by Jeff Milo
As punctual as St. Nick himself...via their Holiday Samplers...Herding bands must at least be as trying as herding flying reindeer, but each year, SubSprawl's able to curate two dozen (or more) bands, songwriters and special one-time collaborative performers for a local compilation of Merry Melodies.
Christening its 11th consecutive year, SubSprawl offers you a range of covers of tried-and-true traditionals (your "Let It Snow's" and your "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen") re-imagined through the melodic minds and rust-belt-flat-syllabic-resonated voices of myriad Michigan music types - along with fun, flippant and downright charming original twist-ups like "December Babies Get The Birthday Shaft," "Somerset Solo" and "Christmas for Cowboys."
Its also, year to year, a fine balance of long-established acts (veterans of the SubSprawl clique, Dave Lawson of the Pop Project, Alan James of the Cold Wave and label cheiftain Zach Curd) blended with newer up-and-comers like the Kickstand Band, In Fact, and the Fencemen. And no one should go without a toast of Woodman's fuzz-pop warbles, this time of year.
While you're here and potentially still feeling in the warm n' cheery spirit of the season (...however early it is, sheesh; it's only JUST December)...You may also be interested in another local music tradition marked on December's catalog:
Mittenfest - a Benefit for 826 Michigan.
5 Days - 50 bands - all proceeds going towards the creative-writing-tutorship nonprofit (based in Ann Arbor).
The bands performing this year (at Woodruff's in Ypsilanti) leaked out onto the Internet a few hours ago... Find your way via Mittenfest's Facebook.
So there you go... Happy Weekend, everybody!
Enjoy a new music video from local synth-pop-swaggered duo Belle Ghoul, a filmic visualization of their early 2012 debut single.
Filmed by Keith Thompson • Edited by Andy Allen (The Work)