It's a beautiful thing when people share in the primal, near hedonistic urge to dance their asses off in a crowded room. Suddenly, our post post-modern malaise slips away, the glowing cellphone screens disappear, and all that matters is executing some awkward moves while bumping into sweaty, gyrating strangers for the next three hours. In fact, uninhibited booty-shaking is the cure for most matters of the heart, from breakups to grieving over dead rock stars. So in the spirit of moving your body, we've rounded up some of our favorite, vogue-inspiring dance nights in and around Detroit.
The Bang! @ Blind Pig
The Bang! is a nonstop, anything goes mixtape dance party that has been going strong since 2001. Fifteen years later, it's pretty safe to say they've perfected the craft of encouraging folks to dress up, dance, and get ridiculous. If you've missed the last "Ninja Bang," "Space Bang," and "Pizza Bang," you're probably going to want to check out the upcoming "Love Bang," in honor of Valentine's Day.
What you'll hear: A mix of the classics, (the Ramones, Iggy Pop, and Bowie) and whatever's new, danceable, and fun. Without fail, the closer is "Bang Bang" by Squeeze.
When and where: Monthly (check website for details) from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555; blindpigmusic.com $8 admission; 18 and older.
Haute to Death @ Temple Bar
Haute to Death founders Jon Dones and Ash Nowak must have had Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing" on the brain when they started this decadent dance party eight years ago in the tight confines of the infamously gritty Temple Bar. Sweaty, carefree dancing, loud fashion, and vibrant party personalities meld together to the beat of new wave, Italo disco, electro, post-punk, and much more.
What you'll hear: Anything from Ministry to Midnight Star. "If it makes us move, we play it," says Ash Nowak.
When and where: The third Saturday of every month, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Temple Bar; 2906 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-832-2822; hautetodeath.net; $2 before midnight, $3 after; 21 and older.
Detroit's roots in techno, house, and Motown soul come together in this sleek, bass-thumping incarnation of the former Magic Stick. Three bars, VIP bottle service, and an LED-illuminated dance floor complement nightly DJ sets by EDM legends and up-and-coming underground artists alike.
What you'll hear: A lot of local love, from Kevin Saunderson and Derrick Carter to Stacey Pullen and Matthew Dear.
Where: Populux; 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; populuxdetroit.com; $5 admission; 18 and older.
Almost Gold @ Marble Bar
Named after a song by the Jesus and Mary Chain, Almost Gold is DJ Trever Millay’s one-man mission to build serious momentum on the dance floor. You’ll hear a myriad of genres, from post-punk and psychedelic to shoe-gaze and proto-punk. But according to Millay, every song is deeply rooted in the blues and rock 'n’ roll; he’s simply there to pay reverence.
What you’ll hear: Anything from Bo Diddley and Spacemen 3 to The Fall & Psychic TV
Where: Every Tuesday; 10 PM to 2 AM; Marble Bar; 1501 Holden St, Detroit; 313-551-3158; no cover; 21 & older.
Less is more when it comes to the nightly parties at Ferndale's Grasshopper Underground, a lounge with an old-school warehouse feel, a great sound system, and an eclectic array of electronic DJ talent spinning ghetto-tech, dubstep, techno, and a whole lot of house.
What you'll hear: Hard-hitting basement thumpers, from Juan Atkins to DJ Assault and Claude Vonstroke.
Where: Grasshopper Underground, 22757 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-298-0330; $5 admission; 21 and older.
Detroit's biggest dance party is celebrating its 10th year under the direction of Paxahau this Memorial Day weekend. So, it's not surprising that the producers are pulling out all the stops with big-deal headliner Kraftwerk and their phenomenal 3-D act. If you weren't inspired to brush up on your German after raving with a bunch of Berliners for 72 hours straight, you've got a good reason now.
What you'll hear: New and classic, local and international electronic artists from Mike Huckaby to John Digweed, Caribou to Four Tet.
Where and when: Saturday, May 28 to Monday, May 30, at Hart Plaza, at the foot of Woodward Avenue, Detroit; movement.us; weekend passes are $135; 21 and older.
Macho City @ Rivets
Macho City DJs Mike Trombley, Jeffrey Sfire, and Scott Zacharias deliver choice cuts of classic disco, house, and techno at one of the most renowned and beloved gay parties around. Each month, expect a diverse dance floor (read: CCS kids dancing next to leather daddies, etc.) with an appeal that goes far beyond the LGBT party scene — a true testament to the power of disco.
What you'll hear: Disco that transports you back to the legendary club days of the Muzic Box and Paradise Garage. These guys are good.
Where & When: Monthly; Rivets; midnight to 5 a.m.; 7525 Fenkell Ave., Detroit; $5 admission; 21 and older.
Something Cold @ UFO Factory
The industrial digs of UFO Factory provide the perfect setting for DJ Justin Carver and Dan Stolarski's fog-coated, coldwave dance party. This all-vinyl set explores the genres of minimal-synth, post-punk, coldwave, industrial, and experimental music, and often culminates with a visceral live act.
What you'll hear: DAF, Bauhaus, Nitzer Ebb, Cabaret Voltaire, with a touch of New Order.
When and where: Every third Thursday of the month from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the UFO Factory, 2110 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; somethingcold.com; no cover; 21 and older.
"We Can't Be Friends": Miscellaneous Crates @ Donovan's
Julian Kendall from Hello Records gathers his friends and they indulge their expansive music tastes with emotionally charged dance tracks that fall outside the realm of the mainstream, yet get you moving and shaking all the same.
What you'll hear: According to Kendall, "There is more of a focus on slow pressure dance tracks, hard-to-find '80s boogie-funk records, cosmic disco, early house and techno, plus some newer records. We're keeping it weird."
Where and when: Every third Sunday of the month from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Donovan's; 3003 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; no cover; 21 and older.
Monday Is the New Monday @ Motor City Wine Bar
Resident DJs Ryan Spencer, Charles Trees, and Ben Saginaw serve up the jams, while guest chef Julian Spradlin serves up Asian-inspired vegan goodies, like cold sesame peanut noodles and organic miso soup with tofu and wakame.
Where and when: Every Monday from 7 p.m. to midnight, at Motor City Wine Bar, 1949 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-483-7283; motorcitywine.com; no cover; 21 and older.