" 'Belly of the Whale' really sums up the record," says Nadir. "It gives us the message that it may feel like the end of the world but it's not. It's just another day in the belly of the whale."
"The Book of Jonah" is Nadir's third full-length solo CD, and he'll celebrate its release with a performance Friday at PJ's Lager House.
"A lot of the songs are really inspired by some of the things we've been going through here in Detroit and Michigan," says Nadir, whose full name is Jonah Nadir Omowale. "It's not as overtly political as my 2008 record when I was mad at George Bush and angry all the time. This one is a little more hopeful, and even with all of the turmoil that we and the rest of the nation -- and the rest of the world, really -- have been going through, I see a lot of positive signs and a lot of positive things happening."
The album was recorded locally, most of it at his studio in the Metroplex Room, located inside the Submerge Distribution Building (the famed Detroit techno distributor) on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit. "We're recording similar to the old Hitsville style, where it's really an open type of space," he says. "We embrace that organic feel."
After scaling back during the economic downturn, Nadir is now working with an enhanced seven-piece group. The band playing Friday's show includes bassist Christopher Spooner, drummer Jason Bonaquist, guitarist Steve Caldwell, keyboardist Jeff Rebrovich, electronic percussionist Ray 7 and vocalist Tasha Lord. Singer Steffanie Christ'ian is an occasional vocalist with the group.
When he's not on stage, Nadir spends a lot of his time promoting the work of local bands on Detroit Music TV Live. "We're playing all Detroit music videos and having Detroit bands come on the show," he says. The show is co-hosted by bassist Emily Rogers and can be viewed online at www.detroitmusictv.com.
Nadir moved here from Nashville in 1999. "I feel really blessed that the city has embraced me and a lot of the things that I do."
Openers on Friday will include rock hip-hop quartet Final Cue and DJ Psycho of the Detroit Techno Militia. Music at 9:30 p.m. Friday, PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan, Detroit. 313-961-4668. $5.
For more: www.nadir-music.com.
Get down with the Hounds
"You Light Me up in the Dark" is the debut disc from the Hounds Below, the band fronted by former Von Bondies leader Jason Stollsteimer.
The album is due Tuesday via Slimstyle Records, but local fans can pick up the disc Saturday when the group holds a CD-release party at the Loving Touch in Ferndale.
Opening are the Handgrenades. There will also be DJ sets by Passalacqua, Phantasmagoria and Jamaican Queens.
Music at 9 p.m. Saturday, the Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward, Ferndale. 248-546-3696. Free for ages 21 and older, $5 for ages 18-20.
For more: www.thehoundsbelow.com.
Two parties, one new disc
Roots rocker John Latini will celebrate "Lovers, Liars & Losers," with two performances this weekend at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti.
Released on the Michigan-based Smokin' Sleddog Records, the 12-song collection of original music features guest appearances from Dave Boutette, Rod Capps, Jason Dennie, Al Hill and others.
Jamie-Sue Seal and the Elden Kelly Trio will open.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Riverside Arts Center, 76 N. Huron, Ypsilanti. 734-480-2787.
For more: www.johnlatini.com.
Rachel May, Metromix editor, is also a member of local bands Broadzilla and the Difficulties. Send local music news to her at email@example.com