New Candidates Arrive
I vote yes. Yes to Millions of Brazillions and the furtherance of sexy sludgy rock’n'roll as a national pastime. I vote NO to candidates A, B and C and flaccid political theater in general. But yes, yes to any band that updates its love of Dinosaur Jr., Jesus Lizard and Urge Overkill by damaging its sound with youth-approved irony, deafening disco beats and effects-pedal voodoo. Like Death From Above 1979 with less slack, more attack.
Oh, and I’m penciling in a vote for the Belmont, too, as the most underrated venue in Detroit. Bands sound good and loud there, but not shrill, and its so-narrow-it’s-silly wind tunnel of a room forces bodies together in a way that gives even modest turnouts an intimate energy.
So far so good.
Then I got a Millions of Brazillions CDR and was staring at it for a second, trying to determine if it was my whiskey-logged brain, or there really was a hand-drawn picture of a hamburger with legs taunting a cow sketched on its face. Before I could make up my mind, I was dragged to see Champions of Breakfast down the street. Entering Baker’s Streetcar, I forgot all about Hamburger Man/Cow saga the second I saw Champions’ stage setup. There were keyboards decked in Christmas bulbs, large-ass amps and even larger-ass guitars (the bass was, literally, about 9-feet long)…. all made out of cardboard. I shit you not, I questioned my sanity.
But that was nothing compared to the shock of their actual set; a spectacle of geek self-loathing regurgitated through three or four tiers of highly danceable irony. The costumes alone – trucker hats, mink coats, sparkle pantaloons, airbrushed unicorn mini-tees – practically taunted frat jocks far and wide to arrive en masse and kick their skinny asses. But this was a safe place, they were amongst friends and fans, and their shtick was eaten up by everybody present as they let their ipod do the rocking and their hot moves do the talking.
The most disorienting part about it all was how the songs gradually morphed from sex-you-up anthems to Dungeons and Dragons epics. Because at one point I realize the singer’s shirtless with a dagger sheathed down the front of his pants, belting out some lyric about Trolls roaming the earth and how, when this great epoch in history is finally reached, they will cook their Troll food for us. And it will be better than human food. I’m sorry, but it was too much to take. I stumbled out of there as fast as I could, floored it home, and passed out into a continuous nightmare of Oompa Loompas breakdancing in the Castle of Grayskull. Thanks for nothing Champions of Breakfast.