I will not be reviewing any of the shows that I post on this website because I've never been good at analyzing beyond a simple "I like it" or "it's not my thing". All I ever really ask of music is that it brings something to the table. I'll leave the critiquing and dissection to others that are better at it than I.

Thanks always to the bands/artists for the great music and for allowing me to do this.

Mason Proper – 2007-03-10

June 18th, 2007

The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI

It’s been a little while, but I’ve finally got up off my ass to get you all a new recording. This is from Mason Proper’s CD re-release show for There Is a Moth in Your Chest back in March. This was a great show, with The Dead Bodies joining Mason Proper and also celebrating the release of their CD, Mr. Spookhouse’s Pink House. Kicking the whole thing off was a raucous set by Great Lakes Myth Society. Both The Dead Bodies and GLMS were playing this show as a kickoff to heading down to South-by-Southwest, so there was a certain energy about the sets that spoke of the bands’ excitement about the coming week.

But it was Mason Proper’s night, and they made sure that everyone there knew it. Starting off with the disturbing but catchy song Friendship, the guys ripped through a manic, high-voltage set. Even though There Is a Moth in Your Chest was originally released a year ago, this new version has been re-mixed (that’s re-MIXED not remixed!) by John O’Mahoney and had a few tracks moved around. These changes result in a more complete “album” sound that the previous effort didn’t quite conjure.

Looking around for some stuff to plagiarize about this band, I’ve come to find that no one can listen to this album and come up with the same references, and to top it off most writers use completely different sounding acts to compare to individual songs on the album. The fact that this album comes off so cohesive-sounding is a testament to the fantastic craftsmanship wielded by these five Northern-Michigainers.

Coolest thing? They’re even better live!

Mason Proper – Official Page, MySpace Page
Next Performance – July 19, 2007 – Mercury Lounge, New York City, NY – 8:00 PM
Upcoming Major Coolness – September 14, 2007 – Monolith Festival, RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE, Morrison, CO
Download the show FLAC or MP3

A question…

June 10th, 2007

I’ve heard from a couple folks who’ve had trouble getting the FLAC codec to work on their computers, so I am putting the option out to the visitors to this site:  Would you like for me to  make high-quality MP3 versions of the downloads available?  The FLAC versions will stay, but if there’s enough requests I will also make an MP3 download available.

Now, personally, I don’t care for MP3s of live music – I think that a lot of the texture is lost in the compression.  But I’d be willing to provide some 256kBit files if it makes it easier for people to listen to these shows.

Please let me know!


Ryan Dillaha – 2007-05-25

June 10th, 2007

Bullfrog’s Bar & Grill, Redford, MI

Here’s another set from Ryan. This is from his residency at Bullfrog’s that runs every other Friday from 6PM to 9PM. Unfortunately, work made it so that I wasn’t able to get there until well into the show, but here’s about an hour’s worth.

I really do dig Ryan’s blue-collar, Jim Croce-meets-James Taylor style. For this particular set he invited his friend Rachel to join him for a few songs, and while she added some nice texture to some of the tunes, she seemed to be a little nervous up there. Still, it was good to hear Ryan do a longer set. He’s got a lot of good songs and he’s obviously writing from his heart. Try and make it out to one of his Bullfrog’s gigs. They’re free, Bullfrog’s serves good food and it’s just a nice way to start off a weekend.

Ryan Dillaha – MySpace Page
Next performance – June 22, 2007 – Bullfrog’s Bar and Grill, Redford, MI – 6:00 PM
Download the show: FLAC or MP3

Lager House, Detroit, MI

I’m really, really excited that the gents in Great Lakes Myth Society (GLMS) have allowed me to upload this recording as it’s easily one of my favorites. This was the first night in a while that the band had been together and they performed a very loose set with lots of joking amongst themselves in between songs. If you’re not familiar with GLMS, then you really need to come out of your cave – these guys aren’t just getting praise heaped upon them in our own local papers, but also in SPIN magazine and CMJ, on NPR and CNN, and even in a few European mags. This recording features four songs from their upcoming new release, Compass Rose Bouquet.

Speaking of the new CD, this Saturday night (June 9th) Great lakes Myth Society are having a release party for it at The Magic Stick in Detroit. This album is going to be on a lot of top ten lists come the end of the year, and I highly, highly recommend that you go out to this show and get your copy. American Mars and Chris Bathgate are opening, so make sure you get there early.

Great Lakes Myth Society – Official Site, MySpace Page
Next Performance – June 9, 2007 – Compass Rose Bouquet CD Release!, The Magic Stick, Detroit, MI – 10:30 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

Arbor Vitae Loft, Ann Arbor, MI

About a month ago I posted two sets from this Arbor Vitae show, Chris Bathgate and Saturday Looks Good To Me. Now I’m pleased to bring you a third performance – Drunken Barn Dance ( or DBD for short). I suppose that I had a soft spot for DBD from the first because he reminds me of two of my favorite singer-songwriters: Michael Penn and, especially, Freedy Johnston. This particular set starts out solo, but ends as a three-piece featuring Joe and Ryan of Canada. You should see more live dates popping up as the year goes on, and I highly recommend you get out there to some.

As a bonus, I’ve been allowed to include a recording from last year’s great Ypsi-Songs CD release party. The song, Circle the Wagons, has been retired, so here’s a rare chance for you to hear the live version of a sweet tune about Ypsilanti, Michigan’s venerable bar, The Elbow Room.

Drunken Barn Dance – MySpace Page
Next performance: June 25, 2007 – The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI – 9:00 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

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