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Down to get down? These five Detroit clubs are highly recommended

Up in the club

by

City Club
Inside the Leland Building, 400 Bagley Ave., Detroit; 313-962-2300

This may be the closest any club in the country in 2017 can come to keeping alive the club kid vibe of the late '80s and early '90s. Only swap out that scene's bright costumes with some bondage gear and maybe a gas mask. The weirdos and the almost aphotic dance floor in this industrial club at the bottom of the Leland Hotel join together to create an atmosphere conducive to the in-the-zone Zen dancing that is the hallmark of a successful night out. If you can't get down to the experimental electronic music though, at the very least City Club offers some good people watching near the better-lit bar. It's also worth checking out if you're into feeling nostalgic for a time you weren't a part of. This storied club was the focal point of Detroit's new wave scene in the late '80s. It was also home to the notorious Richie Hawtin parties of the '90s and early '00s. City Club is also one of the few places for true night owls: It doesn't close until after 4 a.m.

TV Lounge
2548 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-965-4789

Though this club may be named for the random-ass set of TV screens embedded above the bar, it is known the world over as Detroit's hub for electronic music. TV Lounge (sometimes called TV Bar) hosts world-class DJs and a killer cadre of lesser-known residents. And it's not unusual for the founders of Detroit techno to drop in to hit the decks with little notice. On most weekend nights, both rooms in the club offer their own lineup with little sound bleed in between. Those who fall victim to FOMO, however, can stand in the sweet spot just between the red and blue rooms to decide which set of beats to follow. This gets a little more difficult in the summer, when music on the sprawling patio gets added to the mix, though often the warm air wins out over musical preference. Regardless of which dance floor you pursue, the crowd will likely be dense and fairly diverse. Techno has that unifying quality in Detroit and all are welcome at TV.

Marble Bar
1501 Holden St., Detroit; 313-338-3674

This nascent club has fast become one of Detroit's premier places to party. Versatile bookings keep Marble's name on the lips of hipsters, hip-hop heads, and ravers alike, but it has our attention not only for the musical acts it pulls, but also because it is nice as hell. The bar is marble. The reclaimed wood paneling on the walls is gorgeous. There's a kick-ass mural by one of Detroit's finest artists, Nick Jaskey. Light-up fake palm trees and AstroTurf-lined seating platforms lend character to the large enclosed patio area. The ceilings are basically sky-high with a lofted upstairs that offers a quieter place to sit or stand and check out the crowd below. Of course, we realize these details may be lost on the average partygoer just looking for a good time. So yes, Marble also has MT's seal of approval as a place to dance your ass off.

Tangent Gallery
715 E. Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955

To be sure, Tangent is more of an event space than a club. But when it does host DJs, it offers the dark and unpretentious vibe that is characteristic of a good warehouse party. The gallery consists of a pair of rooms with elevated stages, though it's the more massive of the two that more often plays host to dance parties. That leaves plenty of space to get down, and, thanks to a booming sound system and a lack of seating, there is little else to do. The boogie oft continues well past the standard 2 a.m. bar closing time. And if you go during Movement for Interdimensional Transmissions' infamous No Way Back party, hell, you'll be dancing well into daylight hours. But never fear, Tangent will shield you from any kind of shame that may accompany such frivolity; the compelling sounds and windowless space allow Tangent to bend time unlike anywhere else in the city.

The Annex
24 W. Adams Ave., Detroit; 313-687-4350

What sets the Annex apart, oddly, seems to be the fact that it is so standard. Think girls in bodycon dresses, bottle service and booths. Colored overhead lights cast a glow on a densely packed crowd of dancers. There's also some fog in the mix. But it's not all fist bumping and body humping at this top 40 remix spot; the interior is actually pretty unusual and boasts big screens and massive windows that look out onto Foxtown. The Annex also books the occasional big DJ outside of the pop remix genre. Sometimes it's an EDM DJ. Sometimes it's Stacey Pullen. 


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