Breakneck Speed: Mark Jewett Follows Life's Hectic Pace on "Too Fast" Single Featuring The Accidentals


Mark Jewett stands with Katie Larson and Sav Madigan of The Accidentals.

Mark Jewett with Katie Larson (left) and Sav Madigan of The Accidentals. Photo courtesy of Mark Jewett.

These days, Mark Jewett moves at warp speed.

The Plymouth singer-songwriter maintains a frantic daily pace on his latest single, “Too Fast.”

“It was more of a general feeling of being closed in and trapped and things just coming at me faster than I could deal with them,” said Jewett about the folk-pop track, which features a collaboration with Sav Madigan and Katie Larson of The Accidentals.

“One day, I just took a break at my desk, and I picked up my guitar. I started doing this chunking rhythm like you hear at the beginning of the song. I was drinking coffee, and I thought, ‘I need some energy,’ and the line just popped into my head.”

That initial opening lyric was “I’ve got a thousand watts of black coffee / Pumpin’ through my veins,” but Jewett upped the ante to “Two thousand watts of black coffee” instead.

Kyle Rasche caught me between shows up at Nor-East’r last year when I was in the merch barn. He said, ‘Man, that’s a great line,’ and he thought I had said something about ‘8,000 watts,’ but it was originally, ‘I’ve got a thousand watts,’” said Jewett, a University of Michigan alumnus, who started writing the track last spring. “I thought maybe there was too much there, so starting it with 2,000 [watts] just punctuates it right at the beginning.”

Sonic Journey: Gastón Reggio Ventures From "Michigan" to North Carolina on New Jazz-Fusion Album


Gastón Reggio wears a green hat and white shirt while holding a cymbal. He stands in front of a mural.

Gastón Reggio chronicles an inspirational sonic journey on his new jazz-fusion album, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Gastón Reggio.

For Gastón ReggioMichigan represents the ideal name for his second full-length album.

The Uruguayan jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist penned most of the album’s tracks while living in Ann Arbor and wanted to capture those experiences from 2019 to 2021.

“Each song has and [strives] to tell a story about things that happened during that time. Particularly, I was looking for an [album] name that worked well in English and Spanish,” said Reggio, who previously drummed with Chirp and is now based in Durham, North Carolina.

“My producer Rodrigo [Cotelo] … mentioned naming the album after the song ‘Michigan’ because it summarized my [time] here and served as the basis for some of the stories that are [sonically] told through my songs.”

On Michigan, Reggio chronicles an inspirational sonic journey filled with jazz, prog rock, and world music influences. The album starts in the Great Lakes state and whisks listeners across the Appalachians to find new musical adventures in North Carolina.

“I just let the ideas for the songs come without any restrictions, and I like to combine all of my influences to create a [personal] way to express myself through music,” he said. “I hope listeners realize the depth and honesty of this music; it’s a part of me, and if you listen to it, you will get to know me a little bit more.”

To learn more about Reggio, I recently spoke with him about growing up in Uruguay, studying music and jazz drums in Brazil, coming to Ann Arbor and joining Chirp, relocating to North Carolina, working on Michigan, and preparing for several upcoming live shows.

Friday Five: Hannah Baiardi, Jazz Drive, Price, Benji Robot, Oak Openings


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 ethereal piano ballads by Hannah Baiardi, vaporwave synth-pop by Jazz Drive, electronica by Price, remixes by Benji Robot, and improvisations by Oak Openings.


Everyday Monsters: Fangs and Twang Shares the Horrors and Delights of Michigan and Out-of-State Creatures on Latest Album


Fangs and Twang's Joe Bertoletti, Billy LaLonde, and Andy Benes stand together in huddle in the street at night.

Fangs and Twang's Joe Bertoletti, Billy LaLonde, and Andy Benes uncover a new group of beasts on You Monster. Photo courtesy of Fangs and Twang.

After years of writing about monsters, Fangs and Twang didn’t expect to find them in human form.

The country-rock trio of Billy LaLonde (drums, vocals), Andy Benes (guitar, vocals), and Joe Bertoletti (bass, vocals) discovered some people started spreading monstrous misinformation at the height of the pandemic.

In response, Benes channeled that disbelief and frustration into the Ypsilanti band’s opening track, “You Monster,” from its fourth album of the same name.

Alongside explosive electric guitar, organ, and fiddle, he sings, “It’s hard to be you and me / When we can’t tell what’s true / It seems to me that we can’t agree / Even that the sky is blue.”

“That song came to me … and it was done in 20 minutes,” Benes said. “All of the lyrics and all of the music just came out, and that was what was on my mind. [It’s about] not having a common set of facts or a common language that we’re speaking anymore as people and how horrible that is.”

The title track also lays the groundwork thematically for the horrors and delights Fangs and Twang uncovers on You Monster.

Friday Five: Ani Mari, T. Greens, Rainforest, Elevator Raider, Chirp


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 alt-country by Ani Mari, an improvisation by T. Greens, drum 'n' bass by Rainforest, electronica by Elevator Raider, and jams from Chirp.

The Voice Within: Mike Green Follows His Instincts on “Listening for the Bell” Album


Mike Green wears a burgundy T-shirt and stands in front of a brick wall.

Mike Green sings about life choices and lessons on Listening for the Bell. Photo courtesy of Mike Green.

Mike Green listened to his inner voice but wasn’t sure where it would take him.

The folk singer-songwriter, guitarist, and booking agent ruminated for years about how to share his life experiences.

“I always thought as a younger adult that I wanted to write a book of my personal philosophy, but I never had anything to say,” said Green, who resides in Ann Arbor. “Then when I started writing these songs [during the pandemic] … and all these things I’ve always thought about, they just sort of came out in poetic ways.”

What resulted were 12 insightful tales for his debut album, Listening for the Bell, which explores the ups and downs of following your instincts.

“There’s a bunch of those songs that were written that way, and I just trusted it,” said Green, who started as a touring musician in 1978. “And then what I realized early on—after studying all of this—is that I had been in songwriting school for nearly 40 years.”

That schooling came from representing artists like Utah PhillipsCarrie NewcomerJesse Winchester, and John McCutcheon as a booking agent and listening to singer-songwriters like Greg BrownKenny WhiteChris Smither, and Stephen Fearing.

“Chris Smither, probably more than anybody, is the gold standard to me on how you marry lyrics and words and have them come out … to be that way,” said Green, who started as a booking agent in 1986 and opened his own agency in 2004. “There’s no other way you can say it, and if you don’t say it just the right way, it doesn’t fit.”

Friday Five: Scotty Karate, Clangstrum, John Holk & the Sequins, HUES & Gold Midas, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter


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 alt-country by Scotty Karate, modern classical by Clangstrum, psychedelic country by John Holk & the Sequins, hip-hop by HUES and Gold Midas, and prog-metal by The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.

The Archivist's Tale: Evan Haywood Digs Through His Past to Help Define His Musical Future On New Live Album


Evan Haywood sits in his Black Ram Treehouse studio holding a red Gibson SG electric guitar.

Evan Haywood features a compelling juxtaposition of sound and genre on his latest live album, Canterbury Tales. Photo by Doug Coombe.

Evan Haywood remembers his first live solo show at Canterbury House in 2014.

The producer, musician, songwriter, rapper, visual artist, filmmaker, and digital archivist recalled feeling nervous about sharing vulnerable folk songs and playing a nylon-string guitar at the Ann Arbor venue.

“It was such a jarring experience almost to go from performing in sweaty clubs and bars where everybody’s dancing … and having a good time to this very stark, acoustic performance where I’m baring my soul,” said Haywood, a University of Michigan alumnus who had previously performed live with the local hip-hop group Tree City.

“I feel like that performance was some sort of watershed moment for me because I had to prove to myself that I could do it. I had never done a performance like that with just an acoustic guitar and myself.”

Fortunately, Haywood’s intimate performance was recorded on cassette by Fred Thomas and initially released on limited-edition tape through Thomas’ Life Like label in 2015. Today, part of that performance now appears on Haywood’s latest live album, Canterbury Tales.

“I spent the past 10 years or so honing them and working on the mixes and cleaning up some of the noise and things like that to get them to the point they’re at now,” Haywood said.

“When you’re dealing with tape, you have fewer options, so you really have to work in a detailed way to be able to massage those recordings and get the good stuff out and take some of the noise down. That’s something I’ve been tinkering with—those Canterbury House recordings—and I feel like now my tinkering is done.”

Friday Five: Randy Napoleon, Date Nite, Mogi Grumbles, The Evil Doings of an Intergalactic Skeleton, Dastardly Kids


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 jazz by Randy Napoleon, indie rock by Date Nite, modular electronics by Mogi Grumbles, space-age computer music by The Evil Doings of an Intergalactic Skeleton, and rap by Dastardly Kids.

The Amplify Project and Spin Inc. Bring Detroit Electronic Music Conference to Washtenaw Community College on March 2


The Detroit Electronic Music Conference logo shows the letters "DEMC" written in red with a gray and red cityscape outline above it.

Detroit Electronic Music Conference promotional poster detail.

After the Detroit Electronic Music Conference was put on hold last year due to a lack of venue, Rod Wallace and Ron “DJ Jungle” Johnson decided to bring the music production and DJ education event to Washtenaw County.

The heads of music nonprofits the Amplify Project and Spin Inc. will co-host the Detroit Electronic Music Conference (or “D Mack”) on March 2 at Washtenaw Community College’s Morris Lawrence Building.

“I first met DJ Jungle, who’s the executive director of Spin Inc., at a meeting with Grove [Studios], and they were looking for some opportunities to partner. Spin Inc. came and participated in our TAP IN event in 2023 and we talked about how we could collaborate,” said Wallace. about the free conference, which takes place March 2 and last occurred at the now-defunct Detroit Institute of Music Education in 2022.

“We had a conversation about his interest in bringing back the ‘D Mack,’ and I said, ‘Well, listen, we have a great partner in WCC … and [we can] tie it in with the arts management coursework that we’re teaching.’”

As part of D Mack’s preparations, the Amplify Project and Spin Inc. have enlisted WCC arts management students to help run the conference since their capstone class is built around event creation, collaboration, and execution.