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So many parties, so little time, to skewer an old cliché. Movement is organized insanity and then multiplied — but at least it's all taking place in one central location at Hart Plaza. The after-party scene is another animal entirely and even harder to tame. So we recommend you don't even try. Simply map out where you want to go and when you need to get there by. Everything should work out fine then, if you make the right choices. Plus, getting in some naps along the way is generally most helpful. Drink plenty of fluids, dance the night away and then we'll see you in the morning.
So here's MT's annual selective list of cool off-site parties and other events worth seeking out. Newcomers to the festival or to Detroit should take note that mass transit improvements are on the way ... but likely won't get here until 2015 or so. That doesn't help you get around from the riverfront to your club or gallery destination in Corktown or Midtown in 2010, though. In other words, cars are pretty essential here, although you might think about renting a bicycle at Wheelhouse Detroit (wheelhousedetroit.com, 1340 Atwater St., just east of the Renaissance Center) for casual touring around downtown.
The best place to start off techno weekend proper is ... at the movies! Say what? That's right, chief. You may want to start queuing up now for a program that includes Fritz Lang's Metropolis (with pre-recorded soundtrack by Jeff Mills); Timeless Suite for Ma Dukes (featuring the music of Detroit's late, great James "J Dilla" Yancey); and The Drive Home: The Story of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, the latter produced by Detroit's Pilot Pictures and Hogpath. If that weren't enough, there will also be a live performance by UR's Timeline, featuring Mike Banks. Whoa! And it's all free. The whole thing is titled "2010: A Detroit Odyssey" and it's brought to you courtesy of Planet E, the Carl Craig Foundation and newly formed Detroit Techno Foundation. Friday, May 28, at the Music Hall, 350 Madison Street, Detroit. It starts at 7 p.m. and goes until midnight.
From there you can just walk over to Yel3, the site of the official Movement pre-party, featuring Speedy J doing a hair-raising five-hour set in the main room; the second floor provides escape and comfort via Matthew Hawtin's ambient waveforms, while Ann Arbor-based Spectral Sound holds down the club known as the Shelter in the basement for its 10-year anniversary shebang. Expect a lunatic fringe led by Matthew Dear, Ryan Elliott, Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss (live) and Birds & Souls (also live) to rule by force. St. Andrew's Hall is at 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $10.
Two more Friday parties have world-class pedigree: Baretta Music presents a rare local appearance by Conant Gardens' funky house minimalist, Omar S. Also on hand: Reference (Luke Hess and Brian Kage), Arthur Oskan, Keith Kemp, Kevin Reynolds and more at 10 Critics, 1400 Porter St., Detroit; $10. And Chicago's Smart Bar sneaks into town to bring Berlin's Ellen Allien, along with special guests Stimming (live), Patrick Russell, Aran Daniels and Nate Manic to the Majestic Theatre, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $20.
On Saturday, even more Berlin-style good times await at Centre St. Lounge (311 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit), where Berghain residents Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann lead a pack of wild animals, including former Detroiter Daniel Bell, NYC's Levon Vincent, San Fran's Alland Byallo and Nikola Baytala plus more. It's $20 early; $25 late.
And then more West Coast styles with Detroit accents are available at the Works (1846 Michigan Ave., Detroit), where another San Franciscan, Claude VonStroke, heads a lineup that includes Bruno Pronsato (of Berlin via Seattle), Konrad Black (Berlin via Vancouver), London-based Tim Green, the ubiquitous Troxler and others. That's $30. Not Detroit enough for you? Then 1515 Broadway is your spot. A lineup of Theo Parrish, Kai Alce and Larry Heard sound good to you? It sure does to us. The gallery is at, duh, 1515 Broadway, Detroit; $20.
Sunday's "shittiest" party — at least as intended and self-proclaimed — should be the cleverly named Shit Show at the TV Lounge (2548 Grand River Ave., Detroit), where 20 DJs and live performers will yank your chain for almost 20 hours, beginning at 3 a.m. and ending the following evening at 10 p.m. Show up to see Downriver's Derek Plaslaiko (now rocking the Bunker in NYC), Boston's Soul Clap, Le Loup (Paris), Spectral's Todd Osborne, Kyle Hall (FXHE/Hyperdub/NonPlus+/Wild Oats) and Darkcube (live). Hot on that party's heels in the same venue comes Resolute, a Vacant and Dumb-Unit Showcase, starting at 11 p.m. Performers include Alex Smoke (live), Jeremy P. Caulfield, Dario Zenker, Alexi Delano + Camea and Ghostly's Kate Simko.
Last year's Boat Party was one of the highlights of the 2009 after-party scene. If you could get on the boat, that is. This year's river cruise should be an equally tough ticket, what with Ricardo Villalobos on board. Also adding to the high demand of the cruise will be performances by Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen and Panoramabar's Cassy. Details including departure time, cost of tickets and how to get them can be found at: tinyurl.com/38v53g6. Good luck and bon voyage!
If you'd prefer to do your partying on land, however, a lovely alternative is Moodymann's Soul Skate at the Northland Roller Skating Center (22311 W. Eight Mile Rd., Detroit). Free soul food is included with the $15 admission. Can't beat that, baby.
But are there any parties on Monday? Of course, there are parties in Detroit on Monday! Need I Say More Part 5 returns to the scene of earlier crimes at the Old Miami (3930 Cass Ave., Detroit). Party favors will be provided by Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves, Matt Toffrey, Masomenos, Bill Patrick, Troxler and Lee Curtiss. It's $10. Then back at the Works, check in on Fuk the Aristocrats, starring Bryan Zentz, John Selway, Dustin Zahn, Drumcell, Phoenicia, Kero vs. Corbin and more. If you still have $20 in your pocket, go for it. What else do you have to do on a Tuesday anyway?
Last but surely not least, disco-punk hippies will be delighted to hear that DJ Harvey is in town to mix it up at the TV Lounge. He's likely to play anything, especially if it's on his own Black Cock Records, which began issuing pirate productions and edits way back in 1995. (P.S. Some of those records are available at Detroit Threads (10238 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck) which has extended hours all weekend and will host special in-store DJ guests, including Pirahnahead, the Blackman, Aaron-Carl, Andy Garcia and more still to be announced. Best of all: It's free, man.)