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Motor City Cribs

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Some of the Detroit scene's most spacious sounds have, ironically, been coming out of a modest Dearborn bungalow. Tagged often as "space rock" artists, married couple Windy Weber and Carl Hultgren have been making some of the most gorgeous, lush ambient music — heard anywhere — here for 15 years now.

Most probably know them as the proprietors of one the Detroit area's best record stores, Dearborn's Stormy Records on Michigan Avenue. Both longtime record store employees-geeks, Windy & Carl set up shop for themselves nine years ago, focusing on stocking the coolest new sounds and artists. "Our job is to help people find their passion in music," Weber says. They've hosted many eye- and ear-banging in-store performances at Stormy over the years. (Who can forget Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart on the same bill back in 2004?)

So it's not surprising that their Dearborn home is packed with amazing records and vintage posters tucked in and around classic guitars and scads of effects pedals. What's more, the couple has eyes and talent for finding Danish modern furniture and "classic" lamps at thrift stores and garage sales. Says Weber, "We'll buy something for three bucks and then find out that it's rare; I love that." And it's in this ever-cozy environment the duo creates blissful sounds under the flight path of roaring jets approaching Detroit Metro Airport. It's true.

They purchased this house 18 years ago for a (comparative) song. Back then, the neighborhood of modest blue-collar homes was a tight-knit community; these days practically half the homes are vacant or for rent. Remembers Hultgren, "We were the first young couple to move in with a bunch of middle-aged people back then." With a smile he adds, "Now we're the middle-aged couple on the block."

Windy Weber will be performing at Noise Camp Saturday, Aug. 16, at the CAID, 5141 Rosa Parks, Detroit. Windy's solo record, I Hate People, is available on the Blue Flea label. Windy & Carl's new album Songs for the Broken Hearted will be available Oct. 13, on Kranky.

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