Soul Message Band's "Live at Blue LLama" launches the club's new record label

MUSIC

Soul Message Band, Live at Blue LLama CD back cover

When you walk into Ann Arbor's Blue LLama Jazz Club, the first thing you notice isn't the sound booth. It's the curved long bar that starts near the front door, the ceiling's circle lights, or perhaps the textured sound-absorbing panels that line the back wall of the club. But the sound booth is outfitted with oodles of high-end audio and video gear, and Blue LLama is able to document every performance it chooses to with relative ease. Since the venue often books local artists, recording these shows will provide an invaluable resource covering the recent history of the Ann Arbor and Michigan jazz scenes.

But touring artists are also taking advantage of Blue LLama's high-tech capabilities.

The first live album recorded at the club came out last September on Denmark's venerable Storyville RecordsAdonis Rose Piece of Mind-Live at Blue LLama. The New Orleans drummer and Blue LLama artistic director Dave Sharp discussed making this record while the club was still being designed, and the results are an excellent mix of electric and acoustic jazz.

The club has now taken the next step and formed a label, Live at Blue LLama Records.

Camille Pagán's "Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around" was partly inspired by the Ann Arbor author's disastrous vacation

WRITTEN WORD INTERVIEW

Camille Pagán's Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around

During this cloistered pandemic year, lots of us have daydreamed about escaping to sunny, tropical destinations.

So readers drawn to the beach-y cover of Ann Arbor-based novelist Camille Pagán's latest release, Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around, may be initially surprised to find that the book tells the story of a family getaway to Puerto Rico that goes very, very wrong.

But let’s keep in mind the time in which it was born.

“It’s my pandemic book,” says Pagán, and it follows up on the characters from her Amazon bestseller Life and Other Near Death Experiences but can also stand on its own. “It took me a while to get excited about it. … But I knew I wasn’t done with Libby. She’s my favorite of any of the characters I’ve created.”

Friday Five: John Beltran, Approachable Minorities, Prhyme Rhyme Boss, Canada, Velveteen Blue

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 05-28-2021

Friday Five is where we highlight music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features ambient techno by John Beltran, hip-hop from Approachable Minorities and Prhyme Rhyme Boss, indie-folk rock by Canada, and neo-lounge via Velveteen Blue.

The Brass Tacks Ensemble Theater offers season two of "Our Regularly Scheduled Program"

THEATER & DANCE

The Brass Tacks Theater Ensemble's Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Last October, The Brass Tacks Ensemble Theater released Our Regularly Scheduled Program, a unique take on quarantine theater, created by Isaac Ellis and James Ingagiola. The 10-part original YouTube series features short performances that touch on comedy and drama, featuring people who must show off their talents to the public, which demands entertainment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Should these people refuse to perform? The consequences are dire.

The Brass Tacks have just announced that the second season of Our Regularly Scheduled Program will debut on June 3:

Wild Swan Theater closes after 40 years of theater-making for kids

THEATER & DANCE

Wild Swan Theater closing collage

Pulp received some sad news from Ann Arbor's long-running Wild Swan Theater:

Curtain Call for Wild Swan Theater

Dear Friends,

It is time to bring down the curtain on Wild Swan Theater. After more than four decades of joyful, exuberant, sometimes zany, sometimes poignant, always heartfelt theater making, it is time to say our goodbyes. 

Avery Williamson | AADL Black Lives Matter Muralist

VISUAL ART INTERVIEW

Avery Williamson | AADL BLM mural

Avery Williamson (b. 1990)
Cleo, Tidal and Delores 1948
averywilliamson.com
Instagram: @aisforavery

Following the Ann Arbor District Library's Call for Artists in 2020, AADL installed a Black Lives Matter mural on the south side of Library Lane on Friday, May 21 featuring the works of eight artists.

Below is our interview with muralist and AADL Black Lives Matter Mural Artistic Coordinator Avery Williamson.

Curtis Wallace | AADL Black Lives Matter Muralist

VISUAL ART INTERVIEW

Curtis Wallace | AADL BLM mural

Curtis Wallace
Instagram: @cw_creatyv | @BeCreativeYpsi
Facebook: @curtis.creatyv @BeCreativeYpsi

Following the Ann Arbor District Library's Call for Artists in 2020, AADL installed a Black Lives Matter mural on the south side of Library Lane on Friday, May 21 featuring the works of eight artists.

Below is our interview with muralist Curtis Wallace.

Jaleesa Rosario Turner | AADL Black Lives Matter Muralist

VISUAL ART INTERVIEW

Jaleesa Turner | AADL BLM mural

Jaleesa Rosario Turner (b. 1989)
jaleesarosario.com
jahjahjah.com
Twitter: @jaleesarosario
Instagram: @_by_jah

Following the Ann Arbor District Library's Call for Artists in 2020, AADL installed a Black Lives Matter mural on the south side of Library Lane on Friday, May 21 featuring the works of eight artists.

Below is our interview with muralist Jaleesa Rosario Turner.

Rachel Elise Thomas | AADL Black Lives Matter Muralist

VISUAL ART INTERVIEW

Rachel Elise Thomas | AADL BLM mural

Rachel Elise Thomas (b. 1988)
ABUNDANCE
rachelelisethomas.com
Instagram: @implied_wisdom

Following the Ann Arbor District Library's Call for Artists in 2020, AADL installed a Black Lives Matter mural on the south side of Library Lane on Friday, May 21 featuring the works of eight artists.

Below is our interview with muralist Rachel Elise Thomas.

John Rodriguez | AADL Black Lives Matter Muralist

VISUAL ART INTERVIEW

John Rodriguez | AADL BLM mural

John Rodriguez (b. 1977)
Blessing

jrvag.com
Instagram: @bruinprophet
Facebook: @jrartsite

Following the Ann Arbor District Library's Call for Artists in 2020, AADL installed a Black Lives Matter mural on the south side of Library Lane on Friday, May 21 featuring the works of eight artists.

Below is our interview with muralist John Rodriguez.