Sunday, December 10, 2017

Listening Back on 20 Years of Detroit Music (pt 3 of 4) 2008-2017

I feel caught between "waves" sometimes... Not that we have to be so insistent upon distinguishing one's journey through a music scene's evolution with categories... I'd rather not. But STILL:

To arrive on this music scene as an 18 year old in 2002 was pretty invigorating, because the tidal wave of "garage rock" music hadn't yet receded from the shore of venues and was still considered the primary species of the region's musical output... Parts one and two of this series did bring some focus to what else was going on around that era of 98-2007, primarily the rise of hip-hop emcees like Danny Brown, Invincible, Black Milk, and techno artists like ADULT.

But now, I'm looking beyond 2007...
I'm listening back to the most recent decade of Detroit music, the one that's just concluding this month.

And while I can still access the exhilaration I felt to see and meet and write about bands like The Dirtbombs and The Hentchmen in 2006 and 2007, I felt something even deeper or more profound with bands like Prussia, Illy Mack, Lightning Love, Black Lodge, Duende, Carjack, Wildcatting, The Oscillating Fan Club, Child Bite.... I could go on! The Decks! Mick Bassett & The Marthas!!   Anyway..... It was the next wave. It was the wave that I fit more into, age-wise, I suppose... And, as I emphasize, I hate to make this a generation thing... But the garage rockers I first encountered were all 9-11 years older than me when I got into this scene. So, suddenly, my classmates are stepping up and making their way into the scene in venues like The CAID (before it was raided), Club Bart's (before it was closed), and The Belmont (before it became Oloman's). And I wouldn't simplify it into this next decade's batch of bands somehow speaking my language more comprehensively.

I think it was more so that these bands, just like me, had also comparatively grown up as 17 and 18 year olds while The White Stripes or Danny Brown or Shigeto or whoever were right here in town, and that the respective creative radiances of those local icons similarly inspired them in their own ways - which was then translated into their own songs. And I fed off of that!

Sometimes I feel a surreal and conflicted self-consciousness over sounding like an old man who extols to the newest bands that I meet:  "If you only could have seen Prussia, live!!"  Or, Black Lodge, for that matter.  There are bands from this era that only put out one album, maybe two albums, and only stayed together for three years, maybe four....that I will never forget And it's a testament not only to the sentimental reasons I elucidated above, but because I believe that we were each similarly ignited with the same strain of inspiration.

Because it was after the "moment" between '98-2002 when people were looking to sign the next big thing out of this city's garage crop... Hell, it was even after 2005 or 2006 when you really saw the music industry start to crumble!! It was like the junior hockey team showing up for practice at the ice rink and realizing it had melted away... All that was left were the boards and stanchions and goalie nets, but a big rink of a 3-inch pond that they had to splash into now... So it was that these bands had no pressure to impress, or to cater their songs to some formula in hopes of punching some label's golden ticket to fame. The only fame was for the 31 minutes they were on a very dimly lit stage on a Friday night in front of a crowd of 32 people...

So, what I have here, are mostly songs from 2008-2013. Some are quite new, though. It was, as I've said, tricky to keep these lists balanced and comprehensive, because I am hindering my completion of it by relying upon "what's on Spotify..."
Anyway: I have too many memories to share. So here's their music

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