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    KISS Come 'Alive' at Detroit Tour Opener

    Friday night the KISS army invaded Detroit Rock City. Suburban families, pony-tailed bikers, cleavage-flaunting cougars, and packs of 40-year-old fathers bulging in their aged acid-washed jeans all painted their faces black and white for the opening date of KISS' U.S. tour at the old-school Cobo Hall. Their mission: To rock. HARD. Mission accomplished. Check out photos from the theatric rock legends' final show at the Motor City's Cobo Hall. Thousands of fans sported tour t-shirts from the many KISS concerts Cobo has hosted over the past three decades, and dozens stood tall on silver platform shoes, their black wigs adding another three inches of glam power.

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    SPIN, Detroit Rockers Celebrate 40 Years of MC5's 'Kick Out the Jams' on Devils Night

    A leather-clad mix of genre-bending bands united last night in Detroit to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Kick Out the Jams, the MC5 record that changed the face of rock'n'roll forever. The mere presence of MC5 manager John Sinclair immediately authenticated the party, and while each band did their best to live up to the famed-Grande Ballroom recorded album, Sinclair was, without a doubt, the biggest rock star in the room. "It was all about having fun, playing with boundless emotion and, most of all, it was about camaraderie," Sinclair told me, regarding the vibe surrounding the days of MC5."We were trying to overthrow the government, nobody ever thought about the stresses of record labels or starting your own clothing line." The long and loud night of rock'n'roll proved to be as eclectic as it was electric.

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    Cold War Kids

    What: A couple years ago, these fresh faced Californians charmed the blogeratti and faced the burgeoning hype -- and subsequent backlash -- that swirled around their every mention as Robbers & Cowards, the quartet's collection of raw, soulful and bluesy chant-along jams, proved a ubiquitous feast for music fans. But with a debut dish as appetizing as Robbers & Cowards, the pressure for an equally delicious follow-up continued to simmer right up until this week's release of Loyalty to Loyalty. The album, a collection predominantly based in the band's characteristic saloon-style blues and jangle, props frontman Nathan Willett's whining falsetto and overkill narrative up on a soapbox.

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    What? It's been five years since we've heard from Tricky, but his 2008 offering on Domino, Knowle West Boy, brings him right back where he belongs: laying down the late-night soundtrack for all that is seductive and sinister in the world. The record is rumored to be a moderately autobiographical account of his jagged, turbulent youth, but whatever his muse might've been for this collection, it's clear to the trip-hoppin' ear that Tricky's as grimy as ever, offering up some intricately textured, slow churned electronica; the kind that seems to be best washed down with a shot of absinthe. Who? Tricky became a household name in the mid-'90s as a member of Massive Attack and as a solo artist, paving the global path for a seemingly new genre that was already big in London's urban underground: trip-hop.

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    Handsome Furs Get Cozy in Detroit

    Last night at Detroit's Pike Room, as the crowd amassed near the bar in anticipation of the night-capping set from Montreal's Handsome Furs,the husband/wife duo emerged for a couple pre-show cocktails and to greet their fans. Guitarist/singer Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) chatted up a few youngsters who seemed somewhat star-struck, and soon the beautiful Alexei Perry (wife/synth/vox) joined the conversation with drinks in hand, watching as Virginia-based opening act the Cinnamon Band strutted through a solid set of infectious, driving indie rock. But soon -- after a little liquid courage, that is -- the brash and fuzzed-out yet lovey-dovey sonic chemistry of the Handsome Furs blasted with Boeckner's phenomenal guitar sounds and Perry's burbling synths.

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    Human Highway

    What? If you've ever taken any sort of dreamy downer drug -- recommended Benedryl dosage included -- we can safely assume you're familiar with the warm-blood-surge, numbed-spine, ocular zoom-out beauty that can softly sweep through your veins. The sonic equivalent prescription is Canadian psych-folk duo Human Highway, who, with their revitalized mid-'70s Simon and Garfunkel-esque debut offering, Moody Motorcycle, take us on a somber, contemplative excursion through vibrant and vivid sunset dreams. The album, like a drug, is addictive, with inconspicuous melodies finding their way into the back of your head and onto the tip your tongue. The title track is the most accessible journey -- though the record in its entirety acts as one long, luscious trip. Moody Motorcycle will be released stateside on Suicide Squeeze. Who?

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    Pre-Lollapalooza Party Revs Up Detroit

    By noon, temperatures in Detroit rose past the 90-degree mark, humidity wearing on the citizens of the city like a record whose needle is perpetually scratching back and forth. By the time Silverghost (a two-piece fronted by the Von Bondies' former guitarist Marcie Bolen) struck their first chord, opening up the Lollapalooza Pre-Party (presented by Spin, Fuel Detroit, and Live Nation to help promote the weekend's festival and celebrate Detroit bands) at St. Andrew's Theatre downtown last night (July 31), the simmering evening was brought to a full-on boil of amplified beauty. With Deleano Acevado sharing vocal duties while manning the synth/drum machine, Bolen attacked her six-string with a subtle yet sultry swagger, and hips from wall to wall started to shake.

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    Night Marchers Rise from the Crypt in Detroit

    A sparse yet dedicated Detroit crowd shuffled into the Magic Stick late last night (May 5) to catch former Rocket from the Crypt frontman John Reis' new SoCal group the Night Marchers as they delivered the goods, providing a chosen few with a slightly different, and decidedly raucous Cinco de Mayo celebration. Having seen bands abandon post, so to speak, due to low turnout (read: inflated ego), as well as audiences evaporate on empty floor evenings, I gave both the band and the crowd credit for sticking together. But the Marchers are well-seasoned vets and kept the force fierce as the veins in John Reis' neck swelled with overdriven blood. And when sweat began to pour out of the man, it was as if his whole body was sobbing -- not out of sorrow, but of urgent fury.

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    Crud, the Muggs, MC Serch, American Mars Move the Motor City

    Detroit isn't an automotive town that just happens to have an irrationally high amount of musical talent. No, Detroit's an enigmatic city fueled by raw creativity, a city that breeds bands for the world's pleasure. Oh, and its residents just happen to make cars, too. And in celebration of their native city's talent, friendly folksters, haute hipsters, and leather-laden rockers mixed drinks and conversation Friday night (April 25) in the lobby of the Fillmore Detroit as anticipation mounted and citywide audiophiles arrived for the 2008 Detroit Music Awards. American Mars, Detroit's answer to Wilco circa A.M., kicked off the evening's lengthy bill with their brand of folk-roasted prairie-pop serving as a smooth aperitif to the first course.

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