Wednesday, May 20, 2009
If you’re from Detroit and have even the most fleeting association with techno music, Memorial Day weekend means “the festival.”
Old-school heads (cough!) will know it as “DEMF,” AKA the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. New kids know it as “Movement.” Regardless, this annual under the radar three-day festival of techno down on the waterfront in Hart Plaza has gone through all sorts of drama over the course of existence. There was the whole Carl Craig era (he started the damn thing), and the fallout when he was ‘fired’ by some lady whose name I forget (ha!). Derrick May took it over for a minute, but now it’s the hardcore crew called Paxahau running the show—and quite well at that.
Serious techno freaks generally bitch about something (namely the line-up), but this year’s edition looks especially hot. Then again, the line-up looks pretty good to me every year (Flying Lotus, Carl Craig, Richie Hawtin, François K, etc.) . Not enough for me to pony up the cash to fly home, rent a car, get a room and party like it’s 1995 all over again. But hey, a boy can dream (or in this case, reminisce).
So I definitely got a laugh out of this spot-on rundown of who goes to the festival that’s in this week’s edition of the “Detroit Metro Times,” the city’s alt-weekly. I’m not even mad at their definition of the “Old-School Detroit Techno/Rave Set,” which is where I fit in. Although I do take umbrage at the idea of being “worn out from having just traveled from somewhere.” Hey, don’t hate me for getting the hell outta Dodge when the getting was good. Besides, I’ve found that I’ve out-partied people much younger than myself the last few times I made the voyage. Defensive much? OK, maybe just a little. But like Jagger so sagely said back in the day, “Time waits for no one.” It stalks and eventually catches up with even the best of us. Or is that the luckiest?
Regardless, I’m sure the myriad of party people descending on the Motor City this weekend will have one hell of a good time. Just be safe out there (they don’t call it ‘Murder City’ for nothing) and do yourself a favor and befriend a local to serve as a travel guide. And if you find yourself in the vicinity of suburban city Ferndale, have some of the best Chinese food in the world at China Ruby on Nine Mile Rd., or down the street at Bangkok Café. They’re both so, so good. God, I wish I was going to Detroit this weekend…