On the Download

Haunted Hearts bow

Among the Crescent City diaspora that's spread to the four corners of the continent post-Katrina is one Michael Hurtt, who's taken up residence here in the Motor City. Hurtt was a prime mover in the iconoclastic and nattily-dressed '90s New Orleans-based rock 'n' roll combo the Royal Pendeltons (and, as such, part of the connective cultural tissue between our fair city and theirs). Well, Hurtt — whose byline as a music writer you may recognize from the pages of Metro Times — is back in action again with his country and rock roots outfit Michael Hurtt & His Haunted Hearts. The outfit honors the sometimes-forgotten country side of his hometown, and plays a rich and nuanced take on reverb-drenched, heartache-soaked '50s-looking rockabilly-country. They're taking a double-header bow with local debuts on Aug. 30. They'll play the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival at 4 p.m. and then head over to the Lager House for a club show later that night. You can check 'em out at MySpace; maybe they'll even enable the download function on some of their tunes for us iPod carrying retro-rock loyalists in the near future.


Properly Masonic

I first stumbled upon Mason Proper opening for the Great Lakes Myth Society and was struck with one of those moments endemic to those of us who can sometimes be blamed for chasing trends: They were really good, drew really well, and I had never heard them before. I had, naturally heard of them from, like, listings sections of this weekly. But I'll 'fess up: I went in blind and came away with my eyes opened. They go for it in a way that would put many self-satisfied acts to shame, not just owning the stage, but embracing the ongoing gravy train of rock and pop that our modern culture keeps running: keyboards, guitars, big hooks, quirky arrangements and presence. So when I was stumbling around the Internets this week and saw that they had a track available for free dollars, I hit it with quickness. The jam, "Lock and Key" is off their forthcoming full-length Olly Oxen Free. Between its staccato guitar, piano and synth melodic points and counterpoints and playful vocal and drum interplay, it's a good deal more ear candy and ear worm-y than you'd get from your average bunch of local goofballs. Do yourself a favor and check it out, and then tell me if I'm full of crap:


Also, quickly, tangentially …

The artists formerly known as Goober and Junior (for those folks who have enough memory cells left to remember Goober & the Peas) have finally weighed in on the Kilpatrick Controversy. Dan John Miller of Blanche and Tom Hendricksen (filmmaker, musician, home-improvement aficionado) unleashed a spray-on-tan-and-'80s special effects-errific video as their alter egosmid-state meteorologists Dean Lyman and Neal Chamblice, respectively. It really must be seen to be truly appreciated. But suffice to say that there's contentious debate, finger-pointing, dramatic music and a bit of wistful, quasi-romantic longing.


Next Week…Sea of Japan and a trip to Grand Rapids!

Chris Handyside is a freelance writer. Send comments to [email protected]
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