By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Tell us a little about Detroit. Is it really as crumbling and crime-ridden as its press would suggest?
Nah, it's not that bad. Your question brings to mind the phrase "If you build it, they will come." Detroit was built a long time ago by jazz musicians in Paradise Valley of the 1940s, country-western musicians and blues singers. They influenced rock & roll, and then Fortune Records and Motown. Whether musicians presently performing and living here know why they are here or not, certainly this continuum exists in Detroit and probably has influenced their place here.
What can we expect from your solo show? Are you performing with other musicians? All solo stuff or Slumber Party material as well?
Nobody but me. A little of everything. Mike Appelstein
8 p.m. Monday, July 3. Lucas School House, 1220 Allen Avenue. $6 to $8. 314-621-6565.
Yo La Tengo gets our vote for album title of the year. I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass doesn't come out until September, but the New Jersey trio has already leaked the first single. "Beanbag Chair" might not conjure any bare-knuckled mosh pits, but it is surprisingly upbeat for the indie veterans, bubbling with trombones, piano and, of course, frontman Ira Kaplan's lethargic vocals. You can download it for free at the band's Web site (www.yolatengo.com), along with a few exclusive live MP3s or visit Matadorrecords.com, a freeloader's paradise of tracks from the label's roster. Andy Vihstadt