Manu Chao @ Saint Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI (6/19/07)

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Manu Chao and his band Radio Bemba Sound System are the only musicians in the entire world who have permission to perform while wearing shorts. Chao’s music is famous for its multilingualism and border-busting vitality – the influence of the Clash on his sound is as apparent as any of the languages he sings in, which includes French, Spanish, English, Arabic, Continue reading “Manu Chao @ Saint Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI (6/19/07)”

Fergie @ The Fillmore – Detroit, MI (6/11/07)

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In 2003, when Fergie climbed out of the lightweight teen pop tar pit to join Black Eyed Peas, she was exactly what will.i.am., apl.de.ap, and Taboo needed to conquer America suburbs-first. Not because she was a white girl, or because they needed another period, but because she was a chameleon. She was still Stacy Ferguson, ex-Wild Orchid, which had been Continue reading “Fergie @ The Fillmore – Detroit, MI (6/11/07)”

Fountains Of Wayne @ St. Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI (6/11/07)

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Fountains of Wayne were always a band for pop geeks. That brief bit of Pavement-aping with “Radiation Vibe” off the self-titled 1996 debut didn’t derail what was always Adam Schlesinger and Chris Colingwood’s intent – namely, to lovingly write their own versions of the pop ditties that had made them fall for music in the first place – and when they finally hit Continue reading “Fountains Of Wayne @ St. Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI (6/11/07)”

Great Lakes Myth Society @ The Magic Stick – Detroit, MI (6/6/07)

GLMSB.jpgMAGIC STICK, DETROIT – 6/6/07
We were standing on a beer-stink porch at South by Southwest, and Great Lakes Myth Society vocalist-guitarist James Christopher Monger was explaining how his stage suit was so crusted with sweat, it could have walked to Austin, Texas all by itself. He showed off the coat’s left elbow, ratted away and frayed, his white dress shirt bleeding through the dark Continue reading “Great Lakes Myth Society @ The Magic Stick – Detroit, MI (6/6/07)”

The National @ The Magic Stick – Detroit, MI (6/6/07)

TheNational.jpgWas it the Magic Stick’s recently upgraded sound system, a band-provided soundman, or a combination of intangibles? Unclear. But however it happened, the National sounded incredible at this show. It helps, of course, that they have actual songs. “Secret Meeting,” the kickoff to the band’s 2005 breakthrough Alligator, lost the acoustic ramble of its studio Continue reading “The National @ The Magic Stick – Detroit, MI (6/6/07)”

Dinosaur Jr. @ The Blind Pig – Ann Arbor, MI (6/3/07)

DinoJrB.jpgTHE BLIND PIG, ANN ARBOR – 6/3/07

It was a predictable crowd of white dudes in their 30s for the first of two Dinosaur Jr. shows at The Blind Pig, a storied but increasingly dive-y Ann Arbor venue that still considers the single trough in its scarred men’s restroom adequate. A muggy haze hung in the space between the club’s low ceiling and the heads of the capacity crowd, and it stunk a little, like Continue reading “Dinosaur Jr. @ The Blind Pig – Ann Arbor, MI (6/3/07)”

Movement ’07: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival

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“Dude, is that girl wearing Rip’s mask?” It was an honest question. We were crammed into a performance tent on the muggy final night of Movement, the Memorial Day weekend electronic music festival that since 2000 has schooled the nation, world, and the city’s own suburbs on just how to put one’s hands up for Detroit. Second-wave tech-house kingpin Continue reading “Movement ’07: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival”