The Devil’s Music Course: Curriculum—Zombie Ball; YpsiFest

. May 18, 2012.

Halloween is a time for the freaks to come out; a time for one’s inner devils or inner witches, or any kinds of monsters (from mummies, to mongoloids) to be let out for fired-up nights of dashed dances and amplified howls.

It makes for what’s likely the best time of year for live rock n roll – a tradition that stems its way back through time, from Elvis’ corrupting pelvis, back to loud and lewd R&B, back, still, all the way to Robert Johnson shaking hands with the Devil himself to bolster blues music.

Some say it’s only rock n roll – but it’s quaint, even mischievously emboldening, to remember the way this music used to be infamous for its ostensible evilness.

It’s best to let that sordid spirit out in proper fashion – like getting into costume before rocking out. Check out the 3rd Annual Zombie Ball on Oct. 21 at Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti, where attendees are encouraged to tear up their clothes, apply healthy shades of rot and globs of dried blood. Zombify yourself, and enjoy the raucous ferocity of punk-splattered, metal-slammed rock n roll from Devil Elvis and Christpuncher, along with the ghoulish skeleton DJ duo Los Minstrels Del Diablo spinning psychedelic electronica.

 Another recommended Halloween-angled freak-rock indulgence is offered Oct. 29 at Woodruff’s with local music collective Ghost Family interpreting/embodying iconic noise-rock firebrands The Jesus Lizard. “I've seen the Jesus Lizard many times,” said Anthony Anonymous (of JWPP) who’ll be singing (as original member David Yow). “They are one of the most exciting and heavy bands I’ve seen… we will do our best to bring the energy!” Other participants include Joshua Tafelski – guitar, James North – guitar, Jheremie Jaque – bass, and Jehan Dough / Larry Johnson switching drums.

YpsiFest goes down Oct. 12 – Oct. 15 (again, Woodruff's), which, coincidentally, was started by Anonymous (our would be David Yow, quoted above) back in 2003, initially as a two-day music blowout bent on bringing Ypsi bands together (as well as the best bands from Detroit and other surrounding counties).

Anonymous said that each year he’s reminded of the vast number of “talented, hard-working bands in our little village and I need to remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to witness it.” 

Wednesday, (the 12th) features Ypsi’s psyche-rock power-trio Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor (who just released their 2nd LP back in September) as well as instrumental rock quintet Lawless Carver. This year’s line-up, though, looks a bit Detroit-heavy, but you can still catch Ypsi/Arbor rooted/connected groups like Easy Action, Patrick Elkins & the Rainbow Family Vomit Band, Blue Snaggletooth, Chapstick, and of course, the Ghost Family (JWPP, Sharky & the Habit, Err…).

In other news, Ann Arbor electro-pop/rock crew Ella Riot (formerly My Dear Disco) are releasing an album (Love Child), Oct. 14 at the Blind Pig.

Meanwhile, I’m getting my mellifluous, slightly-melancholic/yet-slightly-serene autumnal folk kick with Little Island Lake’s new album Jawbones (and see them, Oct 6 at Woodruff's). Extending from that bluesy realm would be the Great Tribulation (who play that venue the following night, Oct. 7). Happy Autumn. 

Trending

Domino’s Farms Aids Ann Arbor’s Need for Office Space

Domino’s Pizza and Arbor Research are both launching new office building projects at Domino’s Farms. Domino’s Pizza is creating a 33,000-square-foot building on the north side of Domino’s Farms, expanding to their current space. Arbor Research is creating a new 49,500-square-foot headquarters building on the east side of Domino’s Farms. Both buildings should be completed

A Physician’s Perspective on Legalized Cannabis

On Tuesday, November 6th, Michigan became the 10th state to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Ten years ago, we had become the 13th state to legalize Cannabis for medical use. I voted for the medical cannabis law years ago because, in my view, cannabis is not a dangerous product, and too many people were being imprisoned for its use. At that time, however, I did not subscribe to the argument that there were legitimate medical uses for cannabis. How things have changed.

Tiny Expo at Ann Arbor District Library—A Curated Holiday Gift Fair with Flair

The Tiny Expo is a gem of an indie arts and crafts fair for vendors with original and unexpected products that make wonderful gifts but may not be an obvious fit for Ann Arbor’s mainstream art fairs. Shoppers who crave artistic, high quality products with diverse price points will find a rich variety of unique, handmade products to choose from.

New Tenants in Downtown Ypsilanti

Formerly long-vacant buildings in Downtown Ypsilanti are experiencing revitalization as small businesses and nonprofits are rapidly filling up spaces. Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), a nonprofit organization that, “provides access to the justice systems for those that need it most,” recently purchased the Smith Furniture building at 15 S Washington Street which became their headquarters. Decode