Mood mode 

It's a fact: There is no city as musically incestuous as Detroit. But lucky for us, the strange bedfellows that evolve out of Detroit's "I play bass in this band and guitar in that band" ethos are among the most interesting and successful in the biz.

Take the Mood Elevator, for example. The band was birthed when two old pals — Mood Elevator frontman Chris Plum and golden child Brendan Benson — reunited after high school. Benson, who had recently purchased a studio full of recording equipment with advance money from a lucrative record deal with Virgin, decided to break it in by recording some of Plum's songs. The recording sessions went so well that they expanded into a full-fledged band with Plum at the helm, Benson on rhythm guitar, Eric Pott on bass, Zach Shipps on lead guitar and Matt Aljian on drums. It was a who's who of local rock.

The Mood Elevator proper would later become Benson's backup band (also known as the Wellfed Boys).

Over the years, the boys traveled across the globe playing to sold-out crowds and winning new fans. Plum, who is a husband, father and elementary school principal, chose to put his family first, and the band eventually went on hiatus. Even in their absence, they've remained a favorite of local music lovers.

It's been two years, but the Mood Elevator reunites this week. This time, a rising star in his own right, Augie Visocchi of the Hard Lessons, will sit in for Benson.

Old fans can expect a dose of the same harmony-heavy, lighthearted pop rock they grew to love. And inside sources say we can expect songs from 2000's Listen Up! (could the song "Butterfly Net" have been catchier?), as well as tunes from 2003's Married Alive.


Saturday, Jan. 28, at Small's, 10339 Conant St., Hamtramck; 313-873-1117. With the Hard Lessons and Velvet Audio.

Eve Doster is the listings editor for Metro Times. Send comments to

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