Ah, l’amour (or lack thereof) ... that most cherished of Hallmark holidays is once more upon us. Shimmering crimson card-and-candy displays erected at the corner CVS, those requisite saccharine-sweet sentiments laced with malodorous Necco candy confections.
As always, these venerable monuments to crass consumer manipulation were flogging me not more than two weeks after Christmas had concluded, planting that Valentine’s Day seed in the back of my mind ... a seed which, unfortunately, dried up and withered away, leaving me to scour the black ice of the city this past weekend in search of the true meaning of Valentine’s Day.
First stop, Lili’s in Hamtramck, where the 14th Annual Erotic Music & Poetry Festival was taking place, hosted by N2 Submission front man The Impaler (the artist formerly known as Killer Roberts) and Karen “Queen Bee” Neal.
The event was a benefit for the Paws With a Cause charity, and judging by the crowd inside, it was indeed a banner night for paws. Once wedged inside the smoke-filled venue, I spied a well-fed middle-aged man onstage in what appeared to be a Miss Saigon sweatshirt reciting erotic poetry.
I then ran into famed local artist/illustrator Mark Arminski and famed Gusoline Alley centerfold Jimmy Doom, the latter of whom informed me that he was going onstage at midnight. (I then nervously glanced at my watch.)
Although there was a fringe fetish vibe going on back around the pool table, my initial impression was that this was about as erotic as a Sunday afternoon trip to Wal-Mart. And then Peter Schorn took to the stage to read selections from the Jewel autobiography, Chasing Down the Dawn. At last, the true meaning of Valentine’s Day!
Thusly regaled with Jewel’s position on gall-bladder infections, I decided to venture onward, trolling the depths of our city’s potholes for yet more enlightenment.
I continued on my itinerant trek, bypassing our fair city’s glitzy downtown disco district and eventually landing in the gloried gulch of rock, the Gold Dollar, where Flying Bomb recording artists MHz were plying their peculiar blend of hyper-speed rock and roll to a semipacked house. All the usual leather-clad Cass Corridor rock cognoscenti were on parade (”hey, aren’t you in the Go/the Wildbunch/[your band name here]?”), along with the pride of Dexter High, local indie-rock den mother and News scribe Wendy Case.
Speaking of the Wildbunch, band member Corey fisted a flyer on me promoting their upcoming show at the Dollar on the 17th. On its Web site, the band says of the show, “to make up for its relative lack of sex appeal, the Wildbunch will be offering free PCP at the door to anyone who says, ‘I’m here exclusively to see the Wildbunch.’ Don’t dust? No worries, the nonadventurous are covered as well — we will be offering free corn!”
Corn? PCP? The Wildbunch? Sounds too good to be true.
FIGHT AT WHITEY’S
Everlast was in a sparring mood at St. Andrew’s Hall at a recent appearance. Giving new meaning to the term “white (rapper) on white (rapper) violence,” the Eat At Whitey’s rap troubadour made more than a few anti-Eminem comments, throwing a match on Eminem’s powder keg “posse” in the audience, who then bum-rushed the stage as bedlam broke out.
One of the Em supporters took the mic and addressed the crowd, asking if they were “going to let this mutherfucker come to Detroit and disrespect Eminem.”
Everlast, after first edging to the side of the stage and brandishing his guitar as a weapon, was eventually forced to flee. Power to the stage was cut, beer bottles and chairs rained through the air, and chaos ruled the room. Three people were injured during the incident, including a rookie security guard who was on the receiving end of a swinging mic stand.
At about the same time, apparently, someone was getting stabbed over at the Opera House during an Alvin Ailey dance performance. All in all, a bloody and brawling night for Detroit entertainment.
MOSH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Unfortunately, such episodes open the door for inane local news crews to put together vapid and misguided stories about “rampant concert violence.” One such story occurred last Thursday, as WDIV, emboldened by its “must-see TV” Thursday night lineup, led off with a tawdry, titillating and sensationalist “sweeps month” undercover report on concert violence.
The tenor and tone of the piece was about as dated as Carmen Harlan’s wardrobe, and it sounded like it was written by Jack Webb in 1965 (I could just hear the mono-tone staccato delivery).
Reporter Karen Drew went undercover for six months to discover that, horror of horrors, kids are slamming their bodies into each other at Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock concerts, in what is termed a “mosh pit,” and drugs and alcohol are being consumed.
To paraphrase Capt. Renault in Casablanca, “I’m shocked, shocked, to find alcohol, drugs and a mosh pit going on at this Limp Bizkit concert!”
As the narrator intones stiffly, “one sniff, and you know there’s marijuana in the crowd.” Geez, keep her away from the reggae shows. I’m surprised she didn’t use the term “Mary Jane.”
Reporter Drew, who lists Bridges of Madison County, the Bible and Charles Kuralt on her list of fave reading, then pondered rhetorically, “but when we went to the Christina Aguilera concert, we saw none of the same problems. Why?”
Surely, you’re joking.
As further support for the piece, they interviewed gay-bashing right-wing Auburn Hills mayor Tom Macmillon, which kind of tells you where this thing is coming from. Shame on Channel 4 for airing this melodramatic sweeps month hype-tripe. Shame on them further for not responding until after my deadline to my message asking for comment.Casey Coston writes here every other week. Got gossip, essential factoids or party invites? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial