Bootleg Washtenaw: Repulsion live at Schoolkids Records, June 9, 1991

MUSIC

Repulsion at Schookids Records, 1991

An occasional series highlighting live recordings made in Washtenaw County.

On Repulsion's lone album, Horrified, the Flint-based grind-metal pioneers' sound is a muffled blur of blast beats, gnarly guitar, and grunted vocals. Same is true of the band's many demos, which is what Horrified was when it was recorded in 1986 and released as the Slaughter of the Innocent tape. That sort of audio is what you'll hear times 100 as featured in this June 9, 1991, in-store concert Repulsion did at Schoolkids Records, 523 East Liberty Street. But it's still wonderful to see the inside of Ann Arbor's most legendary record store once again. 

Horrified received its official release in 1989, and that's the record vocalist-bassist Scott Carlson is referring to when he points to the wall at Schoolkids and says, "The is from our album—up there" before the band rips into "Pestilent Decay."

June 9, 1991, was a Sunday and, before the videographer steps into the record store, he records a long line of people standing in the dark to get into the Michigan Theater. East Liberty was hopping that night. The sunset was at 9:10 pm, so this show was likely after Schoolkids closed for the day, but I'm not sure what event was drawing such a big crowd at the Michigan Theater. According to The Concert Database, there were no bands playing at the Michigan Theater that night—the previous show was Laurie Anderson on May 11 and the next one was  Kraftwerk on September 27—and City Slickers was the number one movie in the country that weekend, but I don't recall first-run mainstream films being a regular thing then for this venue. (Looking into it; will update if I find anything. Very important, you know.)

Update: The crack staff at AADL's Old News figured out it was Taxi Blues, a critically acclaimed 1990 Russian movie, but not one I would assume could draw such a big crowd. Also, the start time was 8:40 pm, and despite the darkened skies, the Google Machine tells me sunset that day wasn't for another 30 minutes. The East Liberty corridor is a tunnel.

While you should absolutely listen to Repulsion's badass Horrified if you want to hear one of the earliest examples of extreme metal, the main draw of this video for Washtenaw County folks is seeing the racks and racks of expertly curated LPs at Schoolkids Records. Check out the 39-minute below, but fair warning: Some cretin on the street who was there to see the band uses the N-word at the :27 second mark.

Friday Five: The Stooges, The Ridiculous Trio, Kelly Moran, Tunde Olaniran, Ione Sanders & Kate Ziebart

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 11-27-2020

Friday Five is where we celebrate new and recent music by Washtenaw County-associated artists.

This holiday edition features folks who haven't called Washtenaw County home for a while—or ever—but they still have some sort of connection to our little slice of Michigan. The week includes live recordings of Iggy and The Stooges, a jazz-punk interpretation of The Stooges by The Ridiculous Trio, Kelly Moran's prepared-sound electronica, future funk from Tunde Olaniran, and experimental-classical ambiance from Ione Sanders and Kate Ziebart.

Inna De Yard: Ann Arbor's Evan Haywood directs a music video for Jamaica's Israel Voice

MUSIC FILM & VIDEO

Israel Voice in the video for his song Nyomi

Longtime Ann Arbor creative Evan Haywood is known for his solo work as a singer-songwriter and as one of the voices in the Tree City hip-hop collective.

He's about to add filmmaker to his resume after traveling around Jamaica in May 2019 to film Blood & Fire, "a documentary on anti-colonial narratives in Jamaican music and culture," Haywood said, with one of the biggest stars in the movie being Lee "Scratch" Perry, reggae's eccentric genius. Haywood is still editing the film, but while in Jamaica, he also shot footage for several music videos, one of which has just debuted: Israel Voice's "Nyomi," which features the sweet-voiced veteran crooner looking for spiritual love; the roots-reggae tune was co-produced by Earl "Chinna" Smith. Haywood filmed part of the video at Chinna's yard as well as the surfing hot spot Bull Bay. 

We asked Haywood about the making of the video, so he wrote a narrative on the process and also updated us on the other music videos he has planned and where he's at with Blood & Fire.

Singing Bodies, Electric: U-M SMTD's offers a "Grand Night" of virtual choirs

MUSIC

Singing is one of life's greatest joys, whether you're crooning in a choir or car jamming with friends.

But projecting your voice in a group setting is also one of the best ways to spread Covid-19, so singing with other humans was an early loss during the pandemic.

It seemed a certainty that annual vocal events such as the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance's Grand Night for Singing were going to be postponed until a cure was found. But as has happened with so many certain-to-be-canceled things, creative people found ways to continue on within the current reality, and Director of Choirs Eugene Rogers organized a virtual version of this show that mixes newly sung songs with prior performances.

The virtual choir features more than 360 singers recorded in their homes, from Ann Arbor to China, singing four songs:

Friday Five: Fred Thomas, Chris Dupont, The Kelseys, Bruce Lo, G.B. Marian

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 11-20-2020

Friday Five is where we celebrate new and recent music by Washtenaw County-associated artists.

This week we feature ambient indie-pop from Fred Thomas and friends, orchestral folk-rock from Chris Dupont, radio-ready pop from The Kelseys, drum 'n' bass from Bruce Lo and Bruce Li, and scary soundtracks by G.B. Marian.

 

Friday Five: Dani Darling, AGN7 Audio, The Millwrights, CryptoPolitics, Tyrus Archer

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 11-13-2020

Friday Five is where we celebrate new and recent music by Washtenaw County-associated artists.

This week we feature neo-soul indie-rock from Dani Darling, a drum 'n' bass comp from the AGN7 label, power-pop from The Millwrights, chiptunes from CryptoPolitics, and hip-hop from Tyrus Archer.

Joni Mitchell's "Live at Canterbury House - 1967" gives us a peek into her post-Detroit, pre-superstardom career

MUSIC REVIEW

Joni Mitchell at Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, 1967. Photo by Al Blixt.

Joni Mitchell at Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, 1967. Photo by Al Blixt.

Two noteworthy events happened for Joni Mitchell over the past two weeks:

She turned 77 on November 7, and on October 30, the much-anticipated box set Archives - Volume One: The Early Years (1963-1967) came out.

Included in this collection are 24 songs recorded live over three sets on October 27, 1967, the first night of Mitchell's three-night residency at Ann Arbor's Canterbury House. The Ann Arbor portion of Archives is also available as a standalone three-LP set, and the performance features several songs that would later be considered classics after they appeared on Mitchell's studio albums such as her debut, Song to a Seagull (1968), as well as Clouds (1969) and Ladies of the Canyon (1970). 

Mitchell's Canterbury House recordings surfaced in July 2018 along with concert tapes of Tim Buckley, Dave Van Ronk, Odetta, and more, but hers are the first from this batch to find a commercial release. The concert was recorded through Canterbury's soundboard, and the audio is clean and clear, giving us a beautiful glimpse into the almost-24-year-old's musical life pre-superstardom.

WCBN's Radio Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa offers up Sproton Layer and Ramones rarities

MUSIC BOOTLEG WASHTENAW

Sproton Layer

Left: Sproton Layer guitarist-singer Ben Miller cuts vocals for a Sproton Layer song in the basement of his Ann Arbor family's home, 1969. Right: Trumpeter Harold Kirchen, drummer Laurence Miller, and bassist Roger Miller rock the Little Theatre at Pioneer High School in May 1970. Photos courtesy of Sproton Layer.

Frank Uhle's Radio Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa on WCBN 88.3-FM always features a treasure trove of vintage rock 'n' roll and punk, and he's one of the great historians of 1960s and 1970s underground Michigan music. Uhle also re-released the ultra-obscure and totally rippin' lone 7-inch by Ann Arbor 1960s garage rockers The Beau Biens, which we talked about in-depth here.

Because the pandemic has kept DJs from going into the WCBN studio, the station is rebroadcasting a lot of shows, though some hosts are broadcasting live from their homes while others are preparing their programs there and uploading them.

For Radio Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa, which airs 10 pm Mondays, Uhle has been digging into his vast archive of shows, as well as his personal collection of rare recordings (plus photos and other memorabilia), to produce programs that offer a little bit new, a little bit vintage, and a whole lot of fun.

For his October 26 show, Uhle put together a collection of Ramones recordings from December 4, 1979, that includes a WCBN interview as well as a portion of their show that night at Second Change (now known as Necto). Uhle wrote the following on his Facebook page:

Rolling Stone and A2 Jazz & Blues Fest photographer Baron Wolman dies

MUSIC

Baron Wolman

Photographer Baron Wolman (bottom left) captured iconic images from the first Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival in 1969 including Big Mama Thornton (upper left), Muddy Waters (center), and T-Bone Walker. Baron Wolman photo by Anna Webber/WireImage.

Baron Wolman, who became Rolling Stone's first staff photographer in 1967 and captured nearly every major rocker in the Woodstock generation (and at the Woodstock fest), died on November 9 from ALS. He was 83.

But Wolman's connection to our area came from his photographing the inaugural Ann Arbor Jazz and Blues Festival in 1969. Wolman and Getty Images photographers Tom Copi and Dick Waterman are responsible for the most iconic shots from the event.

You can see a few more of Wolman's A2 Jazz and Blues Fest photos here and a collection of interviews with him about his career below.

Friday Five: Louis Picasso & The Gallery, Sean Curtis Patrick, Doogatron, Cautious Hearts, Junk Magic

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five, November 6, 2020

Friday Five is where we celebrate new and recent music by Washtenaw County-associated artists.

This week we feature live hip-hop with a full band from Louis Picasso & The Gallery, ambient guitar excursions from Sean Curtis Patrick, leftfield techno from Doogatron, indie rock from Cautious Hearts, and experimental jazztronica from Junk Magic.