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Productivity comes easy for Detroits' Electric Six

of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Since its 2005 sophomore album “Senor Smoke,” Detroit’s Electric Six has released an album a year, an unheard-of level of productivity these days.

Frontman Dick Valentine says it’s because “we need to pay our mortgages,” but he adds that there’s never any problem coming up with the goods.

“There’s six of us in the band, and we all write songs,” says Valentine, 38 (real name Tyler Spencer), who now resides in New York. “So over the course of a year, all you need is for each guy to write two songs and you have an album. That’s not hard. And if somebody does dawdle for an album, the rest of us pick up the slack.”

Electric Six’s latest, “Zodiac,” comes out on Sept. 28, accompanied by the group’s The Rent Is Too Damn High Tour. The set includes the usual array of danceable rock tracks — including “American Cheese” and “Jam It in the Hole” — and it also features the group’s first cover since its 2005 take on Queen’s “Radio Gaga,” an energetic romp though the Spinners’ 1976 smash “The Rubberband Man.”

“Another (cover) so something we’ve been talking about for the last four albums or so,” Valentine says. “We felt like it made the record that much more fun, an we were sitting there at the 11th hour without a ‘Jam it in the Hole,’ without a ‘Rubberband Man.’ We were looking at what the album’s gonna sound like and saying, ‘This isn’t that fun.’

“See, we’ll never release a record before it’s time. Fortunately for us, that time always seems to be in the autumn of every year. We’re like a vineyard.”

Electric Six performs at 10 p.m. Saturday on the main stage at the DIY Street Fair, E. Troy Street east of Woodward Avenue in Ferndale. Visit www.diystreetfair.com for details.

Web Site: www.diystreetfair.com

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