Preview: Film and Performance: Brasslands and Rhyta Musik

PREVIEW MUSIC

Rhyta Musik: Horn to be Wild.

Rhyta Musik: Horn to be Wild.

This Saturday afternoon, the Downtown Library's Multi-Purpose Room will be bursting with the exuberance and sounds of Balkan brass bands.

At 1 pm, Rhyta Musik kicks off the celebration — striking the tapan (bass drum) and snare —whipping up the energy with trumpet, trombone, saxophone, singing and lively dance. Their set navigates adeptly from originals to Eastern European folk melodies and back again.

If you enjoyed Rhyta Musik at Top of the Park or Water Hill Music Fest, you won't want to miss the chance to catch them again, and perhaps bring along a family member or friend. The band is plenty appropriate for even elementary-age kids as long as they are in the mood for something that's occasionally bombastic!

At 2 pm, following Rhyta Musik's performance, there will be a special screening of "Brasslands," an acclaimed 2013 documentary about the world's largest trumpet festival in Guča, Serbia.

Brasslands explores Balkan brass music through the tales of three individuals — a Roma street musician, a Serbian master of the trumpet, and a New Yorker who has been playing this music for three decades. The three stories all lead them to the 50th anniversary of the world's largest trumpet competition in a Serbian valley.

Brasslands lets viewers in on the hopes and fears of each of these musicians throughout their preparation and into the culminating event — playing in Guča's giant competition.


Mariah Cherem is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library, and gets ridiculously happy hearing music in the library, from classic storytime songs on up.



The Rhyta Musik performance and
Brasslands screening both take place in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Downtown Ann Arbor District Library on Saturday, June 16. Brasslands is now available to AADL cardholders for online streaming at aadl.org.

Preview: DJs in the Garden at Mini-Moogfest

PREVIEW MUSIC

Synth you've been gone.

Synth you've been gone.

A good two-thirds of the time that I mention the garden at the downtown location of the AADL to friends, I get a “What? There’s a garden?! Where?" in response.

It can feel like a secret, even though it’s open to everyone. Tomorrow, that very garden so many people have yet to discover will be filled with music by some startlingly talented folks as AADL kicks off its second official Mini-Moogfest.

If you were lucky enough to swing through last year’s inaugural festival, you know that it was not only a chance to listen to some great DJs, but also an opportunity to play around with the breadth of music tools available for checkout at the library.

The ability for all ages to play with all sorts of goodies — from kid-friendly simple instruments to synths to effects pedals to beat-making little boxes — remains a key part of this year’s festivities, and talented, world-class DJs return to play music in the library’s garden.

Catch Mike Dykehouse 12-1:30 pm, Tadd Mullinix (fresh off a performance in Detroit the night before) 1:30-3:00 pm, and Mike Huckaby 3-4:30 pm.


Mariah Cherem is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library, and gets ridiculously happy hearing music in the library, from classic storytime songs on up.


Mini-Moog Fest takes place in the garden area of the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library on Saturday, June 9 from 11am-5pm. In the case of rain, the event will be held inside.

Now Streaming: Saturday Looks Good to Me at AADL

MUSIC

April 22, 2013: Saturday Looks Good to Me at AADL.

You can stream Saturday Looks Good To Me at AADL any day of the week.

On April 22, 2013, almost exactly three years ago, Saturday Looks Good to Me set up in the Ann Arbor District Library’s Multi-Purpose Room to play a set. It was still almost a month until the official release of their album One Kiss Ends it All, but their performance was full of those emerging songs — Invisible Friend, Empty Beach, Johnny. There were plenty of favorites from their dozen-plus prior years as a band, too — Underwater Heartbeat, Ultimate Stars, and even a version of Everyday that harkened back to their self-titled 2000 debut.

Backbone of the band Fred Thomas captured the performance on a four-track. After lots of fiddling and adjusting and remixing in the intervening time, he came up with a lovely mix.

Now, you can hear the song of the strings, the chime of the glockenspiel, and the saxophone’s warmth on top of intertwined vocal harmonies, and the bass and guitar's back-and-forth in this really special performance.

Stream the entire set here.


Mariah Cherem is a Production Librarian at AADL and has a hard time ever picking just one favorite band or record when people ask her that question.


More albums by SLGTM can be found in our catalog, with lots of EPs, singles and other releases available through bandcamp.

Preview: Water Hill Music Fest

PREVIEW MUSIC

Fest-goers in a Water Hill front yard

Fest-goers in a Water Hill front yard.

Spring has sprung! Or at least it’s in the process of springing — blossoms popping amidst the drizzle, sunshine peeking out every day or two. Festifools in April feels like a hopeful end to winter in Ann Arbor, but for the last 5 years, it’s been that first Sunday in May — and with it, Water Hill Music Fest — that have made me feel like the warmer season has truly arrived.

If you live in a nearby neighborhood, you’ve likely stumbled upon this happening, but for those who don’t have an address adjoining the festivities, Water Hill Music Fest is worth a little trip. Whether you’re a grownup flying solo (or with a crew) or a family toting along a babe, Water Hill is a homegrown, low-key music festival that pops up in front yards and porches from Sunset to Miller (N/S) and from the railroad tracks up to Brooks (E/W).

Unlike a lot of the music festivals that get all the attention (think Coachella, etc.), Water Hill has a super DIY ethic and no expensive ticket charges. It celebrates making music for the sheer fun of it — with nine-year-olds getting the same sort of stage as the veterans.

Everyone is in close proximity and variety is the name of the game. There are 70+ musical acts playing throughout the four hours of the Fest. You might catch a renowned pianist at one house, and then skip a few blocks over to see members of an elementary school band. No lie, one of my very favorite acts a few years ago was a gale of teens singing songs about citrus fruit. You just can’t get grown-ups with that kind of unbridled enthusiasm!

While part of the fun is just wandering around and the serendipity of what you might happen upon, here are a few acts that you may want to check out, along with handy links:

CHRIS BUHALIS 2-3pm, 600 block of Cressfield
JIVE COLOSSUS 2-3pm, 1000 block of Fountain
APPLESEED COLLECTIVE 3-4pm, 700 block of Spring
WALEED HOWRANI 3-3:15pm, 700 block of Miner
LITTLE TRAPS 3:15-4pm, 500 block of Hiscock
CORNDADDY 4-4:30pm, 600 block of Hiscock
WYCH ELM 4-5pm, 1200 block of Bydding
ACCIDENTALLY HIP 4:15-5pm, 900 block of Miner
HUMAN SKULL 4:30-5pm, 700 block of Gott

Check out the full lineup for times and locations (by block!) here.

You’ll want to plan on parking outside the neighborhood and walking (or heck, take the bus or bike!) into the neighborhood, as many of the streets really become more for pedestrians than for cars. The terrain is pretty stroller-friendly with the caveat that this ‘hood IS called Water HILL. Still, the sidewalks and crosswalk ramps are generally in fairly good shape.

If you’re still feeling unsure of where to go and what to bring, festival organizers have a few tips, too!


Mariah Cherem is a Production Librarian at AADL and is glad that her neighborhood got its moniker from a music fest (and its water-word streets).

Water Hill Music Fest will be held in Sunday, May 1st, 2-6 pm in the Water Hill neighborhood of Ann Arbor. Since it IS spring, and this is an outdoor festival, it’s good to note that there is a rain date. In the case of inclement weather, the festival may be postposed until the following Sunday, May 8th.

Preview: Theo Katzman at the Blind Pig

PREVIEW MUSIC

Theo Katzman returns to Ann Arbor November 11

Theo Katzman returns to Ann Arbor November 11 / Photo by Ryan Stanton

Having built a hometown following with My Dear Disco, and then as a solo artist, Theo Katzmann’s name is a familiar one around Ann Arbor. Although Brooklyn has been his more recent home base, he's swinging through A2 this week.

Katzman and his Vulfpeck took a creative approach to streaming/Spotify last year, and just dropped a new record last month. He also contributed his production and songwriting chops to Michelle Chamuel's 2015 pop album Face the Fire.

This time around, however, his Blind Pig date is billed as a solo affair — with a few of the 'peck backing him up.


Mariah Cherem is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Theo Katzman plays the Blind Pig, tonight November 11, supported by Anna Ash and The Stellars. Doors at 7 pm. Purchase tickets online or in person through The Blind Pig.

Music Preview: The Ragbirds Halloween Masquerade with Rhyta Musik

REVIEW PREVIEW MUSIC

The Ragbirds bring their folk/indie rock concert/party to The Ark October 30

The Ragbirds bring their folk/indie rock concert/party to The Ark October 30

Still working on your Halloweekend plans? Tonight, the Ark welcomes The Ragbirds back to their hometown stage. The hard-working and hard-touring band is built around Erin Zindle, a musician who is as comfortable singing-while-playing violin as she is wielding an accordion.

This last year, Zindle and crew have been hard at work on their fifth studio record with Grammy-nominated producer Jamie Candiloro (Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Willie Nelson), and this show gives fans a chance to hear much of that material prior to its 2016 release.

The Ragbirds often go all-out to celebrate this spooky holiday, and accordingly, this year’s performance goes beyond just a “show” — it’s a full-on masquerade, for the band and fans.

Rhyta Musik kicks off the revelry with their very own bombastic, vibrant take on traditional Eastern European folk melodies, already a hit around Ann Arbor at this last year's Water Hill Music Fest.

Come already decked out, or arrive early — there will be a special souvenir masquerade mask for the first 250 people.


Mariah Cherem is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


The Ragbirds' Halloween Masquerade with Rhyta Musik will be held tonight, Friday, October 30, at the Ark. Doors open at 7:30 pm, show starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online in advance until 3pm or at the Ark Box office.