Audioslave butchers Stripes; documentary revisits heady punk days

Jul 16, 2003 at 12:00 am

Low fidelity

Raise a glass in celebration to the wonders of vertical integration. That particularly tortured rhyme was made possible by the folks — Dave Buick, Dion Fischer and Warn Defever, most specifically — behind Young Soul Rebels Records (formerly Buick’s Italy Records) and Brown Rice Studios which have now both opened for business on the second floor of CPOP Gallery (former CPOP level of choice for such unprofitable activities as last-minute all-ages shows, modern dance performances and left-field experimental electronic gatherings). The Brown Rice/YSR complex was, perhaps, inevitable.

We know from history that when punks grow up, they get inordinately fascinated with dub and reggae culture. So it is that Brown Rice (the studio helmed by Defever) and the YSR store (a reference to a British flick about gay Jamaican-British ghetto defendants) tout the soon-come ability to make records in the back and sell ’em out the front like the sound systems of old.

The compound got an ostentatious kickoff party at the Stick over the Fourth of July weekend which boasted a healthy-fingered Jack White, his nephew Ben Blackwell, and Brian Muldoon rocking “Louie Louie” among other celebrity sightings (Jack and Rene, natch!) and, on the following night, a shindig served up by a rejuvenated (even seemingly-nine-lived) Girlee Collective. Defever’s recently put the Brown Rice imprint not only on his own Brown Rice band (up from the ashes of His Name is Alive), but also gothic country family portraitists Blanche and DIY Motown Smiley Smile evangelists Saturday Looks Good to Me.

And fans of that Detroit Sound all the cut-rate music mags have been johnny-come-lately-ing as of late can rest assured that Young Soul Rebels will peddle Italy’s wares (Hentchmen, White Stripes, Greenhornes, Soledad Brothers, etc., etc.) both on vinyl (when these items aren’t out of print) and soon also on CD. Hot dawg! YSR will also gladly sell you other local product, surely giving the Pure Detroit vinyl store a run for its money.

Visit for info or just stop by (4152 Woodward Ave.) and look for the red door (nice homage, fellas).


Caveat emptor

Hit Singles sent a spy in the house of that tired old corporate beast known as alt-rock to a Midwest stop of the Lollapalooza tour. It took a while, but we were able to glean at least one Motor City reference out of the affair, so the trip wasn’t a complete loss — see, Audioslave (aka Rage Against the Soundgarden) managed to completely demolish a cover version of “Seven Nation Army” by our favorite non-Eminem audio exports. Besides that, it was apparent that the anarchic spirit and pro-love, anti-commercial ideals of the original Lollapalooza have evaporated (the anarchy having been absorbed into the corporate bloodstream and pissed out with myriad Miller Lites). And Perry Farrell isn’t doing a helluva lot to put the entrails back in besides gracing the stage with the Jane’s Addiction greatest hits/make-a-house-payment bonanza (which was both moving in a nostalgic way and revelatory in showing how creatively bereft alt-rock has become since “Been Caught Stealin’” ruled rebellious 89X-listening ears). Corporate bloodletters’ XBox, Verizon and Sirius all seemed to make a love connection with unsuspecting/too-jaded 20-year-olds eager for a quick buck fix.

Lollapalooza hits the DTE this weekend.


Mutual exploitation

The death of the tryst between erstwhile Eminem chauffeur Kid Rock and power-pouter Pamela Anderson was, sorry to report, significantly overstated. Earlier this month, Rock (who was snubbed by Eddie Vedder at a recent DTE Pearl Jam show) tossed a surprise 36th birthday bash for Anderson at West Coast “dive” Malibu Inn. At the bash, ex-Buck Cherry Keith Nelson and his new Gram Parsons-y band, the Lazy Stars, propped up Rock on covers by the Allman Brothers, Stones, Hank Williams Jr. and, of course, Skynyrd, which saw David Spade croaking along to “Sweet Home Alabama.” Oh, joy. Rock and Anderson were together at the Courtnall Celebrity Classic golf tournament in Canada this past weekend, all flowers and mirth.


All the young punks

Mark J. Norton, ex-front man of the 27 and the Ramrods, blew through town recently, conducting interviews with past and present rock scene naysayers and trumpet blowers as part of his new film project tentatively titled Detroit Punks. The film is a follow-up of sorts to Norton’s classic drunken-mentary of the late ’70s Bookies/Detroit punk scene, Face the ’80s. Recent interviewees ran the gamut of Bootsy X to Ben Edmonds to Ron Asheton, to author Elmore Leonard and local famous-for-being-famous flower Stirling. Also involved in the making of the film are Paul Zimmerman, Gary Reichel and Jerry Peterson, who says the docu will help anyone who wasn’t there then (the late ’70s scene) “to understand it now.” More interviews are scheduled and the optimistic release date is June next year, marking the 25-year anniversary from the original Face The ’80s film.


Cooper’s town

Word from the Alice Cooper camp says that his new record will be a “riffy” return to his Detroit roots and garage fumes as laid forth on Love it to Death and Killer. Predictable? Maybe. But so what, he’s Alice Cooper.

The Coop’s trusty sideman Renfield tells Hit Singles that the as-yet-untitled disc is a complete departure from his last two albums, Dragontown and Brutal Planet. He says that the back-to-basics approach was inspired in part by the White Stripes. One track, “Detroit City,” features Wayne Kramer on six string. Coop mainstay guitarist Ryan Roxie, ex-Slash’s Snakepit and Imperial Drag singer Eric Dover, Kiss trapsman Eric Singer, and former Dio bassist Chuck Garric did all the tracks. The Spitfire-released record hits shelves in September.

Speaking of Alice, Cooper fan Johnny Rotten and his crusty combo the Sex Pistols will be in town Thursday, Aug. 28, at Cobo Hall as part of their 2003 North American tour. The Pistols, you’ll note, are finalists for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next year (funny, Cooper has yet to be nominated for induction). As for getting into the Hall of Fame, Rotten chirped recently: “It’s just a place for Bruce Springsteen and his pals to jam. They can stuck it up their arse!” Yeah!

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