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House & garden > Motor City Cribs and Rides

Motor City Cribs

The Ferndale house and studio of Computer Perfection

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Published 3/3/2010

Much like the Zombies and Odyssey and Oracle, when Pas/Cal released its brilliant pop gem of a record I Was Raised on Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura in 2008, the band had already imploded at the peak of its creative powers. Pas/Cal's Belle and Sebastian-inspired, immaculate pop was largely the vision of leader-vocalist Casimer Pascal, and, in the wake of the band's demise, its former members have carried on Pas/Cal's pop spark.

Keyboardist-guitarist Richard Panic started destroying minds and stages with Johnny Headband. Guitarist Trevor Naud formed the precision-engineered pop-prog of Zoos of Berlin. Guitarist-vocalist Gene Corduroy, vocalist Amy Bem, bassist-keyboardist Nathaniel Burgundy IV and beats-big-as-Bonham drummer Little Tommy Daniels put together a little basement band called Computer Perfection — a basement band of alternately wild psychedelia and tight pop hooks.

When Corduroy and wife Bem moved back to Ferndale from New York City three years ago, they happened to move down the street from Daniels. Burgundy moved in with Corduroy, Bem and their daughter, Penny. The basement of their 1926 Sears Craftsman was perfect for them to practice and record. There was just one little problem.

"We call the basement studio 'The Fish Tank,'" Corduroy says with a grin. "Because it use to smell like dead fish," Bem adds. They drilled holes through the drywall in search of dead animals, to no avail. The smell slowly subsided, perhaps driven out by all the intoxicating aromas coming from Corduroy and Bem's pantry (they're both foodies).

In spite of the initial stench, Computer Perfection recorded its lush pop masterpiece We Wish You Well on Your Way to Hell in the Fish Tank, just past Penny's awesome playroom. Last summer, after Daniels moved to Chicago, they added Aaron Quillen on drums and Scarlet Oaks' Steve McCauley on bass in time for their CD release. When trying to nail down Burgundy on the seemingly myriad sounds and influences on the record, he says, "We're just as influenced by good food, literature or movies." With a smile, he adds, "If you have a song influenced by [Russian film director Andrei] Tarkovsky, it's harder for someone to call you out on that."

Computer Perfection is playing the 2010 Metro Times Blowout Pre-Party Wednesday, March 3, at the Majestic Café, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. For more information on Computer Perfection, see myspace.com/computerperfection.

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