According to Panic in Detroits press release, the local indie film explores the violent struggles, bold eroticism and raw emotions of people fighting for respect. Well see; it doesnt premiere until September. But there are definitely elements of that statement in the films sound track. Fully 100 percent homegrown, it blends R&B, hip hop and the sound of Mexicantown with dialogue samples and some rock (Brent Kings cover of Bowies Panic in Detroit is, at least, ambitious) for a set thats tenacious, prideful and a little defensive, just like the city itself.
It sucks, the R. Kelly-ish Paul Hill sings in These Issues, detailing his day-to-day difficulties, and thats plain honest. Theres a thread about being owed in tracks from Paradime, Jackie Plummer & Lawrence Roquel Payton Jr., and Mitch E. Mitch owed respect or at least recognition for repping from a problematic Motor City. Even the Howling Diablos get into the act, fueling the Rare Earth groove of Nobody in Detroit with lines about hotwiring cars and loneliness. The bitterness can be trying; Panic could use some cock rock or even metal to grade off some of its grit. Still, its view of the D is straightforward. And theres some sun here too Liliana Rokitas Caminos Confusos is a gorgeously bittersweet salsa ballad, and ubiquitous local DJs Godfather and Mike Scroggs put a capable techno pulse behind Petula Clark in Downtown. Ultimately Panic in Detroit understands Detroiters scowling pride. A series of late-album interviews are telling. I have hope, says one woman determinedly about her city, while another is more pointed. I got [Detroit] tattooed on my ass, so I gotta love it.
The sound track release show featuring Paradime and SOL is Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the Magic Bag (22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3030).
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.