"When you're in Hamtramck, man... You gotta bust out an accordion!" (Friday Recap)

by

Last night, because of a slight oversight, I experienced Blowout freedom. And it was good.

After taking such a long time to plan out my very-diligently-selected Friday Blowout schedule, I forgot it at home. Oh. Shit. Now "going with the flow" and "seeing what happens" are not really strong parts of my make-up. Sure, they're traits that most likely lead to a longer, healthier life, but I don't mentally excel in these areas. Was I going to be able to wing it? I'm proud to say that, yes. Yes I did. And as a result, last night was SO FUN!

My girlfriend and I were spending the evening with a couple friends who had a Friday night Blowout schedule of, "The Juliets, and then whatever else." So we started off at the G of C Lounge. The first time I saw this band was last year's Blowout at Jean's and it was just Jeremy Freer, Kaylan Mitchell on cello and Sarah Myers on violin. As a three piece they were amazing, but with the addition of Office's Scott Mason (drums) and Kip Donlon (bass) they're like a pop super group. They're one of my favorites in this city, and MAN are those ladies good string players. Beautiful.

We then walked across the street to Skipper's to catch Randy Chabot's newest incarnation SX-8 Columbia. Randy told the audience "I've got a new band that's working on stuff, but this is just me jamming, I hope you like it." I think the best way to describe his set would be Deastro-Goes-To-City-Club. I think he's been listening to a lot of Joy Division lately. I have a soft spot for 80's goth, so I enjoyed it, but if there had been a dude dressed as The Crow in the crowd nodding along, he would've fit right in.

After that we walked to Small's to see Bars Of Gold. I had only seen them once before - when they played a stellar set as the Talking Heads at the Crofoot Halloween bash last year. So that doesn't really count as officially seeing them. The easiest way to describe Bars of Gold is "Wildcatting, but with a singer." And while that's at least basically factual, I wasn't prepared for how great that would actually be. So. Awesome. Lead vocalist Marc Paffi is intense, insane, and has the stage presence of the Jesus Lizard's David Yow. He repeatedly jumped into the audience, humped the stage, and kissed the guy standing next to me on the lips (just once, not repeatedly). If Fugazi had Yow as a front man, but played like they lived off a steady diet of funk and MC5 records they'd sound a lot like this. Wow.

We then made our way back to the other side of town to catch some of the Ferdy Mayne. They were on my radar because they play with Lightning Love sometimes, and anything that's good enough for Lightning Love is good enough for me. When we got to Whiskey In the Jar, it was packed almost to capacity. And people kept pouring in. And in. The band sounded pretty good, but we decided we needed to go someplace a little less packed. But where?

Friendly Foes were playing at the Belmont at 12:20am, but so was a band called Lac La Belle at Baker's. So should we go see a band we already know we love, or go see something totally random at Baker's? We figured we'd take a chance - after all, if these Lac La Belle people weren't doing it for us, it was only three steps away from the Belmont. Turns out that Lac La Belle is FANTASTIC! It's Jennie Knaggs from I, Crime and two guys doing traditional bluegrass/country/folk. I like her voice in I, Crime, but this is her niche. Wow. She also played accordion for a couple numbers, and when she got it out, bassist Joel Peterson said, "When you're in Hamtramck, man... You gotta bust out an accordion!" So true. Knaggs' voice has a Neko Case quality to it, and Nick Schillace (resonator guitar, banjo, vocals) sounds a little like Townes Van Zandt. We stayed for their whole set. It's happy discoveries like this that make Blowout such an amazing and addictive experience!

We wrapped up our evening at the G of C Hall to catch some of the Detroit Cobras. I had never seen them before and felt like this was something that should be remedied. They were great. The place was really full so we couldn't get very close to the stage. From where we were standing, the bassist looked a lot like the administrative assistant at my work. If she's in the Detroit Cobras and has never bothered to mentioned this to me, I'm gonna be so pissed.

One. More. Night. Should I scrap my list tonight too? Or will that be pushing my luck? We'll see what happens.

comment