Sunday, March 30, 2008

Record Time Fest

...a few random shots from my brother's camera...fromthe last weekend of Record Time in Ferndale...Duende and Carjack.

The biggest thing I took away from the story of this place closing is the withering away of community - a place for the music heads to go, a place for artists to meet up, to plan collaborations, a place to find your favorite music - all if it going by the way side...and all of these glowing electronic boxes, blogs, mp3's, they're part of the problem.
Or is it progress?
Where will we end up?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SHOWS this week + GOLD at the MOCAD


a few things to cover...
firstly, later this weekend I'll have some photos uploaded from Record Time Fest (in Ferndale) for the store's last open weekend--which featured an all day concert and a handful of great bands...,

farewell Record Time!

Also, shows this week...

Friday the 28th, at the Lager House
The Drinking Problem plays with Friendly Foes and Mas (pictured)



The Beggars (also pictured) play the Elbow Room on Friday the 28th


on the 29th
Oblisk is having a CD Release Party at the Belmont in Hamtramck - with Red China

moving onto this week's Deep Cutz..., GOLD--at the MOCAD:

This Saturday, the New Wave committee at the Museum of Contemporary Art-Detroit (MOCAD), is hosting GOLD, an inaugural fundraiser “designed to share a common dedication to the arts in Detroit with new audiences.”

(photo by dawn giblin)

Found sounds, improvised film screenings, hip-hop, electronic, folk and rock music — and possibly the last time to see one of the most vibrant local rock bands of the decade — Lee Marvin Computer Arm, who will be playing live with The Sisters Lucas (pictured), Tyvek, Darkred, EsQuire, T3, The Go, Deastro, The Silent Years, DJ Frankie Bank$ and Bad Party.

Tickets are $75 for a 7:30 p.m. entrance or $15 for a 9:30 p.m. entrance. The VIP ticket receives dinner catered from local restaurants, valet and an open bar, while enjoying the collaborative performance of self-taught filmmaker Martha Colburn (NY) utilizing found footage and handmade filters with the soundtrack of the improvised “deconstructed songs and digital manipulations” of Detroit’s Ian Clark. At 9:30 p.m., the bands play individually selected and stylized pop-song covers from the last 30 years.

Either way, you really can't go wrong, but if you really do have the dough, get there early — you will not be disappointed.

Further Info:
Martha Colburn: "During her performance, she will combine hand made filters, excerpts from her animations and found footage, to create a screening that incorporates colonial history, natural disaster films and her own animations into a light/ picture show."
Ian Clark: "He will be performing a live soundtrack to the projections of Martha Colburn utilizing found sounds, deconstructed songs and digital manipulations."


Lee Marvin Computer Arm...
Photobucket will be missed

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No, don't worry, it was a contained blast:


the latest Un-cut Deep Cutz:

My Dear, Watson!

My button says “Great.” Another button has a cartoonish Stephen King portrait. Another may have bubonic plague and another yet an algebra equation. I’ve known guitarist Nicholas Koenig for a while, (as bassist from the heavily-melodic indie trio, You Look Adopted, somewhat post-punk or art-rock, somewhat electro-folk) but since he moved to Ferndale I found out this ever-shifting homemade button project of his is just the tip of unobstructed forceful flow of creation from the CCS student, be it collage, music, writing or bottle-cap-buttons with pop-can tabs and safety pins.

(As we walk out of the coffee shop he stops a stranger, catching her off guard with the hurried question, ‘You wanna button?’ She takes one. She likes it. She’s got the only one like it.)

Nick’s new musical project, unhinged and amorphous, is My Dear, Watson, (including friends and band members from You Look Adopted: Eric Daniel and Eric Schmeling, the skilled guitar-whizzes to Koenig’s obsessive-self-taught-basement noodler.)

“It’s very-highly-experimental,” said Koenig, 20. “It’s hard for me to differentiate between art, music and writing; they’re all very connected.”

You Look Adopted (which is kind of floating in and out of hiatus these days) has one full length recorded with a second LP’s worth of material ready to be recorded. Daniel and Schmeling guitar workings are intricate, inventive with spacey pedal pushed tones and hooks that can be sweet one measure and jarring the next. My Dear Watson, by its most glaring contrast, lacks vocals (of Daniel) and thrives on nebulous guitar experimentation.

MDW’s EP, ‘Archaic’ is 5 instrumentals with a trio of guitars, seemingly wandering, but loosely structured. The compositions unfurl themselves at their own pace and accelerate whimsically, forming a very cerebral trip. Though each live show has had shifting line-ups, Koenig has been the constant. And, he assures, songs are never reliant to stay the same song from show to show. There are no influences. “The sound could have been anything,” said Koenig, “…which is still where I’m trying to push it…”

“You Look Adopted has ‘a sound,’” said Nick, “we’re a band and we sound like___, but when I try to explain MDW it’s like, well, I wrote a couple of songs that sound like God Speed, or a couple that sounded like Explosions in the Sky, and that’s like…that day. It’s this ambiguous genre, I listen to everything.”

Even though the music’s always different, it’ll always from the same source.

Find Nick, you’ll get a button. Scrummage University on Saturday.

Later on, toward the end of the month, the annual Keweenawesomefest, up on the highest point of the upper peninsula, near the old copper mining community, there will gather a mighty and merry indie-rock, electronic and folk festival for 2 days of non-stop musical performances.

check out here for the line up:



To celebrate/mourn/reflect/honor one of Ferndale's great resources for music, media and an overall social crossroads for the arts community, Record Time (the second location of Mike Hime's vinyl franchise after the Roseville store) will come to an end with a 2-day festival of music: electronic, dance and rock - featuring DJ's all day on Friday, 12noon to 10pm and live bands (rock, punk and electro-pop/dance) all day on Saturday, 3pm to 12midnight.


It's your last chance to grab some wax from the Ferndale store, whose sales started to wane in the face of a crumbling economy and society's ever-increasing embrace of technological crutches. Roseville remains open and will likely hold live performances of their own at that location over the spring and summer.

But this is the last hazzah for Ferndale...and it's FREE.


DJ's Mike Himes; Shortround; Mathew Boynton; Patrick Russell; DJ Munk; The Cync; Andrew Thomas; Dubble; Reggie (Hot Mix) Harrell; DJ Cent; Norm Talley

Saturday: Wildcatting; Carjack; Pewter; I, Crime; Sword. Arrow. Spear; Duende; Dial81; Eagles Club; SeeD; and Champions of Breakfast

(sample some of the bands, then come check them out in store...playing amidst emptied racks and bare DVD'll be bittersweet, but it's the only way to go - loud, fast and bizarre!)

also, check out: or Michael Sharbatz for more info!

see you there.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tapes N Tapes and the need for grouchy critics



I’ve never been sure what to do with Tapes n Tapes. Or what their music really does for me.

And it’s maddening the more I think about it. But ever since they poked their head into the stage-left entrance of the shaky, fluorescent, cacophonous auditorium known as the Internet, ever since they were pushed by stagehands out into the spotlight, lightly bewildered as they signed to XL on a June morning in 06 and then played live on the David Letterman show that very same evening, they looked around at each other, shrugging, and decided that they may not understand the motivations and invisible forces that sent them up to ‘the top,’ (and when I say ‘top,’ here, I mean being the blog headlines for enough days in a row so as to solidify consistent news-ticker-attention from Pitchfork for every time your band sneezes) but damn if they’re not going to just play their hearts out anyway and not appreciate the opportunity they’ve been given.

And that’s the maddening part—were they given anything? Did they earn it? Maybe. But how can we dig to the bottom when every news story thereafter is going to reference blogs, or the internet, or etc…

It doesn’t help that a trend emerges after Tapes n Tapes ‘hit it big’ (which holds about as much significance as the addled perception of ‘the top’ referenced above); this trend being Arctic Monkeys, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, or, the latest, Vampire Weekend.

What’s maddening is that I can’t really point to Tapes n Tapes any longer as being endemic to the rashness of blog hysteria – because now its almost a genre onto itself: a blog band.

To Tapes n Tapes commendable credit – they kept a considerably low, blue-collar-band profile over the last couple years, toured modestly and never overstayed their welcome. All the while, they’re still fairly memorable debut, The Loon, has aged pretty well – if still filled with consistent Pixies and Pavement and creep-o-indie-country noise freak send ups.

And also, to their credit, Walk It Off is a solid sophomore effort – no big risks (outside of pushing the levels, fuzz-fucking feedback to the max and nearly blowing out their amps on a few particularly explosive crescendos and riffs) There’s more of a live-ness to it, more explosiveness in the drum slams and spontaneity in the herkin-jerkin-indie-jug band country freak-jaunts that they go on…, but all in all it feels like a well-linked chapter 2 to the Loon.

But that’s it.

It just kind of…is what it is, so to speak. A good record – not really exploring or experimenting but just perfectly utilizing the styles and sensibilities of the golden age of indie rock, (I guess even the Stones cribbed the blues and r&b from the ‘50’s to jumpstart their popularity.)

It comes down to questioning the role of the critic – how much looseness do we want in our artistic appreciation? Should we systematize it with values, expectations and scrutinize it with historical perspectives? Should art be judged? Should art answer to a system?

Only when outlets like blog brazenly tout and spurt and sing about new creations, new bands, new artists with an air of handed-down-from-the-mountaintops—taste-making-sermons; in the face of that there has to be someone who says, wait a minute…what is this actually saying? What is this actually worth? What does it do for me?

What does Tapes n Tapes do for you?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lightning Love and The Nerve


Firstly, I’d recommend utilizing one of three opportunities to see the minimalist, melodic, magical indie-pop trio, Lightning Love (pictured). Hailing from the Ypsilanti-ish/Ann Arbor-esque realm of the state, they blend the new wave of British-indie, Midwest-underground-folk-pop with overt, freeform, genuine lyrics of smoking on the porch at 4 a.m. and wondering where your friends are, while a persistent, errant piano pounds beautiful melodies (and synth) and adept rhythms to ride along.

Beautifully winding, capricious melodies blended with hard driving guitar chording and the occassional high-neck acrobatics (Ben Collins) and steady minimalist drums that either keep the wheels rolling or set the pace for a waltz, (Aaron Diehl) while keyboardist/singer Leah Diehl's serenades range from breathy heartbreak, sweet-sing-speak to exertive falsetto. Strange-takes on indie-folk and a wholesome more basement band feel for chamber-pop with an ear for wavy-up-and-down-melodies, plain and poetic lyrics and simple, straight-ahead hooks.

Lightning Love plays Ypsilanti at the Elbow Room Friday (with Charlie Slick and Deastro, then at Jacoby’s on 3/21 and the Garden Bowl on 3/29.

Meanwhile, there’s this riveting quirk-pop quartet called The Nerve blending wavy organ/synth exhibitions over crazily hooked guitar riffs that conjure Talking Heads-style art-pop. The melodies are molded by strong influences of the godfathers of pop and sound craftsmanship, and the vocals are capably soaring and golden. This catchy pop errantry can also give way to solemner rhythm-heavy toe-tappers ... perfectly highlighting the faculties of each: keys, drums, bass and a fine guitar solo. See them March 15 at the Northern Lights Lounge. More info: or


Blowout Photos: Oscillating Fan Club and Pinkeye

just a few scattered shots from Paychecks, featuring the Oscillating Fan Club and Pinkeye
...but before that, what can I say? The weather was harsh and oppressive, the drink in-take blurred, and the spirits among friends were as warm and glowing as ever..., electricity is back in the air and people are feeling excited again - not just for their own vain pursuits but in the name of supporting their friends and their fellow artists.

...maybe I'll ramble out a few more thoughts later on, but for now - a satisfactory Blowout, indeed. (Still irksomely impossible to see everything one wants to see...)

Oscillating Fan Club:






(all photos by Mike Milo)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Whirled Waltzes and good-time hot-blooded habits

Another great night at the Blowout...,
but torturous, as there's always 6 bands that one wants to see always going on at the same time...(this year, 11pm seemed to be my swivel-head-indecisive-curse-time for multiple bands being scheduled.)

I don't have much to say today...,
outside of:

make sure to check out Paycheck's tonight for the second-night of LocoGnosis's showcase, featuring the inventive 60's psyche-pop-inflected surf-driving rock stylings of The Oscillating Fan Club...


then later, head over to the Knights of Columbus for the Defying The Law Bicycle Club showcase, featuring Silverghost and quasi-super-group the Drinking Problem.


below..., a few photographic details from last night, featuring:
Child Bite
and Carjack









(all photos by Mike Milo)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Metrotimes/Hamtramck Blowout!

Blowout time again…

Here just in time to thaw our gray-spilled souls and rickety joints from one of the more antagonistic winter brushes we’ve had in recent memory through the ceremonial opening of the humble Hamtramck area to hundreds of wrist-banded Miller Light drinkers on some kind of wink-and-a-nod, wanton tear through the city, the tight-pantsed hipsters parading about with Halloween-conjuring-take-to-the-streets-pageantry.

Rather than make you sift through my own picks for the weekend, you should just go here and decide for yourself, through aid of a schedule and a map of the town.

The faceless internet dwellers, downloaders and seen-it-all-types always rip on this event – but even after seeing my own fair share of them and feeling the temptation to ‘take it easy’ this year, or ‘not get too excited’ or ‘rip on all the new bands who aren’t as good as ____ used to be’ etc…I instead find myself as excited as ever...

This is…well, I don’t know the statistics but, it’s got to be the biggest local-only music festival in the nation; your neighbors, the people you stand in line with at the coffeeshop, the people you read about in Real Detroit, the people who hate Detroit’s over-amount of one-way streets as much as you, the musicians and artists who grew up in the same shitty backyard as you did…and there’s jovial invigoration in running through the sidewalks on these 3 (4) nights of casual mischief and tightly packed hotblooded chaos, to know you have the potential, in one night, to have 4 different drinks to listen to 4 (most probably) distinctly different genres from 4 different bands…and then to know that what you’ve just experienced is only a fraction of what’s going on throughout the small town of Hamtramck at that moment.

Choose your own adventure.


Eric Dilworth - improvisational jazz and soul - musical poetry.
9:30pm Painted Lady 2930 Jacob

Misty Lyn and the Big Beautiful
10:15pm 3141 (Locker Room) 3141 Caniff


(Misty Lyn is also featured in this week's print-version of Deep Cutz, because the Big Beautiful will be playing the Elbow Room, also on the 8th.

Charlie Slick
11pm Kelly’s Bar 2403 Holbrook

The Decks
midnight, Baker’s Streetcar 9817 Joseph Campau


Child Bite - spur of the moment, herked-jerked mind rock, with thick bass, insane rhythm, brass breadth and organ/joystick ferocity, easily one of the best live bands in town.

10pm Knights of Columbus (hall) 9632 Conant


11pm Painted Lady 2930 Jacob


The Terrible Twos
11pm Smalls, 10339 Conant

Tone and Niche
midnight, Whiskey in the Jar, 2741 Yemans

His Name Is Alive
1am Smalls, 10399 Conant


1am Paychecks, 2932 Caniff


Defying the Law Bicycle Club Talent Showcase all night at

the Knights of Columbus (Lounge)
9632 Conant


Electric Firebabies - bizarre, smoky, tribal electro-freestyling, with B-52's-esque art-dance guitar chording, post-punk visceral (but catchy) chanted choruses and insuppressible synth storms - making their debut at
9:15pm K of C Lounge

The Frustrations - one of your best bets for punk...
10pm Small’s, 10339 Conant

Fontanta - also phenomenal punk
11pm, Shenanigan’s 3216 Carpenter

Dead BodiesPhotobucket
midnight, Baker’s Streetcar, 9817 Joesph Campau

Sisters Lucas
1 am, Kelly’s Bar, 2403 Holbrook


The Questions
1am, Shenanigans, 3216 Carpenter