Friday, February 9, 2018

Harry Todd the peoples guy!

"First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All"... so he pick the right org for sure! Because he was born to be just that!

Its rare that we find people who live life, no I mean REALLY, LIVE>>>LIFE! This man knows no foe, is a friend to all he meets. He is not only smart, charming, and caring. He is charismatic, astute, cunning, and happy! If ever there was indeed a measure of a man, this Cat is immeasurable ( and I mean that in a good way). He gives with his heart and cares with his soul. He is an organizer and most certainly a joy to be around. 

He is, Harry C. Todd, and he is my friend! So you may ask yourself., "well... who the hell is Harry Todd and what does he have to do with House music"? - ok fair enough question.

 Harry is yet another shining example of what House music is and should not be. House is never selfish, never mean, always open to invite those who wish to live life! That gregarious personality, sweet smile, and even temper makes him a joy to be around, much like the music he so enjoys. 

Harry entered this world on February 10th 55 years ago, and his birthday party is the reason for this Blog. Because, while we are gifted by Harry's friendship, he loves us so much he gave us all one night of pure power. Bringing out some of the best Detroit has to offer! 

Image may contain: 9 people, including Karyn M Neely, people smiling, people standing and nightAlways a pleasure to be around. Harry made each one of us feel that, no matter where you are on the Harry Todd (yes, we normally say his whole name) "friend-o-meter" you are just as important to him as someone he's known his entire life. Just like the music, no matter where you are in life this House music makes feel., important, special, loved, charmed, secure!
I'm willing to bet not one of you can say Harry Todd hasn't been there for you in one form or another...again, just like the music. He isn't pretentious or standoffish, he is refreshing, welcoming,honest, and kind! - in case you haven't figured it out by now, I am a BIG FAN of Harry's !

Subtle in judgement a teacher without knowing you've been taught. Neither condemning or conforming he is a role model, an Alpha male and not just by Fraternal affiliation. 

Now on to this soiree., with some other niceties thrown in about Harry Todd. I think ( cause I'm not Harry) when he was considering what to do for his 55th, he considered, not only himself but also the people. "who do we like? what do we want to hear? who are our favs"? So he gathered the heavy hitters of Detroit DJ's and brought them together on a cold February night to warm our souls and move our feet. 

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, night, hat, indoor and outdoorThe night started with Delano Smith., wait before I go on, just to have these DJs here at home?! at the same time?! was a feet something like phenomenon.
...ok, back to Delano, he came in and started the night off just as it should have been. Light, lively, provoking thoughts of, "what kinda of mischief can I get into after this set"- ?! House music has a way of doing that to you ya know. I love how Delano controls the board(s) always in complete control. With the look of a seasoned gentleman and the heart of a teen/ young adult still enjoying the passion that has taken him around the globe. 

Image may contain: 1 personJammin John Collins ( good Lord I love that man!) was up next, now I have to pause here cause I was eating chicken and having the most enjoyable conversation with Warner Owens- Harry Todd's Frat brother and educator. John, who also doubles as Harry Todd's Frat brother gave us another kind of life with his music. but um, the chicken and conversation was really good so I can't give you the "real" on his set. While I tried hard to listen to everyone., cause I knew my next Blog was going to be about this party. Just having a simple conversation was occupying most of my ear- sorry Mr. Collins just know, I know, your set was da'bomb er' I think lol. It always is so, no worries..


Image may contain: one or more people, hat and sunglassesEddie, ( I call him Edward) Fowlkes: side note.. It was almost impossible to find a picture of this Cat alone, Eddie also doubles as Harry Todd's frat brother. He came in on some cosmic, technoish, houseish kinda vibe (0r was that John Collins?) which I LOVE! Eddie always gives me chills when he plays and an education in music to boot. BUT as luck would have it, Warner and I were STILL having a conversation. There were more than a few tracks that he played that elevated my consciousness last night., and for that, I thank you Edward ( hey, I only call you that when I'm alone never to ya face) 

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglassesBruce came in and laid some smackith down, he was on another level last night. I do so enjoy hearing Bruce play like that no top 4o House tracks he is so much more than what some think. The man is good at what he does. BUT, by this time I was beyond zooted so... yeah, just know Bruce's set was good.

Image may contain: one or more people and beardNow, if this Cat is in the room and on the box just know I'm going to support him 10000% not only his he one of the hottest and globally known DJs he is also my friend! Rick Wilhite gave the people what they wanted to hear, and watching him, ALWAYS a pleasure because he just loves music so much! 

Image may contain: 1 person, indoorThe one DJ I missed just happens to be by far and away my most treasured DJ amongst ALL the DJs in my DJ collection. So with a heavy heart I can not give you any information on the illustrious Norm Talley. I'm so sorry Fav, I wasn't driving so I had to jet when my homie was ready. But I am willing to bet at least one of my kids that you blew folks away. Hey, it's what you do!  and even though his wife is my favorite Talley, he will always be my favorite DJ, I miss hearing him. - insert sad face with a few tears.

All the beautiful people were there. Tracey Marvin even flew in for Harry, and she HATES the cold., like for real. If Tracey could shoot the cold and kill it she would.  You see HCT, we love you so much that we will brave the elements just to see you smile, just to celebrate your special day. Because my friend, you make us all feel  loved.  Harry didn't just speak to everyone there, he talked to everyone there. Harry supports just about everyone and that is why we support and celebrated him. He looked like new money and he most certainly spread-ed the wealth. We all left feeling good, great even. The music and the food was on point and free  just like the music is free or freeing.
One should NEVER have a birthday party and charge folks- that's just stupid, greedy and ensures a birthday celebration will be attended by only a handful of folk!

Yes...yes...yes, Harry Todd pulled some magic out of his perfectly quaffed hair last night.  Styled by the one and only Tree Graves, who doubles as the owner of TV where the party was held. And the great thing about it is, I'm sure he did it for somewhat selfish reason's, hell its IS his birthday and those are some of his favs so why not. But to pull together a line up of DJs who are away more than they are home was again, something like a phenomenon.

 He was considerate of time the party was from 5 to 11 meaning we could all get up and go to work the next day without that dragged feeling. This party will go down as one of the best of the best for 2018. 

Image may contain: 5 people, including Mark Elzy, people smiling, people standing and suitThat is how an Aquarian celebrates his birthday ..surrounded by friends who love him. Not just an inner circle of "yes men/women", but by many of all kinds, Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs you name them, they were there! We danced, enjoyed each others company, and the DJs

Let the music Play


Friday, January 19, 2018

Tag team Battle or The night Chicago handed our asses to us on a platter!

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When I started this Blog it was about the parties, somewhere along the lines it got a little "off". Feelings and emotion became involved. But hey!!! Music makes ya emotional and when you have a connection, a family like connection, feelings also become involved.. (more about that later) Lets talk about this damn battle!

Ya know, I'm not really sure when the battle resurfaced but it has been gaining momentum since coming back on the scene. I was told that they were pretty much common place back in the day. I didn't start going until Bruce brought it back to M!X and that is the vantage point where I will be speaking. Cause honestly ya can't speak on what ya don't know!

Bruce ( The brand don't build itself) Bailey, being the forward thinker that he is brought it back. Listen in all honesty the Thursday nights at M!X had been losing steam and this monthly battle has helped to bring that love we have for M!X back. I've seen it grow over time. We have ( yes..."WE") cause we all make this what it is, anyway we have seen battles with folks from Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago. Mostly our Detroit DJ' battle each other so its always a refreshing change of pace when others come in to lay their musical talent and skills down on these tables in Detroit. 

bu..bu..but when it comes to those battles between Detroit and Chicago you are guaranteed to have your mind shook and your feet on the dance floor. Remember when Rasheed Wallace use to "garunSHEED" it. Well, I garunP it. The Detroit vs Chicago battles are NOT one's you want to miss. 

Not to take ANYTHING away from the Detroit vs Detroit battles because those have been a blast as well. Most notable was with Mike Micahnik, and Reginald Swinton. Others with Reggie Harrell and the like. But this ain't that..  

This battle happened simply because of a conversation. A conversation between Boxx aka Reg Anderson and myself. I try to keep new ideas flowing I mean the House music scene in Detroit is not what it use to be. Hell nothing is. 

...Im going to get off subject here for just a tad bit. 
 while yes the House music scene has been losing a tad bit of luster, fun, and togetherness. I MUST take a moment and shout out Shatoya Collins she had a vision and came with something fresh and new she made it what it use to be, about the promoter and getting good talent. Her Wednesday nights at STARDA is looking real good y'all I highly suggest you check them out!

Now let's tie this in to the reinventing of the House music scene and how it relates to the battles. At some point it all becomes mundane, same ol' same ol' so to speak. So just like Bruce brought the battle back. I wanted to kick it up a notch. So me and Reg... or Reg and I for you grammar prudes LOL just talking back and forth about the scene and working together came up with the idea for a "tag team" battle the Chi vs the D. I presented that idea to Bruce and Bruce being Bruce (always reinventing and keeping the scene alive) liked the idea. I hand picked each DJ- some said they weren't interested and that's cool. In the end the DJ's that were selected were perfect fit! and THAT's how the fight started. 
The fight between who would be victorious and the inner fight in myself - here is where I get into my feelings and emotions, please allow me a wee bit of latitude. When I give credit, its to ALL involved because I appreciate what each one of you bring to the table. So to have brought this idea to the table.. and NOT ONE mention of "thanks" a, "shout out" NOTHING last night! That made me feel some kinda way! Call it what you want but at some point I have to toot my own horn, hell I've heard so many others toot their own horn.. why NOT me! There have been more than a few parties I have been involved with and nothing.. crickets.. well I realized no one will know if I don't say so! Cause if I waited all people would think is that I am a re-poster of events, a Blogger, and now a, pop up interviewer! I sing your praises and you motherfuckers can't even say, "thank you". Now I know folks will have something to say behind this.. well, ok! So! AND?!?!? There might be subliminal post or talk back and forth between a few but one thing I will do is speak up this time I'm speaking up for PJ! Call it modesty, call it whatever you like I should have been more vocal about my involvement in the few parties and events I have been involved in. But stupidly I thought someone would have used the common courtesy they were taught.  I have to begrudgingly take ownership of that part! But I am human and little things mean so much- but wait.. Titan and Pauly did show love and for that I thank you! .. thankfully most of the parties I have had something to do with have been a success! So I will stick that in my proverbial pipe and smoke it! In closing (insert LOL) If I continue to give you the support and love, show me some as well! 
Ok off my soapbox, let me blow my nose and wipe these tears and continue on with this Blog. 

It did my heart so much good to see everyone and I do mean EVERYONE having a good time. Dance floor stayed packed, the bar was making money, folks were groovin, I have't seen that kinda love in a while at M!X. So make sure you all come back EVERY Thursday. 

 I made sure I tried to personally thank everyone for coming out. Cause they didn't have to! Its winter AND a weekday!! Folks came out to show love to the scene, the music, and the DJ's at the very least I had to say, "thank you"...and let me add this. I'm not doing this for bragging rights. I do this simply because I LOVE this scene, this music, and the people. I care about each and everyone of the DJs that spins. 

If my name has anything thing to do with a party ( which is rare) I try my best to keep everyone in the loop, and I make damn sure everyone gets paid! Be it by myself or by the powers that be.  This was no exception. I try to align myself with the right people to keep what I love alive and flowing. Can a sistah get an envelope with some dead white men on green cloth PLEASE! lol 

...back to the battle
We talked smack, cause hey... that what what ya do! I fancied myself as the Donna Queen of the House music battles.. mostly, I had fun with it. 

Ya know you must love the music to drive up on a winter day and showcase your talent(s).  I believe in the talents of Joey Thomas, Mike Micahnik, Pauly Cicero, and that damn Maurice L. Davis ( and the "L" stands for Light that ass UP) or (Laid that shit down)!

What I DO know is this, for the most part every time a battle between Detroit and Chicago happen(s) Chicago comes along and straight RIPS it! Last night was NO exception. 

Image may contain: 1 personJoey came out with what I thought was an good intro and played some nice tunes. As always his precision and execution was flawless. There were a few times I wanted to throw a shoe at Joey because he was just playing some groovable shit!

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, eyeglasses and indoorMike has, in my opinion a VERY strong intro smooth as silk playing style with great tune selection to boot. I've been a big fan of Mike's for some time now. He never disappoints.   

BUT!!!! When you go first you REALLY have to hit them with everything that you have.  You can NOT rest on your laurels!  You must hit them with both the kitchen and the bathroom sink. As vets you should NEVER lose your crowd. To me, going first is too much pressure it gives your opponents the upper hand, because obviously they know how to come back at you. So with that being said. You give them a run for their fucking money! You make them sweat! Musical jabs were taken during Mike's set which added to the back and forth playful bickering. That was a nice and fun touch. 

....and then, came Titan Davis 

Image may contain: one or more peopleNOW, like Earl Mixxin McKinney I too was torn between who I wanted to win. I love my hometown favs but I also knew that Chicago was going to come strong. I have so much mad love and respect for Chicago. Their DJs are just well rounded and I haven't seen one yet that has made me yawn. Ya see Maurice aka the Guillotine has a message and that message is seek and destroy.   

 Ol'boy did just that! He sought an destroyed.. and had the nerve to do it from a seated position wearing a Detroit Tigers hat! My thought was, "oh. this fitten to be ugly. I'm talking UG-A-LEE! The crowd formed both on the dance floor and around Titan. He had us at his full command! Now HIS intro was a fucking BEAST! POINT BLANK PERIOD. I will just say this... Maurice single highhandedly killed everybody! People were on the floor, the judges left the table and started giggin and I have NEVER seen that happen at ANY battle I have attended. I looked over and Tomika was out of her seat fist pumpin. Monica just said, "fuck it" and got her butt on the floor and danced her ENTIRE ass off! Nicole as rockin in a seated position. Hell even Art and Snake were getting down and its hard to please those two. Cause Snake is like that uncle that goes around sayin, " a hard head makes a soft behind" and Art just gives you enough rope to hang yaself with! So to get THOSE two groovin means you did the damn thang!

The set between Pauly and Titan had a hiccup but none that really mattered to the people. Maybe to the judges but hell I was just there basking in the glory of what was taking place. It was more technical shit anyway so I guess it really didn't matter. 

Image may contain: night and indoorI dug the mix Pauly did with Hamilton Bohannon's hit Lets start the dance, that edit or remix or whatever you call it, I need that in my life er'day! yeah big Pauly that was cute.. coming in swinging a cut by a Detroiter.. real cute bruh! And while I loves me some Pauly Lord knows I do.. Last night belonged to Titan!

Funny thing is I 1st met him when Dee Jay Alicia came to play for the very 1st party I did ( more about that later) He'd given me a CD and honestly I was SO not impressed. Then I started following him on sound or mix cloud. I forget which one. And ya girl had to eat that tough bird called crow. So I knew when Boxx couldn't play Titan was a great alternate! and I knew I'd wanted to give Pauly yet another opportunity to play here in Detroit! Titan would have given old Reginald a run for his money last night!

What I liked most about Titan was he TRULY came to get all the way down. Not to shit on the other guys Pauly included but Titan just... I mean.. I don't know what to say, he just mesmerized us! He took us back to what House music is and was all about! He made us dance and THAT my friends is what a DJ is supposed to do! PERIOD!

 Both Titan and Pauly brought Chicago House to a Detroit House and that ran the damn decks. Chi town family you woulda been proud to say the least! I encourage each and everyone of you reading this Blog to look both Titan and Pauly up on Mix or Soundcloud you will most certainly not be disappointed. Taz aka Jeff Arthur told me Titan was a beast and Taz is a pretty reliable source! I would love to see Titan play on a Beautiful Sunday for sizzle!
 and if they're here for any extended amount of time both he and Pauly need to get in the Bassment with Mollie and The Butcher aka Sean Tate.

I likened this battle to rap battles the spit game or spin game if you will,  was nothing but fiyah baby! I know and OVERstand that at this point nothing is free and to know that those two put their best foot forward made me a believer again, it made me believe that it ain't just about the skrilla ( money) It's about the pride, the love, the braggin rights, the camaraderie, the respect for the game and each other. Last night was what House music should always be about. 

It had a slight twist to it, being a tag team battle and all. They talked smack before hand which gave folks a reason to come out and hear what was about to happen. We laughed, joked, danced, and hugged. But in the end.. we got our asses kicked y'all LMAO like on some real Beat Street dane off type, Chin Tiki / Hip Hop shop rap type battles! And let's just call a spade a negro here.. we have all spoken about who has the better DJ's. - insert devilish grin..

My wish is that this continues, my hope is that it continues with some other heavy hitters like... Tink Thomas and Al Ester vs Fiddy Mills and Boxx.. or Rick Wilhite and Minx vs Dee Jay Alicia and Terry Hunter!- ooh now that would be a good one... but the way my bank account is set up, well you know the rest! You would mos def have to charge for that event....and the people would pay TRUST ME ON THIS!!!

The battles also give folks a reason to come hear you at other venues, when you give your personal best and slay them tables, people listen, they start to follow. You can't just go around claiming how great you are.. with won battles you have concrete proof of how great you the people gave you mad props and shout outs. Head counts and bar sells matter ya know! 

I am so grateful to Bruce for this. Let's keep this up. the momentum is there, time to elevate it (something I know you like) and by all the Facebook live(s), and dancing last night I know the people want more! BB, well... ya got to give him props he keeps reinventing the wheel. And that is something we should all be happy for. 

Like I always say, promote what you love., and I love House music! I love the people in the scene. Change is good, love is better! Show and give love to everyone you meet and greet. Dance in the spirit of time because it is so precious and once its gone the dance is over. 

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, crowd and outdoorLike I said earlier I became acquainted with Titan when I threw my very 1st party. It was a party for Cancer awareness, an all female lineup and pink was the theme color. A few days ago we lost the lady leading the charge for Cancer awareness and for whom the party was given. She was everything good, kind, sweet, sexy, fabulous, fierce, and stylish. She embodied what House music is about. She shared love and received love, she danced through pain and now she has her wings Angela Patillo - Burns you will be missed and will ALWAYS be loved! Pink Love Forever someone said, "she needed a hero, so she became one" last night was bitter sweet for me but I will stay strong, as will all of you because if nothing else she taught us all valuable lessons, she shared her journey. We are all blessed to have been touched by her incredible strength and courage. This Blog is dedicated to your memory. I love you, WE love YOU!!! Please continue to watch over us all Ms. Lady and a Lady is what you are. God has yet another House head to keep the party going and we will always...Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people dancing, crowd and outdoorImage may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people dancing, crowd and outdoor

Let The Music Play,


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

An Oasis on Paradise Lake closing out summer 2017

Positive vibes and smiles were the theme of this past weekend... ok, Glamping was REALLY the theme. But it's my Blog sooo, yeah! Imma go with the positive vibes and smiles thingy. 

I didn't want to take too long to post about this absolutely amazing event/ festival, I wanted you to feel what I felt and waiting too long would have meant things and feelings would have been forgotten and this event means more to me then just the music and hopefully I will be able to convey that message to you. 

Image may contain: 2 peopleMy dad would take us camping every summer. He was an outdoorsy kinda guy. Kept a pistol a few shot guns a hunting rifle or 4, fishing gear.. you know, dad stuff.  What I liked most about camping was the people that I would only get to see on our summer vacations. A place far away from the city with other families having a grand time together. Folks by the fire after the sun set., the laughter.. and the thing that brought us all together on the campground (beside the food) was the music. Take your mind to the place where you 1st fell in love with the music. For me it was anything in the 70's for the folks around the campgrounds it was the music of their youth. So basically we got a great mixture of music and an even better gathering of friends. That's me and my dad in Canada like back in the 70's.

Image may contain: 1 personFast forward to the 90's. Time and my dad both passed. But my mother being the person that she is decided she was going to buy some property. It was off the lake surrounded by woods in Holly Mi., now I have to pause her cause my mom NEVER went camping with us. But she is the real Bad and Bourgeois. This is my mother at the closing for the property. She was glamours, fly, and refined! It is from her I get my re-fineness from. I don't use it., but I have it in case of emergencies. 

My parents gave me the best of both worlds culture, a love for nature ( yeah, I don't like nature like I use to) My mother gave me a since of pride. Black pride. My father taught me to love all-even when you don't want to. Even if they don't deserve the love you have. He taught me to be kind, funny and helpful, have fun.  My mother.. well from her, I get that "fuck you" attitude. 

But I digress, "Glamping".. it's the perfect combination of  camping and that glamorous life! Much like how I was raised..

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and hatIt's my understanding ( and someone please correct me if I am wrong) that this event started in Southfield Mi. by a man.. Cedric McDougle is his name. He and other like minded individuals, (sorry I do not know ya names folks). Have put together what I am SURE will be the MUST attend event of the summer.  

I've only had the pleasure of meeting Cedric a handful of times and he's always easy to talk to and carries that bright smile of his like a badge of honor. It isn't too much I can tell you about this man, cause I don't know anything about him except what I've written thus far. What I do love and respect is he has taken his love for camping, people, refinement,and music and has brought new life back to Idlewild Michigan.

A history of Idlewild ( <----yeah, imma need you people to click on the word "Idlewild" cause it's far too much for a sistah to write)!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, beard and outdoorThe grounds are managed by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Lindsey they were most accommodating, helpful, genuine and kind.  They wanted me to make sure I let everyone know that they welcome ALL festivals like this one., and that property is available for purchase. 

With  desegregation came the decline of this once thriving get away, the likes of Ike and Tina, The Four Tops, O'Jays have all played there! 

Image may contain: sky, tree and outdoorI saw street names, like...Peaceful, Unity, Tranquil. That spoke volumes to me. And while its virtually nothing there at one time it was the mecca for middle class black America. A time when we depended on each other. When we had no choice but to be with our own. There were some run down cabins but there were also cabins that made your mouth drop. The calm lake and somewhat level ground made for a most pleasant experience. Seeing all those tents glammed up for what was about to be the end all be all for the summer of music 2017! I wish we could go back to those times. When we had to depend on each other when we had to stick together. It would be sad to see this property go away like so many others. But!!! Property is available, and like my parents. If you like camping, or if you would like a nice lake home, here is where you want to buy, build, and continue to carry on what our ancestors dreamed of and were promised.. that 40 acres and a mule!

I would be lying if I said I didn't want it to remain a black get-away because ALL are welcomed. But for once just ONCE in the history of niggadom I would like for this place to remain untouched by big corporations or go the way of Hilton Head or The Gulla Island(s) Or have that upwardly mobile group of urban suburbans.. who snatch up property and change what we fought so long and hard to have! Let's leave a legacy, some land and memories for our children. Please consider buying, growing, and keeping this place on the map.

Riding up in what I call the extended version of Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine was way cool. We had that RV, cause y'all already know PJ does NOT do nature anymore. I had to have something with some walls and wheels honey! I mean its Bears and shit up there! They can knock over a tent! yeah, let em try a big ass RV, knock THAT shit over Yogi.. it aint happnin!

Since we were running on CPT, that's colored people time for the un informed. We did not arrive until the wee hours of Saturday morning. Most were already asleep after hearing some slamming sets. Most notably by Steve Maxwell. Now you know my ear is always to the ground so I have ways of finding out who banged and who didn't. THIS extra large man set if off! er'r from what I'm told!

It was so nice to see all the amazing tents that had been set up in a city like fashion fire pits blazing, music coming from various speakers. It was tranquil and all seemed unified! Peaceful even. 

Image may contain: 1 person, sittingSince we were in an RV we had to park a little ways from the actual site but it was not far at all., and close enough for me to hear each and every DJ. I woke up to Raynard Hines.. but since I woke up with a serious buzz. ( I was with Agent X ) and you KNOW how he gets down. I can't say that I remember too much about his set. I do remember that it had more of an R&B feel to it. Which was perfect for those who are not well versed in House music.. a great segue for the newbies. By the time Celeste Alexander got on, if you weren't a House head you were by the time she finished. But more about that 1st Lady later.

Since I,  for some odd reason am always the one cooking. Its really not an odd reason. Mostly I volunteer and this weekend was no exception. SO!!! while the steaks, braats, chicken, grilled portabella's and the new pasta dish I have been making were coming together nicely. I was able to hear all the banging tunage coming from the stage. Plus I am more nocturnal and wanted to wait until night fall to get out! 

Image may contain: 1 personMike Clark did his thug thizzle on the 1's and 2's coming in nice and soft an afternoon audio delight. Mike has seen many stages around the globe and understands that when you give good karma, you get good karma back. And from the looks of things karma has come in the form of a beautiful dimpled smiled young lady. Mike Clark and I go back almost 30 years. He and I don't always speak the same language musically, but he always teaches me something new every time he plays. Resident DJ for the Life Party at Northern Lights. He is one the best Detroit has to offer! 

Image may contain: one or more people and indoorThe Sandman fell through and kicked it Toledo style. Big ups to this Cat here. He is one Sandman who never puts you to sleep! His musical selection has me thinking.. "yeah, he don't know he's white". Kinda like Todd Weston and Adam Francesconi. They are not aware of their whiteness when they get behind the decks. Todd has a vast knowledge of the music and plays effortlessly every time. I have NEVER heard him make any kinda mistake. He needs to have more of a Detroit presents ( I hope I spelled that right)... He does come with a warning. IF you feed him, he will EAT! like EVERYTHING That man can put away some food. I only know ONE other DJ who MIGHT be able to out eat this Cat here. Todd is always down to have his Detroit brothers and sisters spin at his club there in Toledo. He will put that small town on the map in a big musical way.. just please.. don't feed him! If you value the food in your pantry..DO NOT feed him! He also has some of the doppest flyer art around!


Image may contain: 1 person, indoorRick Wilhite!!!!!! That friend of mine, never ceases to amaze me. I mean, yeah.. I am a tad bit bias when it comes to him. Yeah, he holds a very special place in my heart.. ok, with that being said. Rick tore that shit out the frame. He came with a Strings of Life edit or remix ( y'all know I don't know the difference) that was hot as fish grease. When he played Emerald  City as his first cut at the Charivari picnic I selfishly thought he was playing for me cause he knows that is my favorite joint he plays..there are a few others but that is in my, "top 5 list of shit Big Phool plays" Big Phool = Rick Wilhite. He made a steady climb leading up to a very climatic ending. He almost made me leave the barbeque grill. Go over. Throw a shoe at him. and leave! He was in his element! ..and I was along for the ride! His, Beautiful Sunday's at Motor City Wine are something to look forward to every 3rd Sunday of the month!

Image may contain: 1 personThen came, Celeste Alexander.. let me tell you a few things I heard while she was playin, "oh she aint playin wit none of y'all. "she on another level" "she the shit" Just a few words about this lovely 1st Lady. From my understanding Chicago's 1st female DJ- and let me add... most ALL the female DJs from Chicago are good., gifted even! I pray they give her the respect she so deserves. She along with Detroit's on godmother Stacey Hale kicked in the door so other SheJ's can walk through! 
Now, as I watched Celeste I couldn't help but notice her eyes. They for one, are the most beautiful eyes. Because they come with knowledge, pain, love, understanding, and a good dose of telling it like it is! I couldn't help but think. Celeste looks like she's. Talking on the phone to one of her girls, with a cobbler  in the oven, fryin some chicken, watching the stories and the neighborhood kids all while DJing, she has her shit together she can do like 30 things and once and make it look easy. She takes care of her crowd like she takes care of her family, with love and its showed through her skill... I had no idea she was a depeche mode fan., but when she played Personal Jesus ya girl liked to fell out! Some Chitown DJ's should have a 2nd home here. She is mos def one of them! and here's the thing. ya know she taught her husband how to play, and that brother can bang! She takes care of her musical selection I'm sure much like she takes care of Big E- with love she shows love, passion, power, and knowledge with every track she plays. I have nothing but mad love and respect for her. I waited two days to say all of this. Celeste came in there and showed all the way out! Humble and kind but will put you in ya place if need be! She is strong and loving both on and off the table! I truly admire her! Not to mention her, Vic and Steve brought the entire south side with them! Way to support Chi town family I hope to see more of you next year.

Image may contain: one or more people and people on stage....and then came Vic! Now let me set the mood. All the DJs played a variety of music but mostly it was on that chilled out mellow kinda vibe. I had heard of Vic Lavender but never heard him play so I am glad I had this opportunity to hear him in the atmosphere. The music that he played was perfect for a seemingly moonless night, Track after track was meant (IMO) to elevate your consciousness. He dropped that Pirahnahead's Beautiful Epiphany remix the party goers went wild. Love it when that I-94 connection comes together musically. His set was in a word, stellar. I didn't want to leave, he could have played all night and the people would have danced! Vic Lavender would be a VERY welcomed guest here in Detroit. Message to the club owners and promoters. This is the Cat you want to bring to the D! Rick, he needs a Beautiful Sunday indeed. Melissa and Dave,are you reading this. GET THIS CAT on the bill for MOVEMENT! - yes, I was yelling! 

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage and outdoorEarl Mixxin McKinney played a set perfect for us to wake up to. To tell ya the truth I had to ask who was playing since I'm so use to Earl going for the kill, but mid morning Earl is much different than night time Earl. What I liked best about Earl was, as his set progressed, so did his DJ stylings. He went for that soft, " its time to wake up kids" to " alright people get off ya asses and dance" and the people responded in kind.  Aside from being one of the BEST MC's and a bit of a wordsmith, Earl is one of the best at controlling the crowd. Knowing what to play and when to play it. He draws you in with his energy. He controls your mood. He is a Scorpio ya know they like that control factor! Earl is primed for gigs overseas. We love you here baby, but it's time for you to fly!

While this may be the newest festival to the line up it is set to be one of the best. To have this in a place with such history. A place where serenity flows effortlessly to see people come together., unity in dance was in a word, beautiful. Was it a success, well as always that depends on what you think success is. My guess, yes it was mos def a success. It was on a totally different level all together. 

Please don't compare this with any other festivals its is as unique as the others. The best part is they allow the DJs to really get into their groove no hour only sets. I'm bummed Eddie Fowlkes and Jamie 326 were not there, but I'm sure they had their reasons. However I will have to have a chat with Mr's Fowlkes and 326 about this. I can't believe you two did this to me!?! yes.. ME!! cause, I'm selfish like that!

I opted to go to Summer Oasis because of the historic venue and the DJ's that were set to play. I couldn't allow my dislike for a few to keep me from doing what I love. Dancing and enjoying this thing we call House! I even got a personal "thank you" from one of the event promoters. I was glad that she did not allow our differences to stop her from offering a genuine thanks. I was proud of myself for accepting the offer without my usual gruff attitude. And while we will never be friends. ( that's no secret) I have to commend her on helping to bring this thing we love most to a place where we can all come together because of not in spite of! If you have yet to make it to the Summer Oasis festival I highly recommend it. If you need to close your summer out in a tranquil way, I suggest you make the 3 hour drive ( longer if you're not from Detroit). You will NOT be sorry you came. I wasn't! I will be a life time attendee for sure!

I'm not sure why music can express things we can not. But I heard you loud and clear. Thank you for "sending me your love". I am sending mine right back. Yes, I love you more than you will ever know! ...and that will be forever and always

Let the Music Play!


Monday, August 14, 2017

Charivari has come and gone, but as always the music and SHINE live on!

Image result for charivari detroit 2017this is how I see Detroit!

Yes, another, 1st weekend in August has come and gone. Team Charivari did a hellluva job promoting the, SHINE! The new venue is perfect for this ever growing event. Sometimes you have to move to find the right amount of space to SHINE! ...and while we ( and I say "we" because "WE" are all apart of this) had to do some movin and shakin I think we have FINALLY found a spot that will allow our SHINE to GROW... where we can let ourselves GO from this point forward. 

No need to rehash how it got started, Todd Johnson (no relation) tells it best., check out his page and ask him. He's a great story teller.. but only after he has had a nap and some milk and cookies, cause I know that brother is tired! Carol... get is favorite blankey please. 

- so I started this Blog at like 12:00 pm it'd going on 4:30...yeah, and this is all I got. 

ANYWHO!!! back to this past weekend. 

1st let me extend my sincerest apologies to Dave, Melissa, and Todd Weston. I'm sorry y'all, I will be back once I am totally mobile again. Until then, I am there is spirit everyday!

Two things that I heard over and over again at the Festival, "yeah...I like to new spot, a little dusty but I like it"! So, big ups to Team Charivari you guys did an excellent job. 

Thankfully the weather was cool and we SHINED not with direct sunlight but with inner sunSHINE! My thought is if it is to be held there next year- and I have heard that it will be, a cooling tent my be needed.. oh, yeah and a charging station. 

I love the fact that on Friday nights are designated as the "free" nights. It allows those who may work on the weekend a chance to get their groove on and work up a sweat. and while by 10:00 I was out like a light my ears to the street told me that Friday night belonged to, this Cat right here... Mr. Tony Dennis 
Image result for charivari detroit 2017word in them streets is, Tony Dennis was straight FIYAH, the man shut it DOWN- in my Kevin Hart voice. I knew the brother had it in him. But from what I have heard he likes that soulful sexy stuff that Gruv is known for. Welp, now you are more than just and internet international DJ you have earned what you SO rightfully deserve even more respect around Detroit. I expect to be hearing more from Tony.. and Yes Tony, you ARE a DJ! 

So, I get up and ready cause, in my mind I was going to turn ALL the way up on Saturday, I was in my element.. wit my peeps, lawn chair dancing, hangin, drankin, sangin, SHINING! ...and that is exactly what we ALL did. 

Let me tell you a little about the space. It sits right off the water nestled in between a high rise high ass rent apartment building and has the view of the Ambassador bridge just ahead. With a great view of Canada to the east. ( um, I think Canada is east of Detroit) I mean... whatever, you get my drift. 

Now the tents were kinda close to each other, but you have to take into account that they could not have the music too close to the high rise or to the residential homes to the left. So I dug why the stages were so close together. Plus I did not see a lot of areas where you could hook up all the electricity needed to run the stages, vendor booths, etc.. etc..
 The upside to that is, ya didn't have to walk far to hear your favorite DJs.  

The weather was perfect for this event just cool enough to keep us happy, while we heated the park up dancing and fist pumping...and yeah, folks complained about the dirt and ground, but to be fair there had been a concert/festival the prior weekend, and this IS Detroit. you know these negros don't take care of public property like they should.

...but nonetheless, we SHINED!

I did not get to hear some of the DJs "I" wanted to hear, but again.. Todd'nem wont let me in on those meetings cause they are afraid I'll eat all the snacks and stuff! I did enjoy hearing the new Cats that thrilled the crowd and put smiles on the faces of those who attended. 

Image may contain: one or more peopleOf course Tracey Marvin and Joseph James Hall came home to support this event, and to have that epic dance off that they are so known for.Image may contain: 1 person 

What I like most about these two is no matter what, they are bound to get the party started. They dance no matter what the crowd is like, as long as good music is played. 

And while the crowd was small compared to some other events the vibe was just as strong if not stronger. Because the players are those who live, work, and breath here. They are the ones who identify not only with the music but the heart and soul that is Detroit. They represent the best of the best new and old. 

YES!! I think Todd Weston, Malik Alston, Tink Thomas, Gari Romalis, Nervous Breakdown, Jeff Arthur, ALL three of the House Gallery Cats should have played.. but guess what, it ain't my event. YES!! I think Dave Spivey, Phil Tha Mixx, El Pavo Joe should be on the list next year. YES!! I know ALL this was started somewhere on the west side. but we've grown and with growth comes change. So just wait, Charivari is not a fly by night thing you will get your opportunity to SHINE. Simply submit your work, Im sure that is what most did. No one said you can get in just on the strength of you being a DJ or because you have known these people since Regan was in office. 

I do like the fact that Team Charivari tried to be inclusive and give others a chance. They show that when you have a dream, a mission, and a love for your city you can do anything. 

So Saturday was my favorite day, but by all accounts most people favored Sunday. 

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and textAs the sun set, just as dusk was starting to settle in Mike Huckaby was on the box. Now, I don't know if he and God are one with each other but I will say this.... that man's entire vibe changed just as day was turning to night. Like it was effortless. He played some standards ( I wasn't use to him doing that). Then he came in with some ol' smooth shit sexy, melodic type vibe. 

I am STILL waiting to hear both he and his brother Craig play a set together- fellas, and I KNOW ONE of you are reading this. Can a sistah PLEASE get a set with the Huckaby brothers. MCW we can call it, I Love the Huckaby's or some silly shit like that. 

Image may contain: 1 personOf course Peter Croce came in and slapped us around with the stylings of the professional that he is. He is now a label owner - I believe it's Motor City Wine Recordings with David A-P, he is a true talent indeed. 

Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, beard and indoorJohn Johr, as I was told was the hit of the day. But you know I stick with my favs and by the time he hit the stage I was out of battery life and could not take or post any video. But I got a chance to hear him at TV and that boy is slick! Minimal Techno sexy with a good ear for edits/remixes 

Image may contain: 2 peopleThe Ghita sisters ( they are so damn adorable) came in and played like two old pro's. I enjoy watching them because they give it to you two ways. One is more techno the other more of a House type vibe. They are up and coming and one's we should watch out for. 

Image may contain: 1 person, sittingTerry James, or TJ as I like to call him or Terry JAMS as I ALSO like to call him came and put a hurtin on folks., as I knew he would. TJ is so freakin HARD! the music is an extension of who he is at his core. I would like to hear him play around town more. I think he would be a good fit for House Galley night or Hot Pot or even a good old fashion DJ Battle at MIX... My money is going to be on Terry every time. Do NOT sleep on this Cat! 

Image may contain: 2 peopleMaking his appearance for the 1st time. DJ DSwin, this Cat plays with so much energy. He is probably one of the most passionate DJs Ive met. Another up and comer, glad to see Team Charivari saw the talent in this Cat and put him on the bill. Im sure we will be hearing more from him in the future!  

There were so many others who came out and made this weekend a success. It was nice to see the DJs there just to enjoy themselves and support their fellow DJs.  

My wish is that this location will become the permanent location for Charivari Detroit. Yes, OVERWELMINGLY most people preferred Milliken park or for me, it was the 2nd one on Belle Isle. 

But for things to grow, for people to grow, things have to change, and change can and will be good. 

Let's come together in the spirit of unity and the music, because that is ALWAYS the star of the show.

Please do not think for one minute, just because you're cool, or grew up with, or play all over that you will be chosen to play at any venue. Let alone a festival. Submit your work, put in the work.. hell... they do, and so should you!

This is a massive undertaking, money does NOT grow on trees. and for those who still think its ok to get that, "home girl/boy" hook up, its NOT OK!

If you're going to pay hundreds of dollars in May to see ( insert whomever) you mean to tell me you won't pay to see the Cats from your own city?! FOH ( fuck outta here) with that BS!

Aside from the music the best part of Charivari is watching the people come together. Seeing the DJ's show off looking at the smile on everyones faces. 

They do enjoy playing for the home crowd, and if you missed this my friends missed on helluva show, we even had some international travelers this year.  

Yes, we are growing but like the city its gonna take us all to make this bigger and better than anyone had imagined. Right now, in this time, more than ever we MUST unite, and show solidarity for one and other. Put down your petty beefs and differences. yes, even I am going to do the same. Right now.. we NEED each other, and as always we need to 

Let the Music Play


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