When I arrived at TV Lounge just after midnight, DJ Psycho was rockin’ the beat, slappin’ down tracks like nobody’s business. It was the kind of night that called for a celebration – a celebration of spring, of friendship, music, and warmth. Time to get out for fresh air, conversation, and tunes. When I heard Comfort Food Detroit was taking their unique combination of talent downtown, I knew where I needed to be. Friday, April 11th, Comfort Food brought good reason to celebrate to the TV Lounge – a delicious blend of quality artists, catered by class act favorites.
Here’s a run down of the line-up before midnight: Abby B. & DJyarsch opened in the front and back. Abby played some house-driven R&B. DJyarsch served up some trip hop, hip hop, the whole gamut of hop. Mel Wonder & Teej played next, both I’ve seen and highly respect. Mel is a woman who deserves the limelight. She’s got Detroit hip hop classics on lock and she’ll impress the best. I have a special place in my heart for a woman who knows what to do with wax. Teej has been producing for a minute and I dig his style. I’ve heard it described as “psychedelic instrumental hip hop” and I couldn’t agree more. Keep him on your radar if you know what’s good for ya.
The afternoon of Friday, April 11th, it was 65 degrees and sunny. I had been outside on the river walk, running in shorts and a tee past happy people in the heat. I could see this joy radiating off everyone, sparkles in the light reflecting off their faces. The night was warm and fresh. It was the first night of the year I could enjoy some patio time at TV. Outside, bare-skinned and smiling we were in our spring jackets, happiness radiating and reflecting off our faces. After having survived the winter, throwing on a lighter jacket feels like slipping into a swim suit. Even a little heat is bliss after putting up with 30 below wind chills, disastrous driving conditions, massive amounts of snow & ice, and apocalypse-esque hysteria for months. I say to my friends, let us rejoice!
I had some buddies from out-of-town join me that night. It was my home boy’s birthday and he was ready to celebrate with an idol of his, DJ Psycho. Psycho is an idol to anyone who appreciates turntablism. Not only can he scratch with his shoe (yeah, I’ve seen it myself), his track selection is top-shelf, premium, grade A. He throws up some old school hip hop, juggles some breaks, and like the master he is, mixes it up with some funky jazzy techno. Much respect for DJ Psycho! He never disappoints, on the contrary, he always amazes.
In the front room DJ Moppy was representin’ Chicago with a soulful collaboration of house, funk, and hip hop. He knows what’s up and he uses a skill with vinyl to bring it to you, the crowd. A good DJ should embody those traits: musical aptitude, technical skill, and a desire to bring that to people. I didn’t know much about DJ Moppy that night other than he had shaggy hair, a beard, black glasses, and a newsboy cap. I enjoyed his set and could tell he was feeling the crowd, though, unfortunately, I could not see much of what he was doing with his records. High DJ booths at TV make it difficult for me to enjoy the craft of turntablism. And this guy knows the craft. Look him up. He has a live production group called Beyond Luck who released a 7” record in 2013 and will have a full length release in 2014.
Back in the back room, Bruce Bailey was queued up. He brought it home with some Detroit house jams, mixed smooth and in tune. Bruce had the room going till after 2AM. I was shakin’ myself around on the dance floor with my home girl and this woman comes up and shouted through the sound, “I never want the music to end!” She danced around us in her red stilettos, a giant grin peering through her red lipstick. I looked at my friend and we laughed because she said just what we were thinking. We never want the music to end. We never want a good night to end. We want to keep dancing. We want to keep celebrating. We want the days to stay sunny and the nights to stay warm.
Spring’s the time of year when we get back in our groove. We return to movement, to the outdoors, to being active and showing skin. As the days grow longer and warmer, our spirits grow gradually more and more renewed. We shed thick, calloused layers and reveal our damp awakening selves – the ice melts and the earth is exposed. Though to be honest, I’m not so sure my renewed spirit is as resilient as it claims to be. And aren’t we all a bit apprehensive about this warm weather? Not trusting that it’ll stick. Always fearing the next day will be freezing. Who can blame us? We’ve all endured the worst winter Detroit has seen in forever and suddenly these beautiful days appear and the snow disappears. We feel so naked when the ice melts and reveals ourselves. But we have each other to experience this awakening with, and the music brings us together to do so.