by Jeff Milo
And it's gotta be here, on this ol' blahg, since I'm dubious that I could ever needle this narrative into the print pages of MT - it's just folks 'round town here, (at least between Outer Dr. and Southfield Fwy) might not be initially grabbed by cover stories on the new noises of a town so far west as Kalamazoo.
The current surge started in a place called The Strutt - this big old blue house that became the centrifuge of Kzoo's contemporary art-rock/indie-twisted/Americana-tweaking music scene, a coffee-house/venue (and formidable hub for various meetings-of-the-young-minds for the areas up-and-coming musicians). The original spot housed a fledgling record label and recording studio in its basement - as well as claimed responsibility for the formation of numerous local collaborations that would fuse into official, album-churning bands.
At the end of winter, this year, The Strutt closed, but the collective it forged continues to fly.
Bands were welcomed (appropriately by the band Elk Welcome), into said-band's studio space. "Since then," said local singer/songwriter Graham Parsons (of The Go-Rounds) "that office of an old oil refinery in the city's industrial district has become our home and creative hub."
The official name of said-creative hub and the official label it formed: Double Phelix.
"We've been filling the space up with weird keyboards, amps, guitars and recording equipment," Parsons said.
Parsons' band, The Go-Rounds, is releasing a 7" single this week, leading up to an eventual full-length album, which leads a line of about a half-dozen other releases already laid down and put out by Double Phelix.
"The idea of the collective is to simply create, and keep doing so no matter what..."
Kzoo's getting their own Brill-Building-esque/Tin-Pan-Alley tapping incarnation. In fact, every Monday evening, Parsons says, any given member of the Double Phelix collective "brings a song to the mix, chooses someone to sing it, we all learn it, then cut it in one night."
The current line up:
The Go Rounds
And, likely, many more to come...
Video^ by Mostly Midwest.