Friday Five: Killa Kam, Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet, Fred Thomas, Golden Feelings, Saajtak

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 05-20-2022

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

This week features hip-hop by Killa Kam, Ukrainian folk by Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet, instrumentals by Fred Thomas, ambient by Golden Feelings, and off-kilter pop by Saajtak.

The Years Before Punk Broke: Remembering Roland Diaz-Pérez, who put Ann Arbor's Club Heidelberg on the map in the pre-grunge era

MUSIC HISTORY PROFILE

Maureen Maki and Roland Diaz Perez

Maureen Maki and Roland Diaz Perez. Photo courtesy of Maureen Maki.

From August 1989 through the fall of 1991, dozens of concerts occurred above the German restaurant at 215 North Main Street in Ann Arbor, often featuring national touring bands who would become household names during the grunge era.

Rolando “Roland” Diaz-Pérez and his No Bull Productions team were responsible for producing these shows at Club Heidelberg, and these concerts deeply influenced the 1990s DIY music scene in Washtenaw County.

News surfaced that Diaz-Pérez died in April 2022 in Paraguay, where he had lived for two decades, but his legacy will live on in Ann Arbor music history.

Feel Good Friday the 13th: UMMA's monthly series offered no bad luck, just great music

MUSIC REVIEW

A participant at UMMA's Feel Good Friday, May 13, 2022. Photo by Marc-Grégor Campredon

Somebody feels good at UMMA's Feel Good Friday on May 13, 2022. Photo by Marc-Grégor Campredon

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) showed that Friday the 13th doesn’t have to be an unlucky day.

Every second Friday the museum presents a self-described "gathering of art and humans." The May 13 edition of Feel Good Friday featured Detroit- and Ann Arbor-based DJs and artists showcasing experimental film and Detroit techno, along with all the UMMA galleries being open for viewing.

Ann Arbor artists Mark Tucker (FestiFools) and Alvin Hill opened the evening by leading a hands-on workshop to celebrate the opening of FUN, UMMA's latest exhibit, which is in the Stenn gallery facing State Street. It's a space where visitors can contribute to a summer-long creation using materials provided in the gallery.

The up-and-coming Detroit-based DJ AK then took listeners through a musical history of Afrofuturism, spinning ghettotech, dubstep, and deep house in the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Apse. The crowd, whose ages ranged from young to old, all got to dancing, whether it was right in front of the speakers or as they took in the UMMA galleries. 

Friday Five: The Olllam, Hannah Baiardi, Matthew Dear, Mark Zhu, Nickie P. & Duke Newcomb, Sean Curtis Patrick, Tom Smith, Danger Room, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Thomas Gun

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 05-13-2022

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

We're doing this again? Doubling the size of Friday Five for the second time in two weeks?

If area musicians keep this up, I'm going to have to change the column name to Tuesday Ten, which will be really confusing when I run the post on Fridays, the day all new music comes out. (Back in the olden days, release day used to be on Tuesday, which would be a strange day to run a column called Friday Five, but I digress so hard.)

This week features:

- Irish fusion by The Olllam
- sophisti-pop by Hannah Baiardi
- electronic pop by Matthew Dear
- ukulele-driven pop by Mark Zhu
- hip-hop by Nickie P. & Duke Newcomb
- a moon-landing soundtrack by Sean Curtis Patrick
- parodies by Tom Smith
- noise by Danger Room
- metal-tronica by The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
- rockabilly-tinged punk by Thomas Gun

 

Friday Five: ​​​​​​​Towner, Warren & Flick, Hannah Baiardi, Mirror Monster, 1473 label live compilation

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 05-06-2022

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

This week features the fuzzy Midwestern power-pop of Towner, country-tinged instrumental duets by Warren & Flick, R&B pop by Hannah Baiardi, new wavy electronica by Mirror Monster, and a compilation of live ambient performances on the 1473 label.

 

In Real Life: Indie rocker Kelly Hoppenjans shares pandemic-era experiences on “Can’t Get the Dark Out”

MUSIC PREVIEW INTERVIEW

Kelly Hoppenjans photo by Autumn Dozier

Kelly Hoppenjans dissects past heartbreak, navigates newfound love, and weathers interstate moves on Can’t Get the Dark Out. Photo by Autumn Dozier

Kelly Hoppenjans prefers to view love and life through a realistic lens.

The Ann Arbor indie-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist shares a real-life account of pandemic-era relationships, life changes, and personal growth on her introspective new EP, Can’t Get the Dark Out.

“This pandemic has been a really tough time to be alone, and it’s made it difficult to navigate changing relationships, too.," she said. "I wrote ‘Love of My Life (In My Living Room)’ about my frustration with online dating, and a few months after writing it met the love of my life through a dating app.”

Hoppenjans, who relocated from Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a doctorate in musicology at the University of Michigan, said, "By the time I met him, I’d already decided I was leaving town for my doctorate, and I wrote ‘Parallel Lines’ about the irony of meeting someone when I had one foot out the door, wanting to leave town but not him. He moved up here with me, so that worked out in the end.”

On Can’t Get the Dark Out, Hoppenjans dissects past heartbreak, navigates newfound love, and weathers interstate moves across five journal-entry-inspired tracks. The 20-minute EP seamlessly flows through alt-rock and folk-rock sensibilities with forthright lyrics.

“I feel like sometimes when we envision positive things, like love or marriage or children coming to us in the future, we think, ‘That will fix everything,’ like the struggles will evaporate once we achieve those goals. That’s just not how it works,” she said.

“Being in love has brought so much joy to my life, and it’s also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It doesn’t fix anything magically … all the baggage we bring with us … it haunts us in our relationships, and we work through it together.”

Hoppenjans will share her Can’t Get the Dark Out experiences and songs during a May 6 EP release show at The Bling Pig with special guests Ani Mari and Clay in the Woods.

Friday Five: Double-length premium super-deluxe bonus edition

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five 04-29-2022

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

Normally I just feature five artists in the Friday Five. It says so right in the column title. No lies told here.

But what if Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels don't respect the arbitrary limit I place on the number of releases I feature in this column every week, and instead they just keep putting out so much high-quality music that I gotta run a double-length column just to keep up? 

I respect your right to disrespect my artificial ceiling, Washtenaw County creatives, and I offer up this double-length premium super-deluxe bonus edition of the Friday Five.

This week features:

- the brilliant art-jazz-funk of Miles Okazaki
- techno by JTC
- metalcore by ONI featuring Iggy Pop and Randy Blythe
- jazz-drone by Colin Stetson, Elliott Sharp, Billy Martin, and Payton MacDonald
- Kenyan folk by Makadem and some Ann Arbor all-stars
- sound sculptures by Kikù Hibino
- video-game songs by mathew
- ghettotech by zagc
- Kraftwerk-ian pop by Telesonic 9000
- and emo-y pop by Premium Rat

 

(Not Quite) A MoodSwing Reunion: Jazz all-stars electrify Hill Auditorium despite missing a key member

MUSIC REVIEW

Brian Blade, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, and Brad Mehldau by Michael Wilson

Brian Blade, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, and Brad Mehldau—a MoodSwing reunion. Photo by Michael Wilson.

Joshua Redman comes across as surprisingly shy for one of the best saxophonists in the world. Instrument held slightly off to the side, he addressed the immense crowd at Hill Auditorium on Thursday night from behind his reading glasses and with an endearing timidity, almost apologetically searching for the right words as he gave titles for the night’s first two pieces and introduced his band. Never once did he betray even a hint of the fact that a minute before he’d delivered the kind of virtuosic performance only a handful of people in the world could give. 

The saxophonist and composer was joined onstage by talents no less ferocious than his own, almost a full reunion of the Joshua Redman Quartet lineup from the ‘90s. Bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade—Grammy winners both—grounded the ensemble as its rhythm section throughout the night, occasionally breaking out for breathtaking solos, and the only absence from the old days was pianist Brad Mehldau, who was originally slated to appear but called in sick at the last minute.

Friday Five: Kat Steih, The Biscuit Merchant, Evan Starr, Chirp, Good Mother

MUSIC FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five album covers for 04-22-2022

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

This week features jazzy electro-pop from Kat Steih, melodic death metal by The Biscuit Merchant, hip-hop pop by Evan Starr, a funk-prog mashup by Chirp, and a mega-funk mix by Good Mother.

 

Happy 75th Birthday, Mr. Osterberg: Rare Iggy Pop and The Stooges photos from the Peter Yates collection

MUSIC

The Stooges at Fifth Forum in Ann Arbor, July 1969. Photo by Peter Yates.

The Stooges at Fifth Forum in Ann Arbor, July 1969. Photo by Peter Yates via AADL's Old News.

There are probably more than two great things to come from Muskegon, Michigan, but I want to focus on two: Brunswick bowling balls and Iggy Pop.

The former wasn't born in Muskegon, but the latter was on April 21, 1947.

In honor of Pop's 75th birthday, Pulp's highlighting a few photos by Peter Yates, who moved to Ann Arbor in 1969 and was soon chronicling the Southeast Michigan cultural scene. Last year, the Ann Arbor District Library's Old News team digitized numerous Yates photos, which you can peruse here.

The photos shown here are all from July 1969, soon after The Stooges had recorded their self-titled debut, which came out August 5, 1969.