Photo by: Kelly Bennett
My memories of the winter of 2008 and the winter of 2009 are burned with signature singes from a singer/songwriter who taught me that Johnny Cash and My Blood Valentine could work together as feasible influences for a new, strange, rousing folk-based sound…hoofing around the snowy banks of the ‘burbs with my CD Walkman and Drunken Barn Dance. (http://www.facebook.com/drunkendance)
Scott Sellwood, Ann Arbor barely knew thee… Well, we did… But since this front man for experimental folk-rock quintet Drunken Barn Dance has been living out in New York for three-ish years now, I’m worried that we’ve got too many newer, wide-eyed MusicHeads around town, here, now, just making their way onto the scene – who didn’t get the proper amount of chances to see you when you still lived here…
Take notice, all: Sellwood, who lived here in the mitten for nigh on a decade, is coming back to join his Ann Arbor compatriots, producer/bassist Jim Roll, guitarist Greg McIntosh and drummer Scott DeRoche (along with his fellow New Yorker, Ryan Howard) for another Drunken Barn Dance set – a showcase of the special sublimities rendered when a fiercely strummed, beer-splattered acoustic guitar starts burning with the same intensity and growl of a plugged-in Fender, when a high, dreamy rasp starts rolling along these invigorating revisions of soaring Americana splashed onto feedback forged jangly folk-pop.
I’m glad to have a band, this band, where I can say – that I saw them play for 13 people in a swank uptown tap room – and it was one of the best live rock experiences of my life – maybe this show, at Woodruff’s could be that for you…but I’d sure as hell like to see ever that much more than 13 people there – cuz whatever goes down is going to be special, since Sellwood still considers this his home, he brings all of his heart onto the Ypsi stage when he’s here.
But…Before that happens, another exceptional local folk project, one that’s based entirely-here, in Washtenaw, across his membership, that being Gun Lake, will be performing at this same venue (that being Woodruff’s).
This quartet, brewers of a darkish and poetic Americana/baroque-pop sound, was recently on the local airwaves via WCBN. But a few weeks further back they played (SCENE)Metrospace –where they must have made more than a few friends, because now they’re bringing a bunch of Lansing musicians in to join them, Feb 23rd (Woodruffs): Elliot Street Lunatic and Tiger! Tiger!, respectively along with Bro. Stephen.
But… … If we switch gears to hip-hop, then I have to address the fact that I, myself, and likely some of you out there, missed last weekend’s (2/19) show at the Blind Pig, featuring buzz-heavy, blog-sanctified rapper A$AP Rocky, one dynamic/eccentric performer on the vanguard of what New York Magazine called the “goofball, new-school” of New York rap.
So…we missed that, but how about going for local rap – like tomorrow, (2/22), at the Blind Pig, with up-and-coming Lansing-bred/Detroit-based sci-fi-inflected, dorked-out and dapper –rapper SelfSays. – http://www.facebook.com/selfsays – (I say up-and-coming only because now, after ten years of writing and performing and battling around the scene, Self—a.k.a. Charles Vann, is being noticed by some labels across the pond, as well as stirring up interest from a dozen or so producers eager to get his raps over their beats).
Here’s his latest:
And… …Later on, (2/25) at the Blind Pig, Detroit-based funk-flared rapper duo Passalacqua, christened as go-to-closers for any indie-hip-hop show around town bolstered by last season’s Zebehazy Summer LP, are going to be performing – a pair of assiduous MC’s who helped open up a lot of doors, for this writer, to the local hip-hop scene. For example, Passalacqua shoved me down the rabbit-hole, thus making it possible for me to stumble upon SelfSays, but beyond that, there’s Flint’s Tunde Olaniran, blending tribal beats and scuffed-up electronica onto a soulful R&B/hip-hop aesthetic. (http://tundeolaniran.bandcamp.com/album/the-first-transgression). Olaniran is also on the Pig’s Feb 25 bill, along with Tree City and the Contraband (http://treecityhiphop.com/), and Subvader.
I think that’s all I had to say, this week.
But give Drunken Barn Dance a listen – meet Mr. Sellwood for the first time, or, if you remember him – go welcome him back, if just for one more wonderful weekend. Misty Lyn & the Big Beautiful (http://mistylyn.bandcamp.com – who, I have to presume, are damned-close to finishing their forthcoming full length LP), along with Up The Chain and Hezekiah Jones will be backing them up, Saturday night.