Music » Spun

Dent May - Do Things (Paw Tracks)

A guaranteed good time with more than one direct hit



If you never heard The Good Feeling Music of Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele, you missed a delightfully oddball pop debut, but you won't necessarily feel left out of the sequel on which May drops the uke and concentrates on the essence of his gifts. It's pop song idiosyncracy writ large in the grand tradition of Neil Tennant (there's even a song about rent money!), Stephin Merritt, Robert Schneider and Jonathan Richman, an indulgent exploration of the architecture of the hit within music too eccentric to make yearned-for radio waves.

The range is head-spinning even if May's guardedness balks at sincere appreciation: sultry electrified Beach Boys, Squeeze-vintage power pop, George McCrae synth-disco, and tongue-in-cheek slow jams all share the space. Beyond the elaborate, busy arrangements, the record's a guaranteed good time because of May's voice —disarming and wonderful at all times, but especially when he drops the costuming and scores a direct hit like "we don't want to be just like our parents" or, more pertinently, "In another lifetime I was real shy/So this time around I think I'm gonna get down to the ground."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.