Saturday, May 31, 2008

Movement - Part 4

Sunday, May 25th was a disappointing day. I didn't make it down there until 7pm because of childcare difficulties. And, 7pm was the time that my volunteer shift began, so I knew that I was going to be tied up until about 11pm. I was hanging on to the fact that at the volunteer meeting with Paxahau, the event promotion company for the festival, they explained that even though we would be volunteering, we would all be wandering around the plaza anyway and would not really be missing any of the performances. Well...that was so wrong, I don't even know! First they had me stuck handing out free fruit in the VIP area, which consisted of a few of the festival musicians, press, and people who paid extra for VIP passes. Then after literally a few minutes there not knowing anything about what I was supposed to be doing because I was just plopped down at that booth, I get nabbed to head down into the Paxahau office "temporarily" to guard thousands of dollars of equipment and to check in and out two-way radios. Then they brought down another volunteer who had been working all day since 11am, and who had spina bifida and walked with a cane. It was nice to have someone else down there with me and it was nice to talk with her, but what a crappy shift. We got to listen to the metal door frame vibrate and squeak from the bass and watch the madness that was going on with all the ravers and other festival goers outside the windows of the office. The office was located in the underground area of Hart Plaza in between the Real Detroit stage, and the main stage. So my ears were getting a mess of rhythms and sounds with no way of distinguishing things and I was missing so many people that I wanted to see. I missed Punisher, but heard she had a great set. Missed Kenny Larkin, Ectomorph, Mark Farina, and Richie Hawtin. There were some others that I wanted to see earlier in the day as well, but I got there too late. It was just a really interesting day at the festival, and I was frustrated to be missing so much of it. But back to the office, so many people kept coming in, people who worked for Paxahau and had some mission to be there, and people who were just festival goers and wanted to try to sneak some free vitamin water or red bull. At one point, three cops came in and then just sat down to hang out. It was weird. They were talking to me a bit, and then there was just silence. Maybe they just wanted to sit down, but the police/first aid area was right next door!?! So finally, after making sure that they had a replacement for me, because there was no way that I was going to miss Carl Craig after all that, I got out a little after 11 and headed up into the cool night. Carl Craig was really interesting. He's one of the major Detroit techno guys and was one of the first organizers of this festival in 2000 and 2001. He was playing live and had some other musicians with him, one on a laptop, one with a few keyboards, and a saxophonist and clarinetist.

Then James and I walked back along the river walk to our car and headed home to check on the baby. I breastfed him and then I dragged my tired husband out again to Alvins, a bar/club near Wayne State University in Detroit for the Underground Resistance party. It was excellent, and I'm so glad that I chose that party to go to. We got there when Buzz Goree was spinning. This was another moment when I heard really new, interesting sounds this weekend. His set was excellent - I feel like I need to hear him play a few more times before I get a good sense of how to describe his performances in words. Then we saw the Aquanauts (Bileebob and Milton Baldwin). They were excellent. Really interesting electro-funk-punk kind of music, I don't know if that describes it well, but I'm trying. Bileebob was the vocalist and he was electronically manipulating his voice into the mic, emphasizing the highs and lows at different points. His dancing was something to see. He's a great performer. Really robotic, sharp, harsh movements - not silly 80's robot, nice, clean, pristine movements. And Skurge was really great too - really interesting, hard, intense but simple rhythms. Then the Suburban Knight came on and again, great set. It was just a great night! Nice way to end a frustrating day. I ran into Cornelius Harris there taking photos up at the stage. Had a nice chat (well, a yell) with him about coming down to the Submerge building for a tour. Looking forward to it!

More tomorrow. Yes, there's still more...

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