10 Blurry Days in Stockholm, Oslo, and Goteborg.

The lady friend and I are closing out a 10-day, 3-city Scandinavian tour. We’ve seen it all (Fjords! Blonds! Smoked and pickled fish! Pop bands! Football! Uncomfortable, bizarre art exhibits!), but could still spend a day or two relaxing with some deft hands buttering up and rubbing down our sore body parts. Unfortunately, it’s immediately back to the grind for both of us after a 12-hour trip home tomorrow. 

Here’re some pics to tide you over til I in-lag myself stateside:











ICYMI: White Reaper Interview

I recently wrote up my favorite albums of 2014 for BFF.fm. One release I couldn’t overlook was White Reaper’s debut EP on Polyvinyl Records. Months after playing this album religiously on my show and spazzing out to it in my spare time, I got to catch up with the whole band via telephone for a recap of their Summer 2014 tour. This was definitely one of the funnest interviews I’ve conducted to date.

white reaper

We’ll Eat Anything – A Brainiac Reunion Show For a Good Cause

On Saturday, December 6th, the four surviving members of Dayton, Ohio’s rock band Brainiac took to the stage for the first time in seventeen years since the death of Tim Taylor, guitarist and frontman of the the band. They played as We’ll Eat Anything – an early name the band once took the stage under. From the inital responses, the night looked like it fulfilled everyone’s hopes of a sweaty, noisey, cathartic mess of glitched-out rock and roll.

The core group was joined onstage by local musicians from notable bands to perform a full set of the legendary band’s material. Other local Dayton bands also performed selected tracks from Brainiac’s discography, as well as the work of Jeremy Frederick – a dear friend of the band and a major contributor to the Dayton rock scene who passed away in 2012.

While the excitement and nostalgia generated by the Brainiac reunion is understandable, it was motivated as part of a fundraiser for the Izzy Frederick Education Fund, the daughter survived by Jeremy Frederick.

If you enjoy the video below – and any/all of the videos to follow – please, consider making purchases or donations via Jeremy’s Human Reunion bandcamp page. [Please note: I have no skin in this game. I just want to see funds raised for the reason the band reunited.]

Photo pulled from Brainiac fan page on Facebook.

#ThrowbackThursday: A Family Mystery

Great Grandpa

I’m a huge fan of #tbt, or Throwback Thursday – it brings the human aspect back to our incessant information feed, and tells us something about each other. I decided to participate this week by using some old family photos and clippings of my Great Grandfather Joseph Russo and the family restaurant he ran. I look at the man in the middle of the photograph and I see my face, my shoulders, and my compulsion to always roll up my sleeves and bare my forearms. This photo gives me a lot of comfort and pride.

But then I ran into a problem: The photo and the coupon clipping don’t tell the same story.

Having seen these two images next to each other growing up, I always assumed they were of the same era. In doing some research I found there is HUGE time gap between the photo and coupon. The photo was taken possibly as early as 1912, because of the “Oscar B. Marx for Mayor” in the window reflection. He was mayor of Detroit from 1913-1918. The coupon is from 1949. Either that building is someplace different, or the family restaurant lasted longer than I ever knew… Family mystery!

Anyways, if anyone out there knows of good ways to help me complete the puzzle of Joseph Russo and his restaurant in Detroit, I’d be extremely grateful!!!


UPDATE: Since posting this minor mystery online, I’ve already received another clue at least to the longevity of the storefront listed in the coupon clipping. Brock Winstead, writer and fellow DJ on BFF.fm (host of the Eastern Shore, Mondays 2-4pm PST), brought me this via Twitter:

This is a screen capture highlighting Joseph Russo (wife Catherine) listed as restaurateur at 14825 Mack Avenue in Detroit. So now we now Russo’s Restaurant was open at that location for at least 21 years! As memory starts to serve better, I do believe that my grandfather Salvatore (Sam) Russo was born and raised in the apartment above the restaurant. I also noticed that there is an Anthony Russo listed as a barber at 14821 Mack Avenue, and I’m presuming he is family as well… What a great little neighborhood.

Detroit1928_1775 - Russo

With a little more research (and help from some smart people) maybe I’ll be able to paint a better picture for my family and future generations. I’m still afraid, though, that the mystery of the building my grandfather is standing in front of – and the identity of the nefarious-looking characters to his right – might elude me forever. What a story those gents might make…

One more thing I need to confirm: It is my belief that this building was abandoned and/or torn down shortly after being damaged in the Detroit Race Riots of 1967. Whether or not my family’s business was still running at the time of the riots, I’m not sure about.