Motor City Rides 

It's not easy being totally sweet. For every fan who adores you there's a jealous anonymous hater crawling out from under some cat-pissed carpet. Never mind that the haters will finally fess up to loving you years later, being sweet is a heavy burden. Just travel back in time and ask Journey's Steve Perry in '81, Rockwell in '84 or Baywatch's David Hasselhoff in '91. Or just ask Detroit's (via Amersfoot, Netherlands) Champions of Breakfast.

Breakfast come off like Daft Punk clad in costumes from the P-Funk outlet mall with lyrics from a medieval-y mythed-out Jack Black while Richard Simmons leads you in an aerobic workout from hell. Live, Champions are a nonstop dance assault — throwing down to prerecorded backing tracks in their fine threads with homemade, supersized and cardboard "instruments." Their shows are undeniably fun — unless you hate fun, of course.

For every fawning blog review they've received, Val Hundreds and Moses Jackson have earned the ire of a resentful local band. The most infamous episode was with local indie darlings Canada. After Champions' debut album Pleasure Mountain received an unheard of 11 from Pitchfork, the jealous Canada took to taunting the Champions of Breakfast — as the oft-repeated and Champions-confirmed tale goes — while playing a wedding reception at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. A full-on brawl ensued. It ended with both Champions cold-cocked in front of the horrified bride and groom!

The bands have since made up, and with other bands taking up music blog bandwidth these days, Breakfast are focused on being awesome, in the studio and on stage.

Hundreds and Jackson once hauled their gear around in a unicorn-airbrushed VW van with a shag carpet interior. This year they received a Honda sponsorship for writing the music for a hugely successful Danish Honda TV ad campaign. Now they miraculously fit all their gear in a 2008 Honda Fit. Says Hundreds, "We love saving money on gas; it means more money for spandex!"

Champions of Breakfast's CD is available at myspace.com/thechampionsofbreakfast. Their "Free EP" of classic '80s electro covers is available at shows only. See them Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248.858.9333.

More by Doug Coombe

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