It's summertime in economically unstable Detroit, and the living isn't necessarily easy. But this is still the season we beg for during the other nine months of the year, with rhythm options available from international DJ stars, as well as favorites and up-and-comers who call Detroit home. You think you can find another weekday night within 500 miles of here where the likes of Jeremy Ellis (Mondays at the Buzz, 546 E. Larned St., Detroit), John Arnold (Thursdays at the Buzz), Mike "Agent X" Clark (Tuesday at La Dolce Vita, 17546 Woodward Ave.; and Thursdays at Via Nove, 344 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale) and Brian Gillespie (Mondays at Majestic Cafe, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; Tuesdays at the Bosco, 22930 Woodward Ave., Ferndale) play for beer money and respect? Think again. It's rare. Or, if your summer moves to slinkier rhythm, check the downtempo grooves at Sakana (22914 Woodward Ave., Ferndale), a newish sushi-cocktail lounge where DJs Shortround and Jennifer Xerri hold down residencies on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively.
Venues like the Buzz, Sakana and Via Nove located in the same building once known as the Temple, where events featuring Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Carl Craig and other techno titans were held add depth to one of the best scenes in the world, and the new options don't stop there. At Mr. Mike's (6064 Woodward Ave., Detroit), house music promoters Urban Grooves host globetrotting DJs Norm Talley and Aaron-Carl this Friday. Also appearing: Reggie Harrell. That's a lineup.
The same night, a couple blocks away at the underused Alvin's (5756 Cass Ave., Detroit), red-hot hip-hop experimentalist Dabrye (Ann Arbor's Tadd Mullinix of Ghostly International) takes the stage with Stones Throw's Percee P, Kadence, 87 of Wasted Youth, and new local Rich Heebner. Details for an afterparty featuring The Cynic, Jay Spliff and the ubiquitous Gillespie will be available at Alvin's.
Bright lights, big city
This Friday at Oslo (1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit), it's a chick choice program with Lady D, Sista Stroke, Jan D and DJ Genesis, whose Subgroundz label will be giving away freebies all night. The following evening it's Sass, a monthly event hosted by Nathan Rapport, Dorkwave and Untitled vet Mike Servito, collectively known as Coitus Interruptus. Servito says Sass is "Dorkwave's queer little brother ... but it's not strictly a gay night. Everyone is welcome: flashy dress-up kids, cute boys, bad girls, vampires, rock lobsters, everybody." Hear that? The night is held just for you, the third Saturday of every month at Oslo.
Also at Oslo, in semi-regular rotation is Dethlab's Sex & Sedition, a series hosted by Michael Doyle (another Dorkwaver) and Bethany Shorb (Toybreaker, god and his bitches). The sixth edition is July 21, when Toronto's Solvent returns to perform a live set. BMG of Ann Arbor's Ectomorph and Dethlab provide DJ support.
Family & Pitchslapping
Family, which had a long run of off-the-hook Tuesday events at the defunct Motor nightclub, returns with a new party the second Friday of each month at the Works (1846 Michigan Ave., Detroit). Featuring resident DJs Patrick Russel, Carlos Souffront, Mathew Boynton and that guy Gillespie. Family this month welcomes special guest Bileebob (Jon Williams) whose credits include a co-production on Theorem's Nano in 1996 and teaming up with the Detroit Grand Pubah's Paris the Black Fu in the Heckle & Jeckle DJ team.
On Saturday, househeads can rejoice as the Tactical House Squad and Pitchslap present Hot House II at Corktown Tavern (1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit). The night features Mike Huckaby and Matt B. with support from Pitchslap residents Big Joe Hix, Tim Nobody, Lindsay Yeager, Matt C. and Number 9.
Another option is Proof (2001 Woodward Ave., Detroit), where legendary west-sider Terrence Parker works his tele-headphone and rolls classic house with gospel accents. Parker is at Proof each Saturday with guests.
For those still standing and looking to shake and sweat until dawn, afterparties on the west side and east side beckon. Turns out Norm Talley has a hand in both.
On the second and third Saturday of the month, see the darkness become light at Finite Gallery (100 Plum St., Detroit), located in a building two blocks from old Tiger Stadium. Talley and Delano Smith whose "Detox" track leads off a new Ricardo Villalobos mix on the double CD Green & Blue (Cocoon Recordings) co-host with special guests.
Talley is also the co-host of a new afterparty series that began earlier this month at Soulgasm (4196 Bellevue St., Detroit), a venue near Gratiot and Mt. Elliott. The party is called Release and runs midnight to 7 a.m. every Saturday (er, Sunday morning). Other residents include Women on Wax/Mahogani Music's multitalented Pirahnahead and Algorithm.The Subterraneans is a column devoted to Detroit dance culture. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org