‘Just Like the Sun’ – Indy’s From Elsewhere Make First Detroit Appearance Sunday Night, Release Brilliant Debut EP

Indy’s From Elsewhere released their debut EP, “Just Like the Sun,” on Friday.

 

Indianapolis’ From Elsewhere will bring their vibrant indie rock to the Motor City Sunday night.

The burgeoning trio will make their live Detroit debut at Nice Place, 70 Glynn Ct., starting at 6 p.m. with Merga, Anomaly and Carter Erickson. The show also will feature artwork from local visual artists.

“It’s going to be a mixed genre show with some hip hop,” said Nikhil Ramani, From Elsewhere’s vocalist and guitarist who originally hails from Chennai, India. “I’m really excited for Sunday because it’s going to be a good community of artists.”

Along with bandmates Travis Lee (bass) and Luke Duckworth (drums), Ramani will share tracks from their sparkling debut EP, “Just Like the Sun,” which dropped Friday.

The shimmering six-song EP features an eclectic mix of shoegaze and alternative rock – think Death Cab for Cutie, Smashing Pumpkins, Slowdive and Snail Mail rolled into one. The band recorded the EP over three days in late August, early September at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Ind., with Ben Lumsdaine.

With shiny guitar tones, solid bass lines and pulsating drumbeats, “Just Like the Sun” illuminates the dreariest Midwestern winter morning and creates a vivid, laid-back summer afternoon in the mind’s eye. From Elsewhere’s first two brilliant singles, “The Color Yellow” and “Collective Thoughts,” dropped earlier this fall.

“A lot of the EP is about finding yourself, your self-identity and a little bit of loneliness and sadness, just all human emotion basically,” said Ramani, who formed From Elsewhere with Lee and Duckworth in June. “Each song on the EP isn’t about strictly one particular theme or thing, it’s kind of a mix.”

Continue reading “‘Just Like the Sun’ – Indy’s From Elsewhere Make First Detroit Appearance Sunday Night, Release Brilliant Debut EP”

Jam Session – Desmond Jones Promises Unique Set for Thursday’s Headlining Show at The Blind Pig

Grand Rapids funk-rock-jazz fusion quintet Desmond Jones will perform at The Blind Pig Thursday night with Pajamas.

For Desmond Jones, no two setlists or shows are alike.

The Grand Rapids funk-rock-jazz fusion quintet relies on skillful improvisation, sophisticated musicianship and scintillating compositions to capture a crowd’s attention. Each show brings a unique vibe and sonic quality depending the band, audience and venue.

“The more cut and dry structured songs we don’t take out at all in terms of improvisation and jams,” Even if we write a setlist out before a show, which we don’t always do, a lot of times on stage we’ll pick what songs feel right or naturally transition into them,” said John Nowak, Desmond Jones’ drummer, vocalist and guitarist.

“Lately, we’ve been mixing in a sense of humor in terms of making weird or spacey noises. We’re deliberately trying to shock the audience, be as weird as we possibly can and see how they react.”

That ingenious live approach has connected Desmond Jones to thousands of fans at more than 500 shows over five years nationwide. The band also has a sprawling online archive of 300-plus shows available for streaming on their website.

Luckily, Ann Arbor fans will be able to visit the Desmond Jones online live archive after Thursday’s show at The Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., with Pajamas, a Tree Town rock-funk fusion trio.

“When you get a good opening act, I think that vibe is strong with the crowd because it gets people moving and ready to go. Then, we’ll come on, and we’ll rock out,” Nowak said. “We love playing The Blind Pig. I think that venue offers a certain one-of-a-kind dirty, grungy, fun atmosphere, which is where we’re also at with our music.”

Nowak and his Desmond Jones bandmates – Isaac Berkowitz (guitar, vocals, drums), Chris Bota (guitar, vocals), George Falk (saxophone, vocals) and John Loria (bass, vocals) – will play new material and older improvisational jams from their extensive catalog of 50-plus tunes.

“We’ll be playing a wider range of things, some new songs that aren’t on any of the albums. It’s always fun because unless you’re listening to the archives or have gone to a lot of shows, then a lot of the songs will be new to your ears,” Nowak said. “Expect a lot of different feels, but definitely some improvisational jams and opportunities for dancing.”

Continue reading “Jam Session – Desmond Jones Promises Unique Set for Thursday’s Headlining Show at The Blind Pig”

Smart Pop – John Kay & Who’s To Say Plays Saturday Acoustic Show at Warren’s Dovetail, Follows Strategic Musical Approach

John Kay & Who’s To Say (left to right): Steve Lupinski, Brandon McNall, John Kay, Tamara Marla Laflin and Jason Rauschenberger. Photo by Adam Barnett

John Kay & Who’s To Say will make their Dovetail debut Saturday night in Warren.

The Detroit progressive pop group will perform a free acoustic show at The Dovetail, 29200 Hoover Road, beginning at 8 p.m.

“We’re going to be performing stripped-down versions of our music – no drums, no high-powered amplifiers,” said John Kay, the group’s lead vocalist and guitarist. “We’ll still plug in some instruments, but this isn’t going to be a full-band, over-the-top kind of night.”

Kay will be joined by Who’s To Say bandmates Steve Lupinski (bass, vocals), Brandon McNall (lead guitar) and Jason Rauschenberger (rhythm guitar, percussion, vocals) for the one-hour set, which will feature songs from Kay’s 2016 album, “Dealing with People,” as well as some newer tunes and maybe a cover. Mark Bolohan of Scarlet Lies will kick off the music Saturday night.

“Steve and I visited the Dovetail last month, and the place is clean with an inviting atmosphere,” said Kay, who grew up in Livonia and started playing drums at age two. “It should be an interesting night and allow for meeting some cool new people.”

John Kay & Who’s To Say are building a strong live music presence in Detroit after performing their first show at a sold-out P.J.’s Lager House in March. Kay and his bandmates spent some time building a solid musical and artistic foundation before booking shows.

“We rehearsed for over a year in the dark; we didn’t put up photos, we didn’t put out snippets, we didn’t tease anything,” Kay said. “What we did was we worked hard, and we busted our ass until we had three rehearsals in a row that we thought, ‘Hey, we could have done all three of those rehearsals in front of a paying audience, and they would’ve gotten their money’s worth.’”

Continue reading “Smart Pop – John Kay & Who’s To Say Plays Saturday Acoustic Show at Warren’s Dovetail, Follows Strategic Musical Approach”

A Shore Thing – Greg Hurley Makes Tidal Impact with Blues-drenched Debut Album ‘Seafoam’

Greg Hurley

For Greg Hurley, a little “Seafoam” can make big waves in established musical waters.

The Jackson singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer has turned the blues rock tide with his debut album, “Seafoam,” a beautiful, introspective sonic journey filled with hope, gratitude and self-reflection. Think Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Steely Dan and The Beatles crashing together into a clean, organic sound wave of oceanic proportions.

“This is my debut, and it’s late in life, but I wanted the first one to be good. The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ was so clean and pristine, while Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan were very careful and meticulous in their work,” Hurley said. “That’s kind of what I’ve done here with ‘Seafoam.’ I intentionally keep things simple because I want my music to have a good groove.”

Behind Hurley’s simple musical approach is complex creative vision filled with eight years of writing, recording, producing, mixing and mastering 10 insightful tracks for “Seafoam” in his home studio. On his debut, Hurley played most of the instruments himself, but partnered with musicians Derek Cornett, David Friend and Chris Yochens for exquisite guitar leads on “Be With You,” “Wiggle Room,” “Where You’re At” and “You’re You.”

“I could have played all the lead parts, but I wanted a little bit of a different flavor,” Hurley said. “I wanted the songs to have all the same consistency and quality similar to the way Jeff Lynne collaborates with other musicians.”

Continue reading “A Shore Thing – Greg Hurley Makes Tidal Impact with Blues-drenched Debut Album ‘Seafoam’”

Musical Dichotomy – Jonathan Something Explores Conflicts of Human Psyche on ‘Outlandish Poetica’

Jonathan Something

Deep beneath Jonathan Something’s vintage-inspired rock lies the complexity and beauty of the human psyche.

The Brooklyn, Conn., singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer explores the dichotomy between a person’s emotionally turbulent interior and their serene façade on his latest release, “Outlandish Poetica,” which dropped last week via Solitaire Recordings.

Throughout “Outlandish Poetica’s” honest, eclectic and thought-provoking nine tracks, Something, aka Jon Searles, purposefully mixes upbeat, electrified ‘60s-fueled music with ironic, contemplative lyrics. It’s a clever and humorous way to musically and lyrically characterize the growing conflict most people experience when they mask their true self.

“I think I’m sort of a self-deprecating human being as a whole, and I think it’s an interesting vibe. I think a lot of people take themselves a little too seriously when it comes to music,” Searles said. “I like stuff that I can get a good laugh out of, especially stuff with dry humor, and on the surface level, wouldn’t necessarily be funny, but when you take it into the context of how they’re saying and what they’re saying, it packs a little punch.”

Continue reading “Musical Dichotomy – Jonathan Something Explores Conflicts of Human Psyche on ‘Outlandish Poetica’”

Circle of Friends – 4 Metro Detroit Artists Host Friday ‘Songwriters Round’ at Farmington Civic Theater

Four metro Detroit singer-songwriters will share their tunes, tales and triumphs Friday night with an intimate Farmington audience.

Mark Jewett, Amy Petty, Sam Corbin and Rochelle Clark will host a “Songwriters Round” performance as part of the Farmington Civic Theater’s “Friday Night Live” concert series.

During the show, each singer-songwriter will take a turn performing their own material, tell stories behind their music, delve into their personal creative process and introduce a new track. “There will be some interesting and funny stories probably, and I think everyone in this lineup likes crowd engagement,” Jewett said. “We’re not looking for the hushed symphony audience.”

This is the third time Jewett has teamed up with Petty and Corbin to host a “Songwriters Round” in metro Detroit since May 2017. In the past, they’ve hosted similar events at 20 Front Street in Lake Orion and Trinity House Theatre in Livonia with Chelsea folk singer-songwriter Annie Capps.

Instead, Clark, Ypsilanti singer-songwriter, will join the trio for Friday’s show to share her burgeoning Americana roots music with the crowd.

“We found that we have a pretty good chemistry, and we are able to follow whatever kind of flow the group has got going. I don’t think anyone is coming with a specific setlist of songs they’re absolutely going to play, maybe a longer list they can pick from, but that’s what I like about songwriter rounds,” Jewett said. “They’re dynamic, you can either follow someone’s lead and go deeper into a topic, or if you feel like the audience has had enough of that, then you can do a quick change-up and play something for contrast.”

Show Details:

Friday Night Live Songwriters Round with Mark Jewett, Amy Petty, Sam Corbin and Rochelle Clark

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9

Farmington Civic Theater

33332 Grand River Ave. in Farmington, MI

Tickets are $15 each through Eventbrite.

Continue reading “Circle of Friends – 4 Metro Detroit Artists Host Friday ‘Songwriters Round’ at Farmington Civic Theater”

Jam On – Ypsilanti’s Doogatron Drops Self-titled Debut Album, Hosts Release Party Tonight at Ziggy’s

Doogatron’s self-titled album is out today.

With an electrifying new album and turbo-charged release party, Doogatron doesn’t miss a beat.

The Ypsilanti techno trio is celebrating a jam-packed day with the arrival of their self-titled debut album and an 8 p.m. release party tonight at Ziggy’s.

DoogaTron’s Stevie Tee and Kyle will perform together and host separate DJ sets while two of Yspilanti’s finest producers and DJs, Jason Hogans aka :brownstudy and Sleezy Hamilton, and DJ Sean Brocash will round out the release party.

Tonight’s release party serves as the ideal environment for hearing and experiencing Doogatron’s debut album live through a robust sound system built on a mix of analog and digital synthesizers and technology. Their techno sound encompasses heady machine-funk combined with synth freak-outs.

“We’re getting to a point where we can open up the idea of what we’re doing with DJing and playing our stuff. We can do a whole night like that,” Tee said. “We’re going to do the first couple of hours, and then we’re going to turn it over to our friends and have fun and party with people afterward.”

Today’s album drop and release party have been nearly four years in the making. Together, Tee (bass synths, additional textures, samples and occasional vocals) and Kyle (drum machines/samples) DJed as Doogatron for about two years before switching to a live PA setup. At the same time, Tee recorded techno music with Mike (lead/synth pads) as part of a separate project called Chill Spector.

Continue reading “Jam On – Ypsilanti’s Doogatron Drops Self-titled Debut Album, Hosts Release Party Tonight at Ziggy’s”