Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Culture City Interview

Melody Baetens

Writer, Musicican, Booker,
Reporter, Editor, Broadcaster
Local Music Fan, And now
Co-Owner of Small Bar in Hamtramck

Last week One of the long time hero's of the Detroit Rock Scene
announced last week that she is doing some thing she never done
and now she going to do she will be the co-owner of small bar in

not only that she will book shows at small, which mean she will leave here job booking shows at the Belmont which she have done for the last five years

last week i interview Melody about the new changes in her life
and not only other things involving the Detroit rock scene and including
one other weekly thing she also leaving which air tonight.


ICFCC: Culture City
MB: Melody Baetens

ICFCC: So Melody baetens how are you doing
MB: I'm great! I'm very excited, and a little nervous.

ICFCC: just Last Thursday it was made official you are now co owner of small bar in hantramck how did you fell
MB Yes, after a month of going through the process, it's now official. I'm very hopeful that 2009 will be a great year. I'm super excited to be a bar owner and a Hamtramck business person.

ICFCC: you have almost done everything in the Detroit music scene, follower, band member, music writer, songwriter, Booker, and something total new how did you go into owning a bar in Detroit and who ask first
MB: Dave Malosh and I have been kicking around the idea of owning a bar since 2007. It always seemed like such a pipe dream. Dave was talking to Mike Mouyianis one day recently about our goals, and Mike let us in on the fact that his silent partner was ready to sell his share. It was the perfect fit, at the perfect time.

ICFCC: in a down economy these days
MB: The economy is down, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't work toward your goals. If you don't, then then economy wins.

ICFCC: now only that since you now co own the bar, you have to give up two other job, One booking bands at the Belmont on jos campau and one other job can you tell me that
MB: Yes, this Tuesday, Jan 27 is my last day co-hosting Detroit Local 101 on Riff2.[WRIF-FM HD radio side channel] It's sad, but I do so many things and I have to prioritize. My business (Small's) and my career (The Detroit News) have to come first. So I let go of the Belmont and Riff2. I will still play in bands and I still book the Meatmen.

ICFCC: you been booking band at the Belmont for five years doing Riff 2 Detroit Local 101 for three how tough was it to let go of both jobs?
MB: It's bittersweet. I'm sad, but change feels good, and it's needed. I can still go to the Belmont and see bands, hang out with Darren, Tait, Paulette and everyone. I can still see Suzy and the Riff2 crew -- I may even come in and guest host from time to time, or at least I'd like to. I will miss listening to Arthur P tease Meltdown in the jock lounge every Tuesday, though.

ICFCC: what do you mean by Meltdown
MB: Meltdown is the 7 p.m. DJ on WRIF. He does Mandatory Metallica!

ICFCC: you do have a day job at the Detroit News as a Writer and Editor, recently both the News And The Other Detroit Paper the Detroit Free Press announce changes in how the paper are present and deliver[Now Three Days a week beging in late march] in a effort to reverse a down thernd in the paper as more people of to the net to get there news instead the paper did those come into play in owning small?
MB: No, I would've invested in Small's even if the papers didn't announce this.

ICFCC: So what kind of plan do you have for small now that you now co-own it
MB: I've always loved Small's, so I want it to stay mostly the same. I'd like to go back to having 2-4 live shows a week. I'm excited to do more comprehensive promotion. I want to have more national acts. Mike and I will be working together to flush out the schedule and make it awesome. I also want to add wine, and some of the newer liquors.

ICFCC: you mean that good bands that i like that have skip detroit every time i read pitchfork.com
MB: Yes!

ICFCC: that bring a this question why do all the good band me or the other blogger in town skip Detroit these days it look like they go on tour and it Cleveland, Toledo and Chicago or Toronto and we get left out and even thry play SE Michigan in Royal Oak, Pontiac and Ann Arbor or worst Western Michigan?
MB: It could be a number of factors. Routing, is one. Booking agents strive to include Columbus because it's a college town, and Chicago because of the obvious, and sometimes a Detroit stop is swept under the mat. Also, many times bands don't decide where they go, they have a label, management and/or booking agent that fills in the dates for them. Another issue may be money. Bands get more for playing Chicago than Detroit because more people go out in Chicago. The Chicago promoters can guarantee more money because more people are likely to show up. The only reason I can see for booking in Grand Rapids instead of Detroit is that GR is a college town. Detroit is a college town too, but people outside the city rarely see it that way. I think playing Royal Oak or Ann Arbor should be considered a "Detroit stop," at least that's the way the booking agents are figuring it. I'd say, if you want your favorite bands to play Detroit, tell them, and tell their record label or booking agent as well!

ICFCC: do you think radio is a big time factory because of the WDET programming distaer back in 2005 [music to NPR News]
MB I never thought of that. I do think that having a lot of local and indie music played on the radio is important. I just started listing to WDET a year ago, so I don't really know how it was in 2005.

ICFCC: because other than the HD side channels life riff 2 Commerical radio total sucks

MB: I can see why you would say that. I do like to listen to WRIF in the morning, and WCSX at night. Their HD station Deep Tracks is pretty good.

ICFCC: a few more question before end the interview where the Local music scene and the Indie Music Scene be from now in about five years will the scene more tracking as they move away from bad pop music.
MB: It's time to go back to the 90s. Annette (my band mate in the Swamp Sisters) and I have been talking about it for about a year, and Ryan Allen is on board too. The 90s are far enough away, that we miss them, and I think the music of the 90s will start to influence more musicians in the near future. I know Swamp Sisters hope to channel Belly, Veruca Salt and Silverchair when we record our upcoming single.

ICFCC: So will see the second coming of those band and may be the reunion of the legend riot girl band Sleater-Kinney
MB: *silence*

Well i like to thanks Melody for taking time out of her buzy time to do this interview and wish her a lot of luck at small.

as she mention her last show on Detroit Local 101 on this Tuesday, you can listen to it on WRIF - FM HD2 at 101.1 Tonight at 10PM to Midnight, if you don't get a HD Radio you can listen on the Riff 2 Web Site at www.riff2.com and if you really want to celebrate there will be Detroit Local 101 listening party at where else Small tonight from 10 to midnight small is localtied at 10339 Conant St in hamtramck.


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