This weekend marks the third annual Panic in Hamtramck Festival in Detroit at the Painted Lady. With thirteen bands over four solid days of weird wave action from the Midwest's most mixed bag of talents, and all at a super affordable $20 for the entire weekend? Not bad at all.
Thursday's show starts off with locals, the Potions who know how to straddle a Wipers groove and run with it. Following up is none other than Milwaukee's favorite mayoral candidate, Tony Sagger. This guy apparently invented alcohol, so his one man band routine has got to be top-notch based on his drinking ability alone! Tyvek headline the first night, and their driven, yet morosely entrancing bent notes are sure to fry all the circuits on hand before the end of the set. Disturbed music like this can go either way, but after their hit 7" on X! Records, their show should be one of the most exciting slots of the weekend. Friday kicks off with Cuckold, who have a gritty and heavy dirge that creeps along with a slide guitar slithering in and out of it's verses quite nicely. Homo Stupids take the stage next and deliver a white-hot thrashing of noise and genuine panic that will be hard to contain in the presence of so many horny onlookers. Yet another in the long series of post-Piranhas bands, Odd Clouds, finish off the night with their surreal ambient noise that's lovingly intertwined with bizarre squelches of despair and hopelessness. These, in turn, should kick your audio hallucinations into high gear within a few measures.
Saturday's lineup includes a few Chicago bands to round things out, and first up are the newly re-named Chicago Porch Disasters. Previously known as the Worst, these heathens are guaranteed to torture your cranium and get your blood boiling and your teeth gnashing in unison. The always mischevious Functional Blackouts are due to follow and unleash their primal scree, and spray reduced balsamic bile on everyone within earshot. Noisy caterwauling audio defecation for only the highest of standards, so strap on your wine glasses and don't forget your radiation suit. Ann Arbor's Terrible Twos slide in next and offer up another noxious slice of rough avant-rock that erratically swerves like the rest of the new wave of Detroit these days. Headlining Saturday night's show is Miss Alex White & The Red Orchestra, who's lineup of ex-Clone Defects & Valentinos, along with Alex's enchantingly spirited howl, is sure to even out the glorious noise still echoing throughout the Painted Lady once the dust settles.
Sunday's show, if you're still standing, starts with the two-piece racket of the Mahonies. A goofball convention if there ever was one, and yes they'd be a great match on a bill with Black Randy & the Metrosquad, if the brown prince still was alive. With names like Chili Mustard Onion Mahoney, food punk is finally back on the map. Next up are the Frustrations, whose overdriven, infected-brain song writing has had them compared to Human Eye on numerous occasions, but they really come across as a more Midwestern version of the Intelligence. Immediately authentic songs with a mid-70s Gulcher art-punk twist that reminds you how great that Red Snerts compilation really is. Ok, it's the end of the Fest, and just what you need to get your shit together is the synth-punk drone of the Genders. Great minimal synth that doesn't go too far outside the lines but still manages to pull out some catchy and disturbing little songs. For a psychedelic band, they manage to effortlessly create the soundtrack to falling apart from within, and there's something so unsettling about their sound, it's bound to induce fainting and panic surely will ensue. Come out to the Painted Lady in Hamtramck, just "inside" Detroit Thursday through Sunday, and check HERE for more information.
And although they've gone through a few lineup changes, here's the Functional Blackout's "Delta 32 Mutation" video from their debut LP, here for the first time, painstakingly edited and produced by Canderson using his still shots in 2004....