See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Media Blackout 

Have some cake, it’s the 51st birthday edition of MB33! • The Beatles — “Birthday” (Apple) :: Satanic Majesties is to Sgt. Pepper what the Beatles are to Satanic Majesties. Think about it. • Orthrelm Ov (Ipecac) :: Everybody should own at least one album that can’t be listened to all the way through. • Yoko Ono Fly (Apple) :: Make that two albums. • Harpo Marx — Harpo in Hi-Fi (Mercury) :: And a dozen hard boiled eggs. • George Harrison — “It’s Johnny’s Birthday” (Apple) :: The poor guy couldn’t even inadvertently cover “Congratulations” without getting sued for millions in back royalties. • Please Mr Gravedigger Throw A Beat (Pluto) :: Van Halen grunge meets Ted Nugent garage. But next time let the frail sing more. • Thee More Shallows More Deep Cuts (Turn) :: There are two dead frogs on the cover, the victims of a murder-suicide by bow and arrow. So if I tell you that this album mixes the synths of Jack Nitzsche’s Performance with the strings of Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho, would you be surprised? I thought not. • Erin McKeown We Will Become Like Birds (Nettwerk) :: “Aspera” evokes echoes of “For Ladies Only” but John Kay never sounded like Annette Peacock. • Steppenwolf At Your Birthday Party (Dunhill) :: It’s all right, Ma, the Hell’s Angels are providing security! • SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Porcupine Tree Deadwing (Lava) :: This melodic hard rocker manages to cover all the prog-rock bases from Led Zeppelin to Genesis to Quiet Sun to Brand X. The 10-minute title track has a Moon Equipped engine that’s straight out of Eno’s “Third Uncle” with Adrian Belew doing his obligatory Fripp bit. Then they put another log on the fire for thee and make some breakfast and coffee. • Be seeing you!

Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to

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October 21, 2020

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