City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

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Remember – if you send it, it will get reviewed. That’s the City Slang promise. It doesn’t matter what genre the music is – as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it’ll get in. Preferably, we’d like to concentrate on new releases but, while we’re getting warmed up here, feel free to send back catalog material too. Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, City Slang, Metro Times, 733, St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to mt.cityslang@gmail.com.

Dave Boutette played with trash titans the Junk Monkeys back in the day, and toured with the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls and Hootie and the Blowfish (don’t judge the band on those horrible headliners – the Junk Monkeys were really good). Anyway, Boutette of Ann Arbor is now playing acoustic singer / songwriter stuff with Mending Time (self-released), but it isn’t at all dull (as these things so often are when hard rockers go soft). No, the song writing is heartfelt and earthy, like a campfire with genuinely cool people. Boutette is getting old gracefully, although a Monkeys reunion would be most welcome.

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Lawless Carver are damned liars. Their Live at GBS Detroit (self-released) album isn’t live at all (or at least, it doesn’t sound like it). I smell a rat. Fortunately, it’s bloody good in an atmospheric, prog-scuzz-rock sort of way. Imagine the Ozric Tentacles getting fried at the Ann Arbor folk festival, then getting hammered at the Blind Pig. Voila.

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Danny D is almost certainly instantly recognizable to anyone who ever goes to shows in and around Detroit. He is the guy who looks exactly Rod Stewart, as he performs a Rod tribute show. Still Got the Boy in Me (Vagabond) is his attempt to prove that he is more than a covers dude, and that he is a capable artist in his own right. He’s successful too. This album is very, very polished and will suit those who prefer their rock ’n’ roll clean. But there are some well-written songs on here, not to mention some guest appearances from local notables like Alto Reed, Mark Farner and Drew Abbott amongst others. A pleasant surprise, all told.

The final piece of music reviewed this week is astounding. The artist is Mecca, and we were sent via email a song called “I’m a Believer”. The email read, “I am soon to release a song to bring the people of Detroit together in these hard times. Its theme is already popular among DETROITERS but, there is no song that the people can sing together. The song is entitled "I'M A BELIEVER". Please permit me to send you the first copy, so that you can get the vision. The artist is MECCA, music teacher who has taught in DPS schools for thirty years, and hold a MASTERS degree in music.” All of which is great, right? The sentiment is magnificent. Sadly, the tune isn’t strong enough to genuinely get all of the people of Detroit singing together. The part when he chants, “Go Lions, Go. Go Pistons. Go Red Wings” is awesome, mind. A nice thought sir.

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