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Longtime Detroit music journalist Jeff Milo’s byline appears in publications locally and globally. He’s been plugging ears into the Detroit scene for years with his prolific Deep Cutz blog and his YouTube series, The Milo Show.
Each week, Milo gives us a rundown of can’t-miss shows in and around the Detroit area.
Friday, May 17
Shoutout to our WDET listeners in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. The brand new spot to experience live local music, as well as a few other cultural events, is Lo-Fi Bar, a lower-level club decked out with neon glowing ambiance and a six-foot dragon beaming in bright reds and oranges from behind the bar. False Figures is an Ypsilanti-based indie-Americana trio, with three individual singer/songwriters combining their talents to create a hazy, twangy, harmonica-spiced sonic stew of bluesy warbles and a few rustling, rollicking ballads. Slug Love is a five-piece modern shoegaze band that weaves sweet melodies around curtains of dreamy distortion.
You can find a swooning tune by Slug Love called “Burden” on their Bandcamp. Listen to a track from False Figures’ 2018 self-titled album, “Some Lost Bar.” You’ll see these bands, along with DJ Ryan Gimpert, at Lo-Fi Bar in Ann Arbor.
Experimental and improvisational artists, composers, producers, and songwriters like Matthew Daher and Betsy Soukup are part of a very unique Friday Night Live event at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
This is going to be an intensely poignant and powerful night that talks about the healing process, and features artists like Daher and Soukup along with Jennifer Simone and Zena Carlota, sharing not only their mind-blowing musical ideas and adventurous sonic arrangements but also sharing their own personal journeys so as to start the larger conversation about mental health issues. Music starts at 7:00 pm, with Soukup’s free-jazz upright bass, followed by Carlota, a group improvisation and Simone closing things up. Daher is playing at 8:00 pm.
Listen to a song from his 2015 album, “Dwelling Lightheartedly in the Futility of Everything,” called “Shift (Manifesto)”
Saturday May 18
We’re starting at an immersive art gallery and venue run by the creative and engaging duo known as Armageddon Beach Party. They’ve got a vibrant storefront space in Woodbridge, at Putnam and Trumbull, by the sports fields of Wayne State’s campus. Even just entering this space and getting to know the owners will be a memorable and sublime experience in itself, but why not enjoy some local music while you’re there?
ZZvava are an Ypsilanti-based Swiss Army knife of an indie rock band that’s not afraid to get a little wild and rough around the edges. Electric Blanket are another Ypsilanti group, a five-piece surf-punk outfit, and Party Days is a Detroit-based duo that combine melodic indie-pop with lo-fi distortion, electronic elements, and super-catchy, spacey guitar riffs.
Listen to “Company,” from ZZvava’s ‘Muted Moons.’
Detroit-based rock group Blackmail are heading to Ypsilanti to play at Ziggy’s, along with the power funk trio known as Thunderbuck Ram. Ypsi-based DJ and musician Ayinde Superfantastic is spinning between sets for this event, billed as the Cosmic Throwdown with the Galactic Black Caucus.
Blackmail is a formidable foursome that blend rock with funk and blues, propulsive rhythms, impassioned lyricism, and shredding guitars. So, imagine a combination of James Brown and Metallica, with Prince and Van Halen. It’s a fierce fusion of funk with the high energy of something close to heavy metal. The music starts at 9:00 pm.
Listen to ‘Muse‘ by Blackmail.
Listen to CultureShift weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR Station.