Scream along with Mitch

Jun 21, 2000 at 12:00 am

This week’s In One Ear is brought to you by Screamin’ Mitch Jenkins. Chris Handyside said he wouldn’t break anything, so blame chandy if Mitch offends.

So it’s like 11:30 on Thursday night and, as usual, I’m sitting at home watching third-generation-dubbed footage of old Deja Voodoo live shows when this jerk-off Handyside calls. I’d run into his punk ass before at shows around town, him always trying to buy a clue, cornering me and pressing for more dirt on "local bands" (his term, not mine), me heading straight for the bottom of my gin and tonic, mumbling enough for him to buzz off.

Anyhoo, on this fine night – and I swear I don’t know how he got my number – he starts digging into me: Wouldn’t it be great if I could write a column on local music for him?  How’d I like to be the (second) most famous rock scribe on the ‘scene’ and other such nonsense. Turns out he wants me to wax freakin’ poetic on Detroit Rock City for him now that he’s firmly ensconced in some other gig in a cushy burb writing blurbs, knowhati’msayin’?

So my guest-star status here happened totally by accident, but goddamnit, it’s a happy accident (anybody remember the Happy Accidents? I think I might have seen ‘em play with the Orange Roughies once when I snuck into St. Andrew’s with a, shall we say, "fake" ID). When you’re a music fan, you’re supposed to be obsessed.

So, scrambling to come up with something, anything, I remembered that a certain Quality Assurance-impaired, local infotainment shopper had thrown together some kind of lo-cal music thing in tony downtown Ferndale. (I prefer my music fests funky like that Hamtramck thing, but that’s just me.)

Well, maybe it was the two Strohs I shotgunned before setting out for the fest, but the whole thing gave me indigestion. I was relieved slightly by the Kicks, who were the loudest band I’ve ever heard at teeny-tiny Club Bart. The singer, who looks eerily like a guy who’s always lurking around Richard Panic shows, was kickin’ it left-handed on his six-string, triggering a smoke machine every chance he got. The drummer had the biggest ride cymbal I’ve ever seen (and you know what they say about a drummer with a big ride cymbal ...) and the other guitarist-guy was one Eddie Sights.

Speaking of the Sights, I suppose I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that they have a CD-release party coming up on the 30th (of this month, jive-ass!). Spectator Records is putting out the, you know, release. I think it’s a full-length, but I only got to hear like four songs and they’re rulin’ (otherwise I wouldn’t bother telling you about them, duh! You don’t see me writing about Kid Rock’s new song, do you? That’s cuz it’s dumb to the point of being a "hit."). Anyhoo, where was I? Oh, yeah, so the Sights are gonna kick it with their friends, the boys and girls (OK, men and women) of Outrageous Cherry.

There ain’t a whole lot more to say about that music festival except it took about six stiff drinks to tolerate some of the mediocrity I witnessed. I dunno what else to say to you people. Are you getting any of this? Can you dig the truth I’m laying down here? I don’t have any gossip about the current status of Stun Gun, so if that’s why you’re reading, you’d best stop now, jerky!

Anyhoo, so I was poking around the Web site for the recent indie-pop fest, Summer Smash, and I linked through to the Web site for the Recital (they played, I missed it, you know how it goes). So this site,, is easily one of the funniest little worlds on the w-w-w. Kempa (Adam Kempa, that is, guitar player in the Recital) keeps obsessive notes about pop culture’s absurdities. Visit it to see for yourself, but don’t leave the site without experiencing the hi-larious "Being Steve Malkmus" section (two words: Axl & SM in a tête-à-tête).

One of my biggest beefs with that Handy-dude was that he was such an indie-rock geek. I mean, sure there’s buttloads of freaky indie bands around town, but that’s like shooting fish in a coffee can. It’s been a pleasure sitting in the "big-boy chair" this week. If we never get another chance to "chat" just remember, I care a lot about each and every one of you.

And now, back to the basement with me.

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