WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3 (PRE-PARTY) AT THE MAJESTIC COMPLEX
Keep on Trash Dance Party
Three-one-three superstars Dave Buick (Italy Records) and John Hentch (Hentchmen/the Paybacks) will be spinning punk and rock 'n' roll classics as well as lost nuggets throughout the night — so there's absolutely no need to go soft.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Apparently, the Earnhardts have zero imagination when it comes to naming their boys, but that's OK — why fix something that ain't broke? Junior Junior fuses hip-hop with folk, but don't expect a rap version of "Idiot Wind" (although, if everybody requests it loudly enough, ...)
Doop & the Inside Outlaws
Doop and his wasted cronies grab old Johnny Cash's festering corpse by the neck, have their filthy way with it, and then refuse to cuddle it. And they'll do it for about 40 minutes. Yee-haw, son!
Punk Fitness Interludes
Now it's a party! The fetching Punk Fitness chicks — led by Julie Hecker and usually featuring Vivian George and Karen "Queen Bee" Neal — will hula-hoop and do other forms of shape-shifting aerobics for our pleasure, so drink it and smoke it away.
Immediately after those punk fitness gals put down their jump ropes, Mrs. Hecker's teen son's band takes the stage. Which means, Andrew, no bad language and no giving the "Uh, chick, I'm the singer!" eye to the hottie in the front row. But some of that awesome scuzz-rock you play will go down quite nicely, thank you very much.
Listening to the primal, sludgy swamp metal of Chapstik at 12:45 a.m. and then having to go to work the next day (after the coney stop) will undoubtedly make you feel very much like you were dragged to your day job off the bumper of a 1974 Cutlass Supreme. Salute!
Otherwise known as "What Joey Mazzola did next," the Sugarcoats find the former Sponge and current Detroit Cobra man messin' with a bit of a country. Essential.
Otherwise known as, um, "What Kenny Tudrick did next," Cannon is surely worth seeing, if just to find out what the terrific former Kid Rock, Bulldog and Detroit Cobras rock 'n' roll star is up to these days. Do Not. Miss.
Loretta Lucas of the Sisters Lucas describes her new gig as like new wave meets the Breeders in the '60s — which sounds good, as long as Kim Deal doesn't show up wearing a go-go skirt.
In some people's eyes, computer perfection was reached when the Commodore 64 came out with Frogger in the '80s. Since then, though, the contraptions have just gotten convoluted ... unlike these synth-y, psychedelic art-house rockers (with roots in PAS/CAL) who are actually quite sweet sounding.
So you get there late and everyone's drunk and you attempt to catch up by drowning in a bottle of Smirnoff and instead end up naked in the shower with people laughing and pointing. Now there's a party. With that in mind, these super-animated noise merchants should consider renaming themselves Respectable Soiree. They're that interesting.
Comely Marcie from Silverghost (and, previously, of course, the Von Bondies) is busy with several project thingies, but F'ke Blood is probably the most raucous of them. (Plus, Eastern Market's Dion Fischer!) She's also playing with the universally acclaimed Silverghost later in Blowed Out. But it's here that she'll really be letting that lovely mane down and kickin' her heels high.
THURSDAY, MARCH 4
Steffie & the Dirty Virgins
Local transgender goddess and onetime MT pinup Stephanie Loveless will whoop, shriek and wail at ya, backed up by a band that is not made up of virgins. Want proof? Ask to see their surgically manufactured hymens.
Barroom stoner rock from what sounds like the Hamtramck Hometown Junk Band, penning songs about "Leprosy" and the "Children of Satan." Wild, Screamin' Jay-style shouting and harmonica? Who said some things are sacred?
Despite the fact that this band is called Carradine and features a drummer named Dave C, David Carradine of whiskey flask and Kung-Fu fame is, sadly, not a member. They do, however, create some rather lovely, Sonic Youth-inspired dirges.
If Ian Curtis had, um, hung around, relocated to Detroit, soaked up the '90s garage fever and then made some more Joy Division records, they'd have resembled Fur. Or, perhaps, "Venus in Furs."
It's like they really know me, man. Every song is about me. Well, maybe not. But their lush indie anthems move in that way that lush indie anthems should move. Geddit?
Rockabilly country from a band fronted by two bros. Do you like ferocious "billy-country?" Birds of a feather? The Pabst awaits. ...
He's the singer with the Great Lakes Myth Society and he has the best second name ever. It's true and honest stuff. Honestly.
Closet mods sound like Blur if that band had just discovered the Jam.
Michael Seger & Everyone's Favorite Band
OK, Seger knows his way around a pop-rock nugget, whether or not you're too cool to admit it. But in Detroit, if your last name is Seger — you'd better swing, baby!
What could be more rock 'n' roll than macramé? But these indie-rock fruitcakes know that old-lady-art + cats = class. We'll be waiting for Knitted Cougar at next year's Blowout.
Remember local metal titans Forge? Decibilt — featuring former members of that band — are even more metal and much metaler than you! They go up to 12, they know who Dimmu Borgir are, and they out-horn Dio and look for old Phil Lynott wherever they go. Hell-fookin'-yes!
Oh, man. We adore this band! Face-melting, head-smashing punk-rock pop ditties with more metal hooks than a body-piercer's playroom. Hum these pups all the way to bed.
It's a lot like there's this creepy kid who was sitting alone all night in the corner of a dive bar suddenly and without warning deciding to entertain us all on a guitar he just stole. And that's cool.
Not as uncomfortable as their name suggests, this lot serves up old-skool pop-punk and has in its ranks members of the Reruns, the Mutants and the Polish Muslims.
Now that the Singles have pissed off to L.A., these guys may well be the best power-pop band in the city. Their songs are sunshiny and happy. It is March, right?
Not to be confused with fellow local boys the Hi-Fi Handgrenades (although don't assume that they're as lo-fi), this band plays '90s Brit-pop-inspired alt-indie-rock stuff that's pretty sweet.
The Q sound like tie-dye. How can music sound like a clothing pattern? Fuck knows. But they do.
This lot has somehow fused Dick Dale with Kraftwerk. And makes it work. Lo-fi surf with electronic noises. It sounds like the Aphex Twin surfing on your nightmares. ... Welcome!
Bat on Fire
The most evil band on the Blowout bill, BOF has a song called "Day 4 Cannibalism." Thing is, we've always hated to plan like that. Cannibalism's a spontaneous thing, yeah?
Who wishes Rush were from Harper Woods? How about King Crimson? Emerson Lake & Palmer? Yes? Well, tough shit. But these prog rockers are from Harper Woods.
G of C Hall
Rocky Loves Emily
Everyone knows that Rocky loves Adrian. Haven't they seen those damn movies? Nevertheless, these guys have been getting loads of national press and play the sort of emo-rock that teens continue to lap up all over the U.S.A.
These local indie-rock heroes released a new critically acclaimed album last year. It got a bad review in MT and we were told to fuck off. You have got to love this band!
We don't know if Invincible is invincible or not, but she's awfully damn strong. This MT cover gal's topical, poetry-ferocious hip hop presents a wide and empowering take on life in Detroit, yo. She's a star! Peace.
G of C Lounge
Apparently, acclaimed singer-songwriter folk-rocker Jones drank an A&R guy into the gutter at South by Southwest two years ago. Proof positive that appearances can be deceiving because he looks, as one blogger wrote on last year's Blowout blog, like a comic book character. But this beer-monster sure can write a tune — in fact, he's penned some of the best to recently come out of this area.
Pagan blues jams from Ferndale. No, really! That's what they do. They might have a name that sounds like a '60s English folk band, but these guys plug in and see where the music takes them. Sometimes, the answer is Madison Heights.
These guys describe themselves as "beer-core or disaster-pop." Boys, Shane MacGowan is beer-core. Robbie Williams is disaster-pop. You guys sound like a great rock 'n' roll band.
This femme-fronted indie-rock deal has a song called "Don't Close Your Eyes" which might be good advice if you're driving ... but bad if someone is throwing bleach at your face. Hey, they need to be more specific. Their music is quite specific, though — good enough to wink at, even.
They dig Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Tool, so it's likely they'll gnaw out a 40-minute single.
A new genre called "conversation-rock" is born right here. No, really. They're soon going on tour with Yes, Honestly, and, Well, Fuck Me! But, tonight, they'll just be playing their emo-pop noise for your pleasure.
Imagine Stephen Hawking fronting Wire. Try not to laugh. Now go see the Phage and see if you can come up with a better description.
60 Second Crush
Hardcore and metal meet head-on. Metal wins, but not before hardcore gets in a couple of cheap shots.
This singer-songwriter-poet recently performed at Jerry Vile's Dirty Show. But don't expect any naughtiness here — just cute songs performed to some idea of perfection.
Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran may be long gone, but their spirits live on in these Hamtown-based 'billy revivalists. Teds forever!
These teens play psyche blues skronk, though if you think that means you'll get a set of spaced-out jams, ... well, you're probably right. Cred alert: They just released a Matthew Smith-produced debut album.
Thin Lizzy-inspired classic rock, featuring Elliot Moses of the sadly defunct Universal Temple of Divine Power. Songs are awesome, though one suspects Moses wanted a band with a tighter name.
This fella describes his music as hip-hop mixed with melodramatic pop, and he rhymes about caterpillars, doorknobs and feeling peckish.
Short-time Von Bondie and Nice Device siren Alicia Gbur and Javelins man Matt Rickles make two-thirds of an interesting three-way. So new you can't even download 'em.
Carjack main-man Lo-Fi Bri is one of D-Town's bona fide musical innovators. No shit. Just listen to his other project, the Electric Fire Babies, for proof. And Carjack are fookin' brilliant; like Suicide but with better songs.
Zoos of Berlin
The booozz surrounding this band is becoming white noise. For a reason: Their Euro-pop inspired tuneage is sing-song and inspired — two things that are too often mutually exclusive of late.
Dirty punk played with shit-eating grins on pock-ridden faces. Think Motörhead, but drunker.
They've a song called "Ditch the Bitch." Not very nice, huh? Then again, neither is their filthy scuzz-rock. In other words: Aces!
These guys steal so much from the Stooges, they're nearly a tribute band. But then, this is Detroit, Iggy is God. So, if you're gonna steal, steal from the man.
Otherwise known as "Stevie from the WAB's band," the Grande Nationals continue to be criminally overlooked despite having some of the best four-on-the-floor, shout-along songs the city has seen in ages.
Psychedelic, proggy space jams. But then, after seeing that name, you already knew that.
Very pretty, male-female dual vocals and some Juno soundtrack-esque songs. Lots to enjoy, although it's a bit soon to be using the word "legendary," guys. Then again, it worked for James Brown's band!
Old-school rap with a Message (note capital "M"). Things need to be better. So says SelfSays.
As superheroes go, Superdollar kinda sucks. He'd never get into, say, the Justice League of America, with his powers of tipping at a bar, buying a candy bar in a vending machine and alt-rock excellence. But it sure might win him a local fan base.
Whiskey in the Jar
Cougar the Tiger
These guys are battling with Macrame Tiger for the prize of "most nonsensical, cat-inspired band name." Let's call it a tie — or a lie. Oh, and these guys play guitar noise rock with electronica-based pulses, by the way. No relation to Old Man Mellencamp.
This lot plays ambient, experimental rock that is so unlistenable, it's positively impossible to stop listening.
Jesus Chainsaw Massacre
If Liberace jammed with Suicide, the result would probably sound a lot like the Jesus Chainsaw Massacre. It may be a 21st century phenom, but they're better known for their blog than their music.
Based on what it says on its MySpace thing, Illy Mack wanted to form a band but couldn't find anyone else to join. So instead, they incorporated drum 'n' bass beats into their sound. Hey, some things are a happy accident.
FRIDAY, MARCH 5
The great thing about this band is that, no matter how crap the weather is in any given season, they're gonna keep returning with some splendid music.
No! Splees ought to be fully committed to their cause. Oh, wait. Irony. Still, there's nothing impassive about these young boys and their joyous power-pop sound. (But will there be free CDs?)
Featuring former members of Inside 5 Minutes — a band that flirted with success before giving it a fake phone number — these guys sound like an ambient, country-ish Wilco.
There are few better alt-rock bands in the Mitten than these guys who — for description's sake — straddle the line between the Arcade Fire and the Smashing Pumpkins. (Although everyone knows peaches are sweeter than pumpkins. ...)
As the guitar player with Battling Siki, Scott Harrison sports a wondrous Tom Waits-ish sense and a Frankie Miller groove. As a solo artist, he plays a kind of twisted blues superbly. Guy's an original.
Want to feel like the world's ending, nobody likes you and you'll never fit in? Or, in other words, want to feel like a teenager again? Listen to Bloodbird.
Gold Cash Gold and Crud man Eric Hoegemeyer plays with these guys. That's all we can dig up at press time. But fuck, it's enough. That dude is sick.
Lac La Belle
This female-fronted Americana trio has very likely ignored any music made after the early 1900s, to their benefit. In a word: sublime.
Elle & the Fonts
Folk rock done right. No posturing, no nonsense, just great ditties by this hotly tipped band of musical vagabonds and miscreants.
Only thing worse than a rogue satellite is a stray cable box. That said, these electronic-garage kids list German synth-pop, the Flaming Lips and Slayer as their influences.
Fusing Americana with power-pop is a noble endeavour. Making it work is even more admirable. And doing it with a name that sounds like a bawdy, drunk Irish dude (not to mention a legendary former Tigers pitcher) is this damn close to genius.
Ryan Allen's Friendly Foes are always worth seeing. Moreover, the trio couldn't, even if it tried, put on a bad show. Filthy, garage-y punk rock and pure toothache-inducing pop. Stick out your tongue!
This psychedelic band doesn't even have a website and they only release music on vinyl. You gotta admire the old-school, Motor City passion.
Much like the children at the orphanage who Frank Zappa denied, these funky mad-rockers are out of their freaking minds.
Trash Camera bangs up the kind of rock 'n' roll that wouldn't offend your grandma. Then they get to the chorus and deliberately set out to offend grandma. Sorry, Granny, we don't give a damn that you were at Woodstock!
A Hamtramck-based crew — now featuring the Secret Twins' Dina on bass and vocals — who describe their sound as "a million tea kettles boiling and whistling in hell" and their primary influence as "our lord and saviour, Satan." Throw them horns!
Robin Parrent (Violent Ear)
Parrent's songs (with his project Violent Ear) on MySpace hint that this lot may be Blowout's dark horse. They wallow in fuzz and feedback, and they sound, frankly, gorgeous.
James & the Rainbros
Sublime- (the band not the adjective) influenced, funked-up punk rock, which should go down sweetly on a cold Mitten night, if you know what we mean.
Inspired by such neo-Southern rock bands as Black Label Society and Hell Yeah. Expect bottles o' Jack, and a Marshall stack or two.
Hi Speed Dubbing
Garage rock with enough soul, funk and hellfire to make them sound unique, and yet still sound like they come from Dee-troit. Incidentally, they play at normal speed and the singer doesn't sound like a chipmunk at all. (Extra points for a cassette tape reference.)
G of C Hall
There isn't a genre of music that the Sundresses don't explore. There's elements of rockabilly, swing, jazz, blues, punk, Americana, big band and show tunes in there. There's probably even some opera, if you listen hard enough.
Nikki Corvette and Amy Gore don't really need an introduction, do they? They sound like a Ronettes-Ramones jam at your big sister's slumber party. And they're prepping for a tour with the Donnas, who, you'll note, list Ms. Corvette as a primary influence.
Everyone in Detroit's talking about the Octopus. Everyone loves the Octopus. There's a reason. Go see why. They wowed the crowd at last year's pre-party, by the way.
Is there anything left to be written about the Cobras? The greatest cover band in history will most likely blow the roof off of this hall.
G of C Lounge
Sweet indie-pop, Jeremy Freer's Juliets know how to write a song that's both understated and huge. It's witchcraft.
Like Bjork without the accent, or Goldfrapp with better songs, Ferndale's Lettercamp plays cutesy-yet-fierce electronica-pop. Great shit.
These guys recognize the fact not enough people whistle during their songs anymore. In short, kinda like Gang of Four and Public Image Ltd., without self-parody.
Stoopz N Breeze
The dudes in this rap duo claim they've sold crack, turned out hookers and robbed banks. So? It's Detroit. Who hasn't?
Forget that they look like they walked out of their jobs as accountants 10 minutes before their set, Spitting Nickels play straight-ahead rock 'n' roll with a bona fide rockstar drummer.
Can a band be psychedelic and pop at the same time? Apparently so ... because these guys prove it. All night. Or at least for 30 minutes!
Eddie Baranek is back with a new, improved version of Detroit's beloved Sights, with pop-geek mastermind Dave Lawson riding shotgun. On inquiries alone, this is a hotly anticipated set.
The Hard Lessons
There's a small group of people in this town who seem to enjoy sniping at the Hard Lessons, when all they've ever done is produce stellar rock 'n' roll amped on hooks and Townshend moves. (If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you know Augie can out-Townshend Townshend.) Last year's Arms Forest album was Detroit brilliance through and through.
Ethereal, bluegrass-y alt-pop. Sounds like Portishead playing at a Pink Fairies tea party, or Raggedy Ann getting fresh with Noel Gallagher.
The Swamp Sisters
They don't look or smell like they crawled out of a swamp. And their indie-pop is all breezy and nice.
They describe themselves as Americana, show tunes and French pop, which may mean that they sound like Steve Earle, Liza Minnelli and Serge Gainsbourg singing karaoke. The Americana usually wins out here.
It's midnight. It's Saturday night. What could be better than polka versions of classic rock 'n' roll songs, I ask ya? Dumb fun, but mucho fun all the same.
The Loco Gnosis showcase opens with this project, which appears to have two official members but about 5,000 collaborators. It's very self-indulgent and self-effacing, and is either incredibly intelligent or absolutely stupid. You decide.
The members of Woodman are actually made of regular flesh and bone, which, as far as we're concerned, is against the trades descriptions act. Unless they play their entire set in a state of, um, arousal. Look closely for that, while they entertain you with their rather spiffing Americana rock.
Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
The hairiest band on this bill, JWPP sound like J Mascis' kid brother got into his bro's bedroom and starting fucking around ... with his gear. J'd be pissed ... that is, until he heard some kind of glorious noise.
Marco Polio & the New Vaccines
Not enough bands use umbrellas as props. Marco Polio are fixing that, and, as you'll find out, there are few things more terrifying than having a grown man scream in your face while handing you a busted umbrella. All that aside, MPATNV is creating a stir with its '80s-based synth-electronica — it's hype you can trust.
Both Tony Vegas of the Grande Nationals and Leslie Hardy (once of Courtney Love's Hole) play in Pigeon, and that sounds like something of an intoxicating combination to us. And, no, they're not from the Thumb, pulling a Chicago by naming themselves after their hometown.
Bars of Gold
Like Isaac Hayes singing Meatloaf in his living room on his own Rock Band game. Who wouldn't want to hear that?
Surely meat's all you need to lure a wolf. Perhaps a dead deer. Now that that's cleared up, we'll mention that these guys play thrash metal and have a song called "Dawning of the Robot Age." That's all you need to know, really.
Psychedelic stoner rock from a band whose name really should be a Dr. Seuss character. Monster Magnet fans will love 'em.
It's been a hell of a year for local star Deastro (aka Randy Chabot), and his appearance at this year's Blowout with his SX-8 Columbia project should provide a nice, early kick in the balls.
The Wall Clocks
For a band with such a terribly banal name, these guys make some great noises — and in a Brit-pop meets new wave sort of way.
Actually, Sisu Kid isn't a villain from a John Wayne movie but rather a pretty interesting dude who plays sample-filled rap-punk. A shame, really, because I was all ready to claim my reward.
Old Empire's songs are all about the characters in the old sitcom, WKRP in Cincinnati. Not a lie. Not only is that surreal, it's also incredibly intriguing. Rumors that they're working on Different Strokes: The Musical are completely made up, though.
Whiskey in the Jar
Imagine if farmyard animals held an illegal rave party at the bottom of the Detroit River. It would sound exactly like Space Band.
Japanese female vocals over Detroit indie-pop. Like a hot bath on a cold night with somebody special. Honestly.
The Ferdy Mayne
There are an alarming number of bands playing Blowout this year who are citing French pop as an influence. What's that all about? I mean, we can tell you that French pop is basically English pop, only 20 years later. So there you go — the Ferdy Mayne sound like '90s Britpop.
They play polka-rock and they're named after a sausage. The perfect Blowout contender!
Detroit Threads (From 6 p.m)
T. Linder, DJ Seoul, Darkcube, Neil V.
These members of the Detroit Techno Militia will be spinning at Threads all evening. Banging techno in a badass clothing store: That's why the Blowout is the best festival in the world.
SATURDAY MARCH 6
They have a song called "I'm a Craig, I'm a Ian" where they introduce themselves to each other over and over again, and they have another song about ZZ Top's beards. They're the freakin' shiznay, kids.
Thankfully, Johnny Ill is fit and rather healthy. Also, he doesn't mean "ill" in a street-talk sort of backward manner, like saying "bad" or "sick" in a positive way. But he could.
If that name doesn't drag you to see this band, the fact that they're one goddamn nasty Detroit punk band should.
Want to feel like a walrus just fucked you in the ear? Go see these loud, vicious degenerates. Off stage, they're teddy bears ... but don't tell anyone. No word on whether the legendary Detroit newscaster gets a percentage yet.
Beck meets the early Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill at a wine bar and invites them to smoke a fat one in his VW Bug.
Ever feel cheated? To these ears, Big Mess' easy-listening rock is actually very tidy, organized and clean. Not a note out of place. Damn it!
Electric Fire Babies
Last year, these guys opened up the entire festival at the Magic Stick — and they freakin' rocked it. One year and multiple shows later, their electro-funk-rap kills.
Not to be confused with '90s Brit indie band the Divine Comedy, this Detroit indie combo features scrubbed-faced members of the Dollfaces and the Decks ... and they're suitable aces.
Damn. Yet another band using the "French pop" genre description. Truthfully, though, the Kodaks actually sound like Interpol jamming with the Cure. Neither of which are French, by the way.
Browtown and the Beefcaves
Is a "beefcave" a new woman's private area? What are we? Sexist pigs?
Four Hour Friends
Their name is almost as depressive as their music, which is also both haunting and beautiful. Recommendation: Watch a cartoon after listening, but that doesn't mean that they're not well worth the effort.
Bassett has been compared to Dylan and Waits in past reviews. Hey, let's not fuckin' push it, buddy, ... though that's far from his fault. Look at it like this: mighty fine, laid-back rock 'n' roll from one fine Detroit tunesmith.
Jamie Register & the Glendales
Breathy, classy R&B in the fine tradition of Motown. Want some Saturday night soul?
They might have a name that sounds like a '70s porn queen from Anaheim — but these guys play worthy, white-knuckle-fisted garage rock — with clothes on.
A big buzz band this year, Prussia is sure to pull a throng into Jean's. A local tabloid chose them as 2009's Detroit Artists of the Year ... not that we disagree. They describe themselves as "dreadlocks can't live in a tenement yard" Darn these zany Detroit bands!
Like a sober Pogues or a drunk Neil Diamond.
Not even Judge Dredd called for switchblade justice, which sounds awfully harsh. But harsh fits, 'cause these guys play barroom punk rock damn well.
This guy's getting mad press now, thanks to his emo- and pop-punk songs, which kids are lapping up like mother's milk.
Take some '70s funk with rap and throw some disco on top. Yup. Smoke is cool in that Samuel L. Jackson kinda way.
The Black List
Green Day-, NOFX-style contemporary punk-pop rock, and that's definitely a compliment. In other words, just try ignoring their songs.
G of C Hall
They describe themselves as DIY folk punk, which is about right. There's a hint of the Cranberries about them, ... but don't hold that against them.
The reigning kings of loony-jazz-space-rock. Child Bite slays live.
These much-loved and -revered electro-popsters will entice and hypnotize, then leave everyone wanting more. That's what Marcie and Deleano do.
Millions of Brazilians
Another year and yet another rise in popularity for these alt-rock boys who sound like the Queens of the Stone Age's kid brothers. They round off another killer bill at the G of C Hall tonight to close the fest.
G of C Lounge
A jam featuring Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Che Guevara and Malcolm X! We keed, we keed. You can be sure Kwame Kilpatrick won't be there, though. They're too new to have a website yet, ... but you'll be hanging at the hall anyway.
Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor
Psyche glam, in a twisted, perverted, Velvet Underground sorta way. In other words, there's much to love here from this band formerly known as Sik Sik Nation.
The Cold Wave
Odd, electronic indie noise from Ferndale. Is that city the new Berlin these days? Whatever the case, there's some fine sounds coming out of there.
Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you'll know all about Leah Diehl's band and their genuine pop masterpieces.
School of Rock Showcase
Nothing to do with Jack Black, this is a local music school. The students get to play the Blowout, which is absolutely awesome. Besides, what else are you going to do at 7 p.m.? School of Rock's rock 'n' roll star instructors Eddie Baranek and Augie Visocchi are reportedly riffing along with some of their favorite teen and pre-pubescent pupils. Best class project ever!
Let's Talk About Girls
Following a bunch of folks just learning to play is a band that hasn't played together much in decades. MT's music editor doodles alongside his brother Barry in what would be the hottest reunion of the year, if Dokken hadn't just reunited. A one-time Lili's regular, L-TAG opened Detroit shows for the Replacements, Chuck Berry, Gang of Four and others.
Twee indie pop for those who like twee indie pop from a relatively new Detroit unit. There's nothing wrong with them at all. Hey, it's twee indie pop ... and that's a good thing for twee indie pop fans!
Wasn't Bazooka Jones an Atari game in the '80s? If not, it should have been. This hardworking Detroit quartet plays fuzzy power pop, merging the MC5 with Beatlesque hooks and lyrics that celebrate sex in all its glory, a la the Cramps. And they have a Joan Jett-ish singer who calls herself Viagra Jones. Hoorah for that. (Maybe her
dad invented boner pills? ...)
The Wrong Numbers
The best soul singer currently in Detroit ... which is a big claim but it's true ... even if the singer does look like Bill Gates' banished cousin! Brilliant-sounding stuff. ...
The Party Stompers
Featuring the roots and Americana talents of MT scribe Mike Hurtt and longtime guitar hero Jeff Meier, these guys play big-beat party soul with a hint of rockabilly. They couldn't be more aptly named, and they've wowed audiences from New Orleans to New York City.
They might look their mothers dressed them for church. But forget that; these folks kick up some mean garage, and uphold the honor of rock 'n' roll, when they want to. ...
The Space Heaters
They've a kinda Cramps-meets-Stones-ish vibe.
The Alarm Clocks
Hey, you think the Alarm Clocks ever played a show with the Wall Clocks? They really should, you know. They could call it the "Don't Be Late Because We Won't" night. And Blowout runs on its timeliness. Whatever. This rare out-of-state Blowout band comes highly, highly recommended, though we've never seen 'em. It's no-nonsense rock 'n' roll, straight up!
Night Two of the Loco Gnosis Showcase at Paycheck's picks up with this interesting little band who play a kind of surfy version of psyche rock. Better devil fish than devil babies, that's for sure!
Thumping alt-Americana, played by a band that's tighter than a gerbil's ass.
If the Muppets played minimalist rock, they would sound like Canja Rave. These Brazilians made their way to Detroit ... and belong here.
Noisy, electro rock 'n' roll that wouldn't sound out of place on the soundtrack to an indie movie about a group of kids who plan a bank heist, but it goes wrong — with zany results.
This hardcore band has a song called "Michigan Aggression," which is exactly as fast and filthy as you'd expect it to be. It could surely be their theme song, sorta like "Hey, Hey, We're the Monkees," but with their fingers wrapped around your throat.
Their obsession with motorbikes has spilled over into their name, their music and, most likely, their love life. They rock like bastards, mind you.
Featuring Chuck Burns of Seduce, Speedball and a shitload of other great bands, not to mention David Black of Seduce and Crud, the Shakey Jakes don't fuck around. They play the sort of rock 'n' roll that makes Motörhead sound like the Carpenters. So, yeah, they play as if they have guns pointed to the back of their heads.
Los Minstrels Del Diablos
These guys are kinda scary, like Swans if they sodomized Kraftwerk while KMFDM clapped along the rhythm, so to speak.
Like the incidental music from a radio play about life for teenagers in a remote farming community.
If Pulp had been from Detroit, they'd sound like the Solitary States. Conversely, if Solitary States had been from Sheffield, England, they'd sound like Pulp. Funny how it works.
The Mourning Voices
Their voices really do sound like the band members are in mourning. It's almost like the music from an additional funeral scene in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Oscillating Fan Club
Experimental psyche, but it's not contrived (or pompous). The songs are, in fact, as joyous as the name.
Whiskey In The Jar
Experimental indie-folk strum that's like Woody Guthrie crossed with lots of Jack Daniels.
Irish folk, touching on such subjects as whiskey, green hills and, urrrm, the fuckin' IRA. Nothing like a little terrorist ditty. ... Oh, well, national pride dies hard.
He's a classy blues guitarist in the vein of a rootsier Stevie Ray Vaughn and very early Eric Clapton. He seems a little young to have too many tales of woe, but he plays like a motherfucker.
Sh! The Octopus
How loud was the octopus, that it required a rebuttal from these folkster-poppers? Apparently, they were originally going to call themselves Pipe Down Squid. But that one was already taken. (!)
Afternoon Acoustic Showcase: Anthony Retka
For those who wake up early, there are some acoustic delights at Café 1923, and Retka will provide some soothing grace.
We absolutely love this guy Anton. His attitude rivals the apt anger in his homespun songs, which stick in the head long after the music stops. On a Saturday afternoon, he'll likely be upping the folk and downing the rock, which will work perfectly with a roomful of hungover fest-goers and daytime java-drinkers.
Detroit Threads (from 6 p.m. )
Detroit Threads will be hosting a record release party that should see out the Blowout with yet more techno terrorism. And, hey, if you ask Threads manager Mike nicely, he might even let you sleep on the floor until next year's festival!
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All blurbs by Brett Callwood, with additional writing by Brian Smith and Bill Holdship.