Wednesday, February 3, 2016

River Street Anthology pt. 2 of 3 (The Go Rounds)

Matt Jones (left), with Graham Parsons,
performing with The Go Rounds

Graham on Matt Jones:
"I fucking love the man!" 
Expanding upon the River Street Anthology with another ruminative essay... this time I picked Graham Parsons' brain, a singer/guitarist who has now contributed twice to the ever-expanding Michigan music legacy project. 

I still can't shake the poignancy of that day, an entire Sunday's worth of recording sessions, efficiently and yet cozily conducted inside the First Congregational Church in downtown Kalamazoo. 

While I was in town, each musician remarked upon the vibrancy and signature enthusiasm of Kalamazoo's music scene. There was this prevalent vibe of gratitude and laid-back cordiality as musicians passed one another up-and-down the aisle, switching on and off the altar, the defacto performance stage for the day. 

Each performance was captured by a single condenser mic, connected to a modest Tascam 8-track, with Matt Jones at the controls. ("Does it make you feel like Captain Kirk, standing here...?" Jones asked, as I stood over his table, scrutinizing his setup). 

For more info on the River Street Anthology, tune into the Detroit Free Press Entertainment section later this month, where we'll be interviewing Matt Jones (the curator of these tracks), along with others. 

In the meantime, I reached out to Graham Parsons (of The Go Rounds) to get his take on this year-long, state-spanning archival project....

It's funny to me that Matt jones, once Michigan's harshest and worst ( music critic & overall cynic, is now Mr. 'Everyone Is Amazing and Talented and Worth My Time'.  I've toured with Matt; I've ragged on amateurish displays of 'entertainment' right alongside this blonde, giggling giant... Change is good. Especially in this case.

When I walked into the church where Matt was recording all day in Kalamazoo, I immediately ran into two people that I have known for a decade, but haven't had much reason to interact with musically or at all...I'm not sure why... Maybe it's 'cuz when I'm home, in Kalamazoo, I like (or need) to hide out. Recoup. Write my ass off. It's self indulgent, but necessary for many reasons.

But here I was, interacting with these old acquaintances & fellow musicians again and I was nearly destroyed over the realization of the gradual disappearance of the last five years of my life. Where had I been?

I used to be in the thick of Kzoo's music scene but now what was I doing?

My point being, I think, is that it takes a courageous and tireless effort to unite people, in whatever way. It's easy to isolate. To judge. And you can even still grow within that more myopic mind frame, but what's it worth if you avert your gaze at the local venue to avoid depth of connection with your peers and musical community?

So, Mr. 'All inclusive' Jones is ushering in a new dawn for Michigan music, at least in my mind. Encouraging, genuine and lacking the pitfalls of the 'ME' generation.

I fucking love the man. I loved him when he was a complete asshole to every band that ever opened for us on tour. Cause he was right most of the time. But, I love him even more now that he channeling his energy away from shallow paths of judgement and into this incredible selfless endeavor.

Take notes, haters.


The Go Rounds are going to be back home, soon, from their tour with Chris Bathgate. They'll be getting to work, soon, on two new EP's for a planned summertime release. (Maybe Autumn for the second one, we'll see). They want to be in the midst of recording a full length follow-up to Don't Go Not Changing before Halloween. 

In May, the Kzoo-based quartet returns to Mexico. They had a fortuitous trip down past the border in the late winter of 2015, where they hooked up with their current label, the Mexico City based: Pedro y el Lobo

After that, they're touring the east coast with the Antivillains in June, then "crushing" the Michigan-music festival scene. 

Stay tuned. 

River Street Anthology 

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