In one ear 


Think of a virtual city. A city with no traffic jams impeding immediate transport from one scene of action to another. A city where music is all that matters. A city where music fans, thirsty for the juice of a music community ripe with talent, can get quenched. A city where artists from in and around Detroit intermingle without ever meeting in the flesh – unless, of course, they so choose. And, hey, we think that’s swell, too. But back to the topic at hand. Think of Metro Times’ Sonic Metropolis as all of these things, but know that it’s also designed specifically as the ultimate online source of information about Detroit’s massive, diverse and thriving music scenes.

And one more thing: It’s free!

Yup, Sonic Metropolis has a Web page waiting for you and yours. From Aretha Franklin to Soul Clique to Derrick May to Jo Serrapere to Sponge to the Atomic Fireballs to Immortal Winos of Soul to Queen Bee to DJ Godfather to Marcus Belgrave and back again. All of these folks already have free Sonic Metropolis pages that, in one fell swoop, provide readers with reviews by Metro Times music writers, artist discographies, booking information, news of upcoming shows (linked through Metro Times’ comprehensive calendar of events!), links to an artist’s e-mail and Web site and much more – surfers can even listen to audio samples of your recordings!

This is a unique opportunity for every band, DJ, rapper, soloist and musical artist of any stripe – whether you’ve just come up from the basement or you’ve been around the club circuit for years – to join up and increase your exposure and help create a virtual community where Web surfers from around the world can visit to explore Detroit’s musical depth and breadth.

Get your free Sonic Metropolis Web page by filling out the online survey (at or by picking up a hard copy of the survey at your favorite local music haunts.

Thank you for the music you make and for taking the time to make Detroit a Sonic Metropolis.

Sonic Metropolis will kick off in style Thursday, August 12, at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress. Come down for a night of interactivity, great music and, indeed, fun. Keep your eyes peeled for lineup details.


Back when regional hits could be just that, there was a trio of women – a "Hamtramck Mama," a "Highland Park Girl" and a "Detroit Hulu Girl" – breaking hearts across this fair city as the 1950s were dawning. These women’s tales were being sung by the York Brothers, a pair of southern transplants who, like hundreds of thousands of others, came to Detroit looking for steady work. The duo’s rollicking, no, even "rocking" (though it’d be years before that term was common) hillbilly country tunes of wild abandon were released on imprints as local as Mellow, Hot Wax and the well-known Fortune label only to be later distributed to an even wider, no doubt still regional, audience via the Universal Recording Studios stamp. Les and George York even laid down tracks for such major labels as King and Decca. Now, thanks to the fine folks at Woodward Records (who are also responsible for releases by the swingin’ Big Barn Combo and Eddie Jackson and the Swingsters), modern vinylphiles can dig the crazy vocalizations and quirky picking of the Yorks on the full-length compilation The York Bros. in Detroit. Their rockabilly is as idiosyncratic and randy as all truly inspired tracks from that era’s rebel music, and "Highland Park Girl" and "Detroit Hulu Girl" are in the same neighborhood with a house nearer Wanda Jackson but a stone’s throw from Hasil Adkins. Woodward has assembled 14 cuts from the Yorks for your listening pleasure that include, besides the odes to rompo, such fun as "Going to the Shindig," "Gamblers Blues" and "It Makes Me Jealous Hearted" (you gotta love this time period’s penchant for explanatory titles!). For more info write Woodward Records, Box 494, New Baltimore, MI 48047 or visit your local record peddler.

More by Chris Handyside

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