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.

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It’s funny how these things work out sometimes. This music journo gig can be all rock ‘n’ roll one minute, and then completely random the next. And so it was that I was eating a soul food brunch on Easter Day with my wife and son, and a jazz / blues duo was crooning and picking away in the background. The music hypnotized my 4-month-old kid, so I got the CDs from them. The musicians are Sheila Landis and Rick Matle, and the jazz they play, infused as it is with ethereal world music, is as relaxing as music gets. The two CDs, 2010’s Heart Plaza and 2008’s Blues in the Night (SheLan Music) showcase that gorgeous style perfectly. It’s the musical equivalent of curling up in bed on a windy night with a good book. Great stuff.

Frank Woodman of Woodman sent in a new demo by his new band, Ungrateful Daughter. Some of the members have crossed over from Woodman, but the sound is entirely different. Where there is a folk element to that band, Ungrateful Daughter is far more, well, artsy in a Jane’s Addiction sort of art punk way. This song, “We Have Done”, promises much so keeps your ear to the ground for more.

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As somebody who hates Sublime and later Chili Peppers, that whole West Coast chill vibe, I should hate Of Mice and Musicians, yet somehow they manage to incorporate some Detroit filth into the twang, trippy stuff. Bottle & Bone (Dark City) is actually an awesome summer record. For those that like to indulge in medicinal foliage, this will be a welcome album also.

The History of Panic is the solo project from Panic of Lettercamp and, like his regular gig, his work here is full of pop melody and hooks galore amidst the electronica wizardry. Panic is one of those sickeningly talented dudes who can play anything and, here, he proves that he’s well capable of stepping out of the shadows and allowing his own gift for the anthemic tune-age and vocals to stand on their own two feet.

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