Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Year-End Spectacular!!!!!

And so we come to Just Haircuts and Jackets’ first year-end entry, and like any blog worth its weight in tubes, we've got lists! Annie and I have both chosen to highlight some of our favorite moments from the year that was — she focusing on the live shows we’ve covered (and a few we didn’t) and I choosing some recorded minutia on top of shows. Hope you enjoy the lists, and thanks for making 2006 great! We’ll see you in the New Year (or when I post the Mitten Fest pics and entry, whichever comes first).

Annie's #10: The Recital, Zach Curd, El Boxeo at The A.C. Rich Building, Pontiac, 11/4/06
The guys (+ Lisa and Kate!) in Sub Sprawl bands never cease to put on really fun shows. This night at AC Rich was a perfect evening of supportive friends and heartfelt music. Zach Curd played on a real piano and I loved it.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Erik's #10: Anathallo at Lollapalooza, 8/4/06
As a Michigander, you couldn’t help but swell like a balloon full of pride as our very own chanting and clapping folkees took the Playstation Stage at Perry Farrell’s “big, beautiful show” (the balloon thing at the end of “Entropy” works way better on a larger, outdoor stage, in case you’re wondering). Anathallo: Mitten State ambassadors to the alternative music world-at-large.

Annie's #9: Rescue at The Litter Box, Lansing, 10/14/06
I wasn't a huge fan of Rescue until I saw them perform songs from their most recent album at The Litter Box. Paranoid has completely won me over and is one of my favorite Michigan albums of the year.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Erik's #9: The chorus of “Cold Mouse Winter” by Canada
Does anybody else scream-sing along to this part like Annie and I do? It’s pretty simple; you can probably pick it up in the midst of your first listen. Better question: Does the band mind that we’re screaming this part at them?

Annie's #8: Canada, Javelins at Mac's Bar, 6/25/06
This was the first time I had seen either of these bands perform. Neither performance was the best I've seen from the bands, BUT this show began two of my very detailed love affairs.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
(my favorite picture of 2006!)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Erik's #8: Child Bite at The A.C. Rich Building, 10/7/06
Citizens of the future will look upon the city of Pontiac in wonder as the only city in (what was once) Michigan that managed to withstand several atomic blasts. Archeologists will be particularly puzzled by the strange stains on the floor of the A.C. Rich, but when they consult the ancient tool known as the Internet, they’ll know what caused them: mutant ball sweat from the Child Bite Cyclops.

Annie's #7: Anathallo, "A Great Wind More Ash" at the Magic Stick, Detroit, 12/9/06
This song is already one of my favorite Anathallo songs, hearing it live was incredible. I managed to sneak onto the side of the Magic Stick stage, and upon encouragement from a friend, I crept closer to the band to take pictures. I was RIGHT NEXT to the spastic drummer! I couldn't hear myself think, I could only feel the song being performed. It was fucking unreal.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Erik's #7: The fluttering flute on “Chopping Up Vampires” by El Boxeo
This song scares the hell out of me and I love it. It’s a ride of terror from the droning strings and unintelligible vocals in the opening to the very last chop of overdriven bass, but it reaches full frightening capacity around the 3:28 mark. Listen to it with headphones on to hear the flute flit through your head like a ghost (or a jellyfish. Or a jellyfish-ghost. Either way it’s made out of an umbrella).

Annie's #6: Joiya and The Word Play at Small's, Hamtramck, 8/3/06
This was the first time I'd ever seen The Word Play and was totally impressed. I was completely in awe of the drummer (Brandon Szomak)…the music was non-stop! Joiya's Sometimes Is and Kinda was my summer soundtrack, and hearing "June/July" and "Sleep for a Week" played live was SO satisfying. Especially when Dave Lawson hopped up on stage and contributed his wonderful vocal harmonies and human-music stand trick. I don't think I stopped smiling the entire night.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Erik's #6: “Oh Zach, you’ll never understand this violent bloody revolution”
What has two thumbs and a fondness for band members having in-song conversation? THIS GUY! The Pop Project’s “Hearts and Flowers” is insanely catchy, but this little line of self-conscious smack talk is what gets lodged in my brain each and every time.

Annie's #5: Mason Proper at Mac's Bar, Lansing, 6/12/06
Annie Moss was introduced to the genius of Mason Proper. Momentous occasion. After Mason Proper played for 30 seconds, I turned to my concert buddy and said, "I LOVE this band." I think my mouth might have been gaping open during their entire performance. It was awe inspiring.

Erik's #5: The Hard Lessons Post-Christmas Blowout, The Magic Stick, 12/26/06
A late entry, having just occurred yesterday. I didn’t want to blog about this one, I just wanted to sell merch (which I really love doing, if anyone out there ever needs a merch guy), talk to people and make private observation of what was clearly the biggest ticket in Detroit in the waning days of 2006. There were Santas, beautifully cheesy family portraits, Child Bite, Great Lakes Myth Society, The Satin Peaches and a performance from The Hards that left me remarking to people afterwards, “They’re going to be the biggest fucking band in the entire world.” Hopefully the first of a long-running post-Christmas tradition.

Annie's #4: Chris Bathgate and The Pop Project "Halloween Covers" show at The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor. 10/26/06
This was Chris Bathgate's absolute best performance, his band sounded AMAZING. I'd had a hard time deciding whether I prefer "Dreamland Theatre/Acoustic Bathgate" or "ArbourFest/Big Band Bathgate;" however, after witnessing this breathtaking Blind Pig show, it was official: Matt Jones's drums, MC Trashpedal's noises and the rest of Chris' buddies create the ultimate Chris Bathgate experience. ALSO that night was the infamous Pop Project cover of Pinkerton. One of my favorite albums, some of my favorite performers — such a great time. There was a lot of love onstage that night between The Pop Project and the glory of Weezer. Magic!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Erik's #4: The a cappella chorus from “Across the Bridge” by Great Lakes Myth Society
Having never crossed the Mackinac Bridge, I can’t rightly say if it is as liberating as GLMS makes it sound. I can tell you, however, that when they hit this part in concert, I feel like I could run all the way to St. Ignace, no problem.

Annie's #3: Mason Proper, The Mighty Narwhale and Starling Electric at the Blind Pig, Ann Arbor. 6/29/06
This was my first taste of The Mighty Narwhale and Starling Electric (yum!). AND it happened to be the best Mason Proper performance I've seen. This evening also produced some of my very favorite photographs from 2006.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Erik's #3: Hearing “Boys and Children Sing for Summer” by Those Transatlantics for the first time
Ivy couldn’t believe I had never heard Those Transatlantics, and such was her incredulity that she gave me a copy of Knocked Out (sorry guys, I have a real copy now!). I was walking down Grand River one day when I thought I’d give the band a listen. Spring was on the brink of springing, the sun was shining bright; finger-picked guitar, glockenspiel and sugar-sweet harmonies never had better weather accompaniment. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, the song doubles back on itself and launches into a tirade of guitar soloing that I figured had been banished from Indie Rock Land. I really wish they would do an outro more like that in the live setting.

Annie's #2: Detroit Summer Smash at The Lager House, Detroit. 8/24/06
The Best Show Of The Year. Best performances by Canada and Great Lakes Myth Society that I've ever seen. About one year back from that night, Canada played its very first show with GLMS (at the Lager House I think!), and it was apparent that all the musicians felt the magic of that nostalgia. This evening also produced the name and solidified concept for Just Haircuts and Jackets. Erik and I had the best night ever.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Erik's #2: “The Last Parade on Ann Street” by Chris Bathgate
Holy crap. Hoooooooooooooly crap. All apologies to Annie, but I think I’ve officially decided that as choice as extensive overdubbing and big noisy bands are, Chris’s finest song is at its most heart wringing when it’s just that dreamy voice and some contemplative strums. Never end a relationship, move anywhere, graduate from school, euthanize a pet or sell a beloved childhood keepsake on eBay without first listening to this song (then buy Chris’s record with the money you make off said keepsake).

Annie's #1: Madison Fest at Madison House, Ann Arbor, 8/18-20/06
Where it all began. I was just completely overwhelmed by the amount of talent and love involved in the Michigan indie music scene. I had seen and enjoyed many local concerts throughout my previous year in MI, but it wasn't until Madison Fest that I really fell in LOVE with our collection of Michigan music.

Erik's #1: Madison Fest
Yes, it’s an obvious choice for number one, but we wouldn’t be writing these top ten lists if it wasn’t for these three days in the backyard of a rental house in Ann Arbor. It was in that backyard where I was first wowed by Canada, Great Lakes Myth Society and Chris Bathgate. It was in that backyard where I first witnessed Zach Curd over-explaining his songs before he played them. It was in that backyard where I was convinced — for approximately twenty minutes — that I should propose marriage to Betty Marie Barnes.

In short — and this is where the drooling is really going to begin — it was a transformative experience. At the beginning of summer 2006, I thought something special was happening with the music in this state. By the end of August 20, 2006, I knew there was something special happening with the music in this state.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

More favorite photos:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Those Transatlantics

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Mason Proper

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Chris Bathgate and Matt Jones

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The Hard Lessons

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Internets love Benoît Pioulard

In the continuing adventures of one of Ann Arbor's most beloved electronic sons, All Music has added Benoît Pioulard (neé Thomas Meluch) to its list of hot artists.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Brandon Zwagerman and Mittenfest in the Metro Times

While flipping through the Metro Times this evening, I ran across a familiar face, that of Madisonfest mastermind and Just Haircuts and Jackets' most appreciated commenter, Brandon Zwagerman. Brandon and his latest projecct Mittenfest got a lovely little Loftus-penned write-up, touching on the origins of the events (Brandon's desire to put on a show while home for the holidays) and its philanthropic goals (raising scratch for nonprofit tutoring and writing center 826michigan).

And that reminds me … everyone who's reading this should go to Mittenfest (you can still go see Child Bite later in the evening, and catch the daytime Mittenfest acts)!

Here be the lineup (organized in two acts, like a play!)

02:10-02:40 EMILY BATE
02:50-03:20 NEED-BASED PAINT
04:50-05:20 THE VICTROLAS

06:10-06:20 SANTA & RUDOLPH

06:30-07:00 PATRICK ELKINS
07:10-07:40 JIM ROLL
07:50-08:20 MISTY LYN
08:30-09:00 MATT JONES
09:50-10:20 FRED THOMAS
10:30-11:00 ACTUAL BIRDS

Hope to see you there (and you know you will be there),

Monday, December 18, 2006

December/January Show Calendar and more

-My my it's been a long time; sorry about that. But we're in full swing now and nothing can stop us (nothing short of another academic onslaught). Here's the combined list of shows for the rest of December plus the first month of 2007!

Dec. 22 — Detroit Sounds and Spirits with Blanche, Thunderbirds Are Now!, The Hard Lessons, Johnny Headband, New Grenada, Sirens, Sunshine Doray, The Go, The Muldoons, Sean Hoen (The Holy Fire), American Mars, Porchsleeper, Tragedians, Jarron Champion Sleeps ‘til Dusk, Marcie and Esquire, Ether Aura, Nightmoves, Windy & Carl at The Magic Stick
Dec. 22 — Chris Bathgate, Eric Kelly, Greg McIntosh at Tap Room Annex in Ypsi
Dec. 23 — Mittenfest featuring Chris Bathgate, Joiya, Frontier Ruckus, Jim Roll, Fred Thomas, Actual Birds, Patrick Elkins, Matt Jones, Misty Lyn, Need Based Paint, Emily Jane Powers, Santa & Rudolph, Karl Sturk, The Victrolas at The Corner Brewery in Ypsi
Dec. 23 — Child Bite, Syscrusher, Abner Trio at Mac’s
Dec. 26 — The Hard Lessons, Great Lakes Myth Society, Child Bite, Stylex at The
Magic Stick
Dec. 27 — Chris Bathgate, Matt Jones, Misty Lyn, Frontier Ruckus on WCBN 88.3 FM in Ann Arbor
Dec. 28 — The Mighty Narwhale, Mavericks & Monarchs, Actual Birds, Bear Hugs at Skelletones
Dec. 30 — Chris Bathgate, Frontier Ruckus, Misty Lyn, Matt Jones at The Blind Pig
Dec. 31 — The Bang! 4th Annual New Year’s Eve Bash at the Blind Pig
Dec. 31 — NOMO, Jamie Register Project at Leopold Bros. in Ann Arbor
Jan. 4 — El Boxeo, Penguins in Antarctica, Holinshed at The Painted Lady in Hamtramck
Jan. 4 — The Dardanelles, The Satin Peaches, Porsches on the Autobahn at The Blind Pig
Jan. 4 — Lone Wold and Cub (LAST SHOW EVER!!!), The Word Play, God and the Architects at The JMAC
Jan. 7 — Annie Palmer, Real Live Tigers, Buster, Almus Magnus at The CornDog in Ypsi
Jan. 9 — Natural Monuments, Travis Kingma Band at
Jan. 11 — Starling Electric, The Silent Years, The Satin Peaches at The Blind Pig
Jan. 12 — Brandon Wiard and the Saviors, The Bitter Inks at Corktown Tavern in Detroit
Jan. 12 — Canada, Great Lakes Myth Society at The Lager House
Jan. 12 — Chris Bathgate, Spitzer Space Telescope and Videotape at The Painted Lady
Jan. 13 — The Pop Project, Syscrusher, New Grenada at The Lager House
Jan. 18 — The Pop Project, Mason Proper, The Satin Peaches at The Blind Pig
Jan. 19 — Frontier Ruckus, The Salt Miners and Misty Lyn at The Halfass
Jan. 20 — The Hard Lessons at The Blind Pig
Jan. 20 — Child Bite, Human Reunion at The Lager House
Jan. 20 — Chris Bathgate, Frontier Ruckus A Story Told at Magdalena’s Tea House
Jan. 26 — Chris Bathgate at Albion Coffee House
Jan. 27 — Brandon Wiard and the Saviors, The Silent Years, Satin Peaches at The Halfass
Jan. 27 – Annie Palmer, Tone and Niche, Todd Deatherage, Perhapsy, The Bitter Inks, The Low Hello, The 77’s at The Elbow Room (art show, too!)
Jan. 27 — Electric Six at The Blind Pig

-If that last-show-ever notice from Lone Wolf and Cub has you feeling down, I would like to point you in the direction of the Jan. 27 show at The Elbow Room, particularly in the direction of Ann Arbor-based Perhapsy. I caught these kids at a local battle of the bands this weekend, and was completely blown away by their sweeping instrumentals. If there’s anyone capable of filling the Lone Wolf-shaped hole that’s going to be left in the Michigan scene on Jan. 4, it’s Perhapsy

-The High Strung have signed to a new label! After getting royally screwed over by Future Farmer Recordings, the band was picked up by Park The Van Records, who will be re-releasing their sophomore disc, 2005’s Moxie Bravo, in February — with four bonus tracks — and their third record, Get the Guests, in May. The band will celebrate the re-launch of Moxie Bravo with a show on Feb. 9 at the Magic Stick.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Congrats to the boys from Detroit

Rolling Stone’s top 40th album of the year:
Make History- Thunderbirds Are Now!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Making up for lost time

December is proving to be one of the busiest months Just Haircuts and Jackets has seen yet! This entry is going to cover a lot: so gentle readers continue on to the end! Michigan is having a good season so far…

El Boxeo at the Panopticon in Lansing, 12/1/06
The Panopticon has been hosting shows for a few months now, and it was a good venue for El Boxeo. With no vocal amplification, the band played a mostly instrumental set (characteristic of these Livonians), with the exception of a big group sing-along for the final song, “Tons.” Quirky as always, bassist Zach Norton brightened up the dark and damp basement venue with a balloon-adorned shirt. It provided new bass-playing challenges, but the band rose to the occasion and played a great set.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

El Boxeo

The Panopticon

Those Transatlantics, Javelins, Anathallo and Page France at the Magic Stick in Detroit, 12/9/06
The Magic Stick was well populated, which was a very pleasant surprise.

I unfortunately missed Those Transatlantics.

Javelins played for the first time in several months, and unearthed some new songs which was really exciting. (Due to my late arrival, I wasn’t able to get anywhere near the stage and could not adequately photograph the band)

Page France had spent the day recording with Canada for an upcoming split. The Canadians were invited to the stage for Page France’s final song; lots of clapping, loud singing, hand drumming, an unexpected visitor, smiles and laughs ensued. I think Canada has found its sister band, it was a great combination. Keep on the lookout for recordings and possible tour dates from the French Canadians.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Anathallo was magical. Hearing “A Great Wind More Ash” played live was breathtaking. We’re happy to have this band back in Michigan, at least for a little while.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Those Transatlantics

Suburban Sprawl Music’s 2006 Holiday Compilation is here! And it’s fantastic! You can listen to the entire album on Suburban Sprawl’s website along with songs from previous years.

12/12/06- Benoit Pioulard was Spin.Com’s Band of the Day!

Mark your 2007 calendars for the Keweenawesomefest. 2 days of music (Feb. 23-24) in Houghton, MI. Bands already booked include: Matt Jones, Misty Lyn, Gregory McIntosh, MC Trashpedal and The Mighty Narwhale. Check the myspace page often- many bands are trying to get into this festival!


Finally, Erik and I would like to announce our collaboration with the Ann Arbor based music website, Celestial Biscuit, beginning in January. We’ll be contributing abbreviated versions of our Ann Arbor/Ypsi concert coverage to the site. So be sure to check out Celestial Biscuit for info on the Ann Arbor/Ypsi music scene!

Celestial Biscuit

Well there you have it. Check back soon for an end of the year concert calendar (it’s an overwhelming list!), and some of our favorite highlights from the past year. 2007 looks incredibly promising for Michigan music. We’ve got our laptops, cameras and (most importantly) ears ready.

Happy Holidays!
annie moss

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Untitled because there's too much to do …

Finals have descended upon Michigan State University. There are a million things that need to be posted right now, but that probably won't happen until the shit storm of projects and exams ends sometime in the middle of this week. So expect the show calendar, an interview with Lansing-based mover and shaker John Krohn and other things later than sooner. Sorry.