“If there is an American rock movement of the now, this acoustic twosome from Charleston, S.C., is close to the nerve center.” – New York Times 
It’s not all that unusual for musicians to talk the talk about taking a less-is-more approach to their work – but it’s rare indeed for artists to really walk the walk, and apply that philosophy across the board. Over the better part of a decade, Shovels & Rope have done just that, cutting unnecessary frills from their songs, not to mention the very way they live their musical lives.

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, aka Shovels & Rope, are set to release their sophomore album Swimmin’ Time (Dualtone Music) on August 26. Swimmin’ Time is the highly-anticipated follow up to the band’s 2012 breakthrough debut O’ Be Joyful, which garnered unanimous praise from the press (See Quotes), followed by dozens of sold out shows, national television appearances, numerous year-end lists, impressive album sales and major festival performances. To cap it all off, Shovels & Rope took home two of the top honors, Song of the Year “Birmingham” and Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2013 Americana Music Awards. 

While O’ Be Joyful was recorded at home, in hotel rooms, in their van and throughout their travels, the band remained stationary by recording Swimmin’ Time at their home studio in Charleston, SC with Trent again producing. Swimmin’ Time features 13 new songs that maintain the elemental Shovels & Rope songwriting and sound while incorporating new ingredients to the mix. From the heady harmonies of “The Devil Is All Around” and the quirky “Mary Ann & One-Eyed Dan” to the epic beauty of “After The Storm” and the Waits-ian “Ohio” fans are sure to be pleased and pleasantly surprised by some of the chosen new paths and dark turns. 

"Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent were solid singers and songwriters on their own, but the pairing is truly a thing of magic...” – Filter 

Shovels & Rope has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and PBS’ Austin City Limits, while coverage ran in a multitude of outlets including The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Associated Press, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, American Songwriter, Filter, Nylon, and 
much more, including a NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Also, the new documentary film The Ballad of Shovels & Rope, which chronicles the band’s humble beginnings through the release of O’ Be Joyful, recently received accolades at the Nashville Film Festival. 

“Consciously or not, we’ve always insulated ourselves from outside influences,” says Cary Ann. “The key, for us, is to be authentic to ourselves – and, sometimes to a fault, we’ve managed to do that. I don’t think we’d be able to keep doing this if we backed off from what we were doing when we started.”
Shovels & Rope make music that exudes raw beauty, honesty, grit and passion. Hard work does pay off; the band spent the better part of 2012 and 2013 touring almost non-stop, spreading their signature blend of rock, country, punk and folk to the masses. Their live performances are undeniable, as the couple does not 
sing to each other, they sing at each other, pushing one another while playing multiple instruments. “The husband-and-wife duo's chemistry and ramshackle playfulness make them difficult to resist.” says NPR Music. Hearst & Trent throw it all out there, without a safety net, and audiences feel every nuance. The New York Times said of their debut Coachella performance, “Of all this afternoon’s young bands, they were the softest, but they might make the loudest crash.” What began in tiny bars has graduated to clubs, theaters and major festivals, including Newport Folk, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, Hangout and many others, with Bonnaroo and more coming in 2014. 

Jason Osburn is a Kimchi and craft beer fueled artist, graphic designer, chef, daddy, and writer. (not necessarily in that order) He’s worked in and around the music industry in Detroit and Nationally for the better part of 20 years. 



Crowder Makes Highly Anticipated Solo Debut with Neon Steeple, out May 27
Former Frontman of Award-Winning
David Crowder Band
Critically acclaimed artist and songwriter Crowder will release his highly anticipated solo album Neon Steeple on May 27th via Capitol CMG's sixsteprecords.  Long embraced for his tenure as the frontman of the wildly progressive group David Crowder Band, this is his first set of new music in 2+ years and marks his official entrance as a solo artist.  Upon the release of his first album single "I Am" last fall, the song has remained in the Top 10 tracks on National Christian radio, peaking at #3, and reaching 6.6 million listeners per week.You can listen to the album's first single "I Am" HERE and hear Crowder's story behind the song HERE.

Neon Steeple Track List:

1)  Neon Intro

2)  My Beloved

3)  I Am

4)  Come Alive

5)  Life Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)

6)  Come As You Are

7)  Hand Of Love

8)  Jesus Is Calling

9)  My Sweet Lord (feat. Emmylou Harris)

10) This I Know

11) Ain't No Grave

12) You Are

13) Here's My Heart

14) Steeple Outro

US Tour Dates:

Neon Steeple is available for pre-order now on iTunes.  All pre-orders come with an instant great download of "I Am" and "My Beloved."




50 bands, one great weekend! Riot Fest & Expo makes its return to Toronto for a third year with multiple stages, carnival attractions, and a new venue to boot.

A cousin to its counterparts in the US, Toronto's Riot Fest pays mind to Canada's most exciting bands, featuring City and Colour, Metric, Billy Talent, Death From Above 1979, Tokyo Police Club, The New Pornographers, and many more. With the help of Riot Fest's partners, Union Events, the two-day event is slated for September 6 & 7 at its new home, Downsview Park. These new grounds mark a significant expansion for the festival, allowing its patrons to enjoy a weekend packed with music across four stages and a full carnival atmosphere.

Line-up for Riot Fest Toronto:
City and Colour, Metric, The National, Billy Talent, Rise Against, The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Death Cab for Cutie, Death from Above 1979, Brand New, Paul Weller, AWOLNATION, Stars, The Head and the Heart, Dropkick Murphys, Die Antwoord, Tokyo Police Club, The New Pornographers, Taking Back Sunday, Bring Me the Horizon, The Afghan Whigs, Alkaline Trio, Glassjaw, Bob Mould, Thurston Moore, Buzzcocks, Clutch, New Found Glory, Circa Survive, Manchester Orchestra, Lucero, Title Fight, Bad Suns, Citizen, Lemuria, Mounties, PUP, Nostalghia, Radkey, Rubblebucket, Pentimento, Broncho, The Hotelier, Laura Stevenson, The Beaches, Somos, Restorations, Say Yes, Seaway, Wounds, Little Big League, & More to be announced...




Hi All. This is our latest video shoot for "Light up Detroit ". Shot at the 23rd Detroit Music awards. We had multi cameras and a lot of Help from above but the results are Beautiful. Special Thanks go out to my Partners Frank Gregory , Frank Jr, Al King, and Shaakira Edison Together our team Lit up the music Awards . ...Take a Look.


“I said goodbye to the ground” 

"They cultivated this sort of psychic playing," says Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite. "It's way above other bands and is really emotional. When I heard Spiderland, it was unlike anything I'd heard before. I still don't know if I've heard anything else like it, now."
"It's an amazing record and no one still capable of being moved by rock music should miss it. In 10 years' time, it will be a landmark and you'll have to scramble to buy a copy then. Beat the rush." – Steve Albini
It felt good to be alone… Breadcrumb Trail… Lance Bangs documentary… if you don’t know Lance Bangs you should… created videos for Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Neutral Milk Hotel, Green Day, the Arcade Fire, the Shins, The Thermals, Belle & Sebastian, Menomena, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, R.E.M., Mike Watt, Death Cab for Cutie, The Black Keys, Kanye West, Odd Future, and Pavement.

What's even crazier to me about the Spiderland album is that the cover photo was taken by Will Oldham, another of my favorite and most influential musicians, songwriters, actors of all time. (William Oldham
Also known as Palace Brothers, Palace Music, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. Acting credits include: Matewan, Julian Donkey-Boy, Old Joy, Kanye West's video for Can't Tell me Nothing (with Zach Galifianakis)) Yes, these guys are all in the same ranks as Tom Waits, Neil Young, Steve Earle… What was it in the water in Louisville in the late ‘60’s, early 70’s that procreation resulted in artistic genius? What was it that possessed these boys, and they really were ‘boys’, to create such amazing music? My feeling, it was a direct relationship to their absolute disinterest in ego. This is ultimately apparent in McMahan’s soft vocals; he had no confidence as a singer. That in itself is beautiful. David Pajo is a guitarist who I would rank with Marc Ribot or Richard Thompson in terms of ability to convey emotion through an instrument; but his playing on Tweez or Spiderland is not complicated. He uses chord structure, dissonance and harmonic and the natural distortion of the tubes to build unimaginable walls of sound. The drumming of Britt Walford (who went on to play with the Breeders and Kim Deal) sounds both slack and determinate at the same time. And where his drumming sinks into obscurity during a listening session, you suddenly realize how amazingly effective he has been at driving the entire wave all along.

Brian McMahon - Squirrel Bait, Palace Brothers, The For Carnations, King Kong, Dntel 
Britt Walford - Squirrel Bait, The Breeders, Maurice, The For Carnations, Evergreen 
David Pajo - Too many to list. My favorites though: Ariel M, Tortoise, Royal Trux, Zwan, Dead Child
Ethan Buckler - King Kong

"I miss you, I miss you, I miss you…" We’ve all had this feeling and, at least in my case, the voracious sentiment echoes memories of my own emotions so personally it may as well be playing in my head. Is that it, the commonalities I hear in this album and my own internal soundtrack? Considering I have been listening for 22 years I'm guessing the music wormed it's way in over the years and now sits like a chimera, deep in thought, on my emotional rampart, warding off negativity.

I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps that is what makes it so unearthly?

Touch and Go just released the Remastered Spiderland and released the 23rd-anniversary box-set reissue (3138 copies) of Spiderland remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston (Shellac) and pressed on 180 gram vinyl as well as the Lance Bangs Documentary and a 104 page book/lyric sheet with a forward by Will Oldham. The box set is sold out.

"Rather than trumpet the album’s immense influence on subsequent generations of indie rockers, emo kids, and doom-metalheads alike, everything about this set works the other way to disassemble a quote-unquote classic into its basic raw materials." Stuart Berman, Pitchfork review of Lance bangs movie.
Slint will be at St. Andrews Hall on May 9th with Wrekmeister Harmonies.

For excellent articles about Slint check out Dave Simpson’s article in the Guardian or Stuart Berman’s or Grayson Currin’s articles in Pitchfork: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/may/01/spiderland-slint-album-reinvented-rock , http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/19182-slint-spiderland-remastered-box-set/ , http://pitchfork.com/features/update/9319-slint/

For an excellent review of the documentary ‘Breadcrumb Trail by Lance Bangs: http://thequietus.com/articles/14798-slint-breadcrumb-trail-review

Wrekmeister Harmonies is JR Robinson. In 2006 he shot a film in decimated Detroit locations, the desert of Joshua Tree and decaying forests of Tasmania. In 2012 he brought together some of the most revered musicians in the black metal and experimental music worlds (Jef Whitehead of Leviathan, Sanford Parker and Andrew Markuszewski of Nachmystium, Jamie Fennelly aka Mind Over Mirrors, Mark Solotroff of Anatomy of Habit, Bruce Lamont of Yakuza, and more) to perform the 38 minute composition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to much acclaim and a sold out theater. The collaborators for the live performance joined Robinson at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio later that year to record the composition in full. (referenced from the Thrill Jockey website: http://thrilljockey.com/thrill/Wreckmeister-Harmonies/#.U2sCeoFdWSo)

Jason Osburn is a Kimchi and craft beer fueled artist, graphic designer, chef, daddy, and writer. (not necessarily in that order) He’s worked in and around the music industry in Detroit and Nationally for the better part of 20 years. 



George Morris & The Gypsy Chorus

Love your site! Keep up the good work.

Keep us in mind for content in the future!!! Happy Blowout.

For more-


Voyag3r, Jesse Shepherd-Bates, Almost Free, CARJACK
This is a line-up worth writing about.

That’s right, Friday, May 2nd, this chimerical bill will grace the stage of the New Way Bar in Ferndale, as part of the 2014 Metrotimes Blowout. First, about the New Way Bar. (Remember when New Way was the only Rock ‘n’ Roll venue in Ferndale?) New Way was passed on to new owners about a year ago and the reviews are all positive. The place is the right combination of Ferndale and local hole in the wall… oh, and skeeball. They’ve been booking a lot of good shows here lately: Gary Quackenbush, The Potter’s Field, Frijid Pink, Bars of Gold.

Now how about the acts? Is there a thread that assimilates these acts? If there was it would be one of analog, moog, synth, syncopation; of unhurried rhythms that build and crash and follow no premeditated equation in getting there. In reality the greatest similarity of these four acts is their complete lack of similarity. They are each completely unique in genre and style and represent a cross-cut of the Detroit music scene and that is precisely why I choose this to be one of the best events of the Blowout.

For starters take Jesse Shepherd-Bates. Jessie is part of (or all of) JSB Squad, The Satin Peaches, D’Orchestra and The HandGrenades. Jessie will be playing a solo set on piano.
 “All new stuff, can't say much about why I'm doing it but it's a preview of my next big project. My main focus right now is The HandGrenades.” - Jesse Shepherd-Bates
The HandGrenades just released a new video Tuesday, directed by Jesse, and have a new EP coming out May 13th. Check out the video: The HandGrenades are pretty amazing and the video is sweet featuring cinematography and editorial by The Work, Inc. I love Joby Kaslowski’s drum work on this EP.

Next up is CARJACK. What can I say? CARJACK played his first Blowout in 2007 and it landed him on the Detroit underground map. Since then he’s played with Electric Six, Deastro, Troy Gregory, and even been backed by full bands including Wildcatting and the Sights. He was recently nominated for a DMA for Best Video (under $10,000) and is one of the funnest acts in the city; think Buck Rodgers with a drum machine playing Descendents with Dollrods energy.

"CARJACK: Sounds like the Stooges played through an Atari. What's not to like?" - MotorCityRocks.com
Next on the bill is Almost Free, a power trio that layers effects loops and grungy guitars to build a serious wall of sound that blends seamlessly with smart lyrics. Think Interpol meets Mogwai and have upbeat Depeche Mode over for lunch. The solid focus of Almost Free always rings through and their live show is definitely memorable.

Taking the stage at 12:45 is Voyag3r, pronounced “Voyager 3”. Inspired from sci-fi/horror/action soundtrack music, Voyag3r have set out to create dynamic, epic, moody and atmospheric sounds intended to inspire. This experimental rock sound is like a movie-less score or the soundtrack to a far-away mysterious journey.

Voyag3r is putting the finishing touches on their debut full length LP (the follow up to last year’s Victory In The Battle Chamber 7") to be released on Bellyache Records. The 12" vinyl LP will be packed to the brim over 35 minutes of synth based horror/sci-fi/action adventure score rock. The album was recorded at the Tempermill studios in Ferndale. All vintage analog synthesizers, guitars and acoustic drums were tracked to 2" analog tape for maximum authenticity for vintage sound and spirit and is slated for release in mid to late August. For more information and update on this and other Voyag3r news, visit http://www.voyag3r.com

Other Blowout picks of mine:


If you are into Folk/Americana, The Whiskey Charmers will have you staring into your glass of bourbon, thinking about escaping your most recent heartbreak by hittin’ the road. Paychecks - 9:00
Then of course there’s the Ragbirds playing at Rustbelt Market - 11:30. Ragbirds are ALWAYS a good time show!

Johnny Headband is coming out of live-show hibernation and their set at The Loving Touch - 10:15, features Lord Scrummage - 9:00, and will be a showcase for Detroit The Album – 11:30

The Paper Sound just released a new album, Trajectories, and their set at Capo Lounge - 11:30 will be a memorable event, I am sure.

Doop and the Inside Outlaws, Paychecks - 11:30 Don Duprie may very well be the best songwriter in Detroit. This is a must see Detroit act.


I already gave you my Friday venue pick but a few other acts worth mentioning:

Woodward Avenue Brewers (WAB) has a great lineup with a Gangplank Records showcase including: Detroit's DUENDE!, The Thornbills, American Mars, Captain Ivory and The Blueflowers.

At 9:00 at Rustbelt Market you can catch Yum featuring someone I consider to be one of the most impressive young women in the scene, Elise Poirier. Hailing from Bay City and Freeland, this act blew me away the first time I caught them. They have a show coming up at New Way Bar with Duende! and The Ghost Wolves on June 27th

Blue Snaggletooth is proving that you can honor hard rock's past while pumping fresh blood into its future. Hop on board their spacecraft while there's still room for new riders. Jumbo’s Bar - 11:30

Of course, I can’t not add The Hentchmen, at Paychecks Lounge.- 12:45


Crooked Little Reasons at New Way Bar – 9:00

Palaces at Old Miami – 10:15 You can also catch Palaces June 17th at PJ's Lagerhouse.

Jumbo’s Bar with Disinformants - 10:15, followed by The Bomb Pops - 11:30

Lee Marvin Computer Arm, a band I have been consistently amazed by, at Magic Stick -10:30

White Shag at Smalls – 10:15 and stick around for Broadzilla – 11:30

Please everyone, be safe bouncing around the city and don’t drink and get behind the wheel!

Jason Osburn is a Kimchi and craft beer fueled artist, graphic designer, chef, daddy, and writer. (not necessarily in that order) He’s worked in and around the music industry in Detroit and Nationally for the better part of 20 years. 
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