Last year, Detroit rocker Jason Stollsteimer (former front man of Detroit bands The Von Bondies and The Hounds Below) started a secret celebration of music in Detroit, which he dubbed as “Secret Friends Fest.” It featured local and nationally-recognized acts over a two day festival in Ferndale, Michigan.

Secret Friends Fest


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With the outstanding success the first year, Jason decided to bring the Secret Friends Fest back for a second year. The festival takes place this weekend, January 9th through the 10th at The Loving Touch in Ferndale. The event is all ages once again, and doors open at 8pm on the 9th (the first band takes the stage at 9pm) and 6pm on the 10th.

There are over 20 bands performing at Secret Friends Fest Part Deux, including Jason’s new band PONYSHOW. We decided to dedicate this week’s playlist to 5 of the local bands slotted in this weekend’s Secret Friends Fest…BUT before you check them out, catch our exclusive interview with Jason Stollsteimer to hear all about the festival and who he’s most excited about seeing!

For the full Secret Friends Fest Part Deux line-up, click here!

So Jason, you’re a pretty notable musician in Detroit, having been in The Von Bondies, The Hounds Below, and now PONYSHOW…where did the idea for Secret Friends Fest come from?

JS: I’ve noticed that a lot of bands skip playing Michigan on their tours, and I felt I could help fix that by throwing a festival that is basically a meet and greet of current/future touring acts.

With so many bands and musicians in the Fest, do you work with anyone to put the show on?

JS: No, I do it all myself. Anthony Morrow helped me lock in Twin Peaks this year.

How did you select the bands and musicians that are performing at SFF?

JS: Since it’s my festival, I am a little selfish…I pick the groups I like. I mostly pick younger groups. Younger groups are more ambitious and less concerned on “how to succeed”. They are more concerned with how much fun they are going to have…and through that attitude comes fresh ideas and less recycled music.

And last, but certainly not least, who are you most excited about seeing?

JS: I’m excited about all the acts, but especially: Max Jury from Iowa, Twin Peaks from Illinois, and Cold Blood Club from NYC.

There you have it…check out 5 of the bands you’ll see at this weekend’s Secret Friends Fest below!

Mexican Knives – The Mexican Knives are quite the eclectic group, their sound is most punk rock, but it’s also lot of garage rock, with goth-y synths to give it a unique feel. They’re live Friday at 12:45am on the Main Stage. Check them out here!

1. “Turner”

2. “A Thoughtful Beast”

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Blaire Alise & The Bombshells – Blaire Alise and her band the Bombshells have certainly shocked the Detroit music scene with her astonishing talent at such a young age. Her music is 1950s punk rock with Detroit attitude. They’re live Friday at 11pm on the Side Stage. Check them out here!

3. “You Were Made For Me”

4. “I Got Something”

PONYSHOW – PONYSHOW are Jason Stollsteimer, Leann Banks, and Donny Blum of the former Detroit band The Von Bondies. PONYSHOW play an indie punk-rock sound and, as with anything from Stollsteimer, it won’t be long before they’re on top of the Detroit music scene. They’re live Saturday at 11pm on the Side Stage. Check them out here!

5. “Yeah, My Ears”

6. “Folks”

Siamese – A blend of post-punk and new wave, Siamese creates a new kind of rock electronic music. They’re live Friday at 10:30pm on the Main Stage. Check them out here!

7. “Where You End I Begin”

8. “Mass Production”

Little Animal – An electronic duo from Detroit, Little Animal makes innovative, unique, and most importantly, catchy, songs that have enough rhythm and beat to make anyone dance. They’re live Friday at 9pm on the Side Stage. Check them out here!

Little Animal


9. “Lush”

10. “Sleeping House”

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For more information on the Secret Friends Fest click here, or to purchase your tickets now, click here!