Throwaway knows how to easily extract the spirit of “Evil Cooper.”
The Detroit art rock/no wave vocalist-guitarist musically summons the demonic alter ego of Dale Cooper from “Twin Peaks” in “Julep,” a brilliant six-minute track filled with raw guitars, deep distortions and dark feedback.
“I’ve always had this affinity for it because it has a very dramatic arc itself, and it’s oblique, enigmatic and strange. The affinity for that particular recording came out because I wanted to bring some guitar feedback to the end of the track, and we were recording it right in the middle of ‘Twin Peaks: The Return,’” said Kirsten Carey, aka Throwaway.
“You know those scenes where it’s just Evil Cooper driving in the car, the camera is focused on his face and you hear all these uncomfortable bumpy drones? When I was recording that feedback, I thought, ‘Oh my God, it sounds like Evil Coop.’”
In a sense, Evil Coop is the artistic and musical spirit animal of Throwaway, Carey’s alter ego who dons a paper bag. “Julep” is one of eight standout experimental rock tracks featured on Throwaway’s debut album “WHAT?” out tomorrow.
For Calum Galt, Ann Arbor represents a bittersweet homecoming.
The former After Hours Radio vocalist will reunite with his old bandmates for Saturday’s show at Club Above. It will be his first appearance with the Ypsilanti progressive groove-heavy indie rock trio of Greg Hughes (bass), Nate Erickson (vocals, guitar) and Mark Dunne (drums) in nearly three years.
“It was actually Greg’s idea to have a reunion show. He reached out to me when he found out I was returning home for the first time in years to see if I was interested, and I agreed right away,” said Galt, who moved from Ann Arbor to Japan in 2014. “I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to play with the band again after so long, and I hope we can recreate some of the same energy our shows had back then.”
Along with Hughes and Erickson, Galt honed his musicianship while attending open mic nights at the University of Michigan’s Nakamura and Luther Buchele co-ops. Together, they formed After Hours Radio and became synonymous with Ann Arbor’s burgeoning underground, do-it-yourself (DIY) music community.
“Forming the band was equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking – I had never really written or performed my own music, which I think is an inherently intimate and scary thing to do,” said Galt, who’s inspired by of Montreal, The Strokes and Radiohead. “I was lucky to be surrounded by supportive friends and be involved in the co-op community, which has always been a fertile environment for budding musicians.”
As After Hours Radio, they recorded their self-titled, six-track debut EP in 2015 before Galt moved to Japan. Four years later, Galt is ready to revisit the EP with his old bandmates through an older, wiser and fresher perspective.
“There are a lot of memories tied up in those songs so revisiting them has been an interesting experience,” said Galt, who graduated from U-M with a bachelor’s degree in East Asian languages and cultures. “I’ve changed a lot in the intervening time so it’s strange to hear those songs, which really encapsulate the weird head-space I was in at the time.”
Five years ago, the University of Michigan’s co-op scene led to the formation of an emerging Ypsilanti band.
U-M’s Nakamura and Luther Buchele co-ops introduced Greg Hughes and Nate Erickson, co-founders of After Hours Radio, to a burgeoning underground, do-it-yourself (DIY) music community in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor.
Together, Hughes and Erickson cut their growing musical teeth performing at co-op open mic nights and formed After Hours Radio, a progressive, groove-heavy indie rock band, in 2014.
“The high energy and large crowds at co-op parties drove the band to write catchy grooves and riffs that co-oppers could dance to,” said Hughes, bassist for After Hours Radio. “This funk-inspired element flavored our initial indie-alternative style, which was influenced by open mic nights during the band’s infancy.”
Hughes also sought inspiration for the band while working as a late-night college DJ at WCBN-FM (88.3), a U-M student-run radio station. He used a “freeform” approach for the station’s programming and believed a similar philosophy could be applied to After Hours Radio’s musical approach.
“‘Freeform’ describes a perspective that doesn’t conform to a traditional setlist structure restricted by genre and embraces mixing different musical styles,” he said. “We’ve gained a strong sense of improvisation that has translated to the way we find influences for our original songs.”
That fluid musical approach resulted in the band’s self-titled debut EP in 2015 and the “What Happened?” EP in 2017. With Hughes and Erickson (vocals, guitar) at the helm, After Hours Radio went through several lineup changes, including several drummers, and expanded their sound to encompass keys, synths and other electronic effects.
Last year, the band launched their own DIY music venue, The Late Station, in Ypsilanti to showcase local emerging artists and musicians across a variety of genres. Bandmates and friends help promote events, run the door and assist with gear at The Late Station.
“I got acquainted with the whole DIY culture in Chicago, and I was so enamored with the scene there that I wanted to become more involved in it,” Hughes said. “That’s where the direct inspiration for The Late Station came, and we all decided we were going to move to the same location and start our own space.”
Today, Hughes and Erickson will celebrate the band’s evolution with a five-year anniversary show at Club Above, 215 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor, and feature special guests Stop Watch, Approachable Minorities and Summer Like The Season.
“We decided to celebrate the band’s anniversary with a special show because we thought five years for any band was a big milestone,” Hughes said. “Almost none of the local bands existing when we started are around anymore, and most lasted just one or two years.”
For the show, After Hours Radio will play an extended setlist that encompasses the band’s entire career and feature visuals from GSW Art & Design, a southeast Michigan-based visual art, web and graphic design firm. It’s also a valuable opportunity for After Hours Radio fans to embrace the artistry and musicianship of the show’s three special guests.
Starting at noon today, “attic folk” rocker Peter Felsman will take his new “-pf” album to the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich.
He’ll meet up with “-pf” (pronounced “dash” “pf”) friends and fans to listen to “LIFE Goals,” the band’s newest album, which drops today.
It will be a “reverse progressive” listening party of sorts where people can listen with Felsman throughout the day as he bikes along to the folkish rhythms of “LIFE Goals.”
“I’ll be biking around town to listen with whoever wants to join me,” said Felsman, “-pf” frontman. “I’ve created a Facebook event and invited people in the Ann Arbor bike-able area to message me if they’d like to host a listening event where other people can join or if they’d like to join one.”
In classic “-pf” style, the release of “LIFE Goals” coincides with another academic milestone for Felsman, who’s pursuing a doctorate in social work and social psychology at the University of Michigan.
The album marks the beginning of Felsman’s two-year fellowship with the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE), which takes an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding human development in a changing world.
Felsman’s research fellowship is conducted internationally in conjunction with the Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Zurich, the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan.
“LIFE Goals” also highlights the first time “-pf” has recorded an album in a proper recording studio, the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based La Luna Recording & Sound owned by Ian Gorman.
The progressive, groove-heavy indie rock quartet will end their current 12-date Midwest and East Coast tour with a homecoming show at The Late Station Saturday at 8 p.m.
After starting their tour June 22, band members Nate Erickson (vocals and guitar), Greg Hughes (bass and cello), Jordan Compton (keys and synths) and Mark Dunne (drums) are ready to deliver local fans a memorable and energetic wrap-up show at their own venue.
“We have a fan base out there, and I think that by us going out on tour and coming back by playing a show in our hometown builds a lot of anticipation and excitement in the community,” Dunne said. “We’re well-seasoned by this time, and we’re playing really well together. We want everyone to come out and have a good time.”
After Hours Radio will share their homecoming show with three other artists, including EDM and video game music extraordinaire Vest and Tyler, psychedelic funk rock jam band Trifocal and jazz singer-songwriter Dani Darling. A special “mystery artist” also will be announced the day of the show.
“It’s nice to have it at the tail end versus the beginning because we’ve been sleeping on floors and couches for two weeks straight,” Erickson said. “We want to be able to have a big bash where we can party out late with our friends to really celebrate wrapping it up and just walk nearby to our own beds.”
For Amir “Lady Heat” Young, each day begins with a series of small decisions.
Those small decisions result in larger choices that ultimately shape the future.
“When you wake up, you have a choice. When you do your homework, you have a choice. When you don’t, those things add up,” she said. “At the end of the day, I try to illustrate that your everyday choices take you down a path that leads either closer to or further from your dreams.”
Lady Heat is ready to ask that question to 68 Ypsilanti, Mich. high school students during the third installment of The Poppin’ College Tour at the University of Michigan’s East Hall on Friday.
Launched by Lady Heat in 2014, The Poppin’ College Tour is an educational program designed to encourage disadvantaged and at-risk youth ages 13-19 to attend college and make positive life choices.