Marshall Crenshaw will likely have some very pleasant flashbacks as he closes out this year's Rockin' on the Riverfront concert series this weekend alongside the Detroit River.
It's been 30 years since the Berkley native released his celebrated debut album, with the hits "Someday Someway" and "Cynical Girl." That same summer he also played a free show in front of a packed Hart Plaza, which he remains "a highlight" that's endured throughout his career.
"I remember the night before the show I stayed at the Book Cadillac hotel -- I think I was the only one there that night," says Crenshaw, 58. "I was so excited I couldn't sleep. CKLW had added 'Someday Someway,' and I stayed up all night listening to see if they played it -- and they never did!
"Then I got out the next morning after not sleeping at all and went and played the show, which was amazing. It was great. Very satisfying. We've had some great shows in Detroit, but that was a real high highlight, for sure."
With 10 albums under his belt, Crenshaw, who now resides in upstate New York, is getting ready to launch a new phase in his career. This fall he'll begin a subscription series via his web site, releasing a three-song EP every four months for the next two years. Each will contain a new track as well as a cover song and a "re-imagined" version of one of his older songs; the first EP will include "Don't See You Laughing Now" along with the Move's "No Time" and a live rendition of "There She Goes Again" recorded with the Bottle Rockets in Chicago.
"The full-scale album-making process -- stockpiling a dozen songs, which for me can take a long time -- doesn't agree with me anymore," Crenshaw says. "The idea that I can create something and then have it out relatively quickly and have a sustained period where there's new stuff coming out on a regular basis appeals to me a lot more than sitting in the good ol' cave writing the stuff and then just dumping it all out once on an album. I couldn't get behind that now.
"I just think this'll be more fun, and a greater kind of motivating situation for me. I'm really excited by the music and just the whole process. I think it has all kinds of upsides."
Marshall Crenshaw and Mark Farner close this year's Rockin' on the Riverfront series at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, on the south side of the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. Admission is free. Visit www.gmrencen.com.
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