PLAYGROUND PICKS // UPCOMING SEPTEMBER CONCERTS AT EL CLUB FT NAO & HEALTH
El Club, Southwest Detroit’s latest bar is evolving into one of the city’s top all ages venues. The bar and music space is a new favorite- even the name stuck after the change of ownership- to catch some of the best and unique local and international musicians, thanks to their booking agent, Virginia Benson of Party Store Productions, lighting and the awesome sound system. Concerts are standing (and dancing) room only but there are plenty of booths and stools by the bar to relax. We suggest grabbing a pizza from on-site Pepe Z and taking it out to the sprawling patio to lounge between sets.
UPCOMING SHOWS //
NAO on September 18th
Hailing from East London, “Wonky Funk” sorceress NAO is making waves across the pond and beyond with her debut LP For All We Know. Jazz student turned choir teacher turned backup singer for the likes of Pulp and Jarvis Cocker to hype artist made superstar in waiting NAO is a having a moment (or perhaps, the moment is NAO.)
NAO’s first EP So Good released in 2014 to steady critical acclaim which lead to 2015’s Feburary 15 EP which landed her third place in BBC’s Sound Of prize. Now? Well, with a well received debut under her belt, NAO is a brilliantly volcanic headliner and no longer standing side stage or in the foreground. NAO could easily be considered a vocal aerialist as her sky high control and distinctive sensual dance of sweet and sultry carry her sound into ultra contemporary territory while maintaining her undeniable nod to 90’s R&B. A pleasantly perplexing blend of genres, NAO’s debut is a sweeping collection of electronic soul that invites both dance and internal reflection with the same fervor, without any discernible anxiety, For All We Know sedates, seduces and soars. Discernible D’Angelo beats and Prince-like funk and thoughtfully articulated vocal spacing mixed with her undeniably unique, attitude driven pop/jazz exploration, new territory has been charted by means of NAO’s fearless magnetism.
Health on September 25th
It could be argued that all music is, in some respect, noise but not all music is noise music. L.A based electro-rock brutalist trio Health is the exception. Creating perplexingly raw and anxious synth-heavy soundscapes that shimmer, Jacob Duzsik, John Famiglietti, Benjamin Miller and Juniper Keyes returned after a six year hiatus to deliver 2015’s Death Magic, a sonically tortured yet ethereal journey that was well worth the wait.
Their self-titled debut dropped in 2007 and became the essential soundtrack to the downtown art-punk L.A vibe which propelled them to release Get Color in 2009 where the band solidified their panic inducing dance attack beats. After touring with Nine Inch Nails as an opener and releasing two remix albums, Rockstar Games reached out to the trio to compose for “Max Payne 3”, a shooter game with a brooding moodiness that proved to be a perfect match for Health’s brand of electrified desolation. This lengthy collaboration, though a success for the band, took away from the bands personal recording time…by years. It was within this gap that music had undergone several transformations (Kanye was now an Yeezus, rock and roll took a docile back seat and Skrillex was suddenly a thing) leaving Health to rework, redefine and rebuild. Enter Death Magic, Health’s formal reintroduction. Death Magic picks up where the band left off pre-video game commitment. Specious and riotous, existentially challenged and glittering in its nihilistic tendencies, Health has not abandoned their chaos they’ve merely embraced it.
// Words by Jerilyn Jordan. An untamed writer with an insatiable affinity for vivid descriptive detail and pushing the boundaries of traditional music journalism by infusing her own life experiences and beautifully tortured observations. In addition to her music coverage, Jerilyn also writes heartbreaking and comedic autobiographical essays that likely originated as sporadic sentences written on bar napkins. //
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