Timothy Monger would never make an overtly dark album, would he? Can such a beautiful voice, with penchants for amiable/ambling A.M. pop parades, actually stir the more-brooding, shadowy corners of folk music? Yes, but yet, no. It’s been seven years since his charming chamber-pop hiking soundtrack Summer Cherry Ghost –and we find grayer milieus with more somber (still heartfelt) heaves on New Britton Sounds; palpably likened to meeting Monger at the other end of a bridge, whereupon he uncases his guitar and sings to you the melodious chapters of his crossing. He’s stepped through the years, steadily attaining veneration for his pensive, poetic songs (with Great Lakes Myth Society) through the surreal year of that band’s recent hiatus and now, expounding subtle flairs of, yes, cynicism, self-doubt, regrets, and world-weary revelations. That recounting paints a dark picture, but the album’s sonic mélange undermines it, opening doors and drawing shades to indict Monger as an incorrigible prophet of pop’s sunny mirth, with rousing, rock-hinted arrangements bringing thawing horns, prancing banjos, lustrous sweeps of bagpipes and sublimely reverb-wrapped guitars. The two sonic sentiments, his voice (as poetic/articulate as ever) with these still-yet-rousing arrangements, end up blending nicely – still a summer record, but more a moonlit meander as opposed to a sunrise jog.(On Northern Detective Records). Timothymonger.com.
I’ve been writing for The Current for almost 10 years now…, which is crazy to think about. But I’ve known musician Jeffrey Freer for longer than that, from previous bands as well as some of his solo material. He was an Ypsilanti and an Ann Arbor regular for years, but moved away for a spell.
Terry Holbrook heads home from downtown Ann Arbor to Dexter after working his shift as a video editor. It’s a winter night. The highway is icy. The car ahead skids, then crashes. Terry, the everyman in author Mark Beyer’s new page-turner crime thriller, Hired Man, pulls over and rushes to the aid of the injured
“Heathers”, the 2014 musical based on the 1989 movie starring Winona Ryder, will be presented by Ann Arbor Civic Theatre from June 7th-10th at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.