BIG LEG PIECE
Detroit's progressive dance music scene provides more than a few ways to shake off the l-tryptophan haze. For starters, Wednesday night Hamtramck's Motor Lounge brings back Frankie Bones, the NY hard-house decknician whose Sonic Groove label still fights the power(s). Bones wowed sellout crowds the last two times he made his way to Motor, so expect Thanksgiving eve greatness, especially with Family resident DJ Derek Plaslaiko, an acid-housing crowd-pleaser, supporting. Secret surprise inside: CrashBox's "Random," a night of pure drum 'n' bass in the Motor side room with local jungle-philes Paris and the Punisher, while Twilight 76-Throw's Brian Gillespie wows the Motor back room with his big vinyl lexicon. More info: 313-369-0080.
Thanksgiving night, Detor's "Fluid" brings the birthplace-and-still-the-place-of-techno vibe back in fullest effect, with a who's-who of Detroit's techno elite: Kevin Saunderson headlines, celebrating a 10-year anniversary remix of his Inner City -- and techno's -- biggest hit, "Good Life," now doin' it for the kids with his rave-ier E-Dancer persona. But the big news is Carl Craig's bumpin' beatdown- house alter ego Paperclip People, responsible for the smoldering funk of this year's finest house track, "4 My Peepz," performing live (!). Stacy Pullen, arguably the finest Detroit deejay currently working the world's turntables, spins harder house and funkier techno, as does Art of Dance main man Kenny Larkin. More "Fluid" info: 313-438-0112.
Friday night, the impressive "Link" series of $5 parties sports its most interesting lineup yet. Databass' DJ Shortstop, protégé of DJ Godfather, takes the tables with his own from-tha-D mix of jungle and bass, evidenced on his debut 12", "Money, Clothes and Hoes," which featured, among its more predictable bass fare, the kickingly jungle gem "Finga on tha Trigga." Gary Martin, aka Gigi Galaxy, puts on a live show that cuts a Ziggy Stardust-like path of androgyny and glam through the otherwise beat-numb, techno anonymity, while his ambitious tracks add real-time jazz elements to the mix. Info: 313-438-2667. Saturday night, if you're still able to stand, grab the last of the leftovers and head to Poor Boy's "Harmony," headlined by Music Institute great D Wynn and 105.9's mix-show bass-master Wax Taxin' Dre, as well as the Columbus, Ohio-based Ele-mental crew's Titonton, whose party-galvanizing set of ultra-melodic techno at last spring's "Packard" was one of the party scene's finest moments this year. Subject: Detroit's J Langa, the hardest working deep house jock to ever drive a K-car, and Databass' bass-jungle prodigy DJ Shortstop also spin. More "Harmony" info: 248-901-5052.
JUAN IN A MILLION
Techno's supposed to be the music of the future, which may explain why we've had to wait so long for Juan Atkins' mix CD release on WaxTrax!-TVT Records. The inaugural deejay mix CD for the WaxTrax!-TVT label -- more known for launching the careers of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry over the last decade -- took Atkins all summer. Juan, more known to the world as the "Godfather of Techno," apparently lost his prized record bag on a flight to Belgium, which stalled the release. But despite being on what one Detroit techno entity refers to as "Juan Standard Time," Atkins has admirably managed to give listeners as much a history lesson into the roots of Detroit techno as an unflinching descent into the minimal techno and phased beats of today's deep techno dance floors. Tracks range from pre-techno fare, like Atkins' alter ego, Model 500's electro classic "No UFOs" -- as featured in the film Modulations -- and mid-'80s Detroit quasi-Euro-trash gem "Sharevari," all the way up the three different splinter sounds that Atkins-fathered techno mutated into: Detroit deep house (Rick Wade's "Prime Time"), minimal techno (Rob Hood's "The Pace") and, of course, booty (DJ Assault's "Sex on the Beach"). Atkins even previews the melodic techno of his new(er) Infiniti persona, along with current Euro-faves Pacou and Vermont's Belizbeha. While the mixing is nothing to speak of in today's trick-heavy, digitally multi-layered arena, it is, says the Godfather, all the way live. Says Juan humbly, "I didn't want to come with something I couldn't do right in front of you." Juan Atkins: Wax Trax! Mastermix Volume 1 is out now.