Friday, August 24, 2007


Guess what, fellow Michiganders?!? September is JhaJ's birthday month! We've been bloggin' our hearts out for about a year now, and in recognition of this, we've decided to put together a showcase of Michigan bands to perform at the Elbow Room in Ypsi. So, mark your calendars for Saturday, September 22, and come check out some lovely music from around the state.

jhaj show
(HUGE thanks to Jon Cendrowski for making this awesome poster. You're gettin' a buncha PBRs from me.)

For our first bar-venue based JHaJ showcase, I wanted to book bands that we really haven't covered much. I dug back into my concert memory reserves and I came up with 4 bands; each that I've only had the chance to see perform once, but who made a really great impression. We're bringing musicians from ALL over the mitten state to the Elbow Room, offering up a smorgasbord of music and performance styles, hopefully providing kick-ass night of music-making awesomeness. A few thoughts and details of our beloved Showcase performers:

Zoos of Berlin (Detroit, MI)
Zoos has thus far been a well-kept JHaJ secret. Erik and I have been huge fans for a while, but haven't had many opportunities to check them out in concert. They've got groovy vocals and keyboards, and the one time I saw them in concert, they pulled out horns and strings and blew me away with their sound. Have you listened to their “Century Rail” Demo? IT IS SO AMAZING. I'm thrilled to have Zoos of Berlin as our headlining act for the JHaJ showcase.

Starling Electric (Ann Arbor, MI)
In no parallel OR non-parallel universe could I out-wit Erik's description of Starling Electric: “Glammed-out baroque and psych stomp of the highest order,” (because, honestly, who could weave words better than that??). These guys decorate their stage with string lights and acrylic foliage, and are seriously engaging performers. Rest assured you won't see another band like Starling Electric unless you get your hands on a time machine.

Elm From Arm (Ann Arbor, MI)
I'm already a huge fan of Matt Jones, and I love his dual personalities as acoustic singer/songwriter AND front man of a synth-flavored jam-rock-band. The one time caught Elm From Arm in concert, right away I knew this was a band to be excited about. These guys are great performers with a lot of energy and their music pulls off unique orchestration and exceedingly interesting lyrics. Also, let's hope they play their full-band version of “Threadlines”- already a great song, but the electric guitar and keyboard rifts take this song to a whole new level.

Sycamore Smith (Marquette, MI)
Sycamore has been entertaining northern Michigan audiences with witty narrative for the past several years after splitting from the duo, The Muldoons. I was first introduced to the music of Sycamore Smith at Keweenawesomefest in Houghton, MI last February, and his kazoo-clad performance was captivating. The artist (albeit in third person) claims, “his scribblings focus on the gruesomely funny exploits of dip-shit characters whose twisted histories unfold over the course of countless interconnected songs.” I've also heard him referred to as “the heart-throb of the UP.” So we're incredibly lucky to have him traveling down to Ypsi for our show.

The specs:

JHaJ Birthday Showcase, featuring:
Zoos of Berlin
Starling Electric
Elm From Arm
Sycamore Smith

The Elbow Room, Ypsi
Doors at 9:30

Bring lots of friends.

annie m.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, remember the secret show back in May? I just talked to Al on the phone and he asked me if I'd yet seen the video footage of that night.

"No," I said.

"Oh, well I put some of it up on the Quack website."

I remember getting really too drunk for my own good, and I know I wasn't the only one, but now, anyone who's interested, can take a gander and see how drunk we all were. That was a fun night.

Go here to see Misty and Jim performing beautifully, see me constantly (and drunkenly) messing up a cover of Matt Jones's "Right to Arms," and Jamie and Tania kicking out "Isabella County, 1992," also, it seems, while everyone was drunk, drunk, drunk.


1:47 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Free Sycamore sonks!

7:55 AM  
Blogger Just Haircuts and Jackets said...

thank you so much for that link greg! that was honestly one of my favorite shows this year.

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