Motor City Cribs 

The shittiest band in the world lives next door to Ann Arbor pop-heads Starling Electric. “These people are enemies of music” says vocalist-keyboardist Caleb Dillon. “They’re giving John Cage a run for his money” elaborates drummer John Fossum. “I wish Papa Roach lived next door” laments guitarist Jason DeCamillis.

Caleb, John and Jason have shared the house in Ann Arbor’s historic west side neighborhood for three years. Guitarist Christian Anderson lived there for a while before getting his own pad.

The old stone basement provides a rehearsal space for the four-piece SE as well as producer DeCamillis’ unlikely studio, which sits amid the water heater and washer and dryer.

The Starling home ain’t your average band house. Sure, there’s the odd carpet stain, signs of booze consumption and a pizza box or two around, but the house is neat, festive even, decorated with vintage posters. It’s as if some U-M students from 1974 just left their art on the walls.

The house sits a few blocks from the Blind Pig, thus hosting after-show parties that aren’t easily forgotten. Sure, the merrymaking goes into the wee hours, but it’s usually shut down by Caleb and Jason’s parents, who drive from Traverse City for the band’s shows. In fact, Caleb’s mom usually brings along baked goods for the parties! What’s more, the band members say, they’ve only had to toss one asshole out: Oasis producer Owen Morris. Morris had been in town producing the Satin Peaches and took it upon himself to be a complete douche bag. John showed him the door, as they tell the story.

Starling Electric is moving into a new house soon, closer to the U-M stadium. No word yet on whether the nameless band next door will move with them.

For a slide show of Starling Electric’s crib, go to

More by Doug Coombe

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