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Rockin' round City Hall



If the Detroit City Council formed a band, what would it be called? Lonnie Bates and the Love Train? How about Kay Everett’s Big Hat Band?

Even more interesting would be trying to imagine what that band would sound like. Considering all the bluster and hot air, we picture more than a few tubas, lots of crashing cymbals and much discord. No Righteous Brothers’ harmonies with this group. In fact, we imagine attending one of their shows as being an almost psychedelic experience, with different band members playing different songs simultaneously.

What prompted these odd musings, you might well ask? Thanks to Tom Potter, former member of local outfit the Dirtbombs, there is a band called Detroit City Council. Credit his wife Katy for having the marketing savvy to come up with the name. “I wanted it to have some kind of ring, like Parliament,” Potter says, referring to funk band Parliament-Funkadelic. “She goes ‘For Christ’s sake, why don’t you just call it Detroit City Council?’”

The legislative version of City Council should have called Tom for some advice last year. He formed DCC in late 2002, finding his harmony just a few months before the City Council began to fall out of tune over the issue of whether or not to incorporate a committee structure.

Also, during the Dirtbomb days, Tom became a de facto spokesman for the band by committee. His onstage banter and witty introductions made him popular with fans.

See there, Love Train? Maybe committees can work after all.

As for the stage show, both councils have a lot in common, what with Tom’s energy and antics, and City Council’s, well, energy and antics.

DCC’s funk-garage mix makes for an interesting gamble when Tom steps on stage. “People tend to like it, or they really hate it,” he says. That’s just like broadcasts of City Council meetings on Comcast. Similarities abound.

Detroit City Council, the band, is scheduled to release its first full-length CD, titled Party Planet Rising, in March. As for Detroit City Council, the government body, well the hits just keep coming.

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