SEMI-Live!

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.
-Wayne

The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI

Leading off this Friday night was a set from Detroit’s latest sensation, Deastro. (That’s Deh-stroh, not Dee-astro. Seriously.) He played a great – albeit short – set of songs from his latest split release with… well… himself, The Young Planets / Time the Teenage Twister. He finished up the set with an early version of his song ‘Night Powered’ now available on the Deastro Powered EP, available for free download through his MySpace Page.

Next up was Frontier Ruckus, a four-to-six-but-I’ve-been-told-sometimes-more-piece group hailing from all around our state, but mainly residing in the Thumb. Playing a breed of traditional-style folk music with a pop sensibility, they have been gathering ever-more effusive praise since their 2006 debut EP, I Am the Water You Are Pumping. Musically haunting and lyrically expressive, Frontier Ruckus’ muse exists in the UP’s abandoned hunting cabins, the mid-winter snow skittering across frozen roads and the echoes of long abandoned factories.

Tonight’s headliners were Michigan favorites, Great Lakes Myth Society. The guys have been busy since the summer release of their second album Compass Rose Bouquet, but they made some time to stop in Ann Arbor before their annual fall run to the UP. The band pulled out a few surprises for this show, dusting off ‘Buffalo Nickel’, ‘The Northern Lights Over Atlanta, MI’ and ‘Cottonmouth’. The band has a couple more shows scheduled, then they’re going to take some time off before heading, once again, to SXSW. If you have the chance you should get out to one of them.


Deastro – MySpace Page
Next show (not counting New Year’s) – January 03, 2008 – DETOUR Magazine & Quack!Media Present “Cold Pork Thursdays” – The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI – 9:30 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

Frontier Ruckus – Official Site, MySpace Page
Next show – February 15, 2008 – Mac’s Bar, Lansing, MI – 9:00 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

Great Lakes Myth Society – Official Site, MySpace Page
Next show – December 26, 2007 – The Hard Lessons’ B&G Sides Volume 2 Release Party – St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit, MI – 8:00 PM
Other Coolness – January 17, 2008 – DETOUR Magazine & Quack!Media Present “Cold Pork Thursdays” – The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI – 9:30 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3


BONUS SHOW! – Great Lakes Myth Society – 2007-06-22 – The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI

Here’s a recording that I always keep in my car. When I have a frustrating day or just need a little cheering up, this is what I turn to. GLMS shows at The Elbow Room are always a little bit special, and this one’s no exception. This was the first area show since the release of their new album and Jamie Monger’s wife Tania joined them on violin. The overall feeling inside the packed bar was less that of a show and more like a gathering of friends. When I mentioned this show to Tim, he referred to it as “the drinking show”, which is about as apt as a description as I can think of. This night was a raucous one of camaraderie and high spirits and will always reside as one of my favorite memories of the past year.

Download the show – FLAC or MP3

The Macpodz – 2007-09-10

December 17th, 2007

Live at P.J.’s, Ann Arbor, MI

This was a completely unplanned recording. I was down the road at The Blind Pig checking out Lenka Dusilova (who was fantastic) and was informed that The Macpodz were playing at P.J.’s. I had been meaning to check them out, having heard a lot of great things about them, so once Lenka’s set wrapped up I headed out. I’d never been to P.J.’s before, but it’s a pretty nice place with an excellent sound system.

The Macpodz are a five-piece group that play a form of funk-jazz-rock fusion or, as they refer to it, “disco bebop”. Springing out of Ann Arbor in 2006 they have quickly made a name for themselves, backing the legendary John Sinclair and being invited to the 2007 Summer Camp festival in Chillicothe, IL (where trumpet player Ross Huff sat in with the band moe.) and the Hookahville Music Festival in Legends, OH.

This night the band seemed to be in fine form, flawlessly ripping through a set that included songs from their debut release, Genius Food for Super Heroes as well as several new tracks. The performance was capped off by an 11-minute jam that featured freestyle raps from three guys that were pretty damn good. I’m still kicking myself for not finding out who they were. Anyhow, this is an awesome set from one of the hottest bands in Ann Arbor. It’s guaranteed to make you groove.

Thanks to Steve “Z-Man” for inviting me to patch into his recording gear (he’s the reason this recording sounds so sweet) and to The Macpodz’s manager Matt “Tuna” for being an all-around cool guy. The two of them made an already great night just that much more enjoyable.


The Macpodz – Official Site, MySpace Page
Next show – December 20, 2007 – The Hard Rock Cafe, Detroit, MI – 9:30 PM FREE SHOW!
New Year’s Eve – December 31, 2007 – The Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH – 9:00 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

Since I suck and have a bunch of recordings backed up, I’m gonna see what I can do about getting them out. (Where have I heard that before?) My apologies to all the bands that have been waiting for their recordings to be posted.

2007-10-25 – The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI

This was a short, energetic set from a Thursday performance celebrating Todd Deatherage‘s birthday. The New Green play a musically intricate blend of folk, rock and pop that ranges from upbeat stompers to quiet, reflective ballads. To compare them with a band that no-one reading this post has heard of (oh, I’m so indie), The New Green reminds me a lot of DC-area favorites emmet swimming. This is some great stuff and all of you need to be checking this band out.

2007-11-24 – Leopold Bros., Ann Arbor, MI – Easily Made, Easily Broken CD Release Party

Celebrating the release of their long-coming debut CD, The New Green packed Leopold Bros. on this Saturday night. Playing before an enthusiastic crowd of friends and family, they performed 10 of the album’s 13 songs as well as a few unreleased crowd favorites and a couple new songs. This evening the band included Sam and Katie Cooper providing backing strings and Justin Walter on trumpet. Gareth Phillips also made a special appearance playing a Tibetan singing bowl for the song ‘Impeccable Women’.


The New Green – MySpace page
Next show – A Night to Re-Member – January 10, 2008 – The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI – 8:00 PM Buy tickets

2007-10-25 – FLAC or MP3
2007-11-24 – FLAC or MP3

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