Freddy Fortune is back with a new band and a new 7-inch slab of vinyl, recorded in glorious mono. The United Space League‘s “You Told Me A Lie” b/w “Water Under The Bridge” is available now from Bellyache Records. You can stream some songs on MySpace, but Freddy warns us, “Don’t let the crappy sound of a watered down MP3 on myspace fool you—the sonics on this vinyl 45 are hot.”
Amazon: Alice Cooper: “Detroit City” (Free MP3)
I missed this when it came out in 2003. But Amazon’s got the MP3 for free, so I checked it out. And if you’re a fan of big, dumb rock and roll, you should check it out too. He had me at the opening verse: “Me and Iggy / were giggin’ with Ziggy / and kickin’ with the MC5.” AMG says that the MC5‘s Wayne Kramer even plays guitar on this track.
After namechecking both the Nuge and the Seeg, we’re brought relatively up to date with an explanation of what the current roster of the Detroit music scene was up to back then: “The Kid was in his crib / Shady wore a bib / and the Posse wasn’t even alive.” I wonder if Jack White feels slighted. Then again, this was recorded before Elephant launched the White Stripes into the mainstream stratosphere.
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1. The bass player’s mustache.
2. The drum set-up: six (count ’em!) kick drums.
3. Seger’s pants.
4. The fact that Seger’s guitar strap matches those pants.
5. The absolutely blissed out look on the drummer’s face.
6. Are they playing on the top floor of a barn?
7. The custom paint job on Seeg’s guitar. That’s the same guitar he played when he looked like this.
8. Drummer’s wearing a dog collar.
9. That sheet covering the piano (or is it the PA?) has little pink flowers on it.
10. Seger’s brown wifebeater.
11. Seriously, look at that drum concoction over the drummer’s head. Have you ever seen anything like that? Even Tommy Lee never dreamed up anything as insane as that.
This looks awesome. I love that the trailer uses the Bob Seger System‘s “Heavy Music.” De-fucking-troit!
The filmmakers’ Facebook page claims a release date of Summer 2010, but they also say they “have more scheduled interviews in early 2010,” so we’ll see. Let’s hope this one has better luck than the ill-fated MC5 documentary, A True Testimonial.
Check out flickr’s collection of recent rotted interior shots. It’s way beyond repair. Sad.
This is pretty great. Legendary Nikki Corvette teamed up with Amy Gore of the Gore Gore Girls. Detroit girls know how to rock. Badass guitar tones, surfy drums, and snotty vocals. Doesn’t get cooler than this.
MP3: Gorevette – “Lustfully Yours” from the Lustfully Yours EP, due January 26 on Strange Girl Recordings.
Sam Roberts, Sloan, and the Hard Lessons at the State Theater
Detroit, November 28, 2009
I should have seen it coming.
When a friend told me about the Sloan, Sam Roberts, & Hard Lessons show at the State Theater (I’m not down with the Fillmore re-branding) on Thanksgiving weekend, I was psyched. Putting the two best current Canadian rock artists together on one bill in Detroit? Fantastic call. It’s about time someone thought that up. We love Canada around these parts, eh?
So in picking up the tickets, I found out two things: one was that the best local rock radio station in Windsor/Detroit (actually based in Windsor), the River, was putting on the show, dubbing it the “River Icebreaker.” Nothing like a little nudge-wink humor to welcome in the bitter-cold season, yes? The second was that Sloan was opening for Sam Roberts. Curious, but no biggie… I guess Sam’s caught on in the D a bit more than Sloan, what with the topical Detroit song that we’ll get into later, and surely Sloan will get to play a full set, right? I double-checked and found that Sloan was indeed reportedly lined up to play a full set, and I was in like Flynn.
My eyes widened and my jaw actually dropped a little when I saw the headline: Bob Seger Raids Vaults For ‘Early Seger’ Set. Finally, I thought, the Seger System stuff is going to be released on CD. Maybe even the Last Heard singles?
It’s a ten song set with five songs remastered from the original tapes of his 1972-73 albums Smokin’ O.P.’s, Back in ’72, and Seven. This is good stuff, for sure (listen), but it’s not really “early Seger” by anybody’s definition. At least not anybody from Michigan. To make matters worse, the rest of the stuff was written during the ’80s and then “enhanced…with fresh vocals, horns and/or other new instrumentation recorded during September at Kid Rock’s studio in suburban Detroit.”
Something calling itself “Early Seger” should contain at least some stuff from the sixties, and absolutely nothing from the 80s. And you can’t call it “Early Seger” if Kid Rock worked on it! Come on now. Well, at least we’ve got YouTube…
Steely Dan at the Sound Board, Motor City Casino
Detroit, September 5, 2009
She resembled Kate Hudson in Almost Famous: slight, lithe, sexy. Her hair fell in ringlets, but red, not blonde. She was no older than the 21 required to attend, and her ID may have been gamed. She moved to the music with both intensity and grace, with familiarity and joy. And she was dancing to Steely Dan playing “Reelin’ in the Years,” a song that was released when she and her husband or fiance—there was a flash on diamond on her left hand, and she probably would know it—were still unrealized, undoubtedly not even considered. But there they were with seemingly boundless enthusiasm.
Those two were an anomaly at the Motor City Casino, not with regard to their enjoyment and appreciation, but demographically. By and large, those who packed the venue appeared as though they would have just as easily been spending that Saturday night at a Class of 1977 high school reunion. The men were buldging and balding; the women were trying and sagging. “The weekend at the college / Didn’t turn out as you planned.”
Legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond talks to the Phoenix New Times about whether he realized the White Stripes were going to be huge:
No, you never think anyone is going to become a mega-star. These are your buddies you drink with, who happen to have a band. I thought they were good, and I thought Jack was a very talented guy, and he probably had a greater sense of, you know, having a good look than anyone else in Detroit, and, you know, they worked really hard, they toured a lot. So, having some talent, having a good look, and touring a lot — that’s a big piece of the puzzle.
Sorry, boys, she’s no longer available. According to the Detroit Free Press, Meg White is getting married. Who’s the lucky guy? Turns out it’s none other than Detroit rock royalty: Jackson Smith, son of Patti Smith and the MC5‘s Fred “Sonic” Smith.
Smith, who grew up in St. Clair Shores, was 12 when his father died in 1994. He moved with his mother two years later to New York City, returning to Michigan after high school and impressing local music fans with his intuitive guitar talent.
White and Smith, who became close last summer, are known around town as private but personable figures. They live together in White’s Detroit home, and got engaged several weeks ago.
Congratulations to the happy couple! The date is set for May 22 in Nashville. We’ll be watching the mailbox for our invitation.
Photo by Russ Turk for Glorious Noise, 2007.