Music in Motion Rocks

"The only truth is music." ~ Jack Kerouac


A Conversation with Josh Kibbey as Kibbey Context presents “Detroit Night”

From the mad and mighty mind of Josh Kibbey (from Kibbey Context) comes Detroit Night, a show featuring four fantastic acts out of Grand Rapids, MI, headlined by a local Columbus duo, going down October 19 at the infamous Tree Bar. Josh and I chatted about the show to get a better idea on just how everything came together.

The idea originated between Kibbey and Tommy Erickson, lead singer and guitarist from Grand Rapids’ Slumlord Radio. Kibbey says he had met so many great bands through Erickson, and the idea bubbled in his head until the two finally talked about it. While the idea was originally to grab bands from Detroit (and all over The Mitten State), it worked out perfectly that they were able to get four from the Grand Rapids area.

Slumlord Radio

“I’m actually happy it worked out this way. I got four great bands from Michigan to try something none of us have ever done before!” he explained to me.

The obvious question I had was what on earth Kibbey was thinking booking a show with four acts from the state up north at a bar just south of Ohio State’s campus? Kibbey says he’s not at all worried about that.

“I have no doubt in my mind that once these bands take the stage, where they’re from will become irrelevant,” he says.

“A lot of these bands want to play Columbus, but have trouble getting traction in local venues. Hopefully this showcase will be a way for us to kill two birds with one stone, in that regard.”

Beyond Pluto

The night will be headlined by Columbus’ Beyond Pluto, who promise “dreamy soundscapes, thumping drums, catchy hooks, gritty synths and tongue tangling wordplay.” If that doesn’t spike your intrigue, I’m not sure what else to tell you. Their sound bounces between alt-hip hop and trippy space rock, hardly sounding like it’s coming from only two gentlemen. They honestly sound like a band that should be playing with The Knux, RDGLDGRN, or even Columbus’ Label Me Lecter. Kibbey himself says that he has been a big fan of the band for a while and was thrilled when they accepted his offer to headline the show.

“I don’t think of myself as a big name in the scene, so you can imagine my joy when they said they’d play!” he excitedly announced.

The Quirk
Credit: Stoneburner Video

As for the Michigan bands, the aforementioned Slumlord Radio bring a chaotic and frantic rock and roll sound that could only come from guys nicknamed “The Ace”, “Rattlesnake” and “Captain Hollywood.” Amusingly, their Facebook bio claims that they’ve been “tearing up dive bars like a tornado thru a trailer park since 2010”, which is about the most Detroit thing I’ve ever heard… even if the band is from Grand Rapids. They sound like a band who would be a ton of fun to see live, as long as you bring your earplugs.

The Quirk are a five-piece that feature guitar, bass, drums and a saxophone. Everything they do is in your face. Despite being relatively new, their fast-paced exciting shows have landed them gigs opening for bands like Turnspit and L7.  Singer/guitarist Bek Graham definitely knows how to wail it out while she’s throwing it down on guitar. You’d honestly never know it by their tremendous sound that they all randomly met through a Craiglist ad.

“I get the feeling once the crowd hears The Quirk, they’ll be up on their feet for the entire set,” added Kibbey.


Moto are a three-piece that are not lacking in musical caliber in any way. Their sound reminds me a lot of Cincinnati legends Mad Anthony, and they have a brooding feel not unlike another trio you might have heard of, Crossfade. Kibbey says that they’re a band he would use to pump himself up before a big game, and I think I concur as far as their energy goes.

EPCYA are the grooviest sounding band out of the five that are scheduled for the night. Their lyrics are entirely in Spanish, and according to their bio their mission is to rock out as hard as possible with anyone willing to listen. How can you not love that??

“No matter what language you speak, damn good music is damn good music!” Kibbey quipped emphatically.


I definitely agree on that point. I’ve written many times about how music is its own language, free of rule or boundary. The entire idea of the night is bringing together things that might not normally jive, and turning them into an enjoyable evening for all. Kibbey told me the he usually tries to book at least one or two acts from out of state when putting together shows, and I personally find that a refreshing idea as far as helping bring fresh blood into the scene.

As far as doing the reverse, Kibbey says he’d love to be able to get together a show in Grand Rapids or Detroit featuring a bunch of acts from the 614. Only time will tell if he will be able to get that kind of show together, but as far as I’m concerned, this show looks like it will be a raucous good time.

“I’ve always had a good draw when booking shows with Michigan bands, and I believe everyone on this lineup is going to play their hearts out,” he finished.

The show goes down October 19 at The Tree Bar, 887 Chambers Rd. Doors are at 7 p.m., and it’ll only cost you five bucks to get in. Ohio State plays Northwestern on the Friday prior, so you really have no excuse not to make it out to this show. That is, if you like great live music…

You do like great music, don’t you?

Epyca – 8:00p
Moto – 9:00p
Slumlord Radio – 10:00p
The Quirk – 11:00p
Beyond Pluto – 12:00a

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