Fake some noise

Jan 18, 2006 at 12:00 am

Drive, he said

This past week, Hit Singles charmed its way into Camilo Pardo's annual party for the international auto design community held in the Ford GT design chief's Woodward Avenue loft. The cerebral Pardo made himself scarce, but there was plenty for a jaundiced fish out of water to see and hear. Men with unrecognizable Euro accents shouted above the house music's relentless mechanical burp, and the hubbub of smarm mingled with smoke tendrils from 250 Gauloises. Hexagonal eyeglasses were the norm, and haircuts reached speeds of a hundred miles an hour. When the booze was drained at Camilo's, the designers stumbled a few blocks north to the Majestic Theater Center, where Eugene Machine valiantly spun Journey karaoke in the faces of drunk bicoastal dwellers dripping Sgt. Pepperoni's all over the darted lapels of their slick charcoal suits. The whole thing seemed like a harbinger of the big-money hilarity and superficiality the Super Sunday will bring. Oh, joy.

Hip to be had

As it turns out, MT is now a paper of record (of sorts) for the prankish noise scene. Our October 2004 cover story on Ypsi noise heroes Wolf Eyes burped a reference to an organization called Mothers Against Noise (MAN) in a cheeky anecdote spun by Wolf Eye John Olson. Now, as it turns out, there's not one, but two Web sites purporting to represent the MAN cabal (mothersagainstnoise.com and mothersagainstnoise.us). The MT story is apparently the only print reference to said group. Weird. But here's where it gets kooky: Folks representing the two Web sites are both claiming the other is a fraud. A quick investigation reveals that one (the .com) is registered through an individual in Portugal and the other lists as its contact info the offices of Universal Music Group in New York City. (Though, even weirder, as we were typing this, the contact info has mysteriously changed.) Hmmm.

Curiously, the content of both sites is nearly identical — merch and all. Are our lupine buds simply having a laugh? We've been getting calls and e-mails this week asking just that. We smell the trail starting at wolf scat.

Both Wolf Eyes and Andrew WK are name-checked as offending sonic blusterers, as is their current collective, To Live & Shave in LA. Mothersagainstnoise.com is, in fact, calling out the .us domain as a viral hype for To Live & Shave's upcoming record. Hell, the dot-commers are even offering their own free downloadable comp of international blip-chit groups you've never heard of.

Ex-Wolf Eyes man Aaron Dilloway, who was in the band at the time of the MT story, says he doesn't know who's behind the sites.

"I actually ordered a couple of the coffee mugs, and they came a week later," he says. "But it's a hoax, I'm sure it's somebody I know, but they won't fess up."

"It's not a hoax!" says Wolf Eye Olson in an irony-free tone. "The mothersagainstnoise.us is the legit site. It was started by a group of mothers based in San Diego and San Francisco. It all started when a mother was really upset when her kid came to our show and got all messed up on his way home. They started investigating to see what all this noise is about, and now it's kind of weird. It's blown up in the last few weeks."

And the other site?

"It's a fake," Olson says, this time with a grin that's audible over the phone line. "It's run by some guys who want to promote themselves. Chris Handyside started the whole thing when he did that Metro Times story."

Right, a little story told over crap beer.

Analyzing Johnny

Johnny Headband celebrates its success in 2005 with Headband Headquarters, a cheeky faux-corporate instructional video available on the group's Web site. Chad and Keith Thompson are seen planning and plotting in "the central nervous system" of their operation, which looks suspiciously like your dad's office. Keith tracks downloads on a world map; Chad, meanwhile, delivers a scintillating presentation on Headband's CTA (Crowd Turnout Analysis), which went from a 3 to a 5 in 2005. The band's hoping for at least a 6 in 2006, and to that end they've added a few non-Thompson members. The "Headbandits" include the foxy Cary Gustafson on keys, noisemaker guitarist Greg McIntosh (Great Lakes Myth Society) and drummer Robert George Saunders. Johnny Headband plays the Lager House's "Lager Bowl" on Feb. 3, alongside the Paybacks, and their CTA will grow, one geeky dance move at a time.

Cue the string section

And finally, say farewell to the abandoned Motown building (aka the Donovan) at 2457 Woodward Ave. — it's getting demolished this week to make room for Super Bowel, er, Bowl, parking. The 10-story, Albert Kahn-designed piece of history — constructed in the 1920s, offices for Motown in its last Detroit years — will soon be a space designed strictly for car comfort. Sure, it looked as if it had been given a vigorous spin and set back down on its foundation, yet we at Hit Singles can only roll our eyes and sigh. Berry Gordy, part-owner of the building, approved the teardown.

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