It's a long standing tradition. I look back and there wasn't a fancy name like "Link Up" or anything, but I remember very distinctly the opportunity to head to DeVos Hall as a 5th grader and see the Symphony. It was a huge treat for a bunch of kids from a small one hall school in Belmont. It was exposure to a level of music that not many of us had even been a part of and it was an introduction to something other than the bubble gum pop and a few of us who had made the jump to Kiss records and were fans of the early beginnings of the disco era thanks to ultra hip parents who were out buying Bee Gees records after seeing Saturday Night Fever.
Today, "Link Up" is a nationally embraced brand that brings kids and schools together, 54 schools in Muskegon today to be exact, to see just what happens when music is created without "autotune", and sampling of every other note ever written by someone else. Actually, it goes even deeper than that. The Link Up curriculum program comes directly from Carnegie Hall and the West Michigan Symphony was the first remote location to adopt the program as well as the only symphony to keep it going for the entire 16 years it's been around. There is actually more classroom based learning in the program than the one day concert experience, but there is also hands on application of what's been learned. Students all brought recorders and were able to play along at points, it's all about music education and giving students a chance to dip their toe in the water a little as they get set to head to the 5th grade where they will have the opportunity to take some music classes for real for the first time. It's the beginning of curiosity and like any interest sparked could lead to a life time of appreciation and enrichment.
The West Michigan Symphony is a tremendous asset to have at the Frauenthal Center and they are still "in season" for a couple more shows until the Summer break. To see the face of a young person light up when all of the different elements of a symphony combine, it's still priceless. Music is a uniquely human endeavor, and from one violin doing a pizzicato to the entire ensemble combining for thunderous sweeping sounds like you'll hear, it's part of arts and culture that every kid should get a little piece of once in a while.
Andy Buelow is the Executive Director of the West Michigan Symphony and he invited me down to see first hand the Link Up program and talk a little about why it's so very important for young people to get a taste. Take a listen.
Did you go too when you were a kid? There is so much placed on STEM education and of course college prep, skilled trades...on and on...but it's so important to remember what the arts add to the over all educational experience to balance out all of it. Not everyone is going to be Beethoven, that's a given, but a level of appreciation for things other than what's on YouTube or on the soundtrack of Fortnite is essential to young minds....old ones too. If you'd like to know more about the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, click on their logo below to visit their website.
Friday night it's time to get your party on Friday with the Pegboard Nerds! As the LC Walker Arena has reset it's layout as well as it's attitude, we're seeing more and more starting to happen at the historic venue. New restaurants inside the place like Rad Dad's Taco and Tequila Bar. Some new suites to add to the amenities as well as some innovative choices for club seating and group outings. The modernization of the "old barn" has been a terrific evolution to watch unfold and quite honestly a breath of fresh air.
With the new energy, comes some who are willing to invest in bringing some new entertainment to town to go along with the anchor offerings of hockey, arena football, indoor soccer and more! One of those is ELQ Entertainment headed by Eric Quintero is doing just that. We have seen concerts brought in by him that range from country to rock and diving into Electronic Dance Music (EDM) seems like a really good fit with not only the popularity of the genre for fans, but...the close proximity of Muskegon to one of the biggest EDM events in the world every year... Electric Forest.
The average attendee is a 20 something that loves to be immersed in music and visuals. Where the "older crowd" might have been out moshing it up, this generation is pretty happy dancing to their own thing and letting themselves get lost a while in their minds as the beats drop and the buzz of the music takes over. Don't be shy about trying it out tho if you are a little on the older side. I can tell you from a few years of Electric Forest under my belt....events like this don't draw a world wide audience because they are boring.
Eric and I met up at the LC Walker Arena to talk about the show this Friday and share some thoughts about our re-emerging "scene" in Downtown Muskegon. Take a listen!
It's going to be a great time. It's about supporting what's going on and trying something new! EDM is nothing to be afraid of and if you've become that old codger sitting there saying "Those damn kids these days...." imagine what your parents thought when you came home and said you were going to the "Ratt Poison" concert at the LC Walker Arena. Don't become that! Check out some of the music of The Pegboard Nerds below and check out the show Friday night Downtown Muskegon. Bet you end up diggin it!
It was another awesome time at Smash! Wine Bar and Bistro in Downtown Muskegon as Muskegon Tonight Live rolled on it's 3rd installment! The idea is simple. We at the Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon believe that Muskegon deserves it's own locally produced media and that we just don't have enough. We have worked since 2015 when it all began with a free blog program and a GoPro camera to change the way we see ourselves in Muskegon and the way we are portrayed in the West Michigan Area as a whole.
Flash forward to 2019, and we're now able to bring you live 1080 hd broadcasts that are produced by people who all believe in the same mission of our story and our people in Muskegon. So, as we've grown, so have our programming offerings and we'll continue to do just that. You can now watch on your computer, you can cast to your favorite TV in your house and you can even get the Muskegon Channel Radio App in the Itunes App Store or Google Play and take all of our platforms with you!
On our third show, We welcomed community leader and activist Eddie Sanders Jr. to talk about Muskegon Heights Tiger Pride. He also treated us to his latest single "If You Can Read" which inspires young people to pick up some books! Jeremy DeWitt added a new Freak Your Geek out visiting Guy DeBoer from Guy's Ultimate Kayak Service and his amazingly huge watch collection. Joel Selby from West Michigan Student Showcase came by to talk about this years event at the Frauentahal and Christoper Cordle played some pretty awesome acoustic songs to wrap things up.
It's all right here on demand if you missed it live....so enjoy episode 3 of Muskegon Tonight Live from Smash! Wine Bar and Bistro!
A fun show with great guests!! Our many thanks too to our audience who came for the live show and Smash! for being such great hosts! The good news is, we're already booked for April, May and June....so stay tuned for our upcoming guests and ticket availability.
For links to any of our guests from the March show, so you can get more information about them follow the links in the photos below! Thanks for watching!
It's a rivalry that's 17 years and running in Muskegon and somewhere along the way, the wins and losses between area police and firefighters got lost. No one really remembers who won what game in what year anymore. So much for the "competition" between the teams I suppose. Not that it really matters anyway, because Muskegon Guns and Hoses is about so much more than the hockey game played between the cops and firefighters, it's about camaraderie, coming together for a purpose and bringing community and families together for some awareness and a purpose!
April 13th is the date and the game is to be played at 6PM at Lakeshore Sports Center at 4470 Airline Road in Muskegon. Our local first responders come together to battle it out on the ice, but the real battle goes on with the people they are out to raise money for. Usually, it's for families with kids who have some pretty big needs. One was a service dog in the past. Others have some illness or disorder that people can barely pronounce let alone live with and the best part of all of this, and I'm not sure if you're aware of this...but once a family is adopted by this group...they don't let go. They truly stick with the family like they are part of the team for as long as it takes. It's a special bond that is extended from the police and fire people to the people they serve and it's truly amazing.
This year, they are working to help 4 families out who have a range of needs from heart conditions to tumors and the stories of the people fighting the battles are simply put, amazing. The work done by the Guns and Hoses group is simply to say, "We want to do our part" to try and make their situation a little easier. You can meet the beneficiaries all on the Muskegon Guns and Hoses website which you'll find linked at the bottom of the page.
Of course, being a fundraising event, you'll find plenty of things at Lakeshore on the 13th. Raffles, silent auctions, donation opportunities and even a chance to drop off food items to benefit Kids Food Basket. It's turned into a HUGE community get together for a great cause and you don't want to miss it if you're a fan of hockey or helping out remarkable people!
I met up with Lacey Koens and Chris Wilks who are the chairs of the event. Take a listen to what to expect at Guns and Hoses 2019.
It's going to be a great night! The event has grown by leaps and bounds and as Lacey and Chris talked, it's because of a good and caring community backing the first responders who put this together. Click on the image below to visit the Guns and Hoses website and learn a little more about the families who they are playing for as well as the event itself, then, plan on a great night April 13th for a great cause!
It's been 11 years that Muskegon Rockstock has been delighting fans with their ever growing festival. Since the early days of their humble beginnings at Hackley Park with a few local bands and a small core of people trying to keep some live music happening in Muskegon their mission has been to bring some entertainment, keep costs in check so anyone can come out and be a part of the scene and to incrementally grow as opportunity presents itself and budgets allow for it. It's been organic growth from day one, no steps were ever taken for the group to bite off more than it could chew and as their ability to manage bigger and bigger festivals came to them the stage got bigger, the acts got bigger, but the small core of people who pull it off stayed basically the same. Yes, it's really the same small group of people that started off on day 1 at Hackley Park now managing every aspect of the show at Heritage Landing.
This year, along with the three nights of headlining acts of Puddle of Mudd, Trapt, Saliva and Tantirc, Rockstock is bringing back the midway fun to Heritage Landing over the 4th of July Holiday Weekend. There will also be a gigantic display of fireworks for the entire community to enjoy and of course, they work to keep the food, beverage and merchandise all under a decent price so everyone can feel like they are splurging when the reality is that they are getting a great night out for a very small price and hanging with friends and family at one of the greatest spots anywhere for a live show, the shore of Muskegon Lake.
Tickets will remain $10 a night for the shows and a multi day pass is your best value! Brandon Baskin is the promoter of the event and we caught up over at the Norton Shores Branch of the Muskegon Area District Library to talk about the line up, the tickets and what we're all in for this Summer. Take a listen.
It's going to be a BIG few nights of fun and the work that's gone in. It's also been a great pleasure to have watched a local group work so hard to grow a festival from a garage to the Main Stage at Heritage Landing. It sticks to the Muskegon mantra of us doing things for ourselves. Tickets are on sale for Rockstock and we're excited to see you at Heritage Landing in July!! Let's all rock out and support the locals at Rockstock!! Click below to visit the Muskegon Rockstock website.
A FIRST in Michigan (FIM) robotic competition district final was held on 16th March, 2019 at Orchard View High School in Muskegon, Michigan. The Muskegon Channel had partnered with FIM to simulcast the 8 hours long competition. Now that's over we have compiled a feature length program of the competition highlighting our local area high schools plus other enhancements and bonus materials.
|Table of Contents|
0:42:35 Qualification 73
Local Area Teams
2405 Techno Trojans Fruitport, Michigan
4337 R 13 Holton, Michigan
|858 Demons Wyoming, Michigan
1711 RAPTORS Traverse City, Michigan
2405 Techno Trojans Fruitport, Michigan
3458 Code Blue Holland, Michigan
3546 Buc'n'Gears Grand Haven, Michigan
3572 Wavelength Norton Shores, Michigan
3603 Cyber Coyotes Reed City , Michigan
3618 Petoskey Paladins Petoskey, Michigan
3767 Titan Robotics Traverse City, Michigan
4004 M.A.R.S. Rovers Muskegon, Michigan
4337 R 13 Holton, Michigan
4376 Raydernators Charlevoix, Michigan
4398 Imprimis Deo Traverse City, Michigan
4956 RoboSharks Whitehall, Michigan
4967 That ONE Team-OurNextEngineers Belmont, Michigan
5114 Titanium Tigers Fenton, Michigan
5247 Red Devil Robotics East Jordan, Michigan
5860 Full Metal Muskrats Algonac, Michigan
6005 Cardinaltronics Custer, Michigan
6020 John Glenn Robotics Bay City, Michigan
|6065 Titanium Dragons Grand Rapids, Michigan
6074 RoboBucks Roscommon, Michigan
6090 Wayland Wildcats Wayland, Michigan
6094 Manic Mechanics Montague, Michigan
6097 Botcats Brethren, Michigan
6098 bIrobot Beaver Island, Michigan
6100 MSMohawks Morley, Michigan
6122 Potential Energy Bear Lake, Michigan
6128 M.O.T.O.R (More Than Our Robot) Hart, Michigan
6561 Omecha Wolf Pack Scottville, Michigan
6582 Vestabots Vestaburg, Michigan
7054 SC Sailors Grand Rapids, Michigan
7160 Ludington O-Bots Ludington, Michigan
7602 Spartronics Scottville, Michigan
7689 WMC Robotics Muskegon, Michigan
7790 Baywatch Robotics Harbor Springs, Michigan
7794 Marion Eagle Engineers Marion, Michigan
7810 Oakridge Eagles Muskegon, Michigan
7855 Bone Yard Mesick, Michigan
Muskecon got started a couple years ago by Pete McCarthy who's an avid collector and admitted "geek" celebrating all things "geek" with his fellow "geeks" and to the surprise of everyone....there were a LOT of geeks in Muskegon! The show was an incredible hit Downtown Muskegon and came back for year two, and now on to year 3 March 23rd 2019!
A lot goes into the show to put it on. If you've ever put on an expo, or even been to one, it's widely known that they are a huge undertaking. But for all that goes into a show like Muskecon on the surface, behind the scenes the networking is widespread and with the age of social media being what it is, it's not long until some major players in the collectibles game, or any other endeavor begin to find each other and connect. This is kind of the case with Muskecon and the guy behind the film "Plastic Crack" you can find on Amazon.
Guillermo Olivo is the creator of "Plastic Crack". It's a documentary about collectors and the lengths they go to fuel their love for nostalgia, unique additions to their collections and what drives them to accumulate such massive collections. Some of which, admittedly go far beyond obsession for the love of their stuff. Locally, we have some of our collectors featured in the film. Steve Biesiada is a local collector who's got a pretty good role in the film and will also be at the Muskecon. Steve is also tied in to some local Podcasts, "The Podcasters of the Universe" and "My Wife is Going Kill Me" both of which are centered around collectibles and toys...and if it's not all falling in to place for you by now...the magic if the internet is what's brought all these guys together and will be bringing Guillermo to Muskegon later this month to discuss his film.
I'll tell you this, "Plastic Crack" is WAY more than a guy going around with a camera showing off toy collections. Guillermo takes a very deep and human approach to collectors and collections and just how much of an impact, good or bad, they can have on peoples lives. Some of the collectors in the series take some very high risks to protect what they have and some trade one addiction for another. It's a pretty intense viewing experience and delves deep into the human psyche. It's very much worth watching.
I had a chance to talk to Guillermo in advance of his visit to Muskegon on March 23rd. We talk about "Plastic Crack" and how he came to have such deep connections in Muskegon. We also talk about this wave of collectors we're seeing in today's age and the growing need for nostalgia. Take a listen.
A fun conversation and a fun event coming up. Make sure you check out Muskecon March 23rd at The Holiday Inn Downtown Muskegon and jump on Amazon to see "Plastic Crack" before you come so you can see the docuseries in advance of the panel Guillermo will be hosting at the event! It's a great event coming to Muskegon and growing. Take a look at the "Plastic Crack" trailer in the link below! We'll see you at Muskecon March 23rd.
It was a great night!! Our first show at Smash Wine Bar and Bistro at the end of January was in the "Polar Vortex" and we had a great time and all, but it was a little rough being the debut and all. The weather kept some people home understandably, everything and everyone was new to the production and like any opening night, we wondered "what if"?
Well, it all seemed to be seamless on the second go around. We welcomed County Commissioner Bob Scolnick, dropped a new Freak Your Geek Out, Magician Bill Blagg came in advance of his show at the Frauenthal Theater on Friday March 1st and we had visits from Pete McCarthy from Muskecon and Cindy Larsen from the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce to talk about the Home Garden and DIY show!
It was quite a time! If you missed it, here it is again, on demand for ya! It's episode 2 of Muskegon Tonight Live! from Smash Wine Bar and Bistro on The Muskegon Channel. You'll find links to everything below!
Thanks to all who came out and to all of our guests! Click on the images below to visit the respective web sites. Don't forget too, Smash Wine Bar and Bistro is debuting a brand new menu, so head down and try it soon!
It's going to be an awesome night you don't want to miss! Get those tickets in advance by clicking on the photo below and don't wait till the last minute. This is a great night for a great purpose and the money raised goes directly to benefit one of our most incredible town treasures, the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex!
It was the premiere episode of Muskegon Tonight at Smash Wine Bar and Bistro. The "polar vortex" was on everyone's mind, but it sure didn't stop a great crowd from turning out to be a part of the launch!
The show, hosted by Andy O'Riley and Jeremy DeWitt welcomed Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron to talk about all things Muskegon, Jim Rudicil of the Muskegon Luge and Winter Sports Complex and Comedian Ricarlo Williams-Winston entertained the crowd at the end of the night with a short set of his great material.
The atmosphere was warm, the food was delicious and as far as the launch of a new shw goes, it was pretty dog gone good! If you missed it live or would just like to see it again... here you are, it's the premiere if Muskegon Tonight on The Muskegon Channel.
Our thanks to everyone who braved the cold to come out and to out very gracoius hosts at Smash Wine Bar and Bistro for the awesome venue to hold the premiere show! If you're looking for a great place to have a night out in an intimate setting, may we invite you to check out Smash! in the lower level of the Frauenthal Theater in Downtown Muskegon. You can have a look at their menu by clicking on their photo below.
As the Muskegon Channel has grown, so has our approach to what we do. Believe it or not, where we are today is a long, long way from where we started in 2015. Back then, we had a free blog program and a GoPro Camera that Andy had to buy 6 months same as cash to get the entire thing rolling with the Positively Muskegon blog. Today, we've got HD cameras, live mobile rigs to stream just about anything live. We've added some staff that have no experience so they can learn the craft and we've had some experienced people come along as well who have seen what we're building and want to be a part of it. We have gone on to add Muskegon Channel Radio and most recently, we've acquired the management of Channel 96 in Muskegon on the Comcast system. It's the community access channel and as we begin to start to rebuild our local television offerings, what we have online will remain just as important.
That being said, we've had some pretty good success with streaming shows. We showed the Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree live for the first time and had over 10,000 streams open up during the show. We have a couple more lined up soon, but beginning on January 31st we're going to launch our very own live talk show called "Muskegon Tonight". We're not out to re-invent anything. We're not going to innovate talk shows or go for the "viral hit". We simply just want a nice, fun and informative talk show, with a live audience that Muskegon can tune into for some interesting talk about news makers, events and interesting things about Muskegon. As we have said from the beginning, relying on out of town media to tell our story...we can do better, and "We have a New Story to Tell".
Andy O will be joined by newcomer to broadcast Jeremy DeWitt who you might be familiar with from his band Yard Sale Underwear or maybe his "Podcasters of the Universe" show that he hosts. The first show is January 31st at Smash! Wine Bar and Bistro in Downtown Muskegon and the guests include Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron, Jim Rudicil from The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex and comedian Ricarlo Williams Winston from the Back Alley Comedy Club.
Lauren Stanton caught up with Andy and Jeremy to talk about the new show just outside Smash! in the lobby of the beautiful Frauenthal Theater. Take a listen.
As Mentioned, the seats are sold out for the first studio audience, but...you'll be able to watch on your connected device anywhere! Just come to MuskegonChannel.com and be ready to roll at 7:30 on January 31st for the launch of Muskegon Tonight... Live from Smash! Wine Bar and Bistro!
We're known for hockey in town. Like really well known. The storied history of the game here in town has been written about over and over and we continue to write the history, we also write the future. Youth hockey in Muskegon is a big deal. They start off as squirts and work their way up thru the ranks in to high school or travel teams and hopefully on to college, maybe the USHL and then on to the dream! It's happened, and it's going to continue to happen. We're "Hockeytown West" and that's the way it outta be!
Hockey is a tough sport to get into though. It's a sport that required a lot of time, dedication and travel. You've seen the commercials of the "hockey mom" sitting at the rink at 6a watching her kind play. It's true. It's also a bit of an expensive endeavor. Sure, your schools basketball team can play with a ball some shorts and jerseys, but hockey take a lot of equipment that comes at the parents expense and let's not forget...they are kids...they are growing and the expense keeps on keeping on.
Well, sure we can't help ever individual youth hockey player, but, we can support the organization that helps them compete. The Junior Jacks are part of the Muskegon Lumberjacks and they support young hockey players all the way from "Learn to Skate" to the travel leagues. They provide an inclusive atmosphere for young players and instill the values of sportsmanship and fair play. They work to provide a sustainable business model to make sure that they are around a while to keep the pipeline of players moving and the parents and coaches involved are all dedicated to assuring that these kids have the best experience possible.
Fundraising is always a part of this or any youth program. But not everything is coupon books or candy bars when it comes to fundraising. The Jr. Jacks are proud to welcome former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and some friends to The Back Alley Comedy Club for a night of fun and fundraising! The Darren McCarty Slapstick Comedy Tour makes a stop at the Back Alley on Friday January 18th. You'll get some great live comedy, some fun stories from McCarty about his life and life in the NHL and more. Tickets are still available and you're in for a great night if you get some!
Chad Addicott is with the Jr. Jacks and we met up to talk about the organization and mission as well as the fun event. Take a listen.
What an awesome night, and awesome cause! The Jr. Jacks do a lot of good for young people and if you have not noticed yet... The Back Alley Comedy Club is coming on strong as a great place in Muskegon not only for entertainment, but a spot that's doing what they can to do the right thing for organizations that matter here in town. Head out for a Friday night of laughs and purpose!
What's going on at The Back Alley Comedy Club! We're pretty excited to bring you a weekly update on who's coming to the club, what kind of special events they have on tap and when the big names are coming... you'll hear about them here! We're also going to welcome some of their regional acts on to help give them a bigger chance to be seen and give you a chance to kind of get the idea as to what you're in for when you head to the club for a show. A recap of Chris Katan, the upcoming show with Jamie Kennedy and a weekend filled with laughter this weekend for only $7 bucks??? You heard it right!! Get to the Back Alley Comedy Club and enjoy the fun!!
It began with being a stand up as a teen, led to a career in public access TV which garnered enough attention to move up to MTV on to movies and more...so is the career of Comedian Tom Green. Tom is live in Muskegon at The Back Alley Comedy Club November 30th and December 1st and we caught up with the legandary comic for a few minutes to talk about his career in advance of the shows.
The guy has really done it all. From comedy to rapping, radio, television and movies...Tom Green has not taken a break since 1986, which, if my math is correct would have made him about 15 at the time. Even a bout with cancer didn't stop him. He turned the experience into a pretty touching and very personal story of living through the experience of the entire process, even the graphic parts...which drew some pretty good acclaim. To me, it was more proof that most comedians are much more in touch with themselves and those around them than what you see in the act.
He's back out touring now, and Muskegon is lucky to have him for Friday November 30th and Saturday December 1st for 2 shows each night. Shows both nights are at 6:30 and 9:30p and tickets are still available. You can find a link for them by clicking on the photo below.
I had a chance to catch up with Tom for a few minutes when he got to town this morning, take a listen.