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

Wildcatting – 2008-08-08

August 27th, 2008

The Pike Room, Pontiac, MI

Wildcatting has been known as a powerhouse live act ever since they started performing four years ago. Their sets tend to charge at you full throttle with little time for a breather, propelled along by the rhythm section of bassist Nick Jones and drummer Brandon Moss (ex-Bear vs. Shark). The angular guitars of Ben Audette and Scotty Iulianelli weave back and forth through the beat from syncopation to ambient texturalization, often taking songs through long, noisy build-ups that crash back to the original beat (sometimes multiple times in the course of the same song).

This show they were opening for the last performance of Detroit’s Ancourage at the Pike Room, probably the best sounding small-venue in the area. Most of the songs they played this night did not appear on last year’s How to Survive a Sneak Attack, so here’s a bit of a sneak preview of their upcoming second album. The set finished with a blistering 9-minute long version of the fan-favourite ‘Lipping’. Not only did they put on a great set, but after they finished they went and talked to Ann Arbor’s Aleph-1 in the Crofoot Ballroom and scheduled another set later that night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hang around for that one but I’m sure they killed once again.

In a not-to-be-missed performance, Wildcatting will be performing at the wonderful Park Bar on November 1st as part of a 40th Anniversary celebration of MC5’s seminal album Kick Out the Jams. Now get this – John Sinclair will be singing and reading poetry with the Detroit supergroup Pinkeye, Wildcatting is performing the entire Kick Out the Jams album and DUENDE! are releasing a CD. It promises to be one of those nights that people keep talking about for months after, so don’t miss out!


Wildcatting – MySpace Page
Next show: September 05, 2008 – The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI – 9:00 PM
Download the show: Download the show: FLAC or MP3

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Listen to “Muskratting” from this show.

Child Bite – 2008-04-12

July 25th, 2008

Fantastic Gusts of Blood CD Release Party – The Pike Room, Pontiac, MI

The guys in Child Bite know how to throw a party.

Although they have been playing songs from their latest album Fantastic Gusts of Blood for over a year now, the CD has just recently been released through the Suburban Sprawl label. Child Bite’s CD release show featured several people dressed in costume to represent the various creatures from the new CD, a hundred foam “#1” fingers, a raffle, and three hot new bands from Detroit and Cleveland.

I got there just into Detroit’s Blasé Splee – one of those bands that you have no problem telling people about how good they are, but have trouble when it comes to actually describing what they sound like. Their keyboard-and-guitar driven pop sometimes takes on a slight psychedelic edge and at other times teeters over the edge, but the sweet three-part harmonies always manage to hold it together. Their debut full-length should be available soon-ish.

Next up were Cleveland’s HotChaCha, a four-piece all-female band that reminded me a bit of Siouxsie and The Banshees or maybe The Long Blondes. Lead singer Jovana made several trips into the crowd, dancing and cavorting with members of the crowd, earning them several enthusiastic fans.

Third in the line-up was Friendly Foes, a side-project featuring Ryan Allen (Thunderbirds Are Now!), Lizzie Wittman (Kiddo) and Brad Elliott (Modernlull and many others). They’ve been receiving considerable notice for their radio-ready pop since their debut last year. Their debut full-length should also be completed sometime later this year.

Before Child Bite took the stage, Kaylan Mitchell (formerly of Canada) and Cassandra Verras (currently of The Silent Years) played a short instrumental intro, with the members of Child Bite joining them one by one before ripping into ‘The Rainbow Churn’. They continued to play all of the songs from the new album (although not in order) interspersed with the old favorites. While they played, the various characters from the album danced in the crowd and joined the band on-stage. At the end, Child Bite played an epic version of ‘Back to the Deep Egg’ as a large balloon “egg” was brought up as the stage was bathed in a green light, giving the whole a rather Lovecraftian vibe. The band brought the song down to a whisper as the crowd was prompted to sit on the floor, then brought it back up to a crescendo at the climax of which the balloon was popped and the show ended. The band, sweaty and smiling, stepped down to an exuberant crowd of friends, family and fans.


Child Bite – Official Site, MySpace Page
Next show – September 12, 2008 – The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI – 9:30 PM
Download the show: FLAC or MP3

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Listen to “I Like Friends” from this show.

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