City Slang: Weekly music review roundup



Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to

Black Jake & the Carnies have a new EP out entitled Watching Waiting, and it appears as if the crabgrass band from Ypsilanti has dropped some of the punk and gone a little further down the traditional path. The subject matter still gives away their wild side though, with songs called things like “Sinners, You Better Get Ready”, and “Cigareets & Whuskey & Wild Wild Women” (no typos – the song is spelled like that). Booze, chicks and banjos are the order of the day.

We received a bunch of stuff from the label UFO Factory this week, including three cassette tapes. That means pulling out the Walkman that I had to hunt down on eBay. Oh well. One of those tapes is from LZR, who we believe to be Human Eye and Conspiracy of Owls man Johnny Lzr. Just call us Sherlock. Anyway, this is the sort of cassette that nightmares are made of, kinda like when that woman pushes play on the VHS in Ringu/The Ring, and the girl climbs out of a well while the craziest music plays. This is like that but without the well, if the movie was in space.

The next tape is by Andrew Coltrane, called Subliminal Commune Relaxation Techniques, and Holy Shit, if this one doesn’t make LZR’s effort sound like the Carpenters. It’s like somebody found an old Lard cassette and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for three minutes. It’s as if a demon is trying to communicate through a fucking blender. It’s a Hellish rumble, and it’s awesome.

Finally, there’s a tape from the Infinity People, The Serpent Tape, which sounds like the score to an awesome piece of film noir that your found while flicking channels at 4 a.m. when you couldn’t sleep. It’s moody and dark, so dark. Every now and again it seems to be leading you towards the light and then, nope, down into the madness again. Love it.

UFO Factory also sent us a couple of cool pieces of vinyl by Tranzistors - a 45 of “Cinnamon Girl” b/w “Honeycomb Girl”, and a three-track 12” called Zanadu. Compared to the other releases from the label, this sounds positively radio-friendly, like a Detroit garage take on T-Rex (including those Tyrannosaurus Rex years). Marcie Bolan adds some of her trademark super-sweet backing vocals. Zanadu appears to contain a bunch of remixes, but they’re no less fun. Much to love.

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