Sunday, August 31, 2008


Friday: Windy Weber...Amazing. Qualia...Also amazing.
Saturday: I was not supportive of the local music scene AT ALL.
Tonight: Not being supportive again. It's a holiday weekend, screw it.

This is the conversation I had Friday night with Jason Stollsteimer:

Jason: O hai Elle!
Elle: LOL Jason.
Jason: SRSLY?
Elle: No wai.
Jason: OMG!!!!11!
Elle: KTHXBAI!!!11!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is not a blog, it's a motivational speaking tool.

Friday night, you can do one of these things:
-Go to the Lager House to see Qualia
-Go to the Crofoot to see Millions of Brazilians and Zoos of Berlin, among others
-Go to the Magic Stick to see Death Vessel

I don't want to limit you to just one if you can do more than one. I will be attempting to do two of the three things, as well as hit up two birthday parties. You can say I am crazy, but you can't say that I am not ambitious.

I hope my "strong desire to achieve something*" inspires you to do something this weekend besides sitting at home alone and watching "Saving Private Ryan" in dark (I'm looking your way, Norton).

The rest of the weekend is filled with a million (Brazilians) other shows. I know, I know, it is SUCH a hassle to hang out in a bar on a Saturday night, or a Sunday night. Speaking of Sunday night, if you have Monday off work like I do, I would suggest going to see Death Vessel at the Crofoot, in case you missed him on Friday because you decided to go to two birthday parties instead I totally meant to say Silver Jews at the Crofoot. AWESOME. Or you can karaoke at Northern Lights Lounge. Or you can go to another birthday party.

Happy birthday, everyone. Way to get older. And to everyone else whose birthdays weren't this week, you are still getting older, too.

*dictionary definition of "ambition"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Take a page out of the lolcat bible.

Mason Proper's vid for "Friendship" may or may not have been on Fuse.

Champions of Breakfast were doing a show with all cover songs on Saturday, but that has been cancelled and rescheduled for September 5th at the Elbow Room.

Brandon Wiard (Pretty Suite Media, Cerberus Records) has a new studio in Ypsilanti, last I heard.

Paul (The Looms, Sea Turtle Restoration Project) and friends (maybe?) have started a label. It's called Sonic Lullaby, named after the Sonic Lullaby Festival, which is run by Paul (and friends?) as well. Indian Guides. Kindle. STRP. Awesome.

That's really all the news I have.

But then again, I am living in a bubble. An "indie"-rock, self-induced bubble.

I'm sure there is something to report on the metal front. Anyone? How about the crust punk scene? No? Polka? Alt-country? Christian Rock? Are there any Christian rock bands in the area? How about Scientologist rock bands? Nothing?

Srsly, doodz, Tuesday's are a draaaag. Go read the bible, as translated into Lolcat-speak.

Monday, August 25, 2008

People don't need people, they need more bloggers.

May I take a moment to clear something up? I started Detroit Riot because I am serious about a lot of things. One of the things I am serious about is to not take yourself too seriously (that makes no logical sense). That being said, any comments I read about how horrible my blog is, or what a cunt I am, or how sophomoric my writing skills are, really don't bother me. It would be foolish of anyone to expect acceptance in a world like this. For future reference, here is my agenda (the reasons I started blogging):

If there was a way to make "meeting hot dudes" 69% while keeping "I need attention" at 80%, you bet your hot ass that I would have done that. But I vaguely remember my math teacher in high school telling me it is impossible for something to be over 100%.

I am here to give you the "Truth as Told by Elle, or Sometimes Just Interpreted By Elle." Nothing more, but sometimes, maybe less. Would you consider omitting the truth lying? Because I don't.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Motor City *does* rock.

I was asked to start writing for
This was very nerve-wracking. I love MCR.

There is a brief thing about Detroit Summer Smash at The CAID on it now. By me. Yay. It's not so great. But I was told MCR has a reputation for being nicer/more constructive than what I write in this blog. So, I toned it down. I was hoping I could bitch about it this weekend.

But really, there was nothing to bitch about. I know, that's so un-blogger-esque of me.

"Write more blogs, you bloggers!"--the singer from The Dead Bodies.

OK, dude. Will do. Keep on being awesome, OK?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What? Going on tour costs money?! omg.

Maybe you dudes should apply for the CAID grant. Just sayin'.

From a Hifi Handgrenades bulletin:
"Aug 21, 2008 1:40 PM
fucking cancelled


tour's been shortened, all else cancelled. this means every gig from sept 4th on, including US dates. there were also tours of australia and japan not up yet on the page, those are off the books as well.


because it's too fucking expensive to tour. the way this UK tour was worked out, we would AT BEST break even being here (we didn't see a real breakdown of monies until we got here), which is not an option anymore. we paid out of our pockets for tickets here, all else... the numbers break down thus:

if we stay here and play through sept 29th, we will clear 50 pounds over costs, NOT INCLUDING FOOD. if we cut it short, we will hopefully have enough money to pay for baggage penalties on the airline (from bringing gear and merch over), and gas for the van back home from LA to Detroit (which will run just under 1000 bucks for gas alone). the exchange rate on US dollars killed us, cancelled shows in Germany with Alk3 further put us behind the eight ball, and the realization that no matter where you go in this world, playing music in a style that hit it's zenith 15 years ago, isn't gonna keep us afloat.

very sad, very shitty. blaming ourselves for any and all mistakes along the way. funny though, the sole intention of this band when we started was playing music in a style that reminded us of what we loved and were influenced by when we were kids just getting into the whole punk rock thing, every 6 weeks or so locally, for fun and friends. and that's where we're headed back to.
fuck fuck fuckity fuck,

As much as I feel for them, I laughed a little. John has been in how many bands now? He sounds so shocked to find out they weren't breaking even. I will give him this, I LOL'd when I read the part I highlighted. Shit, son. If the CAID grant falls through, you might have a career in blogging. Sorry, there is no money in blogging.

After this, I am never bringing up Will Yates again.*

I needed to get this over with. Will Yates: I mention him in about 2/3rd of my blog posts. Enough is enough. I decided it was time to just do an interview with him, so in the future, I won't have to mention him anymore because everything you need to know about him will be in this entry. *Unless he decides to start another band, or join another band, or writes a musical or something.

I caught him on Gchat and asked if wouldn't mind doing an interview. He agreed, but he had just thought of a song idea and needed to record it real quick. Damn. Of course he has a song idea. And of course he is just going to record it real quick. So, here is everything you need to know about Will Yates, sort of.

Will: ok here i am
Elle: hah! I will be right back, and have to take a call. It was my mom.
Elle: Sorry about that.

Will: no prob

Elle: So, what was the first instrument you picked up?
Will: Piano. I was banging on the family piano from a young age, and started lessons when I was 5.
Elle: How many other instruments would you say you are proficient at playing now?
Will: I would say I'm also proficient at the guitar and bass guitar.
Elle: I'd have to agree with that.
Will: heh
Elle: Although, I think I would say you are little more than just proficient at it.

Elle: Do you think you could estimate how many different bands you have been in/toured with/guested on albums for/etc?

Will: I've been a full-time member of 4 bands. My high-school band was called Superautomatic. Then I was in the Singles for about 4 years. Now I'm in the Pop Project and Zoos of Berlin.
Will: I'm playing guest keyboards in Javelins these days. I've done tours (longer than one or two dates) with The Singles and Javelins.
Will: I've guested on maybe 6 albums, only within the last year or two.
Elle: Impressive.
Will: As far as I can remember.
Elle: Hah!
Will: Ha, I'm not trying to show off.
Elle: I didn't think you were! Riiiiiiiiiight.

Elle: I must admit, one of my favorite songs off "Stars of Stage and Screen" is "Never Got the Breaks." You are a good songwriter. What are your influences?
Elle: Or "who" rather...
Will: Well, early on, the two big albums for me were Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream and Radiohead's OK Computer. Those heavily informed the first few years of my songwriting. But then I got into Sloan. Between the Bridges and Navy Blues had a huge effect on my songwriting; I started writing songs in that style. SRSLY? Smashing Pumpkins?
Will: When I joined The Pop Project in 2003, I was still heavy into Sloan, and I was very excited to be joining a band that had a sound similar to what I was writing and that would let me contribute some songs.
Will: The music for "Never Got The Breaks" was written in 2003 or 2004 and the lyrics were written in 2005. I haven't written something that sounds like that in a while.
Elle: How does the songwriting process work with a band like The Pop Project? Do you come in with a completed song, or just the main parts, and then go from there?
Will: There are three of us writing songs in The Pop Project. We pretty much bring in completed songs and teach them to the rest of the band. There's some editing that goes on; we might try new countermelodies, or a new tempo, or something like that. Of the three, I'd say that I try the hardest to get the band to play the song like it sounds in my head and not change anything. When I write songs in the future for the band, I'm going to try to leave more wiggle room, so it becomes more of a band effort.
Elle: But you are the best songwriter ever. They will just mess shit up. Kidding, dudes, you are awesome too.
Will: You seem to be taking a page from fivethreedialtone's interview style. ; )
Elle: Oh no you di'nt!
Elle: hah, yeah, actually he is my hero.

I was apparently drunk when I wrote this.
Will: No, they won't mess shit up. Everyone in The Pop Project is phenomenally talented, and from the point of view of the average listener, they'd probably rather listen to a song that everyone in the band had some input on. I think those songs end up being more interesting.
Will: There's always the danger of writing by committee, but I think that everyone in The Pop Project is zany enough, and we're generally on the same page about things, that we don't ever compromise ourselves into making boring choices for our songs.

Elle: What else do you do besides write amazing songs and play in awesome bands?
Will: I recently got a job booking the Elbow Room in Ypsilanti, as you know.
Elle: How is that going for you? It seems like a lucrative gig. I'm not trying to be smarmy, I really love the Elbow Room.
Will: Beyond spending a few hours a day on that, I try to focus all my time on advancing my career in music. The Elbow Room job is going well. I've never booked a venue before, so there's a steep learning curve. I feel like I'm still learning something important every day, and hopefully getting better at it. I would not call it an incredibly lucrative pursuit. It's helping me maintain my current lifestyle, but it's not enough to move out of my parents' house. Of course, to be fair, it shouldn't be, because it's not a full-time job.

Elle: Do you have any favorite local bands at the moment that you are not involved in?
Will: Well, I would say that Great Lakes Myth Society is probably my favorite. Their two albums, especially the first one, are pretty much the best albums I'm aware of from local musicians (other than the ones I had a hand in, of course, heh heh).
Elle: Niiiice.
Will: Come to think of it, I have a minor backing vocal part on the second GLMS album. Damn.
Elle: So that doesn't count. You have to think of another band that you like.
Will: Damn. HAHA
Elle: Come on! It can't be that hard!
Will: Haha, I'm trying to think of who my favorite is though.
Elle: Take your time.
I could have sworn ten minutes went by. He was probably trying to figure out which band he hasn't been in.
Will: I guess I'll have to say Deastro. One of his songs, though I don't know what it's called, is constantly stuck in my head. I really like The Word Play. I don't if that counts since we're on the same label and we're friends. I didn't play a note on their album though.
Oh, The Wordplay, *droooool*
Elle: It kind of counts.

Elle: How did the tour with Javelins go?
Will: I've done two tours with Javelins in the last few months. Those have been a lot of fun; they're basically vacations. I really like the Javelins dudes a lot personally, and I think the fact that I'm not in a band full-time with them means that I always can enjoy hanging out with them without worrying about business or feeling like we're spending too much time together.
Elle: That sounds like fun.
Will: The last tour we did was with the band Colour Revolt, so that was like double the fun hanging out with that many awesome dudes.
Elle: I am going to find a way to tour with them.
Will: You may have to bring your own car.
Elle: haha.
Will: The van's generally pretty full when we're riding in it.
Javelins are apparently fatties.

Elle: How did you feel about the photo comparison I did of you and Ian Curtis?
Will: A few people have noticed that before.
Elle: Oh, well then.
Elle: I am sure they didn't go as far as doing a photo comparison on their blog.
Elle: Or has that been done already too?
Will: One time, I thought up the word "guitarded", and I thought I was so clever, but now you can see that there are 63,400 Google hits for the word "guitarded".
Way to not answer my last question!
Elle: That's sad. You should have copyrighted that.
Will: Trademarked.
Will: Correcting people, something I do.
Elle: Damnit. DAMNIT!
Will: But don't necessarily feel good about.
Elle: It's ok, I do that as well. It's always refreshing to get corrected by someone else. I need to be taken down a peg or two sometimes.
Will: Haha, but you're the writer.
Elle: Whatevs. I am just a blogger. According to Deep Cutz Charlie, there is a HUGE difference. *shakes fist at Deep Cutz' "blog"
Will: Hmm. Maybe blogspot should make people read "The Elements of Style" before they can have an account.
Elle: That's probably a good idea.

Elle: What are your favorite pizza toppings? Hard-hitting journalism!
Will: pepperoni, onions and pineapple are my top three. If a pizza has one of those, it's off to a good start.
Elle: I am not a fan of pineapple on pizza. But I can respect your choice. NOT! that's sick.
Will: You know, I didn't used to think I was, and then (to get all scene for a second) Eric Stollsteimer gave me a slice of ham and pineapple at the Lager House once, and I was like "Whoa! This is good!"
Will: Ha, the makings of a good blog post.

Elle: Where did you go to school? Did you go to college?
Will: I went to the Detroit Waldorf School for grade school, Cranbrook for high school and U of M for college.
Elle: What did you get your degree in?
Will: Philosophy!
Elle: Wow! I took some philosophy classes. We should talk sometime. About philosophy stuff.
Will: Oof.
That can't be good
Elle: I will probably just sit there and stare at you like I am confused, though.
Will: I was never very good at becoming an expert on any philosophers. I just think about right and wrong a lot.
Elle: How so? Examples?
Will: Well, in the news there are all kinds of stories about people hurting and killing each other. I think a lot about whether there are steps that can be taken to get people to cut this out, and what those steps might be.
Elle: I spend quite a bit of time thinking about that too.
Will: Hm, maybe everyone does.
Way to make me not feel stupid about saying something so completely obvious.
Elle: Probably.
Will: The thing about philosophy is that you keep ending up back at the most basic questions.
Elle: So true. *staring blankly at computer screen*
Will: But if you take the scientific approach, you have to give up being able to say that people "should" do this or "shouldn't" do that.
Will: The other option is religion, but I am not religious.
Elle: Would you consider yourself an atheist then?
Will: I say I'm an agnostic, because I don't spend any time advocating against the idea of a God. I think the universe is so insane and incomprehensible that even our concept of there being a "God" doesn't begin to explain it.
Elle: That's deep, sir. Whoa.
Will: Thanks.
Elle: You're welcome.
Will: A few years ago I read "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Greene, which is about the current state of how physics views the universe, and I came away thinking that a true understanding of the universe and why it's here and all that is way, way beyond our current grasp.
Elle: I think I've been a little too nice to you in this interview.
Elle: That's definitely not fivethreedialtone style.

Will: I did an interview with fivethreedialtone a while back; I don't recall him being particularly mean.
Elle: He is mean to me. Maybe it's just me, though.
Will: He does do leading questions to try to get you say bad things about others, though.
Duh, he's a blogger. And he is from Detroit.
Will: I'm sorry if he's mean to you.
Elle: It's ok... I'll be fine. *sobbing quietly*

Elle: What are your top three favorite albums of all-time? What about at the moment?
Will: I'd say for all time it's the albums I mentioned having an effect on my songwriting: Siamese Dream, OK Computer, and Between the Bridges. I got obsessed with each of those and they had a big effect on me. For the last few years, I'd say my favorites are Brian Wilson's Smile (the recent version), Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker ballet, and a Beatles album (let's say Sgt. Pepper's).

Elle: What do you love about Michigan?
Will: Well, I probably love Michigan because I grew up here, I'm used to the lifestyle, and a lot of my friends and some family are here. I enjoy going up north; much of the state is very pretty. I'm proud of the musical heritage here, and I hope to keep that going in some small way.

Elle: What do you hate about Michigan?
Will: I don't really hate anything about Michigan, but I wish that the state had more opportunities for the creative class. Economically, I think that should be part of the replacement for the decline of manufacturing, and I think it's a reason why several of my friends have left the state. I'm sorry that the national perception of Michigan is probably a negative one, with Michigan's poor economy and with Detroit's various troubles. I think that more boosting up needs to be done of schools like Wayne State and CCS, to make Detroit more of a viable option for young creative class types. Right now it's cool to move to Chicago or New York, and it's not very cool to move to Detroit, and I think an answer to that problem is part of the solution for bringing Michigan back. Also, the winters are a little long here.

Indeed, they are...

Everybodys Moving Out Of Michigan - Will Yates

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Best Friends are leaving Michigan

Last night, I experienced the Homecoming/Going Away party*** for two very special dudes. These dudes are Best Friends. And they literally are best friends. They sing about being best friends, giving people hugs, recycling, and optimism, while maintaining a sharp punk sound. It ended with the biggest group hug I have ever been a part of in my entire life. And for that, I would like to thank Best Friends. Greg and Scott, you will be missed! Good luck in Philly, guys!

The Hadituptoheres opened for Best Friends. And someone opened for the Hadits, but I got there too late for that. Sorry.

***Apparently, they were on tour for 50+ days prior to this show, and this was their first night back in Michigan. They are leaving for Philadelphia in a few days. :-(

Monday, August 18, 2008

Starling Electric --- Clouded Staircase

Clouded Staircase, the newest (sort of) release by Ann Arbor darlings, Starling Electric came to me in my dreams the mail a month ago. It's a re-release of an album recorded two years ago, now to be released on Bar/None (on August 19th) who have released records by such bands as Of Montreal, Yo La Tengo, and Puffy Amiyumi. No lie. Check out their site.

While their re-released album has no hints of Puffy Amiyumi, I still felt the need to review it. When I got it in the mail, I tore open the packaging to see that singer/songwriter/mastermind Caleb Dillon left me a little note on a Post-It*. "PS I highly recommend getting naked before listening to this album." Well, goddamnit. I have a roommate, she wouldn't appreciate that. So I waited until she left for a weekend to get down to my skivvies and really take a good, hard listen at Clouded Staircase. A good, hard listen.

And I really did need to give this album a hard listen; it was a bit dense, very thick. Eighteen tracks, some are only a minute or two long, but it's still eighteen tracks long. That is a long time to stay in your undies. The first track of the album, St. Valentine's Day Massacre, is much more rock than most of the other tracks. Lyrically pensive, this track is an ode to a love that got lost in the folds of a lust-filled night.

It's imperative to note that "Camp-Fire" was featured on the under appreciated, yet awesome, TV series Veronica Mars. I find that other people might not fully appreciate this album because of it's very 60s/70s hippie vibe. Yet, it is a joyful voyage into a lush sound scape of an indie band on the fringe.

"Black Ghost/Black Girl" is a catchy little ditty with gorgeous harmonies. "Clouded Staircase (Part Two)" sends you floating in the breeze, high on life (maybe on some psychedelic druuuugs too), without a care in the world... Building up slowly, and then bringing you back down to the earth softly. And then there are some snaps and bah-bah-bahs. I'm starting to feel very comfortable sitting around in my undergarments at this point.

Oh, wait, it's starting to get romantical all up in this joint. "A Snowflake," so sensual and breathy. Oh my god. Oh. My. God. As I continue to delve deeper into this melodious beast of a record, I am beginning to get the feeling that Caleb Dillon attaches the same Post-It note to everyone he sends an album to. That sly fox.

I could not bare to review anymore of the tracks. Heartbroken, I wept through the rest of the album.

*I love getting Post-It notes from bands.


Come out to Detroit Summer Smash this Thursday/Friday/Saturday.
Some highlights:
Thursday: Dude, the fuckin' Friendly Foes and Four Hour Friends for fucks sake.
Friday: Dude, The Beggars. They will melt your face off with rock. And a lot of fun.
Saturday: Dude, Deastro isn't playing anymore. But Silverghost will be there. And so will Prussia, The High Strung, and The Dead Bodies. Hell yeah.

It's $16 for all three days (totally good deal, people), or $5 on Thursday, $8 Friday, and $8 Saturday. According to Laura Witkowski in an interview with Metro Times, "Professional security and legal support will be on hand during the festival to ensure our guests and members' civil rights and personal dignity is not violated by anyone." Well put, comrade.

It's at the
CAID. Please come out. You won't regret it. Well, I can't completely say that. You might regret it. Like, if you run into your ex or something and they're there with their*** new "friend" and you are looking like crap. So, don't look like crap. Try to look nice. Then you might not regret coming. And who cares about your ex anyway? There was obviously a reason you two aren't together anymore. You should still try to look nice, though. Because if you are there at 4pm on Saturday and you look like crap, I will probably make fun of you.

According to the Detroit Summer Smash Myspace page:
"Detroit Summer Smash was in hibernation last year after an 8 year run! We are returning in 2008 with the help of the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit! Summer Smash 2008 will raise monies for a CAID-sponsored grant for Detroit-area musicians!

Here is the lineup:
Thursday August 21st, $5 or $16 for festival pass
9pm- Bird Gang
10pm- 4 hour Friends
11pm- Friendly Foes

Friday August 22nd, $8
9pm- Sons of the Gun
10pm- Hotness
11pm- Beggars
12am- Oblisk
12:30am- DJ Afterglow

Saturday August 23rd, $8 for full-day Saturday pass
2pm- Whistling School for Boys
3pm – OHTIS
4pm- Elle & The Fonts
5pm- Always 17
6pm- dinner break!!!
7pm- Prussia
8pm- Electric Fire Babies
9pm- Goudron
10pm- Dead Bodies
11pm- The High Strung
12am- Silverghost
12:30am- dancing sounds by Dave Shettler and Scott Zacharis!"

***I have a degree in writing stuff, I swearz.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I don't mean to talk about shows that I play, but I can't help it when it comes to last night. I was at Corktown Tavern, playing with local bands Lightning Love and To and Fro (even though they live in Croswell, which is way the eff up by Memphis, MI), and a touring band from Brooklyn, Deleted Scenes. Chris O was there. Yay.

Deleted Scenes played right after me, and they were amaaaazing. The lead singer's neck looked like it was rubber. You know, when you take a pencil between your thumb and your index finger and you shake it up and down and it looks like it's made of rubber. Well, he wasn't, like, headbanging but it was some weird, indie-rock version of headbanging. Besides that, they were tight as hell (that's what she said), and catchy as the flu in the middle of flu season. Loved it.

To and Fro are a instrumental, metal-core, two-piece with some fierce guitar techniques and a crazy motherfucker with the curliest hair ever on the drums. It wasn't really my cup of tea, but I definitely can appreciate the talent of the guitarist, who can tap like a pro and shred as perfectly and frantically as a papershredder at work when the auditors come to town (was that metaphor too out there? Sorry, I am trying to amuse myself while avoiding the "Dream"cruise).

Then there was Lightning Love. Now, I have heard so many people get all "omg" and "srsly, omg" over this band. I can see why now. Super cute, almost twee-popish, with sly, bet-you-didn't-see-that-coming, interesting musicianship. The songs were killer. The male-female vocals were offensively adorable. The have a lot of songs about being ugly. But they aren't ugly. I almost wanted to hate them, but I haven't been around Detroit long enough to become that bitter (oh snap, yeah I said it, haters). Needless (very) to say, I reeeeaaaaallly enjoyed their set.

Tonight, I am going to Pontiac for Prussia's CD release show.

Oh, and, fuck the Dreamcruise. Srsly. Dumb. But a good excuse to party?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Where my girls at?

I was having a conversation with a fellow female musician in the area, and she pointed out the Detroit scene is a little sausage dominated. Now, it's not something we were necessarily complaining about. This scene is also chaulk-full of awesome bands (please do not be an ass and try to argue that they are awesome because they are dudes, you will fail). The conversation stemmed from trying to find other female musicians*. I know a lot of people, and I was stumped. Of course, we all know the powerhouses: Alicia (The Nice Device), Lizzy (Friedly Foes/Kiddo), Leann (The Von Bondies), Marcie (Silverghost), Ko-Ko (Hard Lessons), etc. I did some digging to find some ladies you may not have heard of just yet.

Darling Imperial, a new project of some Detroit veterans, boosts an amazing lead singer by the name of Sarah Sadovsky. Imagine White Chalk album-era PJ Harvey, mixed with a little Tori Amos, but certainly not as old or weird.

Sh! The Octopus has pianist/vocalist Christine Baxter providing lush harmonies and rocking out on the ivories.

Got anyone to add to that list?

In other news, I had a dream last night that I joined Spice Girls as their guitar player. Weird.

*Is anyone else sick of hearing, "There is a girl in that band!"? It seems like such a novelty still, which is ridiculous. It is almost as if we are hard-wired to believe that women playing instruments are rarities because women aren't hard-wired to play instruments. So, is the lack of women musicians because of the male-dominated musiciandustry (I made up a new word!)? Or is it more of a general social issue (women are conditioned to find rewards in areas of society other than creative outlets/being creative holds no rewards for the modern woman who is supposed to be family and career driven at the same time/artistic women are seen as living on the fringe of society/etc)? Discuss.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Silent Years' release on iTunes.

Check it out. I hear it is good. I have not actually heard it yet though, so I could totally be wrong. If I am, you can yell at me next time you see me. Or you can buy me a drink for suggesting such a good album to you. Whatever.

Also check out the EP entitled "Size King" by Your Skull My Closet, which comes out (came out) today on iTunes. Some dude that used to be in Small Brown Bike is in that band. I miss them. Oh, and this guy named Sean Hoen. He played at Alvin's two months ago and it was fantastic. I think SubSprawl released some stuff by him. Yes Michigan!

I need iTunes. I am going to download it tonight and get the YSMC EP and then review it.

Anyone looking for roommates or a house in Ferndale? Help a girl out.

Friday, August 8, 2008

MoFo Karaoke

MoFo Karaoke is the best thing ever. Way to go, Elbow Room, for hosting it. I know it's been happening forever, but I finally experienced it in all of it's glory last night. I even got to sing first! The bar was hustlin' and bustlin' (yay for people buying booooze!)! There were hot people everywhere!

On a side note, Myspace informed me that yesterday was the birthday of Chris O. (from The Recital and Mas!). Happy Belated Birthday, you minstrel of merriment, you troubadour of transcendent talent, you balladier of... awesome? Yeah!

Today is 8-8-8! WHOA DUDEZ!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I LOL'd my butt off.

Read this interview in it's entirety.
JRC: Are you just not a fan of the garage sound, or was it more city specific?
Ryan Allen: The jean jackets, the skinnyness… Also, the attitude of it seemed a little off to me. This sense of entitlement like, “one time Meg White bummed a smoke from me, so you should pay attention to my band, motherfuckers!”

I am laughing because it is so. goddamn. true.

I saw her at a bar once. You should pay attention to my band because I am awesome, though.

Go to Ypsilanti tomorrow evening and enjoy some MoFo Karaoke at the Elbow Room! It's a good time. And I will be singing. Oh yeah.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Putting the 'Garbage' in 'Hott Garbage'

The title for this article was going to be "Hott Garbage: Putting the 'Hott' in 'Hott Garbage'"
I mean, look at these guys!

But I decided against that title because I didn't want Mike Berlucchi and Rick Boven, the brains behind the Michigan-based production company, to start getting death threats from my stalkers.

Hott Garbage is serious. Seriously awesome. These two young men don't fuck around when it comes to making videos. I experienced first hand how talented and serious they are when it comes to their videos at the recent Mason Proper shoot for "Safe For the Time Being." It reminded me of all the "Making of..." documentaries that I used to watch on MTV. Lots of lights. A fog machine. Lots of crew members. Free pizza for the extras... A make-up artist! On hand! Ridiculous!

According to Wikipedia, my only source of information, Hott Garbage also produced four music videos for the Mason Proper "Short Hand EP" which were free with the purchase of the EP off iTunes. I have seen two of the videos. One of which is posted at the end of this (so you can skip all the boring words).

I tried to do some more research of these two dudes. Mike has, like, a million pages on the Internet. Rick does not. If this were a Local Celebrity Challenge, I think Mike would win it. Sorry, Rick.

Please state your names and your titles.

Mike Berlucchi - Nice Director of Photography, Producer Ass Hole

Rick Boven - Director...(?)

Where are you from?

MB: Brighton, MI forever

RB: Alpena, MI.

Where did you go to school?

MB: Hawkins Elementary School

RB: 95% of my education came from chain book stores that provide plush furniture and exorbitantly priced caffeine. College is a myth.

What got you into video production?

MB: In 2005 I was at a roller skating competition and saw a man with a large camera, I said to myself "I want one of those." So I saved up and bought one, it ruined my life.

RB: Mike Berlucchi.

As trite as this might sound, what is your inspiration?

MB: My inspiration is money, I'm saving up to buy a Land Rover. But seriously, money is only 75% of it, the other 25% is because I love it, the traveling, the people, the product, it's all very wonderful.

RB: Bringing work into this dimension and affecting others, and not really being conscious of it. My little cousin still shows her friends 'Tiger Dance' at sleepovers. Somehow, the things we do sprout legs and create worlds of their own. And Land Rovers.

What is the best part of shooting a music video, in your opinion?

MB: The best part of shooting a music video is making someone look much more attractive than they actually are. Have you ever seen Jon Visger in real life?

RB: Hott Garbage is one of the few projects that I've worked on that I can create what I want and actually pays rent. That's a new thing for me. I've had a long career in retail, landscaping, nursing homes, etc. etc. So sometimes when I eat dinner I think, "Yeah. Music Videos."

Favourite director?

MB: Currently, Nima Nourizadeh.

RB: Godfrey Ho.

What is your current favourite local band?

MB: Supercontinent

RB: This guy comes over to my apartment sometimes and mows the lawn but he leaves his two yippy dogs in the cab of his truck. I think they're really pushing the boundaries of music and are what this community really needs.

I have noticed a reoccuring theme in your music videos: Dave Kloc. What's the intrigue there? Is he just really photogenic? Or just always available for music video shoots?

MB: Superstition, videos always turn out terrible if Dave is not within 100 ft of the camera at all times.

RB: I used to visit Ann Arbor long ago when I was just a baby. Nick Vandermolen and I would bounce around town with artists like Jason Polan and Jake Brege. (They did the "Ants" mural by the Parking Structure, and a few other ones about town) I remember the energy and insanity of those times and redefining what I knew art to be; organic, uncomfortable, and mesmerizing. These are qualities that I see in Dave Kloc. The last of a by-gone era.

If you could make a video for any artist/musician who has ever lived, who would it be and why?

MB: Danzig, because he's Danzig.

RB: I don't tend to work with artists based on who they are as musicians. I tend to work with them based on how much they will let me get away with. So, probably Boney M.

Rick, are you really a flamenco dancer? You had some pretty killer moves at the Mason Proper video shoot.

MB:No, he's not, he's fat.

RB: I read that John Frusciante kicked heroin by dancing to The Cure for something like 36 hours straight. I just want to be able to kick cigarettes.

When you both aren't making videos, what are you most likely doing?

MB: Petting my dog Riley or reading books.

RB: Graphic Novels. I've linked up with a few artists/writers that I like to sell our books and we call ourselves the Ballum Rancum.

And lastly, and most importantly,

what are you favourite pizza toppings?

No joke. Your fans neeeed to know.

MB:My favorite pizza topping is oreos. I had one of those in Kansas and my head about exploded.

RB: Ham. Pineapple. Onion. Bacon. Rarely do I find anyone who will go halfsies with me.

To date, this is one of my favourite music videos put out by Hott Garbage. Please enjoy.

MASON PROPER - "FRIENDSHIP" - Music Video from Dovecote Records on Vimeo.

Weekend Update

Thursday: PJ's Lager House. Champions of Breakfast's triumphant return from their European tour. Most of their old equipment has been recycled. They have a brand new set-up that will blind you as badly as you were blinded at the Ladytron show last month. If you were there, that is. Please try the Champion of Breakfast drink next time you go. It is delicious.

Friday: PJ's AGAIN. This time for Scarlett Oaks and The Darts, who soldiered on even though the singer fucked up his cankle again. I thought they were great*. Jocelyn needs to sing more. She's good. I stuck around through half of The Vamps' set, but I was too tired to stay for Scarlett Oaks. Which sucks. Because I like them. But I am a wimp.

Saturday: The CAID. Not only did Oscillating Fan Club release a new record, but they had Zoos of Berlin open for them. I love Zoos of Berlin. I cannot get enough of them. Please put out a new record, dudes.

Honestly, I wasn't digging The Bee Keepers at all. Sorry.

If you weren't at The Magic Stick, you missed this and that. I know, right? Those two dudes are creepy.

I ended up at a strange party in Ferndale Saturday night where I was yelled at by the doppelganger of this man:

You know what, people? It's not my fault if you have someone who lives in the same area as you and looks almost exactly like you when we are standing outside with very little light. I used to get told I looked like Drew Barrymore. Do you think she'll be mistaken for me while she is in town? Probably not. But that would be cool.**

Sunday: Sleepday.

This next weekend? Corktown Tavern to see Jack Oblivian on the 9th.

*I know, I know, I totally dissed their CD last month. I am not trying to make ammends, though. They really are good live.
**Although I think we look nothing alike.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Leann Banks Takes on Home Movies, Slurpees

A formidable lady, Leann Banks knows some things about some stuff. First off, she understands that Slurpees are horrible if they contain more than two flavors. Her flavor choices? Coca-cola and cherry. If you are hear to read her talk some shit about Jason Stollsteimer, you have come to the wrong place. Leann is a genuinely nice person. I mean, G-E-N-U-I-N-E. I tried to bait her into talking shit. And she didn't take the bait. Actually, I didn't do that. Anyway, she had nothing but marvelous things to say about her polarizing band mate. Enough about him though. This article is about her. In all her rock n' roll glory.

Born and raised in Michigan (on the "east side"), Banks started playing guitar as a teenager, and eventually switched to bass, which she plays in The Von Bondies currently. Before The Von Bondies, Leann was in The Sirens, and more notably, Ghost City.

For some reason or another, I cannot seem to find part of the interview on the recording device I use. This really puts a damper on the article. I would like to apologize to Leann for the lack of awesomeness in this article because of my stupidity.

I decided to do the interview while watching the first season of Home Movies with Leann seeing as we are both avid fans. We were hanging out with our ex-bandmate (from different bands) Brandon.

Leann: Brandon (from Ghost City) reminds me of Jason (from Home Movies).
Brandon: That's what Jason says (from The Von Bondies)!
Elle: I can totally see that.
Leann: Jason (TVB) reminds me of Brendon (HM).
Elle: So are you the Melissa to their Jason and Brendon?
Leann: No... I don't know. But our sound guy reminds me of Coach McGuirk.
Elle: I need to meet this guy.

Elle: So, let's talk about tour. What kind of food did you eat?
Leann: There was this one pizza place we went to and we had a pizza that was seriously 24" in diameter. It was sooooo huge.
Elle: I love pizza.
Leann: Me too.

"I'm going to punch him in the butt!" --- Brendon Small
Leann: I was having a really bad day a couple weeks ago, and we have basic cable. I came home and turned on the TV. I've only seen like the first two seasons of Scrubs, and I knew there was a musical version, and when I turned on the TV, that's the episode that came on.
Elle: I thought the musical was great.
Leann: It made me so happy. And from that day, I cannot stop listening to 'Guy Love.'
Elle: I was just going to say, 'Guy Love' is great!
Leann: I just can't stop! I listen to it like everyday!
Elle: I know!
*we begin to sing 'Guy Love'*
Leann: 'There's nothing gay about it in our eyes...' I'm a huge showtune nerd.

After the interview, I sent her a few more questions via Facebook after I realized that my journalism skills suck (i.e. losing most of the interview).

Elle: What do you love about Michigan? What do you hate about Michigan? Favorite Detroit band of all time? Favorite Detroit band of the moment?
Leann: Michigan is a strange place... I kinda stand a middle ground with it... That's why these questions are so tough! It's pretty sweet that I can tell someone where I live by pointing at my hand. One thing I've always disliked about Michigan is the fact that people don't travel through it. They don't need to! You either come to Michigan, or you don't. and most people don't. As far as bands.... I always hate these kinds of questions because I never feel like I'm covering all the bases! :) so I'll say the early/original Funk Brothers... because that covers a lot of ground. And listen to those bass lines! As for the band of right now... you should check out this group called the Von Bondies... I hear they're pretty sweet. ;)