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Music > Hit Singles

Movements of all types

More Memorial Day DJs, Corbett chirps (!?) and adios Marvin Chin

MT photo: Bruce Giffin
Chin: The tiki memories are immortal.
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Published 5/10/2006

Techno bowl

Movement '06 is around the corner. But Hart Plaza won't be the only downtown spot teeming with sound systems and toxins-fueled soft-shoe on Memorial Day weekend. Deep Groove Ventures, a Detroit-based production company, has announced plans for Tech-Plosion 2006: A Celebration of Detroit's Electronic Music Legacy, an event apparently designed to complement the larger festival. Tech-Plosion will take place downtown at Campus Martius and Bert's on Broadway (home of the original, now legendary Music Institute), as well as Bert's locations in Eastern Market throughout the holiday weekend. Headliners include DJ Icey, DJ Irene, DJ Micro, Jen Lasher, Nigel Richards and DJ Dan; local DJs will also perform. Though specific ticket information hasn't been announced, Deep Groove says the event will feature both free and ticketed performances. More information is available from Bert's Warehouse Theater at 313-393-3233. Let the beats bounce off Au Bon Pain.

His music has a five o'clock shadow too

You know who John Corbett is, right? He's the shaggy ass-magnet actor whose tenure as cerebral radio jock Chris Stevens on the early '90s classic Northern Exposure set the pace for 100 Sensitive Guy Gets the Girl roles since. And not just for his own turn as Aidan on Sex and the City. Hit Singles thinks Corbett's layabout Alaskan philosopher act has been keeping softly smiling hacks like Dermot Mulroney and Ron Livingston in business too. Shit, the role's recently been recycled again, this time on Grey's Anatomy, in the form of Chris O'Donnell's Robin, a veterinarian with terrible facial hair who courts Meredith Grey.

O'Donnell, Livingston, and Mulroney might have a claim to Corbett's résumé. But can any of those jokers say they're in a band? That's right, ladies, don't miss your chance to see the John Corbett Band in action Thursday, June 15, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. How does it sound? Well, with shrugging, country-jangly songs like "Simple Man," "Bottle of Whiskey" and "Back Door to My Heart," Corbett's recent self-titled sounds exactly like the sound track to a movie he — or one of his Sensitive Type cohorts — hasn't made yet. The easygoing bachelor's hardened heart softens with the help of plucky Pottery Barn manager Reese Witherspoon.

But in the meantime, Hit Singles will see you at the ROMT. We have a questionable fascination with actors who fancy themselves "rockers" and vice versa, anyway. And Corbett's music can't be any worse than 30 Seconds to Mars, Jared Leto's post-grunge excuse to drip candle wax on the backs of willing chicks. Can it?

A Tiki takes a fall

Marvin Chin, owner of the long-vacant Chin Tiki at 2121 Cass Ave., died last week after a long hospitalization. The man responsible for one of Detroit's most striking pop landmarks is mourned by legions of tikiphiles, both locally and nationally.

A restaurant, nightclub and swinging hotspot, the Chin Tiki opened in 1967, just in time for the Detroit riots, and was shuttered in 1980 when the city hit another downward spiral. In its heyday, the club hosted lavish Polynesian floor shows patronized by famous tinseltown drinkers and sports heroes, Barbra Streisand, Muhammad Ali and Joe DiMaggio among them. It was resuscitated briefly in 2001 as a club for the movie 8 Mile. Chin was so inspired seeing his hushed venue come to life during 8 Mile's filming that he began restoration in hopes of reopening. He talked of adding techno, jazz and hip-hop nights. But the building had no liquor license, the plumbing and wiring were trashed, and it was surrounded by a sea of Olympia parking lots. With Chin's death, Chin Tiki's future is bleak. The building's up for sale, and is in danger of becoming another parking lot.

Tiki fans will remember Chin's guided tours of his den during the annual Motor City Tiki art show, parties crammed of hipsters and colorful riffraff, united in their love of kitsch.

Chin is survived by his wife Kitty, daughters Debbie and Valerie, and brother Marlin, owner of Chin's in Livonia.

Compiled by Johnny Loftus. Send bitch-slaps, quips, tips and rants to hitsingles@metrotimes.com.

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