Road trip 

Although Michigan is brimming with music festivals galore these days (see the What’s Happening section for details on this year’s Summer Smash), a few of our Midwestern neighbors have cooked up some remarkable ones of their own, only a few hours away by car.

A few Chicago ladies went to the original Ladyfest in Olympia, Wash., last summer and were inspired to put on a similar festival closer to home. The first Ladyfest Midwest is taking place in some west-side Chicago clubs Aug. 16-19. DJ Minx, Slumber Party, Occasional Detroit, Millenary and DJ Jenuine are representing the mitten. Some of the national headliners include ESG, the Need, Bratmobile and Le Tigre. Whoa, mamma! And if that isn’t enough, there’ll be film screenings, spoken-word performances and workshops. You won’t want to miss the workshops of two Michigan expatriates (and festival organizers), Amy Schroeder and Katherine Mingle. Schroeder, the lady behind a really cool music zine called Venus, is hosting a zine-making workshop from 2 to 3:45 p.m. at my favorite bookstore, Quimby’s (1854 W. North Ave., Chicago). Mingle is putting on a sewing and knitting workshop for those who’d like “to learn to make a bookmark that doubles as a cute bracelet, or a kitty-shaped coin purse that can go on your belt.” Go to www.ladyfestmidwest.org for details.

More fun to be had only a few hours away is the Bloomingtonfest in Bloomington, Ind., Aug. 30-Sept. 2 where Michigan bands such as Biddy, Biddy, Biddy and Red Shirt Brigade will rock alongside Unwound and the Faint. Go to www.bloomington.in.us/~fest for details.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO …

One or two of you might recall a column I wrote around this time last year about how the head of Le Grand Magistery, Bloomfield Hills’ own Matthew Jacobson, almost decided to scrap the record-release rat race to follow his dreams of becoming a full-time mentalist. Well, it appears as though he’s accomplishing both. In my mail today, I was pleased to find a package containing three CDs soon to be released on Le Grand Magistery. In addition to the records, a postcard arrived, alerting me that Jacobson is performing as Alchemy Jones (his mentalist name) every Monday in August in the “old office” at the Knitting Factory in New York. Although the CD release dates are unknown as of press time, definitely keep an eye out for the debut EP by A Girl Called Eddy called Tears All Over Town. What a voice! Raspy and rainy, “Eddy” sings with equal parts confident skill and barricaded shyness not unlike Aimee Mann or Tracy Thorn. Also in the package was Mr. Wright’s latest, Hello Is Anyone Out There and The Blood Group’s Everything Forgotten Gathers at the Ceiling, two other fine CDs by appointment of Le Grand Magistery.

EVEN MORE WARPED

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday that after a performance at Philadelphia’s installation of the Warped Tour, “according to authorities, members of D12 fought offstage with rapper Esham A. Smith, who suffered a dislocated nose and scrapes.” An e-mail from Esham’s publicist said that Esham wasn’t the only one hurt: “TNT (member of NATAS) suffers from many bruises and cuts caused by the attack, but Esham’s injuries were far more severe and he was taken to nearby West Jersey Hospital for multiple injuries caused by numerous kicks and blows to the head. A broken nose, ruptured eyeball, mild concussion and a loss of hearing in Esham’s left eardrum has many of his fans concerned about the artist’s future career.”

Jimmy I, who works as part of the stage crew for D12 says that Esham was aggravating the group, by “dissing them in anti-D12 songs and chants” and that he “threw a beer bottle at the bus.” Jimmy I also says that D12 thought that Esham smelled bad. D12 is no longer on the Warped Tour. Is anyone else wondering why two known rivals were put on the same bill in the first place?

QUICKLY

Madonna had to cancel her Aug. 3 New Jersey concert because of laryngitis. So far, that’s the only one.

The 10-city mekka electronic music tour, duh, didn’t happen. Although the mekka team put more than a year’s worth of time into concept development, “production and promotion of the tour started too late,” said a tour spokesperson. The organizers are intent on making it happen by next year.

E-mail In One Ear at mgiannini@metrotimes.com

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