Featuring footage Christian Anderson and I shot for a filmmakers’ series called Hand Shakes, here’s a backstage/ onstage pass to a Lee Fields show we attended in Portland. Truth be told, we weren’t prepared for the type of access we were given by the band (Lee and his Expressions) but we made the best of it. The result, hopefully, conveys the type of excitement and all-out energy you can expect from any given Lee Fields outing.
We gotta give it up for local hip hop twosome and twenty twelve Kresge Artist Fellows PASSALACQUA. Their latest video for “Been A Minute” is a sweet sendoff to what was most certainly a sublime summer in the city. Check out the video below (and make sure to hit the HD) to take in the great work of Director Andy Miller and Producer Amanda LeClaire.
Who remembers the 90s?
Who remembers Record Store lines at midnight?
Who remembers Z Cavariccis?
OK, just checking.
The internet has certainly made us all lazy.
However, I’m pretty sure, if given the choice, former Prussians turned Jamaican Queens Adam Pressley and Ryan Spencer would turn back time for sake of the new release romance. Being that we’re stuck in the digital age though, we’ll have to settle for a midnight download followed by a comment party and a share.
By the way, how fucked up is it that the two video links within this post existed simultaneously in 1991? The 90s were so confusing.
Check em out here and then buy them you cheap ass trick -
…Carson Daly actually gets his musical tips from Single Barrel Detroit. Please, hold the TRL jokes.
And while you’re at it, check out the single Chelsea’s Calling from The Hounds Below forthcoming album here.
Rodriguez continues to defy odds. Amidst an up and (mostly) down career that has spanned over 5 decades, the now 70-year-old performer made his network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman last night. Equipped with a full orchestra behind him, and in support of the new critically acclaimed documentary chronicling the quest of two South African die hard fans to find the truth about the ever elusive artist, Sixto Diaz (Jesus) Rodriguez is finally getting the attention he has always deserved.
Watch the performance below and marvel at the cold fact that life can sometimes be a bitch, but it’s never too late to gain that second wind.
Check out the official trailer for “Searching for Sugar Man” from director Malik Bendjelloul. As of yet, the film is screening in select cities and locally it’s premiering at the Main Art in Royal Oak, MI on August 10.
It’s the HEAT WAVE edition of our Liner Notes series and this time we’re lucky enough to have some brand new music to share. Have a listen to the latest recording from our friends, Computer Perfection, then be sure to let Gene take you on a trip through the sparks of influence in this synth-swirled summer song.
A room-sized supercomputer named Agnes falls in love with her programmer, a dorky computer scientist. Agnes needs Serious Love. It’s a Twilight Zone episode from 1964.
Ray Bradbury just died. In his story, I Sing the Body Electric!, he describes a replacement animatronic grandmother as having the tune of a beehive on a warm summer’s day. This is the sound we tried to get for Bem’s voice.
If there was a video for this song, maybe it would be influenced by the work of Émile Cohl. Simplistic, animated line drawings that continuously curl into one another as the story progresses.
OMD – Enola Gay, synths and digital rotoscoping mean a lot to us.
Benjamin Orr (The Cars) fronted songs + The La’s chime, not The Byrds.
*Computer Perfection is Bem, Burgundy, Corduroy, McFever, and Trajano
There’s been some great video work coming out of Detroit lately. Check out a few videos by some familiar faces and like the hell out of them.
Came across this awesome flyer for Lee Fields’ record release party for Faithful Man.
Thinking back upon the city of Detroit one may be reminded of industry, progress and factorization. Upon visiting the city today one will see that the world that once existed is no longer a presence. Detroit is a shell; a stale memory of a former home to those who wanted to build a new beginning. In the summers Detroit is reminded of its past but it is a fleeting and seasonal experience. After getting an urban taste it is back on I-75 and straight to the suburbs.
In I Have Always Been a Dreamer, Director/Producer Sabine Gruffat showcases the city from a unique angle that we have not yet seen before. When viewed in comparison to other Detroit inspired films many things are made obvious. Whereas most Detroit films focus on the squalor and dilapidation of the city, Gruffat seems to have been on a very different mission. Starting with the slow pan of the upper stories of the buildings the city almost creates the illusion of life. The buildings exude an element of power all on their own. The 16mm images help to create a timeless image of the city. The buildings still stand after over half of a century of vacancy, waiting, as if refusing to accept their fate.
In the film certain comparisons are made to the ever-expanding and growing city of Dubai. Referred to as a utopia and dream like world, the city of Dubai is a Mecca of modern architecture. As was Detroit, Dubai is being built on dreams. The luxurious buildings offer an oasis in an otherwise barren land. With infinity pools and towering spires the city feels like an illusion. As the film recognizes, there is an almost ethereal vibe based around a theme park atmosphere.
The correlation between Dubai’s themed ideals and the father of Detroit, Henry Ford, is after consideration quite curious. Henry Ford, much like the modern architects and developers of Dubai had an idea in mind. They each wanted to create a place where dreams could not only live but flourish and reproduce. Henry Ford bred the idea of factorization and was successful at not only encouraging the growth of the city but also of forerunning the start of harsh Americanization. One can only speculate about the nature of these establishments. The film suggests that this cycle of a false dream can only stretch so far.
In order to compare Dubai to Detroit it is necessary to put everything into context. These “development booms” have an entire century between them. Is it fair to assume that if Henry Ford built his dream village today that it would have been like the developments of Dubai? As previously stated such theories are only up for speculation. Maybe Dubai is the modern Detroit; a façade of greatness under a shortsighted plan of grandeur. None could talk Ford down. He was a man with a plan and more importantly he had what the whole world wanted. Now the world wants a slice of Dubai and the paradise it has to offer. Such a film based upon the harvesting of dreams lends a new perspective of Detroit. We are accustomed to seeing the films that show of the despair, misfortune, and shelled out structures but never before has the city and its history been portrayed as a premonition of the future. We look at Detroit and ask ourselves what happened. We ask why we couldn’t and can’t fix it. We start to compare it to ancient ruins and market the abandonment and encourage fallen urban discovery. This film tells us to keep Detroit’s past and present in mind. It begs the question of unnatural growth at an aggressive rate. When Ford expanded there were not enough people to support the dream but he continued to mass-produce. Now Dubai is built on hopes. The luxury lofts are built in hopes that thousands will want to inhabit them.
One must take history into account when planning the future. There is much to be learned from our predecessors and precursors of industry. Much has been built and much has fallen. Detroit has fallen much harder than most modern cities and has not yet risen to even half of its previous splendor. One would never wish this fate upon another city and all that we as onlookers can do is hope that Gruffat is loosely using the comparison of cities and will hopefully not be making a film about the death of Dubai.
- Candace O’Leary
I Have Always Been a Dreamer will be screened at four locations across the country, Detroit, Seattle, Madison and Chicago.
For a trailer of the film visit http://sabinegruffat.com/Dreamer.html
For more information about the Detroit viewing visit http://mocadetroit.org/upcomingevents.html
Good things are happening for Clear Soul Forces these days. Having just released their first LP back in March, and immediately thereafter making a successful and most promising trip to SxSW, yesterday Red Bull released the second installment of their Sound & Vision series – and guess who?
We’ll be premiering our own set of videos featuring Clear Soul Forces Saturday, but here’s a trailer in the meantime…
If those 4 words in the title sound like a match made in hip hop heaven, then please allow us to break it down(backwards) for you.
Detroit Ca$h Mob (yes, you have to spell it with the cash money dolla bill sign every time!) is not a throwback record label in the vein of Suge Knight. Nope, it’s a grassroots initiative originated by Photographer David Lewinski to spur local support of cool small businesses in the city on a bi-weekly basis. And that’s where the records come in. The 5th annual Record Store Day is this Saturday and Detroit has two great neighborhood stores to feed your vinyl cravings, so we conspired with David to organize the latest Ca$h Mob event around this increasingly important musical holiday. The locales: Hello Records on Trumbull in Corktown and Record Graveyard on Caniff in Hamtramck. Both shops will be having deals that day, 1/2 off all used albums at Hello and a $2 record deal at Graveyard.
What about the rappers, you say? We’re guessing you’ll get the hint from the teaser below, but lots more on that tomorrow. Until then, please RSVP at the link below and let’s spin some records, Detroit!
If you popped your head into Facebook over the last couple days, chances are you caught the release of Phantasmagoria‘s first track off their upcoming LP Currents. The track is called “Dunes” and takes its inspiration from one of our favorite spots in the mitten. Have a listen and hear about how it came to be straight from Lianna & Chris.
Lianna: “Dunes” is about the irony of human beings being so disconnected from nature. The fact that most of us don’t get to explore and adapt to the beauty and obstacles of the natural earth is a sad realization, but it also makes us appreciate and long for it. The lyrics were inspired by my second trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI. It’s only a five-hour drive from Detroit but most people I talk to have never been there, which is crazy to me.
The song may be one of our most upbeat songs but the meaning is actually kind of sad and nostalgic.
Chris: I made “Dunes” right after we’d gotten back from a camping trip with all our friends to Sleeping Bear Dunes. So naturally i think the song began to take shape based on some of those experiences. It sounded like ascending and descending through all planes of reality including the physical, such as climbing a Dune, or the auditory such as vibrations. Or simply finally reaching the peak and the momentary bliss and then relaxing, going for a nice swim.
Word is the album will drop in the summertime via Five Three, but until then, catch them on stage with Jr. Jr. at their Record Store Day show
*Artwork by Talon Wolf (<– click this!)
Here Lies the Lion is what Mick Bassett considers his “first true album” and we think it’s a fantastic sans-Marthas affair. We asked Mick to tell us about one of the more significant tracks on the long player and here’s what he had to say about “Savvy Again”:
“The #2 song on an album is a dangerous song to tangle with…it’s the radioactive yellow cake of the album and you have to pray to god you don’t drop that shit…you gotta get it right. usually people talk about the first song and grabbing attention and that’s true but if you can’t follow it up with a solid second you’ve wasted all your momentum – that’s why the #2 track might be even more important–it can solidify interest in the rest of the album or bring it crashing down. nobody wants to throw an album on just to skip the second track!
“Savvy” is the unofficial heart of Here Lies the Lion. It’s not a confessional declaration like an “On a Spaceship,” and isn’t overly concerned with real life but rather embodies the attitude of the album: that is a reclaiming of personality and swagger. I think of her as a kind of spirit that hangs over the album…she guides it through its catharsis until it’s ready to embark after “Fire and Wine” when that’s what you’re left with– an acceptance and completeness of the past and a hope for what will come. She is flawed but she moves with grace and she knows what she wants… she knows not everyone will agree but she’s accepted her truth and decides it’s time to take it. I’m not saying that’s me in any way, but i admire her and I think she can be learned from- that is the acceptance of one’s self and the audacity to pursue a vision fearlessly.”
~ Mick Bassett
**LIKE Mick here to stay in touch
LINER NOTES is a new series in which local artists share with us – in their own words – the stories, meanings and genesis of their songs.
So who better to toast this new adventure than story-stitching MC’s Mister and Blaksmith. Their track “Sunset City” has us wishing on the months ahead, and the video contains some serious – almost NSFW – timelapse skyline porn. And since you’re going to BLOWOUT this year (right?) you should plan to catch them at 10pm @ the PNA Lounge. Event details here. But enough from us, let’s hear it from them…
“Out of all the songs on Zebehazy Summer, “Sunset City” was the last song Bryan and I wrote. We were having a tough time coming up with a concept because the beat was so different. The pressure mounted as we came closer and closer to our release deadline.
Bryan went away for a weekend to Muskegon and came back inspired…He said that the title of the song came to him while afloat on Lake Michigan..as he watched the sunset, he thought…”this is Sunset City..city..city…city”.. Almost like he pulled the concept right out of the water. When he returned, we sparked some “Zebehazy” in his basement and got to writing.
As a two-man group, we don’t have too many songs where we trade verses back and forth but for this song Bryan and I wanted to make an effort.
I remember coming up with the first stanza: Pool parties, open wine bottles, stale peppermints, horse flies, talking-heads, talk about the deficit, apple pie moonshine, afternoon high, june, july, end, playing chess with friends…
Bryan followed: Deodato plays in a Woodbridge haze, Heat index at 108, I won’t shave, Late-night coney runs, barbecue Better Made’s, Valentine Vodka in the Paul Newman lemonade…
Each running lyric acting as a receptacle containing a memory from the summer (ie the apple pie moonshine that we drank while playing in North Carolina or DJ Erno The Inferno spinning Deodato records in his attic). Whereas the streaming rhyme pattern fits in the same vein as Soul Position’s “Candyland pt. 1“. ”
~ Brent (Blaksmith)
**We’ve also been told to be on the lookout for a remix produced by none other than Adam Pressley from new band Jamaican Queens (formerly of Ohtis/Prussia)
Album Prod By DJ Erno The Inferno.
Music video. Shot + Edited By Tony Katai
OK, so that title might be a little melodramatic in connection with the recent news that Prussia has decided to call it quits. These guys aren’t dying or anything. Their band is breaking up and they’re working on new projects – cool stuff from what I’ve heard so far. However, let’s admit that for those of us who had the pleasure to watch this band progress over the last 4(?) years, it’s hard not to be a little sad. Partially, this is because if you ever got the chance to see them play you’d know that it felt like you were part of something special. That feeling never went away, and I’m positive it’ll still be there, stronger than ever, for their final shows this weekend. But I guess another reason for the sadness might be how much we believed in them. Over the last year, it seemed impossible that this band that everyone held so dear in Detroit would not be equally embraced by the rest of the world (at least in the world of Indie). And yet, while that would’ve been nice for them of course, I realize it really wouldn’t matter much to me. In fact, I’m sure I’d feel a bit crazy and protective if they ended up on Conan, earning an even larger audience of screaming teenage girls.
But I’ll save the fancy speech and soliloquies (too late) for an actual writer. Here we make videos. Not always good ones, but sometimes decent ones that just never get seen. If in ten years someone were to ask me what our time and place in Detroit was like, and likewise what it was like to have a band such as Prussia making music around us, I could point to this video.
We had arranged for the band to play a few songs around the Russell Industrial Center – the freight elevator, the alleyway, the bathroom! – and that evening culminated with an intimate performance for family and friends inside the Silent Giants’ studio. Of course we had to complicate things by only using candlelight (which at the last minute meant we had to scrape together as many lanterns as we could find) so it’s a bit dark. However the outcome that evening was a Prussia show for their fans unlike any other.
Also, this has to be my absolute favorite version of this song.
Another bonus video for your digestion…
OHTIS was one of those bands that suckerpunched me and most of my friends when we first heard them. I still have never heard more honest lyrics in my entire life. Upon being introduced to OHTIS, I realized right away that Single Barrel Detroit couldn’t just be about filming Detroit artists. We had to make exceptions.
If you know anything about the band and what Sam Swinson often sung about, you’ll realize why we filmed this in an abandoned church. I had “visited” the church a couple days prior to us filming and, fuck, talk about a scary experience. Nothing is more creepy than exploring an old abandoned church (alone), and on top of that, there was so much stuff left there that didn’t make sense. It really was a disorienting experience. Old pictures and computers and children’s toys and Bibles, falling church pipes and a vacant pulpit. Everything was staring at me. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
The issue was that the day of the shoot it was raining, inside the building as well as out. That would have been cool if not for the fact that it was extremely dark as a result. Most of what we had planned to capture was impossible to film.
This video just barely got scrapped, partially because it was so dark, and also because there was a bit of interference on the microphones. However, watching it now and looking back I think it’s beautiful. Just Sam and Adam, as it often was. And it’s just like Sam to critique his performance with a “Meh” right after he’s managed to break your heart yet again.
p.s. My favorite part is seeing Sam’s breathe as he sings. Another really cold day.
Today we turn 3 years old! To celebrate, for the next few days we’ll be releasing a few outtake videos (one per day) that for one reason or another never saw light.
It just seems appropriate to start off with the very first shoot we ever embarked on.
Hard to believe but it was three years ago today that we convinced Charlene Kaye and bandmate Taryn Wood to follow us into the abandoned Lee Plaza Hotel for what would become the first installment in the Single Barrel Detroit series. We were always very fond of this particular video, but were forced to omit it from the original set for no better reason than we simply ran out of time when our website launched. After that, we just never got around to posting it.
What’s special about this video is that Charlene and Taryn didn’t even know they were being filmed at first. It was the end of the day, the temperature had dropped at least 10 degrees (which meant it was probably 10 degrees period) and we had asked Charlene just to mess around while we got some cool shots from across the roof. What ensued was an impromptu performance that truly captures the excitement of a spontaneous SBD film shoot. I love that you can see the cars on the Ambassador Bridge. I laugh when they laugh because I know they can’t feel the fingers playing their instruments. But in my opinion, the tail end is the best part. DP Mike Berlucchi managed to find some amazing shots of the city battling equally amazing silhouettes of Charlene.
Hope you enjoy.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. took a break from their tour to perform “Simple Girl” on Conan last night. Dressed to the nines, Josh got to display to all of TBS land his superior whistling skills and weirdo tele-microphone while Daniel bore a striking resemblance to that other guy in the commercials that aired in between.
Wow! Time flies. Nine months ago we told you about an ambitious cross-continent documentary undertaking from Mr. Philip Lauri of Detroit Lives! and camera compadre, Steve Oliver. We had high hopes, and based on the trailer below, it appears well worth the wait. Thankfully the tease is short-lived and you’ll be able to see the film in its entirety in less than a month at a premiere screening in the DIA’s Detroit Film Theatre (nice!). Follow the links below the video to purchase tickets and get more details on this much-anticipated film. See you there!
(not-so) Local music duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. placed in both Paste Magazine’s 50 Best Albums and 50 Best Songs of 2011 – an incredible feat for some homegrown talent. It’s a Corporate World was #6 on the list, while the single Nothing But Our Love came in at #14.
I know…rock lists are lame. But we can’t help but be excited for the Jr.’s and their success.
Charlie Slick crashes TEDxDetroit is the latest installment in our Tumbleweeds series.
Last week we met up with Charlie and Molly. They had no idea where we were taking them. In fact, the only information they were given was to bring whatever gear they could carry and to be ready to play. We learned a few things along the way such as … don’t send Charlie vague emails – he won’t respond. Also, it seems that Charlie has a unique way of critiquing art that could only be expected from a performer of his prowess.
Filmed and edited by Erin Curd. Sound by Andrew Smetek.
We hope you enjoy!
TEDxDetroit is a localized version of the annual TED event that invites creative minds to come together and share their ideas and talents.
For more information about TEDxDetroit visit http://tedxdetroit.com/
And for more of Charlie Slick’s musical inventions please head here: http://www.charlieslick.com/
Here are a couple of teasers also shot and edited by Erin Curd…
Some of you have already had the pleasure of hearing Prussia’s Poor English from end to end – a must if you want to experience this creation as the band intended.
For the rest us, Tuesday marks the day we can all have the full 11 tracks in our possession.
Any bets on what time they’ll take the stage that night?
Pt. 3 Tracklist:
1. Pretty Baby Don’t
3. Justin the Pornographer
*Cover artwork by Justin Ames (providing even more reason to buy the vinyl)
Pt. 2 has arrived!
Feast your ears on the second batch of Poor English HERE
Haven’t grabbed Pt.1 yet? Perfect! Download all eight tracks and then line them up in a row and press play.
Then be sure to watch this page as our film project with the band is set to go live at any moment.
Pt. 2 Tracklist:
What Am I Gonna Tell Your Mom?
Saint Elmo’s Fire Pt. 1
Saint Elmo’s Fire Pt. 2
*Cover artwork by Justin Ames
The first part of Prussia’s much anticipated Poor English is available now! Head over to http://prussia.bandcamp.com and pay-what-you-like for the download.
Poor English is a three part affair, and each will be available in 10″ vinyl + digital download for 7 american dollars.
Pt. 1 Tracklist:
*Cover artwork by Justin Ames
Take a trip with J. Anton Blatz and Rene Wymer as Chapter 6 in their Adventures close to home series finds them wide-eyed on the set of our upcoming Four Films project.
Enjoy the piece HERE and keep an ear turned for news on the release.
Illustration by Rene Wymer
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. – John F. Kennedy
We really enjoy this piece directed by Alex Gallegos. So should you.
What can Detroit learn from Lodz, Poland? Lots. And the multi-tasking and multi-talented positivity generator otherwise known as Philip Lauri and Detroit Lives! plans to bring that discovery to life. In collaboration with filmmaker Steven Oliver, DL! will burst open the dialogue around post-industrial cities by uncovering the connections between this once textile powerhouse of the Russian Empire and our very own Motown, USA.
We’ve kicked in and we encourage you to watch the video below, then head over to the project page on kickstarter and do the same.
Go Philip, Steven and DL!
Support the project here!
A while back we filmed legendary Motown Funk Brother Dennis Coffey onstage with Mayer Hawthorne at the Majestic Theatre. Thanks to STRUT and !K7 Records for putting this together. We hope you enjoy!
(onstage footage shot by Erin Cosens and Mike Berlucchi)
Look for Mr. Coffey’s new album, featuring a collection of great artists including Detroit’s own Mayer Hawthorne, Mick Collins (Dirtbombs) and Rachel Nagy (Detroit Cobras), dropping April 26 on STRUT.
Coming soon… BARS of GOLD vs. WILDCATTING…AMERICAN vs. LAFAYETTE CONEY…Pick your flavor.
The boys at Progress Report have been busy (we’ll spare you an unoriginal pun). Their album comes out this Friday, and to celebrate they’re throwing an album release party which will also serve as a kickoff for a month long tour. In addition to that, they have a new website which has already made friends with our website and wants to meet your website and produce little website spawn. The internet is so damn sexy that way.
The gentlemen(!!?!!) at Five Three Dial Tone Records did a great job of compiling a new record of all White Stripes covers done by some of the best of the local Detroit scene. We think it’s awesome and so should you. Word on the street is that they’ll be handing these out in cassette format at this year’s Blowout so try to get your hands on one before they run out.
In an effort to help lift one of our favorite Detroit bands to the point of national attention, we’ve decided to embark on an ambitious 2 month-long film project.
Its creation will feature the bountiful time, care and craft of many in Detroit’s artistic community and will be filmed at a richly-historic Detroit location.
We want to keep the mystery band a surprise for as long as we can…but we can give you a few clues: They are one of the most talented bands in the city – hands down, they’re unsigned, and they will soon be releasing their first ever studio album.
You can trust us on this one.
For more details on the project, please visit our KICKSTARTER page
We truly appreciate your help in spreading the word!
This is the first in our new series of spontaneous field trips with artists willing to go on an adventure with us in Detroit.
A surprise location.
A band armed with whatever gear they can grab.
A one-camera-crew there to capture a moment…however it goes.
filmed by Mike Berlucchi
edits by Patrick Duffy
photos by Jeremy Franchi
Photographer Cybelle Codish, who shot the stills for our Satin Peaches series, is having her work displayed at The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Read all about her recent successes!
D. Allie (United States of Mind) is getting the word out about his latest project Progress Report in an effort to help fund the album. We figured we’d let him tell you in his own words what they’re asking…
“Peace my people,
D. Allie here. Some of you may know that we have been running a kickstarter campaign for the last month to raise funding for our debut album and if you don’t know, now you know. There are rewards at each level of funding. For example, at $10 you get a copy of the album so this can really be considered a pre-purchase for the album. Furthermore, if you’re local to the Detroit area that also gets you free admission into the Album Release Party which will be March 25th @ The Magic Bag Theater. If you can donate or help spread word in any way at all words cannot describe the level of appreciation. Below are links to a Free Download of our 7 inch which we released late last year and a link to the music video for our lead single. I hope this message finds you all in good health. Thanks for all you have done for us thus far, and thanks in advance for all you may do.”
A collective effort out of Brooklyn NY, Green Screening is interested in redefining the music video while supplying their audience with a unique way of experiencing live music. By filming bands in front of a large – you guessed it – green screen, and adding visual stimulants later, you can experience a great band summiting Everest with guitars and foot pedals in tow. About a month back they featured Detroit’s own Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr in all their NASCAR glory. Check it out and then check out the behind-the-scenes of the production.
Following their outdoor performance in front of Michigan Central Station, we sat down with the band LIARS and discussed their latest album, the creative process, working in LA and possibly recording in Detroit! A special thanks to Chris Koltay and Sarah Vaughn.
filmed by Mike Berlucchi
second camera J. Groth
edits by Patrick Duffy
As one of the main musicians behind monster-contest-winning band The American Secrets, indie 5 piece The Great Fiction, and of course one half of sky’s-the-limit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., local artist Daniel Zott has most certainly had his hands full. On top of all the group action this year, he also added a trio of releases to his growing solo catalogue.
So I guess it only makes sense that we’d wake up early this morning and find yet another new release waiting for us in our inbox. This time, a seasonal gem, 13 Christmas classics that he’s made very much his own.
Here’s the message from Daniel himself:
I would like to give you a FREE gift for supporting my art this year.
Please visit my website http://www.danielzott.com to download it.
I made it last year as a gift for my fiancée and we didn’t want to keep it to ourselves. I hope it makes you smile, dance, and sing around the house and in your car this cold winter. Feel free to share it with your friends and family.
We attached a helmet cam to Detroiter Amy Kaherl to capture her journey. Read her sentiments below and check out the video cut by Philip Southern.
(photo courtesy of the Detroit Free Press)
Riding my bike in Tour de Troit seemed to be a no-brainer as I tend to ride as much as I can. I ride my bike in the city more than I drive and so it was fun to be a part of a group of over 3000 to ride for 30 miles around Detroit. I moved to Detroit this year after being outside of it for the last ten. I passed by my bars, restaurants, art projects, and even neighborhood. I went through parts of town I had never seen before and rode my bike over the Belle Isle Bridge, one of my favorite parts of the city. The ride was beautiful, the wind at times so strong. There were moments that I ran into friends and times when I rode it alone. I became recognizable because there were large pink feathers on top of my helmet coupled with a feather entwined rat tail.
Maybe I see the potential beyond the decay. I have become more alive, more self-assured, and more aware of myself and my neighbors in the short time I have lived here. I ride my bike. Create art within a community context. Play some records. Create Shenanigans. All in all it’s pretty fantastic.
The Tour de Troit celebrated it’s 9th annual cruise this year attracting over 3000 participants.
For more information please visit http://www.tour-de-troit.org/
After his screening in Montreal, French film Director, Florent Tillon traveled to Detroit with his film DETROIT WILD CITY. The film has received global attention and was recognized at the International Festival of Montreal. Tillon used his time spent in Detroit in 2008 and 2009 to capture what he viewed as the essential beauty of a real city. His memories, such as the trees that used to adorn the rooftop of the now deceased Lafayette Building and the people whom he met showed true signs of survival. Though released during a period where many other films are showcasing the “Urban Ruins”, Tillon’s approach sets his film apart from the others. When we sat down to talk about the film with Florent and his team of two (Assistant Director Francois Jacob and sound artist/recordist Helene Magne), it felt as though we were catching up on an old friendship, and the friendship was our city.
SBD: Lately Detroit has received much attention. It seems like some comparisons are being made between the Palladium Boots series, DETROIT LIVES and your body of work. What is your reaction to that?
FLORENT: It’s normal. Is the question what do I think of the other?
SBD: I suppose I am asking because I do not feel that your film should be put on the same level as the boot commercial.
FRANÇOIS: For me, [Florent’s] film would not be an advertisement.
FLORENT: Well, we did sell some t-shirts.
FRANÇOIS: DETROIT LIVES, for me, what the whole film is relying upon is to give people a little pang in the heart, reenacting all the founding myths of Detroit, but these are done in a Cadillac while driving by. Everybody is an entrepreneur in the movie. It feels to me like they are selling an idea of Detroit. The fact that they emphasize this is even more depressing.
SBD: The reason I ask is that the direction the Detroit Lives crew took is very obvious. They took a specific path that offered them what they wanted to show about the city. You obviously chose a different path, no?
FLORENT: Some characters we shot were the same, Larry, East Town Theatre…
SBD: And with Larry it was really the first mention of the repopulation of Detroit
FRANÇOIS: ‘The White kids’, laughing
FLORENT: Yes, he’s obsessed with that
SBD: But in all fairness, after 60 years of white flight all of a sudden the kids from the suburbs are coming down in hordes to certain areas. It seems like you chose to not necessarily exclude that part of it, rather to focus on the pioneering and the people who were already there and are making do with what they have. What is the reason you went that way?
FLORENT: There [are] two parts of the film that are connected, the first part is when someone is explaining what happens when the houses or the factories are abandoned: there are the plants, after that there are the insects. They are very tiny elements but when they spread, when they occupy the space, they begin to open the gate for the larger animals. The larger animals come because there are resources; they rebuild nature so the biggest animals can come and feed themselves. The other part is the pioneers and the settlers. The pioneers are leaving cities to find a new frontier, a new territory. They are interested in emptiness and the settlers are interested in something that is full, so they are total opposites. This part of nature I thought was really connected so I deliberately chose to avoid the people who have solutions, people who say, ‘Ah, Detroit is going to be that, or this…’
I preferred to end it with Larry Mongo and the Professor just to let people imagine, to use their own imaginations. There is a sentence that is very important to me, “Looking for the city is more important than finding the city” and I made the film exactly like that. Thinking about and looking for but not finding, that was more interesting to me.
SBD: In reference to the city’s reputation with crime, hate and murder, do you find that as an outsider you push through things more than people who are from here? Were you able to show the city in a different light? We want to know what you see.
FLORENT: It keeps on changing. So that is a good symbol. It is a different city than it was when I was here a year ago. Things go on very fast. I hope that the city will be colonized again, but I do not know if I will love the city as much as when it was decolonized.
FRANÇOIS: If I can, I will translate for Helene. She wants to reflect on your question about seeing the city differently… ‘Artists are beyond their geographical [borders]. Artists give themselves permission to think differently. They are looking for a form of truth, that is not necessarily the truth but it will be a form of truth’.
FRANÇOIS: Probing for your own truth makes you make choices. For example, there is a lot of fiction in the documentary. We feel there is an essence that we are trying to get at but sometimes fiction helps you get to that reality [better] than that reality itself. Being an artist, you also give yourself permission to be unfaithful.
FLORENT: And also the truth is different for people who come.
SBD: As a French Director, did you feel any sort of responsibility portraying a city that you are not from?
FLORENT: When I was finished I sent the film to someone and he said, “Oh, I thought you were making a film about nature and wild life, this is not what I expected. This is one more film about ruins and I’m not interested, sorry.” That was the first feedback. Even Geoff said that I had to be ready for the backlash.
SBD: I think that the element of survival rings very clear in your film. How would you describe it when you think of the survival of Detroit?
FLORENT: There are a lot of people who do not have a chance to go forward. They really have to survive. Their houses are collapsing and they have to fix what they have. When we talk about [the young settlers in the city], they are wealthy compared to other people. I do not know what they are going to do, maybe that’s why they are not in the film. Maybe they’ll leave, maybe they’ll find jobs with Hantz farm. That might be best. I don’t know.
SBD: It is true that there is a specific difference between the repopulation of Detroit and the survival
FRANÇOIS: As soon as the city is not their own, that creative class might so somewhere else.
SBD: A long time ago we used to be called the Paris of the Midwest. Now the creatives are culminating and coming together. Do you think that that is something that could rebuild Detroit and revive that era?
FLORENT: Yes, of course. Detroit has always been the city of the future for me. It was a laboratory and when it became very destroyed they made the film RoboCop. There is a strange destiny for Detroit to be the laboratory of the future.
SBD: You mentioned RoboCop, and I know that you wrote an article entitled “RoboCop City”, so is that what sparked your interest in the city, did RoboCop do it for you?
FLORENT: It is one of my favorite films. I think that the movie culture brought a lot of interest in the city. There was a story there that was the real story of Detroit. The political point of the film is that America is carnivorous; poverty, drugs, economy and for all of this I was attracted to the city. But after all that, it was the people here and the real story that opened the gate for me.
Please do your best to venture to the Burton Theatre and catch the last screening of DETROIT WILD CITY on October 13.
(filmed by Erin Cosens, edits by Zach Dufresne)
In related news, Kings of Leon were pigeon-pooped off the stage at their St. Louis show.
Which sucks to say the least, but the lesson here kids is this:
Axl Rose’s potty mouth can actually help catapult your career, and getting pooed on by actual pigeons sucks bigtime, but nothing could be worse than getting crapped on by Dave Matthews:
We had a chance to sit down with Craig Fahle in the WDET studio earlier today. If you caught us during your lunch break, thanks! If you missed us and would like to listen in, here’s a link to the mp3 podcast of the show:
We closed out the show (approx the last 10 minutes the broadcast) in case you want to skip.
A big thanks to Craig and everyone @ WDET for having us on.
With a big Mitten primary only a few days away, the political chatter is starting to pick up around town. Well, we here at Single Barrel would like to call your attention to an important race happening right here on the world wide web. Detroit’s very own The Victorious Secrets. A super-group of sorts who you may remember as winners of the ‘April in the D’ contest, or recognize from their other “real” bands, or even just know personally because they are really cool dudes. The Secrets are one of four finalists for the Free Credit Report (dot com) Band Contest and they could really use your votes. And not just because they’re from Detroit, but because they have the best name and clearly the best performance. Hands down. The competition? L.A., New York and Chicago. All the more reason….
The Victorious Secrets are: Daniel Zott, Mike Mulliniks, Steve Saputo, Bryon Rossi, Daniel Rossi
Watch their video and VOTE here > http://freecreditscoreband.com/#/band/4
You can vote once (per email address) every 24 hours until August 9th.
***UPDATE : CONGRATS to THE VICTORIOUS SECRETS, winners once again!!
It all started with a cello, an acoustic guitar, a single camera and one of Detroit’s architectural treasures, long vacant.
In February 2009, a small crew assembled at the Traffic Jam on 2nd and Canfield. We ordered coffees and waited anxiously for two adventurous and unassuming musicians to arrive. A brief meet-up turned quickly into a caravan down Michigan Avenue, a careen down Grand Boulevard and a one-by-one hop into the hollows of Lee Plaza.
6 hours later we emerged in all states of frozen, but immensely excited about an experience that is still pretty difficult to categorize. What can you say about a day that involves stumbling upon old Coleman A. Young campaign paraphernalia, stepping onto a snow-covered 17th floor rooftop with a seldom seen view of the Detroit skyline and watching as Charlene Kaye sings a Bessie Smith tune from the late 20’s with a winter sunset as a backdrop?
We’ve done this – in varying degrees of ceremony – 12 times now. And for just over a year, we’ve been sharing these experiences with you on our site.
Well, we’ve finally had a chance to catch our breath and make some enhancements to the site.
This is the start of our official blog. We will have regular posters, a few celebrity bloggers, and you’ll likely see a post or two from us as well. Our regular contributors will be introducing themselves to you shortly so we hope you stay tuned.
We added a FEATURES box so now we’ll be able to share our special projects that don’t exactly fit into our traditionally defined Single Barrel Shows. Check out the ‘dAP festival videos featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Silverghost and Charlie Slick. And then a just-released-today feature on the Hanging Gardens project at the soon-to-be-redeveloped-but-for-now-an-awesome-blossoming-urban-garden at Forest Arms in Midtown.
You may also notice we released a brand new Single Barrel Show today. We’re excited to share The Juliets @ the Forest Arms Hanging Gardens. We shot this while documenting the project mentioned above and we hope you enjoy it.
So that’s it for now.
Thanks to all of you who’ve been following along and supporting us over this past year. We really hope you like the changes. Leave a comment or two. And if you’re interested in contributing, we’d love to hear from you.
- Andy and Jared