Thursday, July 31, 2008
there's an amazing sale on the indellible Converse All-Stars, going on at the overwhelmingly cool vintage store: Showtime in Detroit (Woodward, just south of Grand Blvd.)
....with these pairs, it's Nike-free, made in America! check out their myspace at: http://www.%20myspace.%20com/showtime_detroit
You can read Detour's review here.
Or Real Detroit's review here.
and check out some of their new songs here.
and see a music video of one of my favorite OFC songs, "My Grave Face" here
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Running ragged through the European festival circuit through all of July, the peculiar and punchy We Are Scientists are coming back to the east coast. The sometimes-duo is quite a fitting band for this indiscernible glow-box culture where we've satirized everything so far beyond the stretch of imagination; Keith Murray, guitar/lead vocals and Chris Cain, bass/vocals perfectly fit the concept of a 21st century band – where an internet presence and blog support is their forte; which helps this quick witted, quirky duo from southwest California often find more popularity overseas than here in the states.
And, they're blisteringly sarcastic – literate to fall-down goofy, often throwing the excessive, unreasonable, trash-blur-decadence of an overly-media-munched existence back in the faces of those exposed to their icy-cool / hot-n-heavy dance rock.
Their major label albums (after their early DIY stuff), With Love and Squalor and this year's Brain Thrust Mastery, are ripe with ironic sonnets (and social commentary?) to the after hours' speedy thrills of no-time-like-now capriciousness and intoxication (with love or alcohol) that ends up with slept-in-your-clothes morning-headache reflections.
Where Squalor mined guitar-heavy-pop glory to its full extent, Mastery (which saw the departure of original drummer Michael Tapper halfway through recording) slides comfortably into a more chill, dance-ready futuristic new-wave revival, still filled with their characteristic vigor and bite.
For the 7th time since they started in 2000, they'll return to the Magic Stick. Here's a chat with Chris Cain (from Real Detroit Weekly)
CC: We have a very solid relationship with Adam Aaronson (drums) and Max Hart (keyboard), who'll almost certainly be [playing] through the rest of this tour cycle. There will be a year off to write/record the next album; they're not officially "in" We Are Scientists I guess, but, also, they are…I dunno.
CC: We're a very…tight team, on the live circuit, which very much dominates our lives right now. On the road, we're a full fledged band. Keith and I are still running the business and are far more involved in all the more tedious aspects. I guess 'tedious' is probably not true, I actually enjoy the other things, the mundane financial concerns. We try to get involved, really, in every nook and cranny…we really have oversight on everything that's going on with We Are Scientists, and as often as possible, try to keep our hands dirty.
CC: Doesn't get much dirtier than that.
CC: I'm actually in Barcelona right now, looking at all these Gaudí buildings, about 2 blocks from the Avenida de Dali, it's pretty strange you should ask – I love it when people describe our sense of humor, specifically our quotes, whether given in interviews or on stage, as surreal. I think it's accurate in that some of what we do seems off-message, if you consider our job outside of playing music to be promoting our album, but we don't really see that as our job.
CC: I think we have rather shallow comedic skills, at least, if your speaking relative to actual professional [comedians: Todd Barry, Patton Oswald], but we benefit of being relatively known musicains who are very absurdly tossing their hat into this other ring…judging [us] against Def Leopard and Axl Rose [we're] fucking hilarious!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Photos: Megan Lang
The Ypsilanti-based duo has known each other for more than ten years, having played together in other bands on and off throughout, including other rock outfits like Propeller and Clouds. They often ended up playing alone together sporadically, just demos in basements or casual jamming, with just guitar and drums.
“We realized that we were having more fun and enjoying more freedom as a two piece than we were in actual ‘bands.’”
Vigorous, and heartfelt, the JWPP continue to spread the love through rock n roll Aug 11, at Corktown Tavern; with their debut EP, Knockin. Check out: myspace.com/jehovahswitnessprotectionprogram.
Included here is some of the un-cut interview with Anthony Anonymous
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Jehova's Witness Protection Program
We Are Scientists
but, in terms of shows--there's something I've had on my calendar, sometimes in a floating-capacity, ever since this band started working on their LP - and that is the vinyl release show for the Oscillating Fan Club
Saturday at the CAID, with Zoos of Berlin
I camped out near the front of the stage, next to fellow unconventional "blogger" Elle, (with whom I may or may not have gotten into a photo-taking competition...) who runs this terrific portal of electronic warbles and rants...Detroit Riot, who also wrote about the Javelins, here.
Sorry, it's Sunday morning and I haven't had any magical caffeinated elixir's yet...so, it's just recycled link-age for today.
Suffice it to say - Heavy Meadows is worth a listen...
Also, suffice it to say--that openers Nouns were great as well, dig the vocal melodies and the pretty harmonies and the nice little laid back labtop indie-pop lounge thing.
Lightning Love, sadly, I missed. Check 'em out.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
(..."I Want You" to join the Deep Cutz Team)
This weekend is one long, ravenous, howling full moon of musical hysteria...to make it to all of the exceptional line ups going on all over the city last nite and tonight, one needed to conjure the hurried, hot-blooded endurance usually reserved for Blowout adventures.
We started at the X! Fest, featuring the roster of local label X! Records as well as some exceptional tripped out psyche-punk touring bands (which, by the way, is going on tonight also, starting around 10pm at the Bohemian National Home, with The Terrible Twos headlining.)
(pictured, Heroes and Villains / The Mahonies)
Then, we swung over to the Garden Bowl for The Displays record release party, for their LP, "Ain't Gonna Put Us Down." (pictured, Woodman / Smashed Windows)
Then we tried to make it over to the Lager House in time to see The Birddogs - having just missed them - we arrived just in time for the inspiring, unabashedly psychedelicized, quasi-cult-ish Friends of Dennis Wilson to take the stage.
The next destination was just down the street - at the Corktown Tavern, where the hope was to catch Deastro (and his now not-so-new full band.) But the line up got shifted around, so our witching-hour arrival time proved to be too late, (especially for the Friendly Foes, who went on first out of four.) We still caught an inspiring set from Manna and Quail, and Millions of Brazilians closed out the night.
(photos by Mike Milo)
What glorious madness....
X! Fest at the Bohemian
Hentchmen at the Park Bar
Javelins at the Belmont
Electric Lions at Simons (Allen Park)
The Questions at the Stone House (?)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
"Rock n Roll'll never die, man...'cuz it's like a zombie..."
Last night, the multifarious, motley collective called Pinkeye, a 10, sometimes 20-member band who specialize in a calamatous group expression of jazz, world, indie-and classic rock and any other kind of un-classifiable breed of various melodic noise interpretations...conducted an in-venue recording session at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit.
Guest players included Dutch Pink's Dustin Leslie and the Questions' Drew Bardo - but they were slightly outshined by the indomitable and luminous John Sinclair - a poet, an activist, a former manager of the iconic proto-punk rockers the MC5, the founder of the White Panther Party and a noted enthusiast for marijuana usage. The, in my eyes, living legend, performed written and improvised poetry over the celebratory storm of Pinkeye's jazz and rock raucousness.
The quote above, is, incredibly, one of the first things he said to me after I met him...comparing rock n roll to a zombie, indeed - it's been a while since I felt so inspired...when you consider a zombie's main attributes...
...relentless, ugly, always hungry and pretty much invincible.
He went on to say, about the gathering of local musicians that, "...this thrills me half to death." Noting that these passionate souls are here pouring their hearts out on saxophones, guitars, keyboards, drums, bongos, sitars, pounding, yelling, stomping...regardless that there's no market demand for musical expression so vehemently avant-garde and so dizzyingly beyond comprehension...regardless - they are here. To play. To be together.
Check out Pinkeye's myspace for news of when this recording will be released...
And stay tuned to Deep Cutz
Thanks for reading.
This summer, we've had a cordial festival (Detour), a psychedelic festival (Fiberglass Freakout), an all-over-the-map festival (Blue Moon In June) and a cordially corporate festival (CityFest.) We're in need for a bit of a therapeutic shake-up of psychologically and slightly-physically damaging proportions: And so, Detroit-based X! Records arrives just in time for the wavy and wild dog-days of Summer to bring us X! Fest, at the Bohemian National Home, Friday (doors, 8pm) and Saturday (barbeque at 6pm). You can read about the legend of X! and it's founder, (Frustrations drummer) Scott Dunkerly, here.
FRIDAY (July 25th)
Doors at 8pm, bands begin SHORTLY AFTER
SIC ALPS (San Francisco, CA)
PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT (Columbus, OH)
HEROES & VILLAINS
SATURDAY (July 26th)
Saturday Barbecue in the Bohemian parking lot begins at 6pm! Hot dogs and
other eats will be cheap. Music starts PROMPTLY at 8pm.
GUINEA WORMS (Columbus, OH)
NECROPOLIS (Columbus, OH)
DRUID PERFUME (featuring 3 guys from the PIRANHAS + 2 other rad dudes)
TIMMY V LAMP (of HUMAN EYE)
DETROIT, MI, USA. $8 per night. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
When I called Tilly and the Wall, the Nebraska quintet were stuck in the frantic circus of changing a flat tire in the whirl of honking horns, office buildings and a roiling Phoenix, AZ-heat, as they were checking out of a hotel. Just moving onto the next show; such is the tour life, driving all day so you can work at night, on the stage, flanked by glowing grins of 20-somethings, blithe and carefree, stomping and dancing to one of the more unique indie-pop/dance-folk acts around, which, as is always harped on, inventively features tap dancer (and singer) Jamie Pressnall as their main source of percussion.
It’s a lively year for the spry and fiery five, (with White on keyboards, Derek Pressnall on guitar, Neely Jenkins on vocals, bass and Kiana Alarid on vocals, bass); they released their third album O in June and a digital EP back in March, featuring the liberating trounce of bouncy 90’s dance club glory, “Beat Control.” They’ll also be touring the rest of the year, and continuing their beautiful relationship with their intrepid Team Love label (started by their fellow Nebraskan and friend, Connor Oberst of Bright Eyes.)
The sound is a crashing wave of thick triple harmonies over pounding and clanking footwork percussion, brazen brass, synthesized augmentations and high flying, gritty guitar lines, in flavors as varying as hyper French gypsy jazz to urban mariachi cruiser love songs, illuminating tremendous arms-raised invigoration with subtle dance sensibilities and sugary pop hooks cloaking an often biting commentary. Indeed, I note to singer Alarid that the whimsical naivety of their first 2 releases seems to have been a bit darkened by some of O’s diatribes:
“I don’t know exactly why. We all write separately, so I guess it’s just personal experiences everybody’s had. I don’t personally think anything we’ve ever done has been naïve, in a sense, I think it’s more that we’re hopeful people, that we are all aware the shit can hit the fan, but that everything will be okay, ya know, I mean, it has to be, there’s no other choice…”
“We never preconceive anything; we never have, so I don’t think that whimsical quality was planned, and I don’t think this (for example, the last lyric of O being, “fuck you…”) wasn’t planned.”
The smooth sinewy synths and arresting rhythms of Beat Control, which features the thesis ‘There is nothing stopping you / There is nothing stopping me /So let that beat control your body, baby,’ Alarid explained “The lyrics are purposely sort of vapid, because I wanted, literally, for the beat to control that song. So when I wrote that, I was thinking this song is not about thinking too hard, let’s just get together and forget everything else. It’s sort of extremely simple and also kinda literal; ‘don’t worry about it, let the beat control you right now.’ Right now, that’s all we want to do.”
Alarid, whose always been in bands, but never really sang or wrote, said that Tillification brought on much self discovery, for her and her band mates, and self confidence, particularly, is only rising: “We’re at the point now where we’ve changed so much, but that’s all since we’re growing up.”
8 / 5 Magic Stick, with Charlie Slick
Monday, July 21, 2008
The Displays – Ain't Gonna Put Us Down
Highly versed in the school of classic Detroit rock and the city's latter-day garage glory, bassist/singer Andrew Hecker, with drummer Josh Cohen (and help on-record from Sights guitarist/singer Eddie Baranek and the board skills of Jim Diamond) has formed a fast, high-flying parcel of hard-hitting swinging grit, wavy guitar hooks delivered in that golden gut-punch-feedback style with insuppressibly swing-able rhythms and a surprisingly soulful, confident gravely howl coming from Hecker's 16-year-old frame.
The scope is ambitious, drawing as much from mid-60's spilled-out-spastic garage to 70's blues to 90's classic rock revival; the whirled rollickin swagger never slows down, complimented with Baranek's characteristic devastating solos. A commendable debut full-length -
And, you can preview some tracks here
Sunday, July 20, 2008
A musical icon for Detroit music over the last 40 years, Don Was, was invited to bring the flavorful vanguard of his Web site / recording project, My Damn Channel, to the stage of the Fisher Music Center’s orchestra hall, last night, to help close out the Concert of Colors.
It was simply a magical, blessed night, with an overwhelming revue of the brimming talent of the town, both old and new – with musicians from Was (Not Was) working back-up for many of the performers – featuring The Muldoons, Mick Collins, The Ramrods, The Detroit Cobras, Black Bottom Collective, Mitch Ryder, John Sinclair, The Sisters Lucas and many more!
The ever-getting-taller Muldoons boys teased by bookend-ing their rendition of Chubby Bunny with snippets of Pink Floyd’s Interstellar Overdrive; Mick Collins performed solo with Was (Not Was) backing him up, as did the Sisters Lucas. Mich Ryder closed out the night with an unconventional and endearing cover of “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?”
With great energy in the room, the assembled artisans of past and present made it clear that this cities luminously pulsating talent is something to be celebrated. That Don Was, Ryder and Sinclair are still here must say something about the eccentric transfixing energy of the city and it’s noodling, esoteric troubadours. Next time, let’s make it a 4 hour affair – invite Kim Fowley, The Go, The Up, maybe Alice Cooper?
I wish I had photos, but they were strict about cameras going in…
In the meantime, you can look forward to more mostly-Detroit-centric postings here at Deep Cutz – coming up soon: an intriguing interview with Josh from the Silent Years about time, the world, black holes and strong coffee…that, and a Javelins album review, a Prussia album review (hopefully a Prussia interview) and…probably Tilly and the Wall.
And thanks so much for reading!!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
(photo by: Dough Coombe)
Check out some of the new songs from local trio, The Displays, here: the band (Andrew Hecker-bass/vocals, Josh Cohen-drums, Ben Van Camp-guitar/vocals) has been working their asses off on their upcoming first full-length CD, "Ain't Gonna Put Us Down" with some help from Jim Diamond and Eddie Baranek. The CD Release show is next Friday, 7/25, in the Garden Bowl, with the Smashed Windows and Woodman.
(photos by: Chelsea Sanders)
"A lot of people try to get out of depressive moods really quickly and I think over the years I've learned to just let them happen, so I could examine why they're happening..."
-Justin Vernon, Bon Iver
This, My Excavation: Bon Iver-J.Milo
This is the sound of devastation, of ravaged reality, of a man hanging on by a thread; Justin Vernon's haunting falsetto, with its watery eyed butterflies in the stomach and cathedral conjuring sanctity, can stop time.
Couple that with the solemn imagery often tied to his album's mythologized backstory painting a dizzied man's retreat to a cabin in the woods of northwest Wisconsin (near his hometown Eau Claire) to "hibernate" after the break-up of an indie/folk group he played in called DeYarmond Edison, suddenly you hear the wisp of pine trees swaying, of lost birds calling out, of creeks piddling down over moss covered logs, and here, like some solemn eye of this natural storm, is the sound of a man crumbling from the inside and combining it so powerfully and perfectly with the golden, grieving jangle of his acoustic guitar. Towards the end of 2007,
"I wasn't aware of what was going on," said
Making matters worse, while the band was breaking up near the end of 06,
Three days of quiet, secluded examination turned into three weeks. "Before I even started working on music I just sort of sat, maybe chopped wood, maybe take a nap, maybe drink a beer, maybe take a walk. It was really non-eventful, it was really non-romantic in the sense that I wasn't sitting in the middle of the woods meditating. It was more modern and less romantic. It was like cutting a string, but it took 3 weeks to do it."
Since self-releasing his debut For Emma, Forever Ago (and then re-releasing through Jagjaguwar records in January 08) he's found a captive audience through the indie circuits with the delicate wavering intensities of songs like "Skinny Love" or "Flume."
He is currently working on a 4-song 12" for Jagjaguwar.
"It's bizarre," he says, looking back 2 years, "how it just kinda happened in one…breath."
some more of the Un-Cutz Interview:
Milo/DC: How's the year been, what are you working on next?
Justin Vernon: The year has been...I can't really measure this year...but I've been working on some stuff. I've had some stuff that I'd worked on before [For Emma, Forever Ago], just these four songs that sort of really...four really weird songs, I think me and [current label] Jagjaguwar are gonna put it out in November-ish...maybe.
DC: So, your band breaking up is often painted as this primordial genesis, this fateful off-setting moment for you...
JV: I'm the first one to take a lot of the dramatic effect from this whole story that's been attached to the record, and offset it! But, it really did feel like a genesis, that's actually the best word I can think of...I love that whole metaphor of 'primordial genesis,' I like that word, I wasn't aware of what was going on, everything was foggy.
DC: In your writing, out there in that cabin, were you providing perspectives from the same narrator?
JV: It's not exactly the same narrator. The narrators are all the same kind of person, they're not the same person - but...everybody has the same feelings, the same guilts and the same shadowy confessions of their life, certain songs, lyrically, go back and forth between characters, sometimes it's like when we're singing-it's like I'm singing to myself via somebody else; a unique kind of way to attack guilt, through the anger of somebody that cares about me and I cared about them...
DC: Any contemporary influences you can point to?
JV: Well, I don't know, what's contemporary to you...
DC: Well, you'll be playing with the Bowerbirds here...
JV: Oh my god! Good point......before i got really sick in NC, i was living at this house with this girl in Raleigh, and I saw the Bowerbirds play. I'd never heard them before, so i saw them play at an art gallery...and I went home that night and I literally for the first time in my life sat in this room...and thought I think I need to quit music...that's the only time that's ever happened to me. I've been inspired by a show but usually you walk away from a show that you love feeling inspired...to make music - but seeing Phil play those songs with Beth and Mark, I was just like...I think that I've missed my opportunity, I spent too many years being this emotive non hard working songwriter that I've just become this joke to myself
...this is really cool that I'm talking about this because I've neglected to talk bout this part of the story cuz this is the way-prelude, but man i was like I have to quit, I can't even take myself seriously because that was so...good, it was so overwhelming, so I'm lucky enough to have become friends with them.
He surmises later, after reflecting on the album, the cabin and the tours: "I'm really happy, I'm in my hometown for the summer, it's quiet and I get to enjoy it. I can continue to tour and to make music...it's bizarre how it just kinda happened in one......breath."
Check out: www.myspace.com/boniver; and for Bowerbirds: www.myspace.com/bowerbirds