I woke up on Friday morning with a bad case of what can only be described as Blowout-fatigue. In other words, I was knackered. These frantic late nights out on school nights soon start to take their toll. So as Day 3 of the festival loomed, I decided that I was going to take it a little easier. Rather than dashing around to see as many bands as I could, taking in ten minutes here and there of numerous sets, I would pick a select few out carefully and amble around Hamtramck at a more sedate pace.
And so it was that I wound up at Paycheck's to see the Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program. Aside from that stellar name, I’d heard good things about this duo who come off like an early Dinosaur Jr. I wasn’t disappointed, though while wondering if there was more fuzz coming out of the amps or on the faces of the musicians, my fiancé Toni coined the term ‘grizzly chic’ in celebration of the many attendees who seemed to be sporting beards in tribute to the band. From that point on, all I could see was facial hair. Time to leave.
The Belmont was full to bursting for I, Crime’s set so they must be worth a look, right? Wrong. Run of the mill indie that not even a female, Celtic sounding singer could save.
Bored out of my mind, I ducked into the nearby Trowbridge House of Coffee, just to see what was going on. Madame XD actually turned out to be one of the most joyous surprises of the festival so far (along with the Wrong Numbers on Wednesday). Female fronted and sporting some exotic-looking instruments that probably have names I can’t pronounce, they pummeled through a set that seamlessly blends garage rock and traditional Asian music, including a cover of Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thing”. Awesome.
Vivian George’s set at the New Dodge was the one I was most looking forward to tonight, and the songstress was predictably fantastic. I was told that she had only had one practice with her newly-assembled band, which is ridiculous because they were as tight as a duck's ass. It shouldn’t be surprising; Novadriver guitarist Billy Reedy, Crud / Charm Farm drummer Eric Hoegemeyer and Orbitsuns man Sir Tim Duvalier (taking bass duties here) are all seasoned musicians and masters of their craft, and they helped turn George’s set into something really special. Falling somewhere between Patti Smith, Melissa Etheridge and Alannah Myles, her songs are as introspective as they are fun.
I ended my evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall with the Dirtbombs. Somehow, I’d managed to never see these guys live before and they were as good as I had been constantly informed. Not even the crippling acoustics in the room could hold them back, as they brought the night to a close with a genuine bang.
I'm still shagged out though. That Saturday morning lie-in is sure going to feel good.
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