This month’s column comes to you live from an Airbus jet heading towards Indianapolis from San Francisco. I spent the last week living it up and geeking it out in Detroit and SF and the week has finally wound down to the trip home.
The journey started in Detroit, home of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, or “Movement,” if you will. This was my second year and it really outshone last year’s fest, not just by quality of lineup but also because a lot of Indy peeps came out this year. I’ve really gotten into the techno genre more since last year; Paxahau added another stage and there were a lot more people. I can now add Moby, Deadmau5, Benny Benassi, Speedy J and others to the list of great artists I’ve had the honor of photographing, and I couldn’t have had more fun in the process. In addition to stealing their souls, I got to meet Josh Wink, who happens to look a lot like my favorite Indy bartender (sup, Charlie), and Dieselboy, who actually remembered me from our interview last year.
Tuesday I flew out of Detroit for SF, and boy is there a big difference! Detroit felt as though the city were only alive and breathing because of the thousands of people that poured in for the annual techno festival. The cabbies were shady (make them start the meter or get out!) and there were probably one or two stretches of storefronts downtown that weren’t mostly empty. But don’t fret — DEMF is a BLAST. You can’t go without expecting to party non-stop. Even some hotels hosted loud bass-thumping after-parties in their ballrooms.
San Francisco is definitely a city that is always alive. After getting through the nerd-business part of the week (Google I/O Web Dev conference), I got to explore the great small city with college friends. And did you know SF is technically smaller than Indy? You’d never guess it. On Thursday night I checked out a dive bar on Sixth Street with hipster dance party-ness much like Thursdays at Club Level, except it was mostly hip-hop. The place was smaller than even the smallest of Indy bars, had a feel like the Melody Inn and everyone was dancing their asses off or hanging out the door smokin’ their fags.
Friday was awesome. We started with an art-fashion-band-DJ show that was off the chain. Lots of cool people walkin’ about and everyone was looking hot, seriously — like a movie. After that we went to a club that was packed with people that paid $30 to see the Minus crew celebrate their 10-year anniversary. It was cool to see them in Detroit and then follow them to SF. Richie Hawtin, Heartthrob and Magda are great DJs and producers, and I definitely recommend them to anyone that likes the idea of dark, minimal techno. Give it a shot. You can download a free mix they put together for Adult Swim called “Ghostly Swim.”
Events to check out in June
A new weekly!: every Wednesday at Tip Top Tavern with Scott Metalic and Action Jackson, including hip-hop, electro, indie-rock and club beats.
June 7: the opening of FortyFiveDegrees, a new sushi, cocktail, lunch and dinner restaurant/club that will feature DJs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It’s located where the Abbey once was at College and Massachusetts Avenue. I’ll definitely be there for the inaugural champagne toast at midnight!
June 14: Mystikos Quintet official release of “Club Dub a Go Go” at the Upper Room. A martini lounge sound like Thievery Corporation and Nightmares on Wax, released by local label Jersey Blu Records.
June 19: Tommie Sunshine at Talbott Street with rock music remixed! www.tommiesunshine.com — and it’s FREE!