Detroit Domination,  Featured Stories,  Live Performances

ANR, We Barbarians, and The Ashleys @ PJ’s Lager House in Detroit 9/5/2011(Photos and Review)

This past Monday Detroit hosted three bands that music lovers need to know about.

1. ANR

Brian Robertson (Keyboardist/vocals)

Michael John Hancock (Drummer/vocals)

ANR traveled to Detroit to play us some tunes in preparation for their release of the deluxe edition of Stay Kids. ANR is A psychedelic synth-pop duo that met while studying in Miami. The group has played with bands such as Animal Collective, Neon Indian, and No Age, but has spent much of this year headlining their own tour in both the U.S. and the U.K. Prior articles written about ANR compare these guys to all sorts of different bands such as MGMT, Passion Pit and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Comparisons usually have some element of truth to them, but this duo definitely has a sound and style all of their own. I highly recommend seeing them live because it’s interesting to watch how two guys playing instruments and singing at the same time can produce such a full, rich and complex sound. I also like that although the subject matter of many of their songs is serious, you wouldn’t realize it unles you were paying attention to the lyrics–it’s a compelling contrast. ANR

2. We Barbarians

David Quon (guitar/vocals)
Derek VanHeule (bass/vocals)
Nathan Warkentin (drums/vocals)

We Barbarians, a trio of Brooklyn transplants, had just been in Michigan because they opened for Foster the People a few weeks ago. At their show, these super nice guys gave me a ‘lil card that allowed me to download their new EP called Headspace. I’m listening to it now and remembering how I instantly liked their vibe and sound. It was easy to tell that they loved performing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they inspire a lot of kids to pick up a guitar because of how fun they make it look. Check ’em out so you can say you knew about them first! We Barbarians


Tom Bahorski (vocals and guitar)

Steve Olshove (drums)

According to Facebook, the Ashleys are made up of “Handsome Tom” and “Dreamy Steve”. I knew I would dig this group after I read they worked with Detroit producer Jim Diamond to create their latest album Can’t Take It. It’s damn good. No other words are needed! I plan on checking them out again and featuring them in the “Artists Spotlight.”  Oh, and I can’t forget to say “HELLO!” to the proud padre of 1/2 of the Ashleys. I had a fun time drinkin’ beer with him and chit-chattin’ about the band.


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