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"the View From Nowhere"

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One of the thlngs you need to leam about what goes on with music In thls sacred soon-to-be-nationallydlscovered creatlve metropolls that we cali Ann Arbor, is that unless you pay really really close attentlon (read every artlcle, hang out in every club and cappuccino spot until last cali and grab each and eveiy cd, tape, or vinyl piece of product in the local music bins) you could very well miss out on somethingyou shouldn'L Harms Way and Larry Miller's Gordon Gigantic are at opposite ends of the local rock and roll universe butboth could be classic examples of thingsyou may notknowaboutbutshould. Harms Way will probably piss you off. That's the point, stupid. The band's new two song tape - "Down In The Mix" and "Ballistics" is as obnoxious as heil, loud and proud, and mixes grunge punky guitars with rapper style vocals in a Michigan midwestem kick-ass sort of way that leaves pretenders like the Beastie Boys in the dusL Thls band hates you, they want you dead - end of discussion. It's your white boy rockers who love ear-breaking, loud rock and roll Just as much as they love the passion of African-American street rap. This cross-cultural combo is unfortunately a rare thing in A2 and is another reason to celébrate this great new single. Go out a buy a copy of this baby. . .you're sure as heil not going to hear it on the radio. Larry Miller has been in loads of quirky pop bands over the years from the original lineup of Destroy AU Monsters to Nonflctlon, the Empty Set and most recently LarynxZilllon's Novelty Shop. With his new tape and band, "Gordon Gigantic," Miller returns to his 1960s-ish pop roots on ñve perfect songs. On the tune "Same Boat," the singerguitarist sounds llke a true American original with a breathtaklng guitar solo and a vocal flre that brlngs to mind John Lennon. On every song the guitar RINGS and soars, whlle maintainlng a familiar pop-tune structure. But thls isnt retro music - not at all. It belongs on the radio, programmed between Pearl Jam and the Gin Blossoms. Why Larry Miller has gone so undiscovered for so long is one of the Great Mysteries of Life. Perhaps with Gordon Gigantic this won't be the case for much longer. Speaking of radio airplay, kudos to WIQB-FM for have the visión and class to add BOTH The Holy Cows and Kiss Me Screaming cuts to their music rotatlon. Whlle I must admlt it's strange as heil to hear Khalid Hanifl followed by the Rolling Stones or the Cows next to Tom Petty, this is a major breakthrough and the new station owners deserve much praise. While we all know you won't be hearing WIG or Morsel on the station any time soon (until they both chart . .) maybe this is the start of atrend. Let's hope so. NoteTo WIQB: Ifyou want a perfect third track check out The Deterants CD "Hows My Drivtng." Almost any track wül do. The flood of ccol local music releases on the Schoolklds' Records label sometlmes means that one or two may get lost In the shuffle there as welL One of those, "Carlbbean Casino," by Trinldad-born guitanst Steve Springer is worth checking out A hot blend of pop, steel drum and calypso rhythms, Springer is just the soundtrack forhangingoutatthebeach, drivlngaround in a convertible or drinking rum on a hot aftemoon. For a taste, the band (named afterer the CD) Is playing Friday afterncon happy hour for the month of April at The Tap Room In Ypsilanti. There's no cover charge and In between sets you can pump quarters lnto one of the best juke boxes around. I heard it through the grapevlne. Word is that Something's Brewing, the upcoming brewpub that replaces the Washington Street Station and a new coffee house on South University, NAC (for Not Another Cafe- get ir?) will both be featurlng live musicon occasion. Keepyourfingerscrossed. Sigh. It's never healthy to live in the past, but be sure to light a candle on April 13th for the 1 Oth (yes It's been 1 0 years) anniversary of the closing of the all time best dive bartrend-setung music club Ann Arbor has everseen: Joe'sStar Lounge. fTruth In Joumalism Note: For the record, I was a "music consultant" at Joe's which meant I helped with booking bands, drove hip rock stars down to WCBN for interviews and spent WAY too much money on the juke box. . .) While the club's owner, Joe Tfboni , still has a hand in booking the basement shows at Cava Java (and for thisyou should light a candle as well) , The Starwas a perfect textbook case of how to opérate a local music venue. While the focus was the best of Ann Arbor's rock-and-roll and rootsbased bands, Joe's Star was also the home of most every touring natlonal act of import duringthe 1980saswell- with cheap ticket shows from the likes of Sonic Youth, REM, Big Joe Turner, Los Lobos, Mose AUison, The Replacements, and countless others. The ultímate music club must have the owner's name in the ütle, cheap drinks, a rundown locatlon thafs one step ahead of abulldozer, and someone running the show with a passion for rock and roll. Joe's Star Lounge had all of the above and even after ten years, still stands as an example of the way RIP. lisa Waterbury Alert In case youVe been reading inferior entertainment guides andor have extreme short-term memory loss, singersongwriter Lisa Waterbury's two tapes- "Dying In This World Of Heil: Parts 1 and 2"- were the most intense pieces of low key rock and roll angst to emerge from this area in a mighty long time ("Part 1" was my favorite release of 1994). Waterbury's music will take your soul to an entlrely new plane of existence with the mix of pain, humor, and redemptlon. With the flood of local press and on the streetword of mouth, Ms. Waterbury won't remaln such a secret much longer. Two gigs happen this month - a free showatSchoolkids' Records on Thursday April 20th (at 7 pm) and the next night, Friday April 21st at all-ages venue, Tlie Green Room, in downtown Ypsilanti, where she opens for the equally fascinaüng duo, Breech (with another cool singersongwriter MissyGibson). Comewitness a legend in the making. The fourth issue of "Michigan Music Monthly," a ccoperaOve newsletter devoted to local bands is out and worth tracking down. Stow Children At Play seems to be in charge of the project but the eight-page mag is a well-deslgned and well-written example of what the local music scène can do when itunites. Copies can befoundatSchoolktds', RJ.'s and an the usual hipster hangouts. The end. Don 't forget: The View From Nowhere, AGENDA, 220 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor MI, 48104. Send stuff.


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