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September 06, 2005 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-06

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10A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 6, 2005


Detroit garage vets The Sights
discuss rock at The Blind Pig


By Evan McGarvey
Daily Music Editor
The Sights seem young, like they just got finished with
trig classes, the weirdest kids in their private school. They
play rock hard and half-drowsy, half raised on Robert
Johnson and AC/DC, the worst of both, the best of both.
On Friday, in a dark corner of The Blind Pig, they talked
about the band's formation, playing music at all corners of
the globe and took some subtle shots at sacred rock cows.
Eddie Baranek started the band at De La Salle high
school in Warren, and after three albums and years of
touring, he's the only person from the band's original line-
up still involved with the group. He birthed The Sights and
he's not afraid to refer to it as his "baby." Even the band's
beginning had a hint of the auspicious.

"In high school, rumor had it that (original member)
Mark Lahey owned a bass guitar. I found him and we start-
ed it. The summer before senior year we had been playing
shows, hanging out with 25-year-old girls, getting wasted.
We had gotten made fun of before that year for having a
band, but once we started senior year, we felt pretty good
about ourselves."
Baranek mentioned going to a Monkees concert in
Pittsburgh and buying AC/DC's Highway To Hell as early
experiences from his youth. He said he's a little ashamed
of his first concert, but he's certainly not shy about tak-
ing aim at any golden boys in the newly celebrated Detroit
rock scene.
When asked if he agrees with Jack White's recent
assessment of The Stooge's Fun House, he quickly replied,
"Don't care."
"Any time you reach a certain level of fame, a level of
negative press must come to the same level. It's like a bal-
ance," he added.
He doesn't hold back when it comes to Iggy Pop either.
"Dude smeared peanut butter on his chest? Peanut butter
is delicious; you're supposed to eat it."
Baranek left for a sound check onstage and Bobby
Emmett, piano/organ player and a member of the band
since June 2003, slid up to the table in.Baranek's place and
calmly mentioned that Baranek handles most of the inter-
views before launching into a half-joke monologue where
he repeatedly mentioned his love for the ultra-obscure Tee-
Once he quieted down, he rattled off fond memories
from touring with indie-rock elder statesmen Guided By
Voices. Not surprisingly, most of the good stories revolve
around GBV's frontman and notorious booze-hound Bob
Pollard. It's eerie hearing such aged stories from someone
who looks barely older than anyone in your English class.
Emmett fidgeted with his hands as he talked about Bollard
swearing at crowds at European festivals and watching

Singer/guitarist Eddie Baranek pulls no punches when discussing everything from his band's foundation to
touring with Jet to Detroit music scene luminaries such as Jack White and Iggy Pop.


one of the guys from Jet passed out from smoking a small
block of Swedish hash.
Reserve clearly isn't the band's strong point, as after
telling the hash story, Bennett quickly added, "Oh yeah,
we played with Jet. They were kind of pussies."
Bennett then started talking about his favorite countries
in Europe in terms of beer quality before Baranek returned
to the table. When asked about his approach to song writ-
ing, he said that ever since Emmett joined the band, The
Sights have been using both himself and Emmett as song-

"You can be a pissy Nazi (about songwriting), or you
can invite another. It's Darwinism - having two song-
writers forces the weaker songs to get cut. There needs
to be more Darwinism in songwriting. As you get older
you don't get those moments when you were younger, you
know, you listen to a new song and it totally stuns you. It
happens less now."
And just like that Baranek paused, looked at his half-
drunk beer and fell silent.

Bobby Emmett, piano and organ player for The Sights,
talks about playing the European festival circuit.

1 U

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