Thursday, Sept. 22 @ 9 p.m.
Old City Hall
With an aesthetic steeped in the seedy sultriness of Prohibition-era speakeasies, Boudoir Noir are as theatrical as they are mesmerizing.
Self-styled as “dark cabaret pop,” their anachronistic motifs are sensual and simmering, with lead singer Maria Rose serving as a chanteuse-like guide beckoning you into their burlesque domain.
Synth pop is as captivating and energizing as it gets when it comes from RareWolf.
The trio crafts layers of evocative textures, gloopy beats, and infectious melodies. Centering it all, and setting it apart from their electro pop peers, are Lauren M. Long’s vocals. Not the twee voice typically associated with the genre, hers is a vibrating contralto with a jazzy, R&B flavor reminiscent of Amy Winehouse or Paloma Faith, which beautifully contrasts with the sugary strains.
Self-described as “Michigan-bred bayou folk,” this trio purveys a mix of hardscrabble blues, Appalachia folk, southern-fried soul, and rollicking alt. country.
Throw in a dash of bluegrass whimsy and the jazzy sway of instrumental interplay and you’ll get a sense of their rich, homespun sound.
Experimental aural tapestries running the gamut from the mournful to the whackadoo are this native son’s stock and trade.
His approach has a DIY dedication with thoroughly atmospheric results. The frontman of the Esperantos and Noble Whips, Roth is performing a stripped down set, showcasing everything from the folky to the clamorous that make up his moving art.
Norty (Grand Rapids)
The taking apart and fusing back together of disparate musical genres is the order of the day for Kyle Norton, known under his performing moniker Norty.
Taking an electronic bedrock, anachronistic jazz lounge basslines, piano notes, and brushed drums, he blends them with hip hop beats and searing vocals for a thoroughly engrossing sound collage. You might recognize him as one-half of Obese Ghost Children, who performed at HHM’s all hip-hop showcase in April 2016.
Take one part surf rock, one part misanthropic punk, and one part proto-rock pop.
Mash them all up in a grime-encrusted blender with a pinch of rabies and scorched-earth ethos and you get the Sunburns. They’re the gnarliest bunch of atavistic sonic nihilists around, with a remarkable songwriting acumen hidden within the crusty shell. If the instruments start smashing, stay clear of raining shrapnel.
Siamese hail from a world of perpetual twilight.
They conjure an atmosphere pregnant with a paranoid dread, then build it cinematically with basslines and percussion that emanate from an abyss and sprawl out. Their evocative sound is pure dark wave, a seductive mélange of synth pop and post-punk’s serrated edge. By turns sinister and vulnerable, this quartet’s slithering movements are intoxicating.
The Erers (the first “er” is silent) are personified swagger with the songwriting chops to back it up.
With a lumbering heaviness and a monolithic stomp, their savage riffs bring no shortage of hooks. On stage, they have the commanding presence of a buffalo stampede, with the accompanying adrenaline jolt.
Saturday, Sept. 24 @ 3:30 p.m.
This Colorado duo’s massive sound belies their minimalistic roster.
Starting with a blues-punk template, they surge with the energy of a flickering, sidewinding live wire. They’ve played Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and South by Southwest and have opened for such luminaries as Jane’s Addiction, Murder by Death, and the Rev. Horton Heat. Their Electric Kitsch performance is a rare, intimate gig, and one that’s free to boot.
McNeil purveys a sound in line with the alt. country echelon.
His tales are rife with unflinching introspection delivered over haunting melodies. Think Ryan Adams, Elliott Smith, Sparklehorse, Wilco and Joseph Arthur and you approximate the territories McNeil mines. A natural storyteller, the wit and winsomeness are flushed out with the inclusion of a lap steel and delicate percussion.
Playing only their second show since reuniting in 2016 after a long hiatus, the Satin Peaches are Michigan indie rock royalty.
They channel the heaviness of Soundgarden when it’s called for, then sideswipe it with instantly catchy Beatlesque melodies and a songwriter’s subtlety. Featuring the alternating and harmonizing vocals of George Morris (now of his namesake’s Gypsy Chorus) and Jesse Shepherd-Bates (now in the HandGrenades), their arsenal for varied songcraft is nearly unmatched. (Sidenote: The band formed around the members’ affinity for Saginaw Bay marlin hunting.)
Primeval. Feral. Cathartic. Just a few words to describe Queen Kwong, fronted by Carré Callaway.
Squalling guitars, throbbing basslines, and pummeling percussion serve as the bedrock on which Callaway caterwauls and writhes. Their shows are incendiary and fueled by a volcanic eruption of demons, like a tent show revival doubling as a communal exorcism. Think the Stooges fronted by early era PJ Harvey. Originally from L.A. and discovered in her teens by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Callaway recently relocated to Detroit, bringing her ferocious brand of anarchistic rock with her.
Yeah, you read that right, Hellions. Electric Six, those manic maestros of absurdist disco-punk-metal fusion are headlining HHM, babies.
You might know of them from such classic ditties as “Gay Bar”, “I Buy the Drugs”, “Germans in Mexico”, “Dance Epidemic”, “Down at McDonnelzzz”, and “Body Shot”. Dick Valentine and crew have a plethora of love and they’re ready to put it all up in ya. They have 11 albums to their credit, and they’re bringing them all to Bay City and passing the savings onto you.
Secret Show @ ???
Featuring a quintessential hip-hop roster of two emcees and one DJ, LXL (Large Extra Large) can rock any spot in no time flat.
Possessing a symbiotic dynamic similar to that of classic acts Clipse or Camp Lo, rappers Jah Connery and Warren Peace effortlessly deliver wordplay over Stone’s Throw-esque beats supplied by cut master DJ KeeFlow. Although the exact time and venue of their performance remains a mystery, Hellions will definitely want to put in the necessary sleuthing to catch these fellas represent on stage.