e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


detroit, rock city

Just when the search for a place to call home in Detroit--don't ask about the place that we loved until learning of the rat problem--was starting to slag us down, last night was a reminder of why this is a great place to live.

The Muldoons and The Dirtbombs shared a bill at a new venue called the Crofoot. The former, a family band fronted by a ten-year-old, is the rockingest punk band I've ever seen. Only in Detroit could this act be so much more than a novelty. Their guitar prowess has grown in the months since I saw them before, and both guitarists (who I think got *taller* too) engaged in some awesomely over-the-top Marty McFly theatrics. And the songs...they give The Ramones a run for their money in terms of speeding through ninety-second-long ditties with little or no breaks or banter. Their fan base seems to consist of a combination of youngish Detroit hipsters, slightly older music geeks (think the character Jack Black plays in most of his movies), Nicole and I, and their relatives. Makes for an odd crowd.

The Dirtbombs, probably one of the only local acts who wouldn't be upstaged by the Muldoons, tried on a little psychedelia. Extra feedback and fuzz, some drum solos, an extended intro or two to familiar D'bombs classics. They busted out a few new songs. If they're working on a record, sounds like it might be straight-ahead rock this time out (after a "soul" record, a "punk" record, etc.). They did a lot of their catchier stuff and had the Crofoot crowd dancing to "Underdog" and "Granny's Little Chicken." Would have liked to have heard their cover of Lou Rawls' "Natural Man," but, hey, with the size of their catalogue, you never know what they'll bust out. The show ended with drummer Ben Blackwell scaling the balcony and doing a grunge-era-worthy dive onto his set while the rest of the band looked on non-plussed.

Not a bad place to live in after all.

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