Payday for Defects; Royce and Proof eat beef 

Road dogs

Hit Singles fave teeth-gnashing quartet, the Clone Defects, have just returned from a gushy-press-fueled US stomp that included stops in the South, Midwest and on the West Coast.

“Uh … all the shows were great except for some of the weekday shows,” says bleary-voiced Defect yowler Tim Vulgar, who, at 1 p.m., has just risen. “LA and Austin and Seattle went really well. [The tour] was hard. We partied till the morning every night. I out-drank all the coke heads, ’cause they piss me off and I don’t do that shit.”

Highlights of their headlining tour included a butt-nekkid frolic in the hallways of faded Vegas haunt the Frontier Hotel. Seems booze-addled Defects skinsman Fast Eddie “delighted” patrons when he disrobed and careened through hotel hallways, floppy cock and all. Eddie never quite made it to his destination though. “He almost made it to the slots but fell down and let out this huge fart,” recalls Vulgar, who documented the event on his brand-spankin’-new video camera. Vulgar says he plans to use the footage in a forthcoming road documentary about the band. At LA’s Spaceland the anti-encore Defects crew actually got an encore, which ultimately led to a resounding symphony of hisses. “The band was like ‘ah, fuck the encore,’ so I just went on stage and told the crowd that the best encore is to buy the CD. They all booed and got pissed off.”

In other news, the band’s label, In The Red, landed the Defects’ charmer “Low Fashion Lovers” in a national Mitsubishi TV ad campaign that features a car with fish tails.

“I didn’t really want to do it [the ad], it seemed cheesy,” says Vulgar about the song placement. “I know it seems all corporate but at least they only used the intro to the song where there aren’t any vocals.”

Every punk has his price and the Mitsubishi payday was well into the thousands of dollars, a hefty sum for a broke pack of couch-haired riff merchants. “I get royalties because I’m doing ahhhs in the song,” continues Vulgar. “I got a Screen Actors Guild card. It was a big help because I’m always broke. Now I gotta find a job. Maybe it’s back to cleaning up factories.”

According to Vulgar, the band split the money equally. So what did Vulgar do with the sudden manna from heaven? “I bought an air conditioner, a PlayStation 2, a video camera, guitar pedals, cords, fixed my guitar amp, paid three months rent, and I have some left over. We used some money on the road when we went broke.”

Vulgar will also receive residual performance checks from said ad, and will see that song plus “Shapes of Venus” on a forthcoming Mitsubishi comp CD. “It’s pretty cheesy, a bunch of businessmen will hear it.”

The Defects are doing a free show in the bar at the Garden Bowl on Saturday, August 16. Vulgar says a single will “hopefully” see daylight this fall on In The Red. The band’s latest full-length, Shapes of Venus, has sold more 4,000 copies since its April release. Respectable numbers, indeed.


Obligatory ’Em reference

By some cruel twist of fortune, the Hit Singles crew found itself in metro Detroit’s scariest neighborhood this past weekend. Highland Park? Nope. Van Dyke and Harper? Nada. Downriver housing projects? Not even. Worse — Royal Oak on a Friday night. Somehow we maneuvered our way through the armies of microbrew-guzzling, cologne-dipped thirtysomethings with belt-clipped cell phones to find the “Flamingo Room” at Woodruffs. There, singer/pianist Bob Mervack led the quartet of young players including Ryan Mackstaller (guitar), Charlie Koltak (drums) and Takashi Iio (bass) through a set of Wurlitzer-driven standards.

Sadly, the yuppie-nuevo clientele was a little too consumed by idle chatter and Wonder Bread mating rituals to give the band their proper due, but hats off to them for their funked-up cover of Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet.”



The Jackson song

Up from the ashes of Brit-invasion enthusiasts Fletcher Pratt, come Back in Spades, a highly anticipated rock ’n’ roll band featuring guitarist/singer Stephen Palmer, drummer Joe Leone, bass player Tony Rochon and guitarist Jackson Smith, who, you’ll note, is blessed with godhead genes as son of Patti and Fred “SonicSmith. The band even covers the late Smith’s Sonic’s Rendezvous Band’s classic “City Slang.”

“We’re a more punk-blues-driven, big drums, guitar-driven thing,” says Palmer. The band is tracking with Rob Shelby at Harmonie Park studios and the resulting EP should be out, the band says, by late August. “The recording is supposed to be demos, but could double as a release, but we don’t know yet. The band is supporting Supagroup at the Magic Stick on Saturday, Aug. 2.


Noise annoys

Putting a cutesy, postmodern spin on Gallagher, Warn Defever’s 2003 installment of Noisecamp brought blown up watermelons, fuzzy felt theatrical backdrops, and plenty o’ bespectacled dorks in camo out to CPOP Friday night. The annual gathering of the Fraternal-Order-of-Nearly Middle-Aged-Pudgy-Dudes-With-Liberal-Arts-Degrees featured a penguin toss, a table of mushy snack foods, and, oh, yeah, some music too. By the time the accordion-driven gnome-rock of Terror At the Opera (two girls in miniskirt nurse outfits) took the floor, the irony-driven headache was simply too camp to bear.


Send lawyers, guns and chocolates

Tired of hip-hop beef? Well …. Royce da 5’9” and D-12’s Proof got popped by the cops in downtown Detroit over the July Fourth weekend. Seems the shit-talk and squabble nearly escalated into a full-on brawl, and nobody knows for sure if actual guns were drawn. Anyway, while in the same jail cell for approximately 19 hours (held on concealed weapons charges, natch!) the two got a chance to make nice. What’s more, the feisty pair are talking about collaborating on a track in the future to squash the friction completely. How beautiful, a potentially deadly situation becomes a made-for-BET movie, complete with a happy, happy ending. Awwww.

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