Saturday, September 30, 2006

Oct. Show Calendar

Hey, Jack O' Lantern windsock, are you ready to rock?
Only if there's a steady breeze, Erik!

So here's the first of what I hope is many many long posts about all the shows in the coming month. I'm usually going to put this up the first of every month, but I'm going to Cedar Point tomorrow, so it's going up a day early, because if you're not early, you're not on time (or something to that effect).

Oct. shows

Oct. 1 — Chris Bathgate, Chad Williams @ The Old Town in Ann Arbor
Oct. 4 — Chris Bathgate @ The Natatorium in Ann Arbor
Oct. 5 — Annie Palmer, Murder Mystery @ The Berkley Front in Berkley
Oct. 6 — Zoos of Berlin, Stills of Japan, Siksik Nation, Dirtylovebites @ The Magic Stick in Detroit (18+)
Oct. 6 — NOMO, Toolbox, Mark Kirschenmann @ The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor (18+)
Oct. 6 — Great Lakes Myth Society, Chris Bathgate @ 231 House of Muses in Marquette
Oct. 6 — Those Transatlantics, Natural Monuments @ Rubbles in Mt. Pleasant (18+)
Oct. 6 — The Hard Lessons @ U-Club in the Michigan Union in Ann Arbor
Oct. 7 — Great Lakes Myth Society, Chris Bathgate @ Michigan Technological University in Houghton
Oct. 7 — The Barking Tuna Festival @ The State Theater in Kalamazoo with Canada, Spank Rock, RJD2
Oct. 7 — Lone Wolf and Cub, The Wellness Plan, On Blitzen, The Outfit, Almost Crimes @ The Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor
Oct. 7 — The Hard Lessons, Island View Drive @ Darkhorse Brewing Company in Marshall
Oct. 7 — Child Bite, Stationary Odyssey, Water Thieves @ The A.C. Rich Building in Pontiac
Oct. 11 — Annie Palmer, Mandarin Dynasty and DeerTick @ Dreamland Theatre in Ypsi
Oct. 12 — The High Strung opening for Tilly and the Wall @ The Magic Stick in Detroit
Oct. 13 — Rescue, Ancourage, I Became the Sky and more @ Dawn of a New Day Cafe in Saginaw
Oct. 13 — New Grenada, Matadors of Shame @ The Temple Club in Lansing
Oct. 13 — Zoos of Berlin, A Stitch-Up and Dial 81 @ Berkley Front in Berkley
Oct. 14 — Lone Wolf and Cub, Rescue and more @ The Litter Box in Lansing (contact bands for address)
Oct. 14 — That’s Him! That’s The Guy! (maybe just David), Our Brother the Native, Hot Tapes @ (scene) Metrospace in East Lansing
Oct. 15 — Rescue, Sah, Hornet, Spit For Athena @ Kraftbrau Brewery in Kalamazoo (18+ unless accompanied by parent or guardian says the MySpace)
Oct. 16 — Rescue, The Beatings, The Phage, Shadiamond Le Freedom @ The Belmont
Oct. 17 — Frontier Ruckus opening for Dame Satan @ The Lager House in Detroit
Oct. 18 — Brandon Wiard and The Saviors, The Singles, The Dardanelles @ The Elbow Room in Ypsi
Oct. 19 — Brandon Wiard and The Saviors, The Receiver @ Corktown Tavern in Detroit
Oct. 19 — Mason Proper opening for The Appleseed Cast @ The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor
Oct. 19 — The Hard Lessons, Island View Drive @ Albion Coffee House in Albion
Oct. 20 — We Rock, You Decide @ The Temple Club in Lansing with Mason Proper, The Decks, The Satin Peaches, Frontier Ruckus and many, many more
Oct. 21 — Brandon Wiard and The Saviors @ SOMEWHERE IN ANN ARBOR (contact band for more info)
Oct. 21 — The Hard Lessons, Island View Drive, Tips, Vega, Monte, Fenn, My Friend Rudra, Fuller and more @ The Hartland Center for the Performing Arts in Hartland
Oct. 21 — Arbour Fest 3 @ Arbor Vitae in Ann Arbor with Canada, Chris Bathgate, Frontier Ruckus, Virgil Waters, Elms for Arms, Ronen Goldstein, Alex Belhaj, The Dardenelles, Orpheum Bell, Misty Lyn
Oct. 26 — The Pop Project, Lazy Sunday @ The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor (18+)
Oct. 27 — Brandon Wiard (solo) @ The Tap Room Annex in Ypsi
Oct. 27 — Great Lakes Myth Society, Starling Electric (“Clouded Staircase” CD release), and The Satin Peaches @ The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor (18+)
Oct. 27 — Mason Proper, The Mighty Narwhale and Johnny Headband @ The Halfass in Ann Arbor
Oct. 28 — THE HALLOWEEN BANG! @ The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor (18+)
Oct. 28 — Zombie Dance Party @ The Magic Stick in Detroit with Troy Gregory and the Zambees, Imposters of the Deep Society, Great Lakes Myth Society and more!
Oct. 29 — Fall Fest @ Kalamazoo College with Natural Monuments and more TBA!
Oct. 29 — The Silent Years (CD release/Halloween party) @ Gracie’s Underground in Ferndale
Oct. 31 — Those Transatlantics, Child Bite @ Rubbles in Mt. Pleasant (18+)

Yeah, so that's pretty much a show a day for the whole month (with the exception of the period between Oct. 22 and Oct. 25, which I belive is around the time of midterms at MSU. I say I believe because I am an excellent and informed student). Oct. 6 is the most popular day, so good luck making up your minds if you're not already going to see Wilco in East Lansing.

This is going to be an excellent month for shows, and I look forward to seeing your smiling faces at many of them.

PS If you know of a show that's not on the list and should be, leave a comment, and I'll either add it in or make a separate post about it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Hard Lessons, Anathallo, Thunderbirds Are Now! ("Make History" CD release party) at The Magic Stick, 9/23/06

TODAY, ON A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE OF "JUST HAIRCUTS AND JACKETS": Special guest camera Nikon D100 of “Erik’s Photojournalism Class” stops by the blog while working on an assignment about motion and shutter speed. Also starring The Hard Lessons, Anathallo and Thunderbirds Are Now!

Motion blurring: Use a slower shutter speed to show the movement of a subject. For example, showing the path of one Ryan Allen of Thunderbirds Are Now! bounding between his microphone and the back of the stage.

Use a similarly slow speed to capture the movement of drumsticks, such as in these photos of The Anvil and Matt Rickle.

Handclaps are essential to Anathallo’s best songs, and make for a decent motion shot of frontman Matt Joynt as well.

Stop action: Use a faster shutter speed to freeze a moment in time. Like when The Hards are totally rockin’ out.

Scott Allen of TAN! may prove to be a difficult subject at a faster shutter. His jumps and dance moves will probably elude the novice photog (i.e. Erik). Wait until he gets back to the keyboards and snap a shot as he returns to ground from a shorter leap.

Having successfully captured the unbridled energy of three premier Michigan bands, just take some good photos to document another awesome show (even if you were too far away during Anathallo’s set), a most genuinely party-like CD release party (sorry I ran out of memory before the TAN! encore, which featured an Augie-fied “Eat This City” and a mobbed-stage rendition of “Make History”) and a fond hometown farewell to Thunderbirds bassist Howard Chang.

Nikon D100 out!

The Hard Lessons
Upcoming Michigan Shows:
Oct. 6 — University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
Oct. 7 — Darkhorse Brewing Company in Marshall w/ Island View Drive
Oct. 19 — Albion Coffee House in Albion w/ Island View Drive
Oct. 21 — Hartland Performing Arts Center w/ Island View Drive, The Honour Recital, Tips, Vega, Fenn, Monte, My Friend Rudra, Fuller

Upcoming Michigan Shows:
Dec. 9 — The Magic Stick in Detroit, w/ Page France, Javelins and Those Transatlantics

Thunderbirds Are Now!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Canada at The Temple Club, 9/14/06 plus Canada, The Word Play and El Boxeo ("Awake and Dreaming" release party), 9/16/06

If it's possible to love Canada (the band as well as the country) too much, than Just Haircuts and Jackets is guilty as charged.

Now look at this picture and try to convince me that's a bad thing:

To be a successful live band, you have to want it. And Canada fucking want it. You can't pull off the kinds of splits Aaron Saul was pulling off Thursday night — while playing the melodica, mind you — if you don't.

EDIT: I need more of their cover of Dylan's "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol," which was the highlight of Thursday's set and the kick-off to Saturday night's festivities. All the soaring chorus you'd expect from the band, coupled with meandering verses OF BOB DYLAN (I'm an idiot and I didn't realize this was a Dylan song. Extra idiotness because this song is on one of the Dylan records I own, but don't listen to very often. Thanks for pointing out my faux pas).

The Word Play word played well, but Annie was socializing during their set, so there's no pics. You'll get the full Haircuts and Jackets treatment soon, gentlemen. Just make sure you bring Tina with you again.

Having had El Boxeo's Awake and Dreaming on a near-constant loop since receiving it in August, I was most anxious to hear how the songs played out live. It's just one of those records where I imagine the music wasn't played by musicians, but instead fell from the sky and got put to tape.

Well, there are in fact musicians behind Awake and Dreaming, and they put on one hell of a live show. They also have the coolest dancing mascots imaginable (though I missed the Child Bite mascots at The Magic Stick, so I don't know how accurate that statement is).

Their set was all about the new record, starting with a wonderfullly nightmarish rendition of "Chopping Up Vampires." The way the ghostumbrellajellyfish shimmied to that one, you could tell you were in for nothing but good. Every nuance of the record was hit in the performance, even if some of the vocalists seemed a little under-rehearsed.

Upcoming Michigan shows:
Upcoming Michigan shows:
Friday, Sept. 29 — Hell's Half Mile Fest, Masonic Temple in Bay City w/ The End of an Era, The Nice Device, Clear Days Always, The Esperantos.
Saturday, Oct. 7 — The Barking Tuna Fest, The State Theater in Kalamazoo w/ Spank Rock and RJD2.

The Word Play

El Boxeo
Upcoming Michigan shows:
Fri. Sept. 22 — John Krohn's mystery house in Lansing
Sat. Sept. 30 — Benefit for the Neutral Zone at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor w/ The Avatars, Dabenport, Virgil Waters

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

TAN! on Stereogum! Canada on Allmusic! Exclamation points everywhere!

I guess it's kind of a big day for Michigan bands on the interwebs.

Example one: the almighty Stereogum featured the new video for "We Win (Ha Ha)" by Thunderbirds Are Now!.
They've got the mp3 of the song too! Apparently the Javelins invasion of TAN! continues, as Julian is playing bass for them in the video. I'm still not totally sold on the Thunderbirds, so I'm hoping they win me over at their CD release at The Magic Stick this Saturday (Anathallo and The Hard Lessons need not be concerned, obvs).

Example two: Canada was in the new release newsletter
It's been available for a while, but today was the official in-store-day-of-release for This Cursed House, and so I was surprised and pleased to see a thumbnail of the cover in my cluttered inbox along with Fergie, Lupe Fiasco and Ben Kweller. Cool beans, Canadians!

Thunderbirds Are Now!
Upcoming Michigan shows:
Saturday, Sept. 23 — The Magic Stick in Detroit w/ Anathallo, The Hard Lessons and Stylex.

Upcoming Michigan shows:
Friday, Sept. 29 — Hell's Half Mile Fest, Masonic Temple in Bay City w/ The End of an Era, The Nice Device, Clear Days Always, The Esperantos and more.
Saturday, Oct. 7 — The Barking Tuna Fest, The State Theater in Kalamazoo w/ Spank Rock and RJD2.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A preamble, of sorts

This is to be an electronic love letter to the Michigan independent music scene, circa 2006, forged out of appreciation and adoration of the groups, people, places and songs that have made it what it is.

For what it’s worth, the seeds that yielded Haircuts and Jackets are hundreds of one-inch-button-depictions of the Mitten State, clearly the coolest looking of the fifty states. Picking one up at what may or may not be the final backyard anti-bacchanalia known as Madisonfest, I realized that the most important thing about Michigan music is that the only locale it’s tied to is the state itself. There’s no one city producing great music, it’s several cities, some not even cities at all. It’s not only Detroit or Ann Arbor or Flint, it’s Mount Pleasant and Livonia, Ferndale and Fenton.

Alec Jensen at Madison Fest

Great Lakes Myth Society at Madison Fest

Zach Curd at Madison Fest

Midwesterners are often praised for their humility and down-to-earth demeanors, and this is reflected in the state’s music. You can see it in the collective spirit of bands like Anathallo, Canada or The Mighty Narwhale, whose membership numbers cancel out any possibility for egotistical posturing from their members. You can hear it in the everyman observations of The Pop Project. You can feel it from The Hard Lessons, who project stone-cold cool from the stage but remain inconceivably friendly and approachable off it.

Canada vs. Mason Proper at Ann Arbor Ear Fair, July 2006

The Hard Lessons at Mac's Bar, July 2006

Javelins at The Magic Stick, August 2006

I was watching Javelins at a disappointingly-empty Magic Stick when I leaned over to my partner in concert-going, Annie Moss, and told her we needed to start a blog about this stuff. Annie had been taking pictures of her latest musical discoveries all summer while I was writing about similar experiences in the pages of The State News. It was decided we should combine our efforts into something that could communicate the greatness of what was happening right down the road — or highway — from where we lived.

Just Haircuts and Jackets is that something.

Canada at Mac's Bar, June 2006

Mason Proper at The Blind Pig, July 2006

Mason Proper at Ann Arbor Ear Fair, July 2006

Joiya at Small's, August 2006

Canada at The Lager House, August 2006

All apologies for the pretension (it’s possible it might get worse),
Erik Adams