Monday, June 29, 2009

June 29, 2009: Busy, Busy, Busy!

I'm not gonna lie. I'm not prepared for this week. I'm just now looking at the Cityfest schedule and trying to figure out what I can go see. I want to see the Electric Firebabies on Wednesday, but I can't. That means you should go for me. De La Soul and Magic Shop and the Henchmen are also playing Wednesday. I've heard good things about the Croff Family Band. They're playing Thursday while I'm still at go see them. I also see Charlie Slick on the Thursday bill, so get some glitter poured on your head.

Friday's a better day for me. I think I'm going to try to catch Marco Polio and the New Vaccines since it's kind of a crime that I haven't managed to do that yet. Childbite and Deastro will also be there Friday which is good for me. I should not pass up the chance to see Todd Rundgren either. Silverghost headlines the Pure Detroit Stage.

Saturday seems like the day to finally see Millions of Brazilians. I know, I know, this is another band that plays all the time that I've never actually witnessed. I'm going to remedy that. Lightning Love, The Veronicas and Doop and the Inside Outlaws also play Saturday.

All you need to know about Sunday is that Buddy Guy is playing.

Also, don't forget to look at the entry just below this one. Howard Hertz wants to tell you about the legal side of the music biz. For free at the Caroline Kennedy Branch of the Dearborn Heights. Call them at 313-791-3800 to reserve your seat.

What Else You Should See This Week

Tuesday 6/30/09 -- Black Moth Super Rainbow -- Deastro -- SikSik Nation @Magic Stick (Detroit)

Thursday 7/2/09 -- Christine Hoberg -- Slow Giant -- The Juliets @Trowbridge House of Coffee (Hamtramck)

Thursday 7/2/09 -- White Rabbits -- The Subjects -- Zoos of Berlin @Pike Room (Pontiac)

Sunday 7/5/09 (JRC's Birthday)-- Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr -- City Center @Garden Bowl (Detroit)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Go Learn You Some Things

The coolest thing happened to me yesterday. I was sitting in my office when a call came through for me. This is a fairly rare occurrence, so I was pretty curious. A really awesome woman named Mary from the Caroline Kennedy Library in Dearborn Heights was on the other end. She told me about this great event they're having at their library. Howard Hertz, big-time entertainment lawyer (who has represented Jack White, Eminem, The Go, Elmore Leonard and more) is going to be giving a talk about the business on July 21 at the Caroline Kennedy Library. This is an excellent opportunity for musicians who are interested in getting a contract or just seeing how the legal side of the music business works. Plus, FREE!

Mary told me that if you'd like to go, you should give the library a call at 313-791-3800 to reserve your seat.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 23, 2009: Odds and Ends + Moondagger

First of all, I want to thank John and The Loving Touch for making the MI Music and Merch Swap happen. I talked to a ton of people, gave out a bunch of buttons, and scored over a dozen CDs for the Local Music Collection. Thank you generous bands and labels for your donations. The new CDs should be in the collection in the next couple of weeks!

There also seems to be a fair amount of interest in library shows. We do have a small (40-50 people capacity) and a 80-watt, 4 line PA system that worked quite well for the bands during our open house. There are still some logistical and staff related things to work out , but I am really eager for this to happen, so keep checking back here for news regarding being loud in the library! Of course, if you are interested in playing a show at the library, please drop me a line:

It's no secret that I love Deastro. I know, me and like everyone else on the planet. I'm edgy like that. There's just something about the band and it's front-man, Randy Chabot that make you want to declare your love, especially to people who've never heard the shimmering synth landscapes they create. Actually, it's not just "something". It's Randy's good nature and special view of the world. It makes you want to help him out and spread the gospel.

Moondagger is Deastro's first studio-recorded full-length release. People have been waiting for this thing for awhile, and it's worth it. The addition of a full band (Deastro began as a one-man band which I will admit was astonishing to see. There's nothing as great as seeing Chabot play a drum kit, sing and control his pre-recorded tracks while trying to keep his glasses on his face), fills out the sound and takes the music beyond just synth pop.

One of the most interesting things about this album for me on a personal level is that it makes me feel nostalgic. Yes, there's the recollection of seeing these songs performed live but I don't think that's what's happening. There's a twinge of melancholia in these tracks, a longing for things to be more innocent that strikes a chord with me. I think it also makes me think of a time when I held stronger beliefs about the way that the world should work, something that, thankfully, it seems Chabot still does.

Speaking of which, the reason that "Toxic Crusaders" is my favorite track is this line: "Even the darkest sin has the taste of regret/We can't be all that bad if we wish we were different". Gives me chills almost every time I hear it, because it's just so damn hopeful, but not in a silly Pollyanna way. A close second is "Greens, Grays and Nordics" a fast-moving track that makes you want to jump around with a hundred of your closest friends. Another of my favorite lyrics "I got a boombox playing backwards hallelujahs" gives me such a fantastic mental image that I can't help but smile.

The album hangs together very well, with a unifying sound around which Deastro explores themes and variations. Chabot's voice, while slightly downplayed (my only complaint) is always spot on whether it be in his surprisingly low range or almost child-like higher register. The upbeat, electronic (at times bringing to mind 90s video game themes) sound will bring you to this album, but it's the layers of sound, fanciful imagery and deeper themes that will keep you coming back.

You can find Moondagger in the Library's collection under CD-1528.

Do yourself a favor and see Deastro live. Bring your dancing shoes.

June 30 2009 with Black Moth Super Rainbow and Sik Sik Nation @The Magic Stick (Detroit)

July 3 2009 @City Fest 8:30P

What to see this week

Tuesday 6/23/09 -- Ty Segall (Goner Records) -- The Frustrations -- Johnny Ill Band -- The Moonhearts @The Lager House

Wednesday 6/24/09 -- SikSik Nation -- Ha Ha Tonka -- Via Audio @Smalls (Hamtramck)

Wednesday 6/24/09 -- The Decks -- The Valley Ghosts -- God and the Architects -- Goodnight House @The Blind Pig (Ann Arbor)

Friday 6/26/09 -- Blasé Splee -- Old Empire -- The Wednesdees @Belmont (Hamtramck)

Friday 6/26/09 -- JSB Squad -- Satin Peaches -- The Lovehandlers @The Lager House (Detroit)

Friday 6/26/09 -- The Sea and Cake -- Childbite @The Blind Pig (Ann Arbor)

Saturday 6/27/09 -- The Gories -- The Oblivians @Majestic (Detroit)

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19, 2009: Insert Witty Musical Allusion

One more shot. If you want to see what local record labels have to offer, please be at the Loving Touch tomorrow between 12 and 5. Lots of great stuff to be had, plus being in this space is a treat unto itself. I'll be there giving away buttons and stickers which were crafted with my blood sweat, and tears. And a bit of the skin of my fingers and sanity. I'll also be doing what a library employee does best: drinking giving out information.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15, 2009: Is This It?

Also please note the added Black Jake and the Carnies shows on the schedule!

Fair warning: This is going to be short. I left my camera at home, and therefore cannot upload the pictures I took on Saturday. So I'll plug the MI Music and Merch Swap instead!

Look, I think this is a brilliant idea. Getting all of these labels in one place seems like the perfect opportunity for fans to get a look at the best offerings all at once. And for the labels, it's a chance for everyone to talk. For me, the obvious "one of these things is not like the other" person, it's a chance for me to tell people about the local music collection and make some contacts. Not to mention scoring CDs for the library!

So, this Saturday, get your butt down to the Loving Touch, buy some records, schmooze and stop by my table for a button!

What You Should See This Week

Monday 6/15/09 – Metric @St Andrews (Detroit)

Tuesday 6/16/09 - Black Jake and the Carnies (Top of the Park Summer Festival) Ann Arbor

Tuesday 6/16/09 – Jaguar Love – Silverghost – Wildcatting @Magic Stick (Detroit)

Tuesday 6/16/09 – The Rosewood Thieves – Blase Splee – Wild Years @Lager House (Detroit)

Thursday 6/18/09 – Prints – Big Mess – Computer Perfection @Belmont (Hamtramck)

Thursday 6/18/09 – Kelly Jean Caldwell – Body Holographic – Secret Twins @Lager House (Detroit)

Friday 6/19/09 – The Backoff – Spitting Nickels – Vox Maui @Cadieux Cafe (Detroit)

Saturday 6/20/09 – Prime Ministers (CD Release) – Speedy Greasy – Darling Imperial @Pike Room (Pontiac)

Saturday 6/20/09 – Detroit Cobras – Dex Romweber @Magic Stick (Detroit)

Saturday 6/20/09 - Black Jake and the Carnies @Trinity House Theatre (Livonia)

Monday, June 8, 2009

June 8, 2009: Picspam!

First I want to tell you how awesome the Open House was last Thursday. The place was crawling with people. New and old friends wandered around the library talking to all of us. It felt really good. The crowds for the bands were substantial and appreciative. Thanks again to the Motor City Midwives and High-Speed Dubbing for being a part of the library's little experiment.

If you have a band, dear reader, or know someone that does who would be interested in playing at the library please leave me a comment or email me at We'd really love to make music in the library a regular occurrence.

Here are some pictures of the bands from Thursday (there's more up on the library's Facebook group):

The Motor City Midwives

High-Speed Dubbing

On Friday, I went to the Quadruple CD Release Party known as Prom at the Crofoot Ballroom. It was a blast. Dancing on stage, catching weird dolls and just letting Deastro's amazing tunes wash over me was the perfect way to start the weekend.

Here are some pictures:

What to see this weekend

Tuesday 6/9/09 - The Pizazz - The Black Hollies - The Dial Tones @Painted Lady (Hamtramck)

Tuesday 6/9/09 - Pink Mountaintops - Quest For Fire - Kelly Jean Caldwell @Pike Room (Pontiac)

Thursday 6/11/09 - Aran Ruth - City Center - Mary Alice's Menagerie - Bedouins @Lager House (Detroit)

Thursday 6/11/09 - The Joiners - Jim Roll - National Ghost @Blind Pig (Ann Arbor)

Thursday 6/11/09 - Magic Shop - Javelins - The Word Play @Berkley Front (Berkley)

Friday 6/12/09 - Tyvek @Jumbo's (Detroit)

Saturday 6/13/09 - Child Bite (CD Release) - This Moment In Black History @Lager House (Detroit)

Saturday 6/13/09 - Matt Jones - The Flotation Walls - Lightning Love @Elbow Room (Ypsi)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 3, 2009: Four minutes!

Four minutes from now...will be the day of the library's open house. Can you tell I'm nervous? Please come to it! I'm not reminding anymore, I'm begging. I want this thing to be a success so badly I can taste it. We got an 80-watt PA system today that should make things fabulous for our bands. And we'll have it for any other shows we might decide to have.

Please take a look at the newly updated local music list up there in the right corner. Also, if you're interested in receiving a monthly email about what's new in the library's music collection, put your email and name in the form down there on the right.

So, I guess that's it. Stop in, have some delicious canapes from Christine's Cuisine, listen to High-Speed Dubbing and the Motor City Midwives and visit us at our information stations tomorrow night from 7-9 PM!


Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009: Fields of Industry

Before I get down to my review, I just want to annoy remind you once again about the library's open house celebration on Thursday, June 4th. It will be at our temporary location (642 E. Nine Mile Road) and it starts at 7 PM. The Motor City Midwives and High Speed Dubbing will be playing in our meeting room. I'd really like to see live music here (and in our renovated building in the future) on a regular basis, so if you would like to see that too, please support our first attempt!

Fields of Industry - Two Dogs, A Television

This has been my favorite thing to listen to on the bus for awhile now. I can either focus on the delicate melodies and thoughtful lyrics or I can let the whole thing just wash over me and shield me from the hub-bub and racket that is riding a bus in Metro Detroit. Either way, Two Dogs, A Television makes me a calmer creature.

Fields of Industry is the creation of Joshua Barton, who began the project in his basement in 1999. His soft but strong voice is a perfect fit for his contemplative lyrics. Surround that voice with guitars that are practically
bells and perfectly placed tambourines and you've got some of the best ambient music I've ever heard.

My favorite track is "Fiction Writer". Barton only needs to chant "I'm the fiction writer" a few times before you begin to conjure up an image of some sort of super hero. The kind who can conjure up lies that everyone, including himself believe wholeheartedly. Here the ringing guitars and minimalist percussion spiral into a crescendo that falls quicker than it rose. It's a beautiful effect.

Another favorite of mine is "I'm Not Afraid of a Fight". Decidedly rockier than "Fiction Writer" this song literally jangles. I'm not sure I've ever heard a more effective use of a tambourine throughout a song. The guitar loses some of it's sheen, and that's a good thing for this song. They whine and reverb enough to rock things up.

Whether you're listening to every delicate detail, or you need a soothing balm, Two Dogs, A Television is a perfect choice.

Two Dogs, A Television is CD-1411 in the library's CD collection.

Visit Fields of Industry at their website:
Their Myspace:

Have a listen of their album @

And take a look at the music video for "Point of Contention"

What to see this week

Monday 6/1/09 -- Elle and the Fonts -- Wally J @Small's (Hamtramck)

Monday 6/1/09 --The Valley Ghosts -- The Decks -- The Vezinas @Lager House (Detroit)

Tuesday 6/2/09 -- Gogol Bordello -- Man Man @Royal Oak Music Theatre

Thursday 6/4/09 -- High Speed Dubbing -- Motor City Midwives @Ferndale Public Library

Thursday 6/4/09 -- The Sisters Lucas -- Heroes & Villains -- Rabid Eye -- The Arch Mystics @Lager House (Detroit)

Friday 6/5/09 -- Troy Gregory -- Spitting Nickels -- Citizen Smile -- F-Bombs @Small's (Hamtramck)

Friday 6/5/09 -- Deastro -- Silent Years -- Manna & Quail -- The Summer Pledge -- Bars of Gold @Crofoot (Pontiac)

Friday 6/5/09 --Elvis Hitler -- The Johnny Ill Band @Lager House (Detroit)

Saturday 6/6/09 --Champions of Breakfast -- Wally Dogger @Elbow Room (Ypsilanti)

Saturday 6/6/09 -- Joe Lally -- Glorytellers -- Allan James & The Coldwave @Pike Room (Pontiac)

Saturday 6/6/09 -- Millions of Brazilians -- New Grenada -- Love Meets Lust -- Noman @Belmont (Hamtramck)

Saturday 6/6/09 -- Blase Splee (CD Release) -- Sh! The Octopus -- Macrame Tiger @Smalls (Hamtramck)