by Jeff Milo
So...I went out and bothered/solicited/queried just a fraction of musicians/performers from the chock-full Blowout line-up, picking their brains on a few items of news, nostalgia and potential insight
One perennially contentious item being bands' reacting to the descriptors allotted them upon the event's schedule/guide. Some love it; love loathe it; some just roll their eyes.
Jen David (Illy Mack - 3/3 - New Dodge - 9:00 pm):
"OH,....about our description... I wish they would have said we were as charming as Lisa Simpson and Mr. Dress up... Our description would have been contemporary in 1936. I don't think any readers will understand our comparisons to Myrna Loy and Reggie Mantle ...except for maybe Greg Baise
JR (Ferndale Acid Scene - 3/2 - Mar's Bar - 10:40 pm):
"If they had bands submit their own Blurbs....well..., I don't think the Metrotimes web server has that much space. Last year, when we were written up for (for my other band) Sheefy Mcfly and The Delorean we were "....something something, racially diverse" just because we had a black kid as a singer. So yeah, the Blurbs aren't exactly the best thing about Blowout...What matters is that you were asked to play, and maybe even compensated!" (This dude's part of a new record label, by the way...)
Jeremy Freer (The Juliets - 3/1 - Paychecks - 9:00 pm):
"I actually like this one. “Melodic unlike anything in Detroit, or perhaps anywhere.” That works for us. We've never hid our love for melody and are always looking for interesting ways to represent that. We'd only add that along with the melody there's some thunder as well.
Kyle McBee (Future Slang - 3/2 - Whiskey in the Jar - 12:40 pm):
"The Blowout site is impressive this year, more accurate...whereas for past line-ups I feel that there was a tendency to go for the easy joke instead of actually saying something relevant to the band...There are at least three bands that i love today that had i just went off of their blowout description in years past, i would have just assumed were terrible. I'd say its an improvement....For Future Slang('s debut), I'd say expect some big beats, in a hip hop vein with music that is all together not hip hop. Expect dancy, occasionally dreamy, indie pop, but not the kind of indie pop you'd get in a minivan commercial, more the kind you might hear at a weird euro dance club that was really into bauhaus and J-Dilla..."
Future Slang video - ...
...Or... as these bands blur by over the next four days, maybe you won't get the proper (or quiet/audible) chance to chat with them and see what they've been up to, or what they plan to be up to, in the coming month(s), music-wise...
Asim Akhtar - Oblisk (3/2 - Whiskey in the Jar - 9:00 pm):
"We are excited to get our next album City Squares (recorded @ High Bias w/Chris Koltay)out, soon. It's our favorite thing about this whole music game: the craft of making a record and holding the end result. It's also exciting to work on new songs which lead to the next release...always getting ahead of ourselves....I've never been to blowout, so my favorite thing will be experiencing what it's all about; hopefully some of my friends will stop being "blown out" about me never having been to the Blowout..."
Ryan Cox - The Good Things(3/1 - Jean's - 10:00 pm):
"I'm trying to regain some ground-swell now that I'm back on stage with a band -so I'm going to give out a bunch of free 4-song CDs at our show at Jean's; probably some t-shirts too, if there are people there..."
Gabe Dodson - Old Empire (3/1 - Mar's Bar - 10:40 pm):
"There's a record that's been done -Isn't It Pretty To Think So- but, don't really know how or when it will be released. There are some new songs that are ready for recording. Some of the new songs are part of a larger narrative thing we're working on. I tend to write vignettes. On the new thing, I want to stitch the vignettes into something like a three-act play. We're also (finally) hatching plans for a some Midwest touring...."
Eric Allen - Twine Time (3/1 - Skippers?/Chill&Mingle? - 9:20 pm)
"Twine Time is like Jimmy Buffett and Gino Washington's Atlantics ate honey slides with Neil Young while he was making "On The Beach." That or we're like Big Star and the Banana Splits holed up in Big Pink. ...Matt Larson from Johnny Ill Band joined the band on bass which I'm super excited about that. I'd expect a tape from us by the beginning of summer on Gold Tapes, tentatively: Some Get Strange ...or The Shape of Summer to Come."
Dustin McLaughlin - The Summer Pledge (3/1 - Painted Lady - 9:00 pm)
"Playing our first Blowout...Vessels full length LP will be coming out in the coming months. Excited for this to drop because, --We've been playing these songs live for a year now and... It will be nice to have something that we all feel sonically represents our band. We'll be hitting the road for a couple weeks in May to support it..."
Jim Cherewick - Congress - (3/2 - Painted Lady - 10:00 pm)
"An 8-song record is done and coming out on cassette in the coming months."
And if Cherewick could write his own blurb?
"...That's right! C'mon in folks! watch as Congress pummels you into a paste, raises you up in surprise, puts a grin on your face. takes you on a ride of love/hate/wonderment . you've heard them in your dreams, now you will hear them as live as you or me! we dig 80's 90's post punk..." "...ahh nostalgia..."
Jonathan Berz - Songs From The Moon (3/1 - Skipper's - 9:20 pm):
"Blowout is one of my favorite times of the year. There's a spirit of "we're all in this together" that is so rare these days. Get to Know Mine EP came out last Saturday at Small's, also there's a 7" called Protest Strategies that will come out on April 6th at the Ferndale Public Library (First Stop Friday series). Then, by early summer we'll be releasing a split CD and instrumental EP, Simple Living Ferndale on our own DIY record label. As a four piece now, the songs are getting shorter, faster, more high-energy. I'm excited to see where we go from here. Plus, I (Berz,) just released by first solo single Morning Sun...
Then...there's everyone's favorite (and sometimes not-so-favorite) things about this 4-day-blur of hundreds' of bands
Eric Allen: "My favorite thing about Blowout is that for four days I feel like I have no responsibilities and no cares in the world. I just get to run into friend after friend after friend and hear some of the greatest music in the world. I don't really have anything bad to say about..."
Jeremy Freer: "Blowout definitely allows for the element of chaos more than most shows. Which is fine with us. We're ready for anything. As long as there's electricity..." (Freer said that the Juliets are currently working on a music video for the song "Only You" streaming below).
Ryan Cox: "Favorite thing? ...No one questions my white skin when I introduce myself as 'blacker' than them..."
Jim Cherewick: "I love the Hamtramck venues. Blowout is fun stuff. People who love music playing for people who love music.
Gabe Dodson: "My favorite and least favorite thing about Blowout are kind of two sides of the same coin....
...Blowout engenders a halcyon sense of camaraderie among musicians and music fans in Detroit...for one weekend... once a year."