Friday Five: Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet, KUZbeats, The Biscuit Merchant, The Nuts, Carlos Taboada


Cover art for the albums and singles featured in the Friday Five.

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

This week features modal jams from Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet, genre-defying sounds by KUZbeats, metal by The Biscuit Merchant, indie-gaze by The Nuts, and new music by Carlos Taboada.


Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet, Invisible
Sounds from the Middle East, India, Eastern Europe, Africa, and South America are at the core of the Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet, but the overall effect is melting-pot America. Ann Arbor's Sharp (bass, synths) along with Igor Houwat (oud), Henrik Karapetyan (violin), Mike List (percussion), and frequent guest musicians combine all these elements into a dreamy mix that's heavy on improvisation and good vibes, especially in a concert setting when the group locks into the grooves. Invisible is the band's new live album, featuring three songs ringing with uplifting energy. "Mishra Shiva Ranjani" and "B7" are longtime staples of the Worlds Quartet, but the new-to-me track "The Invisible Lover" is a revelation. It's 17 minutes of slow-building tension and beauty, featuring the guitar of frequent associate Elden Kelly.


KUZbeats, The Way Back When
The latest album by Ann Arbor's KUZbeats defies categorization. It's the musical equivalent of mixing a squirt of fountain soda from every spigot until you've reached this weird pop blend that tastes like nothing you could buy—but also kinda like Dr. Pepper. That is, you recognize electronica, minimalism, modern classical, world music, and the whimsical side of the avant-garde in KUZbeats' The Way Back When, but the album never sticks with any genre long enough for you pigeonhole it with a particular flavor (other than Dr. Pepper and its 22 secret ingredients).


The Biscuit Merchant, Visible Scars
I would love to see Ann Arbor's Justin Lawnchair form a band. I mean, he IS a band in that he plays everything in The Biscuit Merchant, whose Visible Scars album is his latest collection of thrashy, proggy death metal. But I would love to hear these flamethrowers live and watch them catch fire on stage. Visible Scars consists of nine ragers that showcase the uber-talented Lawnchair's amazing skills at riffs, solos, and general headbangery.


The Nuts, "All I Can"
The Nuts is a very promising new Ann Arbor quintet that somehow settled on the name The Nuts. The band's debut single, "All I Can," is a highly appealing blend of indie rock and shoegaze with strong harmonies in the chorus. I'm looking forward to hearing more from these folks.


Carlos Taboada, Woven Worlds
Carlos Taboada's Woven Worlds is his master's thesis submission to the University of Michigan. The multi-instrumentalist performs on alto saxophone, Electronic Wind Instrument, electric guitar, piano, and synths along with friends handling flute, bass, drums, violin, viola, cello, and more piano. It's a little bit jazz ("Strictly Extempore"), a smidge Aaron Copland meets ABC's Wide World of Sports theme ("On Track"), a tad new music meets electronica ("Fading Reflections"), and strings-based modern classical ("Gold Sand.")

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