The indie rock A-cup set can breath a sigh of relief: The hook-extensive Eric Weir and the Tiny Steps are burping up a proper release. Back in the Zoot Coffee days of yore, then-high-schooler Weir and a company of hormone-driven pop geeks operated as Spindle and were an integral part of Detroit’s ephemeral power-pop scene (with like-minded bands such as Cloud Car, the Kicks and Fedora). When Spindle split, singer Weir did what any pup-pop songsmith would — he headed down to Mom’s basement with a 4-track machine and pals in tow. The basement tape sessions led to the formation of the Tiny Steps (guitarist Michael Cianfarani, bassist Courtney Sheedy (ex-Cloud Car) and drummer Ryan Allen (the elder of the dynamic Allen Bros. who crops up with the frequency of an indie-rock Jim Keltner). That lineup has just finished recording an as-yet-untitled six-song EP, due out early fall on CD and vinyl. In the interim, various EWTS members are moonlighting with other Detroit notables. Sheedy returned from a run with ripe psych-rockers Outrageous Cherry. Allen hits the road later this summer with Thunderbirds Are Now. Weir and Cianfarani, on the other hand, can be found warming barstools at local watering holes debating the virtues of Smile-era Brian Wilson and Phil Seymour vocals on Tom Petty records.
In previous Hit Singles, you’ve read yak about other local upstart labels including the questionably titled, suburb-based Cass Records label that Ben Blackwell launched with his “silent partners.” (Hey, Ben, that’s no way to talk about yer Mom.) Enter the newest contender: Lager House co-owner Aaron Tyrell is set to revive his own Rhythmitis label — a DIY outfit that Tyrell and some friends ran about a decade ago putting out a handful of noise, punk and metal titles that were probably huge in Senegal. Tyrell, it appears, has quelled his obsession with Krokus. His tentative first release is the aforementioned Eric Weir and the Tiny Steps disc. Another slated for release is by a band called the Gypsy Strings — a project led by inked-up former Filter Kings front man Gino Fanelli. Insiders are telling us that Fanelli’s new project sports upright bass, guitar, harp, concertina and rhythm guitar. Lip smack says the Gypsy Strings will raise the dead for fans of Django Reinhardt. We’ll do our best to keep you posted on any Rhythmitis release news. And, after all, now that it’s hit print, everyone involved would have egg on their faces should nothing happen.
This week sees the full-length debut release by rotund hip-hop anti-star King Gordy, appositely titled The Entity. Best described as somewhere between “hellish” and “demonic,” the Koch-released disc is questionably the most below-the-belt hip-hop release in recent memory, littered with Eminem co-writes and under-the-gun images of hard-nosed Detroit living; chestnuts sure to knock white suburban kids on their assas.
As droopy advance ticket sales continue to mar this year’s Lollapalooza tour, the show’s opening date, scheduled for July 3 in Grand Rapids has been unceremoniously scratched from the itinerary. The “official” word is the venue wasn’t spacious enough for Jane’s Addiction’s rockist stage setup. A spokesperson for the tour denied the cancellation was due to feeble ticket sales. The July 18 show at the DTE is, apparently, still a go.
Rare guffaws from the gums of this digit came when the Midwest Product tune “Pigeon” secreted from the television speaker during an episode of MTV’s “Road Rules.” The episode involved the cast of privileged power-pouters slurping fish eyeballs at the hands of a Fijian medicine man. Fair milieu for Midwest Product fans, no?
Pamela Anderson has apparently said no to nuptial plumage with Kid Rock. Appears the once-pornoific Anderson has had enough of Rock’s beer-quaffing ways. “The word that best describes me now is ‘free,’” chirps the silicon-fortified 35-year-old in the June 30 issue of People. “That’s all I will say. I’m a mom, and that’s where my life is at.” The mother of two is said to have been spending time with ex-hubby, the celebrated ghetto-enthusiast/alcoholic/layer-of-porn stars Tommy Lee. Recent prattle suggests that Anderson has found religion too, and has taken to teaching Sunday school! Yee haw!
After an impressed John Doe heard the Fags five-song EP, the Detroit refrain-and-fist trio find themselves on the road supporting LA punk prophets X on their current tour.
“I was nervous and completely star-struck at first,” says Fags shouter John Speck. Besides a penchant for Jager —apparently Speck and X crooner Exene Cervenka partake of the stuff on a nightly basis — the symbiosis on tour has made for a frolic-filled ride.
After several weeks on the road and a couple black eyes later, it seems that these Fags have shared far too many germs, body odors and personal spaces in tight travel quarters. Speck, Jimmy Paluzzi and Tim Patalan have much to learn from sharing an environment with such pros as X. “It is amazing to see dysfunction honed to perfection,” Speck says of X. “They don’t necessarily get along, but they live for that hour-and-a-half every night. That’s were I see us in 30 years … I am just like Billy Zoom (X’s guitarist) — I am an asshole, I am anal and I like to play guitar.” Hmmmm.
Zoom’s a generous asshole. To wit: After Speck’s Gibson SG was lifted in New Orleans, the X six-stringer reportedly presented Speck with a brand-new guitar.
Also, the Fags have made regular rotation — without the benefit of major-label graft and green — on hometown station 89X, on 102.1 KDGE in Dallas, and on a few other popular radio stations across the country. Let’s go rock ’n’ roll radio!Send bitch slaps, quips and rants to [email protected]