FIRST THINGS FIRST
I know it’s not technically my place to be alerting you to techno news (we have a column that appears in this very space every other week called Pitch’d for that), but techno innovator Jeff Mills, who was set to spin a six-hour retrospective set as his mix-DJ persona, The Wizard, on Nov. 27 at St. Andrew’s Hall, has canceled. But before you get too enraged, know this: Ritual has arranged for an evening of top-notch Detroit-based tech and turntablism courtesy of Keith Tucker, Brendan M. Gillen (of Ectomorph) with Godfather, Carlos Souffront and T Linder. Just flash your Mills ticket and dance your Wizard-less blues away. Call 313-961-MELT for info.
PUTTING IT ON WAX
It is said that two bands that have been traversing Detroit’s club circuit hold the key to the coming power-pop breakout foretold in the ancient text of Badfinger. The parchment actually reads, "From the planet called after the Roman god of the sea will come on wings of wax the music of the rock and the roll that will compel the populace to much merriment and bobbing of the head to the rhythm of hades."
Detroit (and the world’s) time is surely near, then, as new full-lengths are being readied by both the Neptunes and Wax Wings (the band formerly known as Dean Fertita). In the case of Wax Wings, Mr. Fertita (pictured) and the boys are awaiting a confirmed release date for their album on Chicago indie Bobsled Records (home to such fine international pop music luminaries as Stereo Total, Velvet Crush and Chamber Strings). Keep your eyes peeled in finer record stores or, better yet, ask Wax Wings yourself about the record this Saturday at Detroit’s Magic Stick (with the Chamber Strings and the Greenhorns).
Now, when it comes to Neptune-age, you may have to wait a bit longer, but just hearing that the fab three had holed up to lay down tracks with Detroiter and Virgin recording artist Brendan Benson (whose debut One Mississippi is still one of the most underrated records to ever come out of both Detroit and the Virgin stable) got this writer all, you know, excited. Between the Neptunes ultra-tight power-pop songwriting and arrangements and Benson’s imaginative ear, there’s reason to be giddy as a schoolgirl gripping a mop-top album at Kennedy airport in 1964.
According to the Neptunes’ Chris Plum, "We are trying feverishly to get the record done before the new year." So, while the Neptune boys may not have CD product for purchase very soon — what am I talking about?! The aforementioned "new year" is only 37 days away! — they’ll certainly be debuting some of the material when they share the stage at the Gold Dollar Dec. 17 with — guess who? — Wax Wings (and Fletcher Pratt, to boot!).
Detroit rock’n’roll trainspotters should also be alert to a new single in the works from the Gore Gore Girls. G3 just wrapped up recording at Ghetto Recorders and the results will go public ASAP on Detroit’s Charles Records. Amy, Deb and Deann indulge a bit more of the pop side of the pop-punk equation than on their debut single "Mama In the Movies" (including a cover of a song by the Dixie Cups — of "Chapel of Love" fame). They also cut a song for an upcoming compilation on Detroit’s I-94 Records.
HIS NAME IS HIATUS
In true sensational print-anything-to-make-a-buck fashion, the ads in rags around this great metro area pimping Orbit’s kiss-off soiree last Saturday touted the appearance of His Name Is Alive as the "last ever." If you missed the Orby-bash (and, surely, someone in this town aside from me must have) and you’re a HNIA afficionado, you’d do well to check into the Gold Dollar’s loving nightclub arms on Dec. 4 as HNIA mainman Warren Defever and friends take over the joint. The Livonia connection will be made all the more concrete with an opening set/experience courtesy of noise-conspiracy-theatrical sturm troupers Princess Dragonmom (to which, of course, Defever is also a contributor). It’s likely this’ll be the last His Name Is Alive show for a while, anyway. Call 313-833-6783 for more info.