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February 09, 2006 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-09

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are hired, there are some great successes, and then it becomes
yesterday's news as some other hot topic takes over the inter-
est of senior executives. Slow and steady may be successful,
but it is not very exciting. Fundamentally, the Big Three do
not in their gut believe in the value of developing people.
My description of Toyota could apply almost as well to
Honda. Nissan is somewhat of a different story and made
bad business decisions, running the company into the ground
by the 1990s, only to be picked up by Renault. But Carlos
Ghosn of Renault was not starting from scratch. Nissan had
developed a strong culture of engineering and manufactur-
ing excellence before Ghosn, which Ghosn intentionally
built on, fixing the broken business systems. Even Mazda
had some great engineering and manufacturing systems
that have helped it to stay afloat and, with some well placed

pushes and nudges
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The Halfass, located in East Quad Residence Hall, hosts bands and musical acts every other Friday night.

Full blast at the Halfass
Local bands get and students get vital
education and experience
By Kat Bawden / Daily Staff Writer

TOMMASO GOMEZ/Daily
The Ford Mustang has long been a sign of American preponderance in muscle
cars, but success in that market has done little to save domestic companies.
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on't be fooled by the persistent smell
of fries, the humming and sizzling of
kitchen equipment, the clicking of balls
on a pool table or the loud chatter of East
Quad residents - the Halfass is one of the
increasingly popular music venues on cam-
pus. It may be a reliable alternative to caf-
eteria food during the day, but thanks to the
East Quad Music Co-op, the Halfass trans-
forms into a haven for local music every
other Friday night.
Located in the underbelly of East Quad,
the walls of the Halfass (officially named
the Halfway Inn) are covered in paintings,
black and white photographs and obscure
vinyl record sleeves, emanating unconven-
tionality and eccentricity. Students lounge
on weathered couches and dine on burgers,
fries, falafel sandwiches and pints of Ben
and Jerry's ice cream. And, yes, music is
usually blaring.
This is the canvas of the EQMC. "We
talk to bands who would draw a crowd,
who already have a great audience and who
deserve to have one," said Brandon Zwa-
german, the booking coordinator for the
EQMC and a graduate student in Urban
Planning.
Kathryn Chalmers, president of EQMC
and a Residential College senior, explained
that the EQMC treasures variety: "We try
to have the most quality. Folk, rock - we're
not genre-specific. The most random band
we've had is probably Wolf Eyes. They're

pretty insane." -
Though some may find it intimidating
to book shows and interact with bands they
admire, members of the EQMC have felt
great encouragement. Says Chalmers, the
bands "really enjoy it and ask us if they can
play again."
"It's amazing how many agree if we ask,"
Zwagerman.
This gives members of EQMC an intro-
duction to the music biz.
Said devoted EQMC member Andy
Linn, an RC senior: "It's a great organiza-
tion because the students can be involved
with booking bands, ticket sales and learn-
ing about the business. It's educational."
The EQMC was established in 1982,
when the basement of East Quad Residence
Hall had a recording studio where students
would help record albums for local bands.
The students decided to have shows as well.
Chalmers remembers going to shows when
she was in high school, and "thought it was
so awesome." However, due to neglecting
such rules as overcrowding and drinking,
the EQMC was shut down.
"I wanted to restart it. So me and a coali-
tion of friends did in the winter of 2003-
2004. We learned as we went along. Now
we're in our third year and doing really
well," Chalmers explained.
Members of EQMC attribute a great deal
of their success to the enthusiasm of the
audience. Said Zwagerman, "We tell them

a lot of really eager people would love to
see them." And with deep respect and grati-
tude to the bands, they always treat their
performing artists well. "100 percent of the
money made at the door goes to the artists,"
explained Chalmers. "Venues like the Blind
Pig only give some of the door money to the
artists. That's why we look for funding as
much as we can."
EQMC treasurer Jocylin Shalom, an RC
senior, explained the main source of their
funding as "a big, huge, wonderful grant
from Arts at Michigan." They also receive
funding from Michigan Student Assembly
and East Quad Student Government. The
money they receive funded new equip-
ment, such as brand-new microphones
and power amplifiers. "We're nonprofit,"
said Shalom, "all the money made at the
door goes right to the bands. So a lot of
the money is also for flyers, posters, and
wristbands."
Shalom became involved with EQMC
during its rejuvenation when she lived in
East Quad her freshman year. "As it got
more and more organized, there were more
positions to fill," she said. Unlike other
groups on campus that become swamped
with politics, competition and even scan-
dal, EQMC keeps it simple. Said Shalom,
"There are no elections; whoever puts their
time in gets to do it."
And EQMC has more to brag about than
just strictly following rules such as capacity

and alcohol - the shows have truly envi-
able admission numbers. "This semester we
sold out on our last two shows - we actu-
ally had to turn people away," said Shalom.
After attending just one EQMC show,
it's easy to understand the purpose and
success of them. People are packed wall
to wall, watching a local band playing
their first show, or a not-so-local band
playing another stop on their tour. The
Halfass has transformed: the kitchen
area is blocked off, the tables and chairs
stored away, and even the pool table is
pushed to the back of the room. Amps,
mics, foot pedals and other sound devic-
es are plugged in where couches, tables
and condiment containers used to be.
The vinyl-decorated walls remain and
glimmer; fluorescent lights have been
replaced by small spotlights aimed at the
small stage a couple feet off the ground.
Will EQMC continue? Will future gener-
ations of University students experience the
rustic excitement of EQMC Halfass shows?
Shalom is optimistic: "We have lots of new
members - some enthusiastic hands to
pass it down to."
Even with an unfortunate robbery at
their last show on Jan. 27, EQMC is still
up and running and preparing for their
show this Friday, Feb. 10 at 9:30 p.m. At
this week's show, the headlining group is
the Detroit-based, keyboard-driven experi-
See EQMC, page 12B

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*:If the Teai
to any BC
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4B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 9, 2006

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