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3/10/14

Night 3 of the Hamtramck Music Festival


The night started to look like the previous one. The first scheduled bands at Mars Bar and Polish Village were dragging their ass getting started. In between disappointments I'd stop into Lo & Behold to see what they had going. They had a long list of acts, but didn't feel obligated to put them into any sort of itinerary. The first thing I saw there was a guy doing some impressive jazz piano. Without some kind of itinerary to go off of, I can't tell you who he was.


Get back to Lo about 9:30 and Lac La Belle is performing. They're a folk/americana duo, and the people running the sound showed a deft touch by not overdoing the amplification. Jennie Knaggs' voice was never overshadowed when it reached another impressive crescendo.

Barrell Brothers did a sort of New Orleans jazz thing over at Bakers. I don't write about music for a living, so I'm probably putting them in the wrong category. Then it was back to Lo for another mystery folksy/bluesy performer.

That night I was sticking to the central axis of Hamtramck. I alternated between Whiskey in the Jar, Bakers, Mars Bar, Lo & Behold, Polish Village Cafe, and one jaunt to Paycheck's. I didn't venture north in the direction of Seven Brothers, east in the direction of Small's, or south in the direction of Kelly's and New Dodge. Schedules shot to hell by the apathy of others isn't as hard to endure when you're not zipping from one side of town to the other. People who tried to see Titties over at Kelly's, in hope that their music would match their name, were disappointed when they still hadn't started 45 minutes after they were supposed to. Perhaps I didn't miss out on much. My strategy worked great for me, and I didn't have much of the aggravation that I did the previous night.

Who could miss out on the spectacle of the Jesus Chainsaw Massacre? I've seen Bryan Metro, the lead singer, don a raw bacon skirt when swine flu was in the news, and set out a pressure cooker shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing, but this night's theme wasn't as obvious to everyone. It seemed to be more about some inside jokes. Metro held up fingers signifying the numbers 1 and 2, and well...you can see the picture above.
Towards the end of the performance the guitarist to the left smashed his guitar into the ground until it broke and splintered. I don't know how breaking a guitar, even a cheap one, makes sense when it's a non-paying gig.

The Sound Logic, a hard rocking duo, was not only great, but easily the best thing I saw all weekend at Mars Bar.

Checking back frequently at Lo & Behold allowed me to catch Danny Kroha. He did his one man throwback blues thing. The sort of blues pioneered before WW2.

The last band scheduled anywhere that night was Vonneguts at Whiskey in the Jar. It was so crammed in there during their great performance, that I had no chance of getting a photo. People who asked where the bathroom was were openly laughed at, because there was no way they were going to reach it.

Lo & Behold might have lost out on some potential revenue by not being able to sell booze, but that also meant that no one could tell them when to close. They kept going after-hours with a dance party, as DJs played pre-WW2 music off of old 78s.

In summation, this festival was a worthwhile endeavor. The biggest problem, performers that don't respect the audiences' time, is just as prevalent at the Blowout. I look forward to seeing how this event will look next year.

Bands I saw that I'm putting in the "whatever" column:
Bobby Electric, Blue Snaggletooth, All the Wild Children, The Loveseats, Eric Villa & The Vista Marias, Botanical Fortress, and You People.
This post by:
 With a face for radio, a voice for print, and the prose of a new immigrant, I'll stick to amateur blogging