Friday, December 1, 2017

Listening Back On 20 Years of Detroit Music (pt 1 of 4) feet, in motion, during a Carjack set at the Outer Limits Lounge, 2008

It seems at least once every year I write a sentimental, but hopefully, also, profound piece on my experience coming-of-age, as it were, along with the Detroit music "scene." Call it a community. Call it an ecosystem. Call it what you will. To me, at least for 15 years, now, it's been my life.

Late this last summer, we marked the 20th anniversary of the first White Stripes performance. They have, and remain, the cornerstone, the alpha+omega, the linchpin, the offsetting moment, a quasi Big Bang, as it were for Detroit's contemporary rock music scene. Even though we could, obviously, look back further and pay homage to several inspiring and dynamic moments in Detroit music: Motown, MC5, birth of Techno, Gories, Hentchmen.... etc. Nevertheless, it was the distortion heard round the world (even if a limited few, a couple dozen or more, were actually there, in the Gold Dollar, to see those first White Stripes shows).

I started thinking about it, and wanted to celebrate 20 years of music made in Detroit...

But starting in 1998... That's when The Hentchmen put together Hentch-Fourth, Italy Records really got into its groove(s), the Dirtbombs released Horn Dog Fest, Soledad Brothers put out "Johnny's Death Letter" (which featured White), The Witches put out their first full-length, Let's Go to the No-Go Zone, and the Detroit Cobras put out their first album, also: Mink Rat or Rabbit. 

So, while marking the White Stripes first show in 1997 is admittedly significant... I've always seen 1998 as the true tidal wave moment....

NOW...., I didn't start listening to these albums released by Detroit artists until pretty late in the year 2000. I didn't start regularly following them until 2002, when I was 18, and finally able to get into (or be sneaked into) all of the regular venues that were hopping at that time.  I'm not here to be authoritative or know-it-all-y.... I'm here to be a fan.

And as a fan - I've put together 4 volumes of music. They are, of course, as I've indicated, not aspiring to be comprehensive. But they are songs that I loved!

*Volumes 1 & 2 will collect music made by Detroit area artists between the decade of 1998-2008.
(Yes. I made some unconventional choices here and there).
*Volumes 3 & 4 will collect music made by Detroit area artists between the decade of 2009-2017.
*And while I have dropped lots of names of rock musicians, I did include hip-hop, some electro, some indie-pop and more....
*One last thing: I was, of course, a bit limited based on what was available on Spotify at this time. I'd love to find some really old Sights stuff, or maybe a couple other Witches records, but that's an editorial aside...

It's nothing more than a love letter. Or an anniversary present?
But it is my showing of reverence for how much rock history has already occurred just in my short time, relatively speaking, of covering it. I've tried to write about as much Detroit music as I physically was able to... And I've never not been busy.

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