Category Archives: Music

Black Metal Bells Ringing

A review of Ghost’s album “Infestissumam”
Tyler Smith
Sports Editor

With music there always a face to go with the song, like Ed Sheeran with “I See Fire”. We are so used to giving credit to musicians for their talents — which is a good thing cause that’s how they make a living – but in a society where we are so used to hearing an artist say, “This is my song and this is the song that propelled me to the top,” is deconstructive of today’s youth. What is being forgotten in this show of territorial dominance is the music itself. As a society, we give the good enough a slap on the back and the excellent a weird look along with, “What was that?” One band given the weird is Swedish metal Ghost.
A band modeled like the band KISS, these gentlemen only care about one thing and that is the music. Instead of makeup and skin tight clothes, they are called Nameless Ghouls wearing black hooded cloaks with masks covering their faces and lead by the undead Pope Papa Emeritus the Second. Mocking the Catholic Church and removing their personalities to allow their audiences to focus upon the music itself.
This year Ghost released an album named “Infestissumam.”
“I like the keyboards a lot but I mostly find the guitar riffs and solo surprising well-constructed” said David Siglow, 40, Dryden.
With a rocking riffs and sexy drum beat, this album is worth the ten dollars. Just playing the first track gets you pumped with the slow soothing church-like chanting then an explosion leading to a steady drum beat and screaming guitars. The third track of the album is like eerie 1700’s ballroom dancing tune drop in to a horror movie directed by Tim Burton. It makes your hair stand up but still rocking.
Others, on the other hand, see it a different way. “All I heard is death, Satan, and anti-God theme. Whoever listens to this is messed up and needs God,” said Jane Warner, 18, from St. Clair.
Yes, there are satanic symbols, like the upside down cross within the logo, and songs that contain words Satan and Antichrist — but guess what else does, the Bible.
In a 2011 interview with a metal blog site Hellbound.CA, a Nameless Ghoul said “…The new record is about the presence of the Devil, the presence of the Antichrist. It’s also about how people relate to a deity or God, themes like submission and superstition…”

For the photo: Band Promotion Photo from website

Her music filled the air; a symbol of beauty

Classical pianist Anastasia Rizikov plays at SC4
Tyler Smith
Staff Writer

With the creations of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and more, a 15-year-old girl brings them to life with every note and melody that fills the air. For those who have a classical taste, this one is for you.
Anastasia Rizikov from Toronto, Canada, played her heart out on the St. Clair County Community College stage. Beginning with esthetic energy, describing the different parts of the first piece she was about to play. Rizikov showed her love for the music by moving her hands and playing on an invisible piano while she talked.
When she prepared to play, there was an eerie silence just waiting for that first cluster of notes. The whispers of the audience echoed, wondering if the night would be a remarkable one. It gave the vibe similar to the buildup to the climax in a movie.
The melodies and rhythm kept growing and building as she played. Only growing in confidence as she played, filling the room with beautiful chords that could make a man weep. With each crescendo her years of practice and experience burned bright.
As she finished, thunderous applause replaced the eerie silence that filled the room previously. Rizikov bowed with a smile from ear to ear and like a rose flower, she bloomed. It seemed that Rizikov touched the hearts of everyone in the audience on that November night.
At the end of the concert, SC4 student Nicole Minhinnick said she was only there for a class assignment, Rizikov’s playing really impressed her.
Rizikov will be playing at the Berman Center of the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield on November 22.
For more details on Rizikov, visit her website

Blues and Folk music unite

Blues group and local band reel in crowd at SC4’s theatre
Angie Stoecklin

On the night of Oct. 4, the audience in SC4’s Fine Arts theatre exploded with applause when Coordinator of the Arts Celeste Skalnek announced that she was thrilled to have Madcat Midnight Blues performing SC4.
The event featured opening band Gasoline Gypsies, a local Folk band consisting of former SC4 students, and continued with Blues group, Madcat Midnight Blues Journey. The concert didn’t end until 45 minutes after it was supposed to, but that didn’t take away from the energy exhibited by either the bands’ or the audience members.
Sherry Shelany, 68, of Fort Gratiot, stated that the people of Port Huron need to realize the outstanding talent in town, as well as the talent that is brought into town to perform alongside local artists.
“The Gasoline Gypsies are an excellent, fabulous band and people need to hear them. But to have somebody of Peter Madcat Ruth’s stature come to town and be able to hear them and see the way they react with each other on stage is wonderful,” Shelany said.
Madcat Midnight Blues Journey is a four-piece Blues band; performing Blues pieces bordering on different genres from country to rock and roll. The band consists of lead singer and Harmonica player, Peter “Madcat” Ruth, guitar player and keyboardist, Drew “Captian Midnight” Howard, bass player Mark “Papa” Schrock, and percussionist Michael “Kid” Shimmin.
According to frontman Peter “Madcat” Ruth, when Skalnek contacted him and asked if he would like to perform at SC4, he didn’t hesitate to say yes, and he was not disappointed.
“I’m glad we could do it. It’s such a beautiful auditorium; the sound system is really good, and the people running the sound system are great at what they do,” Ruth said.
The band performed the previous night in Kalamazoo. But they made the drive for the opportunity to perform on the east side of the state, which, according the Ruth wasn’t the only change the band had been looking forward to.
“We’ve been playing outdoor concerts all summer long. And it’s been fun because there’s a whole different energy about outdoor concerts. But when you’re indoors and have that back wall and enclosed space, you play differently, the musician adjusts to the room and it’s such a nice theater that we were kind of being more subtle in a way, which was nice,” said Ruth.
Ruth stated that although each member of the band had to drive at least an hour on their way out of Port Huron, they appreciated the opportunity.
“We’re really glad to be here and share our music with the folks over here (Port Huron),” Ruth said.

The end of an era

Photo Credit: Greg Garofalo
Photo Credit: Greg Garofalo

Manifest the Machine goes out with a bang
Gregory Garofalo
Lifestyle Editor

The Schwonk Sound Stead, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. The infamous music venue has long been a popular hangout for the college students of SC4, no matter the genre of the band, the grand brick house on 7th and Griswold always draws a crowd.
However, on Sunday Sept. 28, it wasn’t the appearance of a new band that drew the hefty crowds, but the passing of a legend: Manifest the Machine.
Manifest the Machine is a local Post-Rock genre. The band consists of Travis Boone on the keyboard, Chris Strobbe on guitar, Zach Nye on bass guitar, and Corey Strobbe on the drums. They started as a three piece Blues Rock band and gradually progressed into what most would call Post-Rock, Experimental, or Ambient.
“I just can’t put into words how much you guys mean to us,” said an emotional Boone to his fans, “We decided that we need to take some time, we are not sure we are coming back, so just thank you.”
Upon asking him how his last show felt, Bonne remarked: “It feels good to say goodbye to everyone who supported us.”
It wasn’t only fans that were sad to see the local band go, but other musicians as well. Nick Ranger, co-singer and bass player of The Tiny Ugly Germs commented, “I’ll just say the scene is losing a really good band, but at least they are going out at Port Huron’s flagship venue. It’s really sad to see this band go.”
Ally Evenson, a local singer who performs with the band on and off, said the entire event was an odd bittersweet.
“I’ve been singing with them since January and it’s been amazing. It’s one of those feelings where I can just be myself. I can just express myself,” said Evenson.
Manisfest the Machine was not the only talent at the venue that evening, The Tiny Ugly Germs also made an appearance, as well as a new group who was new to not only to Port Huron, but to The States as well.
“We sold all of our stuff in Australia and bought a one way ticket to Europe,” said Raj Siva-Rajah, lead singer of the Australian band Sunpilots, “We just said: ‘let’s go for it.’ We make just enough money to get us to the next place, and we’ve been doing that for four years. Music is just in our blood and none of us can see ourselves doing anything else.”
To find out more about The Shchwonk and its upcoming shows, check out their Facebook page at:

Farewell for now

manifest poster
The SchwonkSoundStead hosts Manifest the Machine’s last show
Lily Petit
Staff Writer

Don’t miss what might be your last chance to hear Manifest the Machine live. The Port Huron based experimental rock band will be stepping out of the public light for an indefinite period of time.
Manifest the Machine will be playing on Sept. 28 at 7p.m at The SchwonkSoundStead located at 1521 7th street. The Tiny Ugly Germs and Joseph Merrill will be performing as well.
Admission is free but donations will be accepted.
Manifest considers this show to be a final salute to fans and supporters. Travis Boone, 21, says, “We are all grateful, the whole band.”
The post rock band consists of brothers Corey Strobbe, 20, on drums and Chris Strobbe, 19, on guitar. Add Travis Boone, 21, on keyboard, and Zach Nye, 19, on bass; the band is complete.
Manifest says, “If things work out in the far future, we’ll step back into the light and perform, but even if that happens it won’t be for a while.”

What we’re listening to


Editor’s edition

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

Girl Talk, All DayZack Penzien, 23, Marysville
Artist: Girl Talk
Album: All Day
Songs: Oh No, Triple Double
Genre: Mash up/Hip-Hop
“The best way to describe Girl Talk is that it’s like the hazy memory of the best party you have ever been to.”


Need to BreatheGreg Garofalo, 18, Lexington
Album: Rivers in the Wasteland
Songs: Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now, Difference Maker, Where the Money Is
Genre: Alternative rock
“A talented group of fun inspirational folk and rock artists. Rivers in the Wasteland stands superior to their other works. Their talent and range not just pours, but bleeds out of every song.”

Red Hot Chile Peppers, Stadium ArcadiumBrendan Buffa, 19, St. Clair
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Album: Stadium Arcadium
Songs: Turn It Again, Slow Cheetah, Wet Sand
Genre: Punk/ Psychedelic rock
“RHCP has become a staple in my music library, as well as saved my life with their careless, funky attitudes and jam band ballads that could last on repeat for days.”


Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Erick Fredendall, 22, Port Huron
Artist: Phoenix
Album: Wolfgang Amadeus
Songs: Litzomania, Everything is Everything
Genre: Indie rock
“Phoenix is probably the most upbeat music I listen to. Their music bears semblance to good scotch: makes you feels classy, has a smooth finish, and carries enough of a bite to transcend the typical “pop rock” genre.”

Manifest the Machine

Ambient music captures life’s emotions

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

Behind the scenes of Port Huron, a heart filled story rings out, beckoning from the notes of a four piece, ambient post-rock band, known as Manifest the Machine.
Two brothers, Chris and Corey Strobbe, came together on guitar and drums with the help of Travis Boone on keyboard and Zach Nye on bass, to create an experimental and inspirational tone that has become groundbreaking to the city itself.
Opening for The Tiny Ugly Germs’ record release show at The SchwonkSoundStead this Saturday April 26, Manifest the Machine’s Christopher Strobbe, speaks out about his experiences in the band, the inspiration behind the music, and reveals himself as the man behind the mysterious mask.
ESG: What’s it like being in a band with your brother, Corey?
Chris: Well my dad has been involved with music his whole life, and ever since we were little we have been playing together. It started in a different band, and after that Manifest the Machine happened.
ESG: Originally, you self-titled yourself as a “three piece blues-rock band” via Facebook, how did that all change?
Chris: It was just me, my brother, and a bass player. Then Travis came in and our original bass player left and our new bassist, Zach, joined. That’s when we started making the change to experimental music.
ESG: Your first officially released track, “He Who Travels Fastest Travels Alone” is a thought provoking and enlightening track. What was the state of mind for the band when writing that song?
Chris: I guess it was more along the lines of being happy. We wanted to just release something and have people get a little bit of an idea of what we’re like. So we just started recording something with the simple guitar lead, and everything was built over that. If you watch the music video you’ll be able to tell exactly how we felt.
ESG: Your EP, Le Rêve, is a spine chilling tale of what seems to be a dream state of your character, Jacob. What was the inspiration behind that?
Chris: It was pretty much written while it was recorded. It started with the second song, pretty much completely done by Travis. He had this crazy idea, which had to do with Jacob’s Ladder [from Genesis 28:10-19] and wanted to name it Jacob’s Dream. We then were able to tell a story from that.
ESG: What’s up with the masks?
Chris: We just strive to be different and we always like to try new things, and it was just one of those ideas that came up and we decided to go for.
ESG: If you could give one piece of advice to your fans, what would it be?
Chris: Pretty much that we create music and we do what we do because we have fun and we like to do it. That would be the message – don’t worry about what other people think and do what you like to do and have fun doing it.
You can follow Manifest the Machine on twitter, @ManifestMachine, and on Facebook at for more show announcements and music releases.
Catch the band at 1521 Seventh Street on April 26 to see Manifest the Machine live at The SchwonkSoundStead.
You can follow Brendan Buffa on Twitter, @brendanbuffa.

What we’re listening to

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

Bon Jovi, The CircleAngie Stoecklin
Artist: Bon Jovi
Album: The Circle
Songs: Work for the Working Man, When We Were Beautiful
Genre: Rock
“Such a revolutionary album that really brings back their anthem style rocking sound.”


Lana Del Rey, ParadiseMia Urbaniak
Artist: Lana Del Rey
Album: Paradise
Songs: Blue Velvet, Video Games
Genre: Pop
“Her music really relaxes me and it’s such a chill vibe and original sound.”


Infected Mushroom,P.G.M.Austin Murray
Artist: Infected Mushroom
Album: P.G.M. [Single]
Songs: P.G.M (Delirious Remix)
Genre: Techno
“Not many words can describe Infected Mushroom; I love them because there are no annoying voices.”


Twenty One Pilots,  VesselRachel Cooper
Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Album: Vessel
Songs: Car Radio, Ode to Sleep, Before You Start Your Day
Genre: Indie Pop
“Their music is always so high energy and it’s so easy to just immerse yourself in it. They’re weird, but relatable. Oh, and they’re hot.”

Submit what you’re listening to on twitter – @brendanbuffa

Little Fire

A flame that won’t die

Gregory Garofalo
Managing Editor

Rap. For some it is the Devil’s music, a perverse pleasure the younger generations listen to. Yet for others, rap inspires hope, and is used as a form of raw expression that can’t be obtained through other forms of music or art.

One of these artists is Paris Douglass.

“I love to rap. It’s one of the greatest things. When I speak my music I speak my life,” said Douglass. “A lot of people now days; they like rapping about nothing, but I like talking about reality.”

Rapping about his past as well as social, political, and moral issues as well as the concept of God and self-struggle in identity. “My rap name is Little Fire, because I’m the flame that will never let anyone blow out,” Douglass explained.

Douglass is a twenty-one year old man who has had to forge his life very much on his own, escaping an abused life from his parents. Douglass spent his late teens drifting from city to city starting in his home town of Eastpointe, to Columbus, and finally to Port Huron.

“I didn’t know how to ask for help,” Douglass said recollecting on his past, “I said one bad word as a kid, and my father made me drink a full bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I had to drink it all, to the point where my throat was enflamed.

“I would go to school and think, ‘Mom and Dad told me not to say anything,’ and that’s what I did, I didn’t say anything. I lied to the hospital and told the Doctors I had been wrestling. I had to go to school with bruises all over my body. Kids at school asked me, ‘Oh how did you get that bruise?’ Or ‘How’d you get those marks? They look like burns.’”

In an act of final desperation, Douglass hopped on a bus to Columbus, Ohio to finally escape his abused life.

With little money to live on, Douglass would rap as a street performer just to earn enough money to eat, while staying at a shelter to sleep at the age of eighteen.

Paris Douglass also known as Little Fire sits down to tell his story
Paris Douglass, also known as Little Fire .
Photo by Kaylee Bert

“I never thought I would be in a shelter, I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ I even tried calling my parents for help but they only laughed in my face about it” said Douglass.

Torn and broken while dealing with the hardships of a life with no money and only a high school education, the young man found solace in his rap; using his talent of word flow as an artful expression rather than just a beat for people to listen to.

“It’s not the rap that I love; it’s the feeling and emotion that comes with it.” Douglass said, “People don’t understand that there are a lot of people like myself that had to grow up in pain and misery who didn’t know where to go or where to turn to. People like to turn their ears and block it out because they don’t understand.”


What we are listening to


Zack Penzien
Artist: BabyMetal
Album: BabyMetal
Songs: Death, Head Banger, Gimme Chocolate
Genre: Metal/J-pop
“Take Metallica and replace the lead singer with three 16 year old Japanese girls into choreography, for no reason that makes sense it works.”


This CD cover released by Broken Bow Records shows the upcoming album "Night Train," by Jason Aldean. The album will be released on Oct. 16. (AP Photo/Broken Bow Records)Krysten Kean
Artist: Jason Aldean
Album: Night Train
Songs: Calls Me Baby, Night Train
Genre: Country
“Something to turn up and jam to when summer finally rolls around!”



AC-DCAustin Peterson
Artist: ACDC
Album: Back In Black
Songs: Hells Bells, Shoot To Thrill, You Shook Me All Night Long
Genre: Rock
“Makes me think of what it was like in the early 80’s! Reminds me of what my Dad and Grandpa used to listen to.”


Carrie UnderwoodMichayla Hernandez
Artist: Carrie Underwood
Album: Blown Away
Songs: Good Girl, Blown Away
Genre: Country
“Her music is really inspirational and I was a huge fan of her back when she was on American Idol.”