Peninsular Place


August 20, 2012

Music Makers // Congress – Shigeto – SelfSays and Buffay, too

More articles by »
Written by: Jeff Milo
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m indoors cuz I can’t go out…

Actually, I can’t get out. Over here in metro Detroit, the indomitable/abominable Woodward Dream Cruise is currently slugging through our main vein of transportation, with pop-up carnival rides and t-shirt venues spilling out onto the curbs of our side-streets. A haze of exhaust, barbecue and BO permeates…

So I’m indoors, a fan running in my basement, with my headphones on, listening to Shigeto.

The dynamic electronica/hip-hop producer/DJ/composer recently returned home to Michigan (from his heretofore base out in New York) and joined in on an inspired/celebratory set of music last weekend in Detroit, at the T.V. Bar, with cast of equally talented collaborators/headliners, -allies both old and new-, from scene legends like House Shoes and Dabrye to rappers steadily securing their own footholds now, like SelfSays.

Good to see all of their various energies percolating around Southeast Michigan once again. Shigeto (Zach Saginaw)’s New Light EP offers more ambient fare, breathier synth drones sweeping over the tinnier babbles, echoed-snaps and crackles, not so hip-hopped-bombast, with pensive chimed-marches; a collection of works wrought throughout the last three years.

But for something completely different, I’m listening to the old Congress’ live tracks from a year ago in anticipation for their new EP Maker, which comes out in just one week.

It’ll be Labor Day and these guys certainly strike an apt workmanlike rock style –a tough-n-tireless stance, maybe a bit wild and wobbly, but chopped fiercely with swift-rhythms, fibrous guitar spindles, pulverous bass licks and throaty, put-your-shoulder-into-it shouts of anthemic blues-punk beltings.

Look at that cover, even; makes you wanna put on that shitty pair of jeans with the torn ankles so that you don’t get any paint or beer or tequila spilled on ‘em, rocking-while-you-work. Grab a hammer and join in, meet thy maker.

Sunday night (9/2) at Woodruff’s, this Ypsi-quartet will showcase their newest EP as well as some older favorites like “Kissing Upstairs”

Detroit’s spacey post-punk trio Javelins are flinging back into action after too long a’ time away from local stages. Also on the bill is Chicago-based Hospital Garden, 2nd-cousins-to-the-Ypsi scene, their drone-dabbling, psyche-chopped noise-pop is always welcome ‘round these parts. Magnificently murky/endearing-yet-intimidating punk-rockers Green Lights are opening things up; ‘tis a rare chance to see them live, so get there early.

But anyway, back to SelfSays:
Arbor/Ypsi based producer Brandon Wiard transitioned last year from indie-rocker to funk-flared hip-hop producer (via his alter-ego BUFFAY). And last week, the aforementioned Detroit MC SelfSays started streaming a bandcamp single produced by BUFFAY titled “BDA (Ball Dropper’s Anthem)”

“I’m goin for the Win today / get yer damn hands up…”

This is a fine meeting of minds for hip-hop sensibilities; Detroit MC/producer Doc Illingsworth harmonizes on with SelfSays (a.k.a. Charles Vann) on the anthemic chorus, with notable pop-minded arrangement tips from Buffay, flaring an already sturdy, shuffle-punch beat compliments of esteemed NY-based producer Blockhead.

That hazy/hearty echo/fuzz on the vocals gives the track a certain bolstering swagger and soul, embossing Vann’s playful/profound lyrical sensibility for well-dressed dorkdom dashing into pensive, worldwary ruminations. “Reality accepted / negative—corrected”.

The roads are blocked as I write this, but there’s solace in these sublime sounds. Might as well stay, chill, listen, enjoy. New music every day. Michigan’s hard-working local musicians…never take a day off.

About the Author

Jeff Milo
Jeff Milo
Jeff is another awesome member of the iSPY team.

Peninsular Place


Fusing the Past and Present, Shigeto’s Journey into the World of Electronic Music

Wind whistling through tall grass. Stacking, shuffling, breaking and building – like faint echoes from a carpenter’s shop. Natural percussion and electronically-born melodies sneaking into open air through a crack in a stud...
by Paul Kitti


Jack & The Bear

On a cool evening in middle October, the seven members of Jack & the Bear settled at a cozy wooden table inside B-24 Espresso Bar. Sipping large mugs of coffee and sharing cookies, Brandon James, Adam Schreiber, Evan Close,...
by Treasure Groh

milo music

Why I Write About Music

“BLOOOOZE ex-SPLO-zhun!!!….Man of my nature always got the trip!” Jon Spencer… This guy, not even 6 ft tall, and what, he must be 50 by now, lightning in leather, this sleek slithery sanctifier speckled with sweat s...
by Jeff Milo


ispyblog 10-9

“Collective Folk Art” – Boss Radio / Sagittronics / Vagrant Symphony

Duende… This Detroit-based quartet experiments with strange brews of un-psyche, dysfolk-ian, blues-stung honky-tonk; a reassembling of strutting rock styles jettisoning into lysergic-hinted lift-offs yet still muddied with a ...
by Jeff Milo

Peninsular Place

Ypsifest #8

YpsiFest isn’t out to be self-congratulatory – no, it’s out to be a summit, a meeting of distanced musical minds, a bridge! This will be three days of live (loud) music, Michigan music, in Depot Town, meant not so much to...
by Jeff Milo




“We basically wanted to have something completely inclusive, non-judgmental, super-fun and where we get to play the Spice Girls whenever we want,” says Justin Anderson (J Clark the Groovemaster to partygoers) when asked to ...
by Jasmine Zweifler



The Redneck Poet from Gadsden, Alabama Drive about two hours northeast of the beautiful University of Alabama campus and you’ll reach Gadsden. It’s the kind of place where shotguns are toted as loosely as iPods, where you�...
by Paul Kitti

Kelly Klever Massage

Nervous But Excited - Photo by Susie Giang

A Farewell to Folk: Nervous But Excited’s Last Hurrah (For Now)

To say that the name Nervous But Excited is an extension of the musicians themselves would be a misnomer, as duo Sarah Cleaver and Kate Peterson appear to pretty much anything but nervous. And as for the “But Excited” part?...
by Treasure Groh


Saul Williams @ the Blind Pig

Click here for an introduction to Saul Williams through a recent interview.  By the time I arrived at the Blind Pig this past Tuesday night, Dessa had already been on stage for a few minutes and had the crowd on her charming h...
by Paul Kitti


Detropia Premier (Soundtrack) + Congress’ Maker

Two things this week: ONE: Detropia is a surreal insight into the accelerated depletion of Detroit, in manufacturing, financing, and in population, directed by the Oscar-nominated creators of Jesus Camp, exploring what the Moto...
by Jeff Milo