Posted by: Ryan Allen + Laura Witkowski on March 10, 2009 at 10:19 am

800 Beloved, Bouquet (Moodgadget Records)

MP3: The Skeleton Collection

Uh oh. Looks like Detroit’s got its very own Joy Division. At least that’s what the uniformed will think when they hear the cold, slightly Goth-ish tones on 800 Beloved‘s icy Bouquet. While the monotone vocals, slashing guitar work, melodic bass-lines, apocalyptic synths, and dark tunnels 800 Beloved travel down certainly bring to mind Curtis & co. — and, to a much lesser extent, Interpol, for those without a decent record collection — what the band is really up to seems a lot more endearing. In all reality, Bouquet is a well-crafted continuation of a long-standing Mitten tradition of producing quality space-rock and shoegaze; one that started with groups like Majesty Crush, Windy and Carl, and Asha Vida (featuring a much-less pop inclined Casimer Pascal of Pas/Cal fame), and has continued to this day with sonic shredders like Dark Red (Rob from Paik) and the super-underrated Dykehouse (hell, we could even go out on a limb here and dub Javelins and Deastro branches on the Michigan-shoegaze family tree). So it’s with open arms that we welcome 800 Beloved to the fold. And how could we not, with certified New Romatic-era jams like “Show Me Evil” and “The Skeleton Collection” stuffed up their frilly sleeves? The band is slightly elusive (they hardly ever play around town), but fans of M83, Robert Smith-hair, and City Club will surely find something to adore about this collection. — RA


Julie Doiron, I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day (Jagjaguwar)

MP3: Consolation Prize

Julie Doiron’s work with 90’s Canadian favorite Eric’s Trip has certainly helped her build a consistent solo career. More or less until this point she’s delivered solid, but relatively quiet records that only hint at the lo-fi squall of those early Eric’s Trip days. Though the title sounds like a note your adorable stalker might leave inside a mix tape under your windshield wiper, I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day, also contains some of Doiron’s most fuzzed out and melodic material yet. Thickly distorted, yet melodically solid tracks are interspersed with introspective observations. Her most immediately catchy release yet. — LW


Elvis Perkins In Dearland, Elvis Perkins In Dearland (XL Recordings)

MP3: Shampoo

Elvis Perkins sound like the name of a Southern Rockabilly revivalist, but instead, he’s a revivalist of a different sort. For his second album, he’s now formed a complete band — and this additional trio of multi-instrumentalists bring something special to the music of the exceptional songwriter. With a sound reminiscent of classic Cat Stevens and Josh Ritter meets a New Orleans funeral band, Elvis Perkins In Dearland march through the streets in joyous defiance. Bursts of harmonium, trombone, banjo and clarinet punctuate clever and biting lyrics. Songs like “123 Goodbye” and “Hey” wouldn’t sound out of place a Wes Anderson film soundtrack. — LW


From Monument to Masses, On Little Known Frequencies (Dim Mak/Downtown)

MP3: The First Five

Instrumental music is always a hard sell — it’s not like Tortoise are packing out arenas these days, ya know? But, music without lyrics has quite the history. Ever hear of this dude Johann Sebastian Bach? Yeah, thought so. So, in the tradition of ol’ white-wig himself, we give you the occasionally cinematic soundscapes of the vocal-less Oakland trio From Monument to Masses. Combining the bass-heaviness of the aforementioned Tortoise, with the electro-rock of Minus the Bear, and the metallic shrapnel of, say, Mastodon (fun fact: producer Matt Bayles oversaw records by both the latter groups), FMTM often show up their instrumental peers by A) being not boring (unlike Godspeed You Black Emperor), and B) having a tasteful hip-hop influence (think Prefuse 73, not Diddy) featured throughout. It’s hardly a symphony, but this ain’t your older brothers math-rock either. — RA


Handsome Furs, Face Control (Sub Pop)

MP3: I’m Confused

Face Control will quickly become the “it” record for the ironic hipster set, so expect every person who sees gold lame’ stretch pants and rubber wading boots as essential wardrobe pieces to adore this record. But Handsome Furs bring just enough earnestness with their 80’s throwback synth sound to avoid being a flash-in-the-pan trendy favorite. Of course staying power is also improved when one half of your band is Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner. Along with his wife Alexei Perry, the two follow up 2007’s Plague Park with a fuller, more realized set of songs. Gets better with each listen. — LW


War Child presents Heroes (Astralwerks/War Child)

MP3: The Like, You Belong To Me (Elvis Costello)

Did the masterminds behind Urban Outfitters in-store playlists and SirusXMU get together and put together a comp? A quick scan of the artists that make up War Child‘s Heroes collection — the Kooks, Estelle, TV on the Radio, Lily Allen, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, etc. — and it would seem so. Indeed, you could hear any one of these middle-of-the-road alt.rock and pop pansys blasting over the loud speakers while you snatch up your newest pair of skinnies, but this time around, the kids are covering legendary tracks by the likes of the Ramones, Iggy Pop, U2, and the Kinks, amongst others. The catch? The roster was chosen by the legends themselves. The verdict? It’s pretty hit-and-miss, with nu-Winehouses Estelle and Duffy doing predictable “SNL”-esque big-band takes on Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. Elsewhere, the Hold Steady cover Bruce (shocker!), TV on the Radio do Bowie (no shit!), and the Like do Elvis Costello (actually awesome!). Nitpicking aside, it’s for a good cause (proceeds go to benefit children affected by war), so buy it for you dad and feel good about yourself. — RA


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Posted by: Ryan Allen on August 29, 2008 at 9:00 am

Sort of by accident, today has become “Power Pop Day” here at Detour. Now, we realize some of you might be muttering, “What the hell shit is power pop? Where is my latest link to the new hot shit Girl Talk remix?” To that we say, “Relax, future iTunes DJ! We’ll be back to regularly scheduled content next week.” Or, we could just not say anything at all, and link to the Wiki entry on the genre. We could also just tell you to go re-listen to all your New Pornographers records. Or, even better still, we could point ya’ll in the direction of to two lists featuring all your favorite indie rockers naming off their choice power pop jams, courtesy of Magnet Magazine (thanks bros!). Then you could easily do a search on your favorite torrent and grab whatever peaks your interest. Because quite honestly, it would take up way too much space to name bands, explain the genre, and go through some kind of long and involved oral history that has honestly been Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 6, 2008 at 1:00 pm

The M’s, Real Close Ones (Polyvinyl Records, 2008)

Listen: “Bros In Arms”

The M’s try and getcha from the get. Opening track “Big Sound” rages out of the speakers, oozing sex and glitter. It’s like an illicit glam party thrown by Mott the Hoople and Slade, where the punch is spiked with PCP and appetizers are meant for the nose, not the belly. Piano’s clonk, horns skronk, and the band does an Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 4, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Wings, “Let ‘Em In” (Wings Over the World Tour, 1975/1976)

Ol’ Macca finally pulled out the stops, playing the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” live for the first time. Good for him, good for Yoko, and good for the world, right? But what got us really pumped on Paul was when we were in that bathroom earlier today, and heard “Let ‘Em In” coming up through the tile floor, from the collision shop Read more

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