Most of us are still recovering from the confusion brought about by the attack on America on Sept. 11. Witnessing such powerful symbols falling has made the last few days seem entirely lost, with us trying to gain perspective. What matters is how to handle the madness, from the atrocities committed on us to the madness of the “make no mistake about it” speeches to TV’s endless barrage of images of “The New War.” My solution? Mind revolution. If ever hedonism has seemed appropriate, even important, it’s now. The healing power of dancing and music cannot be overestimated.
UNITE THROUGH MUSIC
Seizing the moment was a benefit called “Unite Through Music,” held in Ann Arbor’s newly reborn Necto (formerly the Nectarine Ballroom), 516 E. Liberty, with New York-born Kevin Saunderson. The event was held to benefit the Red Cross and the victims of Tuesday’s attacks. Organized on the spur of the moment by the Necto’s new owners and Rob Theakson with the Ghostly International crew, the night turned into a major event with lines around the corner for hours and a packed, throbbing floor.
Saunderson played an exceptional techno set, slinging hits like “Killa Bites” and “Spastik” to great effect. When he was playing the whole place was moving — the walls, the crowd, nothing was still. This night was entirely necessary; this is what people needed. The crowd featured a number of almost comic juxtapositions, from the typically mainstream club-goers with glowsticks in their mouths (hey, don’t you kids know that causes testicular cancer?) to the Ann Arbor (and a few from Detroit) techno crew, giving a unique energy to this party. Between the “I + NY” T-shirts put together by Ghostly and the donations at the door, more than $8,000 was raised for the American Red Cross.
With Monday nights at Leopold’s (A2 house veteran Chuck Hampton just gave his debut live performance), Monthly Audiofold (open electronic live performances) events at the Blind Pig, and now the Necto, Ann Arbor might actually have some nightlife.
The Nectarine had a glory period in the ’80s with Jeff Mills’ residency as the Wizard and other more club-kid things, but the majority of the ’90s was embarrassingly dull. Recently the club has come into ownership that actually has an understanding of the techno generation and is dedicated to bringing some fresh energy into a once-vital space. With new sound installed by Burst, a new name and some redecoration, the club has recently reopened. After having to turn away more than 400 people, raising so much in benefit of NYC victims and having one of the most crucial parties of the year, it’s fair to say that the Necto has arrived and may just prove to be one of the area’s hottest clubs. (www.thenecto.com)
In Hamtramck, yet another icon is falling. For years, Motor has been one of the most progressive commercial clubs in Michigan, constantly booking and supporting local talent. Iit seems obvious now that someone like Stacey Pullen can have a residency at a normal club, but when Motor first did it, nobody else was booking the local stars. Long a hangout of the techno crowd, Motor may finally be heading for its last dance.
In recent occurrences, the two longest-running employees of Motor were let go, including head booking agent and promoter Jon “Jonny O” Ozias. Jon’s been responsible for some of the most important nights at Motor, from Richie Hawtin’s New Year’s Party 2000 and DJ Hell on Halloween last year to Herbert’s amazing live show last month. What will happen to Motor? Who knows, but I’m sure you’ll be seeing events from Jonny O soon enough.E-mail Pitch’d at [email protected]