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REVIEWS: Busy D: A Week(ish) in Review by Lewis and Snark

Fawn at The Loving Touch, Ferndale

His Opinion…

We have spent a little bit of time in Ferndale since we moved here, but this was our first time being there at night with the bar crowd.  Detroit bands Fawn, Fur, and Jamaican Queens were playing at The Loving Touch, a space connected to Woodward Avenue Brewing.  It's a big place, and it needed to be on this night.  The venue was pretty packed for the show, and the bands did not disappoint.  I really like the layout as a venue, the bar is in the back and far enough from the stage that you can take a break from the crowd and noise while getting a drink, but you can still see the performance.

You couldn't really beat the drink prices, $3 for Jack and $2 for Pabst.  The crowd was pretty much what I have grown to expect from Ferndale on my few visits there.  Mostly youngish, white kids.  Not many hardened professional drinkers in the bunch.  I heard patrons say, not once, but twice that they had never had a PBR and asked what it was like.  Luckily, I managed to recover from my shock in time to see the music. All the bands brought it and the crowd responded accordingly.  Probably not a bar I would frequent regularly, but I would certainly come back again to see live music.

Her Opinion…
On June 14th, the Detroit-based foursome, Fawn, played a release show to a packed house at The Loving Touch in Ferndale.  Fawn’s debut album, Coastlines, was a huge hit with the plaid clad, bearded, bird tattooed, and attractive Ferndale crowd.  Fawn’s upbeat rock capitalizes on a strong female voice and thoughtful harmonies to produce a refined sound that can sound folksy at some times, heavier at other times, and downright analogous to The Kills or New Pornographers at others. Fawn’s strong showing at The Loving Touch makes me confident that this band is going to be a success.  Check them out at the Magic Bag on July 20th

I agree with Jeremy about the venue, but I think I would drink at The Loving Touch on a non-music night.  It’s certainly a place I would take out of town guests who come to visit, especially the ones who used to be in sororities.

Goals, Tacos, and Beers…Not a Bad Way to Spend an Evening

His Opinion…

This was our first Detroit City FC match.  For a $5 sporting event, you can't beat it. The fans are crazy!  The crowd at Cass Tech beat drums, screamed, and sung throughout.  We spent the first half outside the gate in grass eating tacos from the El Guapo truck (awesome) and drinking brown-bagged High Life (not condoned by MCB).  Made it in for the second half and spent that time leaning against the fence on the sideline.  The team attendance seems to be increasing from week to week, but there were still plenty of seats left, so don't be afraid to check out a game.  It really is fun whether you are a soccer fan or not.  Summer just asked me what the FC stands for, and she still enjoyed herself!

Her Opinion…
Detroit City FC spanked Buffalo 3-1 on June 16th at Cass Tech. This was my first game, and it was a blast.  The crowd was beyond enthusiastic and did an incredible job supporting their home team.  If you haven’t been to a game yet, I recommend giving it a try.  One side of the field is the belligerent cheering section and the other is much more relaxed.  So, depending on your mood, and whether you are escorting young children, you have choices.  If, like me, you want to stop at the El Guapo taco truck and sit outside of the fenced field prior to the game, I would discourage you unless you bring some tape and tape your tickets to the front of your shirt.  If you are trying to watch the game from the other side of the fence in an effort not to pay (or even if you did pay but you want to stuff your face with tacos before entering the stadium), you will be publicly scorned, repeatedly. 

Of Montreal, Of Pontiac, of Stellar Toilets

His Opinion…

I hadn't seen Of Montreal live since 2006.  In the days leading up to this show I wondered if they could still possibly be as crazy and energetic 6 years later.  The answer is yes.  Although the theatrics don't rise to the level of bands like The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal is a well oiled machine that still, after years of touring, puts forth a show that forces the kids to dance til they sweat and old guys like me to at least do a little shake here and there.

The Crofoot in Pontiac is a really cool venue.  Although, It does feel new and clean, which might be a turn off to people who like a little tetanus and toilet backup with their music.  The place was crowded, but it was always easy to get a beer.  Prices were good; I think $3 for Stroh's.  Also, if you need a break from the heat and smell of sweat there is a big outdoor area.  I would definitely go back.

Her Opinion…

Between the screaming and sweaty crowd, the lights, the interpretive dances, and the costuming, I was completely mesmerized by this show.  Had I been able to get my hands on some psychedelics, I’d most likely still be at the Crofoot right now in an effort to have a flashback.  I love seeing live music, and about once a year I’m fortunate to see a show that is drastically different from anything else. Of Montreal was that show.  The performance is more than just a show, it’s more like a bizarre, sexy circus, concocted somewhere in a confused tween’s dream space. 

This was my first time at the Crofoot, and I can honestly say that this was one of the best places I’ve ever been in to see live music.  Yes, the building is cool. Yes, the sound is amazing and the lighting is unworldly. And yes, there is plenty of space between the two floors to get a great, close up view of the stage from any angle.  But this isn’t what necessarily excites me about this venue.  It’s the bars, bathroom, and outdoor spaces here that really send the Crofoot over the top.  There are several bars on each floor, and one outside, making it entirely too easy to grab a drink during the show. The prices aren’t terrible either.  The bathrooms are clean, well lit, and plentiful, bursting with stalls that house eco-friendly toilets.  And the two floor outdoor patio/balcony is the perfect place to cool down when things get heated inside.  I highly recommend going to the Crofoot for a show. You’ll have a blast.

Buddy's Pizza, Serving up Midwest Pride and Conservation in a Pie

If I get the opportunity to help mother nature and get some free pizza, I'm going to take it every time.  That's exactly what I did when we attended a Buddy's Pizza event at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle.  Buddy's revealed 5 new pizzas, one for each of the Great Lakes, from which part of the proceeds from each sale will go toward the Alliance for the Great Lakes and their mission to conserve and restore the lakes.  The pizzas were great, although I'm still adjusting to this square deep-dish concept.

The only disappointing thing about the event was that there was a bunch of local Detroit and Michigan beers sitting right there on ice to drink with the pizza and I was the only person having one! I must say, I was shocked.  The fact that it was 9am may have had something to do with it.  Just was 10.  There was also a giant swan paddleboat you could sit in.  Enough said.

We walked across the street to the Belle Isle Conservatory afterward to take a look around.  It's an amazing structure and I would recommend checking it out when you are on the island.  It is somewhat pricey though, at the astronomical cost of free. <!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]--> 

Sound Conservancy and Model D Party

I'm going to officially name this my first house party since moving to Detroit.  It did not look all that crowded from the front, but as we made our way toward the backyard, we realized that's where much of the action was between performances.  The keg was flowing, cornhole was played on boards displaying the Model D logo, and most importantly, The Detroit Sound Conservancy's first fundraiser appeared to be a big success.  Disaster almost occurred when the keg went dry around 10, but before things took an ugly turn, more beer arrived to subdue the thirsty masses.  They finally kicked us out around midnight, and as we were walking away I heard the half full second keg being dragged down the sidewalk in the direction of Bronx bar and someone say, "keg stands!"  It really warmed my heart.

Rue Moor Counts

His Opinion…

Hastings street ballroom is a legit little venue.  It's nothing fancy and feels very DIY, but there is just something about warehouse shows.  I did not know much about any of the bands other than it was clearly going to be rock.  You could tell by the crowd, which was very different from what we have experienced in Ferndale and Pontiac.

We got there around 10:30, wanting to play it safe.  You can never tell when the hell these shows are going to start.   I kinda figured this thing was going to go late, and I was right.  The Rue Moor Counts didn't come on until around 1, after they raffled off some merch and Mötley Crüe tickets.  The show was not slammed, but there was a good crowd.  There were multiple projectors showing random movies on the white walls, some old school stage lighting effects that one would expect to see at a Dead show, late 60's Dead not 70's, and the volume was as loud as you would expect it to be.  It was a good time, especially if you miss the days when lead singers couldn't be bothered to play an instrument on stage.  I do, I can't be bothered to put on pants most days.

Her Opinion…

Rue Moor Counts performed at the Tangent Gallery on June 23rd for the release of their new LP, The Satanic Troubadours Audio Almanac, bringing us all back to a simpler time when guys proudly wore long hair and having a death metal band in your mom’s garage garnered respect from your peers.  The music was accompanied by cult biker films, which were projected on the wall and oil projections.  If you are a fan of dark rock, get your hands on the new LP or join other adoring fans at the next show.

Lewis and Snark!
Jeremy and Summer are the latest (and they say greatest) contributors to MCB
"Lewis & Snark" will be reviewing music, art and other motorcity aspects etc... 

"We moved here a couple of weeks ago from Portland, Oregon, so we are still familiarizing ourselves with all the venues and local bands. Summer and I will both be giving our takes for each event we attend, and we pretty much attend everything together because she doesn't want me to sully her good name with my behavior if allowed to venture out alone. Mine will likely contain wilder (sometimes true) anecdotes and less detail, as she is usually the designated driver."