Hello Current readers. I’m typing to you upon a quiet morning before the loud evening of New Year’s, the last day of 2016. You can review our Favorite Local Albums of 2016 here, and by this week you should also be seeing print editions of our January issue, which features an interview with the folks at The Ark, talking about the 40th Annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival.
But with the holiday parties over, we’re all heading back to work now, or maybe starting up our winter semesters…, which means we could all use something to look forward to – like a couple of concerts!
Next Friday 1/13/17: Saajtak
The Macpodz are local legends and they’re hosting a dance party at the Blind Pig, next Friday. You’re guaranteed a hot, heavy blend of rock ‘n’ roll with slick funk and emotive soul; fiery trumpet, roiling organ, guitar, bass, drums, the works! Opening up is Jive Colossus, a brass-heavy funk and Afro-Cuban ensemble based out of Ann Arbor.
Then, for some more variety, there’s Saajtak, a Detroit-based quartet fissuring acid jazz and noise-experimentaion, glitch-heavy post-rock skews and mesmeric voice-modulations Mobius-stripping in these eerie/dreamy intonations. Saajtak had a live session on WCBN last month, and their debut album spectral [drips] came out in April.
Vocalist Alex Koi shifts from specter to space alien, from a metallic-mantra to a delay-splashed cavernous catharsis, all with a variety of different effects. Jon Taylor’s work on drums spans a fitful jazz splash of fills and fast tempos, to a militaristic metal slam. Ben Willis’ bass accompanies the percussion, but not often in a traditional sense of arrangement, instead that instruments utilized for the more beguiling timbres and evocative sounds that low-end growl can be aggressively-teased-into creating, finding are more motor-chugging whir and a woolier resonance; and that leaves the spell-casting synthesizers slung across extreme peak-to-valley oscillations and fascinatingly-jutted and embossed with an occasional flaring of supernatural/unnatural yowls, digi-drones and computerized agit-purrs.
Next Saturday 1/14/17: Jill Jack
Also coming up this weekend, The Ark is hosting a birthday bash for Detroit-area singer/songwriter Jill Jack. In fact, Jack has thrown these warm and celebratory shindigs for a few years’ running, now; it’s become a tradition here at a venue that has always been like a second home to the nationally-renowned performer. Jack has won several Detroit Music Awards and performed at the 2008 Ann Arbor Folk Festival.
Earlier this year, Jack released an album that delightfully diverged from her typical genre realm of folk-rock & Americana, and paired with a group of talented collaborators with backgrounds in jazz to form Jill Jack and The American Songbook, producing a covers collection with cherished standards by icons such as Ella Fitzgerald, George Gerswhin and more.