Local Albums of 2017

. December 6, 2017.
Flyer art for the release of SHELLS 2
Flyer art for the release of SHELLS 2

 

I’m going to get to a list of notable releases from local bands, but I want to start off with what will be the latest in a busy year’s worth of albums, SHELLS 2… 

Shelley Salant is one of the most ardent supporters of the Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti music scene. In fact, that competition may be over…

She started as a teenager in the local music scene and was booking shows at the Neutral Zone early on… You likely know her as the voice and host of WCBN’s The Local Music Show, where she curates diverse playlists of releases from artists around the region, as well as coordinates some excellent and intimate live in-studio performances.

Along with that, she’s been behind the counter at Encore Records, hosted shows at her original Ann Arbor home, played in bands with Fred Thomas, Charlie Slick, Amber Fellows, Autumn Wetli, and many (many) more, and tirelessly updated a monthly calendar of statewide music events headlined by home-bred talent with her Michigan Happenings blog.

But if you haven’t been listening to Salant’s solo instrumental guitar project, SHELLS….now’s your chance.

SHELLS 2
Newest album by Shelley Salant
Release Party 
Friday Night
Trinosophes
Detroit
featuring Bonny Doon and Kathy Leisen

What Salant does with her SHELLS project is a bit of fitful meditations via interwoven guitar patterns, looped and delicately delayed with a moderate amount of echo effects. Sort of like a sonic spyrograph, she begins a piece with an amorphous, improvisational traipse that starts to double back upon itself with subtle melodies, until the patterns start to mesmerize the ear with surprisingly expressive, colorful layers. Like melodic mantra, and pulse-slowing tempos, still able to roil up into occasional crescendos of clutched ferocity.

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Here’s my top 15…Not ranked; just collected…
Starting with, as you just read:
SHELLS 2

But also:

CJ Rene – Love Hotline

Best Exes – Cactus

Cig Butts – Greenlite EP 

Patrick Elkins – Beating Heart of a Crew

Stormy Chromer – Live Recordings

Talking Ear – Talking Ear

After Hours Radio

Louis Picasso – Gold

Chirp – Live at Willis Sound

Desmond Jones – Desmond Jones

Tanager – Burn Out The Night

Cold Tone Harvest – After You 

Chris Dupont – Live in A2

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers – Pluto 

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Laith Al-Saadi & Friends – Annual Birthday Bash

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

Grove Studios Grand Opening

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.

Audiotree Music Festival (Kalamazoo) – Sept 22/23

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

saajtak featured among a genre defying lineup at blind pig – sept 13

  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