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Thursday, July 23, 2009

'Dotte Fair In Music

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Last month, Metro Times featured the emergence of Single Barrel — a group of guerilla filmmakers dedicated to creating original music videos of Detroit musicians interacting with distinctively Detroit places. On Friday, July 10 the group found themselves at the Wyandotte Street Arts Fair documenting the ‘dAP Summer Festival. Marking its third year of operation, the ‘dAP (‘dotte Arts Project) Festival continues to connect emerging and cutting-edge visual, musical, and performance artists with the more traditional artists participating in the street fair. Single Barrel Detroit captured performances by three diverse musical acts on their day trip to the ‘dotte — Charlie Slick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Siverghost — and got some insight from visual artists Jeremy Hansen and Mark Bommarito.

Just before The Silent Years took the stage, SBD caught up with with lead singer Josh Epstein and witnessed the infancy of his latest project, Dale Earnhart, Jr. Jr. Epstein and Daniel Zott (of The Great Fiction) have been writing music together for the past few months and are finally bringing their harmonized vision to the stage. Since both members come from lavish pop bands this stripped down collaboration promises the visceral force of a Rachmaninoff piano concerto coupled with a pop sensibility that could allow them to enter the main stream while retaining "indie cred." Also in the video we hear from 'dAP co-founder Jeremy Hansen championing the cause ... and spray paint. Dale Earnhart Jr. Jr. perform live at the Crofoot Friday July 31.

On stage, Ann Arbor’s Charlie Slick is a one man glam-hurricane, combining the flamboyance of Mick Ronson, Iggy Pop ... and Liberace. Just check out his his pelvis pushup operated synth. As a songwriter, Slick’s tender heart shines through his self-inflicted glitter storm. A sort of disco floor John Mellencamp, Slick’s lyrics are simple, honest, oft-blue collar and compassionate. The rhythmic assault of his beats are an unexpected accompaniment to his ballads of hard-working people, the tiny triumphs of love and the struggles of friendship. Soon to release his 5th album in four years, Slick himself is a manifestation of his own characters, impassioned and indefatigable. Meanwhile, sculptor Mark Bommarito unwraps his ode to the oil industry.

Not even the thump and tintinnabulation of the jangly tambourine beat could compete with Silverghost guitarist Marcie Bolen’s flame-wrapped tresses in the Wyandotte summer sun. The former Von Bondies’ guitarist begins to pick out the opening notes of “Electric Shapes” on her guitar and it becomes increasingly difficult to confine the band to one particular genre, though it's not at all hard to hear the musical refrences they hit on (Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue"). The band has been been labeled as an electro-pop duo, yet Bolen’s crankshaft guitar work and vocalist Deleano Acevedo’s lusty staccato channel their garage roots, creating something raw and new. Maybe it's mechanipop: music powered by the muscle of Detroit’s factories reborn, a flesh covered Terminator combating the android auto-tuners of the industry.


Special thanks to Phreddy Wischusen for the insight on SBD's day in the 'dotte.


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