Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

All Ann Arbor Music Guide

5. January 2008 • Nancy Shore
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Now I don’t pretend to be an expert on local music. Sure, I’ve seen Joe Reilly and my husband owns a couple of his CDs.

I’ve got some music from Ann Arbor label Ghostly. Caleb from Starling Electric sometimes scans my food at Arbor Farms.

I’ve heard of Gemini, Tally Hall, FUBAR, Saturday Looks Good to Me, Dick Siegel, The Chenille Sisters, etc.

You can see some of these folks (and others) at the new Cold Pork Thursday’s at the Blind Pig.

But what really blew me away this week was checking out the Metro Times and seeing that two Ann Arbor musicians/music groups made it onto the Times’ 2007 critics picks list. The article compiled the top ten picks from all of the Metro Times music staff.

Chris Bathgate’s “A Cork Tale Wake” made Hobey Echlin’s list. Echlin’s comments about A Cork Tale Wake are so Ann Arbor I just have to post them:

“Michigan folk so real in its autumnal glory — think Nick Drake via George Winston — that it made me want to grow a beard, move back to Ann Arbor and work at Zingerman’s.”

Apparently the Metro Times isn’t the only one who recognizes Bathgate’s talent. Another blogger calls Bathgate one of the Most Deserving Artist of 2007.

Local group Great Lakes Myth Society’s “Compass Rose Bouquet” made it onto two critics lists.

So what’s your take on Ann Arbor music. Who do you love and what do you know?



  1. what’s your take on Ann Arbor music

    Simply: you can’t go wrong with anything that has “Fest” in the name and Brandon Zwagerman lurking in the background.

    who do you love

    A significant majority of my music spending this year (live and recorded) was at local (A2/Ypsi) venues and of local musicians.

    In addition to Bathgate and GLMS, my own favorites are Fred Thomas/SLGTM, who lives in Portland these days but still counts, Canada, Dabenport, The Avatars, and all of the various solo performances, side projects, and membership recombinations of same (ranging from Matt Jones to Champions of Breakfast…).

    I really liked the Casionauts, who are actually out of Lansing, but they are no more. My neighbors Belikos and Big Brother moved to NYC a few months back, so aren’t really local anymore either. There are various and sundry folks I’ve seen exactly once, so don’t know well enough for an opinion…

    what do you know

    Almost nothing, really. I just show up to shows with one of the aforementioned favorites on the bill and see whom else I like.

    Also, the Elbow Room has recordings online of a lot of their shows


       —Murph    Jan. 5 '08 - 09:18PM    #
  2. I don’t know as much as I should about the local scene, but I have really enjoyed the musicians that I’ve seen at the Concerts for Peace at the Ark (I haven’t been in a couple of years though!). In particular, I loved FUBAR and Delta 88 (not sure if they are still around?). I still frequently listen to the CD that the peace group put out a few years ago…. :)


       —TeacherPatti    Jan. 5 '08 - 11:00PM    #
  3. I’m a big fan of Nomo.

    Also, I love Midwest Product, another Ghostly sponsored effort by a talented local. Midwest Product is electronica and Nomo has an afro-pop sound.

    I picked up both Nomo albums and both Midwest Product albums at Encore Records on Liberty.


       —Jeff Irwin    Jan. 6 '08 - 02:11AM    #
  4. Aww, man, I miss the Ann Arbor music, but luckily LA has been pretty good at replacing the stalwarts with fair stand-ins. Plus, that whole folk thing leaves me (mostly) dry, ‘cept for a fair few (like Bathgate, who’s excellent, and Matt Jones).

    Without going home to check, here’s an off-the-top-my-head list of the essential Ann Arbor albums:

    Great Lakes Myth Society: s/t

    Fantastic Midwest mishmash of Hibernian and Scandinavian maritime salt truck chanteys.

    The Rants: Get Back Into It

    Frantic, frenetic, nasal power pop.

    Nomo: Nu Tones

    I actually listen to a handful of live dates they did at ‘CBN more often, and there are great things on their first album, but this is solid afrojazz all the way through.

    Tadd Mullinex: Winking Makes A Face

    IDM, soft and “classical.” Pre-Ghostly? I think so, though I don’t have it on hand.

    The Submarines: s/t ep

    Great, great, great ’77-style punk, including the makes-no-sense anthem “Rock and Roll Submarine.”

    The Avatars: Never A Good Time

    If you don’t have this, you probably never read my column. Great New Wave with a total supergroup of Ann Arborites.

    SLGTM: s/t

    At their dubby, echoed best. Before Fred got too weepy.

    Godzuki: Free Wade

    Great jazz weirdness about Encore staffers.

    Bulb Singles 1&2

    Probably the best way to experience the Bulb Records oeuvre, though Danse Asshole and 25 Suaves are pretty equally indispensable.

    I’ll look for more at home, picking out the ones that I still listen to and love…


       —js    Jan. 8 '08 - 12:09AM    #
  5. Ghostly Intl truly rocks. Even for old farts like me.


       —fuzzbollah    Jan. 8 '08 - 01:48AM    #