The hard R of a heartland drawl and clangy Fender distortion: "Plain-faced" doesn't even nail how straightforward the Offramps really are. What can they say? They're guys who love their record collections. But the Ypsilanti trio is a fine addition to our beer-core movement, especially since vocalist-guitarist J. Porter writes lines like "I fell in love on a Hallmark holiday/Ask me nice but I'll never go away/Just look inside to see the things I could never say," lines that reveal the pathos in the lives of average white guys everywhere. Here he muses on hangovers, country and Ypsi pride.
5. Hangovers: They get a bad rap. We're older, and booze goes down tougher. Headaches and dry heaves. But there's promise. Breakfast tastes better, and your tolerance increases. Really, a good hangover just makes you feel younger.
4. Volume: Uptight sound guys and hipster chicks with their hands over their ears? Come on. "There's a ringing in my ears that's heaven sent," one of my mentors said. Who needs to hear the TV anyway?
3. Ringer T's: Put a ringer T on an average dude and suddenly you have, well, an average dude in a ringer T. But, damn, do they look hot on a girl.
2. Outlaw country: Who doesn't like Johnny Cash? And Waylon, Merle, Willie and Hank? Timeless music we thought was history until we heard the new breed Wayne Hancock, Hank III, Shooter Jennings and more. There is hope.
1. Ypsilanti: It's still there! No more Cross Street Station or Green Room, but Elbow Room and TC's are going strong. Ypsi venues have supported local music since we can remember, and still are. When no one else will have you, Ypsi will. And don't sleep on Abe's!
Saturday, April 7, at TC's Speakeasy, 207 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-483-4470. With AngE Smiley and Bedford Drive.
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