Back to School Special

Another school year is upon us. Moms, be sure to prepare your kids for this weekend’s parties – that’s where the real schoolin’ is going on. Make sure your kids don’t get pants with 69-inch pant legs, as 40 inches is the maximum allowed by state law. And stock the minivan up with plenty of gum and lollipops so they don’t have to suck on those silly pacifiers. Yet another shocking piece of news is the recent discovery of tetrocyblocorbine in glow sticks, and though you may be unfamiliar with the substance, it is a carcinogen and can cause impotence in men. So make sure to use healthy alternatives, such as those blinking lights bicyclists wear.

School is in Session

Thursday night, Aug. 26, 1999, was the final night for 13 Below, the M_nus nightclub in Windsor; it closed because the building housing it was sold. 13 Below was set up on the premise that sometimes smaller is better, and that in these smaller spaces more risks can be taken and more special, intimate things can happen. They fulfilled their promise. In the past year we’d seen such special events as Sven Vath spinning on a Sunday night (when Jeff Mills showed up just to hang out), Mark Pritchard of the Jedi Nights and Global Communications spinning, the Detroit stop for the Chain Reaction tour with Pole and Scion, and Richie Hawtin’s birthday parties for the last two years. So the final night had to be something really special. Sure enough, they pulled out all the stops: After you made it through the wait at the door and were ushered inside, you were treated to a barrage of exotic food (including my favorite, tuna tartare). The scene was lively with anticipation as Clark Warner got off the decks as surprise guest Derrick May walked in with Stacey Pullen and Kenny Larkin.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see Derrick spin for only a hundred really dedicated people? It’s my idea of heaven. From the moment he stepped to the decks and started chopping with the crossfader we knew we were in for something really special. It was a very personal, intimate set full of warm music and techno-house rhythms. Richie took over around 1:30 a.m. and took the rhythms in a new direction, using two turntables, some effects and a 909 drum machine (the classic house-techno machine). Writing rhythms on the fly, Richie rocked the floor with just the 909 and went back and forth into and out of records with ease, adding new dimensions to the music on the tables. He’s gotten so proficient at this routine that he is releasing a CD of the Decks, Efx, and 909 on M_nus, NovaMute, and Sony Japan this October.

Hawtin is currently working on plans for a club on this side of the border.

Saturday Night, Aug. 21

Remember the battle between promoters mentioned in the last Pitch’d column? Well, I went to their parties, and from what I saw Detroit is not big enough for two big parties on one night. The Karmalogical crew threw a nicely organized party with one fatal flaw: It was a three room party at One X. The first room is impossible to get a vibe in; it’s just traffic flow and a bar. The main room had Kenny Glasgow and was really going off to this very young crowd. The outside small room was supposed to be a dance room but ended up being the massage room as Carlos Souffront and J Langa (The Green Hornet) rocked amazing music to a droned-out crowd. Over at the BTM & 33 1/3 party at the newly expanded Better Days, the scene was a little less organized with both DJ Funk and Kevin Saunderson being told they were playing after DJ Godfather. Over where the porn theater used to be was the main stage with Rahzel and the GZA (the Genius of the Wu-Tang) and a few more MCs and at least one Mini Disc player. The real highlight was when the GZA dedicated his next song to "all the guys out there with pacifiers in their mouths."

In the same spirit, Rahzel dedicated his beatbox rendition of Art of Noise’s "Moments in Love" to all the virgins in the house. These were magic moments.

Scroll to read more Culture articles


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.