Scott Morgan / Deniz Tek

Three Assassins

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The Michigan-born Deniz Tek is best known for two things, his Australian proto-punk band Radio Birdman and his undying worship of all things Detroit. To that end, the mostly-retired Tek, who now makes his living as a doctor in Bozeman, Montana, took a working vacation in France and Italy in the summer of 2001, playing a mini-tour with former Sonic's Rendezvous Band guitarist and general Detroit rock legend Scott Morgan, plus a local rhythm section. The resulting live document Three Assassins takes songs from both frontmen (Tek's "Shellback" is a highlight, as is a ripping version of Morgan's career high point "City Slang") and other songs associated with the scene, including a two-song Stooges encore, "I Got a Right" and "TV Eye." The performances are uniformly fine -- both men have their vocal and guitar chops in working order -- but Three Assassins still sounds like a minor, fans-only document. It's not quite the Detroit rock version of a Vegas revue, but there's a similar sense of craftsmanship in place of passion.

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