Convenience to Metro Detroit Streets
Night Move owner’s new designated-driver-for-hire service launches
Lately, I’ve become particularly enamored with northern Michigan indie-folksters Breathe Owl Breathe whose quirky, almost childlike aura seems so inconsistent with their impressive compositions that combine cello, drums, keys, guitar, banjo, and percussion with vocal harmonies and captivating lyrics. Breathe Owl Breathe is children’s music for adults – it’s the kind of music I’d like to listen to while using my safety scissors to cut construction paper to glue onto some insane art project while drinking chardonnay out of a sippy cup. Their morning timeslot was a bit early for some, whereas for others seemed a great, open-air alternative to Saturday morning Scooby-Doo re-runs.
Breathe Owl Breathe – Parrots in the Tropical Trees from Hoxeyville
The festival also featured a VIP area for partying right in front of the stage – and the party everywhere was in particularly high gear for the more danceable acts. Ann Arbor’s Ella Riot combines the vocal intensity of Lady Gaga with the musical innovation of acts like Of Montreal and commanded a sizeable audience going just a little crazy. Likewise, Saturday’s evening performance by Digital Tape Machine out of Chicago infused instrumental based-electronica with hard rock edges that ebbed and flowed out of more acid house loops and beats while fists pumped in the air. Friday night’s headliner was New Orleans-based Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk whose super-funky throwdown had the crowd shakin what their mommas gave ‘em.
Additional highlights on the indie-folk-roots-rock side of things included Airborne or Aquatic – a Michigan roots supergroup led by Seth Bernard centered around instrumental and spoken word storytelling and some amazing musical performances. Strange Arrangement from Illinois brought some serious jamming to the stage while fellow Chicagoans and headliners Umphrey’s McGee played an intense two-hour set that sandwiched one song within another, weaving in and out of arrangements, and culminating with a masterful two-song Pink Floyd cover of In the Flesh and Another Brick In The Wall (Part I). Reggae legends the Itals and former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart each made Sunday memorable – the former for bringing powerful rasta vibes to the late afternoon and the latter for coming on over an hour late, but still killing it nonetheless.