The heavily hyped (by the Metro Times at least) "newtopia" party took place at Clutch Cargo's last Friday, valiantly competing for the nightlife spotlight with the Lenny Kravitz show at the State Theatre. Despite such heady competition, however, a decent-sized crowd opted for newtopia, bringing with it a rare kind of Knitting Factory vibe.
I happened to chat a bit with Jennifer and Tracy Guarascio, as well as club-meister Amir, who confirmed the rumors that former New Pontiac mainstay Industry is slated for closure. That probably won't come as a surprise to anyone, save perhaps those who thought it had already closed.
The event had different acts alternating upstairs and downstairs, with artwork and food samples sprinkled about the club. Downstairs had a definite performance art feel to it, as Satori Circus cavorted in various guises, and the Gepetto Files put on a puppet performance reenactment of Nick Cave's twisted rendition of "Stagger Lee."
There was also a space-age fashion show by Bankle boy Camillo Pardo, which featured a female model wheeled out onto the floor in a tub of chocolate syrup with a giant Hershey's Kiss on her head. She then stepped out of the tub in her, ahem, syrup ensemble and circled around the giant phallic sculpture which dominated the center of the main room. A sight not soon forgotten.
Don't miss the next big benefit at Clutch Cargo's, for Freedom House Detroit. Entitled Mystique, this Friday's fashion show will feature designs by Royal Oak's Shapes, and accessories by Imelda's Closet in Birmingham. Your hosts for the evening are Thomas Cole of salon Red and Ivana Kalafatic. The event also features a silent auction, and the requisite food trough featuring fine cuisine provided by D'Amato's, Tom's Oyster Bar, the Unique Restaurant Corporation, Amer's (not Amir's) Deli, and many more. Tix are $15 in advance. Be there or kindly never show your face in this town again.
SPAMLET ON THE PACIFIC
Jack Lord may be dead, but that doesn't mean Hawaii has absolutely nothing left to offer. Last week, some wonderful folks from Oahu ripped though town on a two-day wine-and-dine tour to promote Oahu as a tourist destination for Michiganders. (A free plate of poi to anyone who figures out exactly how I was able to wrangle an invite.) Over lunch at the Golden Mushroom, I was greeted by public relations whiz Donovan Dela Cruz and Outrigger Hotels spokesperson Nancy Daniels (both lifelong islanders), who pitched the usual spiel about their Pacific island paradise, the white sand beaches, Don Ho, etc.
The great nugget of wisdom disclosed in our luncheon was that Oahu is the Spam-eating capital of the world. They eat more Spam per capita, in more variations, than anywhere else: Sushi-style Spam rolls, sautéed Spam, Spam à l'orange, etc. I'll bet they even do a little ersatz Polynesian number where they wrap it around pineapple with ham. That's it. I'm on the plane.
I also asked Dela Cruz if there were any organized tours of sites visited by the Mike and Carol Brady family on their infamous trip to Hawaii. He said he'd get back to me on that. If you need more info about Honolulu or Oahu, e-mail him at email@example.com ... mention my name and tell him I'm still expecting that 5-foot Tiki Totem.
A brief update on the Noir Leather situation. Apparently, the Royal Oak store has been granted a Li'l Daddy's Parthenon-style reprieve from the landlord, thus allowing them to stay in their current location until the day after Halloween (at a greatly increased rent). Come November 1, however, it's sayonara, kids.
Also, a previous mention in this space about the latest Hamtramck bar-in-progress, The Double Dare, incorrectly stated its location as on Jos. Campau. It will actually be on the corner of Caniff and Conant. It won't be open for a while, but in case you're booking your travel plans early, I thought I'd clue you in.
Speaking of clue-ins, the ultra-exclusive super-special Bartender's Ball, hosted by your friendly cigarette hucksters at KBA Marketing and those good folks at Camel is coming up this Sunday night at the State Theatre. Although the entertainment is super top secret, last year's band was the Groove Collective, so, considering the larger venue, it'll have to be even bigger and more stupendous than that. Stay tuned for the post mortem next week.
ME SO HOMEY
Here's a blast from our 1990 past. Two Live Crew, that once-upon-a-time scandal-of-the-minute Miami rap group, will be shuttling into town for a show in Walled Lake. That's right folks, the group will be appearing on Dev... I mean Angel's Night, October 30, at Club La Boom (formerly known as the Modern Rock Cafe), which is a teenager joint, of all things.
The erstwhile First Amendment poster boys will be without their former gap-toothed front man Luther aka "Luke Skywalker" Campbell, who was last seen tossing a woman off the stage somewhere in Canada a few years back.
The group, whose hit single "Me So Horny" was declared legally obscene by a Florida judge (later overturned) will no doubt choose to be as nasty as they would wish themselves to be. One can only hope for cameo picketing appearances by censorship activists such as C. Dolores Tucker and Bloomfield Hills housewife/former Tipper Gore thought police lieutenant Terry Rakolta. The Club La Boom hotline is 248-926-9960.