Film wrap, bar flap

Oct 27, 1999 at 12:00 am


The folks behind the upcoming locally produced music film It’s a Detroit Thing threw their wrap party at Motor in Hamtramck last Thursday, and the club was literally packed to the sweaty rafters with scenesters, freeloaders, good fellas and beefy, swarthy guys of the "Members Only" ilk.

As I strolled up to the club, I spotted a melting ice sculpture outside the velvet ropes, indicating that, indeed, a classy event was taking place inside.

Devoted archivists may recall this movie project got a gratuitous plug in my debut column about two years ago. Look how far we’ve come. At that time, Tony Brancaleone (one of the "brothers Brancaleone" behind the film) indicated that they were putting together a movie with various Detroit musicians, including Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise, the Howling Diablos, etc.

I never quite figured out the plot, and it was still hard to tell from the party’s stacked array of monitors broadcasting blurry clips and snippets from what I assume was the finished product.

Also featured in the film is ageless local bar hoofer extraordinaire Fast Eddie, often seen on the fringes of dance floors such as at 5th Avenue (as well as countless other venues) showcasing his trademark shimmy-shuffle-spin moves. I spotted Fast Eddie hovering near the dance floor fringe, resplendent in what appeared to be a white tux.

The heavily promoted party advertised "gratis" hors d’oeuvres from 8-10 p.m. courtesy of Excalibur, with complimentary cocktails from 8 p.m.-midnight. While those who ate said the food was excellent, there was more than a little grousing about the, ahem, "misprint" involving the "complimentary" cocktails, which, according to management, was only supposed to go until 10. Apparently, it’s a "Detroit thing" to pull the ol’ "bait and switch."

The party vibe among the three rooms seemed a bit incongruous at times, with Medusa Cyclone valiantly struggling to keep people’s attention on the lounge stage (and stay in tune ... tough with strings), while music blared in the main room and sardines crammed into the back bar. To their credit, the Cyclone folks did an admirable job with what was primarily an indifferent audience.

I ran into cub reporter and shoegazing aficionado David Lee Stroughter, who foisted a couple of fliers for the upcoming P.S. I Love You gig into my hands. The band is playing at Jacoby’s this Saturday, along with ebeling hughes (who also performed at the Motor party). Thrill-seeking hipsters should pencil in this gig among their crowded Devil’s Night festivities.

Also in the mix were DJ Vince "Short ’n’ Round" Patricola and Craig Posegay from 89X, along with artist-designer-auteur Camillo Pardo. Keep your eyes peeled for the premiere of It’s a Detroit Thing at a multiplex near you. Perhaps Fast Eddie will get a chance to break out the tux again at the Oscars.


Speaking of Jacoby’s, I recently ran into Stirling, the venerable biergarten’s upstairs weekend music impresario. I was enjoying a post-Niagara art opening repast at the Majestic Café with my family, and he interrupted my meal to tell me about his recent visit to the Chicago environs to check out local boys and Sub Pop recording artists the Go.

The garage-loving ’70s Detroit revivalists were beginning their national tour with a performance at the cozy Windy City club known as Lounge Axe. Accompanied by John Krautner and Audra Kubat, she of the band Stunning Amazon (and formerly of the Rattling Kickstands), the Detroit fans also met up with former local KBA Kamel cig pusher Leann Dubin at the show.

Apparently, the Go has quite the rabid following in Chicago, as many in the crowd reportedly cleared out after the band finished their nonheadlining set (or was it during?).


Speaking of KBA Marketing, area bartenders and the patrons who love them once again converged on the State Theatre last week for the Bartenders Ball, the annual lovefest hosted by KBA and Kamel for the area’s tireless drink-slingers.

In past years, the party had live entertainment by groups such as the Groove Collective and the Roots, big names all. This year, instead of a star band, there were several big name DJs, which, no doubt, was exciting for those who get excited about such things (DJs as performing artists, that is).

Spotted among the crowd were the aforementioned D. Stroughter, along with bandmate Dan Meister and Chuck Hughes of ebeling hughes.

Steven Sowers, the deposed Napoleon of the local club scene, invited all patrons to the long-vacant (some might say cursed) Woodward Village bar formerly known as Blue Moon, wherein he will be staging his own comeback on the nightlife world. The name of the club? Radar.

No word on whether Sowers was able to replicate his sweaty dancing performance at last year’s post-Ball party at Better Days. Unfortunately, the local police had the party radar on full power, and the place was busted faster than you can say blind pig.

Speaking of new club openings, stay tuned for a report on the gala kickoff party for PURE nightclub, at the corner of Woodward and John R in downtown Detroit, scheduled for Nov. 6.