Lifestyle

Memorial Day Weekend at Movement 2016: The Highlights

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Movement Festival celebrated its tenth year at the intimate Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit—the birthplace of techno—for yet another another unforgettable Memorial Day weekend. Since its inception, the festival has arguably become one of the most prominent electronic music festivals in the world. With Paxahau placing strong focus on incorporating Detroit’s vibrant techno heritage, honoring the sound’s pioneering artists, as well as looking forward in terms of acts encompassing the future of underground club, Movement is a festival that triumphs all of its kind. With famed acts like Kraftwerk, Boys Noize, Caribou, Kevin Saunderson, Justin Martin, MK, Tale of Us, Seth Troxler, The Black Madonna, among countless others scheduled to take the stage at the three-day festival, there’s no question why so many attendees continue to return year after year. The appreciation for the sound’s Detroit origins both by the local attendees, those coming from all over the world, and even the artists, was nearly palpable throughout the entirety of the festival.

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Fans crowding the Main Stage to catch John Digweed’s standout set at Movement 2016

Amidst a booming renaissance of it’s own, the city drew a massive and wildly diverse crowd trekking from all over the world with one thing in common: their love of music. Filled with eclectic showcases, surprise popups, and such a diverse lineup boasting an extensive amount of legendary pioneers of the sound as well as newcomers alike, Detroit was without question the place to be during this past Memorial Day Weekend. Despite the technical difficulties, last-minute lineup changes—most notably Danny Tenaglia replacing Richie Hawtin due to visa issues—and, of course, the unpredictable weather, the party still went on…as did the after parties, after-after parties, and so on.

It is quite difficult to narrow down three days of sets from legends and future superstars playing vastly different sets, ranging from g-house to minimal techno and everything in between, but we made serious efforts to highlight the top five acts of this year’s festival:

5. The Black Madonna<small Marea Stamper, aka The Black Madonna (Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times)

Coming in at number five is Marea Stamper, better known as The Black Madonna, who, through the chaos and commotion, quickly flipped the switch and was able to put on a hell of a show. Thus, her Sunday performance on the Movement Main Stage is beyond deserving of being deemed one of the Top 5 acts of the weekend. Prior to Stamper’s set time, during Honey Soundsystem‘s performance, one of weekend’s many sporadic downpours began. However, the crowd remained unfazed, dancing, with smiles plastered across their faces. By the time Stamper took the stage though, the rain was long gone. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning. When she went to plug in for her first song, there was a loud sound followed by smoke, indicative of a fried mixer. Quick to her feet, she switched mixers and reassured the crowd, stating: “I have a better Journey for you.” That she did. Being a natural, she quickly began what would end up being one of the top sets of the weekend. Cue her edit of Uptown Funk Empire’s “You’ve Got To Have Freedom,” and the switch over to the Underground Resistance’s “Transition Acapella,” and the crowd was roaring–introducing an energy unparalleled by most of the acts on the bill, and thus, securing her spot on our list of noteworthy acts of the weekend.

4. Boys Noize

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In 2015, Alex Ridha, better known to fans as Boys Noize, played the Movement Main Stage alongside Skrillex as Dog Blood. This year, Ridha returned to Detroit, making his first ever solo appearance at the festival, this time hitting the decks below the Main Stage. Beneath Hart Plaza’s concrete venue is Movement’s appropriately named Underground Stage where Boys Noize played his first U.S. gig since the release of Mayday, just a few days prior to the festival. While his new material introduces a sound that varies from what’s expected of the signature Boys Noize rave techno sound, introducing more of a blend of techno and hip hop, little emphasis was placed on it during the German native’s underground set.

this just happened @movementdetroit 🔥

A photo posted by Boys Noize (@boysnoize) on

Despite being a humid and sweaty mess, Boys Noize’s set, part of the festival’s famed Acid Showcase, packed the Underground Stage with a crowd of fans eagerly jumping around to the music. Midway through his set, he finally dropped “Would You Listen,” a track off of his new album, which was equally well-received by the crowd. He then proceeded to shift back to the funkier Boys Noize set that the fans have come to know and love. Highlight of the set: dropping his edit of “Smack My Bitch Up,” however, the high energy set in itself is what set Boys Noize’s performance apart from the rest.

3. John Digweed

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Among acts not to be missed throughout the three-day festival, John Digweed is an obvious one. Digweed is a staple in the scene, and the festival specifically, having played three of the last four years. This year, his Main Stage performance attracted a considerably large crowd, all dancing wildly to the thumping bass and melodic sounds throughout his set. With Movement being one of few North American appearances for the world renowned DJ, his appearance was dubbed a must-see and it did not disappoint. Blessing the Motor City with two straight hours of pure bliss, John Digweed is beyond deserving of a spot on the Top Five.

2. Kevin Saunderson

Photo: Lars Borges

Photo: Lars Borges

Widely regarded as one of three of Detroit’s ‘founding fathers of techno,’ it’s no wonder Kevin Saunderson’s Movement set comes in at the top of the list, just behind the festival’s main headlining act. Saunderson curated an origins-elevation-flyer-2016-billboard-1240impeccable showcase for the third year in a row, taking place on Monday, the final day of the festival. The lineup included legends and newcomers alike. In addition to himself and his sons (Saunderson Brothers), the ‘ORIGINS: Elevation’ showcase at Thump’s Made In Detroit stage included noteworthy acts like Guy Gerber, MK (Marc Kinchen), Bruce Bailey among others.

Being a key player in running the festival in the past, Saunderson’s curation proved, once again, to be impeccable. With diverse acts like MK and Guy Gerber drawing massive crowds to the stage throughout the last day of the festival, this specially curated showcase naturally finished with a 90 minute tech-house set from the legend himself, reiterating his importance as a pioneer to the Detroit sound and the festival itself.

Despite it being the last day of the festival, the Movement attendees’ energy remained at an all-time high, especially as Saunderson closed the night out the night, ending his set with “Sweet Dreams.” As is evident from the crowd’s cheers in the video, Saunderson delivered a set that will not soon be forgotten.

1. Kraftwerk 3D

Kraftwerk 3D
With Caribou closing out the night on the Red Bull Music Academy stage, Nic Fanciulli on Beatport, the legendary Carl Craig headlining Thump’s Detroit Love showcase, along with options like Len Faki and Claude Young, Kraftwerk‘s Main Stage appearance may not have been the obvious choice for all attendees. However, with so many options at hand, it was necessary to keep in mind that most every act on the lineup arguably owes a majority of their careers in their entirety to the German foursome’s catalogue. Kraftwerk’s contribution to dance music is immeasurable, laying out the foundations of what now exists today. Thus, catching the Grammy-winning act’s Movement debut Saturday night was personally a no-brainer. The group drew a massive crowd to the already packed Main Stage. Though some left after Maceo Plex, the headlining act was able to fill the entire bowl in its entirety, with eager fans awaiting their set, equipped, of course, with their signature 3D glasses. The group, bringing along their famed production and visuals, took the crowd on a musical journey that has earned them the number one spot on our list of highlights.

Kraftwerk solidified their place as the festival’s main headliner by delivering a chill-inducing set equipped with a flawless 3D visual backdrop. Despite how crowded it was, there was little disappointment following their mind-blowing 90 minute performance,  playing classics like “Pocket Calculator” and “Trans-Europe Express,” as well as a number of other tracks that have since come to define modern day electronic music.

Kraftwerk’s 3D set is likely one of the most significant bookings in Movement history, as few acts can stake claim to playing such an integral role to the genre. Though some fans griped about sound spillover from surrounding stages, there is no questioning the historical nature of these pioneers’ performance at this year’s Movement 2016.

HOLY SHIP 2016

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How To: Turn Up With Your Uber Driver (My Night At The Club)

3264 2448 Tim Gauthier

At some point in your life, you will encounter a situation that is one for the books. Perhaps even so crazy it’s unbelievable. Especially when you manage to live to tell about it.

My story starts at 11:00 PM, Thursday night, when my friend, Jake and I decided that we’d break out of Downtown Los Angeles and travel into the deliciously bizarre world that is Hollywood and Vine.

When you’ve had enough of frat row and five dollar parties, you get put in an interesting position: get a fake id or go to a gay club. We went for the gay club.

We grab our phones and order an Uber.


11:11 – Jake and I are greeted by *Tom.

Uber Tom is blasting his favorite iHeartRadio station, “Evolution.” Dressed in a basic blue tee and khaki shorts, he’s rocking a fully shaven bald and asks us where we’re going:

“Tiger Heat.”  We both answer.

Located in the historic, Avalon nightclub in Hollywood, Tiger heat is a collection of sweaty go-go dancers, crowded by young teens and the occasional menacing old man. It’s hot. There’s a fog machine and for only $12.00, you can listen to pop hits, find your Tinder date, watch music videos, dance to a flashing light show and get humped by straight men.

Needless to say……..

But what if I said this mind-boggling experience gets a bit crazier?

11:20 – Things began to take a turn.

Trying to keep things casual, the two of us strike up a conversation with Tom. We talk music festivals and his love of rave music. He claims that he goes to Avalon on Fridays and Saturdays AND that he’d be down to party with us that night.

11:25 – At this point, I’m laughing hysterically. Jake and I agree, thinking that he’s kidding. I mean, what uber driver would party with two of his riders?

Jake mentions that Tom can create his own hours, which should be incentive as to why he should party with us. That’s cool, We’re  down.

11:39 – But then it happens. He pulls into a dark 7-11 parking lot and turns towards us – I wonder if this is the moment I’m going to die. Completely serious and straight faced, he mutters the words: “I’m coming with you guys.” Pause. No one is breathing for sure now. Then Uber Tom gets out, “You want some RedBulls? Be right back.”

11:40 – At this point, I don’t know whether to flip out or not. Jake grabs ahold of me, his eyes going wide. We had just convinced our Uber driver, in a dark parking lot. to come clubbing with us.

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Panic is running through my entire body, because I know that my mother would not approve of this. I look to my left, there are cops just outside my window. Is it too late to ask for help? Should I have asked for help? Maybe it was crazy, but for the few minutes that we were left alone in that car, Jake and I pondered the pros and cons of partying with our Uber driver:

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We could  get an automatic ride home and maybe he wouldn’t be a creepy guy. Think about it, unfortunately Uber drivers get a bad rep, maybe I had settled on a goldmine: finding a non-creepy Uber driver in Los Angeles that’s down to party with me. Hey – that isn’t too bad, is it?


12:00 – After chugging down our RedBulls, we’re in line at the club with Tom. There’s no way he’s going to stay. Carly Rae Jepsen is doing a performance – Jake and I agree that Tom isn’t going to be into it at all. So if he is a creep, we’re good. He’ll ditch and we’ll be fine.

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This is when things take yet another detour.

While Jake and I pushed to the front for Carly Rae, Tom hung out in the back, making friends of his own. I actually felt proud. It was like we had raised our own social butterfly. Tom was in our crew. He was now one of us. We were cool again.

1:00  Carly Rae Jepsen comes on stage and doesn’t even sing, “Call Me Maybe.”

Sidenote: I don’t think Tom knew who she was, nor did he care about her performance, because we ended up losing him.

1:30 I feel a tap on my shoulder. I see Tom, I’m slightly creeped out that he’s managed to find me in a sea of people but I decide to hang with him.

1:45 – Jake almost gets kicked out of the club and hey, the crew is reunited.

2:00 – Our night at the club is coming to an end, thankfully. We’ve lost Tom again, but being the social butterfly we’ve raised him to be, we knew he was out on the dance floor, making friends and tearing it up with his retro club dance moves.  And we are alive.


We may never seen Tom again. In fact, the chances are pretty slim, but I will never forget the time I partied with my Uber driver. Pics or it didn’t happen? Well, we didn’t get a chance to photograph him, but I swear, this happened. And I live to tell the tale.

*All names have been changed for the purpose of this story.

 

 

THE WORST PEOPLE AT THE YEEZY 350 BOOST RELEASE.

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Like several other hopefuls, I stood in line at the Barneys New York store in Beverly Hills, praying to get my hands on a new pair of Yeezys. It was 6 in the morning, and already more than 100 die-hard Yeezy fans crowded the line and of course, I managed to encounter the Supreme Annoyers. I can handle the pushing and shoving, hey – I get it. Yeezy Boosts are a hot commodity. Kanye designed a cool shoe and the world wants them. Some wanted them a little too much – no, let’s be real – way too much.

Shoe fans, as a public service, I’ve ranked their level of annoyingness for you from 10 being the very worst to 1 being manageable, so that when and if you have to deal with the die-hards,  you can take a moment, reflect and wonder if telling them off or giving the that eye roll is your best defense.

Here are the top 5 WORST people you will ever encounter at a Yeezy release. 
5. The anti-shoe.
Level of annoying: 5
The anti-shoe are a disappointing bunch. They didn’t win a raffle ticket to snag a pair, so their here to bring you down. A few hours before the shoe sold out, they were just as hyped as you, but now that they’ve lost their chance to impress their friends on Instagram, they could give less than two @$#!s about Kanye or his shoe. Their new mission: keep repeating how stupid people are for waiting in line for shoes…Here’s how to deal with them: don’t.

4. Children.
Level of annoying: 3
First of all, who let you come here? I think I have to talk to the parents on this one. You couldn’t stand in line, so you made your CHILD stay in the line for you? I mean, smart move. Small, agile, probably could sneak to the front if they were quick enough. But really, your child, who has to be less than 10? Come on now, is putting your child through this experience really worth it?  Don’t get me wrong, she may be cute, she can bat her little eyes all she wants, she’s not getting in the way of me and my Yeezy Boosts.

3. Girls that have to stand in line for their boyfriends.
Level of annoying: 8
These are the girls that have my sympathy. Maybe they genuinely want to stand in line for their boyfriends, but if I were in their position, there is no love strong enough that would make me wait in line from six am to almost ten for sneakers. Some of these girls didn’t know anything about this shoe nor did they want to be there. And the worst part? They made sure to complain about it. For all of the line to hear. Guys, do us all a favor, don’t do this to your girl.

2. This guy.
Level of annoying: 8
I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that you wore the shoe or the fact that you brought your mini segway with you.

1. The overly confident man.
Level of annoying: 10
Let’s break down this sneaker head. The smartest one here – and troll of Yeezy Boost sales. He’s got his snap back and skinny jeans tight, his vape out cause he’s “chilling.” He’s excited and worst of all, he’s trying to get you hyped but only because he’s gone through this before. He has the shoe and can tell you the 50 other places to get the Yeezy Boost. Can’t get them at Barneys? He’s on his way to FootLocker and knows a guy – give him a call. Yes, because he was in fact giving out his number. And he’ll try to make you doubt yourself. This is the guy that gets in your head and recommends instead of the sleek Yeezy Boost to go, “cop a pair of Jordan 6s.”

As. If.


You already have the shoe, buddy. Spare us all and get out of here. Why don’t you let some other people have a shot at “copping a pair?”

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