Nobody loves Detroit bands more than other Detroit bands — and what better way to show it than a night of bands covering their favorite local acts. It was an evening full of delights, surprises, fake blood, drag and no Charlie Sheen.
Laura: First and foremost, I would like to say how happy I am that Charlie Sheen doesn't have any of my money.
D'Anne: Agreed. I bet those angry Sheen fans would've had a lot more fun at Detroit by Detroit. And even if they didn't, their money would have gone to the Red Cross Japan relief efforts and not into Charlie Sheen's "money for a crazy day" account.
Laura: Exactly. This event was a lot of fun — 12 bands played short, three-song sets alternating between the two Magic Stick stages.
D'Anne: Though everybody did a commendable job, there were some clear winners of the evening. And not "winning" in the Charlie Sheen way — which it turns out means whipping a Fox Theatre full of people into a disappointed, angry frenzy. These bands were winning in a "this is actually great" way.
Laura: Yup. The far and away standout being Illy Mack as Eminem and Dr. Dre.
D'Anne: I want to see them do that again. Right now.
Laura: Jennifer David of Illy Mack came over to us early in the evening to say hello, but with her oversized sweats, wife-beater tank top, giant black hoodie and Detroit Tigers ball cap, I didn't even recognize her.
D'Anne: She looked like a teenage boy.
Laura: She seemed really excited but a bit nervous. She told us she and Illy Mack's other half Steve Kendzorski "took this shit, like, seriously."
D'Anne: And that she and Steve had been rapping the lyrics back and forth continually to try to memorize them. It was hard, she said, because "Eminem uses so many fuckin' words!"
D'Anne: When they took the stage later in the night, there was a lot of anticipation in the crowd. When Steve started the bass line to "My Name Is" people went nuts.
Laura: Then Jennifer took off her ball cap and revealed her newly super-short-and-blond Marshall Mathers hair cut. Then they proceeded to blow us away. By the time they started "Lose Yourself," I was convinced that they were Eminem and Dr. Dre.
D'Anne: Well, you are sometimes delusional, but in this case it is understandable.
Laura: The other standouts were the Satin Peaches as Lightning Love, closing out the night.
D'Anne: Yet another performance where drag was involved. Lead Satin Peach George Morris played the part of Lightning Love's Leah Diehl complete with a dress that he very well could have borrowed from her.
Laura: It looked quite fetching on him.
D'Anne: I think the dress would have been slightly better suited for somebody with, for instance, breasts. His lack of ability to fill out the top did lead to a nip slip moment which, if there was any justice in this world, would have been the scandal all over the news the next day instead of Charlie Sheen's big flop.
Laura: True. Satin Peaches also made their bass player sit far off to the side of the stage where you couldn't see him since, "Lightning Love is a three piece." I appreciated their dedication to authenticity even at the expense of one of their own band members.
D'Anne: There were a lot of bands I didn't know — most of which were made up of really young guys. It was like Detroit's Junior Mister Pageant. Or something.
Laura: True — Patrick Davy and the Ghosts as Citizen Smile, Citizen Smile as Macrame Tiger, Skeleton Birds as the Boys Themselves ... All young dudes — like the Lost Boys of Detroit.
D'Anne: Are you referring to the Lost Boys of Sudan?
Laura: Um, no. The 1980s vampire movie.
D'Anne: Was Charlie Sheen in that?
Laura: [sigh] I'll never understand how you got through grad school. Anyway, the Ashleys were also really great as the Muggs. Though it totally surprised me there were only two people on stage. That sounded way bigger than a drummer and a guy with a guitar.
D'Anne: They were really good, though I was a little disappointed since you told me the Ashleys were a superstar duo comprised of Ashleys Judd and Olsen.
Laura: Whatever it takes to get you out of the house. Sometimes I worry you'll get bedsores.
D'Anne: Very funny. Mick Bassett as Deastro was another highlight for me.
Laura: His guitar was adorned with little colorful pom poms and streamers. A nice touch.
D'Anne: Randy Chabot is a really good songwriter, so it's not a surprise these songs worked so well stripped down with just guitar and vocals.
Laura: He did "The Shaded Forest" and "Tree Frog." And that was it. I was sad there wasn't a third song.
D'Anne: Me too. I also liked the Drags as Satin Peaches. The lead singer said something about Detroit's music scene and how "the rest of the country's jealous of this shit."
Laura: Which is exactly what I say to people who point out Detroit's many faults: "You're just jealous! You wish your city's unsolved murder rate hovered around 70 percent. Suck it!"
D'Anne: I think his comment was strictly referring to music.
Laura: Oh. That makes a lot more sense.
D'Anne: The Kickstand Band as Andrew WK was fun. They were all dressed the same. Like Andrew WK quadruplets.
D'Anne: True. And it's not like you can blame them — how many times can you smear fake blood all over yourself outside of Halloween and not raise suspicion and alarm?
Laura: Exactly, and, believe me, I've tried. I wasn't aware that Andrew WK had Detroit-area ties. But I guess he grew up in Ann Arbor?
D'Anne: Yes. And was in about four-dozen bands. Also, his father teaches at U-M law school. Which just adds to his indie cred.
Laura: There's something very satisfying about a classically trained dude getting famous with a song that goes, "Party Party Party/ I wanna have a party/ I need to have a party/You better have a party"
D'Anne: Very true.
Laura: Though I personally don't like being threatened into throwing parties, I'd have a hard time saying no to Andrew WK.
D'Anne: The Handgrenades did a nice job as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. And they went to the trouble of all wearing DEJJ's signature NASCAR jumpsuits.
Laura: Jumpsuits? Is that what those are called? I thought those were rompers.
D'Anne: No. Rompers are for women. Maybe that's what NASCAR ladies wear?
Laura: Yes. That sounds right.
D'Anne: Not wearing rompers were the ladies of Betty Cooper who played as the Detroit Cobras.
Laura: I admit I'm a tab bit obsessed with the Barrettes — Detroit's own all-ladies barbershop quartet — and since the drummer from Better Cooper is in that, I'm automatically biased.
D'Anne: Though Melody Malosh played drums for their last song — apparently the first time she'd ever played 'em too.
Laura: And I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate her on her sixteenth notes.
D'Anne: I hope they do this again. It was a lot of fun.
Laura: And if there's an egomaniacal, mentally ill celebrity in town that same night, I hope the people will learn from their mistakes, and go to Detroit by Detroit, not Douche-Bag by Douche-Bag.
D'Anne: I'll bet nobody's demanding a refund after Detroit by Detroit. Especially since the proceeds went to help relief efforts in Japan. And that would make you an even bigger asshole than paying to see Charlie Sheen.
Laura: Now there's a torpedo of truth you can believe in.