As a person who loves exploring indie bands and local Michigan musicians, ending finals week (actually, day!) always has to do something with music. When I heard a Ypsi singer-songwriter Matt Jones was going to be performing at The Ark, I immediately put it on the agenda of my night (that continues into the next day, and Star Wars!!!!!)

Matt Jones seems to have a dry sense of humor but a very colorful childhood. His blog reads “MJ was raised by a combination of circus music and doo-wop,with a healthy dose of ragtime thrown in. His music has been known to suffer from colitis. The Reconstruction is his own assemblage, and sometimes, disassemblage. The core: Colette Alexander: cello, and Misty Lyn: vox.”

His music is deep yet beautiful. As Rachael Buttons describes his latest album, The Deep Enders, she says “Matt Jones writes haunting songs. February songs. Songs that get under my skin and seep into my short stories. Songs that remind me of the rust belt and the south, of ice chunks floating in Great Lakes and men in jeans haloed by cigarette smoke, and silhouettes leaning against brick walls at night. He has a voice like Elliott Smith. He plays ragtime piano, and he writes lyrics that make me wonder why he isn’t more famous.”

I am excited to feel the music get under my skin. Feel the goosebumps taking over my body and having my head feel dizzy with the resonating emotion in every word. As a writer, I want his music to make me make stories and see places I haven’t been to. If I find my “jam” (in more colloquial terms, but utterly disrespectful to this kind of beautiful music) after this night, or probably songs to nurse a broken heart or lay in bed and have a fantastic story created for me, just by me – I will say this will be the best end to my semester!


  • Doors Open: 7:30 pm
  • Show Starts: 8:00 pm
  • Ticket Price: $15

Link to the event:


Even though the snowstorm outside had most of us turning up the heat, making hot cocoa and warming our feet in our rooms, Spring Awakening had me extremely enthusiastic. We all thought how ironic it was that we were going to watch a performance with the mention of ‘Spring’ on the day of the season’s first snow!
The Broadway cast had sent a video to MUSKET telling them that we have awesome lights – and that was the first thing I noticed when I entered the Power Centre. The hues of purple and the grey, ominous trees created the perfect set piece.
The show finally started and the cast ran onto stage in their innocent dresses and school boy clothes. The comic timing and expressions of each character were impeccable – we learned about each one of them and fell in love instantly with Moritz and Wendla immediately. The hilariously cute emotions of adolescents took me back to the days where I changed seats just to get a better look of the secret someone I crushed on.
The first notes of Mama Who Bore Me gave me the goosebumps. Coming from a culture where sex is a taboo, the relationship between Wendla and her mother made me think about how all of us hear about sex for the first time – with euphemisms, symbolic suggestions and things left to our own dear imagination.

The classroom scene also reminded me of a reflection of the education system. This was when I was charmed by the character of Melchior. The highly intelligent, precocious gentleman’s character made me feel like there’s going to be a lot in store from him. It was great to see his character develop yet see such a mature teenager in a show.

However, the highlight of the show was Totally Fucked. As soon as Moritz broke into song, the audience couldn’t stop singing along or hooting to the lyrics. As the audience was dominated by students, the mood around midterms season and finals soon approaching made Totally Fucked an anthem. Furthermore, the choreography and energy of this song were unparalleled. I was in my seat, ready to start dancing and sing totally fucked at that moment!

The portrayal of love in Spring Awakening had some of the purest emotions in my opinion. The scene between Hanschen and Ernst was totally unexpected, but I loved how all the sides of love and exploration came through in this musical. Most of the time, only heterosexual romances take place in musicals like these but this scene seemed like it had been put into place for comic relief, as it was a reprise of the song “Word of your Body” which was performed by Moritz and Wendla. I thought it was still like gay people living in the shadow of straight people on the performance front, but the chemistry was impeccable between the two men.

Spring Awakening highlighted the rises all of us face. Be it not doing well academically, having infinite questions about sex and sexuality, the need to explore to find our own truth, attraction, desire, love and most of all, being spectators to all the problems in the world such as abuse, sadness and injustice. Many parts of it were relatable to me as I come from a very conservative upbringing where I had to find out a lot of things about growing up by myself or through friends.

Finally, The Song of Purple Summer was the perfect ending to the musical. The mellow music yet bright tones to it had a sense of hope yet was so melancholy. I felt like Spring Awakening summed up a very large part of my life, even though I did not have the same experiences as any of the characters did.

I had a great time that night and still listen to the soundtrack for study music (PS: Totally Fucked should not be on your playlist around finals, we should have something more motivational!) It is hard to resist singing along to the entire playlist and relive the experience of the performance on the night of the first snow.

PS : MUSKET is putting up Big Fish next semester and all performers are invited to Mass Meetings in the Union in January!


As I sit on my bed and sing along to Mama Who Bore Me, I look back at my adolescence and remember the angsty phase where I wanted to know everything about life, sex and drugs and rock and roll and explore who I really was. Those glory days are over for me, sadly, when the adult world was all new, but Spring Awakening is a musical about teenagers who are discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality. It is being put up this weekend at the Power Centre by MUSKET, the University of Michigan’s student-run Musical Theatre organization.

Founded in 1908 as the Michigan Union Opera Company, MUSKET was once a small, all-male theatre troupe that specialized in presenting works written by University of Michigan students. Later realizing the irreverent nature of their gender limitations, the organization shifted its focus in 1956 to include students of all genders and changed their name to “Michigan Union Shows, Ko-Eds, Too”, or MUSKET for short. With this shift also came a change in the organization’s content – instead of producing student written operettas MUSKET began presenting Broadway-style musicals, a tradition that has lasted over 50 years. Spring Awakening is part of the commemoration of MUSKET’s 60th Performance Season. Each year, MUSKET presents two musical productions: one in the fall semester and one in the winter semester.

As described by director Wonza Johnson, Spring awakening is the “the Winner of 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, told through “the most gorgeous Broadway score this decade” (Entertainment Weekly) – SPRING AWAKENING explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion that is illuminating and unforgettable.”

With just 2 days to go, the musical theatre geek in me already has Spring Awakening on my Spotify playlist. I Believe is literally my anthem for this month through midterms and musical season.


-References to past rape/child sexual abuse
-Explicit (consensual) sex
-Suicide and references to suicide
– Items used to commit suicide like guns, razors, etc.







Even though the audience was 8,431 miles away from India, the IASA show transported each and every audience member to the land and culture most of the 4000 audience members and 300 performers also call home. One could feel the nostalgia amongst some audience members as they heard songs from their childhood and the immense fascination amongst the others who are experiencing this culture for the first time. I was excited to experience the journey with 240 dancers as they portray 10 different dimensions of life and tell the story of 1 human journey that unites us all.

The show had 10 dances choreographed by student members of the IASA. The show started with the National Anthems of both, the US (performed by the amazing Dicks and Janes Acapella Group) and India, which was a very soulful, classical rendition that had the audience sing along and pay tribute to the culture we were celebrating.

The show was one of the most high energy performances I have witnessed at the University of Michigan. The show began with the theme of Village, which highlighted the camaraderie and close-knit bonds in Indian villages and communities. The selection of songs were the most popular Bollywood songs from 2013-2015 and there was not a single dancer on stage who didn’t have a million-watt smile on their face or energy that could bring a dead man back to life! The graceful Apsaras came up next, with a fusion of graceful Indian classical. It was absolutely thrilling to watch the ladies dance but were even more surprised with Liam Wiesenberger, who was absolutely perfect with the technique of Bharatnatyam. The costumes were absolutely perfect and reflective of the spirit of India – the bright colors, ghagras, modern styles and traditional accessories like ghungroos lit Hill Auditorium brighter than the lights could.

The evening was dedicated to a cause – the IASA supports the Nisvartha Foundation in India, which provides mentoring and an access to higher education to students who do not have the financial means to access specialized education and training. As we learned through the show, social welfare is one of the organization’s five pillars.

As the evening went on with enthralling dances, there were a few other performers who came to support the show. One of them was Jai Matt, a performer from Philadelphia who mashes up popular songs with Indian tunes. The audience had mixed reactions (and a lot of us felt uncomfortable) due to his slightly absurd style of serenading a volunteer on stage in the style of Enrique. We felt like there was a little too much of unwanted affection towards the girl who he performed his song to. It was also pretty strange for all of us to see a singer interject, and not really sing to his own backing tracks played by a DJ! We wished his performance wouldn’t have had these elements as most of us saw talent that was channeled in not the best way. Nonetheless, it was an entertaining part of the evening (not for all the right reasons!)

Furthermore, the other performances of Desire, Filmi, Bollywood/Fusion, Evolution, All Male (Badmash) and Bhangra pushed the energy of the show even higher. Evolution’s performance was the one that showed our journey through college as it started when we got our acceptance letters from the University of Michigan, and continued through finding love, orientation, frat parties, ladies’ nights, recruiting, being employed and graduating. It made a lot of the seniors nostalgic and excited the freshmen for the years and experiences waiting for us. The whistles, hoots, screams and cheers all indicated the audience’s appreciation for each of the 300 dancers who were all in the spotlight.

At the end of it, I started regretting not being part of IASA as the performers shared a special bond and the opportunity to dance one of my favorite styles. When I got back home, I couldn’t resist the urge to play all my favorite Bollywood songs and dance to them! Azaya truly unified the student, faculty and support community of the University of Michigan – and made us smell the soil of our homeland, feel the colors and festivity in our pulse and indeed believe that unity is what makes us such a vibrant community.

PREVIEW: Azaya: The Unity of Experience

When one thinks of India, there is not just one image that comes to our minds. The smell of henna, exotic bright colors, vibrant dances, vast seashores as well as tall mountains, more than 50 different languages, people, ethnicities, food and music come to mind. India is not just a place – it is an experience. The Indian American Student’s Association (IASA)’s annual student show – Azaya – is all about the unity of experience. Experience the journey with 240 dancers as they portray 10 different dimensions of life and tell the story of 1 human journey that unites us all.

The 10 different dance groups include themes like Evolution, Village, All girls, All boys, Fusion, Bollywood, Classical, South Indian, Bhangra and “filmy” styles. As a fellow Indian, Bollywood music has the ability to raise the energy of any crowd and make it impossible for anyone to sit put in their seats! It is very exciting for me to watch a show that will connect me back to my roots and take me on a nostalgic trip that will bring back fond memories of my childhood in India.

The show is on Friday the 13th of November at the Hill Auditorium.
The link to the event is : and tickets can be purchased at the MUTO or online.

Preview: Halloween Band Masquerade at The Blind Pig

It’s that time of the year when Ann Arbor is abuzz again with events taking over every minute of Halloween Weekend. The 7th Annual Band Masquerade is happening at The Blind Pig with five local bands performing covers of some of the most popular rock songs and artists of all time. Well, we all dress as our favorite characters and go around town, so these immensely talented artists decided to dress like their favorite bands! I am extremely excited for this event as I’ve heard these artists for years, wished to be teleported to the 70s and every time I listen to either of these, I get the chills – and this is perfect for the season of spooks, chills and thrills! Feel The Pigs and the Dogs as you take your trip up the Stairway to Heaven and take a Bullet in the Head because IT’S HALLOWEEN TIME! (if you don’t get these references, please take time to listen to a few of their songs or make your way to The Blind Pig because you are seriously missing out on some amazing music)

The line up for the night will be:

-PINK FLOYD’S “Animals” album as performed by Counter Cosby & Friends

-LED ZEPPELIN as performed by Scissor Now!

-RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE as performed by Volcano Worshippers Hour!

-THE KINKS as performed by Cyrano Jones

-BJORK as performed by Junglefowl

This event is 18+ so bring all your friends and a valid ID for entry. Amazing wigs, trippy costumes and costumes are absolutely encouraged to get a blast of the past and well, have the most fabulous time jamming to this music. Come say hi to the girl in a Sriracha sauce costume if you spot me there! Tickets are $11 for 18+ and $8 for 21+.

You can find out more about the event on Facebook