We gave our friend Christie at Hip in Detroit a chance to share some of her choices for this week’s playlist, and we can’t complain! The Hip In Detroit gals always know what’s hip around these parts, so take a peek below!
This playlist is going to take you on quite the journey through the Detroit music scene. Over the past five years, Sadie and I have covered so many great bands and musicians in the Detroit music scene. We truly have a vast array of talent in this area, ranging from R&B to Metal. Trying to encapsulate the entire music scene and some of my personal favorites into one playlist has been quite the challenge, but hopefully this list has something for everyone and will introduce you to some artists you might not know yet.
1. James Linck – “Broken Vessel”
James Linck, a magical voice and a magical person. This is the first track off of James’ album Small World that was released in the summer of 2015. He followed that release up with No Future in September of 2016. James has a sound that crosses genres and attracts fans from across the board. He plans to head to California in early 2017 to share his sounds with the west coast, but we know his home will always be here in Detroit. Before he leaves town, he’ll be playing a couple of special hometown shows, one of which is our 5th Anniversary Bash at El Club on January 6th!
2. Handgrenades – “Daily Routine”
This band has become one of my absolute favorites over the years. They have transformed from charming young boys with harmonious voices into an amazing rock band pairing those same harmonies with a more experimental sound. Most recent changes include dropping the “The” and dropping the capital G, but one thing remains the same; this band is absolutely amazing. They have only got better over the years. They just recently released their latest album Tunnels, which I cannot stop listening to. After you finish listening to this playlist, do yourself a favor and head over to listen to that album in full on bandcamp.
3. Queen Kwong – “Purrfiction”
Headed by front women Carré Callaway, this formerly LA based band recently relocated to Detroit and is fully embracing our city. She played some big festivals this year, like the Pig & Whiskey after party, and will be partying with Electric 6 at St. Andrew’s Hall on New Year’s Eve. Queen Kwong’s sound is a modern twist on the ‘90s grunge and Riot Grrrl sound and Carré is an amazing frontwoman both on and off the stage. In addition to being a kickass rockstar, she also heads up Motor Kitty Rescue, a non-profit rescuing kitties throughout Metro Detroit.
This is another band that we are thrilled to have playing our anniversary show this year! This song is off of the band’s latest release, The Good Years, that was released back in August. Every time I see this duo play live I am blown away! Do yourself a favor and head out to one of their shows soon! Don’t let the fact that there are just two guys on stage fool you. They are full of talent and rock out with the best of ‘em!
5. Wilson – “Susan Jane”
Speaking of rocking out, next up we have Wilson. This band has absolutely blown up over the past few years. They just wrapped up a tour with Steel Panther, they’ll be hitting the seas on Shiprocked again this winter, and they bring the party every time they’re on stage. The title track off their latest album Right to Rise got a ton of air time on the WRIF since the album was released last summer, and their latest single “Windows Down” has become another favorite among fans. “Susan Jane” is off of Full Blast F***ery that was released back in 2013, but still holds a spot as one of my favorites from this band.
6. Against The Grain – “Night of the Wolf”
This is another song that is a bit older, but remains one of my favorites. “Night of the Wolf” is off of ATG’s 2012 release Motor City Speedrock, the album that really put this band on everyone’s radar. This band has also been kicking ass and taking names across the US for the past few years. Since releasing Motor City Speedrock, they also released Surrounded By Snakes in 2013 and followed that up with Road Warriors in 2015. They are back in the studio again working on their next album and I am absolutely thrilled that they are headlining our anniversary party this year! This is definitely one of Detroit’s top bands in my book! They have done a ton of touring over the past few years, hitting the road with bands like Nashville Pussy, Voodoo Glow Skulls and Bongzilla, just to name a few. Now they keep their Detroit shows to a minimum, so we’re extra excited that they are making our anniversary bash one of those shows! I could go on and on about this band, but I’ll let their music speak for itself. Make sure you head over and check out all 3 of their latest releases here, then come see them live on January 6th.
7. Rebel Spies – “Fire When Ready”
Speaking of oldies… what happens when you take some of the Detroit’s best musicians from over the last 20 years and put them in one band? Rebel Spies is what happens. Now let me be very clear, I am not calling these guys old. I will, however, say that they are veterans to Detroit’s music scene. This band is full of guys that I grew up listening to in bands like Telegraph, Fordirelifesake, The Suicide Machines and more. So when I heard that they joined forces to create one mega-band, I was super excited! Plus, the band’s name is linked to Star Wars. You can catch this band live December 30th at the Majestic Complex for Black Christmas. I’ll tell you more about that on the next song.
8. The Suicide Machines – “Honor Among Thieves”
The Suicide Machines are hands-down my all-time favorite Detroit band, and maybe favorite band overall. They are at least tied for that title. This is definitely the band that got Sadie and me more into the Detroit music scene. Sure, we saw our friends bands play at places like the Wired Frog when we were kids, but when we heard Destruction By Definition at Harmony House back in ‘96, it was a game changer. Since then I have only missed a handful of their shows and, although I’m lucky enough to call most of the current and past members friends, I’m still a total fangirl when it comes to this band. With that being said, it was nearly impossible to pick just one Suicide Machines song for this playlist. However, it would also be a crime to not include them on this list. “Honor Among Thieves” is off Steal This Record which was released back in 2001. The Suicide Machines will be headlining their annual Christmas show, Black Christmas, put on by Black Iris Booking on December 30th. This show takes over the entire Majestic complex in Detroit and features bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, Mustard Plug and the Koffin Kats. It is basically a homecoming/Christmas party for Detroit’s punk rock and metal scenes and it’s one of the best shows of the year! Don’t miss it!
9. Go Tiger Go – “Inhale”
Circling back around, Go Tiger Go is a band that’s newer on my radar, even though they have been playing for about 7 or 8 years now. I had been hearing about this band for the past few years, but officially “fell” for them at last year’s Hamtramck Music Festival. With bands like The Messenger Birds and Go Tiger Go, Detroit’s music scene is definitely in good hands! This is just an all around good song and good band. We are also super stoked to have them on our upcoming anniversary show for Hip In Detroit!
10. Zander Michigan – “Paper Town”
Last, but definitely not least, is one of the greatest people and musicians that Detroit has to offer. Zander Michigan is well dressed, has an amazing voice, and is one of the most talented individuals I have ever met. His latest release, Zander Michigan 48018, was just released a few weeks ago, and is the follow up to Zander The Great and Never Going Back Home. He plans to hit the road in 2017 in support of his latest release, and might even hit up SXSW and head back to the UK. He has literally put himself on the map with 48018, creating his own city and his best album yet. If you like folk, Americana, or just good music in general, you will love Zander Michigan.
Hopefully you enjoyed this little journey through Detroit music and that it was an adventure for your ears! Sadie and I hope that you can make it to party with us on January 6th at El Club and hear some of these great bands live!
Congrats to our friends at Hip In Detroit on their 5 Year Anniversary – head to El Club on January 6th to congratulate them in person! Thanks to Christie for putting this playlist together!