Self-made and self-proclaimed authority resistant repeller, artist Willy Moon will release his eponymous album, Here’s Willy Moon on April 2 (Cherrytree/Island Records). Last year, he charmed audiences in New York and California during his US live debut. He is currently on tour across the country and will be making his SXSW Music Festival debut on March 12-17 in Austin, Texas. For tickets visit - http://willymoon.com/tour-dates/
Although just 23 years old, Willy Moon proves that age is just a number as he slinks through different decades with a swift ease. Inspired by the physical energy of Cab Calloway and Michael Jackson, the concision of the Ramones, and the style of film noir, Moon appreciates these musical giants through the gaze of his wit and irrefutable sound.
To say the least, Moon knows what he wants. So much so that he wastes no time creating superfluous track fillers. This ideology manifests itself in Here’s Willy Moon, which is less than 29 minutes long. Only one of its 12 songs lasts more than three minutes and not a single note is squandered. "My album is short like my songs. I always loved the relentlessness and excitement of that first Ramones album and there's something of that spirit in there. I think it will surprise people who've only heard ‘Yeah Yeah’, there's some slower, more atmospheric songs on it and one that even last for over three minutes...ha!"
Here’s Willy Moon stays true to Willy’s love of extreme contrast. ‘Railroad Track’ is like Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Walks’ rearranged for a 1930s chain gang. ‘She Loves Me’ crunches Hamburg Beatles into shuddering quasi-dubstep. ‘Get Up’ is seize-the-day hip-hop blues. The instrumental ‘Murder Ballad’ sounds like Tom Waits wandering through a haunted car yard. The cover versions make alliances with the weirdos of 50s rock’n’roll: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ ‘I Put
a Spell on You’ and Little Willie John’s neurotically horny ‘I’m Shakin’’. Then there are the songs that sound like they should be covers but aren’t: the blue- collar howl of ‘Working for the Company’ and industrial Phil Spectorisms of ‘My Girl’. It’s an unusual record because Willy Moon is an unusual man.
Willy Moon wrote, recorded and produced his debut album all with a few tracks being produced by Pulp's Steve Mackey. Like a sculptor effortlessly works his
clay into a mold from an ambiguous slab, Moon uses his infectious beats and melodic lyrics to reconstruct the pure sounds of rock’n’roll that have been deep-frozen in 1965, with a flow that can only be defined as Willy Moon. He does not afford the listener a gray area to meander; rather his choices are decisive and bold, and thus we are better for it.
The InfatuationsThe Infatuations is a Detroit band, but give them a good listen and the chances are that you won’t need to be told that because these guys take everything that’s awesome about Motor City music, throw it in a big old pot and stir. The results are undeniably spectacular.
Put simply, the Infatuations is a high-energy soul-driven-rock band, but that definition doesn’t really do them justice. The Infatuations makes you want to dance. No, scrub that. The Infatuations makes you need to dance. These guys combine the pop-suss of Motown soul, the sheer in-your-face bravado of Parliament Funkadelic, and the raw, untamed energy of Detroit rock ’n’ roll. The Infatuations force you to get up on your feet and move.
How do they do it? There are a million talented musicians out there - many of them in Detroit - but not all of them have the swagger, the flowing sexual energy, to seduce their audience like a hot girl on the wrong side of town. Listening to the Infatuations feels slightly bad, but oh, so good.
The Infatuations was formed by Christian Draheim and Marco Lowe as an acoustic cover duo back in 2009 with the aim of bringing some paying customers into the Eclipz Lounge inside the Greektown Casino. -Our first gig was January 9 2009 as a 2 piece acoustic cover duo,- Draheim says. -Marco invited J.T. Lee to come out and sit in during the show on percussion playing the Cajon. So I literally met J.T. and five minutes later we were playing our 1st gig together. We played a handful of cover gigs, then on April 24 2009 we had our EP/CD Release party for the January Sessions EP.
The boys felt that they were tapping into something special and just a couple of months later, the band switched to original tunes. As well as Draheim (guitar), Lowe (vocals) and Lee (drums), the original lineup featured Aaron Julison of Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band on bass. Since then, members have come and gone, including local country gal Jennifer Westwood and Mitch Ryder guitarist Paul Moore. The current, settled lineup features Draheim, Lee, vocalist Caleb Gutierrez, guitarist Chris Polite, bassist The Wolf (Kenny Olson’s bands), drummer/percussionist Robert Myers, and guitarist Nick Behnan (JIVA). Co-founder Marco Lowe is no longer fronting the band, though he is still deeply involved behind the scenes, working side-by-side with Draheim in a role he loves as songwriter, producer and on development of the Infatuations overall.
While we were recording January Sessions, Marco always joked that he was a rock singer at heart-, says Draheim. -He wanted to find a dynamic, soul inspired vocalist that possesses the power of Levi Stubbs, and the smoothness and range of Stevie Wonder with a little bit of Tyner grit. On a Sunday night in September of 2009 that voice was heard. Billy Reedy (former Ty Stone lead guitar player) and I were at an open mic night when we heard Caleb Gutierrez for the first time. Caleb, started wailing away singing -Crazy- by Gnarls Barkley full voice, and everyone in the room, stunned, turned to watch and listen. A little over a year later Caleb joined the Infatuations.
Since that day, Gutierrez has sung the National Anthem at Comerica Park as part of the Latin-themed ¡Fiesta Tigres!, and in October 2011 was invited by the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to sing the National Anthem at Ford World Headquarters in honor of Ford Motor Company's Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.
Meanwhile, the Infatuations has co-headlined Arts, Beats & Eats in 2011 and headlined in 2012, both years on the Ford Alternative Stage. In addition, it has headlined the Sparks in the Park in 2011, played the Stars & Stripes Festival in 2011, headlined the West Dearborn Oktoberfest, played the 2012 Mid Point Music Festival in Cincinnati, and played Detroit River Days in 2011 and as co-headliner in 2012. -We seem to do really well at festivals,- says Draheim. -The crowds are larger at the end of our set than the beginning.-
Damn straight they are. You see, the music that the Infatuations make is infectious. It has a way of getting under your skin. That is why the band will always do well at festivals - because it has the benefit of passing traffic. People will be walking past the stage or waiting for a band that they know, they will catch a few notes, maybe hear Gutierrez killing it, and they won’t be able to leave.
That is why the band is so aptly named - because it doesn’t simply have -fans- like other bands. Its followers are genuinely infatuated with the music. Everybody that listens to the Infatuations is basically having a love affair with the members. It’s intimate. It means something. It feels really good. On that note, the Infatuations has won the vitaminwater People's Choice Award two years in a row (2011 & 2012) at the Detroit Music Awards, which means a lot to the band as it is based on general public voting.
The band has thus far released the five-track January Sessions EP in 2009, the -Blame it on You- single in February 2012 and the Recorded Live in Front of a Studio Audience seven-track mini album that same month. Those recordings, as well as countless stellar live performances, have led to the Infatuations receiving 15 Detroit Music Award nominations, and an Emmy Award nomination for the -Blame it on You- video.
The Infatuations are one of the best dance rock bands, dance bands and rock bands to have come out of Detroit in recent years, and in this town that means a hell of a lot.