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Stories written by Brian Smith

190 stories found. Showing page 1 of 7.

Sonically Speaking: MT scribe has a new book out about the MC5

By Brian Smith

Published: 9/29/2010

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

MC5: Sonically Speaking author Brett Callwood is a frequent contributor to Metro Times. He's a soft, gentle and pierced gent who looks like anyone you'd likely find in the pages of Kerrang!, and might well be the sweetest guy you'd ever meet.  Here's a drive-by history on Callwood: Born in Manchest...[MORE]

Day Tripper: A one-day guide to jump-start a musical jonesin'

By Brian Smith

Published: 6/16/2010

Types: Music, Local Music

Sometimes, if you view the same vacated sightlines and crash the same potholes long enough, life in Detroit can begin to resemble a sound file of droning white noise, a kind of flat-lined, sense-dulling hum — particularly if your pockets are empty.     So, to counter said mean reds, we've set...[MORE]

Furs in Venus : The Psychedelic Furs' Richard Butler, from post-punk's original whorehouse priest to pop star to painter

By Brian Smith

Published: 6/9/2010

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

One unfortunate hangover from the 1980s, that decade of overproduced bands, Reagan, MTV gloat, silly trousers and Haircut 100, was how the Psychedelic Furs got lumped into that ghastly pop nostalgia train of ’80s packages, flanking, say, the Bangles, or worse, Missing Persons in (pre-) boomer consci...[MORE]

Operator's manual: Pete Shelley and Buzzcocks are but 16 again

By Brian Smith

Published: 5/19/2010

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

The band's name was the greatest uni-word translation of pubescent sexuality ever, its singer was an out-of-the-closet (long before it was trendy) U.K. punk rock "star" whose songs rose from a grim Manchester basement to American TV ads pimping Toyota ("What Do I Get") and &mdash...[MORE]

Treats and Trick: Back-catalogue gems from Curtis Mayfield and Cheap Trick

By Brian Smith

Published: 5/12/2010

Types: Music

Curtis Mayfield Curtis Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Curtis Mayfield shouts: "Sisters! Niggers! Whiteys! Jews! Crackers!" and then he adds the song's title line, "Don't worry, if there's a hell below we're all going to go," which then kick-starts the badass fuzzed-out bass...[MORE]

Audio junkies unite: The AkFest is the Midwest's largest audio show. You've never seen (heard) anything like it

By Brian Smith

Published: 4/28/2010

Types: Music

There is no mot juste for what drives an audio junky. For some it's almost sexual, or like a crazy kind of toxic candy that hits the senses from inside the gut and rises slowly, collecting goose bumps along the way, until it sort of erupts in the head and transcends place and time. When music you lo...[MORE]

Backwash: Soul deep and a Coop classic

By Brian Smith

Published: 4/14/2010

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

Bill Withers +'Justments (Reel Music/Columbia) It's hard to underestimate the grace and power of Bill Withers, a guy whose head-spinner confessionals are so rich in empathy ("Better Off Dead," "Grandma's Hands," etc.) that they can get you easily at the knees. His melancholic ...[MORE]

Fly ball: One writer learns the power of the baseball diamond

By Brian Smith

Published: 4/7/2010

Types: Culture, Sports

I love how the baseball diamond is basically a vagina. An aerial view of a major ball field clearly shows how it is as anatomically correct as man-carved acreage can be.  Not even "bat" and "ball" metaphors and schoolyard schemes of getting to first, second and third base, and n...[MORE]

Loaded: Kenny Tudrick's Cannon is about the songs — and a kind of brotherhood

By Brian Smith

Published: 3/3/2010

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

Kenny Tudrick sits in the bar drinking a Pabst. Wisps of his cigarette smoke twist leisurely around his face, and, for a split-second, in the ashy evening light coming through the window, he looks sullen as all hell. He's wearing a tightly fitted blue-jean jacket over a black T-shirt that reads, in ...[MORE]

Notes of a dirty old man: Jerry Vile recalls some unforgettable moments from a decade of The Dirty Show

By Brian Smith

Published: 2/10/2010

Types: Arts, Visual arts

He's been called a sexist pig and a trash merchant. He's also been called a visionary armed with a heightened sense of irony. Either way he's Jerry Vile (aka Jerry Peterson), storied organizer and mouthpiece of The Dirty Show, now one of the biggest erotic art shows in the world. He's also the forme...[MORE]

Days of wine and neurosis: From young idealist to folk-pop singer for the ages, Lloyd Cole sits five hundred floors below Hang Williams

By Brian Smith

Published: 1/27/2010

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

His fans know it's astounding what he can ring off inside four minutes. Besides pop hooks and tender epistles, you get literary gibes and folk-derived strolls through suburban dreams, slacker ennui and barstool tragedies that can simultaneously take the piss out of hipster totems and yupster self-gr...[MORE]

Stop the madness!: Outhouse-quality albums from the last decade that should be forgotten

By Brian Smith

Published: 1/13/2010

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

I think shitty music should be wiped clean from the earth. Especially the kind made by insensitive cultural freeloaders like Diddy. But the attempts to reconcile the difference between the way the culture is and the way you think it should be never ends, which is one reason — I know from experience ...[MORE]

Murphy's law: Two Brittany film essentials that went unnoticed

By Brian Smith

Published: 12/23/2009

Types: Screens, Film

It's a tragedy that Brittany Murphy's dead. Maybe not only because she was young and beautiful and had a suitcase pimp of a hubby, but because she was a mighty skilled actress, a fact that'll likely be overshadowed by her ditzy film personas. See, beyond the Clueless, Just Married and Don't Say a Wo...[MORE]

Sonic supreme: Last-word versions of classic Motor City related albums

By Brian Smith

Published: 11/25/2009

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

Marvin Gaye  What's Going On (Gold CD/SACD Hybrid) Let's Get it On (Gold CD/SACD Hybrid) Tamla/Mobile Fidelity The absolute last sonic word on the two best Marvin Gaye albums comes packaged in lovely cardboard mini-LP sleeves, each open-gate, including all original art and credits. The d...[MORE]

Don't call it a comeback: Eddie Baranek grows up with the (new) Sights in tow

By Brian Smith

Published: 11/11/2009

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

Eddie Baranek shouts suddenly from inside the house: "Did you read it?" He hops up from the couch, steps through the open door and points with his Miller beer to a pumpkin that's presiding over the front yard from its elevated perch on the porch. The singer is freshly shaved and Paul Welle...[MORE]

Backwash: Reintroducing the D.I.s and the Gears

By Brian Smith

Published: 9/30/2009

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

The Gears  Rockin' at Ground Zero Hepcat The D.I.s Rare Cuts Hepcat A proper Hollywood rock 'n' roll band always sounded something like the corner of Western and Hollywood Boulevard (and southward from there); grinding dirt and grease and beat-to-shit Datsuns with busted mufflers, trannie hook...[MORE]

An anti-hipster cache: A start-up kit to the fiction and music you need to offset campus drudgery and cultural ephemera

By Brian Smith

Published: 8/26/2009

Types: Culture, Media

Down to impress? Here's a toilet-reader ramble to aid you in choosing a handful of books and records that you need, even if your sole purpose is to appear cool. For the college digit bookshelf, we eschewed the usual hipster dust-collectors (Henry Miller, Palahniuk, Moody, Hornby or anything that Dav...[MORE]

Race (out of) the toilet: Take that outhouse and run for your life!

By Brian Smith

Published: 6/17/2009

Types: Culture, Travel

Summertime's teeth are showing and you're flat broke. So the season will force your thoughts southward: You see yourself in crummy DTE lawn seats watching Loverboy and Flock of Seagulls, or cornered at someone's backyard barbecue where ape-draped probationers show you why they aren't allowed to go a...[MORE]

Double Reissue: The Rockets, No Ballads: Reissues have the roar of a band on the rise — before the tragedy

By Brian Smith

Published: 6/3/2009

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

The Rockets The Rockets No Ballads Renaissance It's difficult to listen to Detroit's Rockets without sensing tragedy, nodding mostly to its singer Dave Gilbert, a guy gifted with sexual tension and a voice tailored for '70s FM radio, but who drank himself out of stardom, and later, into the gr...[MORE]

Public Animal: School's out and we can't even think of a word that rhymes!

By Brian Smith

Published: 4/29/2009

Types: Music, Rock/Pop

In the spirit of last days of school (and, um, the schools actually closing in Detroit) — we're all hopped up on the new, limited-edition reissue of Alice Cooper's School's Out CD. To the point: 1972's School's Out is the most underrated album in the Alice Cooper canon — hell, one...[MORE]

Music you can kiss!

By Brian Smith

Published: 4/15/2009

Types: Culture, Shopping

Steal a turntable, punk: For years, we've orated long and hard our undying support of local record stores and have looked for any excuse to hoist a beer in their honor. So it is that the second annual national Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 18, and what a lovely time for a frothy one...[MORE]

Drunk drunk drunk: A poetic memoir haunts the gardens and the graves

By Brian Smith

Published: 4/22/2009

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Shit I'm shaking as I write this. DTs are a motherfucker. My hands are balled in tight fists. It's time for war. I'm standing. Damn it. I'm standing. Wish me luck. The typed, signed letter that accompanied this book sent in by its author — whose envelope was sloppily hand-addressed &...[MORE]

Angelic upstarts: A handful of the young, loud and scientific!

By Brian Smith

Published: 3/4/2009

Types: Music, Local Music

Here's a little roundup of upcoming bands oozing from this area's ephemera, and ones you'd most likely otherwise miss at Blowout numero 12. We quizzed 'em for kicks and got back youthful smirks and some irony-rich, sweeter-than-you commentary. Some even listed their ages! —Compiled by Bria...[MORE]

Jonesin' for song: One Michigan dude every music fan should know about. Period.

By Brian Smith

Published: 3/4/2009

Types: Music, Folk

Aw, shit. It's a frigid Monday afternoon and songwriter-singer Matt Jones is at tonight's show venue in Columbus, Ohio, but its doors are locked. The joint's closed. Of course it is. Think about it: If you're some unknown dude out peddling your tunes, 35 cities in 37 days — road-dog style ...[MORE]

Tour de Xmas : Sometimes it's the season of complications

By Brian Smith

Published: 12/17/2008

Types: Cover Story

My facial features felt like frozen protrusions, as if stung by bees. Toes were beyond any description of pain; I imagined them plum-colored and shriveled-up like dead baby birds, inside those cleated shoes, affixed to those pedals. Lungs were numbed and throat was blocked by a petal of icy phlegm. ...[MORE]

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