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Crud, the Muggs, MC Serch, American Mars Move the Motor City


Detroit isn’t an automotive town that just happens to have an irrationally high amount of musical talent. No, Detroit’s an enigmatic city fueled by raw creativity, a city that breeds bands for the world’s pleasure. Oh, and its residents just happen to make cars, too. And in celebration of their native city’s talent, friendly folksters, haute hipsters, and leather-laden rockers mixed drinks and conversation Friday night (April 25) in the lobby of the Fillmore Detroit as anticipation mounted and citywide audiophiles arrived for the 2008 Detroit Music Awards.

American Mars, Detroit’s answer to Wilco circa A.M., kicked off the evening’s lengthy bill with their brand of folk-roasted prairie-pop serving as a smooth aperitif to the first course. Next, breaking me out of my Harvest Moon hallucination with a much-welcomed drunk, sloppy kiss and a hand down my pants was the sexy, perhaps slutty, Crud. Fishnets and metal studs pushed through distortion pedals, Crud’s sound might only be comparable to a Greek God orgy inside a scrap metal compactor during an earthquake.

The outfit’s set opener, “Reality,” quickly got the room in the mood, and after their quick set, the rockers took home the award for Best Industrial Band, to which vocalist Danielle thanked her mom, “for giving me this fine ass!”

Between sets and awards, the crowd’s attention was torn between host MC Serch and Atwater Block Brewery’s Dirty Blonde beer. Sorry, Serch, you did the damn thing, but I guess we all learned Detroit loves beer more than 3rd Bass.

Reeling through awards for great Detroit bands like the Go, Black Bottom Collective, and Kid Rock, the night climaxed with the Muggs. Maybe you caught ’em on Fox’s The Next Great American Band, but you’ve never seen the Muggs until you’ve seen the Muggs, and they treated Detroit to a slew of new tracks off their highly anticipated sophomore set, out May 9. A tried and true power-trio, these guys are blue-collar blues-rock at its best, with all the gritty licks you’d only find in a Detroit pothole. And later, with the Hard Lessons leading the standing ovation, the Muggs took home the award for Outstanding Rock Group. Shortly after, Spin‘s James McNulty kept class in session just long enough to present the award for Outstanding Live Performance to the Hard Lessons.

Any respectful award show wouldn’t be complete without an “all-star jam” and that’s exactly how things wrapped up as Ty Stone and Doop & the Inside Outlaws collaborated with a handful of Detroit’s top musicians (from White Stripes producer Jim Diamond to the Sights’ Bobby Emmit, to the Hard Lessons’ Ko Ko Louise, to name just a few) with a house shattering rendition of Detroit son Bob Seger’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.”

We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll, and the Detroit Music Awards is our yearly ribbon-cutting ceremony. Earplugs optional.

Crud / Photo by Michael Spleet

Crud / Photo by Michael Spleet

Crud / Photo by Michael Spleet

Muggs’ guitarist Danny Methric / Photo by Michael Spleet