Passion Pit // Royal Oak Music Theatre / Nov. 2
by Jasmine Zweifler
Advice for the day: don’t get all scandalized when a friend asks if you’ve gotten tickets to Passion Pit. Passion Pit is not actually a trench filled with sensually writhing bodies, rather it’s mild mannered Michael Angelakos, the Boston based falsetto fabulist who is careening into the mitten state on November 2.
Fresh off a performance on Saturday Night Live, Angelakos has grabbed his buddies Youngblood Hawke and Hollerado (a lineup of stellar monikers) for his visit to the Royal Oak Music Theatre. The tour is to support Passion Pit’s most recent release “Gossamer” – a critical home run and an album named in Pitchfork Media’s “best new music” list. If you’ve already snagged tickets to the show, then boo for you because they are sold out – but you might be able to snag some on StubHub or from your favorite ticket opportunist.
Matthew Dear // Blind Pig / Nov. 7
by Jeff Milo
No one does eerie-chic like Dear. There’s a lot of emotion stirred into these synthetic dreamscapes. Matthew Dear unravels a bit of obtuse poetics that strike a haunting poignancy warbled out over his synth-muddied disco beats. But you’d never be wholly unsettled because the Ghostly International electro-forerunner assuredly keeps your head bobbing by locking in such solid grooves, dazzling bass swells and sleek hooks. Either that or his creaky-lip-flub frog-croon bleat, cool and calm, deceives some of the nightmarish-nocturne vibes he’s laying down by barely bending much further past a lullabyish monotone and soaring like a crow atop sweet-lulling rhythmic thrums.
This U of M alumnus went out into the wilderness (well, sort of) in upstate New York to produce/record his latest album (which dropped back in August to ears that found it pleasingly, if unsurprisingly, following along his same curvy gothicotronic signatures).
Think of Dear as some proto-dub torchbearer, perhaps – a DJ/composer on the vanguard of this new Millennium’s neo-electronica, IDM-tinged dance-pop scene …and, well, if any of that trend-taxonomical gobbidly-gook registered for you and your musical preferences, then you already know that this is a show you must consider checking out.
Dear will perform at 9 p.m. on November 7 at the Blind Pig with Light Asylum and Charles Trees. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 on the day of the show. 18 and up.
Matisyahu // Pease Auditorium / Nov. 8
by Jasmine Zweifler
In the “two great tastes that taste great together” category, there are some classics: chocolate and peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly and …anything with peanut butter. You know what doesn’t spring immediately to mind? White Hassidic Jewish Reggae. Or so you thought before you secretly really loved Matisyahu.
Also news to you may be that the artist born Matthew Miller has of late moved away from what was his defining religion. His iconic beard and yarmulke are absent in recent pictures and he’s been distancing himself from his old image, calling it an “alias.” So there is really no telling what to expect at his upcoming show at Pease Auditorium on EMU’s campus. He may just come out and do Beach Boys’ covers for all we know. But if you want to find out for yourself, tighten up your dreadlocks, clear the evening of November 8 and save up about thirty bucks for a ticket to see what unfolds.
Matt & Kim // The Majestic / Nov. 11
by Mary Simkins
Since 2005, the indie twosome Matt & Kim have been getting people dancing with their fun and sassy personalities and catchy beats while gradually gaining in popularity. You may have heard their songs on TV, as the single “Daylight” was used for several commercials as well as an episode of NBC’s comedy “Community.”
The duo released their latest album, “Lightning,” in October and have been touring the U.S. and Canada to promote it. They’ll be bringing their tour to Detroit’s Majestic with Brooklyn-based indie band Oberhofer at 8 p.m. on Sunday, November. Tickets are $17.
Don’t miss out on one of Detroit’s best dance parties of the year!
Bob Dylan // Fox Theatre / Nov. 13
by Jasmine Zweifler & Mary Simkins
Promising up-and-comer Bob Dylan will be at the Fox in Detroit on November 13th with special guest Mark Knopfler. The eleven-time Grammy winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner has gone through many phases in his long and successful career,
If you’ve heard the elder statesman of folk’s most release, “Tempest,” then you can understand the eagerness surrounding his upcoming show at The Fox Theatre in Detroit. “Tempest” reached the third spot on the Billboard 200, proving that Dylan’s unparalleled songwriting ability and distinctive vocals have endured with the American public for over 50 years. It’s rare that someone who boasts a backlog of hits like Dylan can excite people with new material since a crowd is always going to want to hear “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” or “Just Like a Woman” over new tracks. But, the sound of “Tempest” is so swinging, and the songwriting so sharp that anticipation is high for whatever Bob “voice of a generation” Dylan has up his sleeve.
Joining Mr. Dylan for the show is Mark Knopfler, an incredibly successful musician in his own right and recipient of the Order of the British Empire. Lead guitarist, songwriter, and singer of the popular band Dire Straits, Knopfler is also responsible for the film scores of Hollywood hits “The Princess Bride” and “Wag the Dog,” among others.
Tickets are available starting at around 40 dollars and topping out at 130 dollars for the November 13 show at 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. I don’t know if the 130 dollar ticket gets you a Bob Dylan song written especially for you or what, but it’s worth checking out. For ticket information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Richie Hawtin // Necto / Nov. 14
by Mary Simkins
English-Canadian electronic DJ and musician Richie Hawtin is also known by the pseudonym Plastikman. Hawtin’s work has been influential in revitalizing Detroit’s electronic scene in the 1990s, and he is known for his minimal techno sound.
One of the founders of the Plus 8 music label, Hawtin has also helped launch the careers of fellow musicians. With 12 albums and almost as many DJ compilations under his belt, Hawtin is also the recipient of many awards for his excellent work in the electronic genre.
Hawtin will be performing at Necto with guests Loco Dice, Troxler and Ean Golden at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14 at Necto in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $20. For more ticket information and to learn how to get a student discount, visit necto.com.
Pretty Lights // Compuware Sports Arena / Nov. 17
by Mary Simkins
Derek Vincent Smith, known by his stage name Pretty Lights, is bringing his Illumination Tour to Plymouth’s Compuware Sports Arena. Typically used for professional hockey games, the huge venue promises to be packed with dancing fans and flashing lights as Pretty Lights pumps out the electronic while guests TOKiMONSTA and Paul Basic will help kick the high energy off right.
No stranger to large crowds, Pretty Lights has played festivals like Coachella, Detroit’s Movement and Electric Forest. Using a synthesizer and digital samples, Pretty Lights creates “glitch hip-hop beats” that make for an incredibly high-energy experience. As someone who used to write hip-hop music as a teenager, Pretty Lights plays plenty of homage to hip hop tracks as well as soul, and produces an average of one new album every year.
Don’t miss this performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 17 at Compuware Sports Arena. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the show. Ages 16 and up (must have ID).
Leonard Cohen // Fox Theatre / Nov. 26
by David Nassar
Leonard Cohen enjoyed decades of fame in his homeland, a revered troubadour touted as the Canadian Bob Dylan, while maintaining relative obscurity in the U.S. until the early 1990s when a certain grunge-rock icon referenced him in a song about herbal tea. Then in 2004, Cohen alleged that his longtime manager had stolen millions from him, eventually winning a lawsuit despite never receiving a penny from the settlement. So, Cohen hit the road and put together a long-anticipated world tour – the first in more than 15 years – that wowed critics and reinvigorated fans.
After releasing a hugely successful live album and accompanying DVD in 2009, he went back into the studio to record his 12th album, “Old Ideas,” which was uniformly met with positive reviews. Supporting the album, Cohen embarks on the North American leg of his “Old Ideas World Tour 2012,” landing him at Detroit’s Fox Theatre on Monday, November 26. Tickets are still available starting at around $60. For more information, visit LeonardCohen.com.
Fedde le Grand // Necto / Nov. 28
by Mary Simkins
Dutch house music DJ Fedde le Grand is bringing his North America Takeover Tour to Ann Arbor on December 7, spending the evening with guest dBerrie at Necto nightclub on Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor.
An established chart-topper in Europe, le Grand’s singles have ended up on a list of top five Dutch singles and have kept a steady presence in the Spanish dance charts. His energetic performance promises to keep those in the intimate Necto dancing all night, stopping only at 2 a.m. when le Grand closes his set.
Be part of one of Ann Arbor’s biggest dance parties at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28 at Necto. Tickets are $30. Ages 18 and up (must have ID). For ticket information, visit necto.com or to sample some of le Grand’s music, check out feddelegrand.com.
The Macpodz // Blind Pig / Nov. 30
The Blind Pig will be hosting the Macpodz for the first time since a sold-out Hash Bash after party last April. This marks the first occasion that the band will perform at the Blind Pig with a new lineup. Original keyboardist Jesse Clayton and drummer Griffin Bastian departed the group in the spring of 2012.
Bassist Brennan Andes, percussionist Nick Ayers and trumpeter Ross Huff embrace the collaborative opportunity that change brings. The band formed in Ann Arbor in 2006 and continue to pursue their intention to celebrate life, music and dance. A rotating cast of additional players has inspired new directions in improvisation and composition.
Self styled craftsmen of alien exhaust jazz, or disco bebop, as the Macpodz style is sometimes known, will be joined by Rootstand and Of One.
The Macpodz will appear on Friday, November 30 at the Blind Pig. Tickets are $10 or $13 for under 21, 18 and up. Doors open at 9:30 p.m.