The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 3, 1996 - 9D
ive music takes the stage
in a range o clubs, halls
By Heather Phares
Daily Arts Writer
So you're a first-year student.
That probably means your entertainment
options, musically speaking, are somewhat
limited. Though it seems illogical on a college
campus, many venues in Ann Arbor are 19-and-
over; your inability to go to certain shows is
something only time (or a really convincing
fake ID) can change. Anyway, here's a roundup
of some cool places to enjoy music, some of
which you can enjoy now and others you'll have
to admire from afar:
The Ark (637 1/2 S. Main St., 761-1451) is
the place you should go to for all things acoustic,
such as local and national folk, bluegrass, coun-
try and Cajun acts. Previous gigs include Robyn
Hitchcock and Patti Smith in special
"unplugged" performances, as well as folk stal-
warts like Tish Hinojosa and Nanci Griffith.
Tickets for Ark shows are sold in advance at
Schoolkids' Records. And since the Ark only
sells liquor to its members, it's one of the coolest
all-ages clubs first-year students can go to, as
well as being the nation's premier acoustic venue.
Ashley's Pub (338 S. State St., 996-9191),
on the other hand, is a bar that occasionally hosts
solo artists and local acts in the Underground Pub
Tu, so keep it in mind for future reference.
You'll also have to wait to get into the Bird
of Paradise (207 S. Ashley St., 662-8310), but if
you love live jazz, it'll be worth it. Greats like
Mose Allison and Dr. John have flown into the
Bird in the past, and the club has consistently
entertaining local and national jazz acts to
please its audiences.
The Blind Pig (208S. First St., 996-8555) is
less of a wait (most shows are 19-and-over, with
a few 18-and-over shows tossed in), but just as
worthwhile. Local favorites like the Plumb Bobs
and the Bucket play the Pig semi-regularly, and
national acts like Palace Brothers, the Softies,
Ben Harper, Kelly Deal 6000 and Throwing
Muses make The Blind Pig one of the hippest
and most intimate clubs you're likely to enjoy.
Cava Java (1101 S. University St., 741-
5282) offers an intimate, smoke-free atmos-
phere in its basement performance space. Jazz,
country, folk and blues make up the musical fla-
vor of this popular college coffee shop. And yes,
it' s open for all ages.
* If you've got access to a car, make the trek
to Ypsilanti's Cross Street Station (511 W. Cross
St., 485-5050) to catch local
and national acts like Gang-
ster Fun, Fortune and Mal-
tese and South Normal.
Wednesday through Satur-
day it's an 18-and-over club.
® And while you're in
Ypsilanti, check out the
Green Room (206 W. Michi-
gan, 482-9774). All ages, all
the time, it has some of the
ground local and national
acts playing its tiny stage
regularly. Bands like His
Name is Alive, Mecca Nor-
mal, the Make-up and Ohio,
along with the club's laid-
back atmosphere, contribute
to the Green Room's all-
One of At
So, you could go ballroom dancing and then
recite a poem about it - or, maybe not.
0 The Nectarine (510 F. Liberty St. 994-
5436) is Ann Arbor's most prominent (ance
club. Featuring a playlist that spans many musi-
cal genres, the Nectarine has special
Goth/Industrial, Disco, '80's, Eurobeat and
Gay nights that cater to all tastes.
*Rick'sAmerican Cafe(611 Church St.,9%-
2747) is one of the most popular watering hores
on campus, and features a wide array of li
music. Local favorites like the Brothers Grimm
and Deep Space Six play Rick's often, and the
club has also hosted national alternative acts like
the Archers of Loaf, H elium and L iquorice. It's
19-and-over, however, so you
may just have to be patient.
U One of Ann Arbor's all-
ages concert halls is also one of
1l-ages the most sonically perfect
gvenues you'll ever experience
rails is -and it's right on canus.Hil
A uditorium (825 N. University
of the Ave., 764-8350) hosts most
UMS shows, and also feature:
IICaIIY varied national acts, including'
the Black Crowes, Soul Asvlum,
$nues They Might Be Giants and Dead
Can Dance. Take advantage of
your student discount.
0 Finally, along with the
C N .. excellent job it does with show-
casing classic and cutting-edge
films, the Michigan Theater
(603 E. Liberty, 668-8480) also
plays host to big-ticket musical
acts. Though a 1993 Mudhoney gig soured the
theater on booking loud rock acts, the Michigan
does feature a wide array of less mosh-friendly
acts like Mel Torme, Bob Dylan, Blues Traveler,
the Gin Blossoms and Tracy Chapman. And if'
you've got the money - tickets can be pricey -
they've got the time. The Michigan Theater is
another of Ann Arbor's all-ages venues.
E Though bands like Urge Overkill and Sonic
Youth played this club back in the day, the Hei-
delberg (215 N. Main St., 663-
7758) pretty much sticks to big
band music and ballroom dancing
(with the Il-V-1 Orchestra, all ages,
$3) and poetry slams (first Tuesday
of every month, 18-and-over, $3).
Looking for tickets to all the artists performing In and around Ann Arbor? Unless
you're headed to one of the venues listed below, you're probably headed to one
of four Ticketmaster outlets In Ann Arbor:
Michigan Theater - 603 E. Liberty St., 668-8480
State Theater --233S. State St., 994-4024
Rill Auditorium - 825 N. University Ave., 764-8350
The Blind Pig -- 208 S. First St., 996-8555
The Ark -637 1/2 Main St., 761-1451
Rick's American Cafe - 611 Church St., 996-2747
Hudson's, Briarwood Mall, 998-5000
Tower Records, 1214 South University Avenue, 741-9600
Michigan Union Ticket Office, 530 South State Street, 763-8587
Where House Records, 1140 South University Avenue, 663-5800
In Detroit: (810) 645-6666
waily Arts Writer
Home to such rock greats as the MC5
and Iggy and the Stooges, Ann Arbor has
always had a varied and thriving local
usic scene. While it's impossible to tell
ether or not the city's current crop of
ds will be as legendary as the afore-
etioned, these bands are enjoyable
tJht now. Here's a brief rundown:
I The Brothers Grimm are technically
ftbm Chelsea, but they play Ann Arbor
etoiuigh to be included in the local scene.
fli'band mixes grit and earnest song-
riiang with pop polish, creating a sound
that draws comparisons to bands like the
Replacements and early Soul Asylum.
The Bucket's heady mix of power-
I vocals, brass and energy has been a
ocal favorite for years now. Funk is the
name of their game; see them at one of
their many gigs around town for a
booty-shakin' good time.
Along somewhat similar lines,
Baked Potato offers a funk and jazz-
kabilly to rock 'n' roll, local bands can play it
infused brand of Grateful Dead-inspired
rock. Often booked at Rick's, Baked
Potato is a great main course for your
South Normal, however, is another
hard-rocking Chelsea band that plays Ann
Arbor frequently. Intense, impassioned
and melodic, they've been favorably
compared to Pearl Jam and other big-time
modern rockers. Catch this anthemic
band to see potential stars on the rise.
The Plumbobs are another local
favorite, specializing in all kinds of musi-
cal insanity and inanity. Noisy, raucous
and explosive, their warped, costume-
wearing country-tinged punk definitely
isn't for everyone - but try tellling that
to their large and loyal diehard fanbase.
® Big Dave & the Ultrasojiics also
have a large and loyal cult here in Ann
Arbor, and it's no wonder: Their tradi-
tional take on rock n' roll, coupled with
their long tour of duty in Ann Arbor,.
make for enduring popularity. Don't
miss out on their ultrasonic live shows.
Philo Beddow's metallic crunch
owes a lot to bands like Helmet, but they
bring their own sense of songwriting to
that intense sound. They often play
venues like Ypsilanti's Green Room with
other like-minded loud, grinding bands.
Ohio, in contrast, plays a hypnotic
and droning style of post-rock as refresh-
ing as it is trance-inducing. They've
opened for such undergroundlindie
movers and shakers as the dreamy His
Name Is Alive to the gospel-punk of The
Make Up. Another Green Room favorite,
Ohio makes some of the most progressive
music to be found in the city.
The impatients are one of the best
pop bands in Ann Arbor. Their aptly-titled
CD "Kickball" meshes British pop influ-
ences like Squeeze and Robyn Hitchcock
with a Replacements-esque punch. Be
sure to catch one of'their relatively rare
gigs if you love timeless pop music.
In any guide to a city's music scene
(including this one) the phrase "local
favorite" is bound to be over-used. Nev-
ertheless, Frank Allison & the Odd Sox
are definitely local favorites in the truest
sense of that phrase; the band's albums of
whimsical and occasionally poignant
folk-rock continually sell as well as
national artists' releases do at our city's
record stores. See as many of the group's
frequent live performances as you can.
Getaway Cruiser is one of the newer
bands on the Ann Arbor scene, having
played their debut gig only this past June.
However, the band is comprised of long-
time scenesters from the now-defunct
WhirlingRoad and the Bucket's vocalist.
N Rockabilly is alive and kicking in
Ann Arbor as long as George Bedard
and the Kingpins churn out records
(released on the Schoolkids' record
label) and burn up the stages of the city's
venues. Check them out, especially if
you like your rockabilly hot and live.
Kiss Me Screaming is one of the
more veteran bands on the scene, with
members that have survived many other
bands such as Map of the World. Their
classic-rock-like take on music has
endeared them to much of Ann Arbor,
and they released their latest CD on Ann
Arbor's own Schookids' record label.
® And finally, Viola Peacock's bliss-
ful, thoughtful music is too dreamy and
poignant to be just pop, but too well-
crafted to be lumped in with what pass-
es for "alternative" music today. See
them for a taste of some of Ann Arbor's
hippest and most beautiful music.
Unfortunately, there's not enough room
to list all that Ann Arbor has musically. It's
up to you to discover, enjoy and partici-
pate in the ever-changing but always-
entertaining Ann Arbor music scene.
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