The International Space Monkey Alliance (I.S.M.A.), a grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has taken Mid-Michigan's Music Scene by storm, implementing several innovative projects in the area: Gorilla Warfare: The ISMA Circuit, Flight to Unite concerts, Rock-It Fests,The ISMA Spotlight, and the Pinconning Arts Council (band shell project).
Gorilla Warfare: The ISMA Circuit, launched on February 7th, 2013, is a music circuit connecting Standish, Pinconning, Linwood, and Bay City. The circuit is open to unsigned Michigan bands/musicians of all genres and all participants have received maximum exposure from MLive, The Arenac Independent, The Pinconning Journal, and, more recently, Review Magazine.
Each month, the ISMA books five bands that perform at four separate venues: (1st Thurs) Whalen's Inn, Standish, (2nd Thurs) Thee Olde Rendezous, Pinconning, (3rd Thurs) Silver Derby Bar, Linwood, (4th Thurs) Bay View Food & Spirits, Bay City.
Participants have been competing for the title of “Michigan's Best Unsigned Band” award (peoples' choice) and studio time, which includes the recording, mixing, and mastering of three songs courtesy of Fire Hyena Studio in Saginaw.
Twenty bands have already completed the circuit (current standings): Operation 13, CuddleFish, Double Barrel Band, The Distorted Waltz, Darling Oranges, Fahrenheit, The Matt Ryan Band, Blues Mobile, Franken Barbie, Thirdd Wish, The Shannon Johnson Trio, Bellevue, Elements of Funk, Aristocrats, Desiring Dead Flesh, Lemon Frog, Mellodic Terror, The James Robert Band, Suubline, and Mornaran. The following bands/musicians will be performing during June's circuit: Polychromic, Know Lyfe, Carrie Westbay, Christine Bowen, and Devin C. DuBois. Gorilla Warfare: The ISMA Circuit is scheduled to continue through November with the top 5 bands/musicians competing in December for the grand prize.
Flight To Unite concerts, the brainchild of The Savior's Army's front man, Dusty Ballard, and the I.S.M.A.'s CEO, Damon DuBois, have been specifically designed to accommodate music-lovers in a family friendly atmosphere. These inspirational concerts are scheduled to take place every other month at PJ's Pizzeria & Atrio in Pinconning. Flight To Unite I (March 2nd) and Flight To Unite II (May 4th) have been embraced by residents throughout Mid-Michigan. Flight To Unite III is scheduled to take place on July 20th.
Rock-It Fests, a periodic series of social events fashioned to showcase talented Michigan bands/musicians, is the I.S.M.A.'s public denouncement of MTV in its current form. Rock-It Fest I (April 20th), hosted at Thee Ole Rendezvous in Pinconnning, and Rock-It Fest II (May 18th), hosted at Pinny Lanes in Pinconning, were both successful beyond the I.S.M.A.'s expectations. Rock-It Fest III is currently in the works- Rock-It Fests will continue until MTV goes old school!
The ISMA Spotlight consists of an online television show on the Karma Inc. Channel of TheUDetroit Café, featuring remarkable individuals including musicians, and covering an assortment of topics. The first episode of The ISMA Spotlight was recorded on April 20th. To date, five episodes of The ISMA Spotlight have been recorded and aired on the online television show.
The Pinconning Arts Council is in essence, a partnership between the I.S.M.A. and the Pinconning Linwood Area Chamber of Commerce to build a band shell at Doc Letchfield Park. The Pinconning City Council has approved the request to build the band shell, which will become a community destination for outdoor performance activities.
Proceeds from I.S.M.A. events are specifically used for nonprofit purposes. The organization, founded on January 1st, 2011, promotes altruism in action. The projects listed are only a glimpse of what the I.S.M.A. has done since January 1st, 2013. For further information, please contact the I.S.M.A. @ (989)714-1721 or visit Gorilla Warfare: The ISMA Circuit and/or ISMA facebook pages. \m/