Detroit Soul, Pt. 3 (The Horror!)

I am really missing the D right now even with the masquerading professional team and the down season in Ann Arbor.  I am about as broke and struggling here as I was there, but in Seattle I am far away from the spirit, people, and culture of Detroit.  Seattle is really wearing on my nerves.  The vibe is not the same as the D or the Midwest.  And being broke and struggling would be easier around a bunch of other broke and struggling people.

The Lions’ game today deserves a two word description, wretched suckitude.  No more.

In honor of my pining for the D, here are some scrumtralescent performances by some of Detroit’s finest.

Recently, I was reminded of a group I wanted to do some digging on, the Dirtbombs, while reading from the consistently deliverin’ Wax Poetics.  I believe they played out in Seattle this past fall but I did not attend due to being poor.  The seasons may change but situations often stay the same.  Rain hasten away give me the drizzles another day.  Fortunately the Dirtbombs lived up to the hype.

Hailing from the home of Robocop, the Dirtbombs feature two drummers and two bass players and a guitar player creating a fuzzed out, raw, osmium funkiness that would make early funkadelic proud.  They have the same spirit Ween exhibits, which incidentally P-Funk also displayed. Next time I have the opportunity to witness them live, it will be seized.

On 2001’s Ultraglide in Black, the Dirtbombs took on the challenge of covering classic soul songs, including “Living in the City,” “Got To Give It Up,” and George Clinton-penned “I’ll Wait.”  A cover album can spectacularly succeed or horribly fail.  Displaying the trait of being able to put their stamp on whatever material they cover while maintaining the originals joyful spirit, the Dirtbombs delivered some gems.

The dub beginning of “Kung Fu” leads into a wicked groove.  The drum part reminds me a lot of bossa nova rhythms.

“Got To Give It Up” proves Mick Collins’ statement that the Dirtbombs are a dance band not garage rock.

Smokey Robinson’s “If You Can Want” is a punchy, up-tempo number featuring a smooth bass line.

Check out more Dirtbombs at

The Voltaire Brothers’ I Sing The Booty Electric is the brainchild of Mick Collins, the backbone of the Dirtbombs, and Jerome Gray.  The Voltaire Brothers are to the Dirtbombs as Bootsy’s Rubber Band was to early Parliament/Funkadelic.

“I Sing The Booty Electric” has a fast pace and a nice horn fade out and is an ode to the glorious booty.

Covering Roy Ayers’ “Funky Motion,” old school hand claps, an interesting 3 triple hit on the cymbal pattern that occasionally appears, and a funky solo at the end.

Check out this video about the attempt by corporations to strip people’s rights to the control of their creative works.


4 Responses to “Detroit Soul, Pt. 3 (The Horror!)”

  1. Hi

    Can you help me figure this out? The Dirtbombs cover of Kung Fu, that scratchy, dubby bit at the start is from another record but I can’t figure out what. Either they sampled it or someone sampled them, any ideas? I won’t sleep tonight until I figure it out.


    • maggotronix Says:

      Sorry, can’t help you out. I listened to it a few times, but it doesn’t ring a bell. Good luck. I know the feeling you speak of.

  2. I’ve figured it out, it’s Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus.

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