Music » Local Music

OttO Vector commended by MTV; Hamtramck Steve-O; a star on the rise


Shine that star booty

One way to whip up interest in your band is to kick ass in canned contests like MTV University’s Best Music On Campus competition. But don’t hold such a platform against Detroit electro-pop retrovaudevillians OttO Vector, who are, by the way, a pretty swell if not overlooked area quintet fronted by a fetching blonde called, simply, Renee. Seems OV has been chosen along with 11 other bands from 300 nationwide by a panel of, um, experts (Universal Records suits and MTVU staffers) to advance to the semifinals. The criteria for the contest other than songs? At least one band member is required to be a student, which the aptly named keyboardist-soundscape dude Mike Sonic is, at Eastern Michigan U. As far as we can tell, OV is the only group from Michigan that advanced.

“It’s really a humbling opportunity to be chosen,” Sonic says, in a tone that suggests he can’t even believe they’d been picked. If the band should win? They land a development deal with Universal Records, which includes recording time and a video that will be aired on MTVU. Go to on April 4 to vote for OV.


Appears Wednesday, March 30 at the Bull Frog (15414 Telegraph Rd., Redford; 313-533-4477).


Festival galore

The lineup for the upcoming Motor City Music conference was announced last week, and city music heads respond with a resounding “gee-whiz” on all fronts. Major headliners include The Game, Snoop Dogg, Paul Westerberg and Moby, plus scores of Motor City up-and-comers, should-be hitmakers and has-beens, all running the genre gamut. Cynics chirp, “flop,” while the more optimistic say, “It’s gonna be huge, maaaan.” Either way, the event is fantastic in scope and hope, shaping up to be quite the bastard offspring of SXSW. Promising more than 400 acts at 50-plus venues in Hamtramck and Detroit, sprinkled with national shows and industry panels and a trade show at Cobo Center, on April 20-24. The The Motor City Music Awards kick-starts the fest on Wednesday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at the State Theatre (2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5450). For all event and schedule info go to Stay tuned. …


As if you’ve had enough of this guy

Brendan Benson played to a packed house at Detroit’s Young Soul Rebel Records Monday, March 21, to celebrate the release (which went on sale that night at midnight) of his new album The Alternative To Love. Joined by Waxwing Dean Fertita on keys and guitar, Benson’s low-key in-store was a hoot. Circulating were DirtbombsPat Pantano and Ben Blackwell, Blanche’s Dan and Tracee Miller, Meg White, the Radio Fever jockos, and the maestro Hamtramck Steve-O, plus the usual soft-elbowed swarm of scenesters, sycophants and fans.

Later, merry faces made the Garden Bowl where Cyril LordsMarty Morris was hosting his now-popular karaoke. Egged on by a ballsy Hamtramck Steve-O soft-shoe of the Creedence Clearwater Revival version of “Midnight Special” and Julie Benjamin and Leigh Sabo tackling “Wind Beneath my Wings,” a rather saucy Meg White stepped up and twittered through the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer.” The night came to a glorious end with Benson, White, Sabo and Dion Fischer torturing the Zombies’ “Tell Her No.”


On yer knees, boys

A fluffy, er, rather, a reverse fluffer piece on basically how to nail your fave indie sylph in the latest — the GQ and Details online stop — picks none other than the Come Ons siren Deanne Iovan in a Top 10 list boasting Alison Mosshart, the Donnas, that Cat Power chick, Joanna Newsom, Karen O, Neko Case and others.

The piece, called “How To Be A Male Groupie,” says that Iovan is a “smoldering, 6-foot Motor City amazon” who “could easily have been a model” and includes photos and goofy backstage tips for fanboy boners. Be forewarned, backstage rubes, one thing Iovan says she’s checking for is one who’s in “a good relationship” with his “mom.”

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