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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

Topic: Detroit

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April 8, 2014 at 9:00 AM

The post-punk pessimism of Protomartyr | New recordings

ProtomartyrProtomartyr, ‘Under Color of Official Right’ (Hardly Art)

Protomartyr hails from Detroit, but its music is a far cry from the garage rock, soul and techno traditions of its once-thriving hometown.

“Under Color of Official Right,” out Tuesday, is the foursome’s first LP for Sub Pop offshoot Hardly Art, and second since forming three years ago. The title refers to extortion by public officials, and along with tracks like “Violence,” “Bad Advice” and “Scum, Rise!”, this is a bleak urban landscape.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Detroit, Hardly Art, New Recordings

November 1, 2013 at 10:30 AM

A band called Death finds new life | Concert preview

Death

Proto-punks Death — from left, Dannis Hackney, Bobbie Duncan and Bobby Hackney — in 2013. Photo by Samdarko Eltosam.

What’s in a name? For Detroit’s Death, everything.

In the early 1970s, singer-guitarist David Hackney and his brothers, bassist Bobby and drummer Dannis, took cues from their rock’n’roll heroes Jimi Hendrix and The Who, but played with fury and speed unheard of at the time — punk, before it existed.

For a trio of African-American kids performing music this loud and fast in the heart of Motown, opportunities didn’t come easy — in any part of town.

“We played some all-black cabarets, but that didn’t work out too well,” Bobby remembers. “We were looked upon as being weird — both by our community, and the rock’n’roll white community — so it was precarious to get a gig in those days.”

Undeterred, the brothers continued sharpening their sound, and labels soon came calling. But there was another problem.

The name.

Death.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Concert Preview, Detroit, punk