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The Upbeat: Killer Flamingos

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, September 18, 2009

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Killer Flamingos

Formed: Circa 1995 as the house band at Simon’s in Allen Park. The group “heavily revamped” its lineup about nine years ago, according to keyboardist Darren Drake. Sound: Pop and rock, mixing covers and original songs.

Members: Michelle Carravallah, vocals (Dearborn); Drake, keyboards (Troy); Todd Best, guitar (Dearborn); David Gondoly, bass (Dearborn); Tim Webber, drums (Rochester)

Day jobs: None. “This is all we do,” says Drake, noting the band plays four-to-five nights a week, including several steady gigs. “We’re so busy all we have time to do is play and rehearse. There’s people who used to tell us to get real jobs; a lot of them don’t have their jobs anymore and we’re still playing all the time.”

What’s in a name? Killer Flamingos was simply what the group’s original lineup decided to call it when the band started, according to Drake, and “doesn’t have a specific origin or meaning. When we left Simon’s we thought about changing it, but everybody knows us as that (name) and was so used to it. It’s our identity.”

All bases covered: Drake says that the group “tries to stay current and on top of things” with its covers, and has recently included hits by Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas to its sets. “We still do some iconic ’80s tunes like

(the Buggles’) ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ and (Nena’s) ‘99 Luftballoons.’ We try to make some of them our own, and some others we try to nail exactly like they are on the record. And we throw a few of our own (songs) in there, too.”

Special night: Killer Flamingos’ The Big Dirty Vol. 1 at the Magic Bag in Ferndale will feature a drag queen emcee, go-go dancers, a bubble machine and other surprises. “We’ll do stuff we normally don’t do on a weekly basis and really step it up,” Drake says. “It will be fun for us, and people who see us on a regular basis will walk out going, ‘That was a really cool Killer Flamingos show.’ ”

Hear ’em: Killer Flamingos have released one album, “Sick Society,” and some of its songs were featured in the Anna Nicole Smith movie “Illegal Aliens.” The group is currently working on a second CD.

See ’em: The Killer Flamingos present The Big Dirty, Vol. 1 on Friday (Sept. 18) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com. The group also plays every Saturday at the Cavern Club in Ann Arbor, Sundays at Luna in Royal Oak and Thursdays at the Dirty Martini in Novi.

Surf ’em: www.killerflamingos.com.

Web Site: www.killerflamingos.com

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