City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

October 30, 2012
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Remember – if you send it, it will get reviewed. That’s the City Slang promise. It doesn’t matter what genre the music is – as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it’ll get in. Preferably, we’d like to concentrate on new releases but, while we’re getting warmed up here, feel free to send back catalog material too. Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, City Slang, Metro Times, 733, St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to mt.cityslang@gmail.com.

The WebbsI Have an Aged Mother/When I Go (New Fortune) 7” single is a record that you just want to flip over again and again as each song ends. Both are beautiful, authentic and very rough examples of trad bluegrass. The production is perfectly shaky, giving the songs a real sense of nostalgia. The band, featuring Scotty Karate, and Andie and Tracy Webb, are super-right and the art by Taurus Burns is haunting and perfect.

Ryan Dillaha also has an awesome 45 out, this one called One Lovin’ Lifetime/Detroit City (Motorcity Special). Dillaha has a style that sits comfortably between ‘50s rockabilly and contemporary alt-country / Americana. The songwriting is superb, Dillaha obviously having a gift for poignant and honest songwriting. He’s no slouch with the guitar or behind the mike either.

Moaning Dwarf is an interesting band. First of all, when I’m playing any of their CDs, my wife walks in and says “what the fuck is this?” That’s because these guys make music that can only just be defined as music at all. When you’re dad used to say that your music is just noise, he hadn’t heard Moaning Dwarf yet. And yet, somehow, it’s all very compelling. Adam’s Grizzly Disco really is the sound of the grizzliest disco ever dreamed up, while the remix EP, Envision Split Division, is even wackier.

DJ King David sent us a huge pile of his mix tape CDs and DVDs this week, and each one seems to be more fun than the last. One of the best is The Class of ‘87, featuring the King’s mix of LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Kid N’ Play, and DJ Jazzy Jeff, among others. Meanwhile, the Detroit Streets discs, of which there are many volumes, feature some of the city’s best rap talent.

Finally, we interviewed Tempermill Studios boss Dave Feeny last weekend, and he gave us a package featuring a fraction of the records that he has worked on in the past. Recent gems include Introducing the Barrettes, an EP by the ladies barbershop quartet that includes covers of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, the Electric 6’s “Gay Bar”, the White Stripes’ “Hotel Yorba”, and the Sights’ “Don’t Want You Back”, and the latest from Feeny’s own awesome American Mars. Look out for a City Slang column with those guys soon. We also heard the Hysteric Narcotics, the Friendly Foes, the Cold Wave and much more.

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