Posted by: on March 11, 2009 at 10:41 am

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“We’ll come back through next tour, maybe things will be better then.” Sympathy is not something you hear often from a touring band, especially one playing to a dismal six paying audience members. Jordan Hell, synth monkey for DD/MM/YYYY, seems to understand the plight of Metro Detroit, and has high hopes that the shit turnout on a rainy Tuesday evening isn’t what Detroit holds for all touring bands these days. One can only hope that their show tonight at the Elbow Room with Child Bite has better things in store than the baker’s dozen that showed up at the Pike Room Tuesday night. This total includes the doorfella, bottle-getter, barwench, and 4 family members of the band. The shame of it all is that this was the loudest, most crisp, explosive set from a jam-punk band since Malajube in 2007. The show almost didn’t happen. Opener-turned-headliner Red China arrived late, and coupled with the piss-poor turnout, DD/MM/YYYY nearly got scratched. In true punk fashion, the quintent said “fuck that, we’ll play”. Three different band members proceeded to play the drums (one of which may or may not have been wearing green thermal PJ bottoms onstage, saggy crotch included), two played synth, and there was even a brief sax appearance. Black Square, the quintet’s latest release, dropped digitally in February, and will be available everywhere else this St. Patrick’s Day.

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Posted by: on March 8, 2009 at 5:57 pm

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What? I had some time to think about this year’s Blowout; it was 4am, and I was waiting for a ride. I figured my perspective is different on the event, nowadays, from my Chi City POV. But what I’ve always loved about it hasn’t changed. We had prime real estate just inside the doors at Belmont, and everyone who came through, it was like I knew them well. Or I did know them well. Or I knew them well by the end of the whiskey. Lightning Love had been hotly tipped, and I thought they delivered: lazer vizion keyboard melodies, pulsing on the top of something I couldn’t place over the hubbub. Hip-hop in my life, too, and Ryan Allen’s dad. And the Friendly Foes, who tore off a bit of 90s indie and fashioned it into a home run. The Belmont was my squad last night, that is until I got to a couch on which to crash, and the texts kept coming. Yeah, crack of dawn breakfast was magic, and I woke up on a different couch. Again. I never made it to the garage rock reunion at K of C but our photogs did; enjoy the pics.

Fall out.

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Pics: Trever Long

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Posted by: on March 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm

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Instant Facebook status update: crapstein, hungover face. Kelly Jean Caldwell was what I walked into first. Whoever put the red gels in had it right — girl was like a young Stevie Nicks under those lights, shambolic and strange, but confident. Have flute, will travel. I kept thinking a stoned, Northern California-stizz Jackson Browne was going to suddenly sit in. Side note from set: Greg Baise’s badass beard.

“This sound is ass, I’m going in the lounge.” That was me to El Jefe during The Uproars. And back over there it was still seventies. Alan Scheurman, like Animal Collective live from the Honky Chateau. And space rock, which to my (wasted) mind kept surfacing over the huddled crowd, during Scheurman and then Aran Ruth, who wore sparkling heels from another planet casually with the vest of a Huron tribe wisewoman. My vision blurred. Someone gave me a hug. The music rose. Was that a Wendigo in the shadows, or Waingro?

In the end, it was the Dirtbombs. The band were on some fury shit from my view at the side stage, through the haze of a thousand bingo games and Pall Malls. Bass line runs like battering rams, and Ben Blackwell’s beard. I was sated.

Our faith redeems us. Oh, and electric guitars.

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Pics: Trever Long

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Pics: Bianca Garza

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Posted by: on March 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm

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First thought: HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT’S NICE OUTSIDE.

Caught the last half of Fontana — one of those X! Records bands people on other blogs seem to really believe in. We believe, too. But we’re not sure Fontana’s puke-punk totally does it for us. Still, we were impressed with their dedication to angularity, and, well, the entire SST catalog. We were also impressed with the bassist’s boots.

Plain Dealers — no “the”, as they pleasantly informed us — were half stand-up comedy act, half 90s post-core assault machines. They had a song that brought to mind Blue Oyster Cult, mashed-up with the screaming hardcore of Swedish experi-metalists Refused. They played their asses off, despite all four band members being on the verge of a massive heart attack. Gotta love that. Oh, and the place was PACKED.

Hopped in the Acura and hoofed it over to the Knights of Columbus, and got the most amazing parking spot ever.

Walked in while Deastro and band were sprinkling their tight-as-fuck electro-pop over a healthy crowd of head-bobbers. Randy wanted more keyboards in the monitor, and we wanted more Deastro in the room (the sound at KofC was less than stellar). On the bright side (literally), Randy’s shirt looked like he swiped it from an LA Lakers cheerleader in 1985, and the drummer played sideways on the stage, which always looks cool.

Ducked into the lounge area to catch most of Zoos of Berlin, who have really come into their own these days. Smoove jazz-pop gems that just don’t quit. A band so classy, their mic stands had cup holders attached to them.

At one point, ran into the now-infamous Bryan Metro of Jesus Chainsaw Massacre, who was wearing a graduation gown, minus clothing underneath, Tommy Lee style. Found out some interesting things about the guy: A) his real name is is not Bryan B) his favorite movie is The Shining C) his knowledge of B-movie actress Shannon Whirry was impressive and D) he carries around bottles of beer in a backpack, and if you ask nice enough, he’ll totally let you have one.

Ended the night catching most of the Silent Years set, which would have been totally amazing if it were at the Crofoot Ballroom. The sound in KofC’s big room is just bananas, and we wish we could have heard more of the horn section they were touting on stage. Still, though, the band seemed like they put tons of work into the show, and Josh Epstein can sing like a motherfucker. He was also wearing a belt that was, we think, made out of a giant toy car. Another thing we noticed was that TSY are a band with FANS. Like, people sing along to their songs when they play, and want them to keep playing, even after they stop. It’s easy to look to them and think, “This is how it’s done.”

Last thought: Could somebody please buy Steve-O a fucking Segway? His feet hurt, and it’s only Thursday.

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Pics: Trever Long

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Posted by: on March 5, 2009 at 4:18 pm

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Child Bite will soon just be one big beard.

The Octopus look and sound fucking cooler than you, me or anyone we know.

Why is the top of the stairs at the Magic Stick everyone’s favorite place to stand and talk? 200 bodies huddled together, smoking, imbibing and yelling over the music like a herd of hipster Emperor penguins during a snowstorm.

Scarves and military caps are to today’s music scene what jean jackets and white belts were to the garage rock crew.

Sgt. Pepperoni should be demoted to the rank of Private. Not having pizzas ready at the end of the night forces people into awful, late night decisions. Like the decision to inhale three Chicken Ring Sandwiches, a ten piece Mozzarella Cheese Stick and a 32 oz. Orange Lavaburst at 2:45 a.m. Slid. Home. Pants. Foamed.

The new promotions honcho for Metro Times is mega cute; WAY better looking (and nicer) than the last jackass they had in there.

Loftus takes over with coverage from here through Saturday. He has now apparently swapped out his Steve-O mask for a Bill Holdship disguise, complete with Boy Howdy t-shirt and pull-out Ted Nugent poster from 1979.

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Posted by: on November 18, 2008 at 11:57 am


I ventured out to Pontiac last Thursday to see Deerhunter, whose newest release Microcastle is nothing short of amazing. First up was Disappears, who sounded like Ikara Colt if they were a shoegazer band. It was good, but slightly underwhelming. Hailing from the “blue state of Ohio,” Times New Viking took the stage by storm, reminding us that we were at a live show and that I should probably not fall asleep on my date. Although TNV’s albums are considered lo-fi, their set was anything but. I expected my eardrums to be pierced by feedback, but I was pleasantly disappointed. By the time Deerhunter got onstage, The Crofoot was packed. Bradford Cox noted that Michigan was up to this point, the best stop on their tour. I’m thinking he says that in every city. Cox asked people to throw things on stage at him, while the bass player humbly begged for a cigarette, and got one (and a hat!). Awesomeness.

– Elle Sawa

p.s. did anyone get pics of this show? send some our way…

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Posted by: on November 15, 2008 at 11:28 am

Monday night shows in the D are tough. Combine that with a shitty economy and chilly temps and you get a quarter-filled Stick regardless of a stellar lineup. Didn’t matter though; each act swung for the fences but we couldn’t help but wonder what this would’ve been like in the cozy confines of the Garden Bowl. The evening started out with Ann Arbor’s Charlie Slick and co. playing a glittery, confetti-filled set, warming up the crowd and perhaps pissing off the people at the Magic Stick who have to sweep after shows. Best Fwends left me talking with a bit of a speech impediment, not only because of their name but because I got smacked in the mouth with an inflatable gargoyle. They reminded me of Champions of Breakfast, minus the ridiculous Read more

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Posted by: on November 13, 2008 at 11:50 am

We made it out to Girl Talk on Tuesday but found ourselves having a sweaty make-out session with some chick from Waterford in the balcony through most of the set so we don’t really have a solid review of the show. But one dude did sent this in (he actually commented but did so on an earlier Girl Talk show review from last year). Sounds like he would’ve rather hung out with me and my gal in the balcony…

From “Matt”:

“This show sucked! Kidtronic sounded like a bunch of 15 year olds screaming into their dad’s microphone about being wasted and having fun. They sucked. The Death Set was the best act all night. Kinda a Sum 41 with an electronic back. This was the only band that had instruments. They were fast and keep my head moving. They were OK. Girl Talk sucked the worse. I barly recognized anything that was played. The genius of Greg’s style is the multiple samples that keeps you rattling off the original artist one after the other. That was absent all night. The set consist of “boom, boom, boom” for a minute long, one random sample, back to ‘Boom, Boom, Boom.’ He was completely unprepared and seemed totally lost all night. I was thoroghly disappointed.”

Were you there? Do you agree? Are you that chick from Waterford?

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Posted by: 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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