I really like to call people “institutions.” Have you noticed? When it fits, it really fits. When someone is truly important and significant and fucking rules, it makes sense to acknowledge it with words. And I do love the words. Mike Huckaby is an institution. And even if he went down in Detroit history only as that one guy from Record Time who knew all the records, knew how to get whatever he wanted and whatever Detroit needed, and could identify a track just from listening to a customer hum out the notes and rhythms; even if that is all we knew of Mike Huckaby, he would still be an institution. He would remain essential and foundational to Detroit. Period. His impact is extensive. He mentored people who carry this music and culture onward today.
And yet, he’s not just that one guy. He has made a life for himself DJing, producing, and continuing to mentor and teach. He is a successful and good DJ, touring Europe and Asia every year for many months at a time. Touring doesn’t make him a great DJ, knowing music makes him a great DJ. And he knows music. His Sun Ra edits last year were exciting and hopefully successful for Mike. His productions are dope ass shit.
“Tastemaker, Educator, Sound Designer, and Motor City Proponet. Mike Huckaby has done much for Detroit electronic music. The man behind the once legendary Record Time store has gathered an encyclopedic knowledge of music. He is one of those guys who knows all the roots and culture of electronic dance music. He is a person who can see beyond the hype and divisions within the scene. Mike knows exactly what the music is.
“Mike Huckaby has become the busiest remixer from Detroit in the past few years. Mike has been busy producing music on his two labels, Deep Transportation, and S Y N T H, which are well known amongst underground djs worldwide.
“With highly acclaimed deep house productions and remixes for Deepchord, Juan Atkins, Vladislav Delay, Pole, Loco Dice, LoSoul, and Pacou (just to name a few). Mike sees no end in the near future. Furthermore, Mike Huckaby has been touring, djing, and teaching music production with Native Instruments and Ableton software at Youthville, and around the globe extensively. When the discussion of the Detroit / Berlin connection comes to mind, Tresor or Hardwax is usually discussed. But the Detroit / Berlin connection of the millennium and beyond is taking place at Youthville with the assistance of Ableton and Native Instruments, and the work Mike is doing there.”
See him play at Movement this year Saturday from 9:30-11:00 at the Made In Detroit Stage.
Also awesome, he’s having an event at Youthville earlier that same day.
Here’s the facebook event page for this session. Do you need any more reason to head a little ways north to Youthville? It’s such a cool space. Mike actually does what everyone talks about doing, educating youth. And he does it here.
Brian Gillespie working on technical problems during the 2009 Movement festival. Photo by Dave Walker.
Brian is a Detroit institution. He’s been putting out music by Detroiters for decades and DJing for an equal chunk of time. He’s also a huge goofball who will talk your ear off about Detroit. He is generous with information. He’s not afraid to talk about race and class issues in Detroit and I’ve always respected that about him. He is playing the Made In Detroit stage on Monday from 5:00-6:00 right between Psycho and Godfather. That’s quite a sandwich.
“Who would play something like that? Where are his shoes? When Flint, Michigan’s DJ Psycho (Dezi Magby) is on deck, it doesn’t matter. Psycho is an artist whose skill and record collection has given him a unique reputation as a precise, dance floor bending madman. His quick wit, fast hand, seemingly endless stacks of records, and bare feet are the mark of a merciless performer. Psyc’s tactical, anything goes style is evident in countless multi-genre sets and guest appearances that have set ablaze countless dance floors and PA systems. No matter what kind of crowd, audiences can only expect the unexpected, then watch helplessly as he rips through countless styles and tempos with precision, control, and tact that can only come from one of the most skilled veterans on the planet. Psycho has, over the last 30 years, gained a reputation as a DJ that can rock any dance floor, in any venue, at any given time…all the while, using vinyl exclusively.
“Fans of DJ Psycho’s Irrational Muzikwerx banner will be pleased to know that 2012 will see the re-launch of Psycho’s revered and diverse artists collective and record label, as well as continuing the free-flowing “Verbs From The Dungeon” weekly radio show, done live on W.A.R.M.T.H International Radio (www.warmth313.com). Irrational Muzikwerx aims to provide a banner that artists and friends can experiment under, allowing them to pursue musical and artistic visions and performances, and produce music that wouldn’t normally fit into their other projects or groups. With countless shows, productions, mixes, college lectures and promotions on his plate for 2012 and beyond, DJ Psycho will no doubt continue the insanity that has made him one of the Midwest’s most uniquely styled, skilled and sought-after legends in the making.”
I was just busy getting a Ph.D. Now I have it. You can all breathe a sigh of relief. My mother asked me the other day if I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself now that it is done. Ha! Shits not done. It’s Detroit. IT’S ONGOING. It’s gonna be a book. Maybe in the next year, although it might take longer. I don’t really know how long it takes to get a book printed and ready to be sold. I’ll let you know.
Did you know that there’s big things afoot in my dear city of Detroit this weekend? Big things. Afoot. It’s the festival. Exclamation point.
If you type the word “movement” into the google box, you get the festival. That’s the first result. That’s pretty fucking cool.
There’s a lot of Detroit at this festival this year. It keeps getting more Detroit and I like that. What I mean is more local DJs and producers are performing, and this seems to increase every year. The Made in Detroit stage features most of the Detroit artists and is sponsored by the Made in Detroit T-shirt company. Y’all, you can buy a Bob Seger shirt from them. I mean, come on. That’s awesome. The Made in Detroit stage was above ground last year and had good sound. It looks like it will be above ground this year as well.
When you’re in town for this event, feel free to swing by Submerge headquarters. Yes I did say that. Submerge will be open. No appointments. No nothing except walk in. Dudes, are you freaking out? It’s so great that their doors will be open this year. It is such an important space for Detroit music. Ground floor is the techno museum, “Exhibit 3000.” Downstairs is Somewhere In Detroit, record store of awesomeness. Here are their hours for the weekend:
SOMEWHERE IN DETROIT 2012 FESTIVAL HOURS:
21 MAY THROUGH 24 MAY: NOON UNTIL 4PM
25 MAY THROUGH 27 MAY: 10 AM UNTIL 7PM
28 MAY: NOON UNTIL 6PM
29 MAY THROUGH 1 JUNE: NOON UNTIL 4PM
NO APPOINTMENTS NECESSARY FOR THESE SHOP HOURS!!!!
You can go there and find Dan Sicko’s signature on the shop wall.
Also stop by Hello Records at 1459 Bagley at the corner of Trumbull in the historic Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. Great shop. Four years old.
For coffee, head to Astro near Hello. Astro is right next to Slows Bar B Q. Definitely eat at Lafayette Coney Island at 118 W Lafayette Blvd.
See what I did there? Helios – sun god, Michigan warmth. Meine – I want to be able to speak German. It’s quite a lovely language. Darlings – I love you all.
Yesterday, I sent a reminder email to the chair of my dissertation committee that I was anxious to get to her revisions of chapters four and five, and set a date for my dissertation defense in April. I gently relayed that I would wait patiently, however, the defense is happening at the end of April, no matter what. I just got a request from her for my first three revised chapters, without her sending chapters four and five back to me. Is that a good sign? Does that mean the four and five are nearly there and she wants to compare to what I’ve already revised on one, two, and three? I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough! But for now, I’m going with greatness.
Why not? Why assume the worst? The outcome is going to be what it is. Which leads me to today’s consideration: life, communication, and discovery. I have been feeling various levels of intolerance lately, and I own it for what it is, it’s mine. It’s not anyone else’s fault. But holy shit, can you please give me a break once in a while? How many times do I have to hear, or read, how bad a person’s day has been? Or how terrible, or dreary someone’s life is? That is insensitive of me, I’m well aware. I apologize with sincerity. I am disturbed by all this crotchetiness. Of course there is pain and suffering to be had. I don’t deny that. But there is way more beauty and joy, than bad, and far too few people recognize this. I don’t take on other people’s pain as my own stress, no longer, but sometimes I do get intolerant. I currently work as a check out girl at a grocery store. I hear and see a lot of tension and weariness. I’m a happy lady. Light fills my days. Joy is everywhere, I just have to look for it, tap into it. Hell, I can create it. I’m telling you, anyone can. You don’t have to be blind and deaf to the entire spectrum of emotions. I don’t pretend sadness, anger, despair don’t exist. They sure do. I feel those things too. But joy is always there and I’m grateful for it. All it takes are simple shifts in the way you see the world, the way you feel the world. You’re all in control of that, no one else controls or decides it for you. You decide to feel or think whatever you feel or think.
I often find that it is common practice for women and men to not know the wonderful things that they personally have to offer. People see the world as beyond them and outside of their control. “Everyone else is normal, I’m the weirdo.” You’d be surprised to realize how many folks see themselves as the weirdo, the one who’s doing it wrong, while everyone else appears to know how to do it right.
We all flounder. We all mess up. We all act weird as shit. At one time or another, we cause a loved one to look at us, stare at us in a perplexed way, and think, “WHAT THE FUCK.” That doesn’t even deserve more exciting punctuation. It’s all there. You know what I’m talking about.
To expand upon this, and to speak about men directly, I have also realized that most of the men that we think of as “good men” have no idea that they are. The men who are compassionate, considerate, generous, intelligent, hard-working, these men don’t know how great they actually are. That pisses me off to such an extent that I have to swear about it. Bitch. Shit. Ass.
You know I’m laughing right now. There is almost always laughter behind my words. That’s how it should be. Laugh at shit that’s funny. You’ll quickly find that there’s a whole lot of funny shit that’s funny that you didn’t know was funny until you admit to yourself that it’s funny.
Being all those things, compassionate, considerate, generous, intelligent, hard-working, takes strength. Women often don’t know what to do with all that. In our rightful search for our own feminist strength and power, we are often shown that it is okay, and even desirable to emasculate men. NO IT SURE IS NOT. I promise, it is completely possible to be a strong, confident woman, and still admire and honor a strong, confident man. Men can do the same for women. Women, we can do the same for each other. Men, same. We would all benefit from letting people be who they are without judgement. Without gripping tightly to who we think they should be.
I realize this post might be a bit jumbled. Maybe messy. But it’s a blog, and it’s mine, so I’m affording myself that right.
One more thing. I used to be shy as all get out. Still am sometimes. I tell people now about that and they look at me like I just shoved my finger up my nose to dig around. I hated feeling it as a young person, but still let shyness stifle me. Becoming a mother started to change that. Grad school helped change that more. My years in Detroit have changed that dramatically. And finally, I now feel like I’m more myself than I’ve ever been, which is kind of not shy. About five years ago, a folklore professor of mine explained the following to a class on teaching folklore and ethnomusicology: When you feel overwhelmed by personal distractions – “What if my hair looks weird?” “I pronounced that word strangely.” “I have a red bump on my forehead.” “They think my ideas are lame.” “Why did I wear this shirt?” “Etcetera.” – it is more than likely that you are the only person who is really paying attention to all that in such depth. Know why? Because everyone else is equally self-absorbed. Everyone else is way more concerned with their own well-being than yours. As it should be to a certain extent. Self-absorption is akin to self-preservation. You are the most important person in your life. I don’t care what shirt you have on, unless it’s awesome, then I’ll tell you. I already forgot about how you pronounced that word. Pimple? Forgot it. Ideas? I’ll let you know if I feel a pressing need to engage in debate.
Personally I think the title of this post should be WEIRD AS SHIT, but that schoolcraft asshole took it out.