So the good news is this:
The Movement Festival is still happening this year on Memorial Day weekend. And that’s great considering that, as of a few weeks ago, it looked doubtful to the outside world that it would go down at all. At a May 11 press conference, Movement organizers announced a partial lineup that included several of the festival’s mainstays along with some fresh, worthy acts. Sure, there ain’t many names indexing high on the pop-o-meter, but acts like Madlib with Jay Dee and Peanut Butter Wolf, Legowelt, Ellen Allien, Recloose (who comes home to Detroit from New Zealand) and Claude Young (a hometown techno legend who hasn’t played here in four years and has never played the festival) will be a few of the highlights.
Still, online message boards (see detroitluv.com or technotourist.org) are lit up with gloomy Guses bitching, grousing and armchair analyzing who is and isn’t playing this year’s fest. The major complaint appears to be the organizers’ apparent lack of preparation — a point that’s difficult to argue considering that Movement’s press conference was but two and a half weeks before said event.
As Derrick May said at the love-fest, er, press gathering, “We had to take a step back in order to take a step forward.” This may be the case, but as May sidestepped tougher questions — deferring to his colleagues for specifics and basically relegating himself to master of ceremonies — it was hard to separate what’s hype and what’s hope from what’s happening. At the end of the day, though, it’s a goddamned free festival that brings lucre-blowing hordes and mad caprioling to downtown Detroit. Is May just the emperor wearing Movement as his new duds? Last year’s event wouldn’t suggest such, so who cares? To check the most up-to-date lineup hit www.movementfestival.com.
Radio Ga Ga
If you’ve found yourself in recent weeks couched alone at home on a Saturday night twiddling your knob and sucking back crappy Chianti like us, it’s unlikely that you’ve come across a radio show on FM talk station Live 97.1 called “Radio Fever.” Well, if you haven’t, too bad ’cause from 8-11 p.m. every Saturday night, the people charged with minding Howard Stern’s airwaves allow Metro Times scribe Chris Handyside (aka Maverick) and his Night Moves bandmate/tragicomic foil Greg Siemasz to imbue the night air with Detroit-area-specific rock ’n’ roll and other fine hullabaloo. That’s right. A proper radio show that spins all-killer, no-filler local music.
Where else are you going to hear Brendan Benson, the Go, Trash Brats, Flirt, Holly Golightly, Andre Williams and the Gories on crisp, clear FM radio waves all in the span of an hour? Nowhere, that’s where.
You’ll also be aural witness to two otherwise intelligent dudes engaging in the musicoverbal sparring that is the weekly high jinks of their now-infamous “Two-Minute Record Review.” You’ll hear “Detroit’s Hottest Rock Chick” (as selected by Radio Fever listeners) Deb Agolli giving advice to the Dirtbombs on proper lipstick application technique. What other show would let Dave Buick discuss Slumber Party’s Aliccia Berg’s Tupperware collection? In short, this pair o’ jocks has brought its ad-libbed brand of ersatz snobbery and ironic tomfoolery to “the people.” Sound like a musically incestuous snooze-fest? Well, it ain’t. Hit Singles actually listened to the show. Oh, on Saturday, May 29, Radio Fever welcomes the Paybacks live in-studio to spin records and pimp their upcoming release.
If you want a shot at getting your record on the air, send vinyl or CDs (no cassettes, duh) to Radio Fever c/o WKRK, 15600 W. 12 Mile Road, Southfield 48076. No guarantees, but you might make it into their “Hump it or Dump it” segment.
State of the Union
Hit Singles offers a red-nosed toast to Shipwreck Union for trumping 1,000 unsigned bands in Disc Maker’s Independent Music World Series Midwest Showcase. Seems the East Side quartet was one of six finalists (which also included Westland’s Nadir) competing battle-of-the-bands style in front of 12 judges (indeed, industry pros) in Chicago last Thursday. The band scored a package worth 35 grand.
Dig this: Forget the whiney white dude who put Motor City hip hop on the map — Obie Trice is the first African-American male rapper from Detroit to go platinum. You read correctly. Trice, with Cheers, is the first black rapper from a city that’s 83 percent black to sell a million copies of a record. Hip hop, you’ll note, was started by black and Latino folk, and is now 30 years old. It took this stinkin’ long for a Motor City brother to go platinum?
Seriously, once we finish scratching our heads over that one, we’ll congratulate Obie. For an introspective and critical look at Trice’s life read, “Obadiah’s Last Word,” our 2003 piece on him.
God save Detroit rock ’n’ roll
After a harrowing couple of weeks, Cyril Lords’ frontman Isaac “Marty” Morris is at home resting. The gregarious 26-year-old recently suffered a minor (though potentially life-threatening) stroke courtesy of a pesky temporal artery. He had collapsed at band practice in late April and was rushed to the hospital. After spending a week laid up, Morris seems to have suffered no long-term damage — that is of course, to everything except his pocketbook. Right now he can’t work, much less play. As is the case with most musicians, Morris has no health insurance, but with a little help from some pals and the generous folks at Detroit’s Garden Bowl/Magic Stick (where Morris works part time) organizers have put together the Motor City Rock ’n’ Roll Revival, a fundraiser to help Morris defray exorbitant medical bills. Scheduled to be held on Friday, May 28, at the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit), participating bands include the Hentchmen, the Sights, the Go, Back in Spades, Danny Dollrod and more. Dave and Dion from Young Soul Rebels Records will DJ. And in keeping with the true spirit of brotherhood, organizers have decided to donate part of the evening’s proceeds to Grande Nationals’ bassist, Scotty Hagen, who, as we recently reported, was brutally attacked in Cass Corridor. Hagen himself has a truckload of medical expenses with which to contend. Call 313-833-9700 for further information.
Lastly, we here at Metro Times are looking for freelance music writers who know their shit about electronic music, DJ culture and club life; someone who can entertain and inform through in-depth features and pithy reviews. Jaded cynics welcome. Hacks stay home. Send clips and resumes to the music editor: [email protected].Send quips, comments and bitch-slaps to [email protected]