City Slang: Weekly music review roundup



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

John Lee Hooker has a new DVD out, Cook With the Hook: Live in 1974 (MVD Visual), and it’s stunning. The show was filmed at a festival in Gardner, Massachusetts, and while there are only six songs in the set, this really is a case of quality over quantity. The man from Mississippi who made a home in Detroit is on top of his game, and the likes of “Boom Boom” and “Whiskey & Women” sound cracked, honest and beautiful. Johnnie Bassett recently told us that Hooker was not the easiest guy to play with, because he cared not for timing or technical things like that. John Lee Hooker was all about feel, and nobody ever felt the blues more.

The Shy send us something for review every month, or at least it feels that way. This week, we received a cassette tape from 1990 called Sid’s Grill. The really weird thing is that each recording they send seems to have a completely different sound. Apparently, in ’90, the Shy were being hugely influenced by Morrissey, plus the likes of the Alarm, Bad Company and Spear of Destiny. Some good tunes on here, but nothing spectacular.

Clocking in at 1:03, "Brain Rot" is very nearly epic by Kommie Kilpatrick's standards. Originally released on a compilation CD called Greetings From Detroit, this is typical dumb punk fun, with a title that couldn't be more apt. "Got a case of brain rot, got it really bad, got a case of brain rot, now I'm not so sad", they exclaim, and from there the lyrics get less intelligent. If any of this sounds like a put-down, it isn't. They might not write like Dylan, but they play like mean motherfuckers.

Local singer/songwriter Mayaenihas found herself the subject of a remix via mega DJ Sander Van Doorn. The track is “Nothing Inside” and, while it was great to begin with, it now sounds epic. In her own words, “It's pretty crazy with the buzz it's making. The song made it to #1 on beatport charts within the first week of its release. No surprises there.

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