Author Archives: brianjbowe

About brianjbowe

Brian J. Bowe is a veteran journalist, author, and educator whose work examines the interplay of journalism and culture in multiple settings. Bowe earned his Ph.D. in Michigan State University’s Media and Information Studies program, where he was named the 2013 Outstanding Ph.D. student. His research interests include media framing, the media’s agenda setting function, and news coverage of Muslims. His research has appeared in top-tier journals such as Public Understanding of Science, International Communication Gazette and American Behavioral Scientist. In 2010, he co-produced the award-winning short documentary The Death of an Imam. He also co-authored and served as assistant coordinator of the Social Science Research Council-funded project Migrations of Islam: Muslim-American Culture in the 21st Century. Bowe has written extensively about music. He is the author of Judas Priest: Metal Gods, The Ramones: American Punk Rock Band and The Clash: Punk Rock Band. All three books are part of Enslow Publishers’ Rebels of Rock series of young adult biographies. He is the co-editor of CREEM: America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine (Harper/Collins), and has written liner notes for releases by Iggy & the Stooges, the MC5 and Was (Not Was). He served as editor of the online resurrection of CREEM Magazine and has published in regional and national publications such as Harp, Blurt, MLive and the Metro Times.

Swans: The iconic post-punk band’s musical transmutation and ‘LSD carpentry’

When Swans founder and figurehead Michael Gira talks about his seemingly indefatigable touring and recording schedule, he likens it to the work of a tradesman — a baker or a carpenter — getting out there and doing the work every … Continue reading

Posted in Punk | Leave a comment

Alice Cooper terrorizes Tulip City

Once in a while, a concert gives off such strange electric energy that its reverberations can be felt across the ages. Alice Cooper’s June 21, 1972 show at the Holland Civic Center is definitely one of those. I was a … Continue reading

Posted in Punk | Leave a comment

Bob Seger dishes out reflective power, real joy and ‘big ol’ nostalgic rock ‘n’ roll’

On a tour stop at Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena, Bob Seger served up a big ol’ nostalgic rock ’n’ roll show, filled with fist-pumping sing-along choruses and renditions of songs played exactly like you remember them from the radio. … Continue reading

Posted in Bob Seger, Detroit, rock 'n' roll | Leave a comment

In love with ‘the culture and energy’ of house concerts: A balm for the anxiety of a terrifying era?

My band, Voluptuous Panic, played a gig at the 2014 Lamp Light Music Festival in Grand Rapids. Here are some of my reflections as a performer and audience member. Read more at Local Spins…

Posted in DIY/DIT, Feature, Grand Rapids, Hippies, House Shows, Indie, Lamp Light, Punk, rock 'n' roll | Leave a comment

House Concert Nirvana: Lamp Light Music Festival aims to hit stride with inspiring, empowering small shows

There’s a small-but-growing movement toward house shows — small, cozy concerts staged in living rooms and basements, lightly promoted and accessible mostly to people already in the know. Grand Rapids’ Lamp Light Music Festival gives a wider audience the chance … Continue reading

Posted in DIY/DIT, Feature, Grand Rapids, House Shows, Indie, Lamp Light, Music | Leave a comment

Gettin’ Down with the Clowns: Detroit’s Insane Clown Posse, Faygo and the ShockFest ‘spectacle as resistance’

Detroit’s Insane Clown Posse rolled into Grand Rapids to launch its 33-date ShockFest tour at the Orbit Room. The duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope shared the stage with openers Mushroomhead, Da Mafia 6ix, Big Hoodoo and Jelly … Continue reading

Posted in Hip-Hop, ICP, Music, Review, Spotify Playlist | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

X gives Grand Rapids that pure punk experience

There may be no punk band that captures the true weird spirit of America better than X. Their music evokes this nation’s vast spaces, weird politics, dark mystery and relentless energy. Playing to a packed house at Grand Rapids’ The … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Punk, Review, Spotify Playlist | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment