Michigan Minstrel Music LLC

Plum Street Coffee House

Plum Street Coffee House hosts the music of a number of Detroit artists including  Ralph Koziarski, Kris McLonis, Jere Stormer, and Plum Street.
Kris McLonis presents humorous songs of alienation and absurdity in everyday life, and ballads of harsh experiences and heartfelt themes that have influenced listeners on both individual and collective levels.

<-- Click Icon

Recorded in 2012 with the backup of The Freezer Theatre Mystical Orchestra, IDOLATRY features soloist Jere Stormer on Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, and Mandolin. The tracks include:

1.How the Enemy Won    2.Shrink Wrap World    3.Car Repair Blues
     4.Chronic Non-Returner    5.Super-Duper Blackout of 2003    6.Phone Hold Hell
Searching for a System    8.Fastest Pawn in the West    9.Shadows of Camelot

                              10. Horrible Quiche     11. I Gotta Have Some Coffee    12.Cold-Boot Blues

                     13.Road Irritation    14.Size 0    15.Body Factory    16.Idolatry    

                                                                                        Bonus:  Santa’s Slaves

Art: The De-Sterilization of Experience

Plum Street was an actual place, though for many in Detroit it was, and is, a myth, a dream, a meadow in the mind where their imaginations were fertilized for the first time--or, at least got some dirt on them. In 1966, the City of Detroit actually designated a block on Plum Street as "Detroit's Art Community;" it was intended to be our equivalent of London's Soho or New York's Greenwich Village.

Plum Street became, for awhile, our version of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, with the Haiku Coffeehouse and the Red Roach coffeehouse where folk-rock groups like the Spikedrivers or rock bands like the Rationals, the MC5, or the SRC played, and local poets such as John Sinclair, Andre Codrescu, or Phililip Lamantia raved. Here, many protest demonstrations were planned or debated, including the "Love-In" that occurred on Belle Isle in 1967.

Plum Street had the House of Mystique, where exotic and intoxicating potions of incense and body oils abounded as well as psychedelic posters, records and art objects, perpetrated as a deliberate insult to Elmer Fudd and everyone like him. There were art galleries and clothing boutiques and, get this, a "Head Shop!" More importantly, Plum Street had the Fifth Estate bookstore with copies of that inflammatory newspaper and such other underground notables as the San Francisco Oracle, Chicago Seed, Los Angeles Free Press, and the East Village Other!

Here was a place that our parents and teachers warned us about. Here we could discover, first-hand or otherwise, what Timothy Leary was really about; the strange musings of William Burroughs, or the very weird cartoons of R. Crumb. Here you could dream out loud and discover that you could actually be intelligent and still be cool, in fact, that was the only way you could be cool! Perhaps quaint by today's standards, Plum Street represented--made permissible--a place where you could be a man and not have to be in the army, or be a woman without having to be a bride! Very big stuff in those days...and maybe even today. 

We dedicate this album to that myth--and to alternative culture everywhere--to remind ourselves and everybody else that there must be a wildlife refuge of the mind, some place not zoned for a subdivision or marked on a corporate spreadsheet. What used to be "Detroit's Arts Community" is now a Detroit Edison (DTE) parking lot, just north of the MGM casino. It's vaguely similar to converting an Athens into a Rome with the flip of a coin. It's so... American.

We dedicate this album, for what it's worth, to all musicians scorned or debased by the Musical-Industrial Complex; to the unpublished poets who get thrown off of busses for talking to themselves; to all the one-eared painters, to Bigfoot and all the hideous ghosts in abandoned buildings who've nobody to torment; to all the singers in bathrooms who never notice the goblin peering from beneath the drain; to all the actors and actresses everywhere--which is all of us--who, most of the time, don't even realize that we are always acting.

--Pat Halley, former Cultural Editor of the Fifth Estate
click cover icons below
to preview music
Ralph Koziarski
Kris McLonis
Plum Street
Jere Stormer



Here is a portal to articles and other links concerning this unique point of Detroit history. Included are connections to stuff by and about: Gary Grimshaw, Stephan Goodfellow and The Tribes of the Corridor, Rob Tyner, the MC5, the Mutants, Leni Sinclair, John Sinclair, the Fifth Estate newspaper, the Grande Ballroom, Iggy Pop, the PsychedelicStooges, Creem Magazine and more. If you have other links of interest for this history, please e-mail the link to us through jack@plumstreetmusic.com.

PLUM STREET (the artist community) Locations. Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and Plum Street By Julie Morris and Jenny Nolan / The Detroit News. ... A list of Plum Street shops.     Motor City Music - Rob Tyner icon - ... prime rock and roll venue in the late Sixties, and eventually moved into the Artist’s Workshop area with John Sinclair near Plum Street - Detroit’s version ... 
Escape from Motor City icon - ... Plum Street was Detroit’s “art community” but like a lot of other hippies, I never had any money to buy any art. But I did buy a beaded necklace there. MC5 * A True Testimonial! - Links icon - ... Here's aDetroit-News feature on Plum Street and the 1967 Belle Isle Love-In, af**ked-up slant, but COOL photos (follow all their links to see all the photos): ... 
Art isn't extent of local woman's contributions 02/22/04 icon - ... Bilecki remembers going down to Plum Street in Detroit to look for missing children with her counterpart from Fordson High School. ... 
Fifth Estate icon - ... by the Detroit Committee to End the War in Vietnam, John Sinclair's Artist Workshop, and other radicals. Later in 1966 the paper moved to Plum Street where ... 
Motor City Madness icon - ... After the insurrection, no one ever really put the lid back on Detroit. ... R. The Five were perpetually at war, this time with the Mafia of Plum Street, now with ... 
Motor City Music - The Torpedos icon - ... He formed and played with many Detroit area bands of the Sixties and early Seventies. ... to sit in on a jam session at the Red Roach Coffee House on Plum Street. ... 
Detroit Area Musical Venues icon - ... a trickle, but later an explosion -- of young folks now heading into the city for music and the supposed delights of Plum Street  Detroit's slightly skewed ... 
Blastitude 13 icon - ... PLUM STREET (Detroit’s bid for a flower-power neighborhood) and the Grande ballroom offered suburban kids an exotic destination –a place of one’s own. ... 
Tribes of the Corridor Discussion: Lincoln Park Tribe icon - ... a scholarship from my father's company (Shatterproof Glass located in southwest Detroit in the ... For me it was Plum street and the fifth estate office and of ... 
Music Legends . . . Photography by Leni Sinclair icon - ... The Political Economy of the White Panthers Rearview Mirror: Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and Plum Street. ... John Sinclair on WWOZ Radio. MC5 / Detroit / Sixties. ... 
Tony Reay, Creem Magazine icon - ... I lived in Detroit during the period of time that you discuss...I went to 20 ... I shopped on Plum street from the hippies, ate popcorn at the teen clubs and high ... 
You Know You're From Detroit If... icon - ... Nadya Mogilev Rohnert Park CA. Cass Tech 1969. Comments: Cutting class to hang out with the hippies and bikers on Plum Street...Sunday at Detroit Dragway... ...