Head Cheese

Aug 16, 2006 at 12:00 am

On Be Where I Be, Judah Johnson's latest, Daniel Johnson indulges every whim — unabashed romantic leanings, moody interludes, Bono resets — and still makes something weighty, since the album is so fully formed and gorgeous. It has something for the Tooth & Nail kids, devotees to Andrew Bird, Eno and anyone still trying to rediscover their late-1990s alt-pop kick. Here Daniel helpfully proves the existence of God.

5. Mike Koontz: I get my gear worked on at Koontz Guitar Repair in Ferndale, but I really come for Mike's spiritual calm. He emanates supreme and beatific wisdom; after visiting, I somehow know everything will be OK. His rates are totally reasonable, and the enlightenment is free.

4. Falafel and coffee: The actual manna from heaven. Forty days, 40 nights and 40 falafel-Colombian combos — on tour this saves lives.

3. Encores: Not so much a proof of God's existence as they are a sign of civilization's survival. American culture has few rituals left, especially social ones, so it's interesting to see this tradition thrive in a place as irreverent as a rock club. Encores — corny but vital.

2. "Spirit of Eden" by Talk Talk: A band at their popular peak flick off commerce and make something unique. It'd be like if Coldplay had made Kid A instead of X&Y. Spirit was too much of a miracle to be successful, but "Wealth" alone saved my life.

1. Clouds: Our sky is covered in chaos. The question nature constantly poses: "What do you see?"


CD release party Aug. 18, at the Magic Stick (4120-4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700). With The Holy Fire and Zoos of Berlin. Send comments to [email protected]