Record store keeps warm with holiday tunes

By Jack Rechsteiner, managing editor.

More than a handful of people gathered together in the warmth of Bay City record store, Electric Kitsch, on a frigid December night to share the pleasures of company and music.

“We thought it’d be fun to have an end of the year holiday extravaganza, so we put this shindig together,” says Electric Kitsch owner Jordan Pries.

On Friday, Dec. 22, Electric Kitsch kept their doors open late and dimmed the lights for their Holiday Music Party, which featured performances from singer-songwriter Ben Childs, avant-garde jazz from Donovan Boxey and Dominic Bierenga and mod-psych rock from Henry Walters.

“All the artists asked to play a show around the same time, and it just so happened to fall together perfectly. None of the artists had met each other before the show was put together, so we got a nice, diverse lineup,” says Pries.

After driving from Caro for the show, Childs starts the event with songs about love, rain and galaxies that serve to help audience members forget the ice and snow outside. The indie-folk songs by Childs have a summertime feel to them that adds to the coziness of the store.

“This show sounded like a cool thing to go to because there aren’t a ton of experimental jazz musicians that play in Bay City. I was surprised by how much I liked all the music tonight,” says show attendee Matt Grimmer.

Following after Childs, Boxey and Bierenga performed a set of eclectic free jazz pieces played on a wide range of brass instruments and percussion. One song featured a kazoo, a slide whistle, a tambourine and a finale of dual saxophones. The jazz duo were playing Electric Kitsch as part of their tour through Michigan to promote their new album “As Iron Sharpens Iron.”

Closing out the night was Bay City local Henry Walters. Walters took the stage with guitar, amp and plenty of pedals and finished the night with swirling psych rock songs. Throughout the entire night the songs were a mix of original compositions and holiday classics, which had the crowd either vigorously clapping their applause or joyfully singing along.

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