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Sugar, spice & so long

Holy crap! Where did the entire summer go? It seems just a moment ago everyone was up in arms bickering about the whole Carl Craig-DEMF fiasco, and next thing you know, it’s Labor Day weekend! Yes, time again for the bevy of weekend-long, automotive-sponsored entertainment, like the Ford International Detroit Jazz Festival and the Chrysler Arts, Beats & Eats. Not to mention the horrendous holiday traffic and the skyrocketing gas prices. And oh, yes, it also means yet another dreaded early holiday deadline for us working schleps at Metro Times, which in turn sends your intrepid, platinum-blond gossip goddess out on a weeknight in search of dirt just for you, dear readers.

And what do you know? To my surprise, there are quite a few things to do in Detroit on a Wednesday night, as it turns out — who would have guessed?

SWEET HICCUPS

My evening of “school night” adventures kicked off with a trip to Fifth Avenue in Royal Oak, for Sugar Hiccup — the nightclub version of the much-revered Big Sonic Heaven radio program on WDVD 96.3 FM. Imagine dreamy, blissful Brit Pop and the soothing mid-1980s precursors to electronica spun by DJs Quig and Darren Revell, in a schwanky bar bathed in blue lighting, and you’ve got the idea. After being cut off in traffic by the impatient yet charming Robert Gasper, I made my way downtown and managed to unearth a parking spot for the evening. As I was traipsing in, the very kindly Nicole Filippis trotted up and fixed my peeking bra strap — she was later joined by pals Marq Dains and Pamela Hause. After settling down at a table upstairs, I encountered Joe Aceldama, a DCX employee visiting from North Carolina, as well as Macross of IPM Radio, Rachelle “The Brat” Liszak, and Michelle Kinyon. Headaque of CEOXiME also showed up, gleefully distributing free copies of the latest release from the Detroit Electronica Coalition, entitled d[electronic]t 2, which features the best of local industrial, synthpop and electronica outfits.

ASS-SPANKY FUN

Diligently searching for more deviance, I parted ways from the Fifth and ventured off to some good, old-fashioned ass-spanky fun, with Noir Leather’s Sex-O-Rama VI fetish show at the Groove Room. I mean, come on — who can deny the lure of blue-haired, half-nekkid women bearing torture devices? The bar was entirely too dark and crowded, but perhaps this was to add to the naughty fun: Former Noir employee Leslie Ramasocky and Mistress Khloe were both having a damn good time, that’s for sure. Fetish performance orchestrator Lady Epiphany was busy looking geisha-licious in her gorgeous, punked-out crimson kimono, while Sebastian from Space, Big Lew, Miss Ally from Noir, the devilish Nick and Danielle Baker were looking suave yet oh-so-subtly sassy. Once the clock struck midnight and the much-anticipated fetish show began, the crowd eagerly surged forward to the stage, piling atop one another and completely obliterating a good view for anyone of shorter nature, allowing the vertically challenged only the occasional glimpse of a fishnet-clad rosy bottom and the whooshing arc of a leather riding crop. On my way out, I stumbled across possibly the best-dressed and friendliest pair of the night, Billy Hinds in his gravity-defying, 3-foot-tall Mowhak, and Angie Ramirez, decked in a dizzyingly dandy checked black-and-white print number.

FAB LAB

But oh, it’s not over yet! From that point, it was off to the Labyrinth, for Deep Dark Retro and the infamous dollar drinks night. Yes, the Labyrinth is still alive and kicking, and Wednesday nights serve up a pleasant, laid-back blend of good company and old-school classics like the Smiths and vintage Depeche Mode. Here I encountered Katie Skinner, Jeff Lawrence, Elliot Washburn and Jennie Janos, who were all kept happily satiated by barmistresses Blackie and Jill. And many congratulations go out to TimTiki and Amy Sargent, who recently had the joyous occasion of birthing their first child, Aidan James Gage Schuller. With a name as impressive as that, the kid is bound to go far.

ART FOR ALL

Heads up — a new collective for Detroit artists is on the horizon. Last week saw the debut of the Cultural Corridor Collective and the Detroit Exchange, a collaborative effort to support and encourage the art and music community of Detroit. Spearheaded by Paul Horton, the group is the new face of the former Cultural Center Community. The goal of the group is to provide a constructive, participatory haven for Detroit artists. Plans are in the works for a major fundraiser, to create a high-tech, multimedia facility available to Detroit artists. Additionally, the collective plans to create a board comprised of local figures active in the arts and music scene.

GOODBYE AALIYAH

On a much sadder note, the beautiful and talented Detroit native Aaliyah was tragically killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas last week. (See also Hot & the Bothered) Although she was only 22, Aaliyah quickly took the world of R&B by storm, earning respect and success with her sugar-sweet voice and infectious beats, and had recently embarked on an acting career. One of Aaliyah’s R&B peers, Aaron Hall, even wrote and recorded a tribute song to her, “Baby Girl,” immediately after news of her death broke. The talented young woman will be profoundly missed by her fans, family, friends and musical colleagues alike.

Sarah Klein writes here every other week. Got gossip, essential factoids or party invites? E-mail looselips@metrotimes.com, or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial

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