Apparently, I’m hot on the battle-of-the-bands circuit right now. I’ve just finished judging my second contest, this time at the Wired Frog in Eastpointe. Now, I know I write about music a lot and, here and there, I’ll offer a critique, but the last thing I ever want to do is discourage enthusiastic young rockers from continuing in their musical journey. So, while I guess it’s cool to have a win on your side and a few extra bucks in your pocket as a young band starting out, the arbitrariness of the whole thing pretty much sucks. Philosophies aside, I had the good fortune of hearing this intense and quite impressive hardcore band, Introvert, the winner of this past weekend’s contest. Man, the lead screamer’s got one of the grittiest punk growls I’ve ever heard. And the bassist had this super cute-scary Kittie thing going on. At one point, they actually made me miss “Headbanger’s Ball,” which is very weird.
Anyhoo, after nearly seven hours of nu-metal-inspired teenage angst, I headed over to the Lager House and my crumbling ears met with a soothing remedy called Atalaya. Playing its first show ever opening up for the Holy Childhood, the band had the audience severely hypnotized with a beautifully basic quiet groove accented by the distinctive bewitching vocals of bassist Leah Duncan. Her inflections are distinct in the same sense that P.J. Harvey or Kristin Hersh would be considered distinct, but she doesn’t sound much like either of those vocalists. The quartet also features members of Slumber Party and Baby Ambassador — a band that’s playing a benefit for Jewel Heart (an organization dedicated to translating the principles of Tibetan Buddhism into contemporary life) at the Blind Pig July 28 with Howling Diablos and Mind Circus.
ONE TIME AT BAND CAMP ...
Speaking of crumbling ears and hypnosis, Princess Dragon Mom’s seventh annual Noise Camp is upon us. This year, noise lovers get an extra special treat besides the usual tofu hotdogs washed down with a gulp from the hollow log. Ronald Cornelissen, a Dutch noise artist who has performed at noise camps in Europe and Japan, but never in Detroit, will be in town for this Saturday’s electro-acoustic project at CPOP, which features the electric bear, the electric log, the electric watermelon and the electric pine cone. The free, all-ages event goes down 7-11 p.m. CPOP Gallery is at 4160 Woodward in Detroit. Call 313-833-9901.
Sadly, this space is often used to alert music fans of venue closings. This week, there are a few, but there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel. As many already know, Gold Dollar is closing Aug. 18. The venue’s owner-operator-sound guy, Neil Yee, is understandably tired of dedicating every weekend of his life to the same space after doing it for five years. Last I heard he hasn’t sold it yet, but it’s been quietly for sale for more than a year. He says he’d prefer that it continue as a performance space of some sort, but he’s not requiring it of potential buyers.
A few days later, after hearing that the “last show ever” at Ann Arbor’s Pirate House is taking place Aug. 11 (or maybe 12), we got word that Logic, the new performance space, art gallery and digital recording studio in Hamtramck closed after the loft’s landlord read a feature about it in the Free Press and evicted the DIY tenants. Well, word on the street is that the venue found a new home and all the events scheduled to occur at the old space are still on, including an art- and music-fest Aug. 3-6. Stay tuned to hear when the new location is announced. At press time, the organizers were preparing to sign the lease on a downtown location.
West-side favorites, Small Brown Bike, will be at the Shelter with End It, Biddy Biddy Biddy and Inside Five Minutes on Thursday. If you go, be sure to keep an eye out for the band’s split 7-inch with Cursive released on Kalamazoo’s Makoto Recordings. It’s part of a pretty cool series where each band includes one song and a story about the worst thing that band (or member of said band) ever did. The label is releasing two at a time. The Lovesick/Aloha split is also available now. You can find out more about the series at www.makotorecordings.com.E-mail In One Ear at firstname.lastname@example.org