Each album in the Glowfriends' extensive catalog tends to hug a central theme, but, the Kalamazoo-based band's vocalist April Zimont insists that this is not intentional.
"Usually, I feel like there is an overriding theme to most of our records," said Zimont, who plays the tambourine and glockenspiel. "We will just work on writing our songs and when we look at everything after, we will notice the theme. It's pretty much like we're documenting our lives."
If this is the case, the slow core sextet's forthcoming album Gather Us Together no doubt hits home for Zimont and the rest of the band. Centered on the theme of staying together when times get rough and lamenting relationships that fall apart all too easily, Zimont, one of the band's primary songwriters, had plenty of vivid experiences to draw on.
On the album, listeners will hear a number of references to a 2010 incident that proved impactful for Zimont and her husband, Adam, who plays guitar and bass in the band.
In May of 2010, Zimont and her then-fiancé were heading home from Detroit following a performance by The Almanac Shouters, for which Adam Zimont played drums at the time. A speeding motorist hit their vehicle and April Zimont suffered a serious head injury in the accident; resulting in an experience that only brought them closer together.
"There is a lot of stuff [on the album] about survival and even about just when something traumatic happens or when you hear about someone else's relationship that makes you question your own," Zimont said.
If any band is qualified to write songs about how to make relationships work, it's most definitely The Glowfriends. The band, which has been around for more than a decade, is comprised of three married couples. In addition to the Zimonts, the group features J.W. and Jenn Hendrix and Mark Andrew Morris and Molly Klutts-Morris.
"It's definitely an interesting band," Zimont said. "I don't think there are any other bands that have a similar arrangement."
For The Glowfriends, Gather Us Together is the sixth full-length album in its collection. The band will be holding two CD release shows, one at the Corner Record Shop in Grandville on March 20 and the other at The Globe Theatre in Kalamazoo on March 21.
The Glowfriends recorded a portion of their album in Milwaukee with Kevin Dixon of The Brief Candles and the other part in Chicago.
"I really admire Kevin and his band, and he was always telling me 'I'd love to record you guys,'" Zimont said. "I was so nervous because we were friends, I was hoping it wasn't going to change things. It went well."
Kalamazoo's Fretboard Musical Festival is an all-out celebration of everything local music, from performances by local artists to workshops and interaction with instrument designers. If you're a music freak, this event is a no-brainer — especially considering it's free. This year's installment will be March 21 and 22 at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Artists like Seventh Son Blues Band, Ninth Street Bridge and Midwestern Lull will be in action.
Local electronic musicians can get their 'womps' on every Thursday night at Planet Rock in Battle Creek. DJs and electronic groups take over the place on a weekly basis and vie for a number of prizes, including 500 bones in cold, hard cash. To get in on the action, visit affiliatedentertainmentgroup.com/events.
Bell's Eccentric Cafe is offering punk rock purists a must-see event. Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols and Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls will be headlining an event called 'Punk Goes Acoustic' where they will team up to perform songs from their respective bands. Tickets are $15 in advance.