Day 8: URGH! A Detroit Music War

“Urgh! A Music War is a British film released in 1982 featuring performances by Punk Rock, New Wave, and Post-Punk acts, filmed in 1980. Among the artists featured in the movie are Magazine, The Go-Go’s, The Fleshtones, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, XTC, Devo, The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Dead Kennedys, Gary Numan, Klaus Nomi, Wall of Voodoo, Pere Ubu, Steel Pulse, Surf Punks, 999, UB40, Echo & the Bunnymen and The Police. These were many of the most popular groups on the New Wave scene; in keeping with the spirit of the scene, the film also features several less famous acts, and one completely obscure group, Invisible Sex, in what appears to be their single public outing.” –

Illy Mack and crowd – Photo by Jon Miller
Lightning Love – Photo by Jon Miller

Sweaty, rocking, fun, crowded, and unique.  Headed up by a team of Detroit artists, URGH! A Detroit Music War was held this past Saturday on June 11th at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit.  This show was one that will make Detroit history.  How?  With acclaimed film director Brandon Walley and his film crew shooting and recording the entire event in multi-camera HD, 16mm, and Super 8 (what’s “Super 8”?), so they can produce the film URGH! A Detroit Music War, inspired by the original from 1980.

URGH! was a seven hour event with two stages, featuring eighteen of Detroit’s best bands including: The High Strung, Legendary Creatures, Lettercamp, The Satin Peaches, FUR, Pink Lightning, The Kickstand Band, Phantasmagoria, FAWN, Carjack, Duende!, Pupils, Pewter Club, Illy Mack, Lightning Love, Phantom Cats, Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program, and The Savage Seven.  Each band played a 20 minute set, with the crowd dancing, singing, and rocking out together.

I asked URGH! goer Vikki from Royal Oak, Michigan how she heard about the show.  “I was listening to NPR and they were doing a segment on local shows and local bands and [URGH!] just sounded really cool.  I’ve recently discovered The Satin Peaches and figured it would be a good excuse to come down here . I don’t usually listen to a lot of live music so this is a real treat for me.”

And it was a treat for everyone.  Hundreds of Detroit-ers packed into The Lager House for an awesome night of Detroit music, unity, and art.  Remember to keep an eye out for the film Urgh! A Detroit Music War as well! ~ Jon Miller, Musical Director

View more photos from this event on our Flickr.

Phantom Cats – Photo by Jon Miller
FUR – Photo by Jon Miller


The Satin Peaches – Photo by Jon Miller