Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SWF seeking blogger to stalk.

Just as I was writing about the Choose or Lose show at the Magic Stick, I decided to check my Google reader to make sure Deep Cutz hadn't posted something about it yet.

I am beginning to think Deep Cutz is going all SWF on me. Or I'm doing it to him and I didn't even realize it. Whatever the case is, I am going to the Magic Stick on October 9th, and you ought to come too. And if you don't go, I hope it's because you will be busy deciding that voting is actually important, and being apathetic towards the government is the easy way out. I mean, this IS sponsered by MTV (the same MTV that brings us "The Hills")... I don't remember the last "Choose or Lose" making an impact on the youth of America voting, but according to this document, 5 million more young adults voted in 2004 than in 2000. I remember hearing differently, though. I remember the news media barrading us for failing vote.

I am assuming all of "you" are over the age of 18. If you aren't, then October 9th is totally a school night and you really shouldn't be staying out that late just to see a few bands play. Kidding. It's an early show, doors at 8pm. And Locksley is playing. But, of course, you already knew that because you read the Deep Cutz blog as well.


Friday, September 26, 2008


If you don't feel like going to the Berkley front to see the Friendly Foes CD release show (and Art Fag spinning), then perhaps you should go to the Crofoot to see Tune Yards (ukelele!!!) with a Prussian dude spinning. I'm just sayin'. It'll be good for ya. Also, Tune Yards is from Canada. Montreal to be exact. That makes things even more good.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


If you don't have time to watch a 9 minute video, let me sum this up for you:
John McCain "suspended" his campaign because of the economic crisis, telling Lettermen he wouldn't make it to his show last night because he has to go to Washington to save the economy. About 7 minutes into the clip, you see McCain, who was supposed to be rushing to Washington to save the economy, getting prepped with makeup for an interview AT CBS STUDIOS with Katie Couric. Best part: Letterman ponders whether McCain's campaign was suspended due to the economy or because his numbers were slipping in the polls. Ouch.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Super Secret Surprise band is no longer a secret.

The Von Bondies are...

"We are playing a show Halloween night.
Yes Yes Yes
we know we know
we never play michigan, Blah Blah Blah
Well, hello we are playing:

October 31st
F-ing Halloween!!!
For only $5.... yes $5 and for that $5 you can get into the other show featuring The Javelins, Prussia and Wildcatting in the Pike Room.

And we only make one request, that you wear some god awful costume that makes you look amazingly bad/good/funny/dumb. Oh and no moustaches as neither Jason or Don can grow one.


PS we will have a new 7" at the show which we might be giving away to a few lucky punks"


Tell Yahoo! I'm already wearing purple undies.

I don't get it, Yahoo!

Would anyone like to explain this marketing campaign to me?

I will say this: any excuse to post videos with Eugene Hutz in them is a good excuse.

Samwiches. Don't kick them.

I saw an amazing group last night at the Pike Room. No, I am not talking about Champions of Breakfast (even though it was business as usual for them) or Gentlemen Auction House (holy crap, I was almost in tears over the talent this band possesses). I am talking about Yea Big + Kid Static. They are from Chicago, but that's close enough to Detroit for me.

Yea Big + Kid Static, AKA Stefen and Moses, have been making sweet, sweet music together for about 2 and half years. They found each other on the Internetz, through Craigslist. The messages in their music ranges from political to social commentary, to just plain hilarious. Ever heard of a dude named Mitch Hedberg? When Kid Static commands the mic between songs (and Yeah Big is queuing up the next one), he's delivering one-liners and stories that Hedberg fans would rejoice over. The stage banter between the two is equally as funny. They had some kickass dance moves, and people in the crowd were laughing (not really at them, but with them), thus prompting Kid Static to barrade us because, "We're trying to do something serious here, we have a real message, a serious message, and you are all just laughing?" Everyone stopped laughing. He started laughing. Then he gave us a nod like, "no, it's ok, I'm joking, we want you to have a good time," and we all started laughing (and dancing) again.

Just so you know, they will be at the Elbow Room tonight. PLEASE do yourself a favor and go see them.

By the way, Kid Static's favorite pizza is stuff spinach, and Yea Big's is deep-dish (not Chicago-style, just a really thick crust) with huge chunks of sausage.

I saw this on their Myspace. AHHH! I just can't love them anymore than I already do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I have nice hands, and no, you can't have them.

I sat down with Jonathan Visger, lead singer of Ann Arbor-based Mason Proper to discuss their new album, Olly Oxen Free, which is now out on Dovecote Records.

How do you think this album is different than the EP you released?

The EP was four songs that we kind of worked into our set to make it fresh for ourselves when touring for [There is a] Moth [in Your Chest], which is an old record for us. You know, we released it twice. Those songs were scatter shot, but people liked the songs. We didn’t want to put them on the new album. We wanted to make the album over the course of a small amount of time to give it a focus that you can’t get otherwise. Moth was written in two or three years, and then it was just choosing the songs, and it feels like that. It feels like we were into different things when we wrote different songs. I think the Shorthand EP sort of feels like that, kind of all over the place. With the new album, to my ears, it feels more cohesive. The arrangement style is pretty consistent from song to song. It really feels like an album, where as Moth sounded more like a singles band. ‘Oh, you don’t like this crazy, wild rocker? Well, here’s a slow ballad for you.’

I kind of liked that about Moth. It made it very interesting. What made you do four videos?

We just wanted to do something that was a little more interesting than, ‘OK, here’s four songs that, to our ears, didn’t go together that well. We had our friends, Hott Garbage, who I saw your interview with. Quite ridiculous, they are ridiculous people. Was that an e-mail interview?

It was.

I could tell they poured over their answers.

It took them a good two weeks to respond to my questions, yeah. I was, like, ‘Seriously? I asked you what kind of pizza you liked.’

But yeah, we knew them and they had always said they had wanted to do videos with us. They figured out how to manipulate a very, very, very small amount of money, like a ridiculously small amount of money to make four music videos and make them look pretty good. They worked their magic on that. They came with a lot of ideas, and then we collaborated from there. The execution was all up to them. But, yeah, we decided to do that because we like video in general. You can listen to a band, but until you see a reasonable amount of video of them… Like, the people on the west coast haven’t seen us, and if they listened to us, they would have no actual concept of us as a group of people. The example I like to use is the Pixies. I listened to the Pixies forever before I had any idea of what they looked like. And when I finally saw a video, it completely changed how I felt. All the songs sounded completely different, knowing it was coming from those people. It meant something different.

So true. It’s funny that you should bring up the Pixies. They woke me up this morning on my alarm clock.

That’s cool. Depending on the song. (laughter)

It was Gouge Away. That’s not so harsh. Do you have any favorite local bands?

I really like Javelins. I mean, there are always a lot of local bands that I like, but I don’t want to ramble off a huge list. I always liked the Mighty Narwhale. It’s always fun to see them. That’s a band that you can always count on to have a good time. I think the band Starling Electric is really impressive.

They did that whole re-releasing an old record like you guys did with Moth.

It almost seems like if you are from the Midwest, especially Michigan, if you get on a label, you are going to have to release a CD you’ve already released. No one is going to find you if you don’t release an album. It’s not going to have reached a lot of people because you are from the Midwest. I remember a similar thing happened with Tally Hall. It kind of sucks because we already went through all the hoopla, and literally, I think it was a year after, and we had to pretend that it didn’t happen before. Let’s get people to try to celebrate the same thing again.

Like a birthday party!


Let’s talk about the band history for a bit. It’s a little ambiguous. Your Wikipedia page is kind of vague. That’s where I get all my information for interviews.

Every time I make our Wikipedia accurate, someone goes in and makes it inaccurate. There are people who remember the previous groups we were in, and they go in there and put that it was an early version of Mason Proper, but those were completely different bands. The last time I changed something, someone wrote that we had had, like, fifty name changes. We have only had one name change, but people think that every band we’ve ever done was Mason Proper.

Where did you meet? Did you all live in Alpena?

Let me think about this… Four of the current members are from Alpena originally. Our bassist, Zac, we met when we were down here. We’ve been through several drummers. Out of four of five drummers, including our current one, were from Alpena. Our current drummer, Garrett, graduated from high school when we were losing a drummer again. His sense of humour is right. He fits.

Do you guys live together still?

No, we did for two years, but we have separate places now.

I think that would piss me off. Living with my bandmates.

It’s good when you are starting out. Even after the first six months, we were like, ‘hey, we are all getting along.’ It was clear that at least we were going down a path that, whether or not it was successful, we weren’t going to end up hating our friends. Starting a band together, on some level, is a business. At least an intense activity project. We’ve been lucky.

Speaking of Alpena, I looked that up online.

Yeah, it’s a pretty interesting place to talk about. Not at all.

It has the world’s largest cement plant.

That’s all it’s known for, yeah. It’s pretty up there, it’s on the water. The only good reason I could think of living there is for sailing. There is a bay. But you can do that in other places too.

Did you have any guest musicians on the album?

Yeah, we had a trumpet player. It was one of Zac’s friends. He’s from the Ann Arbor Dub Project. He basically plays his trumpet in an improvised kind of way, through delay effects. The trumpet is in three or four of them. One of the songs, I don’t know how it would have finished without it, because the entire end of the song is all about the trumpet. That’s the only guest musician.

Will Yates isn’t on the album?

No, he isn’t, believe it or not!

That’s crazy. I am going to get him to play on the rest of my albums.

He has the golden touch. Perfect pitch, I hear.

I did that photo comparison of you and Graham Coxon. Have you ever gotten that before?

No. My pet peeve, in the past, has been at shows when people would yell, “Rivers Cuomo!” somewhere from the audience. At first, I didn’t really care, but then it got old really quick.

I don’t think I’d be too pissed if someone compared me to Coxon. Wait, no, I would be. He’s a dude. I’m not.

After a while, what really bothered me was that during the Moth touring, people would say we sounded like Weezer on crack. They would only say it if they saw us live. So they were saying what we sounded like based on my glasses.

Sometimes, I get the Brit pop vibe from you guys.

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Blur is a huge influence on the band. The guitar style, mostly the stuff with Blur, not Coxon’s solo stuff.

I’m a huge Britpop nerd. I have also compared you to Jarvis Cocker in the past.

I didn’t get that too recently. I think it was from you actually.

What do you guys do besides music? Do you have any real people jobs?

I would say that no one really has a job that we aren’t interchangeable at. Like, ‘we could train any monkey to… take money from a cash register, or stack apples a certain way, or wrap cheese.

So you’ve wrapped cheese before?

No, not me personally. But all are examples of things currently being done by this band. It’s not like anyone’s doing anything really noteworthy, like making their money selling severed hands on eBay.

That’s creepy.

Yeah, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.

Well, you did have that song about the fingers (Friendship).

I have this thing about severed hands.

Oh god, I’m hiding mine.


That’s a creepy song, but I kind of like that it’s creepy.

Yeah, I like the sing-songy children’s melody with that.

What kind of pizza do you like?

At this point, in this past year this has been a development, my first choice on a pizza would be pineapple and pepperoni.

That seems to be a big trend right now.

I don’t know. There is something about it. That’s where it’s at.

What would you say your influences are?

I want to be honest. This is one where you can easily play cool cards, or you can be honest, or you can give away things and people will be like, ‘oh, you ripped that song off from that person!’

It doesn’t have to be music. It could be anything.

OK, well, then Edward Gorey is a big influence. He has a really good dark sense of humour that Matt (sound manipulator) and I really got into when we were making Moth, actually. A lot of that materialized on Moth. David Lynch, as well. If you think about the way his movies are, they will often times will give you a lot questions and not quite answer them all, but perhaps raises new questions. You are able to pull your own opinion from it, and that’s one of the approaches we take with the lyrics.

I don’t think I have any more questions for you.

Have you thought of anymore in the course of talking to me? I’ve always curious about that. You write out all these questions, and as they are answered, more questions come to mind?

Well, I think that’s the mark of a good journalist… If they can think of more questions. (oh snap!)

(more laughter)

From point A, to point B, to point C.

Oooohhhhh, Detour posted my review of Mason Proper's new album, which comes out TODAY! Actually, I didn't write that. Jonathan Visger wrote it. /joke.

Still to come:
---Interview with Visger.
---A very old interview with Champions of Breakfast that I found while cleaning out my apartment.
---More Shia Labeouf updates. Who wants to go see Eagle Eye with me? Anyone?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Foe Realz.

It's futile to resist the faultless pop Friendly Foes flaunt on their debut record, Born Radical. A faction against the Detroit garage rock scene, this power trio pilfered the scene early this year with their infectious noise. Born Radical stands apart from frou-frou, cutesy indie rock with cutthroat, fetching boy-girl vocals, provided by Ryan Allen and Lizzie Whitman, and finesse behind the drum kit, courtesy of Brad Elliott, that is anything but flat. With most songs clocking in less than three minutes, FF keep the frills to a minimum, leaving only their talent to effortlessly impress you. After hearing "Get Ripped," it's hard not to be fiercely jealous of Lizzie's frantic, yet refined vocals. The fondness of days gone by rings loud and clear in "Wild (Once in Awhile)," where lead singer/guitarist Ryan reminisces of simpler times, when kids could act like fools with friends without the fretting. Friendly Foes are showing you their fangs, telling you to "Get Yr Shit Together." They even drop the "f" bomb a few times for good measure. But don't let their defiant attitude fool you: this album was born to be radically fun.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Still no word on Shia Labeouf filming in Michigan.

BUT, there is this really funny video where Seth Green tells Shia to "eat a dick."

OK, I am officially tired of trying to write about Shia in hopes that he Google Blog searches his own name and comes across this site. I have written a lot of CD reviews in the last week, and I will post them here if Detour doesn't use them. Woo-hoo!

CD releases galore this week. Did anyone else get through the entire review by Deep Cutz Charlie about the new Mason Proper album? Yeah, I didn't either. I think Olly Oxen Free is actually shorter than that review. Dude, we get it, you are a writer and you know lots of crazy big words. But you lost me after the first paragraph. Then again, I graduated with a degree in Communication... But maybe I can run for VICE PRESIDENT some day, right? RIGHT?!?!?! AWESOME! Thanks, Palin!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't like the song Jack White wrote for the new James Bond movie.

The instrumental version sounds like "Brain Stew" by Green Day with orchestration, too many horns, and more cymbal crashes. I can only imagine how awesome it sounds with White's and Alicia Keys' vocals on it. Not.

I love Shirley Manson, so this is my favourite James Bond song to date:

Although, Madonna's video for "Die Another Day" was cool too:

Weird. I just noticed that there are "clones" in both those videos. Coincidence? Shirley's robot/human clone makeout session is way hotter than Madonna's good vs. evil sword fight. Just sayin'.

I will probably go and see Quantum of Solace because I think Daniel Craig is hot. Not as hot as Shia LaBeouf, though.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shia LaBeouf should film a movie in Michigan...

...so I can write about him all the time in my blog. And then he can read about it.

Michigan is awesome, Shia. I swear. We can totally make out, too. Whatevs. There's no paparazzi, just some pissy bloggers (but you should be fine unless you start playing in a band while you are here). But I will only say nice things about you, I promise. As long as we make out.

I am no longer blogging about music. Just hot movie stars that I hope will make their way through Michigan. I might change my mind about this tomorrow.

Oh! I reference Harry Potter in this one.

There are some nights that I wish I could transport myself from one bar to the next within seconds, or at least have a Time Turner like Hermione so I could be at two places at once.

This weekend, that was not the case. SubSprawl Friendcore show on Friday at the Blind Pig. Saturday at the Belmont to see Scarlett Oaks, Jason Croff's Family Values Tour, and The High Strung. Sunday (omg, a work night, bad idea), I headed to Frankie's in Toledo (just for the heck of it, really) to see Innerpartysystem and The Urgency. I'm tired, and I think I would have died if I had tried to do more than that.

Innerpartysystem is aaaawwwwweeesssoooooommmmeee (their light show could possibly PWN Ladytron's if they played at venues with stages as big as Ladytron does) They are playing in Pontiac at the Eagle Theater on November 7th. It's an early show (6pm), so you might have time to go see MORE BANDS AFTERWARDS! SRSLY?!?! YAH!!!1!!
Oh, and they are playing with a "crunk-rock duo," 3OH!3. Hmm. Could be interesting.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Emily Rose

Yes, I do a cartwheel in the video. But more importantly, Emily Rose has an amaaaazing voice and this song is awesome.

Friday, September 12, 2008

blahblahblah, friday night.

Open mic at Gilda's in Royal Oak around 7pm to about 9pm. It's a pretty cool thing. Gilda's is on Rochester Rd, just north of 13 mile.

Also, Magic Shop at LJ's.

Darling Imperial at Jacoby's.

Chris Bathgate, Matt Jones, and Greg McIntosh at the Elbow Room.

They Never Sleep will be at The Painted Lady if you are into that sort of thing.

If you like Tom Waits, go to Vernor's at the Crofoot. Some people are "interpretting" his music or something. No, Scarlett Johansen is not scheduled to make an appearance. If I didn't already have plans, I would be chain smoking right now so I could join in on the Tom Waits Interpretative Music Party.

I will be in Ann Arbor after going to Gilda's to see this lady, tearing it up on the dance floor. My friend coined a new term to describe Suburban Sprawl bands (and their friends' bands): Friendcore. Think about it. It totally makes sense. It might not be a new term. Whatever. I don't care. Hugs for everyone!!!11!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

no wai!!!!!1!!11

So, I wanted to act like I was really annoyed by the fact that I had to remove the new Mason Proper CD from my car in order to listen to a batch of new CDs I just got. But then I listened to all the new CDs I received, and I was all like, whoa, sweet.

Lots of reviews coming very very very very very very soon.

And I apologize to all the bands in advance if I relate every single one of them to food or HBO's Dexter (two of my favourite things in the world right now).

I read the best news ever today on Webvomit's blog. Jaguar Love. In Detroit. November 8th. At the Magic Stick. I might not wear earplugs. If I ever go deaf, I would like to go deaf listening to Johnny Whitney scream/sing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I am doing this for you, Detroit.

For the sake of convenience, you loyal readers can read my full blog via RSS feed. I mean, technically, anyone could take advantage of this convenience. If they have the Internetz, anyway.

In local blogger news, DeepCutz Charlie wrote a heartwarming post on his blog (I kind of puked in my mouth because I got so emotional over it) about the musical baby boom in the area.

I am going to spare you from another heart wrenching take on it. I am just stoked because I might have something to talk shit about in the next few months.

Kiiiiiidding. I love you guys. I am totally wasted right now.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I am not watching the VMAs. I am not watching the VMAs.

Friday night, while all of you were at the Magic Stick to see the Dirtbombs, I was in Redford watching a band called Acoustic Front of Resistance. All of the members are young (18 and under), but there is so much passion behind their songs. It reminds me of myself at that age when I wasn't too jaded and bitter about the world. The lyrics are reflective, speaking to humanity, politics, and loss. You would think that at 18, someone wouldn't have such a deep perspective on those things, but it was genuine. That being said, I was almost brought to tears. It could have been the alcohol. It reminded me of old Dashboard Confessional, mixed with Straylight Run. OMG I know, I know, this means you are not going to listen to them. Whatever, it's your loss.

Saturday, I skipped Dally in the Alley. I don't like staying outside for that long. But then I went to The Silent Years' CD release show at the Magic Bag. I missed the first two bands because I was drinking in the parking lot to avoid paying $5 for a tallboy of PBR. Deastro, even with all of the technical difficulties (a fuse in the guitar amp kept blowing, the drummer wasn't able to hear anything on his headphones, etc), everyone who was close to the stage got free candy thrown at them. And it still sounded pretty good. The Silent Years sucked. Like, completely. omg, no, I am kidding, it was great, although the amount of bass vibrating through the venue made me nauseous. I have to hate on something, right? I am a blogger, right? So that is what I am hating on.

Brad Elliott (Friendly Foes) bought me a beer afterwards. This, of course, means that I am going to write nice things about his overrated band.

LOLZ. I happen to like his overrated band.

MTV VMAs: wtf is wrong with the dude who is hosting this year? He's not good looking. Or funny. Also, that is the first time I have seen the Jonas Brothers perform. They are soooo not cute either. Please someone start a flame war in the comments about the Jonas Bros.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I can't think of a witty title. Sorry.

There have been SO MANY awesome releases by Michigan bands this summer, and I know about at least five more within the next month that are equally as awesome (MASON PROPER, OMG! FRIENDLY FOES, LOLZ!).

The mitten state ain't so bad! Way to go.

Enough of the cheerleading, let's get down to business:

This weekend, there are a shit ton of things you could and probably should do. Highlights: Dirtbombs tonight! Dally in the Ally AND The Silent Years' CD release show tomorrow!

If you are in Ypsilanti, go to the Elbow Room tonight. Wildcatting! Champions of Breakfast (playing ALL COVER TUNES!)! Maybe you can rough them up in the parking lot after their set (lolz).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Let me digress for a bit here...

We should be hearing about the supposed plea bargain for Kwame in a matter of minutes.

But let me get this off my chest: what the fuck is up with Sharon McPhail? Her last name should be spelled "McFAIL" because that is all she is (I know, I know, you've heard that joke before). She is a joke. She is treating these legal proceedings AS A JOKE. I saw her press conference last night after the hearing, and she was laughing at every response, answering questions indignantly like a teenager being accused of anything by her parents.

I did enjoy when Granholm pointed out that she was getting "far afield" from the topic at hand in her questioning (a tactic McFAIL employs frequently). Honestly, Kwame, you are a bigger dumbass than I once thought. Having McFAIL on your team? Not a smart choice. I hope you get kicked out of office AND jail time (even though McFAIL said that wasn't an option in her press conference last night*).

*and to that, I say this: