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In case you haven't yet noticed, the official 2010 Blowout schedule has finally been announced. Just click on that banner at the top of this page that says, um, Metro Times Blowout...

Don't forget about the Roommates' reunion -- featuring our friend Beaux Mitchell -- at Paycheck's in Hamtramck this weekend -- Saturday, the 13th, to be exact. We did a much longer blog post on the event last week...

Speaking of Paycheck's, former MT advertising account executive (and wife of writer Brett) Toni Callwood (formerly Deville) is the new talent buyer/booker at that club. One of her first events is a birthday show for the hubby on Saturday, Feb. 20th, with Shakey Jakes, They Never Sleep and Nurse Ratched. Contact her at Stiv Deville Productions; 248-565-8299 or 310-210 0922

It seems a little ironic when one considers that the Who actually recorded their own recruting ads for the U.S. Air Force back in the '60s, right at the height of the Vietnam conflict (it's true!), but Jack White is awfully pissed about the Air Force ad that used the White Stripes' "Fell In Love With a Girl" that aired during last Sunday's Super Bowl -- that would be the same Super Bowl that featured that classic band that used to recruit for the Army during its halftime festivities. (A friend pointed out that the Who failed to play "My Generation," possibly because it would be too disconcerting to hear the line "Hope I die before I get old"...and then glance over to see, um, Walter Brennan on lead guitar)...

State Voices -- a non-profit organization that's part of a national network working for progressive grassroots organizations -- is planning a few metro Detroit benefit concerts for Haitian earthquake relief. There can never be enough of those! The organization is reaching out to see which local bands may be interested in being a part of the concert. The first one is scheduled at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac on Thursday, February 25th, at 7 p.m. A gospel concert is also set for the next night, Friday, February 26th at 7pm at Central Methodist Church. Bands are artists interested in participating should contact Julie Funke at [email protected] or at 313-965-8987.

Speaking of the Crofoot, MT cover dudes We Came As Romans will be back in Detroit and playing the venue on Saturday, Feb. 20th. Even more exciting is the news that the underrated Detroit funk powerhouses and pioneers, the Fabulous Counts, will finally be doing a local show on Friday, February 26th at the Majestic Theatre. Looks like it's a Funk Night event. And if you haven't already, check out MT writer Don Waller's great piece on the band from last year by clicking here.

Just a reminder that the "Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement’" that President Barack Obama and wife Michelle hosted at the White House last night -- and which will be broadcast on PBS tonight (Feb. 11th) at 10 p.m. -- features Detroit's own Smokey Robinson. We're actually more excited, though, by the appearance of one Mr. Bob Dylan, who -- can you believe it? -- was playing the White House for the very first time.

Detroit author and former Real Detroit and Jam Rag scribe Ryan Bartek is currently offering his new book, The Big Shiny Prison, to the public as a free PDF. In his words," the manuscript is a fusion between counterculture music journalism and the autobiographical road novel, the sum result of one non-stop year living on Greyhounds and interviewing some of the largest names in rock, punk, metal, industrial, etc." The manuscript riffs on such local Detroit acts as Downtown Brown, Friends of Dennis Wilson, Salt Lick, Sasquatch Agnostic, and legendary Flint group Repulsion, the latter the first grindcore band in music history. Plenty of general Detroit commentary as well. The book can be downloaded -- again, for free -- by clicking here. (I actually downloaded a PDF of Bob Greene's Billion Dollar Baby -- about Alice Cooper, of course, and one of the best rock books ever written -- from the Internet a few years ago, btw, after mine burned in the fire. Just expect for it to take some time to download...)

Wally Palmar of the Romantics is a member of Ringo Starr's All-Star Bandtour this summer. The concert will be hitting Caesar's Palace in Windsor on July 23rd. (And who can hardly wait for that July weather??)

Finally, local Detroit musician Patrick Davy recently captured his hometown -- albeit with a bit of his own quirky avant guard treatment -- for the video for his song, "The Joke." It's posted below for you visual and musical enjoyment. Pretty cool tune, too!

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