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Sweats, hugs, and rock 'n' roll


Laura: It is no secret that New Grenada are one of my favorite bands in Detroit.

D'Anne: No, this isn't a secret. You are totally gay for them. I attribute this to your love for 1990's indie rock.

Laura: No doubt about it. I readily accept the fact that I'll always love the '90s. Well, the indie rock part of it. Not like, Macarena and Waco.

D'Anne: Yes, those were both horrible governmental conspiracies. But as far as convincing me this show was worthy of my time, I have to admit: You had me at "sweatpants."

Laura: I knew that would do the trick.

D'Anne: It has been a long time dream of mine to attend a show at which I could buy sweatpants at the merch table. Unfortunately, I don't usually go to shows trashy enough.

Laura: True. I mean, you're obviously trashy enough, but logo-laden sweats seem to be a more common merch option at hard rock and metal shows.

D'Anne: Yes. KISS, for instance, proudly offers both men and women's sweatpants in their insanely extensive merch line. 

Laura: Because nothing says "Lick It Up" like a hot pair of sweats.

D'Anne: Right. And at Saturday's show, New Grenada made my sweatpants dreams come true.

Laura: With total collector's item New Grenada sweat pants — only six pairs were made! Since I am also a proud owner of said sweats, that means the Wonder Twins own one third of the New Grenada sweatpants in existence.

D'Anne: I plan to wear them to all future shows I attend. I mean, as long as those shows happen in the winter and can be viewed from the couch in my living room. And happen on days when I don't really feel like brushing my hair or showering.

Laura: Sweatpants aside, this show was really solid. One of the best shows I've seen in the recently-renovated-for-live-music Majestic Cafe.

D'Anne: True. Chris O opened the show. He kind of reminded me of Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide.

Laura: He used to be in a band called The Recital and also a band called Mas! I'd never seen him perform solo before. I really dug it, especially since he played an Erasure cover, which is all it really takes to win me over.

D'Anne: Yes, but your standards are really low. Luckily Chris O was really adorable. And having Kaylan Mitchell of The Juliets join him for the song on cello certainly didn't hurt.

Laura: Duets with cute ladies are always a wise move. Provided those ladies have actual talent.

D'Anne: The last song he played was with violinist Lisa Norton. That was awesome. I would like that song implanted on a chip in my brain.

Laura: That seems a little extreme.

D'Anne: Hardly. Mark my words: mp3 brain chips will replace the iPod in the near future.

Laura: No doubt this will be what saves the music industry.

D'Anne: Next up was the Kickstand Band.

Laura: I won't lie. I was hoping they would somehow be incorporating bicycles into their set.

D'Anne: Or motorcycles. Motorcycles have kickstands, too.

Laura: I don't know; the exhaust from a motorcycle might violate the smoking ban. Let's keep it green, D'Anne.

D'Anne: Good point. The bass player in that band looked really familiar.

Laura: Well, her name is Allison, and she used to play trombone for Mick Basset and the Marthas.

D'Anne: She reminded me of a G-rated Juliette Lewis.

Laura: I don't think there is such a thing as a G-rated Juliette Lewis.

D'Anne: They also pulled out a cover: "Why Can't You Pretend To Be Nice?" from Josie and the Pussycats.

Laura: The only way that would've been cooler was if Tara Reid was having liposuction touch-ups done live on stage.

D'Anne: You are a sick person.

Laura: Perhaps. Next up was Christian Doble and Alicia Gbur of FAWN. Sans drummer, they did a stripped down set that was still really great and full of energy.

D'Anne: I thought they were amazing. Is that too fawning?

Laura: Those kinds of puns are not welcome here. But yes, they sound better and better every time I hear them. Like if Mates of State didn't just shout-sing and consider Kim Deal to be their biggest influence.

D'Anne: I totally knew that you would make a Mates of State reference. For the record I happen to like MOS, but I see your point. Christian and Alicia's set had a more ethereal, less caffeinated feel than Mates of State. 

Laura: FAWN is totally on the top of my "hurry up and put a record out" list.

D'Anne: I would pay cash dollars for that for sure. I was sad I had no money left over to buy a FAWN t-shirt. 

Laura: Me too. I am glad you like FAWN so much — otherwise I'd have to punch you for being stupid.

D'Anne: It's not nice to punch people.

Laura: I guess not. But you know what was nice? Seeing New Grenada's last show with Dave Melkonian and having it be so damn great.

D'Anne: It was a good set. And it was accented further by a simple, but effective light show. One you and your family could easily build at home using supplies purchased at your favorite big-box hardware store.

Laura: So true ... And really, why not build one for home use? For instance, Thanksgiving could probably be ramped up a notch or two with some well timed halogen light bursts.

D'Anne: You realize that by "effective" I meant "eyeball melting," right?

Laura: It was six halogen bulbs attached to some plywood, D'Anne. Quit being such a baby about it.

D'Anne: Fine. There were also people shooting footage of the show — I think for some kind of live DVD that the band will release to document this momentous occasion.

Laura: It really is pretty momentous — considering how many bands fizzle out or break up after only a short go of it. New Grenada's been together since at least 2000. They've survived line-up changes, divorce and 9/11. Few bands can say that.

D'Anne: So true.

Laura: But apparently Melkonian's move to Madison Heights proved to be no match for them. 

D'Anne: Madison Heights ain't no joke. They have a strict no '90s-influenced rock music ordinance.

Laura: But at least we'll have some recorded documentation of New Grenada's last days to help ease the pain.

D'Anne: Totally. And when you're missing Dave, you can always put on that DVD, slip into something more comfortable ...

Laura: Whoa, whoa. Stop it right there, pervert.

D'Anne: The sweatpants, Laura. The sweatpants.

Laura: Oh, right. I knew what you meant.

D'Anne: Sure you did, sicko.

D'Anne and Laura are music critics for Metro Times. Send comments to

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