Chris Anderson’s turning 29 and wants to exit his 20’s like a boss. Or like Marvel super-spy Nick Fury – as he’s assembled what’s essentially the Arbor/Ypsi music scene equivalent to a valiantly unwieldy blockbuster ala “The Avengers” – probably with less explosions, though. But, hey, at least, no green screens (maybe some tapestries though).
YpsiArboroo blows up the Blind Pig on June 9 with 13 bands (for $10) – a bit of a deal compared to the triple-digit wallet bite of the TN-based Bonaroo fest. This is the third consecutive “big bad Birthday”-show for Anderson, local singer / songwriter / filmmaker / painter /-and-Warholian-Motown-Worshipper. Others might know him for spearheading the exploding-elastic-inevitable of psyche-rock/dream-folk swirls known as the Vagrant Symphony. His friends include The Real Spicolis, Gun Lake, Rainbow Vomit Family Band, The Ferdy Mayne, Runeship of the Rhyme Traverls, Steve Smalls & the Gang, Bowling Green, the Mud Bugs, Trembling Earth, Bonedust, the Hand in the Ocean and Match By Match.
“Music, this scene, everywhere, is in an interesting mode right now,” said Anderson. “There’s the de-valuing of the physical product, and bands don’t seem so worried about radio-play or album sales. Thus, that the live show is as key as ever. The live experience is what keeps it going.”
Ypsi/Arbor has a very interesting scene in Anderson’s view – similar, yet so different, “from Gun Lake to Little Island Lake.” Anderson, on top of recording live shows onto singles and EPs for his Intellect record label, also documents concerts for the Ypsi-based Roving Festival Writer.
Real Spicolis singer/guitarist Jeffrey Freer moved to Ypsi from Detroit five years ago and has never run out of new reasons to love it here – particularly when it comes to the music. “There is such a strong community in Ypsi. The show is going to be awesome,” Freer said, echoing Anderson’s emphasis upon live energy. “I want people to leave a Spicolis’ show with a stupefied feeling.” The tribal-trounced surf-jangled duo’s number one goal is “to have fun.”
Match By Match’s Gray Bouchard knows what kind of magic can happen at events (even ones aiming to be as big as those) like Lollapalooza: “Brian Jonestown Massacre and Dandy Warhols playing right across from each other! Plus, seeing Pixies live in my lifetime!” You trade off the negatives, too, while at the Pig – such as no scorching sun heat or Frisbee interruptions.
Freer, meanwhile, was lucky enough to see Radiohead at Bonaroo in 2006, something many music journalists have noted as possibly their best performance ever. “I’m excited for this show, though – it’s a chance to see a bunch of bands for cheap. What more could you ask for?”
News: Match By Match have an indiegogo(.com) fundraiser for their multimedia EP “Vivat Veritas,” which finds the duo becoming a trio and entering louder rock – still as melodic but with more of a hooky guitar-pop aesthetic. Freer, meanwhile, is out to indict the sham of top-40 quick-and-dirty cheapo-electro production by dabbling in party-starting jams under the moniker Gentlemen Jeffrey. Satire aside, he continues to write his own stuff, honest pop/rock with heartfelt lyrics, up on his solo-bandcamp. Mark Fain of Gun Lake, meanwhile, has almost an LP-and an EP’s worth of new songs penned (some with guitarist Ryan O’Reilly) and with initial recordings put down already at Big Sky with Lightning Love’s Ben Collins at the boards. Patrick Elkins (of Rainbow Vomit Family Band) will also perform solo at YpsiArboroo. He’s looking forward to more of his signature shadow-puppet shows and a burlesque show as Professor Crossdresser with Charlie Slick (AKA Dr. Orgone). Elkins is also reissuing a poetry album and contributing to the forthcoming RVFB album.
Anderson is, what else, planning another music festival – one inspired by the Elkins’-helmed Totally Awesome Fest – planned for the first weekend of July to showcase the punk of Ypsi and the folk of Ann Arbor across four (or more) different venues in what he calls “a good overall document of the town.”
YpsiArbor bands assemble.