Posted by: Ryan Allen on October 31, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Happy Halloween!

— The Detour Crew

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on October 30, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains, S/T (Saddle Creek Records, 2008)

MP3: “I Hate My Friends”

If somebody slipped us this new Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains album with a homemade cover on it saying “New Killers Album Inside!,” we’d probably totally believe it upon first listen to lead track “Love Can Be So Mean.” It’s all there: the synthy undertones, the double-time on the hi-hat drumming, the BIG TIME guitar riffs, the overwrought, dramatic singing. All that’s missing are some lines about Las Vegas casinos and a jacket with bird feathers on the lapel.

Thing is, we’ve heard some of the new Killers album. And, you know, it’s not that bad or whatever (although that “are we human, or are we dancers” line is pretty awful), but, it’s still the Killers: a band so un-punk and prissy that it’s almost impossible to Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on October 29, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Deerhunter, Mircocastle (Kranky Records, 2008)

MP3: “Nothing Ever Happened”

It’s bizarre to review an album that has been leaked for what seems like an eternity now, and one that has been available on iTunes, even, for at least a few months. But when you craft something as monumental and mesmerizing as Deerhunter‘s Microcastle, it’s hard to just ignore it as if it’s old news.

Certainly, by now, we’re all pretty familiar with Deerhunter’s story: Lead singer and resident minor-celebrity Bradford Cox is a lanky, humorous, effeminate, outspoken, blog-addicted, songwriting machine. Besides his well-received output with Deerhunter (including the much hyped Cryptograms and Fluorescent Grey EP), he has pumped out loads of stuff under his own Atlas Sound moniker, including the material released on last year’s Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, and the musical treats he consistently Read more

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Posted by: detourmag on October 28, 2008 at 10:52 am

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Posted by: Anthony Morrow on October 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm

29 Baltimore acts breezed into the MOCAD a couple of weeks ago and blew minds. The Baltimore Round Robin, a weirdo carnival of noise, punk and performance art, was by far one of the coolest, most unique events to hit Detroit in some time. We’re still having night terrors that feature Blue Leader driving us to school on that tour bus ala Freddy in Nightmare on Elm Street 2. Here’s a video snippet of the event complete with some background on the history of the tour from Wham City Godfather Dan Deacon. Check out those jam burgers whipped up by the hands of Ms. Jana Hunter. Yumsville.

Special thanks to Demonbabies for our badass intro and Beard of Bees for the use of “D.B. Cooper.”

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Posted by: detourmag on October 23, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Remember when everyone was ready to bury the Lager House? New ownership took over, ripped up the carpet, cleaned the bathrooms and everyone fucking freaked out. Rumors swirled that it would turn into a blues bar, a pay to play venue, etc. Bands bitched, bloggers stoked the fire and promoters talked shit from afar. Feels like a year ago. To commemorate a full year of putting up with the haters, PJ and his crew have put together a garage-soaked weekend of rawk. And you’re invited. Email: to get you and a friend on the guest list for both nights. First come, first served.

Friday’s Lineup: The Fondas (pictured), The Pizazz and The Dial Tones

Saturday’s Lineup: Cut In The Hill Gang (featuring Johnny Walker from The Soledad Brothers), The Muldoons, Danny Kroha and Dooley Wilson

For more info:

Posted by: Ryan Allen on October 23, 2008 at 10:00 am

Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl, 2008)

MP3: “Id Engager”

Kevin Barnes must be a terribly difficult man to love. He laid out his case with last year’s psych pop masterpiece Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, a record that explored an extraordinarily dark period in his life including nervous breakdowns, suicidal tendencies, chemical imbalance, freaking out after his daughter’s birth and a period of bleak self-isolation in Norway. With Skeletal Lamping, Barnes continues his confessional trend by attempting to let listeners into the darkest corners of his mind. The results are jarringly erratic, emotionally unbalanced and impossible to predict –- which is to say Skeletal Lamping could go by the alternate title, A Tour Through the Mind of a Sexually Deviant, Bi-Polar Individual: The Musical. Yes, it is a harder album to digest than Hissing Fauna, as each track morphs several times making them feel more like medleys than individual songs, but despite the emotional and musical roller coaster, the high points are brilliant and addictive. Skeletal Lamping occasionally veers into rehashed or less memorable musical territory, but like Waiting For Guffman‘s Mayor Welsch says about the weather in Blaine, Missouri, just wait five minutes and it’ll change. And with the hard work Of Montreal put into Skeletal Lamping, they really have gotten it down to three or four minutes. So for a disturbingly revealing yet good time, crawl into the mind of Kevin Barnes — and make sure you bring some Zoloft along just in case things get too manic-depressive up in there. — Laura Witkowski

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on October 22, 2008 at 9:00 am

Things I did/saw at Monday night’s Elephant Six Holiday Surprise Tour:

• Waited in the rain, making my newly shorn haircut resemble that of Top Gun-era Tom Cruise, post flight simulation training.

• Saw Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum walk by me on the steps while waiting to get into the show. He was wearing a red flannel. I, freaking out inside my mind, turned to my wife and said, “Dude, I feel like I’m seeing Kurt Cobain right now” (and not because of the red flannel).

• Watched massively bearded Neutral Milk Hotel/Gerbils member Scott Spillane give my wife a Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on October 21, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Matt and Kim, “Daylight” (Green Label Sound, 2008)

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Matt and Kim here at Detour. Wasn’t it us that brought them to Detroit for the first time, and made all ya’ll dance your balls off to hits like “Yeah Yeah” and shit? Yeah, yeah — we thought so. Well, last week we gave you the track for their newest jam “Daylight,” so now it only makes sense that we hook you up with the video, too, right? Check it, as Matt and Kim jam in bed, in the back of a cab, and in a dumpster — which is probably a really tough show to get on the guestlist to. — Ryan Allen

Matt and Kim w/ Best Fwends • Magic Stick • 11/10

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on October 20, 2008 at 10:00 am

Crystal Stilts, Alight Of Night (Slumberland, 2008)

MP3: “SinKing”

In 08, “crystal” has become the new “wolf,” and we have proof: First we had electro-zombies Crystal Castles exploding all over the Internets, getting in all sorts of trouble on tour across the nation, and even accusing Timbaland of stealing one of their beats. Then PFork introduced us to Crystal Antlers, a rough and tumble rock outfit who deliver aggressive sounds akin to Shellac, Les Savy Fav, and the Jesus Lizard — and we must say, they’re pretty exciting.

Which brings us to the third band in the 2008 Crystal Trilogy: Crystal Stilts. Unlike the aforementioned bands, though, Crystal Stilts take a less modern, and much less aggro approach to their cloudy, moody rock songs. Swamped in murky reverb, and accented by vintage sounding Farfisa organ, cheap guitars, and bone-rattling tambourines, Crystal Stilts make a kind of psychedelic and stripped down doom rock that sounds like it could have come out of drug-infused late night sessions with Phil Spector, just as it could of come out of drug-infused late night sessions in the band’s own bedroom (peep “Spiral Transit” for proof, with a “Be My Baby” beat kicking things off nicely). Songs like “Crystal Stilts” and “Prismatic Room” give off the same mock turtleneck and sunglasses-at-night vibe as some of the best work by the Velvet Underground mixed in with the indie-pop quaintness of the Magnetic Fields. Elsewhere, on tracks like the mildly rocking and uptempo “SinKing” and the driving “Bright Night” the band manage to intermingle the sounds of newer acts like Vivian Girls, Aislers Set and the Shins with vintage Kinks, Rolling Stones, and even more tribal, stripped down garage bands like the Gories and the Troggs.

The question always comes, however, when you’re comparing bands to the Velvets, the Kinks, and giving them props for their Phil Spector-esque production techniques: What makes them different? What sets them apart from everybody else? In the case of the Crystal Stilts, the bizarre vocals of head mumbler Brad Hargett is a good place to start. His vocal style is all haunting and half-asleep, coming off like a strange brew of Ian Curtis’ howl (“Departure” may as well be called “Isolation”), Morrissey’s patented moan, Calvin Johnson’s effeminate baritone, and Jonathan Richman’s uncanny ability to not be able to sing, but still be totally awesome anyway. At once, it’s got all the qualities that could turn even the most adventurous listener off, and yet, simultaneously, it’s strangely lulling, inviting the curious to explore the vocal and instrumental combination that Crystal Stilts craft some more. The two can be a frustrating pairing — sometimes you just want to hear what these songs would sound like with a Jagger-esque dude at the mic who could actually sing in key. But that would make Crystal Stilts typical, and they are anything but. As you move through Alight Of Night, Hargett’s place in the ghosty, 60s garage-pop conjured by the rest of the band eventually becomes clear. Crystal clear, in fact. — Ryan Allen

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