What to do when you’re painfully burned out of the same old bar scene, the same tired gossip circuit, the same blasé faces and places? Seeing as I was soul searching for some sort of meaning in this silly little column I spew out every other week, it was suggested I find a little Zen at the Buddha Lounge in Detroit. Along with Jennifer Jeffrey and Mary Mans, it was off for a scenic trip down glorious Eight Mile, where you can see such notable Detroit tourist spots as Meat Town, abhorrently frightening strip bars and the assorted “Warning: Decoy Area” signs.
The Buddha wins hands down for the best bar atmosphere in Detroit — the entire place is draped in Asian imagery, and the bar’s smiling, bare-bellied namesake is everywhere. I especially dug the wok sinks in the bathroom.
Bathed in red light, we curled up in a booth to relax with the blissed-out sounds of the Twilight Babies, comprised of Adam Walker and Mikey Brown from 19.5 Collective, as well as singer Allison Lewis.
The Buddha is charmingly free of the ingratiating scenester morons who are often encountered out on the town. The crowd is diverse and laid-back, the staff is amicable and responsive, and you can’t beat the relaxation factor. What’s more, there’s no cover! Once again, the purveyors of all these new multimillion-dollar dance emporiums should take note: Simplicity and lack of pretense is a tried-and-true key to success.
It had been awhile since I went cavorting about the Bermuda Triangle of Detroit bars — everything in the vicinity of the Majestic Theater Complex — so Saturday night it was off to cavort properly, starting out with brief jaunts to both Union Street and CPOP.
From there, it was off to the Majestic Café, the spot of choice for pre-show cocktails, what with Brenden Benson at the Magic Stick and Reverend Horton Heat, Nashville Pussy and Split Lip Rayfield over at the Majestic Theatre.
Here I stumbled upon the neobilly band Dangerville’s rhythm section: upright bassist Sarah Klamer and her fiance, drummer Kirk Harrier, who were biding time till the doors opened at the Rev show — and if you happen to find a spare moment of time during next weekend’s Blowout/MXMW madness, you can check out Dangerville headlining at the New Way on March 9.
I was also blessed with a rare public outing from the ultimate mistress of fabulosity, Carole Bannerman — tarted-up like a New York Doll — along with her husband, John Ferry from Al Hill and the Love Butlers. Also encountered: Anca Bob, Steve Hall, Brenda Baxley and Marcel Nistor, Jenny Hunter, David Carter, and Beth Amber, who is currently working on a large-scale photography project which will tackle the subject of violence.
Then it was time to trounce off next door, in order to literally shove my way into the Horton Heat show at the Majestic Theatre. To say this show was overcrowded is an almost comical understatement — I’m honestly surprised the walls of the theater didn’t collapse, since the place was packed to the bursting point. I’m not kidding, kids, you literally couldn’t move in this crowd — and fighting your way across the sea of bikers, cats and kittens to get to the bathroom was at least a 20-minute endeavor. During one particular venture, I killed time by snapping a photo of the ass-spanky Lady Epiphany and her boi Chris Coburn, and also spotted Killa Kim Zilla, Scott Kosiek, George Barris, Alan Contino from the “Wrekking Hours” radio show, Bill Alton of the Starlight Drifters and burlesque entrepreneur Lisa Spaggy shoving their respective ways through the sweltering masses.
I also got to witness not one, but two people stone-cold passed out who were dragged away like limp dolls by security, and at least one fight, prompted by an overly hostile group of lunkish boors who looked like they maim small children for fun. I’m guessing they were Nashville Pussy fans, as the band’s lead “singer” Blaine Cartwright — who is sporting a truly stupendous Michael Bolton hairdo these days — pissed off more than a few greasers, as he spent most of his allotted witty banter time ripping on the rockabilly crowd.
The remainder of the evening was dedicated to traipsing up and down the stairs of the Magic Stick/Garden Bowl, schmoozing it up with Tyler Spencer from the Wildbunch and fellow scenester scribbler Wendy Case, Doug from the Dead Heroes, swordboy Derek Nestell, saucy tattooed mommy Rolanda Jackson, president and CEO of punkrockchicks.com Johnny Unstoppable, and the soon-to-be-hitched Goldie Adore and DJ TopKat. In honor of their wedded bliss, the couple has planned a reception of sorts for their friends featuring a multiband show at Lili’s on May 26.
I heard a rumor this weekend that Pop Culture Media is now accepting queries from local artists interested in performing at the third annual Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which will once again take place over Memorial Day weekend. However, Pop Culture Media’s Web site (popculturemedia.com ) has had nothing on it for the past several weeks, further contributing to the covert whispering that has surrounded the much-anticipated third installment of the free, three-day technofest. Since Carl Craig’s now-infamous unceremonial booting, little has been disclosed about what’s in store for this year’s DEMF, other than that the artist booking will be handled by a board of directors comprised of DJs and other assorted Detroit techno scene insiders. Also, MTV allegedly will have its filthy, greedy, corporate hands in this year’s DEMF pie, with live broadcasts from Hart Plaza — so here’s your chance to nail Carson Daly in the head with a water bottle on live national television. Hell, that’s reason enough to go!Sarah Klein writes here every other week. Send cheap shots, party invites and juicy news to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial