A buncha stuff to mention before it gets too late (and we break some of our promises...):
Detroit's own Rodriguez is opening for buzz band flavor of the moment -- if you don't count the Fleet Foxes, that is -- Animal Collective at the Metro in Chicago tonight. Hopefully, it'll turn some newbies onto what was one of the best albums (from Detroit or elsewhere) released last year...even if only six critics voted for it in this year's Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll, published today -- and two of them were me and Brian Smith. Oh, well. It's Rodriguez's first Chicago appearance ever. Unfortunately, the show's totally sold out (though it's probably too late for you to get there by 6:30 p.m. tonight anyway). As a consolation, Rodriguez will also be playing tomorrow night in Chi-town at the Huckleberry Pizza Parlor, directly below the hallowed Daytrotter Studios. Admission is only $10.
Just heard from our friend Melody Baetens who's just released the news that she's now a partner and co-owner of Small's Bar in Hamtramck, where she and Mike and Natalie Mouyianis plan to bring in "the best in local and national talent" seven days a week. As a result, she'll no longer be booking manager or working as a bartender at the Belmont (end of an era?), despite it remaining one of her "favorite local hangouts." She's also giving up her three-year run as co-host of Detroit Local 101 on Riff; her last show will be broadcast this coming Tuesday, January 27th,although co-host Suzy Cole will continue with the show. From this point on, bands interested in playing Small's should e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Local hipsters Gino Fanelli's Sugar Daddies are having a CD release party this Sunday, January 25th, at D'Amato's in Royal Oak. Insiders tell us it's going to be "a semi-classy affair, you know...a grown-up CD Release Party early in the evening with wine, dinner, candles, etc." The band -- formerly the Gypsy Strings of Detroit -- were a little burned out with their old style, so they've retooled into a New Orleans-influenced unit, complete with. horns and an Italian-American singer who scats like "Satchmo" Armstrong. Go to the band's MySpace page for more info and details.
Also off the beaten track is Brighton’s reggae/metal hybrid (yes, you read that right) band, Souldub, which is hosting the Dark Reggae Revolution at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, next Thursday, January 29th The event features three other local units -- Detroit’s dancehall reggae/hip hop artist King Jazzy; Rochester’s female-led reggae/funk rock band Orange Marsupials; and Ann Arbor’s Essence of Ape. While looking for supporting acts for the show, Souldub sought out groups that they felt were "underrated" in the local music scene.
If you missed local "supergroup" the Sure Shots -- Jennie Knaggs, Joel Peterson and Nick Schillace -- on WDET yesterday morning, the band is playing a concert this Saturday, January 24th, at the Trinity House Theater in Livonia. Schillace does a solo set at 8 p.m., followed by the trio at 9 p.m. The group also has a residency at the Majestic Cafe for the next three Wednesdays in a row. They start at 9 p.m.; admission is free.
Speaking of the Trinity House, Michigan songstress Angela Predhomme has a gig there on Friday, February 6th as part of the Songwriters Anonymous Showcase. Ms Predhomme, a Hamburg Township native, is proof positive that one doesn't need to leave the state to make a national splash. She ended last year by selling one of her songs, "Everything is Alright" (hey, I wrote a song with that title once...don't worry, Angela; I'm not the litigious type) to Warner Brothers -- Telepictures, to be exact, which produces both the Tyra Banks and Ellen Degeneres TV shows. She also won a recent contest with her song, "Passing the Days," which is now being shopped for major film and TV placement. The tracks were recorded at Big Sky Recordings in Ann Arbor. Both songs are from the artist's self-titled debut CD, released last month. Kudos!
Speaking of local artists that made an impact waaaay outside the state, D-town's own Slum Village continues to pack a major wallop. One of L.A.'s most popular current club DJ's, DJ Phers1, recently gave an interview to my old stomping ground L.A. Citybeat (though it ain't what it used to be) in which he credited the hip-hop superstar collective (featuring the late J. Dilla) as the album to play when you need to get a rise out of a crowd. To wit:
What’s your go-to album when the club is dying down?
The one I always turn to, that I know for sure people will get into, probably anything from the Slum Village album. “Players,” or anything on that album, is guaranteed to get people back into it.
And, finally, speaking of national attention, last month, based on a readers' poll, NYC's Paper Magazine named Detroit's own Funk Night as "the best party in America." The economy's hitting us hard....but, obviously, we have a lot here to still celebrate. The magazine wrote: "The people, as they say, have spoken, and after an online voting competition, deemed Funk Night, Detroit's monthly throw-down, the best party in America."
Yep. That certainly was a buncha stuff. Till next time...
Slum Village: Still revered outside Michigan...