Head cheese

The Fondas’ singer, the arresting Julie Benjamin, bears more than a slight resemblance to a pre-junk Marianne Faithful. In fact, the newly married former Slumber Party tub-tapper has come into her own as a sultry, spun-sugar pop singer, and live she’s an unwavering wall of presence, still as night air, alluring as Jagger’s ex.

Aside from such pop trinkets as their Little Steven’s Underground Garage hit “Wanna Be,” the Fondas’ backward-yet-forward-gazing songbook runs the gamut of Nolan Strong and Mose Allison to Hank Ballard and Johnny Thunders. Blondie comparisons to this Motor City vet five-piece are odious — there’s too much soiled R&B and soul going on for that. The band is just finishing recording the follow-up to their 2003 debut, Coming Now!, and should have it out early next year. Here are Benjamin’s five monomanias of the week:

5. The Red-Headed Stranger: I want to meet Willie Nelson, sometimes I have dreams that we’re flying around together looking down at the city lights.

4. HoboEs/Thugs: Not that they necessarily go in the same category, but whichever one of them keeps breaking into my car, I wish they’d stop — they smash my windows and they don’t take anything. P.S. Thanks for fixing them, Jim.

3. Food: “What am I going to have/make for dinner tonight?” is pretty much the first thing I ask myself each day. I love food.

2. Fart Jokes: I love them so much I married one.

1. Everybody Loves Raymond: Me too.


The Fondas appear Thanksgiving eve at The Painted Lady (2930 Jacob, Hamtramck; 313-874-2991) with the Space Heaters.

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