Sure, we get a shitload of special-bash mini-festivals in a calendar year — bulging lineups of six or nine bands under one bar's roof. But here's one that's both a birthday party for two singer-songwriters — each of whom split their time between multiple groups — and a mad celebration of Detroit indie rock scene.
It'll work like this: Sixteen bands will cram the Lager House for a barrage of 15-minute sets, ostensibly observing the 25th birthdays of Tom Bahorski (of garage-rock trio the Ashleys) and Jesse Shepherd Bates (who will front the Gnome and play bass in the Hounds Below), but both songwriters feel it'll be more of a ceremony, something much more heartening than just another beer blur of noise on a Detroit weekend.
Bates claims the bands are playing here because of their "unabashed dorky enthusiasm." So he's saying egos get checked and bands will be fans of other bands?
"I haven't really met any assholes," says Bahorski.
Bates: "It's people loving playing music for each other, with each other, and it has nothing to do with fame or getting the hit single. I really think the special thing about music in Detroit is ... it's a pure love for it."
Bahorski thinks bands have endorsed their camaraderie-bolstering inner-fan because the dream of being rock stars died long before many of these bands even got into the game. "It's liberating in that way: You can do whatever you want and not worry about whether or not it's gonna sell. ..."
"It's not like: 'Hey, we're better than you ...'" Bahorski says. "You get motivated by seeing another band's momentum and not in any nasty competitive way, not in a I-have-to-be-better-than-you way; but more in a I-want-to-be-as-good-as-you way. ..."
Ungrateful Daughter, Sound and Fury, Pewter Cub, Ronny Tibb's and the 305's, Patrick Davy & the Ghosts, Citizen Smile, FUR, Phantom Cats, the Kickstand Band, the Hounds Below, the Ashleys, Lightning Love, Jesse & the Gnome, the HandGrenades, Good Cop-Good Cop, Passalacqua at PJs Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave.; 313-961-4668.