It’s no secret that Stun Gun shows provide just as much visual stimulation as the sonic kind. The music not only has to compete with the attractiveness of its players, the instruments in hand are quite alarming as well. Especially Stacy Lauwers’ clear plexiglass Dan Armstrong for Ampeg 1969 bass with custom silver pick guard and custom plexiglass thumb rest. It appears as though someone had his or her eye on the rare bass and swiped it from Magic Stick’s backstage room at Stun Gun’s show two Fridays ago. Lauwers realizes that it was just a material object, but she misses it dearly and is offering a $200 reward for its return. E-mail [email protected] if you have any information leading to its whereabouts.
Hopefully, she’ll get it back in time for the band’s gig, opening up for Variac Friday, Nov. 30 at Magic Bag. Variac, which features members of Big Chief, Numbers and Forehead Stew, is celebrating the release of its much-anticipated new CD, Hard Starward, that night.
An itsy-bitsy label based in Ann Arbor has just put out two pretty substantial “split” seven-inches. The first one features Ida’s Elizabeth Mitchell singing “Your Wedding,” a song that Fred Thomas of Flashpapr and Saturday Looks Good to Me wrote and recorded as a wedding present for the New Yorker, who married Dan Littleton, also of Ida. On the flipside, Thomas sings an Ida tune, “Les Etoiles Secretes.” As one might imagine, it’s about 10-15 minutes of pretty, pure, wobbly, romantic sick giddiness. The other seven-inch has two collaborations between Kranky recording artist Jessica Bailiff and Low’s Alan Sparhawk. Side A is a stoned-bliss-pop Bailiff original, and Side B is a sparse rendering of a T-Rex jam. Both releases are on the Insound top-seller list and are available for purchase on that site: www.insound.com. Also, watch Insound for a label profile on Ypsilanti Records sometime in the next two weeks. And you can hear the label’s proprietor, Fred Thomas, performing his songs live in a solo set, opening up for Sean O’Hagan (High Llamas, Stereolab) at 5 p.m. on Saturday at detroit contemporary. Gosh, that’s early, but it also means you won’t have to miss the Strokes, who are playing later that night at St. Andrew’s.
Mark your calendars
Also of note going down at detroit contemporary on Thursday, is a Bobby Conn show. Outrageous Cherry and Wolf Eyes open. Unfortunately, also of note, the Waxwings detroit contemporary show, planned for Nov. 23, is not going down due to a double-booking. Which is sad, since it’s been a few months since we’ve heard from them. The band has been busy finishing up a new album to be released again by Bobsled sometime in late January-early February. In the meantime, they’re opening up for the Strokes in Philadelphia tonight and the Pernice Brothers in New York on Saturday. And I hear a December Detroit date is in the works — perhaps as part of the live rock ’n’ roll Saturday series at Lager House, which started quite loudly Nov. 3 with the Hentchmen. This Saturday, the Witches, Mood Elevator and They Come in Threes are on board. And the following Saturday, Bantam Rooster and Bogue will perform.
Two pretty promising Detroit bands have called it quits. Moods For Moderns and 12 Angry Steps are no more. There’s a bit of good news, though, since M4M’s drummer, the one and only Dave Shettler, has picked up on skins for the Sights. While opening for International Noise Conspiracy didn’t go as planned, er, or at all, the band played the Garden Bowl later that night. If you missed that, catch them Nov. 24 at Jacoby’s with the Witches. The Witches, by the way, perform at the Shelter before the Strokes perform upstairs at St. Andrew’s on Saturday, in addition to the Lager House show mentioned earlier. And the Witches’ Troy Gregory is putting out a solo recording, Sybil, in January on Fall of Rome Records. On each song, he is backed by a different band, including, They Come in Threes, the Sights, Bantam Rooster, the Dirtbombs, Outrageous Cherry, the Alphabet, Slumber Party, Larval, the Volebeats, the Glow in the Dark Monsters and the Come Ons. And 12 Angry Steps perform a last farewell, Dec. 29 at Magic Stick. Wish them well.E-mail In One Ear at [email protected]