Friday Five: Kat Steih, Alex Belhaj's Crescent City Quintet, Loamsy, Luca Miel, Cashmere Washington


Friday Five 09-17-2021

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

This week features rock and pop from Kat Steih, New Orleans jazz by Alex Belhaj's Crescent City Quintet, dance mixes by Loamy and Luca Miel, and emo-shoegaze-soul via Cashmere Washington.


Kat Steih, Songs From a Far Away Galaxy ... and West Park, Vol. 1
The first in a series of EPs by Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Kat Steih plays around with rock and electronica a bit more than I remember from her past folky-jazz releases. But when you have a voice this strong, you can tackle any genre and make it your own.


Alex Belhaj's Crescent City Quintet, Boodle-Am Shake
Ann Arbor guitarist Alex Belhaj is joined by fellow townie drummer Pete Siers along with U-M grad Jordan Schug (bass) plus Toledo's Ray Heitger (clarinet) and Dave Kosmyna (cornet) for an album of straight-up vintage New Orleans jazz. There are some nice liner notes on the Bandcamp page that discuss the project.


Loamsy, Exposure Mix 030
The Exposure Mix series by members of Michigan Electronic Music Collective (MEMCO) has done an excellent job of keeping me, a geezer, apprised of the dance-music world. Loamsy's mix is low-key and chill, more of an after-club vibe though not quite ambient. A fine thing to play on the way home from the club or as a slow-build warm-up as you get ready to dance the night away.


Luca Miel, Exposure Mix 031
Sometimes MEMCO mixes—and most dance comps—will seem filled with obscure artists if you're not already into electronic music. But Luca Miel mixes in some Lady Gaga, Megan Thee Stallion, and Skrillex alongside tracks by techno star Robert Hood and house giant Armand Van Helden among many others.


Cashmere Washington, The Shape of Things to Come
Cashmere Washington is Thomas Dunn II, and while he's from Midland, Michigan, not Washtenaw County, he has a lot of connections here. This six-song mini-album debuted on WCBN's Local Music Show last week, the tape came out on the formerly Ypsilanti-based Fishpeoplebirds label, and Dunn was recently spotted performing and recording at Ann Arbor's Black Ram Tree House studio, run by Evan Haywood (Tree City hip-hop collective). "The first release is a series of EPs that documents direct life experiences from the artist's childhood in Midland," Dunn writes on his Bandcamp page, and answers 'how did we get here?'" His voice is like butter and his music mixes shoegaze, soul, and emo, bringing to mind the pan-genre talents of Sananda Francesco Maitreya (aka Terence Trent D'Arby).

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.