In addition to some heavy-hitting national acts, innovative performance artists and the lure of campground anarchy, this year’s Land of Nod Experiment promises a sampling of Detroit’s more willing and able—many who often find a prospective audience to be somewhat out of reach. “We have played nearly every distinguished venue in the Metro Detroit area—hundreds of sporadic, lackluster gigs,” says vocalist/guitarist Andy Bird of Almost Free. “It’s still a hassle trying to get into a decent venue or perform with enjoyable bands. We still have to coerce our friends and families into attending our concerts.” Fortunately, a considerable number of spots, along with the potential to attract some well-deserved awareness has been designated for some of Michigan’s most promising locals.
The Sterling Heights trio (with Bob Impemba on bass and synth and Garren Stevens on drums) released Modern Mistakes in 2009, highlighting a burgeoning musical expertise that is considerable for a local debut. While difficult to pin to a genre beneath the umbrella term “indie,” the album contains plenty of radio-friendly pop elements (hyper and thickened post-punk rhythms pad impressively pedaled, effects-loaded guitar work escorted by Strokes-like vocal stylings and production) reflecting a wide range of influence. “Initially… our sound was grungy jam-rock with poppy overtones… suddenly we were exploring psychedelic and progressive rock… for a period we were fixated on surf rock acts… I’d say our current sound is an amalgam of all the above.” The band is currently working on an EP and hopes to have it released this fall.
“We believe that all successful bands are constantly tweaking the mixture of sounds and textures in their repertoire, experimenting with different structures, timbres, and instruments; we hope to maintain this evolving formula from album to album,” says Bird. “For Land of Nod we will attempt to craft the most seductive set of songs and sounds possible. We want to lure in prospective admirers and capture the ears of wandering listeners. I expect the show to be theatrical and peculiar.” Black Lodge, Woodman and Audra Kubat will assist in rounding out Detroit’s rousing and innovative representation on Saturday.
Almost Free • 7/24, 12 p.m. • Land of Nod Experiment (Underground Stage) • landofnodexperiment.com