Sunday, May 14, 2017

Culminating! Bathgate, Malerman, RSA Listening Party, Erlewine, Sheefy, Movement

What a week it's going to be...

Several artists that I've been covering/following & admiring for a long time, now, are all releasing, unveiling, or showcasing new works; works that show each of these respective artists at one of the most inspired, imaginative, progressive, and even profound respective moments of their individual careers.

On Friday, May 19, Chris Bathgate will release Dizzy Seas on Quite Scientific, the Michigan son's first full length album in almost seven years. Audra Kubat and I will be providing you week-to-week rundowns of all 10 songs from this album in a couple weeks, by way of an epistolary review of traded letters. I've spent the last week listening to this album at least once a day; it's a winding trail where you discover some new glistening leaf to turn over at each successive spin, some new gem muddied into hiding corners and curtains of dreamy distortion and astounding attention to dynamics of intonation.

His voice on this record sounds like an, if you'll allow me to co-op the name of another local Detroit band-- an Earth Engine-- something that hums & thrums with a kind of mightiness you'd expect from jet engines over your head, but it kicks itself so gently over the wading guitar ripples with a bit of natural soil caked onto its achey croon. ALSO-- There's a duet on here with Tunde Olaniran that's just going to blow your mind.

On Saturday, May 20, Matt Jones (of Matt Jones & The Reconstruction), is hosting another of his semi-annual Listening Parties for his ongoing/epic River Street Anthology. Three years ago, Jones broke out of what was only a temporary spat of creative ennui by completely self-effacing himself from the musical performance process and instead taking more of a backstage/producer position where he pointed a microphone (and a recorder) at any/every OTHER artist within driving distance of his home (on River Street), and captured special, poignant, personal tracks from each of them (in his basement). It's slowly grown into being a state-wide mission: to visit every creative community across the Mitten & the Upper Peninsula, to congregate with a dozen artists on any given day, and enter new subsequent chapters, city by city, into an Anthology that will now be preserved by The Archives of the State of Michigan!

Jones will be at Jack Spack's farm in Dexter (more info). Each of these events are very interactive and often feature videos, and exclusive live performances.

Here's a video by Mostly Midwest, of Lake City-area artist May Erlewine performing for the River Street Anthology.

May Erlewine - Grateful - The River Street Anthology from River Street Anthology on Vimeo.

Speaking of May Erlewine.. A radiant talent and prominent vocalist/songwriter/guitarist from the Earthworks label up in Lake City has had a busy year. The exciting news is, just recently, her newest batch of songs was successfully crowdfunded, to facilitate an autumn release. This would follow the release, last December, of her other project, a more dance/jazz/pop inclined EP called The Little Things... And, it was only one full year ago, that she released her previous EP in her most noted realm of folk/Americana, Lean Into The Wind. I'm expecting powerful things on this album - as my conversation with Erlewine in May of 2016 could not avoid the anxiety, dread, and turmoil that was permeating our collective conscience as a species --with the election having gone the way it went and with time to put her pen to paper, I think we could be in store for a record that can heal, as well as reinvigorate --not just our compassion, but our will.

Erlewine is performing this Thurs., May 18th at The Ark in Ann Arbor (more info)


On Tues., May 23, Josh Malerman of The High Strung, is having his 2nd major novel published (via ECCO press). Malerman's been a writer all his life, really, with more than two dozen full manuscripts stored away--but he finally broke out into the mainstream horror fiction scene as a major/recognized talent in 2015, with Bird Box. His latest scary story is an odyssey into the deserts of Africa, circa 1957, with WWII veterans who spent their first decade out of the service becoming famous in the seminal rock 'n' roll scene of Detroit, being sent back into service to seek the source of what could be a potential new weapon - something no one would know how to defend against-- a powerful droning note that emits a devastating soundwave throughout your body, threatening to crush every bone inside...

Malerman is having a Book Launch party on Mon., May 22 at The Loving Touch in Ferndale, where there will be a live reading, as well as some live music from the members of The High Strung (starts at 7pm). AND-- Stay tuned for a full interview with Malerman in Paste Magazine, where we discuss the evolution of horror fiction writing, over the last five decades.

There's Sheefy McFly. The hip-hop emcee/electro-funk producer/rapper & accomplished muralist, is seeing his two main creative strains combine this month. The artist otherwise known as Tashif Turner is having a major art exhibition, hosted by PLAYGROUND DETROIT, on Fri., May 26. But it was just two weeks ago, however, that Sheefy put out his latest album Murals, which features collaborations with producers like Hir-O and Gabe Gonzalez, as well as cameos from singers like James Linck.

Turner is a multifaceted artist. He is a curator, Red Bull House of Art / Murals in the Market Alumnus, Detroit Metro Times "Best Artist" of 2017, and independent Detroit bred artist. More info on the upcoming exhibit -here.

And then it's time for Movement, 2017, - busy couple of weeks!! 

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