Sam Pink makes it look easy and it isn’t. Over some dozen books of poetry, stories, and prose, he’s refined a spare but precise style that reads like truth. He gives alley dwellers, dishwashers, and city wanderers the dignity and gravitas that other writers normally reserve for the upper echelon. Pink continues to write about […]
Chicago-via-Michigan rapper Smba plies pop-punk aesthetics to make hip-hop tracks soaked in melancholy. These songs could tentatively be described as Soundcloud rap, since that term (which took hold of hip-hop four years ago) has already been stretched far enough to include any MC with a Fall Out Boy T-shirt, but they have enough dimensions that […]
Over the past few years, Chicago multi-instrumentalist Alex Cowling has released several solo albums that combine weather-beaten indie rock, spacious jazz, and easygoing folk, and he’s done it to little or no fanfare. When I ask him about the new Antarctica, he tells me that one of the few people who’s listened to it is […]
When the pandemic hit, I ran to the woods.
These days, nihilism isn’t a choice—it’s a corner that we’ve boxed ourselves into in a feeble attempt to preserve some semblance of peace of mind. By 2020, Protomartyr had already spent more than a dozen years making malaise seem ineffably cool, with vocalist Joe Casey serving up tongue-lashings over gummy bass lines and bristling riffs. […]
Three years after releasing their first record with new guitarist Brandon Ellis, the Billboard-charting Nightbringers, the Black Dahlia Murder have returned with their ninth studio album, Verminous. It turns out the Detroit five-piece have been trying out some new tricks and angles in their fervent death metal, making this release arguably their most diverse and […]
The members of Detroit art-rock group Saajtak met at the University of Michigan in the early 2010s, when all four participated in an improvising ensemble called the Creative Arts Orchestra. They’ve since carried the experimental traditions they explored as students into their work in Saajtak and into their individual creative pursuits—each has developed such an […]
Slum Village has been through numerous lineups over its 23 years, but unlike other legacy groups that keep rehashing the hits long after key members have left, the influential hip-hop group honors its roots while moving in fresh directions. Currently a duo of T3 (aka RL Altman III) and longtime producer “Young RJ” Rice, Slum […]
This year Michigan-born, New York-raised record label Ghostly International celebrates two decades of releasing cutting-edge electronic sounds. As part of the festivities it’s throwing a party called Ghostly 20 in its own honor at Metro this week. The label was founded in Ann Arbor in 1999 by Sam Valenti IV, who was inspired by the […]
UPDATE Monday, July 8, 12:45 PM: Both concerts by Ready for the World have been canceled. Refunds available at point of purchase. Ready for the World’s single “Tonight” was all over the radio in 1984, but due to its lyrical content it unfortunately was not allowed at my summer camp: “Did he say ‘wet’?” a […]
A ex-Chicago butcher makes a home in northern Michigan.
Also, Chicago police used a Trump Hotel conference room during the Women’s March.
Jason McNinch’s band Lick put out just two albums in the mid-90s, but he lent his touch to dozens of other projects, including Pigface, Sister Machine Gun, Die Warzau, and KMFDM.
Also, former Bear Charles “Peanut” Tillman is training to join the FBI.
Two rising literary stars talk shop on the occasion of their new books.