Times are tough in Detroit. The auto industry is a popcorn-movie train wreck again, thus the city's legs are wobblier than Lindsay Lohan's after an all-nighter. But the Motor City music scene is something that simply can't be squashed, what with its rich history as a — perhaps the — cradle of rock and roll greatness. It's the city from whence came MC5, Iggy Pop, and the White Stripes, to name three.
One cog quietly helping to move the works along is the Frustrations, a mystery-meat art-punk trio whose core sound, if there is one, could be rattled off as Interpol meets Black Flag. The band's speed-demon garage ideas are pocked with what-the-hell-was-thats, such as the Warlocks-like bury-the-singer bliss of "Overrated" and the trippy King Crimson ah-ahs in "Exploding Mind." It's remarkable stuff, pure DIY that sounds important, a hard trick to pull off these days.
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The band's drummer, Scott Dunkerley, operates X! Records, a label whose goals are far more lofty than simply committing the group's music to vinyl and disc. "One of the reasons I started the label was because there were so many good bands here that I would see playing all the time and most of them had never released anything," Dunkerley explains. "So it seemed to make sense to put it all under one roof and start putting some records out. We put on a lot of shows for touring bands in Detroit too, and sometimes it can be tough to get people to come out. That has been improving in the past year, though."
The Frustrations: Sunday, August 17. Churchill's Pub. 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Ages 18+ with ID. 305-757-1807, www.churchillspub.com
Officially, the Frustrations as a brand launched in 2005, the result of a series of bands that the members had been in and out of since their early teens. The crew's visit to Churchill's will be its first Miami appearance.