In One ear


Denizens of the "Woodward Village" scene and fans of Detroit rock ’n’ roll have a dilemma on their hands this Friday. On one hand, you’ve got R&B legend and former Fortune Records recording artist Andre Williams who, as of late, has reinvented himself as the dirty old uncle of Detroit and Chicago’s garage rock family. Williams will take to the Magic Stick stage Friday with a backing crew of, to quote the press materials, "Detroit garage rock all-stars." It’s worth checking out if for no other reason than to see exactly what and who a "Detroit garage rock all-star" is.

A mere coupla blocks away, the Gold Dollar will host an evening of unpredictable pop music. This event finds Wax Wings warming the stage up for a recently reconfigured They Come in Threes. TCIT, you may have the good fortune to know, is the kind of band that leaves you guessing before they take the stage (Who’s in the band? Where will their off-kilter reconsideration of pop music take them this time?) and leaves you wanting more when they make their exit. Not to spoil the surprise or the numeric moniker or anything, but TCIT is now a quintet featuring Wax Wings member Dean Fertita on bass, a brand-new drummer and Roe Peterhans trading in his ax for keyboards.

So, loyal rock heads (I don’t mean that in a mean way, you understand), head to Woodward and Mack, pick a direction and solve a musical mystery. The Magic Stick is at 4140 Woodward Ave. (north of Mack Ave.) and the Gold Dollar is at 3129 Cass Ave. (south of Myrtle).


One of the too-oft-unmentioned musical talents to spring from Detroit (and a man who, perhaps, draws the unmade connections between the Detroit power pop-punk of the Romantics and the current outcropping of literate, Beatles-and-roots-oriented pop songwriters) goes by the name of Marshall Crenshaw. One of the too-oft-unmentioned musical talents currently working out of Detroit is a Beatles-influenced, pop-and-roots-influenced songwriter by the name of Robert Crenshaw. Yes, Marshall’s younger brother.

After years of performing and recording with his brother (and all the while writing his own material), Crenshaw the Younger has recently released Full Length Stereo Recordings on Chicago’s Gadfly Records (the label that also recently reissued Ain’t No Joke, the debut from Detroit’s Volebeats). The record finds Crenshaw in full pop-rockin’ swing and giving ample, driving-rhythm evidence of the years he spent as a drummer who modeled himself after Keith Moon. This Friday, Robert Crenshaw offers fans of the rock ’n’ roll branch of the singer-songwriter family tree an opportunity to check him out live at Royal Oak’s Memphis Smoke (100 S. Main). Set time is at 10 p.m. Call 248-543-4300 for more info.

Hip-Hop Spring Thaw

As we roll into February and the dog days of winter, it’s a welcome blast of warmth when we start to hear rumblings of late-February, early-spring record releases. These are, likely, the sounds that’ll be emanating from our car stereos as we tool around our lovely city this spring and summer. And what better to have bumping from your trunk than cuts from Detroit’s hip-hop scene?

Two of Detroit’s finest hip-hop imprints, ReAl Entertainment and Silent Records, are prepping the release of LPs, compilations and singles as we, er, read.

ReAl is getting ready to drop first singles, then LPs from both 5Ela and Phil Pott. The 5Ela record, Pt. 3, has been in the pipeline for a while now and early mixes which appeared mysteriously at In One Ear HQ give ample reason to be geeked for the record’s official release. ReAl will be showcasing its label roster (which also includes Money Mogul and PMC) at this year’s Impact conference in Tennessee. For more info, check out

From the folks who brought you Paradime, Silent Records, comes the spring release of Writings a compilation of hip-hop acts from Detroit and other locales. As of press time, Writings already includes tracks from Paradime, S.U.N., Telepath Math (which’ll also drop an LP this spring on Silent) and MF Doom. Tracks from the Styles of Beyond crew and Artifacts are also likely to make the comp.

If you can’t wait till spring and need to get your head fix ASAP, head to Millennium AD, 16890 Telegraph, Detroit, this Thursday to help Silent kick off its weekly night, "True School." The opening installment of "True School" will feature performances by Paradime, Dice and the Breakfast Club. Each week will feature Detroit and national acts, graffiti art and breakdancing. For more info, call 248-582-0555.