Assembly Line Concert


I love my little city. It’s one of those inner-ring suburbs revitalized in the last decade by the arts community  and the gay community. We have a little inside joke around the ‘hood that goes something like this: Watch out for those damn heterosexuals, they’re bringing down the property values. 

Seriously, though, my little town is fueled by a creative, can-do spirit. If there’s a different way of doing it, a different way of thinking, you’ll find it here, where adhering to the cookie-cutter standard dictated by Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Wall Street is largely eschewed.

My little town is one of those older ‘burbs that has its own little entertainment district. It’s a walkable community. I like to think that if you march to the beat of a different drummer, you can find a home here.


Round-the-clock recording of event to follow Guinness rules

It’s no surprise to me that my little town is home to the Assembly Line Concert, in its 166th straight hour at 3 p.m. Friday when I stop in with Girl from the East. The 240-hour event is being staged at AJ’s Music Cafe, a nifty little indie coffee house/performance space nestled in the downtown.

The event serves as a reminder to support local business and American-made products including, most importantly, the Big Three auto companies. It asks attendees to sign a pledge that their next car purchase will be an American-made vehicle. It’s a little oasis of hope rising as a beacon over a sea of worry, fear and despair surrounding our metropolitan area. It also seeks to break the Guinness Book of World Records for longest concert by multiple artists.


Grafitti wall: My First Car Will Be/Was


This guy has an awesome voice.

On an otherwise overcast day bearing not much in the way of good news, Girl from the West and I decide to head into town for a mood boost. We stop by Pinwheel Bakery for cookies and then step into AJs, a buzzing hive of activity on this Friday afternoon.
We order juice and seat ourselves in wooden chairs near the stage, where Michael Grajek’s fierce vocals are shaking this old building’s foundation. Accompanist Kent Marcum isn’t too shabby on the keyboards, either.

We stay only an hour. While Girl from the East enjoys a live music set as much as anyone, her attention span is lacking. It felt good to be among people who aren’t satisfied to sit back and fret, who seek to do something positive about this not-so-positive situation. Who doesn’t like a little dose of sunshine on an otherwise gray day?



Watch and listen to the live feed:

If you’re nearby, sign up for a set, or learn other ways to support your local economy

Take the pledge at:

–In the interest of fairness and disclosure I should admit that I own one American-made car and one foreign car, the only one I’ve ever purchased. I did so nearly a year ago with insurance money after our other American-made car was totaled in a car accident. I like my car but I have never-ending guilt about the purchase, especially in light of recent events.