Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Thursday May 25, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Orpheum Bell

 

continued

As important as Klein to the overall sound are the contributions of fiddler and vocalist Merrill Hodnefield. She plays the oddest among Orpheum Bell's collection of instruments. The band's MySpace page features an image it has used as a logo: the guts of a violin, with a big metal horn sticking out of one side instead of a wooden sound box. This is the Stroh violin, otherwise known as the violinophone (Waits has also used it occasionally), an attempt from the premicrophone days to amplify a violin's sound. Its keening tone is one of several unusual violin sounds offered by Hodnefield, who also seems to have a collection of mutes. She carries Orpheum Bell's music sufficiently far over the boundaries of the ordinary that it begins to take on a hypnotic, parallel-universe effect.

There's a collection of younger artists who take the surrealist rather than the sunny side of 1920s culture as a point of departure, but Orpheum Bell goes beyond most of them. If you happen to have seen Guy Maddin's entirely individual take on the visual language of European silent films, you might think of Orpheum Bell as something like the musical equivalent. This local band turned out a nearly full house of young people at one of the Ark's free Take a Chance Tuesday concerts in September, and when young people pay attention to something quiet, everybody would do well to take notice. Orpheum Bell has shows lined up at the Belmont in Hamtramck and the Cadieux Cafe in Detroit — hip spots that have launched a lasting career or two. The band plays the Old Town on Sunday, November 4.

[Review published November 2007]    (end of article)

 

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Rabbit Wilde
Crunchy, with electronics
James M. Manheim
Middle Schools
Vulfpeck
Music nerds
Patrick Dunn
Galeet Dardashti & Divahn
An aural homage
Sandor Slomovits
Today's Events
Talking Literature
At local book clubs, "some of our best discussions are about books we don't like."
Cynthia Furlong Reynolds
Restaurants with Alcohol Served
A clickable zoomable map
Restaurants - Food Carts
Ann Arbor Stone & Tile Opens
With three stores, Andrei Napau has a complicated commute.
Sabine Bickford
Brixmor Buys More Bricks
Arborland changes hands
Sally Mitani
Grillin' 2017 June 11th, 3-8pm - Ann Arbor MI
Greek Festival June 9-11, 2017
Grieve Well Kite Festival June 17th 2017