Monday, September 14, 2009

LOCAL MUSIC TIDBITS

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 3:50 PM

*It's kinda old news at this point since both Rolling Stone and Pitchfork took the ball and ran with it. That's what we get for sitting on it. Yeah, we got the "official" word on August 6th that James Williamson was joining Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton and Mike Watt (filling in for the late, great Ron Asheton on bass) for a touring reunion of Raw Power-era Iggy & the Stooges...but were asked to not post it until they gave us the official "official" word. Oh, well...we were the first to hint that it was happening earlier this year...and we're happy that it's happening no matter who first released the info. What you probably haven't heard yet, though, is that the band has been rehearsing in L.A. without Iggy so far (the Igster will be joining them soon enough) and that Mr. Williamson -- who spent the last decade or so playing jazz and other forms of music that aren't rock -- spent some time recently regaining his rock chops by playing with a San Jose garage and country-rock band named the Careless Hearts. The group (with Stooges saxophonist Steve McKay in tow), in fact, played live with Williamson at a club in San Jose, California over Labor Day weekend. It was the first time Mr. Williamson has played the material in front of a live audience in 35 years. Check out the videos of them doing "Search & Destroy" and "Raw Power" at the bottom of this post. Sounds damn fine. We've also heard when the debut performance by the reformed group will be...but let's sit on that until we get the "official" word and hopefully we won't be asked to sit on it too long this time.

*Congratulations to our pals in the Go. Not only did they recently have a song featured in the new Detroit-based HBO comedy series, Hung, but they just placed two songs -- “Summer’s Gonna Be My Girl” and “So Long Johnny” -- on the long-running HBO series, Entourage. The songs will air on September 20th and 27th. Gee, if they'd only get a placement now on Mad Men, they'be on all our favorite current cable shows! When reviewing their show in L.A. two years ago, Don Waller suggested that TV and film placement might be the best future for these dude and Mr. Hertz seems intent on making that future happen in a big way.

*Also congratulations to Detroit's own Insane Clown Posse, whose new album, BANG! POW! BOOM!, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart last week, as well as No. 1 on the magazine's Independent chart. Must be a lot of juggalos out there, after all.

*Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's Detroit signing, originally scheduled to take place at Cobo Hall (where his old bandmates will be renacting KISS Alive later this month), has been moved. Frehley will be at Detroit's Hard Rock Cafe (45 Monroe St.) this coming Saturday, September 19th, for a free signing. Ace will be signing one item per person starting at 8 p.m. at no charge to fans and will also have autographed copies of his new Anomaly record on CD and vinyl and other new merchandise on hand for sale. Frehley is primarily in town to shoot a segment for an upcoming documentary film, Let's Go Cobo (which, of course, is a history of the much-loved Detroit arena currently being made by some local filmmakers).

*Music historians and fans know that this is the 50th anniversary of Motown Records. All kinds of celebrations taking place; we hear there's even going to be a theatrical documentary film released at the end of the year. Until then, though, check out this pretty cool retrospective that MSNBC put together last week. Just click here.

*Congratulations to local superstar Deastro, who's about to embark on his first U.K. tour this week with Hockey (sounds like an appropriate touring mate for a band from Michigan, eh?). That's the good news. The "bad" news (well, sorta) is that on the eve of the overseas trek, the man also known as Deastro (that would be Randy Chabot) found out that his entire band has up and quit. How's that for commitment? Never mind, though. He's doing the tour as a solo artist (which is how he began here in Detroit anyway...so no huge deal). He posted on his Facebook page late last week that he's hoping to assemble a brand new band before his upcoming CMJ dates in NYC late next month. For any Brits reading this, these are the dates for the U.K. tour: 9.14 Bristol, UK @ Thekla

09.15 Liverpool, UK @ O2 Academy (Liverpool)

09.16 Leeds, UK @ Cockpit

09.18 Newcastle, UK @ O2 Academy (Newcastle)

09.19 Edinburgh, UK @ Cabaret Voltaire

09.20 Glasgow, UK @ King Tut's

09.21 Belfast, UK @ Spring & Airbrake

09.22 Dublin, UK @ The Academy

09.24 Manchester, UK @ Manchester Academy

09.25 Nottingham, UK @ Bodega Social Club

09.26 Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy (Birmingham)

09.27 Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy (Oxford)

09.28 Norwich, UK @ Arts Centre

09.29 London, UK @ Scala

10.01 Brighton, UK @ Digital

*Speaking of CMJ, got this e-mail from a publicist claiming that these "are the Detroit bands who applied to CMJ 2009 using their Sonicbids accounts and were invited to showcase. (Note: I didn’t say “confirmed.” What is confirmed is that they’ve been invited!)" The list mentions the Hard Lessons, Computer Perfection, and the Singles (who we've heard are relocating to L.A. -- why? -- by the end if this year). Surely, those aren't the only Motor City acts playing the fest this year, just the ones who applied and were accepted via Sonicbids.

*Finally, our friend Eddie Baranek dropped by the office earlier today (and on deadline day too!) to play us five "rough mixes" from the upcoming new CD by the Sights. Brian Smith says it sounds "very Ronnie Lane-ish" in parts (never a bad thing!). But I want to spend more time with the CD-R Eddie "lent" me and will report back with more later. No matter who the members are, it's nice to have Eddie back fronting a rock 'n' roll band again.

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