Monday, September 20, 2010

Busy Weekend in Detroit

I started the weekend off with a fun night at New Center Park in Detroit. Michael Geiger and Mike Huckaby were playing. It was a free event from 8pm-midnight. I was happy for the early evening since I had big plans for the next day... I'll tell you in a minute. It was cold too, but that didn't bother me much. I danced enough to fog up my glasses a few times. Speaking of dancing, Gehrik Mohr and friends were there dancing some greatness. Gehrik is a fantastic dancer, known all over Detroit as one of the originators of Detroit's freestyle house dancing. A few other dancers who fit this label include Thaddius Reed, Vince Haliburton, Chris Jones, and Tammie Walters. I don't know all Detroit's house dancers. There are some younger dancers that I see around, but I don't know who you are ... so just know that we see you and love you.

The music was fun. Huck played this

So serious.

And if you don't know who Michael Geiger is, just click here and listen, it's great.

The next day, I itched and anxiously awaited 4pm, the magic hour of babysitter arrival and Ma and Pa's departure to Detroit for the We Like Music festival.

And yes, that means I missed Kevin Reynold's live set with a Yamaha and an 808. That is terrible, I felt pain. But 4pm it was. We arrived in time to hear some hot beats from DJ Dez. Dez/Andres is definitely someone I'm excited about. He's been producing and djing for a while now. His Untitled 12 inches on KDJ are incredible and his most recent II on Mahogani Music melts me.

Yeah, that's Minx. Not sure how to type what I think/feel when I hear this. Just breathe and love it. Dez was playing inside at the Old Miami, and I could have easily spent my next 45 minutes there, but Kyle Hall was playing outside and I wanted to check him out too. I definitely wish they had not been scheduled at the same time. But I get it, scheduling can be challenging for a festival. I'm glad I went outside. It turned out to be the best set I've heard Kyle play yet. Lots of fun, excellent transitions and selection, good dancing tunes. And on a side note, I like to watch DJs move as they play. Not, oh yeah I'm hot shit it's a party kind of moving. But just how they feel the music and dance slightly. Kyle has a really distinct head groove. Theo Parrish gets all bouncy. Rick Wilhite gets all spiritual, head to the heavens. Carlos Souffront moves like a soft librarian who will house you. What the hell am I even talking about anymore. Those last three dudes weren't even at the festival. Focus.

On our way out to Cass Cafe for some food, we checked out Madis One who have a new release on Blank Artists. They sounded good and interesting. Experimental instrument usage is always exciting. After a lovely meal (Artichoke pesto melt and Motor City Brew Works Pale Ale), we got back in time almost at the start of James T. Cotton's set. That's Tadd Mullinix. Tadd is a fantastic producer. Please listen to one of the greatest songs ever:

His set was really great. I stood and listened for most of it, partly because I had just had a meal, but also because sometimes it's nice to just listen. I repeatedly had a smile on my face at varying moments of his set. And, although I can't be sure of how much time exactly,
I lose track of things when I'm dancing, a little bit, but the last quarter of his set was exquisite. I'll say it again, exquisite. From the super fantastic Italo song through to the end, I was dancing. I woke up thinking about it the next morning. It's really lovely to listen to someone select music that is not simply to get hips bumping, but is also intellectual, educational, inspired by something bigger than tits and beer. I love parties, you know I do. But I also love to be moved. And you know he's drawing from an incredible archive of house records. I've spent some quality time with the "Tadd Recommends" sections at Encore Recordings in Ann Arbor. There's almost always a copy of Vanity 6.

Usually some Mobb Deep in there too. Good thing having Tadd at Encore. Good thing having Encore in SE Michigan.

And finally, nospectacle ended the good music portion of my evening.

Nospectacle, Old Miami, 9/18/10, Photos by James M. Rotz

Nospectacle consists of Walter Wasacz, Jennifer Paul, and Chris McNamara. They were really interesting and fun to watch. It's always great to hear serious noise while the musicians are bouncing around, dancing, fist pumping, and smiling. They weren't going crazy by any means, but they were pleasantly boisterous. Here's a descriptor from their twitter page: hi-fidelity dream-based written word and live performance electronics. There was some interesting video installation going on around them, although I didn't catch who that particular artist was. The festival featured art by a number of artists. The range of sounds was really exciting. The bench we were sitting on was vibrating us. They started their set out with some nebulous droning tones. Oh, and I'll admit right now that my capacity for describing experimental music is limited at this point. But I'll just keep at it, reading and writing, and it will get better. Gradually, they got more regular with rhythms, verging on some electro style sounds at times. My feet were definitely tapping the whole time.

We left Old Miami at about 10:30 intending to get some dessert somewhere and then head over to the Magic Stick thinking that we would catch Jimmy Edgar and Mux Mool. Unfortunately that did not happen. But I didn't know the set times. As it turned out, we missed both. Elliot Lipp was unremarkable, the sound was really quiet, and we didn't stick around for glitch mob kraddy. So we headed home early and I tried to salvage my night by listening to this on the way home, but you can bet it did nothing for James ... too annoying cheese for him. I tortured him anyway.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sonar Chicago

So you're going to Chicago next weekend for Sonar? You know, that Barcelona festival that is implanting onto Chicago this year. I just saw that Ron Trent is giving a lecture at 4pm Saturday, September 11. And Appleblim is lecturing the day before. So reading about this makes me actually regret not going to the festival. But I've got some Indiana brews that are just waiting anxiously in my basement to be enjoyed by some friends. I'm trying to make up some weirdo "bros before hoes" rhyme but with "brews." ... Brews before Sonar ... nope, not effective ...

And here's another great reason to be in Chicago looking for tunes:

Sonar Club Night by Red Bull Music Academy

Black Devil Disco Club (Rephlex)
Appleblim (Apple Pips)
Cosmin TRG (Tempa)
Space Dimension Controller (R&S)
Todd Osborn (Spectral)

10 September 2010
From 10pm until 4am

Smart Bar

3730 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60613

Ticket info
$5 all night

The festival actually seems more interesting than I originally thought a few weeks ago. The Ron Trent lecture totally seals the deal! You might want to take a look at this article by Terry Matthew about electronic music in Chicago:

Sonar Is Coming To Chicago. This is Not Necessarily A Good Thing.

I was just in Chicago last weekend and had such a great time, I wanted to share some places with you so that you can go and experience them for yourself.

Coffeeshop #1 Fifteen Stars 110% Excellent !!!!One!!!!:
The Wormhole in Wicker Park
1462 N. Milwaukee

Metropolis and Intelligentsia are both good too. I'm becoming an espresso head, so that's why these places are good. Don't worry, just order whatever you want, and if you get lip, give them sass.

If you're looking for records, Chicago is good for that. But if you're reading this, then maybe you already know about Chicago vinyl spots.

Groove Distribution
KStarke Records
(Thanks to Gridface/Jacob Arnold for the heads up on those two.)

Two other spots: Gramaphone Records and Reckless Records

We ate at this great restaurant on the south side called Amelia's. It's BYOB and you can swing by the grocery and liquor store right down the block on your way. Yes, it's on the south side. Don't be scared. It's perfectly reasonable to go down around 47th street in Chicago, even if you're a big gleaming whitey like me. Just keep your wits, like you would in ANY part of ANY city, and don't go much further south alone after dark. See, here's me perfectly safe and delighted after a fabulous meal at Amelia's.

And if you need anything else, just consult the Chicago Reader.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We Like Music Festival

This ought to be great!

Saturday September 18 2010

2pm-10pm The Old Miami 3930 Cass Avenue Detroit, MI
9pm-2am The Magic Stick 4120 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI


Jimmy Edgar
Mux Mool
Eliot Lipp
James T. Cotton
Madis One
John Arnold
Kyle Hall
Kevin Reynolds
Intricate Dialect
DJ Deadlines
Bobby Dolo
Green Meadows
A.M. Architect


Broken City Lab
VJ Kero
Linsay Jewell
Nivek Monet