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The View From Nowhere

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The most perfect bar stool. This is such a postmodern kind of thing. Likel'vesaid before, it's no fun seeing a good band in a bad club. Likewise, when you're on the quest for the perfect night, the perfect band, just the right level of blood alcohol, et. al., one important factor is where you SIT. Next to the stage is out - ringing ears, bad mix of sound, and you have to scream your order to your waitress . Sitting at the bar is nice, but in most clubs you have to TURN your head to face the band, and then turn BACK to sip your drink. While this is acceptable, of course, it doesn't add to the sum that adds up to the perfect club experience. The perfect seat. 111 teil you my personal favorite though as soon as this appears in print I know I'm going to be sorry as heil. The ultímate barstool seat for rock and roll is at - drum roll - The Tap Room in downtown Ypsilanti. When you walk into this Michigan Avenue blues club, near the front door, the antique, mahogany bar curves at the end and there are actually TWO seats where you can drink your Molson Ice, gaze down the leng th of the bar, catch a perfectly unobstructed view of the stage at the far end of the rectangular shaped room. and listen to a well-mixed (as in guitarbassdrumsvocal mix) and a usually powerful talented rock and roll outfit. It's perfect for people-watching as they pay the cover charge, the bartender can be flagged down in an instant, and you can turn around and piek up a copy of AGENDA to read during the breaks in the action. Rock and roll barroom listening perfection. Of course this only works for one and at the max, two club hoppers, but ... On a night when someone like Steve Nardella and his trio is bopping away, the place is packed and the beer is cold, this is soit of what rock and roll is all about. Just make sure you get up when I want to sit down. One Of The Reasons We Love Ann Arbor So Much: It's way too easy to take the Sunday night Bluestage jam session at the Blind Pig for granted, but the A2 cultural point of light is celebrating its third anniversary this month (Sunday, October 1 3th). Masterminded by blues guyWCBN "Nothin' But The Blues" icon Jerry Mack, the Bluestage is the main focal point for the rich and huge local blues music scène. But, if you were lucky enough to have been one of the 50 beer drinkers to be hanging out at the Pig the Sunday after the killer Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, you got to see a scorching set by the legendary Luther Allison. Backed by locáis Scott Morgan on guitar, All Hill on keyboards, and Dale Midas on harp, Mr. Allison rocked the bar un til last cali. Short Notes Not to be Andy Rooney or anything but the departure of the Ann Arbor News pop writer Jill Hamilton has left a gap in that Newhouse Newspaper chain's coverage of local rock and roll. We still get the world class coverage of blues and jazz from writer Michael G. Nastos, but it's hard to believe original rock and pop doesn't deserve more than a few badly tossed together blurbs, and NO recent reviews of local CDs. Wise up. The CD reviewed in The View From Nowhere back in July , "Robert Bradley 's Blackwater Surprise" is finally out on RCA and should not be missed. A mind blowing explosión of Motown Stax inspired r & b by this 46-year-old blind blues singer is a masterpiece of gutting ripping soul and with his current tourofNY, Chicago, Colorado and points west, Detroiter Bradley won't be playing busking gigs at the Eastern Market for much longer. A couple of years back, in a Time magazine article on the Seattle rock and roll scène, the writer made an I'm-so-much-hipper-than-you smart-ass remark that pondered the next wave of American pop music by a dripping-with-sarcasm remark: "Who knows, the next big scène might even come out of ... Toledo." Well, not to sound anti-elitist or anything, but the soul of rock and roll is more likely to be found in a dive Toledo bar than in the pages of a Time magazine article written by (most likely) some out of touch clown who lives in Manhattan. One of Toledo' s hipper, imaginad ve bands, Tomorrow's Clown (who make occasional trips to A2) has a fascinating new CD, "Voices, Visions, Guidance, Religión" and it's a mix of pop, voices, FM radio guitars and Frank Zappa humor that is a fine piece of rock and roll art rock (for lack of a better term). The band, fronted by singerwriters Jim Leslie and Larry Fish, tosses in rambling guitar lines, sweet vocal harmonies, touches of soothing acoustic guitar chords that is ready made for listening to with a set of great headphones. But Tomorrow' s Clown is not folk rock. There' s a funk aura, a sense that every note is planned, orchestrated and charted that gives rise to the fact this band knows exactly what they want to do. What they want to do is make smart guitar pop for the masses. This is not music for English majors or cappucino sipping. It's music for smarter rock and roll lovers from real American cities . . . like Toledo The View From Nowhere, AGENDA, 220 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104 or email to:


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