by Jeff Milo
In any case, I can't speak for independent crafters and designers tending individual booths, but I know that when most of the bands get up there, on mostly any of the four stages (depending, maybe on weather and reliability of that day's sound equipment) they often walk away marking that day as one of their favorite performances of the year. Much of that has to do with the audience, their enthusiasm couples with the endearment of the neighborhood (hey, they let 10,000 some odd strangers traipse and imbibe in their backyards every year) and the dedication of the volunteer staff. It all swells together with the unavoidable nostalgia and happy-wistfulness of Summer's ending...to strike such copacetic chords in those listening, dancing, singing and playing...
But what it also does is give Detroit-area audiences the chance to hear sounds from 40-minutes down the freeway. We had visitors from the west in Ypsilanti's Rebel Kind - a personal stand-out for me.
Beautiful lead vocals, a comforting/haunting warble that soars like a hurried haze over swiftly strummed guitars fired by some rusty purr of feedback and distortion while the rhythms whip a workable boogie or spilled out shimmy. Autumn Wetli, who some might recognize as the drummer/backing vocalist of Bad Indians - leads this group (with Shelley Salant on bass and Amber Fellows on drums).
Wetli's woozy voice could just as easily accommodate a post-paisley, dreamy-eyed 70's folk troubador type of soul music; she fittingly sang some send-ups to that era, actually, and a particular scene of soon-to-be-icons with this summer's Laurel Canyon - Yet, that voice fits as a sensational sweetener to the kartwheeling, bumber-car tumble of the rougher, psychedelic-punk leaning sound they scraped out on the Garden Stage last night. There's still some softer, swooning ballads blossoming in their catalog though - go dig through it.