Sonic tonic and booming tunes

Share on Nextdoor

Another day, another dollar, another year older and my car insurance rates still haven’t gone down. Thursday I turned 24 and celebrated it by playing dress-up in gorgeous vintage clothing and prancing around like a pinup girl as a model in the Fashions of the Century show at the Detroit Opera House. The show, part of the Learning at the Opera series, displayed fashions from 1900 to 2000, some from the Royal Oak antique store Paris, and some from a private collection. Organizer Lucy Ortiz, draped in a pink gossamer ’20s outfit, MC'd as vintage-fashion lovers strutted down a makeshift catwalk, wearing clothing that ranged from stunningly beautiful to hideously tacky (really, what were we thinking in the ’80s?).

All the models were volunteers and not professionals — so no catfights or swapping of starvation techniques took place in the green room. Among the models were Sue Surletta, in a peach 1910 ensemble, Beverly Burns, in an elegant beaded ’90s gown and Devin Schaefer, in a sharp turquoise ’40s cheongsam.

I was terribly tempted to keep the outfit I was modeling, a simply ravishing red ’30s chiffon gown, with a white marabou feather jacket and matching slippers — meow.


After trying to delicately peel myself out of clothing more than twice as old as I am, I sauntered off to the pre-Sonic Boom party at Small’s, where I got to hang out in the new outdoor section for the first time. Enjoying the evening outside were the exuberant Kimberly Leitz and Eddy McCauley of Hemigod, who have an upcoming show at the Magic Bag on Aug. 5, along with those lovable wackos the Trash Brats and Red Tree.

After schmoozing with bartender Jeff King of Speedball, I wandered into the pool room to find 2-year-old Sacha Christensen sharking the table, a two-foot-tall bundle of cuteness and the offspring of MT freelancer Marc Christensen. He must’ve had a pretty damn good fake ID to get him through the door.


Friday and Saturday brought the daunting task of trying to see everything I wanted to see at Sonic Boom, the 80-band, 6-venue blowout that everyone and their brother turned out for. The whole event was a whopping success, and left me feeling like I needed to be cloned so I could catch all the acts that were playing during the same time slots.

The one consistent factor of the extravaganza was the sheer putrescence of the bathrooms. From the overflowing toilets of the Majestic, to the puke-filled sinks of the Gold Dollar, to the almost comical nastiness of the Old Miami, it seemed as though City Club’s dubious reputation of "ickiest bathrooms in Detroit" was up for grabs.

Armed with my notepad and unsensible shoes, I kicked the festival off Friday night at the Majestic, where I immediately bumped into J Zureki — corporate slave by day, moonlighting as a nun fetishist — who was there to catch I chatted with deathgirl’s super cute drummer William King, and lead singer/all around kick-ass diva Melissa EmilyShirley Manson ain’t got nothing on this sassy babe. Emily — whose birthday is this week — joined me in a birthday shot and a few derogatory shots at a pair of ogling idiots at the bar, and then introduced me to her fab mom Anita English and brother Will English, who were on hand to provide familial support.

I also met adoring deathgirl fan Robert Gasper, who likes them so much he had their logo, a cute lil’ ponytailed girl clutching a bloodied knife, inked into his flesh.

After fleeing the vile bathrooms with photographer Krista Husa, I caught up with retail goddess and hair-dye addict Janee Curtain and her pal Trigger, a theatrical lighting specialist who, when asked for a photo op, gave his best Gene Simmons impersonation.

Still wishing for a clone, I wandered up to the Magic Stick to peek at Hush featuring Generation Tec, and then drove to the Gold Dollar (technically in walking distance, but I wasn’t brave enough) to catch the Starlight Drifters. There I bumped into local artist and much gossiped-about Camilo — slumming it up for once — and personal trainer Sarah Casello, who was accompanied by her sister-in-law Elaine Casello.

Apparently it was a good night for ogling idiots at the bar; one such inebriated moron nearly toppled over onto paramedic Aimee Schmidt when he had the brilliant idea to climb on top of a barstool. I wonder if Schmidt would have used her medical expertise had the creep actually fallen and split open his rather-empty skull?


Having missed their Friday night Boom appearance, Saturday I scampered off to the Shelter to catch sweatysuedelips; rounding out my posse were disgruntled college student Gary Bredow and girlfriend Shannon Smith, and wielder of nailguns Jason Simon.

Post-show we decided to do a little more Sonic Boom-ing, popping into the so-crappy-it’s-cool Old Miami to catch the Dead Heroes and old-school badasses the Hillside Stranglers.

Officially Boomed-out, we retired to an after-hours party held in the swanky downtown loft of Rob Montgomery and Chris Levitan. As the evening wore on, a few members of sweatysuedelips joined the party, namely singer Bret Haupt, drummer Mark Damian and Björk-esque keyboardist Justine (who literally runs at the smell and sight of tequila, as I later discovered), as well as upstairs neighbor and member of the Immigrant Suns, Mark Sawasky.

As exhaustion turned into pure silliness, Bredow had the whole party in fits of laughter with his utterly hysterical acoustic guitar rendition of the cheesy rap classic "Humpty Dance." Word. Sarah Klein writes here every other week. Call the Loose Lips tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial

Scroll to read more Culture articles


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

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