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Clairo: Bedroom Pop Star Cuts Teeth in Detroit - St. Andrew's Hall 11/14/2019

On Thursday, November 14th I made the 40 minute drive from Ann Arbor to St. Andrew’s Concert Hall in Detroit to see Clairo on the US/CA leg of her Immunity Tour. What appeared to be mainly high school kids made up the majority of the crowd, with college-aged and early 20s such as myself filling in the difference. Arriving late, I had to ruffle some teenage feathers to get to the front. Luckily, I was able to win over the disgruntled local kids around me by taking copious pictures of them and,  per their asking, juxtaposed what my hometown in Southern California was like to Southeastern Michigan. 

 

Before Clairo’s set were two opening acts - Hello Yello and Beabadoobee. I had just added Hello Yello’s song “Feel That Again” to a playlist a week prior, so getting to experience the Oakland trio live felt special. With their debut EP out last March, I expect their popularity will grow as they continue to stretch their legs on tour and develop their sound as a group. Beabadoobee, fresh off the release of her most recent EP Space Cadet, went on next and proceeded to blow me out of the water. I first came across Beabadoobee in 2017 when she uploaded her song “Coffee” to YouTube and it subsequently went viral. Signed to Dirty Hit Records (label mates with The 1975), and with impressive live vocals and guitar playing, I’m excited to see what’s in store for this 19 year old Londoner. 

 

I knew the anticipation for Clairo to come on stage began to boil as the Carhart beanies in the crowd began to bob more aggressively. She started the set with her hit “4EVER”, which was a vibrant choice to start the show. She was joined on stage by a drummer, a keyboard player, and a bass guitarist. Throughout the set she switched between playing two guitars she had on stage. Overall, I was deeply impressed with her vocal performance. This concert had a much more mellow vibe than what I’m usually used to, but this is to be expected with an artist like Clairo who is known for her soft, daydreamy sounds and vocals. Clairo has received a lot of flack for being an “industry plant”, but whether or not you think that is true, it cannot be denied after seeing her live that she is an extremely talented vocalist and songwriter. That being said, it was clear that this was her first headlining tour. In terms of stage presence and confidence, I think Clairo has a lot of room to grow into her talent and ability to connect with people through her lyrics. At age 21, Clairo has already experienced notable success, and now I believe it’s a matter of her coming into her own as a performer to solidify her place in the indie alt pop space. 

 

In sum, I enjoyed this concert, and the opportunity to witness the audience connect with a rising artist that I respect as she played some of my favorites like “Bags” and “Softly” was something I won’t forget. Plus with two excellent opening acts, this was a night of solid live music. 

 

-- Christiana Cromer

 

The Neighbourhood Concert Review - The Fillmore 11/9

On November 9th, 2019, The Neighbourhood brought its nationwide tour to the Fillmore of Detroit, Michigan. The crowd that gathered outside the venue consisted primarily of teenage girls, whom many passersby ridiculed for being “edgy hipster teens with poor taste in music”. Not sure why some adults find satisfaction in making strange jokes about young girls, but hey, such is life.

The first opening act was Claud, a nonbinary individual whose talent pleasantly surprised me. Typically, the first opening acts at concerts aren’t able to impress me but they did a great job of livening the crowd with their experimental pop tunes. Claud performed the kind of music that I could imagine high schoolers playing in the background of a montage of their summer. In a good way, though. I was also surprised to see that so early in the show, the venue was pretty full and seemed to be enjoying the unfamiliar artist as much as I was. I only wish they could have had a longer set!

The second opening act was a band called Slow Hollows. Just as the name suggests, the music was quite slow and quite hollow, lacking any substance that could keep me even slightly entertained. The frontman had an incredibly deep and sexy voice but that is all the band had to offer. No offense guys, I’m sure you’re great people...just not quite interesting. Surprisingly, the crowd seemed to enjoy them a bit more than Claud. Such a shameful perception. I blamed it on the frontman’s alluring voice.

To introduce the band, the frontman of The Neighbourhood, Jesse, appeared in full Chip Chrome attire (Seems to be a new persona he has picked up. Not sure if he is bored or onto something). Jesse stood alone, center stage, singing a soft ballad to kick off the show; immediately following, the rest of the band shared the stage with him. The setlist totaled to eighteen songs with a good ratio of old and new, slow and fast-paced music. This was my second time seeing The Neighbourhood live and I can say that they have yet to disappoint. Their energy is contagious and they never fail to excite the crowd. One thing I have always loved about their performances is the way they like to experiment with their songs, changing a few notes here and there to make each and every performance unique. Throughout the entirety of their performance, the crowd shared a collective feeling of serenity as we all danced to the ~groovy~ music being played. The Neighbourhood is full of fantastic entertainers, regularly able to keep any crowd on their feet.  I am ecstatic to have gotten the opportunity to see them again and hope there is more to come in the future.

 

- By Priscila Flores

 

MEMCOxMAIZE COLLECTIVExWCBN Present Triple Threat (w/ DJ Minx) - Nov 22 9-2

Three of U of M’s largest music orgs are joining forces to bring you TRIPLE THREAT: MEMCO x WCBN x MAIZE COLLECTIVE, November 22 from 9pm - 2am at Club Above (215 N Main Street).

Featuring a lineup of incredible acts from all three orgs, plus an extended set from DJ Minx, Detroit’s First Lady of Wax.

DJ Minx is a legendary Detroit-based DJ, producer, and community activist. She was named one of the “20 Women Who Shaped the History of Dance Music” by Mixmag and one of the “Best house music DJs of all time” by TimeOut New York. In 2018, she was presented with the Spirit of Detroit Award for “exceptional achievement, outstanding leadership, and dedication to improving the quality of life.” As founder of the Women on Wax label and Detroit's Sheometry Festival, she has also made great strides to amplify the voices of female artists in the often male-dominated underground dance music scene.

All proceeds will be donated to The Avalon Village, a sustainable eco-village and community space being built in Highland Park, MI (inside the city of Detroit).

To learn more about The Avalon Village:
http://theavalonvillage.org/

To learn more about the event hosts:
MEMCO: https://www.facebook.com/memcollective/
WCBN: https://www.facebook.com/wcbn88.3fm/
Maize Collective: https://www.facebook.com/maizecollective.um/

***Zero tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or hate of any kind***

Event cover art by Catherine Marchenko. Supported by Arts at Michigan.

(Sandy) Alex G - El Club 11/10 Review

In Detroit’s historic Mexico Town, mere minutes from the “Bridge to Canada”, I attended (Sandy) Alex G’s concert at “El Club”. The crowd consisted mainly of aging, millennial hipster couples and edgy, “indie” Detroit-area high schoolers, leaving me in the minority. Nevertheless, I could not contain my excitement having been a fan of Alex G for so long. 

 

Doors opened at seven, and the first opening act, Indigo De Souza, came on at eight. I had never heard of Indigo De Souza, but I was soon blown away by their performance. After an incredible 30-40 minute set, driven by Indigo’s beautiful and raspy vocals, and her band’s punk/indie pop accompaniment, the set I was surprised to enjoy so much ended. 

 

After a short break, the second opener, Tomberlin, took the stage. Her songwriting and vocals were beautiful and somber. She herself introduced her set by saying, “I’m Tomberlin, and I’m here to play some sad bangers”. Much quieter than the previous set, the voices coming from the bar were jarringly obvious, which Tomberlin took great offense to. I personally enjoyed her set less, only due to it not necessarily being my primary taste in music, but it was definitely a touching performance. After another short break, (Sandy) Alex G and his band took the stage. 

Alex began the set with electric performances of the three singles of his new album, House of Sugar: “Gretal”, “Southern Sky”, and “Hope”. The energy in the crowd was unbelievable, screaming lyrics, moshing to songs that, in my humble opinion, are not mosh songs. Regardless, I was having an amazing time. Alex continued without pause, beginning his next song the second his previous song had finished. Within the first portion of his set, Alex played 10/13 of the tracks off House of Sugar, alongside tracks from Rocket, Trick, Beach Music, DSU, and RACE. Every single song sounded perfect, and was performed with such passion and talent. A diverse mix of tracks, Alex G regularly took, and shot down, audience requests (I screamed Serpent is Lord roughly nine times without success). Sandy took his first encore after a chilling rendition of “Sugar House”. Emerging minutes later Alex covered Los Lonely Boys’ “Heaven” in chaotic fashion, and  proceeded to ask for audience requests. He took the request for “Adam” and in between the first and second chorus he briefly covered Blink-182’s “What’s my Age Again?”, for about a minute and then finished the second half of “Adam”. Following the absolutely psychotic rendition of “Icehead”, which sounds nothing like the recorded version, Tomberlin came on stage once again. Together they delivered gorgeous renditions of “Brite Boy” and “Change”.I genuinely believe this was a perfect concert, well worth my money and commute to the Canadian Border. The complete setlist can be found here.

 

-- By Andrew Villeneuve

 

Brexit Clown: Pride & Prejudice v. Sense & Sensibility

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 2:00pm
Non-Free
theater
Other

This is no TED talk. Join ‘Mind the Gap’ in this show outlining the factors leading up to the Brexit vote. The effects from the pending Brexit, and the possible future of England are explored through comedy, live music, and audio/visuals interwoven with commentary. More info: mindthegaplux.com/BrexitClown

Tyler, The Creator Makes Big Splash

On the evening Saturday September 7th at twilight, there were exactly two types of people in Cass Corridor: those who were attending the Jonas Brothers concert, and those who were attending the Tyler, The Creator concert. Despite our unwavering passion for Kevin Jonas in 2008, we are adults now. We put on our hippest clothes and headed to the world’s largest Masonic Temple where it just so happens that Tyler, the Creator was also playing. While few showed up for Tyler’s first opener, GoldLink, those who were seemed invested in his performance. Between him and the second opener, Jaden Smith, GoldLink was the more talented performer. While there is more to be said of GoldLink’s talent, we have much to say about Jaden Smith. Our excitement to see Smith rooted in childhood nostalgia, soon wore off after his set began. To be fair, we had not listened to much of his music since 2012. Nearly every one of his songs were indistinguishable from each other with the exception of “Summertime in Paris” off his most recent album, Erys. The song is catchy, light-hearted, and fun: a necessary break from the monotony. All in all, Smith’s performance was tolerable with the exception of the poorly executed ballad about the struggles of growing up in Calabasas, California. Jaden Smith played the guitar like he watched three Youtube guitar tutorials before the show and felt he was ready to play in front of a crowd of 4,000. 

While having to endure a less-than-satisfactory 45 minute set from Mr. Smith, we now know that it was just 45 minutes before our minds were blown. The show began with Tyler, in full IGOR attire, motionless, surrounded by the synth-y bass of “IGOR’S THEME.” Once the still and silent Tyler built up enough anticipation from the crowd, he broke out into “I THINK”. He followed with an instrumental version of “EARFQUAKE”, where the crowd filled in the lyrics alongside Tyler’s piano. Both Tyler and Smith asserted that Detroit was the best crowd on their tour so far. It should be noted that there have only been five shows so far. During the hour-long performance, Tyler played a set roughly equal in new music and old. We, along with the crowd, were pleasantly surprised by his inclusion of songs from Flower Boy and Goblin. He covered many fan-favorites such as “911/Mr. Lonely” and “She,” notably two of his most energetic performances. His electric stage presence never faltered and held the attention and enthusiasm of even casual fans. Tyler’s performance that night was near flawless with the exception of one tasteless comment at the beginning of the show. He joked that he was surprised that so many showed up to the show as he thought the city of Detroit was “just crackheads and empty buildings.” Regardless of this ignorant remark, we can confidently say this was a show we will never forget. 

 

--By Audrey Jacobsen and Tess Wakefield

Nevertheless Film Festival 2019 - July 11-14 at The Michigan Theater!

A new film festival is coming to Ann Arbor to elevate the work of female-identifying filmakers! Among the films are two documentaries with musical subjects which we think our listeners will enjoy:

Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl is a high-energy, female-centered rock odyssey revealing the treacherous line that today‚ artists must walk to survive while making art on their own terms in the digital economy. And it asks the audience: how much longer will the true artists survive? Whether you're familiar with Nash or not, you'll be a fan by the end of this thrilling documentary. Screening July 13 at 6:30pm.

Pipe Dreams is a music competition like you've never seen before -- move over piano and vocal competitions, this is all about... pipe organs! Follow five young organists as they compete in Canada’s International Organ Competition. The screening on July 12 at 8:30pm will be the film's U.S. premiere, and director Stacey Tenenbaum will be in person for a Q&A!

Tickets and more information can be found at neverthelessfilmfestival.com.

Dexter Community Players Presents Gypsy

Touted as one of the greatest musicals of all time, this show features a lush score by Jule Styne, the inventive lyrics of a young Stephen Sondheim, with the funny- and ultimately heartbreaking- book by Arthur Laurents. DCP’s production is directed by Connor Rhodes and assisted by Keshia Oliver, with musical direction by Brian Rose and choreography by Matilda Seagraves.

 

Gypsy tells the story of the dreams and efforts of one hungry, powerhouse of a woman to get her two daughters into show business. Gypsy is loosely based on the 1957 memoir of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, entitled Gypsy: Memoirs of America’s Most Celebrated Stripper. The memoir and the musical focus on the story of Gypsy Rose Lee’s mother, Rose, and earned Rose a place in the theatrical and literary canon as the quintessential, archetypal “Stage Mother.” 

Gypsy  features songs that have become standards of the musical theatre canon, including “Some People,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “Rose’s Turn,” and the show-stopping “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”.

 

Performances run July 12-14, 19 & 20 at Copeland Auditorium located at 7714 Ann Arbor Street in Dexter, MI. Tickets can be purchased through the link at dexterplayers.com and at the door.

 

Dexter Community Players has been successfully producing theater since 1981 and has brought more than 50 productions to the Dexter community since. DCP is strictly a volunteer organization; it is a non-profit, community-based theater group that

strives to present an authentic theater experience to actors, production staff, members, and audiences. Our membership hosts a wide variety of ages, skills sets, levels of experience, and areas of interest. While our talented cast is highlighted on stage, our entire membership includes those interested in building, painting, sewing, advertising, and much more. For further information visit http://dextercommunityplayers.com/.

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