Second Anniversary Party: Crown Larks, Voluptuous Panic, and Characteristics

November 2013

Our second year was a memorable one, and we want to conclude it with an equally memorable party. So on the evening of Saturday, November 9, we’ll gather at the Trumbullplex to celebrate Small Craft’s Second Anniversary. We’ll enjoy great live music by Chicago’s Crown Larks, West Michigan’s Voluptuous Panic, and Detroit’s own Characteristics. We’ll dance to an eclectic selection of records, chosen by DJ Doctor Doom. We’ll craft festive masks, at the Masquerade Make n Take. And we’ll share free coffee, tea, and homemade vegan donuts.

Of course, the best moments of any party are those that can’t be planned or predicted. That’s why we’re so excited to welcome Crown Larks to the Trumbullplex. Whether wandering through the reeds, rushing across the keys, or digging into some heavy guitar riffs, the band is always seeking out those precious instants of risk and surprise. So while we don’t know exactly what will happen at our Anniversary Party, we do know that Crown Larks will be right there in the thick of it, stretching songs and switching instruments in response to their surroundings.

Us? We’d like to see what Crown Larks do with a sweaty dance floor filled with joyful friends in handmade masks. But it’s not entirely up to us, and that is the beauty of it.

In most ways, Voluptuous Panic honor the conventions of the shoegaze genre. The guitar is as melancholy and hypnotic as rain on glass. The vocals as sweet and soothing as a warm mug of chamomile. But while so many shoegazers get lost in the swirling vapor, Voluptuous Panic always find their way to a sturdy song. And while shoegaze often lulls with repetition, Voluptuous Panic surprises with sudden solos: strange flashes brightening a familiar view.

The rhythm is strong, and the drama is vivid. But the guitars sound brittle, and the synthesizers faded. Characteristics play moody dance pop with an artfully damaged surface. It evokes the scrappy glamour of the Postcard discography, and the scuffed luster of a secondhand stereo. The details overheard in a nearby conversation, and the static obscuring a distant transmission. Spotlight to yard sale, innermost feelings to outermost reaches: Characteristics never stop moving. And once you’re tuned in to their elusive wavelength, you won’t stop moving either.

 Photo: Ashleigh Davis

Photo: Ashleigh Davis

When it’s time to dance, the Trumbullplex turns to DJ Doctor Doom. The Doctor has a profound love of music. (We’ve found him contentedly spinning records for an empty room.) He also has an unerring instinct for what others want to hear. (Once Doom’s dance floor is full, he keeps it that way!) You can look forward to hearing some highlights from his collection before, after, and between the bands’ sets.

 Photo: Brian J Bowe

Photo: Brian J. Bowe

There’s something so liberating about wearing a mask. Put on a new face, and you just may find yourself acting like a new person! At our Masquerade Make n Take, we’ll provide all the tools and materials you need to decorate a mask of your own. Wear it throughout the party, and find out whether it has an effect on your behavior.


“I still dream about the vegan donut I ate at the Trumbullplex this fall,” wrote Amber Sarker of Handleber, a good five months after we last served this treat. Of all our homemade vegan baked goods, the donut seems to be the popular favorite, so we’re proud to bring it back for this special event. And of course, it pairs nicely with our endless supply of free coffee and tea!

 Craft-A-Way Camp

Craft-A-Way Camp

Winter Tour and Craft-A-Way CampGarden Party and Dally in the Alley. Small Craft travelled far and wide in its second year, and we’re grateful to all of you who joined us. Once we’ve taken a brief break to restore and ready ourselves, we’ll be back with all sorts of exciting new plans for year three.

One thing the Small Craft community hasn’t shared yet is a late-night party with live music. (Unless you count the notorious Craft-A-Way campfire!) And as we celebrate the past, and anticipate the future, it seems like the perfect moment to gather our friends together and dance.

Small Craft Second Anniversary
Saturday, November 9
Doors at 7:00 pm
Trumbullplex Theater
4210 Trumbull

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