Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's the Great Pumpkin, Just Haircuts and Jackets! (The Pop Project, Chris Bathgate, The City on Film, Those Transatlantics and Child Bite)

Well it would appear another Halloween has come and gone. Candy was eaten, booze was drank and non-creative females everywhere affixed “sexy” to things that weren’t and already were “sexy” (a girl at the Blind Pig totally asked me if she could buy my the hat from my Lincoln Continental costumes so she could be Sexy Abe Lincoln).

To commemorate Just Haircuts and Jackets' first Halloween, here’s the first-ever Just Haircuts and Jackets Halloween Costume Constest!

Most Committed to Costume: Chris Hatfield of Those Transatlantics as Hunter S. Thompson

Dude had the good doctor of journalism’s act DOWN, greeting much of the crowd at Rubbles with a gruff yell of “BASTARDS!” It didn’t carry over to the stage, but if he was acting as twisted as Hunter, there’s no way he could pull off all those keyboard runs.

Most Elaborate Costume: Mike Spence of Those Transatlantics as a ZOMBIE!!!!!

BRAAAAINS!!!! Seriously, I didn’t know who the undead creature hanging around with the Trannies was until he put a guitar on. Extra points for Sam Raimi-worthy use of fake blood.

Best Costumed Cover: Tie, Weezer’s “The Good Life” as performed by The Pop Project and The Beatles’ “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” as performed by Those Transatlantics

When I heard The Pop Project was going to play Pinkerton in its entirety, I flipped out. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say Weezer’s sophomore disc is one of my all-time favorites, and the Pop Project boys certainly did it justice — even while staging an instrumental Chinese fire drill. I shouted along to “The Good Life” like the 17-year-old Rivers Cuomo devotee that I still kind of am.

Don’t know if you can tell it from the guitar breakdown in “I, Avalanche,” the “ooh ahhs” in “To the Editor” or 80 percent of “I Had An Idea, But I Left It At Home,” but Those Transatlantics have a thing for The Fab Four. They opened up their Hallow’s Eve set at Rubbles with not one, but two songs from the mop-topped Liverpudlians’ studio-only days — “I Want You (She’s So Heavy) being the other. So pitch-perfect it was almost a let down when they started playing their own stuff (almost).

Most Popular Costume: Freddie Mercury

A survey Headline News broadcast the other day said this year’s two most popular costumes were witches and pirates. Well, in Just Haircuts and Jackets Land, flamboyant mustachioed frontmen outnumbered sorceresses and buccaneers 2 to 0 to 0.

Not that it was much of a stretch — The City On Film’s Bob Nanna was playing stripped-down acoustic Queen covers, and Child Bite’s Shawn Knight always kind of looks like The Game-era Freddie. Bob’s costume may have hinged on a fake mustache, but fake mustaches are awesome and hilarious, so no complaints here.

Best costume accessory: Light-up Weezer =W=, handcrafted by Adam Kempa

Post-Pinkerton conversation:
Me: Hey Adam, what are you doing with the W?
Adam Kempa: It's going in my basement!

Most Earth-shattering non-costumed, non-cover set: Chris Bathgate

Apparently Chris was saying at the Half-Ass Halloween show that he doesn't know if he'll ever be able to top his Thursday set at The Blind Pig. It was a little slow to start with, but I can totally see where he’s coming from.

Thus concludes the Just Haircuts and Jackets Costume Contest. Congratulations to the winners. I'm sure they'll cherish this honor for years to come.

Heads up for the November gig calendar in the next few days!

The Pop Project
Web site

Chris Bathgate

The City on Film

Those Transatlantics
Web site
Upcoming Michigan Shows:
Dec. 9 — The Magic Stick in Detroit with Anathallo, Page France and Javelins

Child Bite
Web site
Upcoming Michigan Shows:
Nov. 17 — The JAMC in Jackson with Lone Wolf and Cub and Zoos of Berlin
Nov. 18 — House show with Man at Arms and Abner Trio (more info to come)
Nov. 22 — The Lager House in Detroit with Thunderbirds Are Now! and Lee Marvin Computer Arm


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know, there are more than a half dozen bands in this town.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Just Haircuts and Jackets said...

First off, it's not about any town. It's about the entire state.

Secondly, no shit. But these are the bands that have happened to catch our attention in the TWO MONTHS the blog has been operating. We could have tried to cover every possible local show in those sixty days, but we would have also failed out of school.

Lastly, if you're going to make a dig, have the courage to leave your name.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Zach N. said...

Totally, did you not notice the list of 30 or so bands (with links) on the main page?

Come on, anonymous detractor.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come no sexy leprechaun awards were given out?

1:38 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Maybe Anonymous is in Rootstand.

Tell us about the Halfass show!

Report from CMJ: best Canada "Hexenhaus" on record last night, with Chris Bathgate, Mason Proper, and others joining in. James Iha was also spotted among the audience members.

Tonight begins the Chris Bathgate shadow-CMJ triple-crown. And maybe we can make it to Mason Proper, too.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Just Haircuts and Jackets said...

brandon you are making me jealous. and SO happy! yay for amazing Michigan bands at CMJ
annie m.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Photos and video coming, of course. Obviously. And even more surprises that Bathgate can tell you about.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a dig, just voicing my disappointment that there's not more variety in your coverage. That your coverage is "about the entire state" does little to convince me that this isn't just some repetitive strokefest. Ann Arbor having the best "fests" of all time? Please. Just think of all of the shows you miss because you want to cover some Canada gig for the fifth time.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Just Haircuts and Jackets said...

well by all means, please inform us of any shows you recommend. we are always on the lookout for interesting shows to fill in our concert calendar.
oh, also: for the record, i've seen canada 7 times total, not 5. i'm just saying.
~annie moss

8:13 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Indeed, Anony... what bands are you diggin' on? I think we all know about what we know about and find out about and don't do uber-exhaustive research on everything everywhere in every genre.

Admittedly, we are all constrained by our tastes, as well. Annie and Erik, like me, I think, tend to lean toward indie-pop-rock-folk-whatever. Not a lot of metal or garage-rock or jazz coverage here... but that's another scene and some othe blog somewhere is probably writing about such things. That's the nature of it I suppose...

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your thoughtful answers. Believe me, I'm not trying to diss your blog, but constantly see the musical attention in this town going to the indie-folky-rock-country-whatever folks. Mr. Bathgate is incredibly talented and a gifted songwriter, but there's also a big electronic scene around the Moodgadget label (Ghostly have set their sets beyond Michigan, and even America, and have lost a bit of the local flavor, in my opinion) as well as the experimental folks hanging around the Dreamland Theater in Ypsilanti. I guess I'm a bit tired of rock bands and solo singer-songwriters. Let's fox guitars, I say. Let's fox mandolins, I say. I suppose it's fair to admit that my issues aren't necessarily with your coverage, but with the incestuous nature of local music. I've seen Chris Bathgate, Michael Beauchamp, Matt Jones, Misty Lyn, Collette Alexander and company in every conceivable combination. All very talented folks, but it's not too long before one starts to get antsy.

I appreciated the variety in Actual Bird's sets, think Pat Elkins is quite refreshing, love Drafted by Minotaurs, Jib Kidder (an ex-pat, of course), Benoit Pioulard, Starling Electric, Ronen, Confusion Reactor, Red Light Chamber Choir, the Amoeba Kids, Gyrovagi (awesome!), etc.

As for my name, it's really unimportant, as I don't know any of you personally, nor am I in a band embittered by a lack of attention.

Just my two cents.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Word. Not my blog, in any case.

Yeah, Benoit Pioulard is doing very well with the new record-- my housemate here in NYC is a big electro guy... I come home the other day, he's all excited about some new CDs he bought... one of which is this dude from around town back in Ann Arbor. Amazing.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not up on the electronic scene much... I felt bad as there was this whole Ghostly/Moodgadget scene that I couldn't ever get much into (did like Dykehouse and Midwest Product a lot)... it was a big deal in that town, but definitely never got my arms around it that well, even though I knew a lot of the folks involved (Jakub Alexander, Jeremy Peters, others).

As for a lot of the other stuff you mentioned, I know these kids like Starling Electric for sure. I effing love Pat Elkins and Dustin and Sean and I've also put Drafted by Minotaurs and Amoeba Kids on bills. I think you'll find any "incest" spreads beyond the folks you mentioned in the first group and into the second grouping you put forth, though-- MC Trashpedal is now playing with Bathgate, Colette w/ Drafted by Minotaurs, Bathgate often played w/ Actual Birds... I think it's all a much bigger, connected scene spreading across genres. It ain't incest, it's one big multi-stranded music community with more strands growing all the time. And it's fucking great.

You've stumped me, anyway, on 3 acts you mention though. I'll have to look into Confusion Reactor, Red Light Chamber Choir, and Gyrovagi.

[P.S. Annie and Erik, sorry for totally taking over your blog. I'm overeager at times]

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more pedantry, just info:

Confusion Reactor features Tom Barton, proprietor of the Dreamland Theater. Gyrovagi is Misha Grey, RLCC features Zak and Sierra from The Ugly Mug, as well as some other Ypsi kids who live across the street. They're all online (cough, myspace).

11:51 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...


Are you sure I don't know you? I'd probably at least recognize you. Only so many people are up on a lot of the acts you mention... a lot of its the old Totally Awesome House community, mostly now centered in Ypsi, it seems.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Just Haircuts and Jackets said...

Mr. Anonymous:

First of all, thank you for commenting at all. I always wish we would get more comments to see if people even read this blog.

I do completely understand where you are coming from- Brandon is right, Erik and I are very much in love with the whole indie-folk-pop thing right now, and that is clearly reflected in Just Haircuts and Jackets. One of the first guidelines that Erik and I set for this blog was to stay away from any negative “reviews.” We think that (in regards to this blog), if we don’t have anything nice to say we better not say anything at all. I have seen several bands of non indie-pop persuasion, and to be honest, I have not yet been impressed. But I do really appreciate your suggestions of future bands to check out, and I intend to look into them.

I KNOW there are a plethora of talented musicians in the whole state of Michigan. Erik and I are just trying to navigate our way through them, and share our experiences with those of you who read this. Thank you for your feedback.

And, Brandon- never apologize for writing comments, I absolutely adore them.

annie moss

3:37 PM  

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