After a weekend of Modulations at Ferndale's Magic Bag, Detroit's current home of techno, Motor Lounge, will screen Iara Lee's electronic music documentary Friday night, with a reception following featuring Godfather of techno (and Detroit electro) Juan Atkins. Detroit scene insiders are grumbling at Modulations' admittedly myopic nod to techno (no Plastikman, no Jeff Mills, and Carl Craig talking, ironically, about what many would argue is his Achilles heel, deejaying), as well as the film's scattered organization (it ends with 50-something Krautrocker Holger Czulkay of Can showing that jumping ain't the only thing white men can't doÉ). But on a positive note, Modulations' techno-as-an-"After School Special" vibe does credit Detroit with making music that, at least a decade ago, sounded futuristic, or at least -- gulp -- hopeful. And present-tense new jacks like Stacey Pullen admirably get a word in edgewise. Plus, Atkins on the tables after the flick promises to be equal parts history lesson and sci-fi basement party soundtrack, and is sure to attract other area dance music notables to this historic showing of the film with the Detroit originators who helped make it. Call 313-369-0080 for Modulations screening and reception details.
Intuit promotions/Area Code management honcho Jon Layne has done a fine job of programming one-off nights at the club level, most notably at Ann Arbor's Solar (Wednesday nights at the Blind Pig), bringing in, among others, UK junglist Aphrodite and beat collagist/ Modulations star Mixmaster Morris, as well as all kinds of Detroit talent, from turntable femme fatales the Punisher and Minx to techno icons Carl Craig and DJ T-1000. Next Wednesday's (Nov. 18) Solar line-up is Layne's most world-class yet, featuring former Derrick May protégé and current tech-house deejaying phenom Stacy Pullen, arguably Detroit's finest jock, who has just launched his own label Black Flag recordings. Also appearing, New York's Heather Hart, co-founder of Brooklyn's Sonic Groove Records along with Frankie Bones and bro/beau Adam X, with Solar resident electro-booty phenom Disco D opening. This one's not to be missed. Call 248-975-8773 for more info. Also from the Intuit arsenal, Thursday night's (Nov. 12) bi-monthly "Voodoo" jungle night at Motor, featuring Toronto's Freaky Flow (Placebo Records) and Detroit's the Punisher doing hardstep damage. More info at 313-369-0080 or Intuit info: 248-975-8773.
Hard to believe it's been 10 years since Kevin Saunderson and his Inner City first broke Detroit techno -- or at least a user-friendly, popped-up happy house version of it -- on the world's dance floors. Not hard to believe is that Saunderson is looking to commemorate IC's decade with a tenth anniversary version of its biggest hit, "Good Life." Various remixes by mid-'90s techno entities like Kenny Larkin who owe their careers at least in part to Saunderson's door-opening success are already in the can, but interestingly, it's the Euro-calculated reworking of "Good Life" by former Charm Farm keyboardist and longtime Saunderson track-generator Tommy Onyx that's already charting in the international club scene, specifically Spain -- where this whole all-night raving thing began around the same time Saunderson was tinkering with harder house tracks at frat parties at EMU in the mid '80s. Onyx's Ibiza-friendly '98 version features flamenco guitars (!!!), a decided departure from the track's original Technotronic-inspiring modulating keyboards. The most, uh, curious remix thus far, however, comes courtesy of Planet E Records main man Carl Craig, who adds a Barry White/Don Cornelius bit of dusky spoken-word ("Let me take you to a placeÉ") to the original that's either a wry bit of soul or the funniest goddamn thing you've ever heard. No word yet on whether Saunderson will do anything Stateside -- or in Detroit -- for IC's 10th, but the remix 12" is out now.
DE VILLE WITH A CAUSE
The 2000 or so Kid Rock fans in attendance at the rap-rocker's September show at the State may have wondered why the Kid and crew played their Alice In Chains/Monster Magnet-ish "I Am The Bullgod" three times in a row. Well, look no further than MTV; the video for "Bullgod," shot in three takes at the State show, is now in medium rotation. Nice work.