Singing in the rain 

You know you’re in the right record store when you walk in and five of your top 10 CDs of the year are lined neatly in a row along the wall. I was spoiled by this audio-junkie phenomenon Friday night at the grand opening of Stormy Records in its brand-new location, 22079 Michigan Ave. in charming Dearborn. By the way, when did Dearborn get so charming?

As I perused to my heart’s content among the stacks — somehow managing to hang onto that $20 burning a hole in my pocket — the freeform-jazz subdued-funk flow of Laughing Gas captivated the serene crowd that milled through the store’s spaciousness and pawed the fresh-fruit tray. I’ve been meaning to check out this ever-evolving band for what seems like forever and the relaxed atmosphere of the store provided the perfect setting for such invigorating improvisation.

The next night, Red Shirt Brigade and This Is Adelaide performed a show at the store to benefit the family of a teenager who died recently after being hit by a car on his way to school. Many friends came out to support his family in its time of loss. Stormy Record’s Web site ( lists upcoming in-store performances when they’re announced. Check it out or call 313-563-8525.


The first time I met Fred Thomas (flashpapr, Lovesick, Saturday Looks Good To Me, etc.) the conversation went something like this:

Fred: "Metro Times never writes about Ann Arbor bands."

Me: "Yes we do."

Fred: "No you don’t."

So, I figure it’s appropriate to write about his musical exploits the week after he moves out of Ann Arbor and into the Big Apple. The weekend before last, I had the pleasure of hearing Fred play three nights in a row. Thursday night, Lovesick played at detroit contemporary with the Need. Friday, Flashpapr played with K. and The Naysayer at a house in Ann Arbor. And Saturday, Fred played bass as a part of His Name Is Alive’s 10-year anniversary at Magic Stick. The next day, he moved. His absence surely leaves a prominent void in the Ann Arbor music community. In that weekend alone he proved his creative dexterity, playing catchy two-minute hardcore jewels on Thursday, experimental sparseness on Friday and funk-and-soul bass on Saturday. Fred assures me, however, that his friends won’t have to wait too long to see him again. And perhaps, New York will be good to him and we’ll be able to hear his music through other means in addition to the usual bouncing off the walls of leaky basements.

More A2 onslaught

Doug Wood, a folk-jazz instrumentalist from Cleveland, Ohio, knows there’s an audience and a place for modern acoustic music in the 21st century. And he’s proving his point with a group of folk artists from the Cleveland area. He formed the MAM (Modern Acoustic Music) collective in May and right now, it’s seven veteran solo artists strong. Four of them, including Alexis Antes, Robin Stone, Ryann Anderson and Wood will perform at Borders Books and Music (612 E. Liberty St.) in Ann Arbor, Saturday, Dec. 2, from 7-10 p.m. Call 734-668-7652 for more information.

No time to Napster

"Artists Against Piracy is an artist-driven coalition created to give artists a voice in determining how their music is presented, marketed and distributed on the Internet."

I just "shared" this information from AAR’s Web site. Ha! Get it? Well, the coalition wants to get the word out about issues concerning intellectual property and copyright when it comes to MP3-downloading through sites such as Napster. And in addition to a huge media campaign and the launch of its Web site (, Noah Stone, the organization’s executive director is speaking at U-M, Dec. 4 for all the Ethernet-connected, download-crazy college kids. Should be interesting. The lecture is called "Free Music From the Internet: Sharing or Stealing?" It takes place from 8-10 p.m. in the Michigan Union Ballroom, 530 S. State St.

By the way, have I mentioned mtRadio yet? It’s a streaming audio broadcast of music from Detroit-based artists on the Metro Times Web site ( You can download the songs you like and, don’t worry, we got permission.


On a somber note, most fans already are aware of Joe C.’s passing. Calleja, the 3-foot-9 sidekick of Kid Rock who fought celiac disease (an intestinal disorder) since childhood, died in his sleep at his Taylor home, Thursday, Nov. 16. He was 26. Metro Times sends its sincerest condolences to Calleja’s family, friends and fans. His larger-than-life charisma will surely be missed. E-mail In One Ear at

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