Friday Five: The Vicissitones, Saga, History History, Brawny Lad, Idle Ray

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

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 surf rock by The Vicissitones, metallic garage by Saga, atmospheric noise rock by History History, that high-lonesome sound by Brawny Lad, and a distorted folk-raver by Idle Ray.

Friday Five: Martes Martes, Tanager, Benji Robot, The Missing Cats, Totalitarians

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Art for the albums and singles featured in this week's Friday Five.

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

This week features quirky sounds by Martes Martes, indie pop by Tanager, downtempo electronica by Benji Robot, fusion-jazz pop by The Missing Cats, and pure noise by Totalitarians.

Monday Mix: MEMCO and Immaculate Conception dance sets, Indie Pop Takeout radio shows

MUSIC MONDAY MIX

Cover art for the collections discussed in this edition of Monday Mix.

Every week since September 11, 2020, we've published the Friday Five to highlight local music. By my abacus, that's more than 150 columns spotlighting nearly 800 music projects—singles, EPs, albums, and videos—by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

Dance mixes by student DJs at the (University of) Michigan Electronic Music Collective (MEMCO) are featured frequently on Friday Five, as are those by Immaculate Conception, a group comprised of MEMCO grads that promotes works by women and gender-nonconforming people.

With MEMCO and Immaculate Conception cranking out mixes almost weekly, it made sense to highlight these DJ sets alongside various other Washtenaw County music-based podcasts and radio shows in an occasional column: Monday Mix. 

For our first round, here are five recent dance mixes by MEMCO and Immaculate Conception members along with recent episodes of the weekly internet radio program Indie Pop Takeout.

 

Friday Five: Milan Seth, Skyline, Jah Sun / WhereIsJah, Nancy Zeltsman, Eve Machines

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Cover art for the music featured in this Friday Five.

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

This week features Americana by Milan Seth, downtempo jams by Skyline, hip-hop productions by Jah Sun / WhereIsJah, marimba music by Nancy Zeltsman, and rocktronica by Eve Machines.

Friday Five: James P. Johnson & U-M Opera Theatre, Couch, Dagoretti Records compilation, Same Eyes, Darrin James

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

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 a James P. Johnson blues-opera recording by the University of Michigan Opera Theatre, noise rock by Couch, a Dagoretti Records comp of Kenyan music, synth-pop by Same Eyes, and Americana by Darrin James.

Friday Five: 1473 and Actually, Records, Canterbury House's Sound and Silence podcast, Annie Bacon, Mad Myth Science, Troikastra

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

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 recent releases by Chien-An Yuan's1473 and Actually, Records labels, Canterbury House's Sound and Silence podcast, atmospheric folk by Annie Bacon, and experimental sounds by Mad Myth Science and Troikastra.

 

Friday Five: Timothy Monger, Jojo Engelbert, Fred Thomas, Josh Woodward, Latimer Rogland

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

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 a music video by Timothy Monger, pop-punk by Jojo Engelbert, a reissue from Fred Thomas, jazzy folk-pop by Josh Woodward, and ambient by Latimer Rogland.

Friday Five: Martin Babl, KUZbeats, MEMCO mixes, Tried, Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

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 keyboard and synth explorations by Martin Babl, cinematic composition channeled via KUZbeats, two MEMCO dance mixes, melodic hardcore by Tried, and a country-tinged rocker by Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds.

Friday Five: Marc Taras & "Cuban Fantasy," Kat Steih, DJ FLP, Cowgirl, Mike C521

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

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 a tribute to WEMU radio host Marc Taras, punky rock by Kat Steih, electronica from DJ FLP, Americana via Cowgirl, and hip-hop by Mike C521.

A Sort of Homecoming: Fuzz Fest 8 and Deniz Tek

MUSIC REVIEW

Deniz Tek and band on stage at Fuzz Fest 8, Ann Arbor, The Blind Pig, August 4, 2023

Deniz Tek (center), Chris "Box" Taylor (left), and drummer Al King at Fuzz Fest 8 in The Blind Pig, August 4, 2023. Photo by Christopher Porter.

It was homecoming night on Friday at this year's Fuzz Fest.

Except there were no fancy dresses or ill-fitting suits at this party and the regalia was a little less formal for this annual celebration of scuzzy hard rock and psychedelia. 

Fuzz Fest 8 ran August 3-5 at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, and while the opening and closing days had numerous fab bands with local connections, the most surprising homemade ingredients inside this rock 'n' roll sandwich were on Friday.

The nervy 1980s Ann Arbor post-punk band Nønfiction reunited with twins Laurence and Benjamin Miller; 1990s A2 noise-punks Barbed Wire Playpen got the gang together one more time; and Easy Action—essentially the hard-rock version of Detroit hardcore legends Negative Approach—returned to the venue of its first-ever concert. (It was also the first time Easy Action singer John Brannon, who lived in Ann Arbor during his days with Laughing Hyneas in the late '80s and early '90s, was back inside the Pig since he was kicked out of the club for some reason long ago.)

But the big get on the menu was Deniz Tek returning to play in the city where he was born and raised before moving to Australia and becoming a key proto-punk architect as the guitarist and primary songwriter in Radio Birdman.

Because at its core, Fuzz Fest is a townie party with feedback, always held in August before the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University students repopulate the area, and geared toward the year-round headbangers who fight through the endless warm-weather road closures every freakin' summer.