We started off the evening at Jean's for Jamie Register & the Glendales. It's a tiny place and it was filled with folks. They sounded really great, busting out the kind of R&B funkiness that makes you want to move. That wasn't really possible in this setting as we were all shoulder to shoulder. I couldn't see much of anything, but if I stood on my tip toes, I could see that the man responsible for the amazing funk bass lines was a big burly white man with a ZZ Top beard. Sweet.
On our way out of Jean's, we saw Prussia's Ryan Spencer by the door and he asked us where we were headed next. "To see Kojack," I said. He looked puzzed and said, "Carjack?" I said, "No, Kojack." To which my girlfriend, hearing my foolishness said, "No, the KODAKS." "Oh, OK!" said Ryan, now understanding. He probably thinks I'm an idiot, but I blame the whole thing on the Rip It energy drink I had before we left the house. It made me uncomfortably energetic and I felt like my brain was going a mile a minute. So yes, we saw the Kodaks next, not Telly Savalas. They were fun, sloppy indie rock... I really liked their song about being kissed at the movies. The guitar player was wearing a gas mask for the first couple of songs. I wasn't sure if this was a political statement of some kind, or if gas masks are just the latest American Apparel accessory craze.
One of my favorite things about the Belmont is the artwork they display. There's always something interesting or amazing, and it reminds you how much creative talent there is in this area. One of the pieces was a photograph by Renata Bozena of what appeared to be the gate to an abandoned building. On it somebody had painted in huge letters, "Don't try. I am sleeping with a big dog an ugly woman, two shot guns and a claw hammer." This phrase kept popping into my head the rest of the night, as I wondered, of the possible calamities intruders were warned about, which was the biggest deterrant? My money is on the ugly woman.
We then went over to Baker's where we caught the end of Mobil's set. He was rapping on the odd little Baker's stage to some prerecorded tracks. It was much like watching a friend preform rap-Karaoke, but in a good way. He was making the best of Baker's very... well, un-hip-hop atmosphere, saying between songs, "Imagine if there were lights and a huge dance floor when you hear this next track..." He also thanked everybody for watching him, and even started to gather up his things while he was performing his last song. Efficient! I really enjoyed it. He said something about having a 7" and I'm going to have to track this down.
Big Mess was up next at Baker's. Though I always preach that Blowout is a time to check out new stuff, my girlfriend and I have this thing where we try to never miss a Big Mess set. They're one of our favorite bands in Detroit, and they always put on such a good show. The chemistry between them is always fun to watch - Scott Allen has "nice moves" (at least that's what my girlfriend just said). Even in the tiny performance space that is Baker's at Blowout, they were full of energy. And sweat. Lots of sweat. They said something about a record release at the end of the month. This basically means that my year is made.
We then headed over to Paycheck's to check out Canja Rave. It would be too easy to describe them as "the Brazilian White Stripes." Also not entirely accurate. I mean, maybe, if Jack White sounded like Cookie Monster, and Meg White, despite her petite stature, made you feel a little afraid. They were fun to watch, but encountered some annoying sound problems that were obviously frustrating them. A lot of their songs sounded kind of like scary children's songs - like they'd be perfect for a Halloween episode of Yo Gaba Gaba.
We stuck around for the Beggars -- who I hadn't seen since two summers ago. They always put on a great show. I was pleasantly surprised to see Jim Faulkner, who I worked with at Record Time way back in the day, playing drums for them. Many hours he and I spent in that store listening to the Who and eating Fritos. Good times. My only complaint about the show: When you're a huge, huge dude, and you step directly in front of me when I'm already at the front of the stage (and have been waiting longer than you) and you get out your "hi-tek" video camera to take shitty footage of the show, even LEANING BACK limbo-style to "get a better shot," that is what they call, "a dick move." Please make a note of it. The Beggars have a 7"-inch release show on April 2nd at the Magic Bag, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again with a non-obstructed view.
Next we headed off to the great, cavernous G of C Hall to see a little bit of Silverghost and some Millions of Brazilians. Now, I'll admit that after four nights of this madness, I kind of hit my misanthropic threshold. As much as I wanted to see M of B again, after Silverghost ended, I was realizing my desire to be home, clean and in my pajamas was overpowering my desire to stay for much longer. But we stayed for a couple of M of B's songs -- they sounded as good as anybody CAN sound in that room and I was happy to see so many people there to see them. I'm sure right after we left they set the stage on fire or something.
Blowout is now completed. mad props to everybody who played and everybody who makes this happen. Detroit's Blowout is one-of-a-kind on so many levels.