by Jeff Milo
It's gotten to where I can stumble with a whimsy of somewhat cocky sureness that wherever I crash will be hosting something of sonic interest at that particular moment, however random, you will catch something, someone... At least it's getting there. Who knows what delusions one will dribble out after straight gin precedes your shuffling onto the sidewalk past the poster for this weekend's Pig & Whiskey Festival. Bands everywhere. Whiskey everywhere. Charred flesh and droning tones, melodies popping through the big amps and sweaty drummers breaking down/setting-up swiftly.
But it's next Saturday that I'm writing about, here, and it's just as bustling.
I should probably start with where you can get a cookie.
It's all coming together. The hipster-haven that-is Ferndale is achieving its full pedal-splayed bloom, so vibrant. We have regular music festivals (this weekend's roast, toast and local-rock/hip-hop recital could prove to be just the opening ceremonies for the DIY Street Fair two months later) and, for all intents and purposes, a new venue via The Loving Touch, one, possibly, to rival some of the other beer-bolstered rock clubs down in Detroit to coddle us suburbanites further into settling in for walkable live-music intakes). Now, finally, we get a new Record Shop; a "new-and-used" place, opening up glossy and stocked, to, possibly, rival the way out joints in Dearborn or the nearer-by wax houses like UHF.
Jumping the gun back in April, I scribbled about this place, called Found Sound, opening up right in Ferndale's downtown, inside Mother Fletchers' previous location (234 West 9 Mile). Owner Dean Yeotis has an impressive enthusiasm for the preservation of antiquarian culture, particularly vinyl, his colossal collection was culled from the sinking ships of Record Time, Car City Records and a few other prominent, but now by-gone, stores. Managers Ray Hayosh and Chris Butterfield have been boxing, un-boxing, painting, re-painting, brooming and alphabetically arranging this place all Spring, keeping their sanity through the hatching of schemes such as: having bands perform regularly inside the store, hosting "movie-nights," and offering free cookies.
Cookies, at least, to the first 100 people through the door when they open on Saturday, 7/21, at 11:30 a.m. Stop back after supper for musical desserts, starting around 9 p.m., they'll break-in the new joint proper with some knuckled noise from scruffy post-punk types booming bladed guitars and resonating dialed up reverb-effects and plentiful head-detaching echoes.
Musical program: The sinewy, shred-indulging Dread Wings, the collar-yanking, shin-kicking uppercut hardcore punk of Fake Surfers , the stellar, slinky-rock and operatic WeirdPop stylings of Phantom Cats (listen below) and the groovy/noisy/altered/illuminated psychedelia of Pupils.
Now, both Butterfield and Hayosh worked, for years, at the Roseville-location of Record Time, both still bearing a reverence for the vibe it achieved. The importance of that has not been lost on the duo, to be welcoming for the hang-out, a sanctuary of sound where "the 2nd half of the store," Butterfield said, "is essentially a living room."
"And we won't be a niche-store, pretty broad."
As Hayosh puts it, a place you can find old Jimmy Reed records but also the latest thing off of the Matador or SubPop labels.
"We've been calculating about everything," Hayosh said, admitting that such meticulousness has driven them to lose their minds and drift into "cartoon babble," from time to time. "Focusing our energy on nothing but the store," has lead Hayosh's house to "look like a media bomb went off in it: cassettes, records, books..."
Attaining the right vibe is key and Butterfield says he's feeling fairly "bullish" about it. "The space by itself, I can't imagine a better space. As much as it should be a store it should be a meeting place."
They'll have a movie night on Sunday. Stop n' shop.
But if you're away from Ferndale on Saturday, say, if you're south and a bit westward, nearer to Corktown, there's something completely different; more cerebral, more outside-the-box and kinda-all-over-the-walls.
The recently established Corktown Studios (2707 14th St. ) is a Warholian-esque music/art hub, a gallery space for local artists, an occasional venue for live performances and the musical-headquarters of gritty/pretty indie-pop duo Rogue Satellites. On Saturday night, you can come see said-band's electro-blend of post-hardcore/post-grunge sensibilities into a sweet-yet-snarled pop brew from inside the transporting environment of an art-installation brought to life by CCS fine-arts-student, visual artist Alicia Victoria Schneider.
This is a great meeting-of-minds, per se, as the Satellites are both painters themselves and visually augment their sets through cosmetically modified lighting and equipment, while Schneider's vision is, itself, multifaceted, with talents combining sculpture, painting, printmaking and filmmaking.
*When you finish your cookies and record-shopping, say around 3 p.m., you can come view the installation. The band will perform inside-of-it after 5 p.m.
That very same night, a personal favorite, Bars of Gold, returns to the stage... any stage, but generally the stage, after a few months off. Their last show morphed into a Wildcatting set (the instrumental arm of Bars of Gold, featuring 80% of its membership). With their drummer, Brandon Moss, finally back home from his time in D.C., their signature vociferous rock gales can rattle our heads once again, their heels heated and spurred by a recent welcome-home gig at the Loving Touch in Ferndale wrapping a brief midwest tour.
Saturday night at the Shelter (under St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit), you'll hear the latest songs from sounds from BoG opening up for Motion City Soundtrack fostered alt-rock outfit The Company We Keep.
You'll hear/witness/experience the rhythm/harmony-centric, synth-acoustic-smooshing fuzz fare of post-Prussians Ryan, Adam and percussionist Ryan Clancy as the Jamaican Queens, along with the headier songs of Death-Star-trench barrel-rolling laser rockers Summer Pledge, as featured on their newest album Vessels.
View the Summer Pledge's new music video and keep your mouse's-clicked near Jamaican Queens as they prepare for an early-autumn tour with Ypsi-based indie-pop trio Lightning Love (who, themselves, have a new album out, at the end of August, on Quite Scientific).
It's all happening. Including, on September 16th (in the midst of the DIY Street Fair), the Jamaican Queens will release their debut recording via a 7" single at the Loving touch.