Posted by: Ryan Allen on August 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm

After taking a hiatus in 2007, the annual Detroit Summer Smash is back in action this weekend. Starting tonight, and lasting through Saturday, the Detroit Summer Smash features the hottest of the hot-shit locals — from rockers like Silverghost and the High Strung, to more eclectic fair from the likes of Prussia and Goudron — as well as the genuinely fun atmosphere that local music festivals tend to come jam-packed with.

Like other Summer Smashes in the past, the money raised at the even will go to a charity. This year, festival organizers are devoting all funds raised to a grant devoted to Detroit music and performance arts. The topic has caused a bit of debate on some of the local blogs, but still, local musicians are encouraged to apply for the grant money, which is designated to help pay for pesky expenses like touring, recording, and new equipment. Despite how you may feel about the charity, one thing is for sure: all the bands playing Summer Smash 2008 are great, and seeing them play alone will be well worth your money.

Speaking of which: The whole festival costs $16 for a weekend pass, $8 for the single Friday and Saturday shows, and a measly $5 for Thursday night’s show. It’s going down August 21-23 at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, located at 5141 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit, MI.

Peep the schedule, and get ready for another weekend of rock and roll fun in the D. — Ryan Allen

Thursday August 21st
9pm- Bird Gang
10pm- 4 Hour Friends
11pm- Friendly Foes

Friday August 22nd
9pm- Sons of the Gun
10pm- Hotness
11pm- Beggars
12am- Oblisk
12:30am- DJ Afterglow

Saturday August 23rd
2pm- Whistling School for Boys
3pm – OHTIS
4pm- Elle & The Fonts
5pm- Always 17
6pm- dinner break!!!
7pm- Prussia
8pm- Electric Fire Babies
9pm- Goudron
10pm- Dead Bodies
11pm- The High Strung
12am- Silverghost
12:30am- dancing sounds by Dave Shettler and Scott Zacharis!

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on August 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Prussia, Dear Emily, Best Wishes, Molly (Common Cloud Records, 2008)

MP3: “Supreme Being”

Lots of indie bands, local and abroad, are content rehashing musics that are barely as old as the iPhones that take up room in the back-pocket of their skinny jeans. And it can be maddening, when a band like Robbers on High Street, a virtual facsimile of Spoon, are allowed to make records, go on tour, and get national press attention on the strength of their lack of original ideas. And don’t get us started on all those newfangled emo baby boy-bands whose record collection doesn’t go past Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity.

Thank God, then, for Detroit’s very own Prussia — a welcome breath of fresh air amongst a collection of boring, same-sounding bands content with ripping one another off. Much like the like-minded Grizzly Bear, Prussia too are interested in letting a handful of their songs slowly unfold through heaps and heaps of punctuated reverb. But whereas Ed Droste and company are becoming, with each new song debuted on late night television, expert pop practitioners, Prussia are the the kind of indie/hippie kids who would much rather stay up late exploring old reggae, dub, Motown, doo-wop, and psychedelic records, than writing hits and/or watching Letterman shoot the shit with Paul Shaffer.

And it looks like all that time skipping Top 10 Lists and cheesy guests to indulge in some kind smoke and a few Dobby Dobson records must have paid off for Prussia. Their wonderful debut full-length effort, Dear Emily, Best Wishes, Molly, is an album immersed in the obscure and weird sounds of the past, but played out in a familiar way that would suggest Prussia have a tight grasp on what makes for great, strange pop music. Whether they’re messing about with funky samples (“Oil”), replacing hi-hats with sleigh bells (“I Misbehave”), getting their calypso on (“Great Lakes”), or spazzing out like the Ramones covering Herman’s Hermits at a bizarro sock hop (“Supreme Being”), Prussia are consistently full of surprises — and even more importantly, original thoughts and ideas. True, like the stranger works of the Beach Boys, the Velvet Underground, and Animal Collective (bands who Prussia will no doubt get compared to), Dear Emily, Best Wishes, Molly may not be for everybody. Some might be annoyed by singer/guitarist Ryan Spencer’s screechy vocals, the album’s lack of full-on “rockers,” or the unpredictable twists and turns the band seem to take at the drop of a dime. But they didn’t make this record to impress Jay Leno. They made it for themselves and for their friends; themselves being rampant and excited music fans with mountains of ideas spilling out of their skinny asses, and their friends being the kind of supportive and open-minded types a band needs to stay alive these days. So, if you’ve got a hankering for something new, constructed without pretense (hell, without a real drum set anywhere, from what we can tell), with one foot firmly planted in the past, and one outstretched towards the future, then we recommend Prussia’s Dear Emily…as the soundtrack to your next late night excursion. — Ryan Allen

Prussia’s CD Release Show w/ The Silent Years, Ohtis + The Oscillating Fan Club • 8/16 • The Arthur C. Rich Building

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 23, 2008 at 6:00 pm

We’ve already ranted and raved to you about how good our boys in Prussia are; how they’re, like, Detroit’s next big thing, and how they sound like the perfect soundtrack for a punk rock prom. The band just announced that Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 17, 2008 at 9:00 am

Rock City Mega Picture Post @ the Majestic Theatre Complex, Detroit, MI – 6/12/08 Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 13, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Pic By: Trever Long

Rock City Recap: Day 1

The opening night of Rock City went down with a gigantic bang, and if you weren’t there, then we’re going to assume that you somehow locked yourself in the bathroom getting ready for the big event. Lucky for you, we were there (well, we kinda had to be, right?), and despite a night spent having our brains zapped by some Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 9, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Remember those toy microphones that made your voice sound all haunting and reverberated? Well, imagine an entire band plugging in and playing Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons covers through one of those Read more

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