Saturday, October 28, 2006

Horror at the Halfass w/ The Mighty Narwhale, Mason Proper and Johnny Headband

I missed 2/3 of this show...which really sucks because from what I heard, there were lots of fun Halloween surprises including a scary cover of "Monster Mash" (The Mighty Narwhale) and a Visgerian vampire attack (Mason Proper).

However, I did make it to the Halfass (a really enjoyable venue by the way) in time to see Johnny Headband. Let me simply say this: there were synchronized dance moves, and one of the brothers broke into interpretive dance in the middle of the audience. It was amazing. Go to their website and watch a music video. It will do the band more justice than my words ever will.

The Mighty Narwhale
Upcoming MI Shows
Nov. 6- Rockstar Cafe, Kalamazoo w/ Ghost Mice, Matty Popchart!
Dec. 9- The Break Room, Grand Rapids w/ Winnie Cooper, Bear Hugs

Mason Proper
Upcoming MI Shows
Nov. 30- The Intersection, Grand Rapids w/ Tokyo Police Club
Dec. 1- Saucy Dogs, Jonesville

Johnny Headband
Upcoming MI Shows
Nov. 17- Magic Bag, Ferndale w/ The Paybacks, SSM
Nov. 24- Kraftbrau, Kalamazoo w/ The Hard Lessons
Dec. 16- Magic Stick, Detroit CD RELEASE PARTY!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Arbourfest 3 @ Arbour Vitae, 10/21/06

It would seem that Ann Arbor and only Ann Arbor does justice to the suffix “-fest.” Oktoberfest? Bah. Lobsterfest? Kids’ stuff compared to A Squared’s multi-act, genre-spanning hullabaloos like Madison Fest and Arbourfest.

Held this Saturday, Arbourfest 3 was a daunting evening of music. The acts were incredibly varied — a little bit of glitchy electronics (Ronen Goldstein), some indie-folk (Canada), some noisy indie-folk (the usually sedate Chris Bathgate), a dash of pop-rock (The Dardanelles) and not one, but two bluegrass acts (Orpheum Bell and Frontier Ruckus).

I arrived around 7:30 p.m. I left somewhere between the hours of 3 and 4 a.m.
Here’s what I saw and heard:

The members of Frontier Ruckus were concerned about going on after the aesthetically-similar Orpheum Bell, but it made for a much easier transition into the Ruckus than it was the night before at We Rock, You Decide.

Comparing the two sets now, I think the performance was all the better for it — even if some tempos were pushed to near-calamitous bpms.

Arbour Vitae’s a great place, but when you pack as many people in there as were there on Saturday, it makes for some uncomfortable viewing. Thus I missed out on both Misty Lynn and most of Chris Bathgate in favor of not getting squashed against the loft’s innumerable collegiate artifacts.

I did step into the sound loft to catch “The Last Parade” which I love on a regular basis but especially loved with full-and-messy band accompaniment. There’s a swell in the song when he plays it by himself, but I feel like it doesn’t reach its full potential without a little feedback and horn action.

Canada came on at an absolutely ungodly hour, the lateness of their set perhaps best exemplified by “Magic Sunglasses” Ryan’s inspiredly slap-happy drumming.

A spectacular set as-per-usual from the Canadians, but definitely pushed over the edge of bestness by cymbal fills where once-were-no-cymbals-fills.

Wish these kids good luck as they explore the outer reaches of the continent with Headlights, and assure them that travelling by van is totally safe.

Friday, October 20, 2006

It's alright Ma, I'm only liveblogging …

Hello internets,
We're at Oade's Hidden Camel right now — awkwardly named bar, no? — and I'm stealing wireless internet to bring you the first ever Just Haircuts and Jackets liveblog.

The Grey Line is playing as I type. They haven't done anything to really grab my attention yet.

Mason Proper just played, and they really are just as awesome as Annie says they are. If you're one of the ten people she hasn't told about Mason Proper, allow me to tell you that they possess a manic onstage energy that is utilized by too few performers.

Frontier Ruckus up next. I'm really excited because I haven't seen them since they blew away the competition at this year's MSU Battle of the Bands. Looking forward to hearing the newer material that will be on their upcoming record, which, as I have heard through the grape vine is an ear-catching blend of their bluegrass roots and Elephant 6-ish leanings. I've said it before and I'll say it again — give me a little singing saw and you've got my allegiance for life. For life.

Pictures later. Annie doesn't travel with her USB cord, so we're not going to sink to the incredible low of posting and uploading pictures while still at the show.

Ancourage and Mason Proper opening for The Appleseed Cast at the Blind Pig 10/19/06

Ancourage played a good opening set, although they seemed to be a little nervous playing in front of the large-ish Blind Pig audience. I'm anxious to see them play again though, they had a pretty decent sound.


New Songs = so exciting (I'm ready to hear "Moth Redux" but REALLY excited for their sophomore album, hopefully coming out sometime next year on their new label, Dovecote Records).
New Drummer = fits right into the oblong Mason Proper mold.

The first time I saw Mason Proper perform, I fell hard and fast. The performance energy this band emits is electrifying; you simply cannot take your eyes off these guys when they are playing and thrashing around the stage. Their songs are addicting, the lyrics ranging from unexplainable and bizarre to existentially beautiful. And on top of being incredibly talented and hardworking musicians, Mason Proper is a group of really great people.

I am, obviously, fond of all the bands I chose to support. However, Mason Proper has a very special place in my mitten-shaped heart. Go listen to their music, see them perform. I promise it will be worth your time; you'll probably adopt them as your new favorite band.


Mason Proper

Upcoming Michigan Shows:
Oct. 20- We Rock: You Decide! at Oades Hidden Camel in Lansing w/ The Satin Peaches, Frontier Ruckus, The Pantones and many more
Oct. 27- ALL AGES HORROR at The Halfass in Ann Arbor w/ Johnny Headband and Mighty Narwhale.
Nov. 30- The Intersection in Grand Rapids w/ Tokyo Police Club
Dec. 1- Saucy Dogs in Jonesville

Annie (I'm not a writer!) Moss

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"We Rock, You Decide" — Still On!

Hey, guess what? Despite the demise of The Temple Club, this

is still happening.


Live music + democratic responsibility + free = you better be there.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Temple … DEAD!

Disturbing news out of Lansing tonight, as an e-mail announcement sounds the belly-upping of The Temple Club. No official word on what happened, other than incredibly vague murmurings of "financial problems."

This sucks. I've never been much of a fan of The Temple Club — way too echo-y in The Grand Room — but it has been essential to my last three-plus years in East Lansing. Hell, the first time I ever went there was to see a triple-header of The Hard Lessons, The Sights and The Dirtbombs.

What is to become of Lansing now? Can Mac's shoulder the burden for the entire city? Will they start booking good shows again some time soon? How long can The Litter Box stay open? Are there any horse socks?

For being such an uneven venue, this sure has knocked the wind out of my sails

R.I.P. Temple Club. Somebody pour out a can of PBR for our fallen homey.

file photo from Lansing State Journal

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Matt Jones/Chris Bathgate, Rescue at The Litter Box, Oct. 14

Mmmm... I love house shows. Casual, comfortable, friendly. Saturday's show at the Litterbox in Lansing didn't disappoint. Despite a few minor technical difficulties (certain equipment getting unplugged during a rush to the kitchen for liquid refreshments), the show was just fantastic.

Matt and Chris complemented each other very well playing and singing together for their set. These are two of the most amazing songwriters I've heard recently, and it was great to hear a combined repertoire.

(There was also a guest appearance by a strange little Halloween gnome)

If you haven't heard the music of Chris Bathgate, go listen immediately. His voice is so … .

I will admit, when I last saw Rescue back in February, I didn't love the music. However their performance last night TOTALLY hooked me. The new songs they played from the upcoming record (released on Suburban Sprawl Music) sound amazing. Sexy vocals. Energetic performers. I'm all about this band right now.

Be sure to check out these bands in the next few weeks before they both head out on tour.

annie moss

Matt Jones

Chris Bathgate
Upcoming Michigan Shows
Oct 21- ArbourFest 3 in Ann Arbor w/ Virgil Walters, Frontier Ruckus, Canada and more.
Oct 26- The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor w/ The Pop Project and Lazy Sunday

Upcoming Michigan Shows
EDIT: (obviously this is a little late in the game, but just to keep the info correct...)
Oct 16- Kraftbrau in Kalamazoo w/ Sah, Spit for Athena
Oct 17- Tour Kickoff Show at The Belmont in Hamtramck w/The Beatings, The Phage and Shadiamond Le Freedom

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Child Bite at The A.C. Rich Building in Pontiac, 10/7/06

Don't let this candid pre-set shot of Child Bite fool you. If you're heading out to see the finest fuzzed-out punk freakshow in the Sub Sprawl canon, know the possibility exists for all of the following visuals:

a)short shorts

b)papier mâché-headed mascots that appear to be refugees from a Bizarro World version of America's Thanksgiving Day Parade (PS That's the best picture I could find of what has always been my favorite part of said parade)

c)dude butt (it's not in this picture, but if that cyclops turned around, you'd see it)

Weird is very hard to do in the realm of rock — it's difficult to be a little zany and fun while still giving people a reason to listen besides being zany and fun. Through the whole Child Bite set at the A.C. Rich on Saturday, I kept having flashbacks to a very early video of Devo that I've seen where the band is wearing monkey masks and playing some very dense and clearly improvised synth-noise.

I wouldn't toss off a Devo comparison, which is to say the Child Bite set was way better than that grainy primate footage.

I've used to many synonyms for the word "weird" a lot in this post, and I like Child Bite way too much to portray them as just "that weird band." They may sound like "the minituarization scene from Innerspace" but they'll make you shake like you'd never thought you'd shake before (or after or during).

I'd also like to give a shout-out to The A.C. Rich Building for being the first venue that has ever made me think "I wish I lived here." Also for providing a delicious, delicious keg.

Child Bite
Web site

Upcoming Michigan Shows:
Oct. 31 — Rubbles in Mt. Pleasant with Those Transatlantics
Nov. 18 — Somewhere in Royal Oak with Man At Arms, Abner Trio
Nov. 20 — The Lager House in Detroit with Thunderbirds Are Now!, Lee Marvin Computer Arm

Sunday, October 08, 2006

October 6, 2006. Those Transatlantics. Rubbles, Mt. Pleasant.

Lots of home-town love.
The band said a bitter-sweet goodbye to Brian.
Those Transatlantics were made to play live. Much fuller sound, which I love.
Kate was unbelievably sexy.

I’m very excited to see this band play with Childbite on Halloween. That is going to be a night to remember.

annie moss.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

He hate Mich.

So I'm really not trying to sound all OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS WTF with post, but …


And the worst thing is this is the second time this year the same critic has written a review like this about a Michigan band.

I don't mean to sound like a Great Lakes State isolationist or start any sort of war between the states, but I don't think a writer from Chicago can fully get either of these bands at this point. He wasn't introduced to Canada in the backyard of the Madison House. His first taste of the "Hanasakajijii" suite didn't come from a friend's iPod. All he's got to work from are the CDs and press materials. But it is really disheartening to see a writer for something as big as Pitchfork take a massive critical shit on a copule of the best thing Michigan has going right now.

But you know he's wrong, so balance out the negativity by continuing your support of these bands. And give them a hug next time you see them. They deserve it.

Upcoming Michigan shows:
Saturday, Oct. 7 — The Barking Tuna Fest, The State Theater in Kalamazoo w/ Spank Rock and RJD2.

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

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Warm and Fuzzy evening in Lansing- Love from Annie Moss

Saturday, September 30. Magdalena’s Tea House, Lansing, MI. Friendly, comfortable, intimate, loving. ‘Twas the atmosphere on Saturday night when I attended a small acoustic show with an amazing lineup. I was only able to stay for two sets- Ian Saylor (of The Rants) and Dave Lawson (of The Pop Project, Next Door Neighbors, and many others).

Both played stellar sets. Let’s just say Saturday night pretty much encapsulated everything that I love about the whole Michigan indie music thing. Many thanks to John Krohn for organizing this event and for helping to keep Lansing a prominent arts locale in the Mitten.