DDays: Day of the Dead at Imperial, Slowdive at the Majestic, and Halloween at Motor City Wine

Nov 5, 2014 at 1:00 am

Souls, Sugar Skulls, and Sangria

DDays has certainly gotten our fill of Halloween over the last three weekends. We've seen enough sexy kitty costumes to last us until next year. So we were very excited to attend a festive event where we wouldn't be visually assaulted by people dressed up like killer clowns, Michael Myers, or zombie doctors —  and a Ferndale dining establishment gave us just that.

For the third year in a row, Imperial threw a Day of the Dead party that featured papier-mache skulls decorated by local artists. The skulls get auctioned off on eBay and raise money for local charities. Come the night before Halloween, they throw an artists reception, and on Nov. 1, Dia de los Muertos, the auction culminates, everyone wears sugar skull face paint, and the party is completed by drink specials, churros, and free sangria.

While DDays only popped in for the artists reception on Thursday night, we heard that Saturday night was a hit. On the eve of Halloween, we chatted Imperial's charming manager and social media maven Sagen Isham and spotted co-owner Jeff King milling about. We also spotted famed Detroit artist Jerry Vile mingling in the crowd while we were getting down on same carne asada tacos.

Slowdiving Into Heaven

Dead leaves, cold rain, and a chill in the air that brought a pink to DDays' cheeks and set the tone for last week's Slowdive concert at the Majestic. The dreary weather created the ideal atmosphere for wrapping one's self in the gauzy guitar sounds from one of the U.K.'s first creators of shoegaze music. Before disbanding in 1994, Slowdive released three LPs, an array of EPs, and an unshakeable melody that's haunted indie rock for the last 20 years. This past year, though, they've triumphantly returned and brought with them those original songs that defined certain Gen Xers who ignored grunge and chose the ethereal music of Shoegaze instead.  We sat down with lead songsmith Neil Halstead before the show when he told us about the group's reformation, their new album, and subsequent tour. He said the reaction has been great, and the Detroit stop was the only one on tour that didn't sell out.

Later, Halstead took the stage alongside vocalist and guitarist Rachel Goswell, with Christian Savill on guitar, to a packed, enraptured audience. They unleashed "Machine Gun" Simon Scott's drums kicking into hypnotic applause, Goswell coos, "See you walking and I know she's my friend," goose bumps raise all over. The audience sways back and forth under the spell of Nick Chaplin's bass grooves, the whole crowd belongs to them. "Listen close and don't be stoned," Halstead sang the opening refrain of "Alison" and knees began to buckle across the crowd. Seriously, people reached for their others, DDays included.

Hallowine in the Motor City

DDays hit up Motor City Wine on Halloween, hoping to have a low-key holiday. We caught sets by DJ Peter Croce (dressed as Charlie Brown) and the Modern CAP Band, dressed in all manner of costumes and playing big band versions of Halloween hits like "Thriller." Or rather, we thought they were costumes. When we told the horn player wearing a hot dog vendor getup that we dug his costume, he gave us a look like we were crazy. A few glasses of Riesling later and we started to feel like we were creatures in Mos Eisley Cantina from 

Star Wars. It was around then that we agreed to go to a loft party somewhere on Gratiot. Details are hazy after this point. The loft was a total shithole, but the techno was amazing. So much for that low-key Halloween. — mt