City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

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Remember – if you send it, it will get reviewed. That’s the City Slang promise. It doesn’t matter what genre the music is – as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it’ll get in. Preferably, we’d like to concentrate on new releases but, while we’re getting warmed up here, feel free to send back catalog material too. Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, City Slang, Metro Times, 733, St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to [email protected]

Diana Ross Live in Central Park (Shout Factory) is a DVD recorded at the aforementioned New York park and broadcast back in 1983. The concert was free, the rain poured down, and our Diana was superb, running through a set of her solo hits, and Supremes classics like “Baby Love”, “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “Love is Like an Itching in my Heart” (all in the form of a medley). All the while, Ross looks gorgeous and her voice never gives in to the weather. Available for the first time for home entertainment, this DVD is well worth picking up. Ross herself says, “Now, almost 30 years later, I can still say Central Park was one of the peak experiences of my career, an historical event – RAIN AND SHINE.”

What could be more different but equally as Detroit as a plush Diana Ross DVD? How about a compilation of material from Bootsey X’s long career, plus rough mixes of three new songs? The compilation, A Detroit Punk (no word on a label yet), is superb. It features songs from the Lovemasters (including the classic “Pusherman of Love” and “Genius From the Waist Down”), the RamRods (“I’m a RamRod”), Coldcock (“You’re a Mess”), Rocket 455 (“Stooge”) and even Dark Carnival’s run through “TV Eye” (also featuring the Asheton brothers). As a tribute to all that the man also known as Bob Mulrooney has given to Detroit rock ’n’ roll, the disc is perfect. The three new tracks are songs Boots has been working on with Jim Diamond and Matt Smith. “Joe C” and “Privates Investigator” are originals, and are classic Bootsey. “Mirage” is a Tony James cover, a wonderfully sleazy take on old school rock ’n’ roll. Brilliant.

Sunil Sawani’s How Does it Know?” (Lower Peninsula Records) has been out for a while on vinyl, but now has wider appeal thanks to a Bandcamp release (is that a release? Whatever). Much like the band that Sawani is in, A Lady Never Tells, his solo material is very low key, chilled and cool in that “hipster movie soundtrack” sort of way, but the pop melodies are there for all who want to hear them. Very nice.

C.N. Pratt & the Rose Cult’s Cultivation (self-released) EP is an awesome three-track thing. Musically, this lot are like a psychedelic Pixies. The songs are caustic and snarly, but there’s a trippy Byrds vibe, much like the Madchester bands of the ‘80s. Fun.

C.N. Pratt & the Rose Cult

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