BRUISE THE NEWS
Fox 2 news ran a comically sensationalist story on the area's party scene Wednesday night. The "Crave the Rave" segment found Fox-y lady investigative reporter Katie Trexler clutching pacifiers and other candy-raver gear while narrating footage culled from three months of supposedly "undercover" investigating and featuring "interviews" with a few zoned-out nightclub-types outside of what looked like the Technology Theatre at Harper and Van Dyke. "Crave the Rave"'s sensationalist and myopic scope bore little fruit, other than that the rave scene is -- gasp! -- illegal and includes -- gasp again!! -- drug use, a fact which was hammered home by repeatedly showing footage of the same kid lighting a cigarette (which, on night vision film, looked like a crack pipe). The piece ignored the fact that the party scene is for the most part a highly organized network of young promoters and deejays working outside of the booze-and-nightclub cartel to provide a higher quality of programming to a market bar owners have never cared about. While there are admittedly a number of underage suburban kids at these parties, area promoters have already begun a series of monthly meetings to discuss making sure rave-goers are of legal age. But the piece's most dismal moment came when Trexler and crew hunted down one rave promoter's mother whose involvement amounted to little more than manning the ticket booth at last spring's "Tighter" party. She was jailed along with her son after the party which drew the attention of neighbors and the city's gang squad. As for the issues of rave illegality, the rave kids have gotten smart and hired lawyers to preside over the entryways of these private parties to deal with police.
These are just some of the things left out of the report. To Trexler's credit, inside sources at Fox 2 News say she fought with producers regarding the content of the piece, and tried to offer a more well-rounded perspective on the Detroit rave phenomenon. But sadly, if predictably, all we got was pacifiers and sketchy references to drug use.
Perhaps the most glaring omission of the piece, was the footage form last August's massive "Fuck The System" party under the Ambassador Bridge -- which, besides drawing 3000 kids, as stated in the report, was also a benefit for the homeless of Detroit, raising 15,000 items of canned goods for various inner city agencies.
Detor Productions' Derrick and Jason, who left Motor a month ago, have wasted no time getting back to the party scene. Their first offering will be Thanksgiving night's "Fluid," featuring Detroit hard house phenom Stacy Pullen, tech-house legend Kevin Saunderson (Inner City, E Dancer, etc.), and a first-ever live performance by Carl Craig's beatdown house alter ego Paperclip People, as well as a deejay set by Art of Dance's Kenny Larkin. This is one of those rare parties devoted to featuring Detroit's world class progressive dance deejaying and production talent, not just rave fodder names; expect greatness. More info: 313-438-0112.
Meanwhile, Poor Boy '98 comes hard the holiday weekend with "Harmony" Saturday the 28th, featuring Music Institute legend D Wynn, Columbus-based melodic techno spinner Titonton, booty mix show king Wax Taxin' Dre, as well as the K-car driving champion of working man's deep house, J "Green Hornet" Langa, and tech step jungle-meister, Databass' Shortstop. More "Harmony" info: 248-901-5052.
MOTOR THROWS A ROD
Motor co-founder Steven Sowers has left the nightclub's employ. Official word is that the outspoken Sowers is moving on to pursue deejay booking and dance music label opportunities -- including a "Live From Motor" mix CD by DJ Bone recorded at the club last summer to be possibly released through London/ffrr Records. In his two years at Motor, he and co-founder Dan Sordyl admirably brought Detroit techno and a more mainstream but underground-savvy crowd together, but evidently not without some personality clashes between Sowers and his more subdued partner.
While there are nasty rumors flying as to why Sowers' split was so sudden, Motor continues as the lone Detroit club devoted to top shelf techno, house and electronic music. Deejay bookings will now be handled by promotions manager and Ambassador Snap diva Linda G, while Sordyl and Motor silent partner/soundman supreme Carlos share club-running duties.