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.
It goes without saying that Laith Al-Saadi is a treasure of the Ann Arbor music community. But if you haven’t yet experienced this bipedal force of nature with his signature beard, shredding guitar, and astonishing singing voice, then clear your schedule next Saturday… Laith Al-Saadi’s Annual Birthday Bash Sept 29 The Michigan Theater 8pm INFO
If you’ve been following the pages (printed or online) of Current this past year, then you’ve probably heard a bit about Grove Studios already. Grove is a grassroots effort to provide musicians and artists from all around the Detroit metro area and western Washtenaw County a rehearsal and creative space for their work and development.
The Audiotree Music Festival returns to Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Creek Festival Place next Saturday and Sunday. The lineup features more than 20 artists, including Father John Misty, Khruangbin, Chicano Batman, Diet Cig, and many more! While the names we dropped in the previous paragraph are nationally renowned artists signed on to notable labels like Sub Pop or
Genres are irrelevant. No one proves that assertion better than Detroit’s saajtak. Formed five years ago at U-M’s School of Music, saajtak’s made quite an impression with their stormy fusion of free jazz, noise experimentation, electronica, space-rock and opera. Their newest EP, Hectic, came out earlier this summer. Hectic EP by saajtak Thurs, Sept 13 saajtak