‘He made the world a better place.’ Grand Rapids drummer Bill Vits had a huge impact on musicians, fans and students. His death has sparked loving memorials to this local icon and Local Spins shares some of them with readers today.
The world lost John Lennon of the Beatles to a brutal, stunning assassination on Dec. 8, 1980. He was just 40 years old. But 40 years later, the universe still reveres his music, still mourns the loss of this rock icon. Local Spins got some help from local musicians in assembling a Top 40 playlist for the ages.
As leader of Grand Rapids’ Vintage Parlor Orchestra, Thomas Pike faces unique challenges in gathering his large ensemble for practices and performances while following new social-distancing rules. He explores the issues facing music groups in this Local Spins essay and provides some guidance in how bands can make it work.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” in the United Kingdom. And because The Beatles are one of the most covered bands of all time, Local Spins has compiled a playlist of the best covers of songs from this classic album, from Aerosmith and Joe Cocker to Elliott Smith and Florence + The Machine. Check out the videos and listen to the songs on Spotify.
Three days at the wondrous and sprawling festival in Rothbury can feel like a year anywhere else. Local Spins writer Ryan Boldrey immersed himself in Electric Forest for the first time and found surprises throughout, as well as a supportive, caring ‘Forest Family’ that extends to a drug-free faction of the community. Check out his column, browse the photo gallery.
The first RSVP Music Chat podcast of 2019 reviews the history of a long-running benefit for charity which rocks Founders again on Sunday and explores the reasons why musicians feel so compelled to donate time for worthy causes. Browse a list of all the bands that have played a quarter-century of Feedback benefits and listen to a previously unreleased, live Honeytones performance from the first event in 1994.
Legendary DJ Mark Farina plays a much-buzzed-about show Saturday at Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids. He recently shared insights into his musical history — which began in Chicago — with Local Spins columnist Todd Ernst. Read the interview, listen to his music as part of the first Local Spins “Looking for the Perfect Beat” feature.