Earlier this week we listened to four bands featured (among 40) on the line-up for this year’s Mittenfest Music Festival. Each of those groups, Maraj, The Go-Rounds, Child Sleep and Congress, released new music in 2014. I’m still using this online column to throw some bloggish applause for the previous calendar year’s collection of Washtenaw-area music. And this week I’m listening to two more local bands set to perform for the annual live music extravaganza that raises funds for 826Michigan, the Ann Arbor based expository-writing tutorship nonprofit (that offers programming and outreach to the Arbor/Ypsi and Detroit area students). More info and full line-ups for Mittenfest here: http://www.mittenfest.org/lineup
My 2014 listening was predominated by Matt Jones and Prude Boys. The latter had their break-out year (formerly known as The Lost Boys) while the former, a fixture on the local scene for a decade (or longer) undoubtedly made the album of his life. The pair come from very distinct poles, baroque-centric, antiquarian-charmed, richly toned folk and gothic Americana to caustic post-punk contortionist pop, blown-out amps clouding beautiful melodies.
Matt Jones & The Reconstruction enlivened their ghost stories of the Civil War with sublime strings, somber brass and that trilling lead vocal, high and hazy like early autumn’s fog or something more starkly sheer like fading smoke from cooling canons quiet after wrathful discharge.
Prude Boys are in the middle of a series of bandcamp releases that brings a pair of cassette demos to listeners every month or so, demonstrating their sensibilities for surf-rock rhythms and throwback-pop melodies, but darkening the whole darn thing with plenty of distortion and a sinisterly toned guitar.
Matt Jones & The Reconstruction ~ The Deep Enders – http://mattjones.bandcamp.com/
“The Darkest Things”
Matt Jones & The Reconstruction perform Mittenfest on Sunday, Jan 4 at 11 PM
Prude Boys ~ Cassette Singles
Prude Boys perform Mittenfest on Sunday, Jan 4 at 11:45 PM