Tune-Yards got Childishly Primal at the Crofoot
If there is one way Merrill Garbus makes her existence known to the world, it's through the pounding of her drums. At least that's where it starts. There are also loop machines, layers of voices (sometimes out-and-out screams) all declaring with childlike stubbornness her right to be on this earth. On Tuesday night, she took the stage at the Crofoot with her small army of backup singers and staked this claim, performing her songs more powerfully than the album versions could ever convey. At one point she reminisced about her past performances at the Crofoot. "Detroit has a hometown feel, even though it's never been my home town," she said. "It's a miracle that we get to do this in front of people like you."
If You Wanna Sing Out, Sing Out
We don't usually go, but the DDays crew was cajoled into coming along to "Hipster Heaven," aka karaoke night at the New Dodge Lounge last Thursday. Drinks were cheap and cheerfully served by ace bartender Andrea Bonaventura, and we heard about a dozen super-drunken renditions of songs. We also sat right near Louie Badalament of Axe Ripper, who pulled our ear about their upcoming album, Hell Is Real, and their tour kickoff party Nov. 7 at Corktown Tavern. Then the metal drummer got up onstage and sang his guts out to the 1980s metal anthem "Heading Out to the Highway" by Judas Priest, full of blistering guitar. That shit was real, dude.
More Cheapy, Less Creepy
Crofoot's Creepy Cheapy is kind of the who's who of Detroit Halloween events. Maybe Theatre Bizarre has this party beat when it comes to ambience and style, but those just looking for a messy Halloween rager hit their stride at Creepy Cheapy. It's the kind of place you'll see Michael Myers descend the stairs, shortly followed by Jesus Christ. DDays' Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds were blowing up with pics of partiers packing every square inch of the Crofoot. Robyn Barndsale, Mike Moore, Steven Robert, Phreddy Wischusen, Jennica Wahl, and just about everyone else and their brother were there. Matt Dalton killed it onstage as Steve Perry from Journey. Lauren Long did an awesome Amy Winehouse impression, and Brent "Blak" Smith of Passalacqua totally convinced the crowd he was Drake. All around the evening was a rousing banger of a success.
Initially, the red carpet was a little crude outside the entrance to the Fisher Theatre for the opening night of Motown the Musical. There appeared to be the province of pseudo-celebs — friends of Four Tops, cousins of Contours. Then, suddenly, our city's R&B royalty began rolling in: Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, Duke Fakir — "all of the wonderful babies," Berry Gordy called them — and, of course, the man who made the music happen, Gordy himself. It was a surreal evening. Michael Bolton, who performed at a splashy pre-show party at the Roostertail, milled about the lobby. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow came from Washington. Some old-school attendees looked like they hadn't left the house since Motown bolted for L.A. in 1972. Judge Craig Strong, the ever-snazzy arbiter, sported a sparkling cherry red suit that would make any Top or Temptation proud. At the end of the show, many of the Motown alums joined the cast onstage. "I just want to say, this is very personal to me," Wonder said. "There were tears that I shed tonight, tears of amazement to know that God has blessed me to ... be a part of the history." — mt