It's only fitting that a band from Detroit would play the music of a bygone era. Part retro, part rock, and all soul, the Detroit Cobras are in Pittsburgh Wednesday at Club Cafe.
The Cobras have been around since the mid-90s, part of the same generation of Detroit garage rock revival as the Dirtbombs, Electric Six and the White Stripes. Vocalist Rachel Nagy leads the party, alongside longtime guitarist Mary Ramirez. The band's website describes the two as "the bad girls by the exit doors at the school dance, all leather and heels, sneaking smokes and passing the flask." (The rest of the band is in constant flux; they've gone bandmates like ex-boyfriends.)
Their blend of rockabilly, soul, and Motown spans the 50s and 60s; the Cobras could have scored the entire Pulp Fiction soundtrack themselves. They have but one original song, the cheeky "Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat)." Everything else is R&B standards by the likes of The Shirelles, Otis Redding, and the Staple Singers, reinterpreted through an injection of Cobra venom. Just don't call them a cover band.
(Cobra venom about to be inserted)
Here's the band performing "Cha Cha Twist." (You may recognize it from The Jackass Movie, the part where Steve-O feeds a whale shark by putting shrimp inside his thong.)
We have a pair of tickets to giveaway for this engagement. Simply email your name to pghmusicreport [at] gmail.com and put "Detroit Cobras" in the subject line for a chance to enter. The Cobras have a reputation as a great live band, and the fact they're still touring despite not having a new album to their name since 2007 is proof of that. Pittsburgh's The Devilz In The Detailz open. Show starts at 8. Tickets are $15.
– B. Conway