Monday, October 31, 2011

New Material, Old Factory

Ann Arbor's Americana/folk Duke, Chris Bathgate's Salt Year has been a busy year, indeed. Aside from a handful of six-week tours through the nation supporting his recent LP, he made a stop at NPR's Tiny Desk (for that characetristically unconventional performance, seen here), he's also, somehow, somewhere, at some time, put together an EP - Old Factory (coming out on Quite Scientific).

...But you can't hear (most of) it until January, at the earliest. For now, all you can hear (and see) is the song (and video for): "Big Ghost..."

And you can see (and hear) him, Nov. 4 - at Woodruff's in Ypsilanti.

(And, even though I feel like I've said a variation of this preceeding phrase six or so times on this blog:): Happy Halloween...

Martin Bisi @ Small's 11.10.11

Idiosyncratic genre-journeymen, producer and weird-pop purveyor, Martin Bisi, is coming to Hamtramck, welcomed by the comparably quirky cut-ups Lord Scrummage and equally energetic Pink Lightning.

Bisi, who cut his teeth with Brian Eno in the heady days of New York's scorchingly inspirational no-wave days of the early 80's, is readying a new LP for early 2012 titled Ex Nihilo ("form out of nothing"). "I'm in the zone, let's just say..."

You can stream the lead single, "Suffer the Moon" here -and experience it's dizzying blends of sonic sensibilities reminiscent of his former clients, contemporaries and collaborators (from the noise-rock of Sonic Youth, to the spooky theatrics of Swans' Michael Gira)... Mesmeric, murky balladry abounds...

(Watch: Martin Bisi: "Drink Your Wine" )

Read up more on Bisi's intriguing history and current adventures, here.


John Sinclair once told me that...
"Rock n like a zombie..."

...whether you think it's dead, or if you think you've finally killed it... it'll keep moving; scabs' and all...

In other news - instrumental surf-rock trio DevilFish are celebrating the release of their 2nd LP (on vinyl) - Squirrel Gulch, Thursday (Nov 3) at Ferndale's Loving Touch - with: High Speed Dubbing and Oblisk co headlining (the latter of which will be highly pressured by your writer to do one more Joy Division cover...)

The vinyl comes with a calendar-sized comic book, featuring the cracked comic-strip invented by 1/3 of DF - Pierce Reynolds (ex.. the Gumshoe, seen left)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Where It Was At...

I scare Bjork when I tell her about Siri, her smartphone is capable of complex thought. How technology will know, now, when you're trying to fuck with it - and fuck with you, right back...

But, Bjork had already scared me, earlier in the night, when she displayed her whisker-less jaw, her beard having been shaved hours before...
Thom Yorke's getting tipsy in a penguin suit and Beck's keepin' it cool like it's 1996 while Trent Reznor stomps the shit out of VHS cartridges, harvesting their magnetic intestines... 

Upstairs, more than a thousand revelers are pact like sardines, the Crofoot stuffed like a crushed tin box...

 ...and this, these hurried images, is the closest I'll get to Detroit's dedicated interpreters, the cracked creative class, the dedicated post-everything troubadours as they dress up as a variety of musical icons, celebrating Halloween in some weird talent-show explosion of reverence -for the band's their embodying, but beyond that, for each other...

Apart from a zealous, must-win, shoulder juked shunt to the front row for Joy Division's set, I have opted to take  my chances for most of this Halloween Party (-the fourth annual of such covers-band showcases hosted at Pontiac's Crofoot, it's inspiring tribute moments framed, inevitably by Pabst-spilled crudeness, cleavage, coagulated blood and BO marination through latex body suits...). Mostly, I've buoyed myself in the middle of the dancefloors, rollicking along with the choppy seas of sozzled dancers, listeners, shouters and shakers...

No one was themselves.

(Mister as Beck)

The four most dynamic female vocalists (at least taken from the modest census of the Michigan indie/rock/pop scene) joined forces for a heartbreakingly-fleeting 30 minutes, to perform a set of Shirelles covers.   

Huddled up by the sound guy, 200 ft back, I listened to Regan (of Pewter Cub) pour her heart into "Mama Said" while Dina (Secret Twins), Liz (Phantom Cats) and Jen (illymack) backed her up with perfect harmonies and theatrical side-stepped sways and jazz-hand accentuation.  

I craned my neck over hills of shoulders and spiky hair to hear it, had to get closer; foot traffic like battling quick sand, I squirmed down and through the channels of bodies - Such energy everywhere, so much of it, we waited for some maniacal match to be struck and held to the mylar balloon-full-fireball-spitting locusts... No one could move... What would/could happen when we boiled and bubbled over the edge, at the feet of Beck in the middle of "Black Tambourine."

Shirelles wrapping up, I sneaked to the side of the stage and ran into Michael Jackson (Chris Butterfield / Pink Lightning) and found the clean-shaven Bjork (Steve Puwalski / Pupils), next to his bassist, Jason Worden, himself moments away from pasting pastel designs onto his face...

I paced the room, wishing, (cursing?) that something so beautiful as these four intertwining voices, staggering enough on their own let alone united, risked being lost on so many of this roly-poly crowd sluicing distractedly through its four distinct performance-compartments... "This needs to happen again! This needs to be happening right down here, in smaller room, where we can all hear it, perfectly, perfectly," I stammered, right before bumping into the red-scarf-swathed Beck, circa his Loser days, (Bryan Lacker / Mister, in disguise).

I turned; DJ Ernie (Erno the Inferno) Guerra and I traded skunk-eyes, both of us not recognizing the other at first - he all slicked up in a suit, and me behind a goatee, eye patch and shock-white rat's nest wig. But there he was, sitting next to Jay-Z (Brent -Blaksmith- Smith) as they got ready for his set in the Crofoot cafe.  

I laughed to myself that the backstage space, for cacophonous 20-minute blur, resembled the likely snap-shotted populace (and persona) of any regular ol' Lager House rock night or some Loving Touch special showcase... All the regulars of local rock's stages, whether hungry for beer or whether legitimately splashed to the curb of the backstage like flooded rain run-off, reverted to their unconscious comfort zone - each other.

And yet, this was just back stage. An anonymous thousand-or-so swarmed the rooms above, waiting to hear them... albeit not playing their own songs, but still - it's something that so many ears, minds and hearts had the potential to soak in so much local talent. No matter how much vodka these Elviras and Spidermans had slung back, their ears were exposed to the impassioned performances of a wide range of local bands. It sinks in... It goes beyond the novelty of NIN...
In that sense, it went beyond the sometimes begrudged and unavoidable small-turn-outs, week to week, for the bands here, who slog it out, commendably, each season, song upon song, persevering and honing their craft and continuing to release their own albums, to any one who wants to take a listen.

Look at how many got to listen to you last night... You couldn't move. I guess, I was thinking, I know what these bands are capable and what they sound like in their own right, their own voices, their own songs - it's something else to see them pull all this off... Maybe those packed into the thousand-plus crowd, who don't normally see them, will get bit with curiosity - like, what does Child Bite sound like, when they're not NIN? Come down and see! Why not? It could happen... miracles happen on Christmas, why the fuck not on Halloween, too?

Speaking of Covers? Here's the heavenly re-imagining of Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" - posted by Detroit's Phantasmagoria:

And so... Eventually, I got up to the front row, finally, for Joy Division (Oblisk), a cover set that I obnoxiously took credit for, having somewhat tricked singer/guitarist Asim into saying yes-to-it, with Creepy Cheapy' production manager, Phreddy, within ear shot, checking him off for it months ago.

Coy to the bitter end, Asim assured me he wasn't going to go over the top on some Ian Curtis-esque spasm. Lo and behold, he shaves his beard clean (the first time in four years) and half way through the keyed-up dance-rock run of "Transmission," his arms start windmilling dynamically, hips jittering a bit of a shake, eyes squinting, head rolling...just like the late post-punk trailblazer... And the crowd (and your writer) went fucking crazy... just as Asim explodes into the chorus


And that was a whole other part of it. Not just to lose yourself in costume, but to lose yourself in a whole other way - beyond the private transcendence wrought with one's headphones in your bedroom off on some lip-synched, cathartic wriggle through your favorite album, no, this was a chance for every musician to live as their favorite writers, singers, performers...

And don't get me wrong, I'm all for killing one's idols... But it's something else when Tom Bahorski (Ashleys) is all done up like Ziggy Stardust and connecting to bassist Mike O'Connor (Fur) through the properly-paid tribute to a track like "Ashes to Ashes..."

What I mean is, - Idol worship is one thing, and yes, that's certainly part of what went down last night - but we can't be so cynical as to ignore the connection that's made, when someone else flips over how good your Radiohead songs sounded, or how intense you were as Bjork...


Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Morning after Ypsi...
I perched on a stool, to the side of the stage, interviewing seven music movers and song shakers integral to the establishment of the culture community currently buzzing in and around Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

Asking them questions that don't have answers. Sussing out answers to unknown questions.

Scenes... what's the answer? Hell, what's the question?

How do you industrialize a scene, establish an identity- (and get it recognized nationwide)- as a destination for music -how do we get all of the big buzzed national acts to come back here on regular nights - how do we sustain energy and enthusiasm for live music... Can you engage and enlist the most dedicated of local music acts -from rock, to punk, to electro, to jazz, to blues, to folk... to try to come together, and fly together, inside some ideal (yet potentially cockamamy) Spruce Goose-esque ship... Does that require our own label? Our own branding? Do we want to become a product?

There's no one answer. There's probably not even less than 20...

How do you industrialize when there's no more industry? Bands upon bands are putting albums upon albums up, for free, on bandcamps...

These are painful questions: What is the value of music, these days?

Just think of how much good music you, we, have listened to, in these days of our late 20's, our mid-30's, knocking on 40... for free? Can you fathom how much utter crap you listened to in your teenage days - that you actually paid money for? And yet, here you are, listening to modern masterpieces, the cutting edge contemporaries who are probably going criminally unheralded as the next Dylans and Cobains, the next new innovators - and you probably haven't paid them a cent, only paid them attention.

This probably requires more, as Amber Fellows (Swimsuit / Ypsi Music Shelf curator) suggested...maybe monthly town meetings, -if we do really want to figure out what precisely should be done with all this energy?
Does it need to be caught, bottled and displayed like King Kong or should it continue maturing organically, roaming the wilderness of Michigan? Perhaps it just needs to be nurtured, looked after - given a bigger habitat (more venues) and given better resources... <-does that mean getting booking agents? What? What do we actually want?

Awkward, difficult questions...but its worth figuring them out.

Are we otherwise just writing our names in water? Or would be desecrating the preciousness of what we have / what's happening / what we share by dissecting it, experimenting on it, to determine its use and value - turning on some crude black light to reveal the particles floating from our amps, from our mouths, coating our vinyl and wound through our cassettes...

Is there wisdom in letting it be?

I don't know yet.

Since Halloween's upon us - it's apt to enjoy these sounds of Ypsilanti's Bad Indians:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Tonight, at Woodruff's in Ypsilanti, Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me / Swimsuit), Shelley Salant (Swimsuit / Ginkgo / Michigan Happenings) Jim Roll (Backseat Studios / Drunken Barn Dance) and a few other local musicians of the Ann Arbor Ypsi scene will discuss scenes, part of Concentrate Magazine's Speaker Series.

--That's a word that can make many cringe due to it’s perception for creating cliques, catty competitiveness and its inherent risk of disillusionment or jadedness upon once wide-eyed hopeful artists
-- It’s also a word that makes some think of community, to believe in their friends and gain inspiration from the works, and the performances, of their neighbors. 

Scenes can stir up pride for one’s community – to know and appreciate that such talent is nestled throughout basements and 2nd story lofts all within a walking distance (or a quick bus ride) from the venue.

Scenes, the scene, or a scene, ...can be the elephant in the room of any live music event – at least it is for me, -someone who has to write about it constantly. Whether it’s the Ypsi Music Shelf inside Café Ollie, or if it’s the Ypsi Flea festival, if it’s an up and coming Ann Arbor rock group self-releasing their self-produced album on a Thursday night at the Blind Pig – whether it’s an esteemed folk band headlining a Saturday at the Ark or if it’s something like the expansive Mittenfest music festival, which will be here in just two months time… 

A voice in the back of my head always asks – what does this mean for the scene, where or what can this lead to, or become? What are we trying to build, if anything at all, -or are we just crazy, crazy passionate and merely doing it because we can’t help it (or explain it)? 

Concentrate Magazine has wondered something similar – how do we sustain it, to the point where it keeps growing, as opposed to blooming to a certain point, how do we get the branches of our tree to peak up above the canopy of all the other city’s scenes – is that the tacit goal? What does it require? Is it wide-eyed, naïve, unreasonable or egotistical to overtly acknowledge the worth of each other’s work to the point where we enter realms of analyzing and acting upon required steps that are more commerce than art, more self-marketing than self-expression? 

Tonight - Woodruff's - Ypsilanti - 5 pm - REGISTER here

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

There's more music in the world than any one person can digest, as you know...

Dave Lawson spends his days dreaming up playlists, -spends his nights shuffling sheaths of vinyl together into a crate, then heads out to a pool hall, where, between pints of Porters, he quizzes himself on music.

Not necessarily just -which song to play next..., but which song will fit best , which will match or meld itself to the styles and personality of his "special guest DJ..."

So goes the formula of his all-vinyl DJ series, Tuesdays In The Forest (inherited six months back from local wax-fanatic/poet/drummer Richie Wolhfiel) - And tonight, the Forest becomes overrun by Zombies - for Zombie Dance Party 8.

Mr. Lawson, who also writes and records with hook-and-harmony preservationist group, The Pop Project, had only just figured out what-he-was-going-to-be-for-Halloween, yesterday afternoon. "I seem to do pretty well (each year)," he admits. "I never really plan it out; often, like with picking out records, you just work with what you have and as time approaches -you start thinking more and more..."

And then you just play (it).

This year's Zombie Dance Party is hosted in Ferndale for the first time in seven years, after six years spent down in Detroit venues, it's transition north is similar to another music fest, The Blue Moon In June, -which was also at the Loving Touch.

"Ferndale definitely seems to be the suburb of the creative class," Lawson said, "so that makes sense that that (those transitions) would happen."

ZDP instigator and host, Carey Gustafson, submitted that Halloween in Detroit is just too vibrant of a happening - something at MOCAD, something at Theatre Bizarre - all happening so close together, -that audiences can become torn. Why not just throw it in the suburbs again?

"I think it's really moved to Ferndale," said Lawson, "because of (Forest) nights that Carey and I have been doing and sort of realizing that it just makes sense to support those..."

The Pop Project, meanwhile, recently returned from Minneapolis, where they were recording their follow-up to 2008's Stars of Stage and Screen.  Lawson described the new batch of 15 songs as "a step further down the road towards kind of funkier material that we touched on a bit with Stars, some of the more 80's-inspired stuff. But, at the same time, there's other stuff that isn't anything like that. We (with Zach Curd, Will Yates and Adam Kempa) just more comfortable than ever dabbling in different genres and not even worrying about what our sound is...what the band is...we just enjoy playing different types of music as we do it."

And so - let the hecticness of Halloween commence, tonight, with Zombie Dance Party - sneaking in, early this week, before all the bigger explosions of weekend parties.

Tonight will feature The Beggars and "The Monks" (cover band), the latter of whom performed for the first time at the Lager House last weekend - stacked into a bill that featured a number of enthusiastic cover bands - including local prog-dashed baroque-pop group Computer Perfection interpretting UK's legendary ambient/dream-pop group Broadcast... The rewarding thing about that, for the listener/audience is, whether it's brilliant or a bomb, it inevitably leads you to pick up some of your old favorite records and dive back in -

So, then, zombify yourself and boogie-for-all-your worth, -utilize this still-yet-tolerable weather, not too cold yet that one could survive the outdoor air with whatever kind of shredded-up undead costume you choose to don
...because it'll be "winter soon" enough.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Exact To Me (Sea & Cake - Nov 4 - Magic Stick)

I've been listening to the Sea & Cake longer than I've been (properly) writing about music.
In a weird way, a both assuring and unnerving way, we haven't really wavered that much or tumbled off our respective paths, heretofore. Still steady, still just doing it.

Photo: Megan Holmes
 Which, after the third cup of coffee, leads me to scream out, inside my skull - why, why I'm still writing about music?

And then sigh. Why does Sea & Cake still sound so good? Or, rather, how...(?)...or maybe it just sounds good to the arty, white argyle boys of surburbias, wallflowering along their way - inspired by these four shrewd post-rockers, made to sound subtly bad-ass by their exacting hone of jangly, driving post-rock, dazzled with a meshing sensibility for space-jazz as for ambient electronica...

Listen: The Sea & Cake: Up On The North Shore

Still airy in essence, last spring's Moonlight Butterfly rang with a renewed confidence in experimentation, dashing in jittery, fuzz storms from synthesizers loop-de-looping over the breathy vocals for extended 5 (or even 10) minute rock ruminations that show no sign of worry for where the song will go...

Sea & Cake - Nov 4th - Magic Stick - along with fellow purveyors of experimental post pop with easygoing élan, Brokeback...

And this New York trio, Adam's Castle, churning out good ol' cerebral post-rock, with tunes like the one-inside-the-youtube-box below:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

We Want Maximum Fun

Yes, yes,... Halloween time in the city. I've just returned from the store, a bag full of individually wrapped plastic tubes filled with syrupy fake blood. Ready to be gruesome.

And the noble/novel venture of local musicians taking on other bands has grown almost intractable - there are half a dozen seasonal music masquerades happening around Detroit.

But, still, thankfully (as has been the case before), they're not all on the same night.

And so my mind drifts back to the night that really set this off, at least for me, -at least in terms of the traditional, store-bought-wig variety of theatrical band nights... Because, yes, there've been other evenings and alley-hidden arenas in the past that featured much more provacative, avant-garde costumed-escapist performances - be it the smoke-flumed sonic scabridity and cardboard squashing spills of Princess Dragon Mom or the midnight howlings of bedraggled garage rock from the Wolf Man Band.

But this is, we'll say, the more traditional route.  

So, if I want to go back the night, the off-setting moment that got all bit all these Detroit bands with the Halloween bug - it'd be four years ago when Child Bite took on Nirvana - complete with three straw-blonde, brow-blurring wigs, striped sweaters and flannel - rampaging through an inevitably mosh-inspiring set of Incesticide ditties. I think we also saw the Strokes that year... But this Detroit quartet's Nirvana trip really sunk its teeth in...stays with me today.

So after three years, now going on four, the Crofoot Halloween show has always had one constant returning performer -

"Every year," said Child Bite singer/keyboardist/guitarist Shawn Knight (pictured-above), "we choose a band that not only we like (Rage Agaisnt The Machine 2009, Black Sabbath 2010), but that we know lots of other people like too. I think it's self indulgent and not-in-the-spirit of the event to do something obscure. We want maximum fun."

Plus, with their closing set, it just makes sense to take on a "big time artist" that would realistically be a headliner at any festival. Specificall....Nine Inch Nails.

"NIN have enough popular songs that we are physically capable of playing, and they are gnarly as hell."

But learning all those songs is a ton of work, even just for a half-hour set's worth. Still, CB (Sean Clancy, Brandon Sczomak and Ben Moore) "have a blast" each time. Being that band that's done it every year, and always closing the night gives them "a sense of belonging and pride. I like traditions, like the Hamtramck Blowout..." -which, CB has played each year since 06 - "...this is something people can count on us for, every year."

Taking on another band, whether it's Joy Division, Beck or Johnny Cash, can teach you something about yourself, in a weird blurring of identities and consciousness. "For being such a weird band," Knight said, "it's funny how naturally these 'normal' songs come to us."

PRUSSIA: horror trailer from SINGLE . BARREL . DETROIT on Vimeo.

(a "horror trailer" from a recent Child Bite tour - featuring Prussia - produced by Single Barrel Detroit)
Halloween aside, Child Bite finally secured a new van - as their previous transport was driven to death in classic road warrior fashion. "This one cost real money, not some Craigslist piece of shit. But it won't die anytime soon either. Her name is Kate Moss. Our old van was named Kathy Ireland, -named after a debate we had regarding her status as either a bikini-babe or a super-model (you decide). We bought Tyra Banks recently in Flint, but her underside was rusted to shit so we kicked her to the curb.

They've finally got a new drummer too, that being Ben Moore - who settles in after a year or so's worth of revolving percussionists. "Things will be a little different from earlier eras," Knight posits. "Expect future output to be louder, heavier! Our ears are giving out so we have to keep turning up."

A split EP with Baltimore's Dope Body will be out, likely in time for their show together, Nov 11th at the Loving Touch in Ferndale, plus a full CB-only-EP sometime in January-ish. There's also a "4-way Black Flag covers 7" vinyl" coming. Plus a tour. You know...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


"We are too ethnic to look anything like them... so we will just do what we can to pull off the look."

Asim Akhtar knows that his band, Oblisk, bare a lot more brown skin then the pale Mancs they intend to mimic next Saturday at the Crofoot, that being the revered post-punk band Joy Division.

Halloween in Detroit means a lot of things. A lot of messy, beautiful, brutish things that could stretch the senses... For many it means an inherently auditory-based costume - a twist upon the threadbare escapade of cover songs - in Detroit it's taken further.

Here, just as likely in many music mecca's this time of year, the streets, the home studios, basement practice spots and eventual stages are flush with a crop of bands eager to embody iconic bands for an entire night's worth of material.

Forget if Akhtar looks anything like the wiggly crooner Ian Curtis - the make-up is the music. Though, "I will be shaving my beard," Akhtar reveals, "for the first time in four years...if that counts for anything."

"It's a strange concept," Akhtar said, diving into another persona, not just for a night, but in the nuanced scenario of singing their words / playing their notes. "The best part about it is that it feels like you are playing completely for the people. Emulating a band nobody has seen live...for the sake of good fun, for those who love Joy Division..."

Oblisk become Joy Division - Friday, 10/28 at the Crofoot - This is the Pontiac music barn's fourth consecutive year culling a 20-some-odd band bill's worth of musicians-as-other-musicians - You can hear Radiohead, Bjork and Beck, you can hear the Stooges. You can even hear Van Halen, The Monks and Michael Jackson.

You can kinda 'see' them as well...

But hear them out.

Full line up here.

Oblisk, meanwhile, are getting close to wrapping up their third LP, recorded with Chris Koltay. Listen to them here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rapping Up

You can't write it better "keepin-it-old-school" cliche stories than this one
 - not only did Guided By Voices, renowned lo-fi indie-rock kings of Dayton OH, reunite their "classic" line up (that being the integral recording/touring members to their most celebrated era of releases) - but they recorded their new album (their first proper since their initial ostensible 'swan song' in 04's Half Smiles of the Decomposed), inside a garage!

....ahh, memories... 

No studio for the lo-fi lords - they opted for plugging in and tracking inside the living rooms of friends and the basements of former band members.

Twenty one new songs are on the way from these valiant trebble-kickers of two-minute-pop-masterpieces. Let's Go Eat The Factory dawns on Jan 1st, 2012 - via GBV Inc!

Early forecasts assure enthusiasts of this "classic" era that they won't be dissappointed - and yet, there's reports of more synthesizers?--even utilizing samples-- on this new one, which features a track called "Doughnut for a Snowman," something lead singer/writer Bob Pollard considers "the goofiest, twinkliest song I've ever written..."

Stay tuned.
On the local shores

Detroit hip/hop duo Passalacqua have their 2nd release ready -just in time for their scheduled slot on a CMJ showcase - Zebahazy  Summer drops sometime next week. Wonder-boys Blaksmith and Mister perched and poetically promulgate their latest raps in front of the cameras of local production crew Throwback Media - trading off a preview of tracks (below).

Later on, Nov 4 (at 7pm) -Passalacqua play inside the Ferndale Public Library - with aptly-named, up-and-coming phunk-soul-rollers Ferndale Acid Scene.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Local Curiosities

Fall is upon us...
...Comes in colors everywhere...
Here, then, are some local happenings you might want to venture outside for (before the dagger chill of another Michigan winter sets in...)

Here's one:

A celebration of fall, tweed, bikes and Detroit - and maybe some music? Any local musician in the Woodbridge / Wayne State area who might be up for slinging the acoustic guitar on their back while they pedal their 10-speeds or Schwinns is likely more than welcome to provide some live soundtracks for these intrepid travellers in their tweed toggery. They launch nearby the Woodbridge Pub and wind up at Belle Isle - ride along... (and sing along?)

Here's another:
"Halloween-y" Shows (2 Nights) at PJ's Lager House 10/21 & 10/22

Night 1
The HandGrenades as The Supremes (one request: "Love Is Like an Itichin in My Heart")
Citizen Smile as U2 (Ach-twenty-something, baby)
Paul Cook / Ben Luckett / Andrew Hecker as Link Wray and the Wraymen (stately choice)
Eddie Baranek / Eric Allen / Kyle Schanta as Neil Young (epic)
Eric Allen / Molly Jean / Maria Nuccilli / Zak Frieling as 2010 Fruitgum Co. (Think Ohio Express' "Yummy Yummy Yummy" and other saccharine sing-alongs)
Secret Twins as The Wipers (nice!)
The Crooks / Eddie Baranek as The Doors ( me the way to the next whiskey bar)
Patrick Davy & the Ghosts as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Mojo)

Night 2
Jesse & the Gnome as Radiohead (do "Idioteque" - I dare ya)
Body Holographic as ESG (Get Funky)
Scarlet Oaks as Broadcast (very nice!)
The Olives (Milwaukee, WA) as The Go Go's (I could use another vacation)
Head On Electric (Milwaukee, WA) as Nirvana (easy on those Incesticide selections, they can really stir up some moshing)
Woodman / Hentch / TJ & Alex as The Monks (Detroit's go-to Halloween party cover band tries on yet another...
Deleano Acevedo / Tiffany Gazic as Johnny Cash & June Carter (should be interesting. Might we hear "Jackson?")
Loretta Lucas / Derek Standon / Kelly Jean Caldwell / J-Rowe as Fleetwood Mac (go their own way)
Craig Brown / Todd McNulty lead an AC/DC trip (dirty deeds indeed)
Zak Frieling / Chris Campbell / Teddy Stavridis / Scott Dunkerly as The Dead Boys (quite the local punk power squad - but do they know what love is?)


Well, if, maybe - a Halloween cover-band concert is too old fashioned for you - then how about this? Luchadores!? Spanish Vampires?

Community Art Gallery Whitdel Arts presents a double film screening: "Santo y Blue Demon contra Dracula y el Hombre Lobo"
& "Dracula" (the 1931 Spanish version)

Doors open at 7:30pm. Films start at 8:00pm. Each film is around 90 minutes, with a 10 minute intermission in-between.

But who am I to tell you where to go... truly, ...there's so much out there in this city - so many bands, so many genres, so many weird places (even KittenAid, Sunday at the TrumbullPlex) 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

There are things to talk about - be constructive

More on the Occupied...

 Boston Public Radio's On Point broadcast a story yesterday, definitely one thing (among all) to be considered...

...Or check out the show's main site here to read the more than 1,700 listener comments...

Something happenin here, to be sure... Whether it's exactly clear, may be answered this weekend, locally, when we see if more Michigan cities, like Detroit?...join in on the movement...
Rolling Stone reported that stalwart Rager-against-Machines, Tom Morello (currently known as "The Nightwatchmen") performed in Manhattan, today, to serenade the Occupiers: "Take it Easy, but Take it." 

Where is this movement headed?


For further ruminations upon music, particularly it being the primary outlet for crystallizing and communicating man's guttural growl of general objection, I'd recommend a book I've been reading, myself - (In fact, it's author, Dorian Linskey, recently blogged about the Occupy Movement.

Linskey, who writes for the Guardian, is careful not to glorify the protest-song or the protest-singer, calling many of its hacks and hockers as "didactic" and not dancing around the risk of being derivative or contrived...

He quickly shifts to the more profound works like Holliday's "Strange Fruit," marking it as the point in history (1939) when protest songs began working their way into the mainstream, away from picket lines.

Done right, at the right time, with the right words, one can spark true inspiration and speak for the dozen, two dozen, or two hundred that are marching around you...

Music may be the ultimate, or at least quickest/most-cathartic... art of the protest -
a spasm back against that certain ache in his neck, his feet, his heart, that he just can't ignore anymore - whether it's dejection or disenfranchisement... You can all hear the words, coaxing with their melody but barbed with their message and you can all hear the warm rich timbre of the acoustic guitar, the tambourine, the shuffling feat - entices you - more than the denser abstractions of film or painting -

You can sing along -