See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Motor City Cribs 

On the stage, Charlie Slick is a full-on party-sensory assault, his electro-dance jams usually presented amid a light-show-soaked flurry of bubbles and glitter with audience participation. For one who invites so much chaos into his live shows you might be surprised to find his home is downright sedate (yet sweet) by comparison.

Charlie Slick's west side Ann Arbor apartment is a seemingly contradictory mix of the organic and electronic. On one hand, the sun-drenched apartment is almost overrun with thriving plants artfully placed alongside Charlie's outstanding thrift store art and furniture finds — not surprising given Charlie's day job at Downtown Home and Garden (an Ann Arbor institution, a stone's throw from the Fleetwood Diner).

In his downstairs lab, you'll see a slew of modified electronic instruments and a handyman's arsenal of power tools. Some are failed experiments (the keyboard modified to play like an accordion), but most are absurdly awesome triumphs of his imagination (the steering wheel bass synth controller, the 4-CD player ambient music generator).

"All of my instruments are [Rube] Goldbergian contraptions. Kind of like a ball rolling down a slide to hit the shoe to kick the bucket to catch the mouse," he grins. Indeed, Slick's instruments aren't the most elegant, but they are truly inspired. Not surprisingly, Slick names his creations creatively (his custom bubble machine is the Master Blaster for example).

For his new LP, Elron Hubbard (previous albums have included Edward Murphy and Walter Carlos), Slick has added '80s funk to his electronic dance mix. "Now I'm more influenced by Prince, Rick James or Michael Jackson. My earlier music was geared toward basement parties; as I started playing festivals, I felt like my music needed something more." Funk or no funk though, Mr. Slick can turn any venue into a sweaty, transcendent basement party.

See charlieslick.com.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation