City Slang: Deadbeat Beat rocks the Alley

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On Friday night, the weather was looking ominous enough that the DITA organizers were pushed to put a statement on the website saying that the festival would be going ahead, and that there would be no alternative rain day. However, when Saturday arrived there were no such worries. It was a beautiful day, suggesting that somebody high up is smiling on the Dally.

And so he/she should. This is a tremendous festival; a Detroit tradition that has managed to remain untainted by corporate sponsorship and big business. The food and product stands have the vibe of a big yard sale and backyard barbeque (although, to the dude selling chips with sour cream on them – eight bucks? Really?) But anyway

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It’s truly awesome to see this part of Detroit transformed like this, as it is every year. People from all walks of life bump shoulders (and heels), and Detroit feels warm and welcoming. And the music was great.

As we arrived, hip-hop duo Self Says was rocking the Forest Stage with rhymes about White Castle, among other things. I’ll be checking these guys out again – the vibe was laid back in a De La Soul sort of way, and the tongue was firmly in the cheek. Lots of fun.

The Deadbeat Beat, featuring former members of the Decks, were superb. The old surfy garage influence from the former band is still there, but it sounds like the guys have been listening to a lot of Sonic Youth, Weezer and even the Velvet Underground over the past year or two. The tunes are still catchy, but the tone is slightly darker and the fuzz has been increased. Great set.

After that, the Walking Beat seemed a little tame, but that’s through no fault of their own. The guys deliver quirky, bright and breezy pop-rock tunes with style that sits well under the sun at a festival. It just wasn’t their day.

OK, next stop, the DIY in Ferndale next weekend

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