Friday Five: Modern Lady Fitness, Thomas Gun, Dave Menzo, Mark Zhu, Jeevan Angelo

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 06-17-2022

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

This week features post-punk pop by Modern Lady Fitness, rockabilly-tinged punk by Thomas Gun, pop-funk by Dave Menzo, bedroom balladry by Mark Zhu, and home-schooled hip-hop by Jeevan Angelo.

 

The Fine Art of Music: Cece June's lovely, emotional songs are the result of listening and looking

MUSIC INTERVIEW

Cece June

Cece June's family background as gallery owners are her own art history studies help inform the rising Barcelona-Ann Arbor artist's music. Photo courtesy Cece June.

Cece Duran was born and raised in Barcelona, where she is currently spending her summer.

But it's in Ann Arbor where she's building her name as a singer-songwriter under the guise Cece June.

In 2021, June released an EP, Pieces, shot a video for the single "Mine," and played shows at venues in downtown Ann Arbor, and the University of Michigan’s annual Springfest.

June is back with a new single, “Over," which she made with friends from U-M. While the sadder side of Spanish folk music courses through June's songs, she also cites England's Radiohead, Ireland's Damien Rice, and America's Bon Iver—no strangers to melancholy melodies—as influences.

We caught up with June to discuss her acoustic-and-electronics single "Over," the influence of fine art on her music, and her future.

Just Want You to Know Who I Am: Ann Arbor indie-rocker Ceolsige introduces herself to the world on self-titled debut EP

MUSIC INTERVIEW

Ceolsige

Ceolsige takes inspiration from The Beatles, INXS, Goo Goo Dolls, and Muse. Photo by Leisa Thompson Photography.

Ceolsige just wants to introduce herself.

“Right now, with my music, all I’m trying to do is just let people know who I am," said Ann Arbor indie-rock singer-songwriter Kelsey Detering, who just released her debut EP under the artist moniker Ceolsige (pronounced see-ole-sidge), the old English variant of her first name.

"Especially, with this EP, I’m not trying to give any specific take on myself or anything. This is a taste of everything about me in one little package. I’m giving people that so they’ll know who I am as an artist. ‘Ceolsige’ is still me, that’s why I chose it. I don’t overthink my identity that much; I just do what feels right.”

Ceolsige eagerly follows her instincts across four honest, mighty tracks that question life, love, and society. The self-titled EP’s introspective lyrics, vigorous instrumentation, and arena-sized arrangements invite listeners to reflect and travel alongside her.

“What comes across a lot of my music right now is uncertainty … because of the age I’m at and time going by. I’m like, ‘OK, what’s gonna happen in my life? Am I gonna meet someone? Am I gonna enjoy things? Are we gonna fix this broken world? Are we going to improve things?” said Detering, a University of Michigan alumna and Ann Arbor School of Rock vocal/piano instructor.

“That gets played up more in people’s minds now, especially because uncertainty in life is heightened everywhere and all the time. I’ve picked up even more on that now.”

Friday Five: John Beltran, Lorian Janine, Linen Ray, Rohn - Lederman, Ceolsige

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 06-10-2022

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

This week features techno-trance-Latin-world jams by John Beltran and friends, gospel-folk by Lorian Janine, country-tinged folk-rock by Linen Ray, downtempo electronica remixes by Rohn - Lederman, and crisp guitar pop by Ceolsige.

 

"Last Night a Camera Saved My Life: The Photography of Doug Coombe" celebrates one of Washtenaw County's finest chroniclers of Michigan music

MUSIC VISUAL ART PREVIEW INTERVIEW

Iggy and The Stooges at the Michigan Theater, April 19, 2011. Photo by Doug Coombe.

Iggy and The Stooges at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, April 19, 2011. Photo by Doug Coombe.

If you've been to a concert in Washtenaw County in the past 30 years, there's a good chance Doug Coombe was at one of them.

From Ypsilanti basement shows to Hill Auditorium and everywhere around Southeastern Michigan, the long-time Ann Arbor record-store clerk turned first-call photographer has documented local and touring artists of all genres with an exacting eye and an unrelenting passion for music.

The genial Coombe's dynamic concert photos are like energy traps, capturing the exact moment a performer has exploded with passion, while his promotional and journalistic musician photos present bands in creative environments that convey their sounds and attitudes through the images.

Coombe loves what he does and the musicians love him right back. You can actually tell the artists like to be photographed by Coombe just by looking at his pictures.

For real: Everybody likes Doug.

CultureVerse is a new-ish gallery space in downtown Ann Arbor and its latest exhibit, Last Night a Camera Saved My Life: The Photography of Doug Coombe, is a love letter not only to the Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan music scenes but also to the man who captured these small, fleeting moments for all of eternity. 

Friday Five: Fred Moises, Mary Collins, No Author, Marc Hannaford, Vornhagen & Kaufman

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 06-03-2022

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

This week features worldly jazz by Vornhagen & Kaufman, ambient by Fred Moises, folk by Mary Collins, techno by No Author, and experimental jazz by Marc Hannaford.

 

Interdimensional Transmissions’ No Way Back party was 14 hours of transformational bliss

MUSIC REVIEW

Carlos Souffront at Interdimensional Transmissions' No Way Back Party, May 26, 2022. Photo by Rosewyn Gold.

Carlos Souffront at Interdimensional Transmissions' No Way Back Party, May 26, 2022. Photo by Rosewyn Gold.

Resident Advisor, one of the most important websites covering electronic music, previewed Interdimensional Transmissions' annual No Way Back event as "the kind of party that can change your life if you let it."

Reading that, you might scoff, roll your eyes, and chalk it up as hyperbole.

That is until you go and experience the transformative power of No Way Back yourself, as I did on Sunday, May 26, at Detroit's Tangent Gallery.

No more scoffing.

Fruitful Experiment: Chris Bathgate explores thematic writing on his new album, “The Significance of Peaches” 

MUSIC PREVIEW INTERVIEW

Chris Bathgate photo by Misty Lynn Bergeron

Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Chris Bathgate uses the pump organ as the sonic centerpiece on The Significance of Peaches. Photo by Misty Lyn Bergeron.

Chris Bathgate sees his first album in five years, The Significance of Peaches as "an experiment in thematic writing and recording with limitations … the significance of peaches is not necessarily the thread or some keystone idea. It is like a loose fishing net that I can cast into my life and see what I harvest."

Throughout The Significance of Peaches, released on Ann Arbor's Quite Scientific Records, Bathgate searches for a holistic sense of self while fostering a spiritual connection to the outside world using pithy lyrics and nature-rich imagery set atop a pump-organ-drenched landscape.

“The peach thing is from my total adoration for the stone fruit itself as the corporeal experience of physically eating a peach," said the Ann Arbor indie-folk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. "But I’m also interested in the peach as a metaphor throughout history. The thing I became most obsessed with was its use as a way to describe the ephemeral nature of life, time and joy, moments, and carpe diem.

Friday Five: TJ Zindle, Doogatron, TYRU$ARCHER, MEMCO comp, Paper Petals

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 05-27-2022

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

This week features '90s-esque alt-rock courtesy of TJ Zindle, freaky techno from Doogatron, leftfield hip-hop by TYRU$ARCHER, a MEMCO comp of electronic music, and dark ambient from Paper Petals.

Friends and musicians remember Walrus founding member and longtime Ann Arbor bassist Kim French at a tribute concert

MUSIC

Kim French sitting with his bass in front of a poster of The Yardbirds

Kim French photo from his Facebook page.

Ann Arbor bassist Kim French passed away from heart failure on January 13, 2022, according to an obituary in Marquette's Mining Journal newspaper. French was a native of Marquette before moving to Ann Arbor in 1970.

In 1969, French was a co-founder of the psych-folk-jazz band Walrus, whose members started playing together in The Mike Koda Corp., a band featuring future Brownsville Station and solo star "Cub" Koda. Walrus later featured another Marquette musician named Randy Tessier, who moved with the band to Ann Arbor in 1972. While French's Marquette buddies had joined him in Washtenaw County, he didn't rejoin Walrus, which ended up making some studio recordings in 1973 and 1973 that would go unreleased until 2019. ["After 45 years, dreams do come true: Marquette native 70s band Walrus releases first album," The Mining Journal, January 27, 2020]