Friday Five: Scissor Now!, Jolly Jack and the Jazz Flutes, The Wastelanders, Sean Curtis Patrick, MEMCO, and a bonus video from Same Eyes

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five: Scissor Now!, Jolly Jack and the Jazz Flutes, The Wastelanders, Sean Curtis Patrick, MEMCO, and a bonus video from Same Eyes

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

This week features No Wave new wave by Scissor Now!, metal from Jolly Jack and the Jazz Flutes, hard rock via The Wastelanders, spooky sounds courtesy Sean Curtis Patrick, two MEMCO techno/electronica releases, and a bonus pick: Same Eyes' "Such a Shame" video.

 

Friday Five: Kawsaki, Laurel Premo, Same Eyes, Safa Collective, marto.matic

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five cover art featuring Kawsaki, Laurel Premo, Same Eyes, Safa Collective, marto.matic

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

This week features retro-futuristic vaporwave by Kawsaki, droney folk-blues by Laurel Premo, synth-pop by Same Eyes, environmental sounds by Safa Collective, and indie-folk by marto.matic.

 

Open Road: Rod Johnson Relishes Cross-Country Adventures on "Looking for a Perfect Trip"

MUSIC INTERVIEW

Rod Johnson standing in a field with his acoustic guitar

Rod Johnson credits The Who, David Bowie and Roxy Music as his early musical influences. Photo by Greg Croasdill.

For Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Rod Johnson, a rusty, rattling Ford Econoline van serves as the ideal road-trip companion.

The tank-like vehicle represents carefree, youthful jaunts of the past and promising, independent cross-country journeys of the future on “Telephone Company Surplus Econoline Van" from his latest wanderlust-fueled album, Looking for a Perfect Trip

“I had a friend in high school that had a telephone company surplus Econoline van, and it was just a Michigan Bell van with a logo painted on it," said Johnson, a retired University of Michigan College of Engineering professor. "We spent a lot of time in that van listening to Alice Cooper, and that’s the van that I was thinking of specifically."

“When I do that song, people always laugh when I say the title. They think it’s going to be this jokey song, but it’s not. It’s always fun to watch their expressions change as you go through it.”

Friday Five: i-sef u-sef, Zippy Bop, Brian Seabolt, Chien-An Yuan, Fundamental Sound Co.

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 10-15-2021

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

This week features glitchy R&B created entirely on bassoon by i-sef u-sef, a disco mix by Zippy Bop, acoustic songs by Brian Seabolt, a pre-club mix by Chien-An Yuan, and a massive compilation of tunes recorded at Ypsilanti's Fundamental Sound Co.

 

Modern Soul(s): Vulfpeck collaborator Antwaun Stanley connected with former My Dear Disco/Ella Riot leader Tyler Duncan for a new EP

MUSIC INTERVIEW

Antwaun Stanley

Antwaun Stanley's powerful voice sounds like it came from another time, cast from the deep grooves of a 1960s R&B record.

That's why it's always a treat when the Ann Arbor singer appears as a featured vocalist with jam-funk-soul stars Vulfpeck or with one of the other bands for which he's associated.

But a new EP, Ascension, shows Stanley taking a big step forward as a solo artist. The record was made in collaboration with Ann Arbor multi-instrumentalist and producer Tyler Duncan. His impressive resume includes leading the Irish crossover group Millish and the dance-rock project My Dear Disco, aka Ella Riot, as well as producing songs for Carly Rae Jepsen and Lake Street Dive.

The EP isn’t technically Stanley's solo debut—he released a gospel album a few years back—but it does showcase his artistic voice in a new way with a modern R&B sound. 

Ascension features three fully developed songs and three largely instrumental interludes. “Speed of Night” recalls old-school R&B, while “Tightrope” offers inspiration through James Blake-like soul-tronica. “Lost in Translation” is the EP's stand-out with its addictive groove, great singing, strong lyrics, and a crackling horn section.

Stanley answered a few questions about the new EP and his other work.

Friday Five: Anest, Kendrick & McKinney Organ Trio, Booker & Bridges DaLight, Mista Midwest, Smiles Like Sewage Fires, Mista Midwest, Adlai

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 10-08-2021

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

This week features soul jazz by the Anest, Kendrick & McKinney Organ Trio, eclectic jams by Booker & Bridges DaLight, grindcore by Smiles Like Sewage Fires, hip-hop by Mista Midwest, and house/electronica by Adlai.

 

Friday Five: Rohn - Lederman, DJ Seance, G.B. Marian, Sean Curtis Patrick, Fred Thomas

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 10-01-2021

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

This week features electronica by Rohn - Lederman, a house mix courtesy of DJ Seance, dark ambient by G.B. Marian, two mixes via Sean Curtis Patrick, and demos from Fred Thomas.

 

George Frayne, who formed country-rockers Commander Cody in Ann Arbor, dies at 77

MUSIC

Commander Cody by Michael Ochs

Commander Cody photo by Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images

George Frayne, better known as country-rock pioneer Commander Cody, died in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Sunday, September 26, at age 77 as the result of cancer.

Best known for the Ann Arbor-spawned group Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Frayne was also a fine artist who graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's in design in 1966 and a master's in sculpture and painting in 1968. In between those two years is when he formed Commander Cody and the group became mainstays of the Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan music scenes, known for their marathon live shows that mixed country, rock, Western swing, and boogie-woogie.

Frayne was born in Idaho but grew up in New York City and Long Island. He came to Michigan to go to college, and because Commander Cody's formative years were in Ann Arbor, many folks in town still associate the band with the city even though the group moved to Berkeley, California, in 1969 and didn't release its first album, Lost in the Ozone, until 1971.

Cody, who was never for a loss of words, was more ambivalent about his place in Ann Arbor's history.

Friday Five: Static, John Beltran, Jevon Alexander, dollyzoom:universe, Killing Pixies

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 09-24-2021

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

This week features punk-glam by Static, techno by John Beltran, hip-hop from Jevon Alexander, electronic weirdness by dollyzoom:universe, and pop-punk by Killing Pixies.

 

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

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

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.