Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Interview: X! Records - Shiftless Decay - Every Thursday Night in February at PJs Lager House

Local punk axis X! Records, sired by Frustrations drummer Scott Dunkerley, will be holding a month long residency of Thursday night performances at PJs Lager House to commemorate the release (CD/LP) of Shiftless Decay: New Sounds of Detroit. The compilation gathers a daunting lineup of Detroit-based bands – all drenched in the guttural grime of noisy, shredding punk – experimental and abrasive, these bands span classic 50’s rock and pop revivalism to early 70’s garage-y psychedelia.

Bands featured on the LP include: Frustrations, Terrible Twos, Fontana, Tyvek, Little Claw, Heroes & Villains, Johnny Ill Band, Human Eye, Odd Clouds, THTX, Tentacle Lizardo, The Mahonies

Throughout February, every Thursday there will be a free show featuring 2 bands, playing 2 sets each night. 2 / 5: Frustrations & Mahones - 2 / 12: Tyvek & Johnny Ill Band - 2 / 19: Human Eye & Heroes and Villains - 2 / 26: Terrible Twos & Fontana.

Playing 2 sets, said Dunkerley, goes back to the 60’s, “how it’d be more regular for bands to do a couple sets. I just figured they could do 2 sets each, to open it up a little more. It helps to with people showing up late for shows, that’s always a bummer. This way, hopefully, everybody who comes that night will at least see both bands, somewhat.”

All 11 of the 12 featured bands committed new & exclusive recordings to Dunkerley’s exposition – which serves as not only a grand sampler for the gang-like/arms-locked-fists-clenched camaraderie of the local label, not only as current forecast from the motorcity, in terms of (just one bit of) its music scene, but also, by name – as a reflection on the state of the city (be it physically in appearance or civically in government or economy).

“I want to try to have [Shiftless Decay] be a big release, to present to people around here, and around the country, overseas, everywhere; just, new sounds coming out of Detroit.” Dunkerley shrugs it off when presented with grandiose “next generation” type suggestions by his compilation mirroring classic collections like the Nuggests series of the 1960’s or perhaps Jack White’s similar Detroit-ala-2001 document Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit. But one suspects he may shrug it off because he sees this as more than just a continued tradition of celebrating music or celebrating camaraderie. It is a culmination of all the work these bands have been putting throughout the last three years as X! Records has blossomed, but, also it’s made “to say something about Detroit,” said Dunkerley. “I’m trying to get it out nationally and overseas, so it’s what’s going on here with music as well as a sort of State of the City, in a way…I think it needed to be addressed.”

Then after a pause, “ya know…mostly, it’s just a record,” then a shy, but cool chuckle.

(The Frustrations: photo - Sam Doyle)

(Human Eye)

Dunkerley's main band, the Frustrations, have been writing diligently throughout 2008 and are currently scoping places to record the follow up to last year’s full-length Glowing Red Pill. The Frustrations will play a 2 week tour that includes playing SXSW in Austin TX as part of a combined label showcase (between X! Records and Vancouver based-Sweet Rot.

More info: www.x-recs.com; myspace.com/xrecordsdetroit


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