Minute No. 15

Jun 7, 2006 at 12:00 am

Freddie's dead: Our writer begged us, no, pleaded with us. He even played "I'm Telling You Now" into the telephone for us. That did it. Freddie Garrity's passing earlier this month in a Welsh hospital at the age of 69 might've been a blip on the pop culture radar, but we're here to change that with this reflection on the career of Freddie & the Dreamers by our esteemed contributor Serene Dominic:

"Few have used their 15 minutes to such exhaustive ends as Freddie Garrity, a former milkman from Manchester, England, who danced and mugged his way to a brief glint of fame in 1965 with 'I'm Telling You Now' and 'Do the Freddie.' No doubt he'd watched the Fab Four's rapid rise in 1963, and arrived at the same conclusion as Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham — that sooner or later, everyone would be looking for the Beatles' antithesis. But instead of the Stones' roguish flair, Freddie & the Dreamers opted for a look that, in today's parlance, can only be described as totally geeky. The sleeve notes for the band's first U.S. album described Dreamers bassist Pete Birrell as 'a young Eddie Mayehoff with big eyes and a jutting chin' (uh ...) while Freddie himself was knock-kneed and horn-rimmed.

"Still, nothing could stop Garrity, and with 'Do the Freddie' he and the Dreamers cornered a few seconds of the '60s dance craze as their own. The Do the Freddie album came with helpful instructions on how to execute the dance's graceless, flailing arm movements, and Freddie tried desperately to keep the dance alive. Unfortunately he was no match for the maudlin paces of Peter Noone, whose Herman's Hermits soon ended Freddie's reign as 'The British Pop Star Parents Like More Than Kids Do.'

"You gotta run something on this ..."

Upon Garrity's passing, let us remember him as the spindly anti-Lennon. Let's kick up our feet, and swing up our arms, and move our heads both ways, like he did. Nope, doing "the Freddie" still ain't fun. But at least Freddie did his best to please. He really did. Who could make that claim now?

Cocktail fever-y: Hit Singles had a touch of the "bird flu" (ahem) last week, and missed informing you about the release party for the Nice Device's new full-length, held at Magic Bag June 2. But we're fine now and celebrating with an all-you-can-eat buffet of local music release parties. Go ahead, drool on the sneeze guard.

On June 9, New Grenada celebrates the release of Modern Problems at the Magic Stick. No word on whether a telekinetic Chevy Chase will be there. That same night the Prime Ministers are at Magic Bag; they'll be glad to sell you a copy of their new Budget Cuts EP after the show.

And if you're in Ann Arbor on June 10, check out Canada's shindig at the Blind Pig. Closer to home, hoist one for the Hard Lessons' new EP at the Magic Bag.

Didn't Breathing Underwater have a release party for a CD single back in January? No matter, 'cause they're at it again on June 10, taking over the Majestic to promote "Black Cadillac/Call Back Baby." In a cage match twist, Otto Vector opens the show with its own release party. Of course, in OV's case it's for an actual full-length recording, 3-D Odyssey.

Yer mom: Like any cubicle drone with Internet time to burn, you've been following the saga of Snakes on a Plane. The parodies, the fan fiction, the boring blog speculation, all for a film that for a while seemed more like a clever viral marketing scheme than anything. Still, you've been wondering: where's the local angle? Answer — the Your Moms. We've never heard of this Royal Oak band, either. But that might change, because their song "I've Had It With These Snakes" has made it to the finals of New Line Cinema's official Snakes on a Plane Music Contest. No word yet on a winner. "We have yet to achieve Warholian fame," lead singer The W says. But surely the YMs should ace the contest based on the junk-culture durability of the song title alone. No? Insert "bears" for "snakes" and you have Stephen Colbert's new catchphrase.

MC on DET: Night Train, Mick Collins' new WDET program, premiered last Saturday night at 7 p.m., and, of course, we missed it. Delayed hangovers. But sources say Collins has framed the show as a series of musical "journeys" incorporating plenty of obscuro rock. For now, his weekly radio show appears to be the best way to get more Mick in your life. At least until the premiere of Snakes on a Plane with the Dirtbombs.

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