the kettle black. But I’m not. People quite often need to hear something they are familiar with as they warm up to new music acts. Otherwise there would be no reason for cover and tribute acts. But movies don’t have that needed buffer zone. No one says, “gee, I wish there were 50 tributes to Star Wars we could go see!” They just watch Star Wars.

A friend of mine has started making short horror movies. The last one I saw was a black and white piece done up as a silent era pastiche, entitled “The Witch“. He had the ability to shoot it in color. He did not. He had the ability to have dialog. He did not. He could have laid out entire backstory and why’s, where’s, and how’s. He did not. And for those reasons, for letting the viewer fill in the blanks, for using the absence of color and dialog, for setting a mood and tone, then letting the audience do THEIR part, he ended up with a piece of magic.

So folks, do your part. Stop the madness. Stop going to see remakes of the great films of the past. Make the studios make films we haven’t seen. Use your imaginations again and demand those who create your entertainment to do the same.
DEMAND MORE. Improve the world through brainpower and make the studios EARN the hard earned dollars from your pocket.


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