Every-So-Often Motto

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Event Review: Detroit Legends WMC 2010

Our newest correspondent, Dr. Gonzo filed the following review...

Above-ground Support.

As in the opposite of Underground Resistance. That describes last night’s “Detroit Legends” party at the Shore Club in Miami Beach on Thursday March 25, 2010, which took place during this year’s Winter Music Conference. I don’t know if me and my friend Jesse are the only ones, but we’re in a unique position. We grew up and currently live in Miami, but we also lived for 4 years in Ann Arbor, and partied in Detroit during that stretch of time. That means we experienced Amnesia , Club Deep, Level, the Hungry Sailor, and Murphy’s Law in high school, but then experienced The Works, The Lager House, Porter Street Station, and Motor in college. So I think Jesse and I are uniquely qualified to evaluate Detroit techno music’s presentation in the Miami Beach setting. And I can tell you this: it does not work.

The setup of the poolside area sucked ass. The Shore Club pool is a beautiful area for outdoor, Sunday trance/progressive/bullshit/muscle parties. It is not a venue for Detroit techno. We were standing around the entire time from 10 to 2:30 am waiting for the real party to start, only to notice that the real party wasn’t ever going to come. You need the concrete, the walls, the stacks, the sound, the darkness, the dirt. That is the post-industrial message of Detroit techno. It only makes sense if it is listened to in some post-industrial context. It does not make sense in the colorized, stylized, manicured palm tree beauty of South Beach. It needs to be in Detroit, Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Berlin, whatever. Not the Shore Club. Not Miami Beach.

Ok you say. I’ve sort of painted myself in the corner where if what I’m saying is true, then it means Detroit Techno cannot be featured at the WMC ever because the WMC is always in Miami Beach. Perhaps it shouldn’t. I don’t know. Richie Hawtin and M-nus don’t seem to be throwing a party here this year. At any rate, that’s not what I’m saying. Why not expand the parties beyond South Beach? The Wynwood art district is a burgeoning artistic area of Miami and it is perhaps the closest you’re going to get to a post-industrial, warehouse, dirty, othersideofthetracks area in Miami. And there is badass graffiti there. Why can’t these Detroit cats throw something in one of those places? Feature your music in the context of WMC, but feature in it in an area that gives the music some context. Art Basel has done it. Read about Wynwood here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wynwood,_Miami,_Florida.

That’s all. I went to this thing expecting to hear the stuff that I really enjoyed in college, and didn’t think the Shore Club venue would detract too much from it. But shit. It proved that music does not stand alone. You need to think about how it is being delivered, and how it works with the scenery. Detroit techno will never be loved by the masses. So it needs to focus on keeping the few fans it has (in the United States). Throwing shit at the Shore Club pool won't do it.

And as a fucking exclamation point on my analysis check this out. The t-shirts they were selling were cheaper than the drinks at the bar. That is true. The juxtaposition sums up the entire night.

Women: 9
Beats: 7
Booze: 5
Visuals: 3
Detroitness: 2
Temperature: 10
Air Quality: 10
Safety of Venue: N/A
Rave Muck: 0
Color of Snot: 0


Thanks to Jesse and Dr. Gonzo for attending this event.

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