Shit Show was on Sunday. I had my tickets early and really wanted to spend some time there. But sleep and other interests got the better of me. We got down there in time to hear Kyle Hall's set, about 10:30. He was scheduled to end at 11 and then Todd Osborn for the next hour. Sadly, I missed Darkcube live and Derek Plaslaiko earlier in the morning. Todd played a banging set that kept my tired legs going for about an hour straight. Seriously, I really didn't stop dancing the whole time. They had two rooms going - one inside and then one outside. Outside was packed that sunny morning, inside was not. There were bunches of people sleeping on couches and chicks swinging on bathroom stall doors - tp party. Todd's set was great, as I expected. No "hot mixes," nothing predictable, primarily lots of lovely things I had never heard before. So that's a score for me.
We left to get lunch at Slows Bar-B-Q on Michigan. First time eating there, it was fantastic. One more notch on the happiness scale for the weekend. I had never had North Carolina style sauce before, so that's what I fell in love with at Slows. And the beer, oh my god, it was a good weekend for beer. Rochester Mills IPA. So good, I had it twice.
We then headed down to Hart Plaza for the Electrobounce crew/Starski & Clutch/Godfather. They were pretty fun as always. By that point, we needed another break and some sleep. I missed some excellent music that afternoon and evening, but getting up for an early party will do that. We got back down to the fest at about 9pm and I got to enjoy Rob Hood's set. By that point, I was crowded out, so we just stood up on a bench and listened from up top. I enjoyed it. What he played was some fun and interesting techno. There were some moving beats. I am so spoiled by being in Detroit year round and have the pleasure of small crowds and small venues. I can easily see what is going on all the time. I love to be able to see what a musician is doing while playing a live set - the equipment and how they manipulate it all. I would have loved to be able to do that for Rob Hood's set.
After that, we very slowly made our way to milkshakes and then to No Way Back. This party is what I should be planning my weekend around. But instead, I exhaust myself to the extent that I am unable to handle any more beats, even beats that I am loving. It's been at the Bohemian National Home for the past two years (not sure about years before that). All the DJs are bound to be fantastic - it's Brendan M. Gillen and Erika Sherman choosing them, so come on, you know it! They decorate the space in such a lovely way to create a great, dark, actually peaceful atmosphere for listening and partying. They had Motor City Brewing Lager - more good beer! I came for Mike Servito, Derek Plaslaiko, BMG, and Carlos Souffront and did not stick around long enough to hear any of them. Saw photos of Carlos playing with morning light coming in softly. He was scheduled to play at 7:30am. I'm serious, next year, I'm leaving the festival early and sleeping until maybe 4am or something so that I can enjoy the whole party, to the end. And I must add, ladies, you will be treated well here. And not in the wink wink we treat the ladies right way. It is a safe partying environment created on purpose. It's actually an important part of Interdimensional Transmissions - Erika and Brendan's record label - to produce parties that are safe and genuinely fun for women and men. They actually accomplish this really well too! Chicks dig IT.
The next day we slept in until I just couldn't sleep anymore, which turned out to be about 10am. Crazy, I know, but I had been away from my kids all weekend and sleeping away from them was actually difficult for this Ma. Rain ended up closing much of the stages down for big chunks of the day. Missed Shigeto and Secrets. Hung out at Forans for a while for more good beer. Then back for the Moritz von Oswald Trio. Now this was another true highlight of the weekend. I had been looking forward to hearing them for a long time. Before they started, we caught some of Francesco Tristano live. He played Strings of Life on his piano without any electronically produced sounds . That was pretty fun. MOV3 got set up a bit late and welcomed Carl Craig on modular synthesizer as a guest.
Now this is not my photo, it's by Greg Cristman of a show by MOV3 + Carl Craig + Francois K at the Unsound Festival this past February. But just look at this. He's producing tones by patching cords.
I mean I can hardly stand it. Check out the rest of the photos of this show here.
The music was interesting, slow to build (in a good way), intellectually moving. It was a weird beauty. There were some nice percussive moments. They played great together. It was a joy to just sit in the alternating sun and clouds and listen. How I wished to be standing with my face in all the gear watching every moment I was hearing.
So that's my weekend.
A few general comments ensue. Serious body jacking happening at specific moments over the weekend. I'm a serious mover so that's important to me. The stages were surprisingly clear of media folks this year as compared to last year. I learned after the festival that Paxahau designed a two tier system for media credentials - media and stage media. So there were some with credentials who could go "back stage" but not on stage. This is excellent for the artists. But not so fun for folks who need/want to report and share images of the fest with their readers. I also learned after the fest that Paxahau did not allow promos to enter Hart Plaza - no cds or vinyl. "To protect their investment." This is actually ridiculous. A lot of small labels benefit from networking inside the festival. This seems particularly damaging to local artists who could easily transport their releases down to the festival and distribute their music on their own terms in a very immediate way.
Once again, I really enjoyed meeting new people and seeing old faces that I hadn't seen since last year. Met Rob Theakston of EMA and Moodmat. Met Jacob Arnold of Gridface. Glad to finally meet both of them! Got a few chances to chat with Frank Glazer of Infinite State Machine. That Frank, he's a good man. Also Tom Cox of ISM.
I didn't get down to YaDigg Records, Whodat's new record store. But I helped her fold shirts and sort records the week before, so that's okay. I'm glad so many people made it over there! Better plan to fit another visit in next year all you fest goers!