Friday Five: The Lawrence Bond Miller Collection

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 12-24-2021 - Lawrence Bond Miller

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

This week features Laurence Bond Miller who has been making music in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area for nearly 53 years, ever since he and his brothers, Roger (Mission of Burma) and Benjamin, formed Spronton Layer in 1968 while at Ann Arbor High School (Pioneer). Check out Miller's prolific discography to see a career that has spanned progressive rock, punk rock, experimental rock, novelty rock, lounge music, kids music, singer-songwriter musings, and everything in between.

 

AADL 2021 Staff Picks: Audio

MUSIC

AADL 2021 Staff Picks: Audio

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AADL 2021 STAFF PICS: AUDIO
Music, podcasts, CDs, records, and more:

 

Empty Mug helps U-M student musicians find a sense of community

MUSIC INTERVIEW

Gravy Train band

Gravy Train photo by Lila Turner.

Despite the pandemic, music organizations on the University of Michigan’s campus are thriving. Students are yearning to hear music over loudspeakers, dance in sweaty houses, and produce their own songs, and organizations like Empty Mug are here to provide, whether through having concerts, recording live videos, or releasing music.

Fia Kaminski, one of the presidents of the organization, sat down with us to talk about Empty Mug's present, past, and future.

Conversation Starter: Chuck Marshall Unites Local Music Community on "Fans With Bands" Podcast

MUSIC INTERVIEW

Brenda Sodt Marshall and Chuck Marshall from the Fans With Bands podcast

Chuck Marshall with wife Brenda Sodt Marshall. Photo by Chuck Marshall.

For Chuck Marshall, a regular morning routine inspired a new creative pursuit.

The Ann Arbor live music photographer and Life in Michigan blogger started listening to different podcasts during his daily pandemic lockdown workouts with wife Brenda Sodt Marshall.

“I really wasn’t on the podcast train until the pandemic came," said Marshall, who works in IT at Michigan Medicine. "I started thinking about how I couldn’t go to shows and how it was fine for me to be talking to a band and asking them questions, but wouldn’t it be fun if fans could chime in with questions or be there and listen?

“The pandemic kinda helped with that because we were using Zoom, and I was like, ‘Oh, I could do a Zoom with this person.’ I realized Zoom records separate tracks of audio, so I could clean it up and get it all nice.”

Friday Five: Towner, Scary Steve, Comma, Cory Sibu Tripathy, John Hughes

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 12-10-2021

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

This week features power-pop from Towner, ambient by Scary Steve, vaporwave weirdness via Comma, experimental electronica courtesy of Cory Sibu Tripathy, and worship music by John Hughes.

 

Friday Five: Grandmaster Masese, Bill Edwards, KUZbeats, DJ Free Jazz/SAFA Collective, Counter Magic

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 12-03-2021

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

This week features Kenyan music by Grandmaster Masese, Americana by Bill Edwards, cinematic instrumentals courtesy of KUZbeats, general weirdness via DJ Free Jazz & SAFA Collective, and indie-shoegaze-glitchtronica by Counter Magic.

 

Friday Five: A601-2, Brock Van Wey, Sabbatical Bob, Arthur Durkee, Tom Smith

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 11-26-2021

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

This week features ambient by A601-2 and Brock Van Wey, wacky funk from Sabbatical Bob, Fourth World music via Arthur Durkee, and parody tunes by Tom Smith.

 

Friday Five: Raw Honey, Nadim Azzam, Atlas the Kid, Canada, Alison Albrecht

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 11-19-2021

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

This week features indie rock from Raw Honey, hip-hop soul by Nadim Azzam, rap by Atlas the Kid, folk-rock by Canada, and a performance by singer-songwriter Alison Albrecht.

 

He Just Wants to "Fly": Ki5 ponders escape and possibilities in his new song and video

MUSIC INTERVIEW

A still from Ki5's video for his song Fly

Escape was on the mind of Kyler Wilkins when he wrote the lyrics for his new a capella single and music video, “Fly.” Using only his voice for the melody, harmonies, and beats, the Ypsilanti-based artist known as Ki5 croons the song's chorus, “Can we fly?” with the sort of passion that can make listeners' souls take flight.

Wilkins said the track makes him dream about traveling and the lyrics capture that sense of anticipation, possibility, and geographic movement. The song's lyrics were inspired by the feelings of isolation at the height of the pandemic, and Wilkins' descending vocals during the chorus are meant to mimic the sensation of freefalling in a dream.

The track was co-written and co-produced by Tom Valdez and Janet Cole Valdez, who Wilkins met last year at an online songwriting class. He says “Fly'' was one of the first songs written by the trio, which has written seven total tunes together.

“The funny part is that after the first scratch recording I made the day we wrote some lyrics, I forgot about the song for a few weeks,” Wilkins said. “It was only after coming back later that I was struck by how inviting and enchanting the original idea was. I really began to believe in its magic then.”

The music video for “Fly” features Wilkins' niece, Maxine Wilkins, who choreographed the video and recruited two dancers, Celia Embry and Vee Brzoznowski, to move alongside her. The dancers correlate with the gradual unfolding of the track: in the beginning, there's just one dancer, but as the song blossoms, all three are doing moves together.

You can find the song on Bandcamp and Spotify; catch the music video below:

Where We Land: Catching up with post-Michigan Electronic Music Collective (MEMCO) projects in Ann Arbor and Abroad

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MEMCO alumni update

The Michigan Electronic Music Collective (MEMCO) started as a small community of techno-loving college students and has shifted and expanded throughout the years into a cultural force and community within the Ann Arbor and Detroit music scenes.

And I’m not just saying that because I’m the organization's current president.

Started in 2013 as Michigan Electronic Dance Association, or MEDMA, the now MEMCO allows University of Michigan students and the local community to learn about the Detroit origins of techno and creates safe spaces to listen to and dance to this music and teaches members how to DJ.

Even when MEMCO members leave Ann Arbor, there is a bond that connects them to the town forever, and these alumni take their experience and knowledge from the collective into their own new ventures. Over the past year, past MEMCO members have started labels, continued music projects, and involved themselves in their new communities while always remembering where they came from.

On November 20 at Club Above in Ann Arbor, the current MEMCO crew is throwing its annual Triple Threat party with Maize Collective and WCBN-FM featuring Shigeto, Paul Simpson, Miguel Cisne, and Kilala in the DJ booth. 

But first, here's another kind of triple-threat: an update on a trio of post-MEMCO projects: