Hold the handrail 

Did everyone enjoy themselves at the Metro Times prom … er, 20th anniversary party? Did everyone thank the nice women for reminding them not to fall down (or up) the Roostertail stairs in between sets of rock and electronic? There are probably still some of you out there who don’t know yet that Esham hit on me at the party, but enough about me; what did you think of my dress? Seriously, though, plenty of people need recognition: the sponsors, the bands, the DJs, MT readers, the Roostertail, Anthony, those nice ladies who told me to watch my step and many more.

At one point Friday night, my party pals and I dropped into the Gold Dollar to check out the adventurous They Come In Threes. It was only for a short while, though, because in the heat of the freebie night, I forgot you have to pay to see a band play. Oops. “I know, I know, I’m leaving. I don’t have $5. I gave all my money to the drink-ticket lady.” Back at the Roostertail, Vinnie, Joey and crew delivered my high school sound track and the Atomic Numbers made me want to yell at my parents, slam my bedroom door and turn up the stereo. Downstairs, Kenny Larkin brought me back to the present with his smooth party vibe. And the not-so-smooth drinks made me realize it was time to go home. “Yikes, could I get a little Coke with my well whiskey, please?”

Hybrid factory

These days it seems every label wants a Kid. And they’re all looking to Detroit to birth the best in rap-rock. Universal Music Group recruited Roseville boys Factory 81 to film the band’s first music video. For the record, Factory 81 is more into ragin’ and protestin’ than hookers and cowboy hats, which you’ll see when the video is aired on MTV. Filmed Sept. 29, it took place at Wired Frog in Eastpointe. And even if you missed being in the video, you can still catch Factory 81 when the band plays with Glassjaw, Drowning Man & Sicks at St. Andrew’s Hall this Saturday. St. Andrew’s is at 431 E. Congress in Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the all-ages show. Call 313-961-MELT.

Jocaine, a hip-hop artist since 1988, recently put together a rock band to join him onstage called 75 North. They have an EP out on Imperial Records called Welcome to My Playground and the band has been flown out to RCA, Dreamworks and Capitol. There also has been interest from Interscope and Universal, the band says.

On the other end

Mascott, who also has Michigan roots, has just put out the prettiest album I’ve heard in months. Follow the Sound, released on Le Grand Magistery, is whimsically lo-fi. Simple piano notes hang at the ballet barre with unnatural beats and easygoing guitar, and drumlike noises invite her dreamy voice to dance. The Philadelphia Enquirer chose her as one of the six talents to watch for in the next year.

Mascott, aka Kendall Meade from Grosse Pointe, has played keyboards on tours with Helium and the Spinanes, and is touring on her own in support of Follow the Sound. She performs at the Gold Dollar, Oct. 15. The Gold Dollar is at 3129 Cass, Detroit. Call 313-833-6873.

The local Denny’s inspired many of the artistic ventures of the Baluyut brothers (Richard, Ed and James) from Bloomfield Hills, who have all been a part of New York’s favorite indie rock band, Versus, at one point or another. (Richard moved to the Big Apple for school and eventually his brothers joined him; for more, read our feature story on the group.) The group is releasing its latest CD, Hurrah (on Merge Records), this week and it’s full of the fuzzy guitar and meticulous songwriting the band is known for, but Richard and James say it’s more relaxed and free-form than previous CDs. Even though it may sound different from past recordings, it’s more definitive, they say, because it was recorded in more of a natural way, with less going back and “fixing” things. Versus plays at the Shelter with Mark Robinson, Oct. 13. Doors open at 6:30. The Shelter is at 431 E. Congress, Detroit. Call 313-961-MELT.

One more thing

Do me a favor and go see Grant Lee Phillips (formerly of Grant Lee Buffalo). Not only is he a mesmerizing songwriter, he’s a really nice guy. And the dates for his Detroit and Chicago shows were switched on him. He’s going to be at the Magic Bag Tuesday, Oct. 10. Doors open at 8 p.m. The Magic Bag is at 22920 Woodward, Ferndale. Call 248-544-3030.

Melissa Giannini writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail her at letters@metrotimes.com

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