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September 2012


In This Issue:

Class Acts Hex Bombs Great Escape Stage Company

FREE! Entertainment magazine for Battle Creek, Marshall, and Kalamazoo

The Class Acts

A New Sound Emerges In The Thankful Tones Of Summer

It’s warm today @ the Class Acts CD release party. While the crowd is sparse @ Full Blast it’s still early, & already there is a sense of joyful anticipation. Almost a giddiness to the gathering really, it’s a change of pace from the desolation landscape of abandoned wreckage I’d been previously taking photos of. The walk through the place is a wonder, my first time in it since it opened & I find it a welcome tour of Battle Creeks one & only family fun spot. Inside the derby girls of the BC Cereal Killers get set for practice while youthful basketball players gleefully shoot sky hooks over the nearby volleyball net across the way. A little further down the corridor I spot a few tennis players doing yellow ball layups in a full court press. I can tell in this moment that this the show is going to be, interesting. It doesn’t disappoint. Surprisingly the air isn’t covered with the scent of chlorine as I make my way out of the building & into the pool area where the bands set up. I arrive just in time for the sound check. When I see who’s got that part covered, I know they’re in good hands. As local musician & artist Eric Sheppard makes the final preparations for the coming sonic storm, the rest of the guys interact with the growing number of friends who’ve arrived for the 3 hour showcase of talent & appreciation. I gaze upon the small stage set up & can tell everything is ready. As I scan the crowd of parents & cohorts who cheerfully sit @ the round tables before it, I’m listening to the chatter of logistics. There’s hope that everything will run as smoothly as a Queen stadium set. A feeling that I get from the amphitheater they’ve been placed under. I find myself thinking that Full Blast is a great location to catch the youthful band, as onlookers from the other side of the gate watch in curious fixation. I have a feeling this will take me back to the flannel days, which I would have worn had it not been so sweltering. After hearing some of the music that’s warming up the waiting fans, I have no doubts & a smile. But I’m about to find out first hand, as under the beams of the still early evening sun, The Class Acts are set to take the stage. It’s 7:15 when the hype man introduces the very soon to be Lakeview seniors. I’m impressed with the humble thanks bassist/singer Ed Ryan delivers the increasing assemblage of support. He presents guitarist John Ryan & drummer Andy McCotter to the 20+ people who have made it their mission to the be here as they go into the first track from the new album. It’s the loud tone of a mellow explosion. They represent the new CD well from the get, the tracks are toes tapping & head bobbing to a bit of the shuffle they generate. Even pulling out a few classic covers to entertain the crowd. As the range of influence goes from the songs of John Meyer to even T Rex, they demonstrate their interests well. I can tell as the set progresses that they’ve taken their time to put together a well polished piece having spend the early part of the year in the studio. Their sound is tight, & the 3 years young band has the cohesion of a much more experienced sound. Even the mother in the tiger stripe ensemble I spotted earlier was enthralled from the other side of the pool party atmosphere they’ve created. She should be I think to myself with a slight chuckle, it’s for her. As they put it, moms like ‘em. But this day is not just for mothers, it’s for everyone who’s come out to share in the hard work & dedication they’ve put into their craft. As I watch the young crowd engage in text play & on the fly video production I’m amazed to how shows have changed over the years, noting the irony of it as I one hand the screen of the iPad to get that sentence down in the midst of the gathering. With a smile, I realize it’s the ambiance of fun I’ve found today as I listen to the sounds of the bands lyrics sung out. It’s a celebration of unity, the kind brought on by friendship & comradery in the fleeting days of summer. If you happened to miss The Class Acts first release, don’t fret. We got ya covered.

You can get a copy of the new CD @: or directly from the band. You can find them live @: The Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac on the 14th. (doors @ 7, tix preordered for 8$, or 10$ @ the door.) or on Facebook @:

Smash Magazine P.O. Box 1376 Battle Creek, MI 49014 269-986-3912 Facebook at BC Smash Editor Robin Cunningham Graphic Designer Katelin Elms Guest writer Sean Lewis Advertising Robin Cunningham 269-986-3912 Events and Shows Submit listings to Look for the web site coming soon!

Letter from the Editor Dear Smash Readers I can’t believe its September already! My favorite time of year; when school starts! And the weather is nice too. Down Town Battle Creek is getting ready for the Fall into the Arts walk, and there is lots of beer a brewing. I would like to let everyone know that there is now a Facebook page for Smash so it will be easier for artists and musicians to keep in touch and post their shows. Also as another resource for fans to keep in touch with their favorite artists. I’ve sent out a lot of friend requests but just in case I missed you its BC Smash. I am very excited about it and have already been in contact with quite a few artists through the page. The map function will be set up to show all the locations that you can pick up an issue, and the locations will also be liked if they have a page. Working on a web site soon! I am also very happy that the music board is getting bigger! Thanks everyone and keep um coming! Sincerely, Robin Cunningham Editor

About the Cover Chad Lampert is an artist and sign maker from Battle Creek, Mi. he has been doing signs and art professionally for the past 15 years. Chad’s specialty is hot rod and Kustom Kulture art, that includes hand drawn cartoon portraits of customer cars, hand painted rat finks and pinstriping on hot rods, skateboards, vintage coolers and just about anything else. He also creates hot rod kulture paintings, custom signage, event artwork and T-shirt designs for car shows and the racing industry. He has done work for businesses like House of Kolor, David Ragan Inc. (NASCAR), Southern Michigan Street Rod Association, Ruckus Rods and Kustoms(California), Viscon Legends Cars Cup (Netherlands) and many more. His High Octane art has been featured in several hot rod magazines including Ole Skool Rodz, Rebel Rodz, Street Magazine, PowerGlide, Kustom Magazine, Auto Art, Pinstriping and Kustom Graphics and many more. If you’d like to check out his work, you can see it at his website or on his Mototooner Facebook page. Chad is also a member of the Rogue Art Gallery in downtown Battle Creek, 117 West Mich. Ave. He will be displaying his work there along with several other local artists during the downtown event “Fall into the Arts” Friday October 19th from 5-9. or on his Mototooner Facebook page. Chad is also a member of the Rogue Art Gallery in downtown Battle Creek, 117 West Mich. Ave. He will be displaying his work there along with several other local artists during the downtown event “Fall into the Arts” Friday October 1

Music Board Alternative Dory Drive Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 7th


Michael Angelo Barista Blues Café 91 West Michigan Ave. Downtown Battle Creek 269-968-8430 Sept. 5th 6-8pm Sept. 19th 6-8pm Tony Fields & Doug Decker H20 315 Columbia Ave, BC 269-962-7622 Sept. 15th

Blues/Rock Fox Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept 8th Sept. 21st The Reactors Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 21st

Classic Rock

Jim Dove Pasche’s Seafood Kitchen 11081 Michigan Ave E Battle Creek Next to Quality In Suites 269-964-2514 Every Friday

from 7-10

191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Steve Pesch and the Avenues Sept. 5th Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC Dead Superstar 269-962-2121 Planet Rock Sept. 8th 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Scrapyard Sept. 5th Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC Signum AD 269-962-2121 Planet Rock Sept.15th 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Contemporary Sept. 6th BBL Another Lost Year Riverside Pub Planet Rock 405 W Pearl St, Marshall 191 Angell St, BC 269-781-5940 269-962-2121 Every Thursday Sept. 6th from 8-11

Southern Rock

Iron Cowgirl Missy Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 8th Douglas James Band H20 315 Columbia Ave, BC 269-962-7622 Sept. 22nd


Hex Bombs Papa Pete’s 502 S Burdick St, Kzoo 269-274-2354 Sept. 25th


Breathing Theory Planet Rock

SXX Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 8th Gone For Days Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 13th Sevin Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 13th Combat Corduroy Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 13th

The Music Board is in every issue and provides a place for musicians to post their shows for FREE! Please send info for any local shows your band is playing to

Parabelle Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 14th Medicine Wheel Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 15th The Honey Pot Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 21st Persona Nova Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 22nd Kit LeBlanc & Paul Freeburn H20 315 Columbia Ave, BC 269-962-7622 Sep. 29th


Avenue Sky Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 14th Power-Man 5000 Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 16th Bobaflex Planet Rock 191 Angell St, BC 269-962-2121 Sept. 29th


(The Siren Song)

(Lulu in the sky with Desserts)

Amazing Local Artist and Interior Designer Nichole Williamson Doesn’t Disappoint!

Nichole Williamson grew up in Battle Creek and always felt that she saw the world differently. “I’m an observer.” She says, “That has proved to be negative in the sense that I observe life rather than live it but I also have a very active dream life.” That’s where the creative side has come into play. Nichole has dabbled in music and poetry but her true love is art. “I’ve taxidermied, worked on miniatures, interior design, creating fabric sculptures, jewelry and upcyling second hand items but my heart always brings me back to my paint brush.” She left a very abusive relationship several years ago and the weekend of the breakup she bought a big can of paint, put on some old Edison jazz records and painted her bedroom a vibrant red and it was from then on she began the journey to find herself. Nichole started out doing abstract and modern designs and within four months she began painting realistic animals and people. Her favorite subjects are more than often animals. “I’m a big advocate on treating animals with the same respect you, yourself would expect.” “I see a world lacking in empathy, love and understanding but when I look at my dogs I see innocence and purity.” She tries to convey that happy go lucky wide eyed innocence in her artwork. With each portrait she paints she is preserving their sweet little memories. Sometimes Nichole finds herself channeling Mark Ryden outside of her pet portraits. “I think we both have an odd ball way of thinking, seeing things in a dark humor but painting it with care and conviction.” Nichole is a collector of antique oddities including post mortem photography, postcards, stereoviews, nudes, clothing and jewelry. Nichole has sold to almost every state in America as well as Canada and Europe. She has also recently started restoring damaged vintage furniture and decor. She has a keen eye for detail and is extremely innovative. As Van Gogh once said “When in terrible need of religion I paint the stars.” To Contact Nichole please call 269-964-4901 or check out her web site at

Something’s Cooking at the Spitfire Grill in Marshall! “The Spitfire Grill” – a new American Folk/Country music musical – will be the next offering on the boards of the Great Escape Stage Company. Written by James Valcq and Fred Alley and based on the movie by Lee David Zlotoff, the infectious, hummable score and the mysterious-but-heart-warming story promise an enjoyable surprise for everyone in the family – including those who say they “don’t like musicals”! Heading up the cast is Vanessa Blackford as Percy, a young woman who is released from prison and finds her way to the Spitfire Grill in the small town of Gilead, Wisconson. The show also features Marshall’s legendary Georgia Marsh as the cantankerous owner of the Grill and Elinor Marsh as Shelby, a young woman who works there - marking the first time the Mother & Daughter Marshes have performed together in a musical! Rounding out the cast are Kyra Hill, Tim Lake, Alan Elliott – all from Marshall – and David Lussier from Battle Creek. Musical Direction is provided by Elena Solero, costumes by Carole Bolthouse, and the entire production is being overseen by GESC’s Artistic Director, Randy Lake. Performances begin Thursday, September 13 and the show plays nine performances thru September 23. Tickets can be reserved or purchased beginning the week of August 26 – either by calling the Box Office at 269-781-2700 or by visiting Great Escape Stage Company is located at 155 West Michigan Avenue in Historic Downtown Marshall, at the corner of Eagle Street. For further information, please visit

The Hex Bombs Punk Rawk, Amidst The Anarchy Of Mustached Men ( & Women Too).

rock bands, & the dedication to their craft showed from the first opening note. Blasting anthems of angst & unity in true When I first arrived @ Leilapalooza, old school riot fashion, the Hex Bombs I could, already tell the beer was flowing did not disappoint the still large crowd pretty free, & the power surge that that had stuck it out through the day long permeated the ambiance of the event event. was an electric fence. Based on that Lead singer Mike Mann’s antics initial assessment, I knew the Hex were unabashed as he climbed to the Bombs set was going to be a sight to top of the stage setup, claiming each behold. As I wandered around the grass point with a flag of rebellious anarchy. & vendors, bouncing around the various But all the members were masters of stages spread throughout the pitch, their art that night & the pristine sound the sounds coming from the various system brought on by the BCMAMS sets defined eclectic. From the unique (Battle Creek Metropolitan Area Mustache sounds of Kalamazoo based folk inspired Society) sponsored event exemplified Glowfriends, to the more traditional metal their explosive impact. Being nostalgic oriented pounding SXX offered, the in the old school ways, they took me cacophony surrounding me was both as back to a time of Reaganomics & cold exhilarating as a Brownstone soy latte war childhoods. Lessons in blown up & as frantic as bodies on bodies. The blackboard chalk & test papers with perfect mix. smilie faces, raised fists in solidarity, & spikes & hawks ripping down the walls of oppression. Yeah, that kinda raucous. But the fresh approach The Bombs bring to the table is a welcome assault of the senses & creatively, they bring it like no other. As the set wound down for the close of the evening it could be felt no one wanted this lightening bolt of fury to end, However as the dusk grew into neither band member nor audience alike night, the stage was set for a bit of the ole ultra violence in all it’s punk rock fashion as the Kalamazoo quartet The Hex Bombs took the stage. The buzz was a high as the crowd amped up on the favors in the beer tent, while the lawn chairs that had once decorated the landscape began to fold. It was going to be an intimate setting for one of area’s premiere punk

The Hex Bombs are on the top of the food chain & the proved why their are punk @ it’s finest that night. Asking Mike what he took from the experience, he displayed a great sense of pride in getting the chance to headline what is becoming Battle Creeks must-see music festival. The opportunity bringing him back home to share & reconnect with the town he’d grown up in, & as the Hex Bombs begin working on new material this month they hope to bring some of that same energy to venues around the state. From my experience @ Leila, I have no doubt this will happen. The Hex Bombs can be experienced this month @: Papa Petes in Kalamazoo on the 25th. The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids on the 26th. & Smalls in Detroit with Continental on the 27th. For more information check out the Hex Bombs on Facebook @: & Official Merchandise @: Photos curtisey of Eric Shepherd Eric Shepherd of Magnolia Studios Battle Creek, HD Video and Pro Audio. (269) 753-4688

Tales Of A Street Shaman by Sean Lewis

It’s a warm summer night on the streets. The sounds of sporadic traffic can be heard from all directions as the flickering of the street lamps illuminate their designated designs. I’m perturbed a slight, & yet coming from an emotional high after a performance @ the Rogue Arts Gallery. As I pedal my 2 wheel chariot across the new asphalt of construction roads on Michigan Ave, I pass a pedestrian out for a late night travel to points unknown. We exchange glances under the glow of roads & local business. Casually, I cross the slow moving intersection with the ease of awareness, cutting through the walk-way park tucked between the pillar of city life & the spires of faith next door. As I stop to pick up a ringlet of plastic left carelessly on the sidewalk, I notice him. Dressed for the warm chill of summer street life, he sleeps on the unforgiving wood & steel of the bench that rests in the courtyard. He’s crumpled like the makeshift pillow that comforts his head as his body protects the few things he’s managed to acquire & actually keep. While the soft glow of light blankets him as he slumbers, I’m reminded that for some in our fair town the only place to hang your hat is on the streets. As I stop to snap a picture of the real Battle Creek I consider leaving him a few bucks, being careful not to wake him, but quickly I realize that the idea of leaving money out in the open might not be the wisest idea. It’s not that don’t want to help, having both worked & volunteered down @ the shelter has gifted me with a sense of compassion & charity, but I realize the potential risk I could place him in by drawing attention to his vulnerability. Thankfully though, for as dangerous it can be under the stars, Battle Creek has a lot to offer the less fortunate citizens in our generous city. Since ‘56 the Haven’s been there, offering food, shelter, & valuable life skills to help those in need get back on their feet & have another chance @ life, & their not the only ones with something to offer. The Salvation Army on NW Capital serves lunch every day free of charge to anyone seeking a mid-day meal. The Share Center on Grove St. provides a place to stay out the harsh elements of the seasons & into a place to gather & socialize. Their Cafe-Can-Do also providing a free meal one day a week as another alternative. While just knowing programs like these exist in the area puts a smile on my face, for someone on the streets it can mean the difference between life & death. Having seen grateful smiles that put mine to shame down @ the Haven, I quietly give thanks to the men & women that give hope to hopeless situations & provide a glimmer of light in dark times. As I pedal back into the night, I pass through the beacon of light that illuminates the street soldier that rests quietly before me. I know he’s not the first, nor will be the last person to enjoy a moment of peace on that hard exterior bed-frame, but I also know I not the only out there who cares enough to want to change his life for the better. As I continue my late night ride, I pass another bench & another man sleeping in the sanctity of a moment. Fortunately @ this time of night, it’s quiet on our streets.

For more information on how you can help, or if you need a place to stay or a hot meal: The Haven of Rest, 11 Green St. Offering Shelter nightly, Food, Life skills programs. Share Center/Cafe Can Do, 120 Grove St. Offering Shelter daily, Food every Thursday Salvation Army, 400 Captial Ave. Lunch M-F: 11:30-1PM, Sat & Sun: 1:30-2:30PM Washington Heights United Methodist, 153 N. Wood St. Food M-Thr: 3-4PM Upton Ave Original Church, 270 Upton Ave. Food Tues: 12-1:30PM Gods Kitchen @ First Baptist Church, 80 E. Michigan. Dinner M-Thr: 5-7PM, Friday service begins Sept. 11th.












The Understanding Of Love I wish it could all be seen through my eyes, this portrait of my understanding. inside this masterpiece there’s desolation & despair, but there’s also a certain beauty within it’s creation. it’s not always a thought to be put into words, nor necessarily an image created in the stoke of brush, it’s simply found in a smile. Easily, it’s heard in a laugh, & always, is it seen in the heart. -Author Anonymous

SMASH would like to include local poets in the magazine. Anyone interested in publishing their poetry please submit it to


The first Monday of each month, all tap sales are donated to a local charity or organization.

103 West Michigan Ave., Downtown Battle Creek

SMASH - September 2012  

SMASH - September 2012

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