Okay, so here’s the deal, guys. Every year, for the last NINE years, a little celebration of Michigan music happens over a few days: Mittenfest. What started as a fun, low pressure environment for everyone to get together and listen to talented Michigan performers has blossomed into a highly-anticipated annual event.

And what makes Mittenfest so extraordinary (aside from the music of course)? One hundred percent of their ticket sales and proceeds go directly to support 826michigan. What is 826michigan, you ask? Well, they’re a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. What a great way to give back this holiday season! Listen to GREAT Michigan music and help 826michigan inspire creativity in students. Perhaps they’ll be the next great Detroit rock stars? Hmmm…

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Anyway – time to get down to business. The music! Last year, Mittenfest hosted over 60 bands over the span of five days and close to 2,000 attendees. Whoa! That’s a lot of music! This year, Mittenfest is gearing up for their ninth year of Michigan music and fun. We’ve dedicated this week’s playlist to a few of the bands that will take the stage for Mittenfest IX!

Think of it as a super-special insider’s preview…check them out!

Causal Sweetheart – “Future”

A garage rock band from Ann Arbor, Casual Sweetheart blends together psychedelic punk and avant-garde garage rock. Check them out here!

Matt Jones & The Reconstruction – “Champion Hill”

A indie folk-rock band from the heart of Ypsilanti, Matt Jones & The Reconstruction incorporates many different sounds and instruments within their music…there’s a cello, banjo, trumpet, tambourine, trombone…check them out here!

Misty Lyn & The Big Beautiful – “Simple One”

Also hailing from Ypsilanti, Misty Lyn & The Big Beautiful play an acoustic Americana folk music. It’s pretty and melodic with southern roots and harmonizing vocals. Check them out here!

Pity Sex – “When You’re Around”

Pity Sex started as a project between friends in Ann Arbor, and now they’re not only playing shows here in Michigan (including Mittenfest IX!), they’re also booked for a lineup of shows in California early next year. They’re an indie punk-rock group with a shoegaze feel. Check them out here!

Prude Boys – “Behave”

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Infinitely better live because of their high energy performances, Prude Boys is a group of three friends out of Hamtramck. Ironically, there are actually two girls and only one guy in the Prude Boys. They play a hybrid of garage rock, surf rock, and ‘90s pop. Check them out here!

Double Winter – “Air & Sea”

Double Winter comes from Detroit, and they’re not shy about their Detroit “tough” attitude. They play alternative garage rock with hints of psychedelica, all wrapped up in Detroit flair. Check them out here!

Tunde Olaniran – “Critical”

Currently making quite a big name for himself around the Detroit music scene, Tunde Olaniran is not afraid to experiment with his style of music. It’s hip-hop meets electro, layered in Detroit grit – and of course, you can dance to it. Check him out here!

Disinformants – “My Own Two Hands”

A group of jokester guys, Disinformants from Ypsilanti play a post-punk rock. Their anthems are mighty and their live shows are entertaining. Check them out here!

Child Sleep – “Monster”

A ‘90s revival band from Ypsilanti, Child Sleep play a mix of alternative rock, garage rock, and pop-rock, all with a ‘90s tint. They’re fun and easy to listen to, check them out here!

Marx Marston – “We Shall Seek The Future”

Marx Marston is an experimental, indie-rock band from Detroit. Their sound combines the elements of experimental-rock and indie-pop which is said to create a form of vibration, heightened to encourage dancing. Check them out here!

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And don’t miss Mittenfest IX – taking place January 1 – 4, 2015 at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. Doors are at 7pm and tickets are $10 per night. Find more information here