Preview: Slow Magic at The Blind Pig

What: Slow Magic: DJ, musician, beat genius

Where: Blind Pig, Ann Arbor

When: Wednesday 1 October, 9pm

Who Can Come: Ages 18+

How Much: $12 in advance/ $14 at the door




Little is known about the origins of the musical artist known as Slow Magic, he wears a colorful animal mask and never refers to his own name.

In an interview last year with D Magazine, Slow Magic said this about his anonymous status:

“… the reason I wanted it to be this way from the start was that so people get focused on the music before they focus on a state or a location or a story,” he says. “I wanted to challenge the way music could be presented. I’m not the first anonymous musician but it’s fun for me to try and figure out things sometimes with other bands and other musicians too.”

Slow Magic came to The Blind Pig last year and put on a very good show. His beats are creative and highly conducive to dancing the night away.

Listen to Slow Magic’s music on Soundcloud.

REVIEW: Jaded Inc. (14KT + Mayer Hawthorne)

Going to the Blind Pig on a Saturday evening was the perfect way to numb the combination of a disappointing football game and several days of unwanted cold weather (in case you have never been, the main room in the Blind Pig is one of the warmest rooms in the city of Ann Arbor). Immediately I felt welcome in my black converses and flannel when I saw hordes of others wearing the same.

By the same token, I was not ready for the opening act.

You can check out “The Black Opera” at their web site here: Black Opera

Describing themselves as “Rap’s first performing arts group,” The Black Opera hit hard and fast. They changed costumes between songs and made references all over the place, from the Black Power movement to the water crisis in Detroit (at least that’s what their chant about water made me think of). In other words, this was the black Blue Man Group.

Since I hadn’t researched the opening act, I was blindsided at the beginning, but by the end everyone in the room was chanting alongside these talented men. They were not just a rap group, but a collection of performance artists that made the entire bar their stage.

Jaded Inc. is a synth-pop/beat wave group composed of Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop artist/DJ 14KT. Both men are from the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area so it was awesome to see these talented men come back to their roots.

All niceties aside, the bar was bangin’. Jaded Inc. is a hybrid collaboration of two accomplished artists and it showed. Each stationed at the front of the stage with his respective Macbook and synthesizer, they dropped the beats and we were happy to oblige.

From the strange yet sexual “Coconut Sofa” to the hip-hop inspired “The Big Knock,” these DJs covered all their bases and made a concert that was neither too chill nor too loud and obnoxious.

Jaded Inc.

Jaded Incorporated with Mayor Hawthorne, 14 KT & The Black Opera

Ladies and gentlemen,

This Saturday at Ann Arbor’s own Blind Pig, you can experience something special. Rather than attend another disappointing football game, why not spend your money on a concert where you can see exhilarating beat wave music!

What: Beat Wave Music (Hip-hop, funk, EDM all combined into one)

Where: The Blind Pig

When: Saturday, September 13th @ 9 PM

Why: Why not? Check out this music video:


The Big Knock

REVIEW: Chrome Sparks, Man vs. Indian Man, & Solar Year @ The Blind Pig

I walked down the cold, windy streets of Ann Arbor at 10 pm, unsure of what to expect at the Blind Pig. Although I enjoy listening to music and my library consists of thousands of songs, I would never consider myself a music aficionado. Unlike my roommate, I do not divide and subdivide my genres into obscure genres like spacesynth and chiptune; and if my library was lacking in any department, electronic was definitely one of them. Fortunately, the concert was not only a perfect opportunity to delve into electronic music, it was an example of the atmosphere and people that also listen to the atmospheric sounds of the genre.

Before going to a concert I like to “research” the headlining artist’s discography, but not the opening acts. Everything about them is completely new and unbiased. Man vs. Indian Man’s gig was only their second time playing a concert. When Jeremy announced this at the beginning of his act, I was shocked: what Man vs. Indian Man (MvIM) lacked in musical innovation and set list, they more than compensated with stage presence. Lead singer Clavius Crates molded his style along with the crowd, picking up maracas and other similar instruments as he pleased, dancing and gyrating to the beat, giving and taking energy to and from the ravers in the middle of the crowd. MvIM’s music began slow and deliberate, then gradually increased until it was impossible not to be swaying and bobbing to the beat. Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the first opening act.

After MvIM’s performance, Solar Year was a bit of a letdown. In retrospect, their cool tones and lumbering sound would have been good as a standalone opening act, but they did not work well as a bridged between MvIM and Chrome Sparks. At the same time, a video of the palace combined with the repetitive melodies and voice modulations were effective—it’s a shame they performed when the crowd was energized.

Chrome Sparks simply stood above the others. When Jeremy stepped on the stage and played the first two songs I noticed two things: a confident stage presence and a polished sound. In my mind, these are the things that help distinguish an established artist from amateurs or up and coming groups. Each song was lush, complete, and complemented by a series of videos on the backdrop. As a film enthusiast, I was especially touched by the editing and how it related to each track. Clips from old movies, historical footage, bizarre shapes, funky colors, everything. On top of that were the lights working their magic and the crowd of people dancing to the beat. This was how you experience music. My personal highlight was when Chrome Sparks played their hit song Marijuana. So much energy, people, and music.

Chrome Sparks at the Blind Pig
Chrome Sparks at the Blind Pig

Review: Akron/ Family

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Akron/ Family. Turns out they are a lot like “El Ten Eleven” in the way they just play for long periods of time. Each song was about ten minutes long, which wasn’t a problem, their sound is easy to zone out to.
With a combination of drums, bass, guitar, keyboard sound manipulation and vocals, there is a lot to listen to. Unfortunately the Blind Pig has a habit of raising the volume on instruments too high and not equalizing the vocals, so they get swallowed. The nice thing about Akron/ Family is that their vocals only added to the ambiance of the over-all sound. It was annoying not to hear the lyrics though.

This was one of the more relaxed shows I have been to at the Blind Pig. It was a nice, chill crowed.