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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cheers.

In twenty years, the future music scene of Detroit and the world (barring any apocalypse that may be in store) will look upon the musical culture creations seething from the sidewalk cracks in this city with nostalgia, curiosity and reverence. I'm serious. Be as cynical as you want (we are notoriously cynical about everything), but it's true: the art we make here is incomparable to any other place on Earth. And when the music nerds of the future geek out on our yet-to-be-named era of Detroit music (post-garage? I'm working on it) like us kids look upon the New York post-punk no-wave scene of the late 80s, they will turn to the key figure in the documentation of this time, these venues, these crazy people and the things they do.

That key figure will be undoubtably Jeff Milo.

They will pore through digital stacks of Jeff's writing, his interviews, flourished depictions of guitarists' demeanors, moments at shows described as spiritual experiences (with a monk's inspiration!), and the strange quirks of the keyboardists who can't stay on stage. 3am interviews at Dunkin' Donuts with scruffy, wild-eyed thirty-somethings will become richly romantic scenes to the musicians of the future. Because of Jeff's equal and unfettered love of both music and words, the misplaced underbelly of this town will be forever remembered in the most fantastic way; the most honest and glorious way, through his eyes.

Jeff has been writing relentlessly about Detroit music for years, keeping a blog and attending countless shows. It's his Birthday this week, and just last month he hit 1000 posts on Deep Cutz. Friends will be playing his Birthday party at the Loving Touch in Ferndale with Golden, Legendary Creatures, and Electric Fire Babies. There might be some surprises through the night, too. It's on Wednesday, and I'm sure the place will be packed. You should go and buy him a drink. I know I will.

The first time Jeff wrote about something I was involved in, I was 19 and in a psychobilly band that was getting a little press. I never bothered remembering the name of the guy writing about Josh Daniels and the Addictions, nor had I met him. That was back when I was doe-eyed with dreadlocks and awful fiddle skills. But he saw something there that was good, and randomly popped back into my life and my boyfriend's a couple years later when he wrote some more nice words about Scottie's new band, The Rogue Satellites. Since the time that I introduced myself at the half-wall in the Garden Bowl, he has been at almost every show I have and three times more. He has written wonderful things about my current band, my friends, and people I've never met. None of the things he says are flippant or appeasing; they are sincere and he only can write what he is passionate about--who he wants other people to hear.  He has recently said of his blog (which translates to all of life),
...[T]ruth be told, inspiration to keep writing here is refreshed on an almost weekly basis; it could be the subtlest of gestures, a fleeting lyric belted out live and almost lost under piles of feedback, or the fire in someone's eyes as they emit their stories, their takes, their opinions, their plans, ...their hopes, to me, at the side of a bar or the side of a stage.
Jeff, we emit those stories to you with the most passion, the most inhibition, because we know you are listening. We know you can never stop listening. We love your determination, your care, your love of gin and half-caff coffee, your praise and promotion, your wit and ceaseless enthusiasm, and your words. You are the heart and hope of Detroit's independent musical soul, and I think I can speak on behalf of everyone you know when I say, Cheers, brother. Your Birthday should be the happiest anyone could have. You deserve a place in history as a legend of music writers. We hope you never stop, but if you stopped now, the world would still never be the same.

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