ROCKHOUNDING: Reviews of Emily Kopp, Black Sweater Massacre, Arctic Monkeys & Microtonal live at Trinosophes Detroit by Al Bruting
The Monarchs brand of rockabilly, surf and ska wouldn't sound out of place in a Quentin Tarantino or a David Lynch film. Its occasionally slower and more haunting melodies are quickly and mercilessly run off the road by a intensely paced rhythms, darkened with heavy reverb. The tracks are all instrumental on this release, but for live shows they feature guest vocalists
Black Sweater Massacre brings foreword momentum to a band that's been steadily picking up a fan base through its live performances. This release stands out from the background noise around it and is definitely worth giving a listen.
The venue, TRINOSOPHES is near eastern market and has nicely put back into commission longstanding Detroit brick and mortar. The two sided structure offers a raised stage and large open area with high ceilings, a library complete with "Pourover Coffee" and a cafe that features guest chefs.
For workshops, exhibitions and performances, TRINOSOPHES is definitely a place to put on your hit list.
Almost all western music (and increasingly a lot of Eastern Music) conforms to a single tuning using only certain notes. While blues and jazz sometimes slide between these notes, these in-between notes are never treated as "real" notes because they are considered "out of tune". A small number of composers and songwriters have broken ranks and discovered that these "out of tune" notes can open up new undisturbed musical environments or soundscapes. However, playing them requires unlearning everything we know about music, and in some cases building whole new instruments or modifying existing instruments. This concert included works played on refretted guitars, glass harmonica, voices, strings, pedal steel guitar, specially tuned piano, and the "udderbot", a new wind instrument made from a glass bottle and a rubber glove.
Jacob Barton grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where his musical hunger led him to learn piano, saxophone, clarinet, bassoon, and musical saw. He studied composition at Rice University, where he received a BMI Student Composer Award for “Xenharmonic Variations on a Theme by Mozart”. His passion for instrument building led serendipitously to the collaborative invention and development of the udderbot, for which he is the chief advocate and only known virtuoso. Jacob has played the udderbot in traditional bands, children’s concerts, experimental music venues, theater productions, New York City subway stations, and humanitarian clowning missions in Ecuador.
Andrew Heathwaite is a performer, composer, teacher and student, whose work by his own characterization centers around compassionate creative skepticism, trivialization of power differences, and transformation of (at first invisible) constraints to provoke the new. "I no longer want to see micro tonality slip under the radar into pop music without anyone noticing, just to be sold back to us by the greedy kings of copyright. That's not good enough.." As a project of Oddmusic Urbana-Champaign, Andrew refretted a steel-string acoustic guitar to 22 tones per octave in 2009 and a mountain dulcimer to a 20-tone Just Intonation scale in simple overtone relationship in 2010. He also plays cümbüş, a fretless Turkish lute.
This post by Mikel O.D. of MPAD Media
Sure, you’ve probably heard of a boy named Sue, but what about a girl named Timothy? The distinctive female forename happens to belong to the equally unique singer of Portland-based indie-pop band Dresses. Comprised of Timothy Heller (vocals/ukulele/piano) and Jared Ryan Maldonado (vocals/guitar), the frock-rock duo have been playing music together since January 2012 and are eagerly anticipating the release of their SideOneDummy debut album, Sun Shy, digitally on September 3 and physically on October 22, 2013.
Though Heller and Maldonado, both 21, lived only two miles away from each other in Stumptown, it wasn’t until discovering they had a bunch of mutual friends in common online that they decided to connect and try to write music together. “She was coming over one day after school and I was really nervous because I had nothing to work on. I had never written with someone else,” says Maldonado, remembering the first IRL encounter he had with Heller. “As she was actually getting off the bus, I wrote the first few lines of ‘Blew My Mind.’ She came in, I played it for her and she loved it.”
Not only is “Blew My Mind” the first song Dresses ever wrote together, but it’s also the first single off Sun Shy and perfectly summarizes what the band is all about, musically: Sunny melodies and dynamic guitars with a lyrical undercurrent forced by bruised hearts and broken dreams. Whether listening to “Back To Life,” a playful tale of new love, or “Tell A Lie,” a refined romp about making every moment count, Heller and Maldonado are able to artfully balance introspection with affection. In fact, writing about love comes easy to the couple, which happens to be dating in real life.
“It’s nice because we enjoy spending time together and I love listening to what she writes and sings,” says Maldonado of the pair’s personal and professional partnership. Adds Heller, “It makes things really easy, nice and comforting. Showing music you’re working on to others can be difficult, but it’s a lot easier to show Jared something personal I wrote because we’re so close.” For now, though, the lovebirds are concentrating on the release of Sun Shy and sharing the beautiful music they make together.
After having released their critically acclaimed debut Native Speaker in 2011, and hot off the heels of their 12" single In Kind // Amends, BRAIDS have returned with their new LP Flourish // Perish out August 20th on Arbutus Records.
Flourish // Perish showcases the strength of the band as a collective, and explores their burgeoning love for electronic music. Here, the band brings their widely disparate strengths together to create a distinctive voice; the organic and complex rhythms dance and spar with sparsely decorative sounds, often fragmented and tampered. Interwoven amongst these threads is the layered voice of Standell-Preston, her engaging lyrics and human performance drawing the listener close.
After 18 months of touring in support of Native Speaker, along with the departure of a band member, the group secluded themselves in their Montreal studio for a year of writing and recording. While Native Speaker was written in an organic and live environment, the group sought to explore a more introspective and electronic approach to songwriting. Sonically, the songs from these sessions are delicate and tight, yet thoughtfully open up to the rich lushness reminiscent of their older material. Lyrically they are honest and vulnerable, demonstrating the group's emotional growth and maturity since their last record.
With Flourish // Perish, BRAIDS marks an exciting new partnership with Montreal-based label Arbutus Records.
TONIGHT: Folk-pop lady trio Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards play Lo and Behold Records in Hamtramck October 29
Folk-pop lady trio Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards play
Lo and Behold Records in Hamtramck October 29
October 29, 7-10PM: Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, Laura Cortese (fiddle, vocals), Mariel Vandersteel (fiddle/hardingfele/vocals) and Valerie Thompson (cello/vocals) will take their contemporary folk trio sound to Lo and Behold Records October 29 in Hamtramck 7-10PM. Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards will be of particular interest to 20 and 30-something audiences who are into stylish Americana/folk with smart, sophisticated musical arrangements.
While lush fiddle stylings root their music in a folk tradition, Cortese's vocals are as modern and savvy as they come. The trio's creations are dark and dreamy: multi-textured gritty and personal original songs with plenty of inspiration from Americana and pop greats. Vandersteel's sensitive fiddle accompaniments, and Thomspon's rock-solid cello grooves are all over Cortese's latest album "Into the Dark" (released spring 2013). The project has been widely celebrated in music outlets such as No Depression, and Beat Surrender, who describe the album as "a musical landscape [that] is one to admire from afar and in its minutiae." Critic Bill Copeland says, "There is nothing as successful in music as an artist like Cortese who can make you feel the complex emotions of her poetry."
During the "Into the Dark" CD release tour, the trio decided to hang their stars together and form the group Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards. Says Cortese, "From the first gig we just felt like we were in it together. Real camaraderie...all of us mischievously looking for fun on and off stage." Among their tour essentials are "a phone charger and a disco ball for the van".
The group recently announced that they have been selected out of 400 bands to participate in American Music Abroad, a program sponsored by the US State Department, to represent American music in a month long cultural and musical exchange in developing countries across the world. They're required to keep mum for now about where American Music Abroad will send them, but they will be hitting the road starting on January 25th.
Tuesday: 7pm -11pm Lo & Behold Records 10022 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck, Michigan 48212
$5 - $10 suggested donation
Imagine if a cello and a banjo had a baby, and then someone put a pedalboard and synthesizer in its crib. This is one way Gungor (rhymes with hunger) describes its musical sensibilities: alternative, folk, textured and experimental.
The alt-folk collective - fronted by husband/wife team Michael and Lisa - brough its 60+ city headlining tour to Detroit on Oct. 26. The "I Am Mountain" run of shows follows Gungor's Sept. 24 release of its 12-track album of the same name.
An amazing group of musicians with an awesome mix of instruments makes for a truly unique and moving show. The strongest song of the show was by far the title track from the new album "I Am Mountain". Check out the video below and do yourself a favor and check them out live!
For my photos from the show click HERE.
To see what others are saying about a couple of songs check out these articles.
For more information on Gungor, visit:
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About National Rock Review
National Rock Review was founded by longtime MOTORCITYBLOG.net contributor and photographer Michael "Mick" McDonald
Elephant Stone are currently enjoying their final evening in the Netherlands wrapping up with The Black Angels in Rotterdamn. After spending over a month in Europe, Elephant Stone will set out for the US in a matter of weeks with The Besnard Lakes. This will be Elephant Stone's first trip to the West Coast in support their eponymous sophomore album.
On top of appearing with Beck at Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, Elephant Stone continued to enrich an outstanding summer of mass critical praise particularly after touring North America with both The Zombies and The Black Angels, ultimately climaxing at Austin Psych Fest. The impetus behind the buzz is, without a doubt, Elephant Stone's powerful self-titled sophomore record released earlier this year via Hidden Pony and The Reverberation Appreciation Society.