September 17, 2019

Jackson is Back with the State of the World

MODERN ROCK
By Kristi Kates | June 17, 2017

Janet Jackson, who postponed last year’s extensive Unbreakable World Tour due to family matters, is back with a new schedule that she’s dubbed the State of the World Tour. The 56-shows trek across North America includes nearby stops at the iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois, on Oct. 25; the Allstate Arena in Chicago on Oct. 26; Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Oct. 29; Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on Nov. 1;  and Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Nov. 2 …

GRAM on the Green — the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s free Thursday night music series — takes over the museum’s terrace in July and August. The events combine visual arts and music by inviting attendees to stroll through museum exhibitions, which are left open later than usual, as the musicians jam. Summer 2017’s GRAM offerings include performances from folk rockers The Crane Wives, DJs SuperDre and Complete VII, hip-hop artists The Great Ones, Latin-seasoned outfit Cabildo, and Detroit jazz trumpeter Walter White. Food trucks and dancing are also available at the Terrace, which overlooks Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, a great place to enjoy some outdoor music …

Farther upstate, the Keweenaw Peninsula’s Farm Block Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer with 30+ roots, folk, and bluegrass acts, including Vox Vidorra, Mark Lavengood, May Erlewine, The Go Rounds, Turbo Pup, Rachael Davis, Seth Bernard, and more. In addition to the music, attendees can enjoy workshops, food and art vendors, and camping. Need more motivation to head north? The fest raises money for the Dan Schmitt Gift of Music and Education Fund, a nonprofit that provides instruments and music lessons to youth. Get tickets and more info at farmblockfest.com …

And much farther away, Michiganians heading south next January will have Holy Ship! as an option — two cruises (Jan. 6–10 and Jan. 10–13, both through Great Stirrup Cay) on the ship Norwegian Epic, each helmed by a host of DJs, electronica musicians, rappers, and more. Expect late night disco dances and minimal shuffleboard. The artists haven’t been announced yet, but keep an eye on holyship.com; it’s likely we’ll hear who’ll be aboard before the end of the summer …

LINK OF THE WEEK
The former steel town of Albion, Michigan, is experiencing a blues music rebirth with the new Blues at the Bohm (theater) evenings, which were started by a local music fan and college chemistry professor, and are attracting talented blues musicians from all over. Find out more at bohmtheatre.org/blues-at-the-bohm

THE BUZZ
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, the Motor City’s Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, said that her recent show at the inaugural Detroit Music Festival on June 10 was likely her last live performance in the city. At 72 years old, she said, one “can’t go on doing this forever” …

Kalamazoo singer-songwriter Brian Koenigsknecht has released his new solo album, From the Shallows to the Deep, a set he said he considers the best of his career to date …
The international musical tribute to Michael Jackson, Who’s Bad, takes the stage at Grand Rapids’ 20 Monroe Live on July 15 …
The Third Street corridor in Muskegon continues its revitalization with the opening of Third Coast Vinyl, a shop offering new and used records and refurbished stereo equipment …
Grand Rapids band Northern is keeping busy playing live shows in promotion of its new EP, It Could Have Been … and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.

Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ’em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com.

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