Most Read
  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

City Slang

Punk N’ Disorderly

Low expectations and high volume, Protomartyr isn’t ‘punk by numbers’

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

There was a time,before the Internet and Auto-Tune, when punk bands had to do everything themselves minus the ability to hide all of their many flaws. Rather than drown under the pressure, they reveled in it. Essentially, that DIY, “wear your shortcomings on your chest” attitude was punk. It didn’t become a Vivienne Westwood-inspired uniform until the second wave, when the Exploited and the like took plaid trousers and Mohawks and created a new fashion. The real punks were ignoring such bullshit and continuing to do whatever they wanted. By the time everybody else started wearing safety pins, Richard Hell was doing something else.

In other words, if the media is telling you what punk is, providing very clear instructions, fashion tips and artistic outlets, that thing is no longer punk. A real punk would never be told what to do. It is that very spirit that molds Protomartyr. The band, consisting of Joe Casey (vocals), Greg Ahee (guitar), Alex Leonard (drums) and Scott Davidson (bass), doesn’t give a crap what anybody else thinks they should sound like, though Casey’s apathy towards uniformity comes out with a kind of rueful shrug rather than with a snotty Stiv Bators or Johnny Rotten sneer. He’s his own man, see?

Protomartyr put out a full-length album last year on the Urinal Cake label called No Passion All Technique. It would be easy to suggest that the title is a classic punk pun, laced not so much with irony but with a whopping, bare-faced lie, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, because there is some truth in the title. The three musicians in Protomartyr are more than a little bit technically proficient, while Casey’s vocals recall the Fall’s Mark E. Smith — dispassionate and nihilistic. As the title character says in the movie We Need to Talk About Kevin, “There is no point, that’s the point.” So when the band puts “no passion” in the album title, they kinda mean it.


Protomartyr formed in 2010, when everybody but Casey was playing together in a band called the Butt Babies. “They were playing and I hung out with them, had a few beers,” says Casey. “I just thought that playing with them would be a fun thing to do. It started as a little bit of a joke. They’d play Butt Babies shows and I’d come up and sing two songs that we’d worked in halfway through the set. It’d be like a surprise, then I’d stumble off and they’d keep playing.”

The Fall reference previously mentioned hits home with Casey, though the band pulls influences from other, less obvious places. “The weird thing is, the band doesn’t really have one sound that we go for or anything that we look for,” the singer says. “I always like the Fall. Greg’s favorite guy is R. Kelly. He went to go see him when he went through town and, when the Lager House did their Halloween thing, Greg performed R. Kelly songs. He’s a super-fan.”

What could be more punk than an open, unexpected adoration of R. Kelly? “Definitely, when we started, the idea I had was that it’d be a punk band,” Casey says. “It’s funny because we just got a review of our record where somebody was saying that this isn’t, the first single is post-punk and this is post-garage, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what they meant by it. It seems like it’s a handle to say. We just say that we’re punk because I can’t really sing very well. It’s easier to say that.”

Protomartyr recently shifted over to X! Records to release the “Colpi Proibiti” (meaning “death warrant” in Italian) single. “I’d known Scott [Dunkerley, X! Records’ main man] from being around the shows,” Casey says. “He seemed like a nice guy. He put out the first Tyvek 7-inch, so I thought I’d ask him if he wanted to put something out and he said yes. I used to be a dog’s body for Tyvek, hanging with them. I have always known that it’s a good label. A lot of times, people will over-egg it. But he’s released a lot of records and done it right. I always liked that.”

The 7-inch single certainly looks awesome, the front adorned with some black-and-white religious imagery and the back featuring a Sniffin’ Glue-style choppy cartoon. The single screams out, “We did this ourselves, by hand.” “What I like and what inspired me a little bit was a collection of CDRs that came out where they took a lot of 7-inches that came out after punk in England,” Casey says. “Bands you’ve never heard of them but they had really great singles and handmade art. Nowadays, when you can do everything on a computer for free, I like the handmade aspect of it.”

Much like punk singles of old, “Colpi Proibiti” also features two songs on each side. “We’d heard that if you go over five minutes, the sound quality goes down, but basically we had recorded a bunch of songs and, especially nowadays where it’s hard to get people to buy anything, if a thing has four songs on it there’s a little bit more incentive,” Casey says. “The Detroit hardcore stuff, I really didn’t listen to much of it growing up. It’s interesting when you get a review and people say we sound like something, and a lot of times I don’t know who they’re talking about, then I go and look them up and it’s usually flattering.”

Playing the dive bars of Detroit, Protomartyr has already seen its fair share of show-time adversity. “The worst show so far was at the Majestic, I think the Fucking Awesome Fest last year,” says Casey. “They had a couple of different stages. We were the last band to play on Saturday night so it could look like we were headlining. We were playing right after Ty Segall, who is very big right now. As we were setting up, we see this huge crowd to see Segall. We knew that we weren’t headliners, we were the afterbirth. As soon as he was done playing, the whole audience kinda goose-stepped out and we played to about five people. It wasn’t pretty, in that big room. It was all open, so it was obvious that no one was here for us.”

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus