Thursday, March 6, 2008


Posted By on Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 3:22 PM

A jaundiced glimpse of Blowout 11 pre-party at the Majestic complex, Wednesday night:

Biggest crowd for a blowout pre-party yet? That’s what’s said. Spotted gobs of comely girl-women. Lots of suburbanites, rivet heads, ape drapes, drunks, suits and local rock-star might, and so on. Undying music fans too, including the ever-committed self-made celeb Steve-O complaining that we didn’t feature him in printed word. We should’ve.

And the filled rooms gave rise to that ever-recurring thought that, having seen myriad music scenes in various cities around the country, Detroit continues, year in, year out — and has for decades — to stun. Six years ago, I nicked a Marvin Gaye phrase and said that there’s something in the water here. It’s corny as hell but true as fuck. There’s no money and lots of futility. So of course the music lifts. Of course those making it give a shit. For some, there’s little else, not even a beat white van or enough beer to go ’round. But listeners win. They do.

And one theme floating through this year? An accent on youth.

Cetan Clawson: Wow, the kohl power-shag and scarf combo gave the 20-year-old Hendrixian guitar hero a certain sexual tension for little girls, to be sure. (Forget that his right-side-up Strat could double easily as a discomfited bedroom tool should he ever sleep alone.) Looked like a young Woody (as in Ron, not Guthrie), throaty vox sounded like him, too — but it became an excuse to get from guitar lead to guitar lead. Prediction: Choruses to come. Also, he’d glimmer in Hollywood, NYC. And the bespectacled 17-year-old bassist (from Citizen Smile ) thundered with aplomb, holding down the trio’s low-end ever, ever so slightly behind-the-beat, just like a proper bassist. Fat and full and musical. Talk about a rock-star quotient to light up high-school hallways. A wunderkind. Add four-on-floor of drummer Jon Babich and it was a wonderfully anachronistic look to the future. With luck.

Eons at the Magic Stick: Loud as fuck. Take-your-head-off-lazy-soundman high end. No matter. A quartet whose apparent self-belief matched its abiding reverence for rock ’n’ roll. What we saw had sweat flying, ears baked. What we heard showed a band ready. It’s been ready. At times, the tunes recalled those Britpop records that probably changed their lives, but not really. Too much force for that limp deduction. At one point, a band stops aping its heroes and finds its feet. Run away now.

Stirling: The mustachioed look gives him a sordid Harry Reems quality. Nice.

The Silent Years at the Majestic: The orchestral mannerisms rose with singer Josh Epstein’s bell-like tenor. Man, the songs sung and took a surprising punch-through that Archer’s of Loaf cover, whose title escapes me. Unironic majesty, and that ain’t gratuitous hyperbole.

Oh, the dishwater blonde in Punk Fitness.

Now, where’s Handyside’s observations?

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