Friday Five: Ki5, Kiyoshi & 3 Steez, Utica, Jonathan Crayne, KUZbeats

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Album covers for the artists featured in this Friday Five: Ki5, Kiyoshi & 3Steez, Utica, Jonathan Crayne, KUZbeats

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features pop-a-cappella by Ki5, hip-hop from Kiyoshi and 3Steez, pastoral ambiance by Utica, '90s-esque alt-rock by Jonathan Crayne, and experimental songcraft by KUZbeats.

For Stevie—with Love and Squalor: Ann Arbor’s Chirp honors late rodent companion on a funky new single

MUSIC PREVIEW INTERVIEW

Black and white photo of Chirp performing live taken by Austin S. Grinnell.

Chirp kicks out the jams, from left to right: bassist Brian Long, singer-guitarist Jay Frydenlund, and guitarist Sam Naples. Photo by Austin S. Grinnell.

After his pet rat passed away, Jay Frydenlund was at a loss for words.

Instead, the Chirp frontman decided to honor his late rodent companion, Stevie, with a spirited namesake instrumental.

“Stevie the Rat was the most fearless rat that has ever existed, so I wanted to write something about her that represented that,” said Frydenlund, Chirp’s lead vocalist and guitarist. “I started working on it a few days after she died.”

Alongside bandmates Brian Long (bass, vocals), Sam Naples (guitar, vocals), and Patrick Blommel (drums) in the Ann Arbor prog-funk-jazz jam quartet, Frydenlund penned the playful, ardent “Stevie.”

Buoyant electric guitar, soulful bass, and pulsating drums scurry throughout the melodic funk and psych-rock adventures of Stevie’s past. 

“I think the energy of the tune represents Stevie’s pretty well,” Frydenlund said. “Brian [Long] lights that song on fire with his bass solo. If Stevie were a bass-playing rat, that’s exactly what she would have done.”

Chirp will share “Stevie” and other fresh, funky tracks during an Aug. 13 show in Ann Arbor’s Liberty Plaza as part of the Concert to Shut Down Line 5. It will be the band's first hometown show since playing Ann Arbor Summer Festival: Top of the Park in June.

Muse Over: Emma McDermott finds inspiration from relationships on “She Likes to Fly” album

MUSIC INTERVIEW

Emma McDermott by Jen Geer Photography. A profile shot of a young woman with brown hair, a nose ring, a contemplative look on her face.

Emma McDermott chronicles an emotive journey of self-discovery on She Likes to Fly. Photo by Jen Geer Photography.

For Emma McDermott, people from her past and present provide the ultimate creative inspiration.

The Nashville, Tennessee electro-pop singer-songwriter thoughtfully channels previous relationships and memorable interactions on her reflective debut album, She Likes to Fly.

“I write a lot of my lyrics from my heart … not necessarily as journal entries, but if I’m feeling a certain feeling, and I’m able to put music to it, then it’s almost like being in a musical,” said McDermott, who hails from Ann Arbor and studies commercial voice at Belmont University.

“I do like to write about what I’m feeling, the times that I’ve had, and the people who have come and gone in my life. I write people as muses a little bit, so if I had a relationship in high school, and then I was just reflecting on it during my sophomore year of college, then that’s what fuels the lyrics and fuels the feeling.”

Throughout She Likes to Fly, McDermott chronicles an emotive journey of self-discovery that grooves and glides through life and love. Alongside intimate lyrics, magnetic synth-based instrumentation, and infectious dance-pop hooks, she provides captivating tales that instantly resonate with listeners.

“That’s sort of how it came together, just on its own,” McDermott said. “The songs were written over a span of like two or three years, so it wasn’t like I sat down and said, ‘Oh, I’m gonna write this album about this subject matter.’ It was kind of like a conglomerate sort of entity, and all those songs found their way toward each other to be on the album.”

Friday Five: The Stooges, cv313, YY Ori, False Figures, Alex Blanpied

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five album covers by The Stooges, cv313, YY Ori, False Figures, and Alex Blanpied

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features live music and demos by The Stooges circa 2003-2007, dub techno by cv313 and YY Ori, rustic Americana by False Figures, and modern classical courtesy of Alex Blanpied.

Friday Five: Lily Talmers, Olivia Cirisan, Otherseas, Magic Toaster, Tru Klassick

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Album covers for the music discussed in the July 29, 2022, edition of the Friday Five

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features orchestral indie-folk from Lily Talmers, beat-driven tunes by Olivia Cirisan, otherworldly electronica via Otherseas, power-pop by Magic Toaster, and the return of the boom-bap by Tru Klassick.

Out of the "Shadows": Jazz vocalist Olivia Van Goor explores lesser-known songs on her debut EP and returns to Blue LLama

MUSIC PREVIEW INTERVIEW

A headshot of jazz singer Olivia Van Goor. She has brown-blonde bob-type hair and blue eyes and is wearing a blue dress.

Photo by Ryme Media

This story originally ran on February 7. 2002. We're featuring it again because Olivia Van Goor will play Blue LLama Jazz Club on July 30.

For her debut EP, When The Shadows Fall, Milford jazz vocalist Olivia Van Goor unearthed and reshaped five hidden gems from the Great American Songbook and beyond.

“None of them are any of the classic standards like ‘Fly Me to the Moon,'" Van Goor said. "I intentionally chose standards that most professional working jazz musicians know, but not all of them. The two that are standards are ‘Willow Weep for Me’ and ‘No Moon at All. ... I did the Detroit Jazz Workshop two years in a row, and the first time I sang ‘Willow Weep for Me,’ and the second time I did ‘No Moon at All.’ I picked my milestone moments with learning the music.”

Those milestone moments also serve as a timeless journey through a spectrum of emotions ranging from hope to heartbreak. Each When The Shadows Fall track waltzes, swings, and bops from one era to the next. 

“I was really inspired by Veronica Swift, and she’s one of the best jazz vocalists of the time right now," Van Goor said. "On her last album, she took some musical theater songs that haven’t been taken by any of the legends and turned into standards and did them in that format.

“If you listen to an old recording of ‘Shadow Waltz,’ you’ll notice the style is completely different (from my version). I arranged all of the songs, and that’s my biggest originality to it, except I wrote the lyrics to ‘Hershey Bar.’”

The Olivia Van Goor Quartet will return to Ann Arbor’s Blue LLama Jazz Club on Feb. 18 July 30 and will perform songs from When The Shadows Fall as well as some past and new tunes.

Friday Five: Andy Adamson Quintet, Ki5, Alvin Hill, Half Blue, Live sets on WCBN's Local Music Show

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Album covers for music featured in the Friday Five 07-22-2022

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features jazz/fusion by the Andy Adamson Quintet, a capella-tronica via Ki5, neo-IDM electronica by Alvin Hill, trip-hop courtesy of Half Blue, and various live sets on WCBN's Local Music Show from Dr. Pete Larson, Tanager, Girth, XV, Jim Cherewick, and Flwr.Child.

 

Prime Times: Michael Erlewine on The Prime Movers Blues Band, Iggy Pop, and Ann Arbor in the 1960s

MUSIC INTERVIEW

The Prime Movers, late 1965 or 1966: From left: Robert Sheff, James Osterberg, Michael Erlewine, Dan Erlewine, and Jack Dawson.

The Prime Movers, late 1965 or 1966: From left: Robert Sheff, James Osterberg, Michael Erlewine, Dan Erlewine, and Jack Dawson. Image via Bruno Ceriotti and Michael Erlewine.

Though they never released a record in their heyday or topped a concert bill outside their hometown, The Prime Movers were unquestionably one of Ann Arbor’s most important bands of the 1960s.

While some 38 musicians would eventually rotate through the group, its core lineup came to include drummer James Osterberg, christened “Iggy” by the band; keyboardist Robert Sheff, later famed as the avant-garde composer “Blue” Gene Tyranny; guitarist Daniel Erlewine, known today as one of the world’s top luthiers; and vocalist/harmonica player Michael Erlewine, who would go on to found the All Music Guide, All Movie Guide, and a host of spinoffs.

One of the first white American bands to devote themselves to Chicago-style blues when originators like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf were still in their prime, the group was regularly on the bill at Ann Arbor’s Canterbury House, Clint’s Club, Mother’s, The Ark, The Schwaben Inn, The Fifth Dimension, and The Depot House. The Prime Movers also appeared at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom and Living End, and even the Fillmore and Matrix in San Francisco. But their devotion to the blues led them to turn down an offer to sign with Motown and split with manager/A-Square Records founder Jeep Holland, who sought to force them into a pop-rock mold. As a result, The Prime Movers’ powerful sound became just a fading memory to those lucky enough to hear them in person. 

But stashed away in the basement of Michael and Daniel Erlewine’s brother Stephen were well-recorded tapes of the group in action at Clint’s Club and The Schwaben Inn. In 2008 a track appeared on the Ace/Big Beat compilation A2 (Of Course), then a 45 rpm single was released by Third Man.

Finally, in late 2019, Sundazed Records’ Modern Harmonic imprint issued a full 10-track CD and two-LP set of The Prime Movers' work. Highlighted by the stabbing, string-bending guitar leads of Dan Erlewine and the soulful organ of Robert Sheff, the 1966-7 recordings also feature the future Iggy Pop singing their Yardbirds-style cover of “I’m a Man,” which reveals more than a hint of what was to come two years later in The Stooges. 

I spoke with Michael Erlewine about the band’s history and the recent release of their music, more than 50 years after it was recorded.

Friday Five: Halfright, Grandmaster Masese, Jeevan Angelo, Seaholm, Jevon Alexander

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Albums covers for the Friday Five 07-15-2022

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features a pop mini-album by Halfright (ex-Kelseys), Kenyan folk music and stories by Grandmaster Masese, hip-hop by Jeevan Angelo and Jevon Alexander, and a pop-punk video by Seaholm.

 

Friday Five: David Magumba, Placid Angles, Killing Pixies, Sonny Dulphi, Mercury Salad

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 07-08-2022

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features jazz-influenced R&B by David Magumba, '90s-esque electronic pop via John Beltran's Placid Angles pseudonym, a pop-punk video by Killing Pixies, the latest single and video by hip-hop artist Sonny Dulphi, and the multi-genre adult pop of Mercury Salad.