FOUR ON THE FLOOR
Motor, the metro Detroit institution of underground cool, turned 4 years old the last weekend in August, and celebrated by throwing a big anniversary bash with Detroit electronica all-star Derrick May, assorted heavy-hitters and a whole heap of club kids.
The evening started off with a swank speakeasy jazz performance, which threw off some of the die-hard dancers as they filtered in, befuddled by a dance floor covered with tables and chairs. (Uh, what are we supposed to do with these?) Luckily, the sharp Motor staff swept into action and cleared the dance floor, which was subsequently swamped.
Visual stimulation was provided by video projections from John Hudson of City Animations, while local producer/artist Ron Zakrin made his long-awaited comeback as Ghost 200, having just returned from a year in China.
Also spicing up the mix was DJ Minx, who will be spinning at the Metro Times 20th Anniversary party on Sept. 29 at the Roostertail. Rumors have it that Motor is considering revamping, expanding and possibly moving into a different area, but the current formula seems to be working exceedingly well. This little baby is all grown up now; I remember way back when it was the dirty, scrubby, belligerent Falcon Club; look where it is today, routinely receiving big wet kisses from national publications such as Spin and Rolling Stone, and spawning a virtual arsenal of knock-off techno clubs that seem to pop up every other week in Hamtramck. Happy birthday, Motor, and many more.
Speaking of electronica, The Detroit Electronica Coalition is working on its second compilation CD of the best of local electronic artists. Prospective artists include Chiasm, Elemental Groove, Hypodermic and Apraxia (I hear he’s huge in Europe). There’s still space on the CD, so if you gots the skills, visit www.detroit-electronica.com for more information on submissions and membership.
FUNNY ON THE FLY
The always uproarious Second City has outdone itself once again, by hosting the first ever Detroit Improv Festival — a weeklong gala of games, sketches, panels and chaotic nonsense orchestrated by members of the Detroit improv community. The festival, cooked up by Second City producing artistic director Joe Jones, featured a mother lode of immensely talented troupes such as the Ha Ha Tribe, the Planet Ant Home Team and 3 Guys Named Joe.
Also featured was the debut of the original film Garage: A Rock Saga, penned by the Second City kids Joshua Funk and Nancy Hayden and starring George Wendt (that’s Norm from “Cheers”).
I managed to drop by and catch a bit of the highly energetic Motor City Improv troupe (yes, I’m the one responsible for the manatee). Before departing, I just had to step over to the Hockeytown Café to clink glasses with my Loose Lips predecessor, the fabulous Amy Probst, who is gleefully busy with her all-female improv troupe, Why Dad’s Mad (I forgot to ask why).
Always lured by the promise of stellar female extravaganzas, I managed to haul my weary, 9-to-5 working butt out last Thursday evening to catch the F.I.R.E. show (that’s Female Ingenuity Redefining Energy) at Alvin’s.
The showcase featured a rad bunch of girlies all under the name of SuperJane — a collective of female DJs from across the globe. Included in the mix were DJs Heather, Dayhota, Electric Indigo of Austria and once again our very own Minx. The latter, my new favorite Amazon, filled me in on the collective of female DJs that she manages, Women on Wax, which is “dedicated to whupping ass on the turntables.”
She and her chum Divinity also advised me on some simply shameless flirting techniques that made even me blush (and that, ladies and gentlemen, is truly a feat). As usual, I parked it at the bar where I schmoozed with the barstaff, including Eric Hermann, Jodi Cleaver and Lou Colombo.
After chatting with the troublemaking trio of Jessica Warrilow, Nicole DiNardo and Marcy Pearce, I peeled off my barstool to go stand in front of a fan, since the crowded bar was quickly becoming an inferno.
The newly reopened Alvin’s looks fabulous and much nicer than its previous incarnations, with a freshly glittered floor and aesthetically pleasing clientele.
However, I do have one bone of contention that needs picking — I am quite miffed by the recent trend of shower curtains replacing the doors in the women’s bathrooms of Detroit bars. Alvin’s has joined the ranks of the Old Miami and the Magic Stick in a decor choice that is, for lack of a more suitable word, just plain trashy. I mean, come on, people. Doors can’t cost that much. Plus, it’s really hard to hold a shower curtain shut. Give the ladies a break, OK?
NO TIME FOR SHOWTIME
Rumor has it that everybody’s favorite urban clothing boutique — the ultrahip, overpriced but effortlessly cool Showtime — will be closing. Actually, that rumor has been floating around for at least the past year or so, but now the answering machine at the shop seems to confirm what we all sort of maybe already suspected. It states they’re closed and are not sure when they’ll reopen, which is usually a sure sign that a place is on its way out. Damn shame.
I don’t know if anyone will be too upset for owner Dan, the guy everyone seems to love to hate, but the shop itself was a delightful little slice of funky edginess, incongruously located in a crappy block of Woodward. Of course, the dying question from all parties — especially me — is: When’s the final going-out-of-business sale?
Sarah Klein writes here every other week. Call the Loose Lips tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial