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This Week's Events

Back-2-School: Spinning Vinyl, Catching Up

Thursday, Aug. 28, 9 p.m. - midnight
This last week the city's population numbers began to swell a bit as students are beginning to return from a summer spent off campus. And for students and townies alike, what better place to catch up this Thursday night than at Harmony Brewing Company's Back-2-School edition of their popular Vinyl Night.
For this special night, Austin Kane will be manning the turntable and dropping everything you would expect from him, like cuts by Mac DeFartco, Thee Oh Sees, Real Estate, Beach Fossils and more.
"I'm going for a dreamy surf rock feel. Mostly modern artists from the Bay Area like Ty Segall, White Fence, Bare Wires," says Kane,  "Local favorites (of Michigan-based acts) like Radiator Hospital, Jamaican Queens, Ghost Heart will be rounded out with some "oldies" like the Beach Boys, Velvet Underground, and various doo wop tracks."
One of the best parts of this vinyl night versus others in our city who play albums is that at Harmony you get to indulge in one of the state's best other round offerings, as this is the venue that placed fourth in MLive's John Gonzales' pick for best pizza in Michigan. (Harmony was the only local to crack the top ten.)
It is also the home to an ever-evolving beer menu that is just as eclectic as its customers, who range from neighbors to Easties to even hipsters seeking delicious carbs.
So get there early if you desire a sight line to the bar or risk being placed in the back or on the patio on this special Back-2-School edition of Harmony's Vinyl Night.
Admission: Free to listen, but you know the drill. This is a pub with good grub, so order up!

El Toro! Running of the Bulls: Get Ready To Rumble

Saturday, Aug. 30, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Have you ever fantasized about what it would be like to go up against a Grand Rapids Roller Girl? Not that kind of match-up, but the kind where you are sincerely curious if you have the stuff to keep moving as they roll towards you with one thing in mind: to club you or stop you from getting to that next bar.
In what is probably the biggest under-rated beer-themed event in the city comes the return of El Toro! – the Grand Rapids-only Running of the Bulls featuring the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls.
Registration is once again free and can be done on site between 10 and 11 a.m. on Saturday. But if you want to get a snazzy t-shirt to show off to your friends along with a wristband that entitles you to drink offers and food specials, then you will need to donate $20.00 at the time of check-in.
And unlike the Spanish version that inspired our event, if you do stumble, the worst you can expect is a vinyl burn and a bruised ego if the girls catch you (and not a visit to the ER, unless you are really very fragile, in which case maybe you should stay home and rest.) 
Seriously, this is a great event that is sure to make your weekend a bit brighter if staying in the city is your plan this Labor Day weekend.
El Toro! has built in a scavenger hunt and other opportunities to win some great prizes as you pub run from Hopcat to so many fun participating vendors, like Grand Woods Lodge, The Pyramid Scheme, Stella's Lounge, Peppino's Downtown Sports Lounge, and McFadden's, before finally ending at the Grand Rapids Brewing Company.
Wear a costume and see what kind of attention you receive from our local girls, who prove over and over again that sports are not for the weak or lazy. Get in the game and run the hardest working girls in sports this weekend, Grand Rapids.
Admission: Free

Carrie the Musical: Halloween is Coming (Don't Freak Out)

Opening Thursday, Sept. 4 (through Sept. 20), see event link for times
There is a modern trend to remake something that was once a film into a Broadway musical. Sometimes it flops horribly (Spiderman, anyone?), chugs along with a shrug (Bullets Over Broadway), or is such a smash that it goes from the silver screen to the Great White Way and then back to the screen again in a new form (Hairspray).
For those adventurous folks looking for the next work of art to dive into this trend, here comes Carrie the Musical – a new musical whose story was created by Stephen King and made for the big screen (with Sissy Spacek) before decades later becoming one of the latest to attempt to win over a new generation with a twist on the old story.
As in the film version, Carrie White is a misfit who has a crazy but smothering mother at home and a school life resembling an outcast who's bullied by the popular crowd. To the world she is all but invisible until she discovers her special powers that set the genre and others on fire. 
The musical, set in the present-day small town of Chamberlain, Maine, features a book by Lawrence D. Cohen (screenwriter of the classic film), music by Academy Award winner Michael Gore (Fame, Terms of Endearment), and lyrics by Academy Award winner Dean Pitchford (Fame, Footloose). 
See another trend or pattern above beginning to emerge with this show? All of these players connected with the creation of the musical version were around when original was made, so you can be sure this is going to be a spell-binding production from our local theatre company, who is also not afraid to present challenging works of art for our audience.
Bravo, Circle Theatre, for such a bloody good ending to your summer season!
Admission: $25 – 27. Specially priced $10 tickets available to Aquinas students.

Grande Dinderhaus: Idea Factory and More Opens

Saturday, Sept. 6, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
One of the best parts about the end of summer is all the art-themed events that begin to appear on the calendar from now until Christmas.
On Saturday, September 6, Dinderbeck Studios will present the Grande Dinderhaüs, a creative-focused open house event for the public.
Located in the heart of the emerging westside warehouse district that is also home to the Tanglefoot Building Artists and The Goei Center, Dinderbeck Studios has transformed itself over the years into an artist resource center with an emphasis on printmaking.
For this special one-day-only event, they will feature all the equipment they employ in the practice of the art of printmaking, but they will also have booth space showcasing the other talented artists who are a part of this space. 
Live demonstrations will include:
•            Screenprinting frosting onto sugar cookies
•            Production-level printing on two of the presses
•            Folding mass amounts of paper on one of the machines
•            Woodblock printing onto fabric
•            Copper plate printing
•            Sewing on a binder sewing machine and serger machine
•            Screenprinting logos
Attendees who bring their own t-shirt(s) can have a Dinderbeck logo printed on them or select from one of the many woodblocks to print on their garment.
During the open house, members of this collective will be leading four orientations as to what to expect ,should attendees wish to join the group. Also, there will be a raffle for a free membership up for grabs.
Dinderbeck was founded in 2010 in Grand Rapids Michigan. The five founders all studied printmaking together at Kendall College of Art and Design. Born as a private studio for the artists to practice their craft, it grew and changed over the years. Different incarnations of the space have seen a large gallery, a music venue, an artist collective, and an array of artistic practices.
Many of the memorable invites or business cards I have received over the years have passed through this studio. Worth spending a Saturday checking it out.

Admission: Free

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