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

Drunken Barn Dance is Scott Sellwood, also of Saturday Looks Good to Me, often performing solo but occasionally joined by a group of fellow Michigan musicians. The first time I saw Scott back in 2006, I was immediately drawn to his directly honest songwriting that clearly paints the people, places and events of his life, warts and all. The songs generally bear a strong influence from lo-fi indie acts like The Mountain Goats (who he covers twice here) and Guided by Voices, with a folk tinge. In the past I waited for Scott to let me know which recordings he was okay with being released to the wild, but this time when I talked to Scott he told me to go ahead and put up what I liked. Here to make him question that decision are my two three four favorite recordings from Drunken Barn Dance, each one displaying a slightly different facet of his live performances. All of them were recorded at Ypsilanti’s popular Elbow Room.

2007-06-25 – Drunken Barn Dance, Frontier Ruckus, Fred Thomas & Palomar

I really like how this one came out, with Scott played solo acoustic guitar this night. Songs include the debut of “Promises End”, which appeared a year later on the limited The First State, Non-Tour EP., as well as two other songs. The set finished with a suitably noisy version of The Mountain Goats’ “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton”.

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Listen to “Third Wheel’s a Charm” from this show.

2008-01-04 – Cheap Girls, A Light in August, Drunken Barn Dance & Matt Jones

Scott’s playing solo again but this time on electric guitar, which was a good thing due to the loud crowd. Notable this night are two fantastic covers, an a cappella version of Liz Phair’s “Perfect World” and The Beatles’ ‘Dig a Pony’, plus an early (first?) performance of “Guilt”.

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Listen to “Perfect World” from this show.

2008-02-01 – Brown Bird & Annie Palmer, That’s Him! That’s The Guy!, Matt Jones & Drunken Barn Dance

An early full-band gig, featuring Scott DeRoche (guitar), Joe Scott (bass), Greg McIntosh (banjo) and Ryan Howard (drums). I love the performances of “The Last Desperate Stand of the Last Fair Man” and “Leaving Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin…” here. Also, Joe Scott’s backing vocals fit in very well, especially on “Fireworks (Never Tell)”.

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Listen to “Fireworks (Never Tell)” from this show.

2008-10-04 – A Light in August, Drunken Barn Dance & September On

A full-band set again, This time with Scott DeRoche (guitar), Jim Roll (bass) and Ryan Howard (drums). The band are stretching their legs now and I especially like Scott DeRoche’s guitar work here. Another Mountain Goats cover tonight, “International Small Arms Traffic Blues”, as well as great versions of “The Guest List” and “You Left the Wrong Girl”.

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Listen to “Evelyn Wears a Tiara” from this show.


Drunken Barn Dance – MySpace Page
Next show – 2008-12-09 – The Pike Room, Pontiac, MI – 8:00 PM
Make a note – 2008-12-26 through 28 – Mittenfest 2008, The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI
Download the shows:
2007-06-25 – FLAC or MP3
2008-01-04 – FLAC or MP3
2008-02-01 – FLAC or MP3
2008-10-04 – FLAC or MP3

Where the Heather Don’t Grow CD Release Party – The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI

I love seeing these guys, but sobriety never really seems to be an option at their shows.

Black Jake and The Carnies’ first album, Where the Heather Don’t Grow, had been brewing for a long time before being released upon the world this past spring. The release party was appropriately festive, complete with games and prizes. The band refers to their sound as “Crabgrass”, a unique blend of bluegrass, punk and americana that draws in fans from all across the spectrum – from skeptical hipsters to leather-clad bikers, middle-aged parents to teenage punks. This set here features five songs that didn’t appear on the new CD and their cover of Lita Ford’s 1988 hit ‘Kiss Me Deadly’.

Black Jake and The Carnies features Black Jake on banjo and vocals, Gus Wallace on fiddle, Zach Pollock playing mandolin, Joe Cooter on acoustic bass, B.P. Weatherwax on electric guitar Billy “The Kingpin” LaLonde beatin’ the skins & scrapin’ the washboard and Caleb Lee Johnson handling the various percussive and traditional Appalachian instruments as well as backing vocals. Besides the upcoming shows, listen for them tomorrow night on WCBN Ann Arbor’s Local Music Show (88.3 FM between 9PM and midnight) and September 12th on WDET’s Detroit Today (101.9 FM between 10AM and Noon – expect them to be on starting around 11:30).


Black Jake & The Carnies – Official Site, MySpace Page
Next show: August 23, 2008 – The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI – 9:00 PM
Download the show: FLAC or MP3

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Listen to “Happy Easter to Ya” from this show.

Cuckold – 2007-09-14

August 5th, 2008

The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI

Cuckold was a Detroit (well, North Corktown) band that played dirty, drunken rock and roll with a splash of swamp water, served up with a sneer that’d make Johnny Rotten cross the street. Guitar and vocals were handled by Mike Walker (Gravitar,Detroit City Council, Bogue), drums by Jake Wilson (Mule) and bass by Andrew Wainio. They released one digital single on the local Beehive Recording label, but split up this past spring when Mike moved to the Pacific Northwest.


Cuckold – MySpace Page
Next show: None
Download the show: Download the show: FLAC or MP3

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Listen to “Snow Cow” from this show.

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

UPDATES-A-GO-GO!

September 24th, 2007

It’s been a long time, but I’ve finally got some updates ready to go! First off, I apologize for the long delay in posting anything new. Hopefully I can make up for it over the next few days. Besides this update, I’ve got some Macpodz, Great Lakes Myth Society, Mason Proper, Deastro and more! Tonight, here’s a pair of fantastic shows from Ypsilanti’s Elbow Room.


The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI – August 31, 2007

Bone Orchard Revival – MySpace page
Next Performance – September 26, 2007 – Royal Oak Music Theater, Royal Oak, MI – 7:00 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

Delta 88 – MySpace page
Next Performance – none listed
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

The New Green – MySpace page
Next Performance – October 18, 2007 – Corktown Tavern, Detroit, MI – 8:30 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

Black Jake and The Carnies – MySpace page
Next Performance – September 26, 2007 – Royal Oak Music Theater, Royal Oak, MI – 7:00 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3


The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI – September 01, 2007

The Ne’erdowells – MySpace page
Next Performance – none listed.
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

Big Brother – MySpace page
Next Performance – October 05, 2007 – YPSI-FEST – The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI – 9:00 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

Friends of Dennis Wilson – MySpace page
Next Performance – October 20, 2007 – ZOMBIE SHOWDOWN SWAPMEET – The Belmont, Hamtramck, MI – 8:00 PM
Download the show – FLAC or MP3

The Questions – MySpace page
Next Performance – October 13, 2007 – Mac’s Bar, Lansing, MI – 9:00 PM
NEW CD RELEASE!!! – October 20, 2007 – Theatre Bizarre, Detroit, MI – 10:00 PM
Recording removed by request.

P.S.: ELFest sets are finally done(!) and I will be getting addresses and mailing copies out starting this week.

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