Weekly What's Up: Hash Bash at The Blind Pig

. April 3, 2015.
macpod

On the first Saturday of April, at high noon, hundreds rally on the U-M Diag to celebrate Hash Bash. Back in 1967, Michigan’s music legend, John Sinclair, a scholar of jazz and blues, a poet, writer and counterculture icon, was arrested and sentenced to 10 years for passing two joints to an undercover police officer. This led to a massive protest from musicians as high profile as John Lennon and Stevie Wonder.

Three things followed: marijuana was decriminalized in the city of Ann Arbor, (eventually reduced to a civil infraction); Sinclair was freed; and in 1971, the first annual Hash Bash was commemorated. This year, the 44th annual Hash Bash unites likeminded cannabis proponents collectively hoping to end marijuana prohibition in the foreseeable future.

As the day’s festivities wind down, the evening’s musical performances rev up: John Sinclair will grace the stage of the Blind Pig, along with Laith Al-Saadi, Rootstand and The Macpodz.

The Macpodz, specializing in a smorgasbord of soulful jazz styles, mark their ninth year of participating in the Hash Bash festivities with a new lineup and what they consider a refreshed perspective on the original mission statement that set them on their path in the first place. The group, which blends post-bop psychedelia with soulful grooves, are in the midst of wrapping up a new album.

Check it out:

Macpodz – Old Man – The Truth -EP- Hologram from Nathan Meadows on Vimeo.

The Macpodz’ bassist Brennan Andes said that Hash Bash “is a chance to recognize the role of music as a rallying point for social change” and a way “to honor our mentors who’ve paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy.”

Or, as Mr. Sinclair put it, years ago, as he was envisioning a cultural revolution as a “total assault” that utilized various tools, from music, to writing, to “dope…” to self-expression, all of it being “one message: the message is freedom.”

Originating in the cultural climate at the turn of the 70s that saw Sinclair freed and the Michigan State Supreme Court ruling the state’s marijuana statues unconstitutional, the Hash Bash has since become an indelible part of Ann Arbor’s progressive legacy of activism and democracy.  

As organizer Adam Brook sees it, as long as citizens are not free to smoke marijuana, then Hash Bash will remain relevant.  

The Blind Pig opens its doors at 8 pm for the official Hash Bash after party celebration. Gypsy fusion outfit Rootstand will open things up, followed by a poetry reading by John Sinclair, accompanied by his Blues Scholars band. The Macpodz will start stirring things up with their tripped-out swirl of disco-bebop and finally, Laith Al-Saadi’s electric guitar pyrotechnics will top off the evening.

8 pm / $10 in adv or $15 day-of-show (18+)  

IN OTHER NEWS

The evening before Hash Bash (Friday, April 3) there’s another substantial line up of music over in Ypsilanti at The Crossroads Bar & Grill.

Detroit’s sci-fi/horror-show/surf-punk pugilists The Amino Acids are coming to town. They’re joined by the raucous metal/hardcore outfit Minus9 and the cinder-block rock of Disinformants.

Minus9 put up a new EP in late January. Check it out.

Trending

Laith Al-Saadi & Friends – Annual Birthday Bash

It goes without saying that Laith Al-Saadi is a treasure of the Ann Arbor music community. But if you haven’t yet experienced this bipedal force of nature with his signature beard, shredding guitar, and astonishing singing voice, then clear your schedule next Saturday… Laith Al-Saadi’s Annual Birthday Bash Sept 29 The Michigan Theater 8pm INFO

Grove Studios Grand Opening

If you’ve been following the pages (printed or online) of Current this past year, then you’ve probably heard a bit about Grove Studios already. Grove is a grassroots effort to provide musicians and artists from all around the Detroit metro area and western Washtenaw County a rehearsal and creative space for their work and development.

Audiotree Music Festival (Kalamazoo) – Sept 22/23

The Audiotree Music Festival returns to Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Creek Festival Place next Saturday and Sunday. The lineup features more than 20 artists, including Father John Misty, Khruangbin, Chicano Batman, Diet Cig, and many more! While the names we dropped in the previous paragraph are nationally renowned artists signed on to notable labels like Sub Pop or

saajtak featured among a genre defying lineup at blind pig – sept 13

  Genres are irrelevant. No one proves that assertion better than Detroit’s saajtak. Formed five years ago at U-M’s School of Music, saajtak’s made quite an impression with their stormy fusion of free jazz, noise experimentation, electronica, space-rock and opera. Their newest EP, Hectic, came out earlier this summer. Hectic EP by saajtak Thurs, Sept 13 saajtak