Wow, this place sure feels familiar. Is that PBR I smell? It's good to be back...
An event not to be missed, and once experienced, you will truly understand why it is hailed as The Greatest Masquerade on Earth.
Ive been attending this visually stunning party since the days when it was held in the backyards of Detroit. While those days were an awe-inspiring experience, the move to Detroit’s Masonic Temple elevates this to an entirely different level.
Still hiding under a rock, never deviating from your norm of suburbanite-irish-pub-wanna-be-Halloween-Parties where Halloween USA is the clothier of choice? Think internationally-acclaimed Burlesque acts, fire-breathers, contortionists, local bands, rooms with titles like The Fistotorium, The Odditorium, The Asylum, and an entire floor dedicated to a fog-drenched, dimly-lit attraction called The Ghost Train...and you will realize you need to get out more. Trust me. It's worth every penny.
Thank you to the Theatre Bizarre organizers for the Media Pass to cover this years event. Honestly, my pictures never do the experience justice, but I think I’ve come pretty close this year.
*I chose to shoot in black and white this year to give a different spin on the typical color shots that are captured at this event. Because of the overwhelming level of saturation and color, I wanted to focus on form and lighting while presenting an old-time, classic horror movie vibe. Let me know what you think. I’d love to read your comments.
For my complete set of images from the night, click HERE.
How to Get Started is a collaborative experiment that explores improvisation and the origin of ideas. In the piece, three community leaders will take the stage with ten note cards containing present thoughts and concerns. They will shuffle the deck, and speak “off the cuff” on each idea. Each monologue will be recorded in collaboration with a sound engineer and looped back as the next card is addressed, creating, in the end, a complex acoustic layering of ideas.
This presentation of How To Get Started will be performed by:
Michael Stone-Richards teaches Critical Theory at the College for Creative Studies and was recently appointed Chair of the Committee on Critical Studies. He is a co-founder, with Addie Langford, of the journal Detroit Research and founding editor of the journal. Michael works on Critical Theory, Social Practice / Biopolitics, modern poetry and poetics (from Romanticism and the post-Symbolist era to Breton, Celan, Prynne, Cha, Anne Carson, Jorie Graham), performance, the avant-garde at the intersection of philosophy and art history (Surrealism, the Situationist International, Breton, Blanchot, Foucault, Kristeva, Derrida). He is completing a book (in Biopolitics and Social Practice) on Care of the City: Ruination, Abandonment, and Hospitality in Contemporary Practice, and an extended commentary on "Suzanne Cesaire Great Camouflage." His most recent project concerns Surrealism, dance, and philosophy. The work of Cage has been a lifelong preoccupation.
Alison Wong is an artist, curator, and educator. Her studio practice is based out of Butter Projects in Royal Oak, MI, an artist run studio and exhibition space that she founded in 2009. Wong currently holds the position of Director at Wasserman Projects and adjunct faculty at College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI.
James Cornish is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and third-generation native of Detroit proper. He is the composer of three operas, including an opera using the ancient Sumerian epic of Gudea, which debuted in 2011 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. James also writes operas based from contemporary urban poetry.
James is the recipient of state and national arts grants, including the NEA's American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius (2009). He was commissioned to compose a series of dance pieces in public spaces in Detroit (2011). He curates the experimental music series Radical Sounds Detroit at the Detroit Contemporary gallery and is the co-founder of the Detroit Free Arts experimental music festival.
This event is brought to you courtesy of MOCAD and The University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, in collaboration with John Cage Trust and Slought. It is curated in situ by Laura Kuhn (former IH Visiting Fellow), Aaron Levy, and Arthur Sabatini. Exhibit design in collaboration with Amanda Krugliak. Project design by Ken Saylor and Project Projects. Sound design by Peter Price and Seth Chrisman.
Your humble narrator has just returned from a long weekend in Wisconsin (made longer courtesy a stray nail 15 miles from the nearest anything, under a sky filled with a billion stars and zero cell satellites — like the beginning of a thousand urbanite nightmares and just as many horror films), and she's got just enough time to pack her costume and hit her favorite kinda-sorta yearly event, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry's CSICon, this time in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.
I've written extensively — and I mean my god this girl won't shut up — about this event (and related) in previous installments, and it's something I look forward to very much when it does happen. So I'll be there with my little camera, my big costume (more on that later), and my notepad to share with all of you who spent Halloween some place more realistic (you fools). But you know, there's still time to join us — and by "us" I mean the likes of Richard Dawkins, James "The Amazing" Randi, Lawrence Krauss, Joe Nickell, Jamy Ian Swiss, and a long list of other science and skepticism superstars — and flights to Vegas are cheap. If you do make it, look for the girl with the chupacabra hoodie, red streaked mohawk, and goofy grin and say hi!
Bringing insight from local professionals that took the dream and made it their reality
“Prove them wrong by being good and being better and being diligent and uncompromising with what you’re trying to achieve.” – DJ Thornstryker
If music were food, DJs would be the sous chefs. Each one has all the same necessary ingredients to make something magnificent; however, each result will be much different. It is the job of the DJ to mix those ingredients in a way that ensures we not only enjoy our meal, but that we also keep coming back for more. Just as master chefs come in numbers, there are numerous people trying to step on the scene and become the next best DJ. The question is then raised, with such a saturated market, how can one possibly stand out above the crowd and be successful? If this is you, the first thing you must ask yourself is, what are you bringing to the table?
“Once you find the problem and then the solution, you too can make it.” – Corey “Mr. Lightshow” Smith
If you go online now and search for the top DJs in the area, there is no doubt you’ll get more than you bargained for. There are lists and lists of people that want to become the next hottest DJ but unfortunately not all will make it. Not to discourage anyone looking to enter the field but there is a level of realism that must be understood. It is an art. And like any artist you must take the time and necessary research to perfect your craft. Much too often people make the mistake of thinking this is a job anyone can do. Besides, with all the free software out there, how hard could it be, right? Wrong. They couldn’t be more mistaken. Long time professional, DJ Paul Martindale says, “You can get all the music, but whether you mix it well and it sounds good is what matters.” Once you’ve grasped that this job won’t be easy and are ready to take your craft seriously, you’ll find that there will be plenty others that will do just the opposite. There will be people that scoff at you and tell you that it is not a “real job.”
“There are people that think they can enter this career with the bare minimum” - DJ Paul Martindale
Emily Thornhill, better known as DJ Thornstryker, house DJ for the Detroit Pistons, says, “Haters are going to hate. But that’s how you know you are doing something right, unfortunately.” We are living in the age of the dreamers and doers. Nine to five jobs are becoming obsolete and more and more people are determining that now is the time to go after the things they truly love.
So, you’ve gotten past the scoffers. You went all in and now you’re back at question one, “What do I have different to offer?” Well meet Corey Smith, also known as “Mr. Lightshow.” He has built his brand around not only being a successful DJ, but by also providing an elegant light show and certain fog effects that add an entirely different element to any event. Not only does he create a fun atmosphere, but he also enhances the dancing experience to make that moment most memorable. He originally aspired to be a police officer, but like Thornstryker, who aspired to be a dancer, Mr. Lightshow knew that if he didn’t go after this career in music he would never be completely satisfied.
“I’ve done my research and I practiced and practiced and practiced my butt off.” -Mr. Lightshow
It was not an easy journey however. Like anyone who’s taken on the dare of self-employment, they’ve had to overcome battles and learn from experiences on the job. One case in point would be an experience of Emily’s. Like many other female DJs, she battles with ensuring she is receiving equal pay for some of her shows where she’s known men to get paid more. Another would be the beginning of Corey’s career. He is self taught and therefore came across many roadblocks where he was not prepared for a gig and absolutely, “stunk up the place,” he says. Crap happens, but when you truly desire something you find a way to get over it. Whether it’s investing in the latest equipment, hiring a manager to help you get paid fairly, or even taking the time off to perfect your craft and making a huge comeback. Whatever the obstacle is, NEVER STOP. “Obstacles can be fun, just find creative ways to get around them,” says Thornstryker.
“Elusive quality adds value.” -DJ Thornstryker
So, you’ve gotten past the scoffers, and you’ve even found something unique to bring to the table. The final and maybe most important thing to always remember is that this is also your business. You must, “Expect a certain wage,” says Martindale. When starting off, it’s acceptable to take a little less for gigs knowing that you are not yet seasoned. Once you’ve found your way around the block however, you must always remember that your work has a certain value and that’s how you begin to seal your brand. Deliver a product that is fresh, memorable, and worth the dollar spent. Emily says it best, “Your job is to make sure people have fun.” At the end of the day, that’s what it is all about.
Have you guys seen this trailer? It's been around for a bit, but seriously, have you SEEN THIS TRAILER? The G-Man is back, (literally) bigger than ever, and mad as hell. I've been waiting for this one for YEARS!
Wait no longer — Funimation is doing a limited theatrical run THIS WEEK, October 11-18, in Japanese with English subtitles. No Torrenting this one, folks, this needs all the big screen real estate it can get, for that tail alone.
Get your deerstalker cap on — the play's afoot! Comedic genius Ken Ludwig transforms Arthur Conan Doyle's classic The Hound of the Baskervilles into a murderously funny adventure. The male heirs of the Baskerville line are being dispatched one by one. To find their killer, Holmes and Watson must brave the desolate moors before a family curse dooms its newest heir. Watch as our intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit as five actors portray more than 40 characters.
Enjoy Food, Drinks, Music, Vendors and Entertainment as some of Metro Detroit’s best makeup artists square off in runway style competition that pits both beauty and effects against one another in the quest to create the most Beautiful Nightmare. Come dressed up or dressed down, the choice is yours.
The main focus of this event is to join in the fight to end human trafficking. The Sanctum House will be receiving the full profits from drink sales as well as profits from dedicated silent auction items and the Northwest Oakland Abolitionist Hub will be receiving the full profits from the silent auctions items being donated by several of our generous students and sponsors.
Detroit, MI- OnOctober 27th through 29th 2016 at theTangent Gallery/Hastings St Ballroomin Detroit comes an extraordinary assemblage of126 artistsfrom across this world to display 150 of their most introspective creations at theninth annual DAMNED Exhibition of Enlightened Darkness. From the infamous to the freshest of local and international talent, this prodigious congregation will allow us a glimpse within the diverse shadows of id and ego…of overall mind and encompassing soul guaranteed to intrigue, disturb, inspire or repulse. Rising from within the ashes of Detroit’s historic institution of Devil’s Night, this is not Halloween-themed art but an immersion within the immeasurable realms of consciousness through an elegant ambiance of live ethereal music and cirque/butoh-inspired performances.
There are 3 nights of DAMNED, each with its own distinct theme for the ambiance and performances that flourish within the exhibition:
10/27 “The Darkness”– A night of introspective exploration within the shadowed and primal essence of self. This opening night features an intimateVIP Preview/Artist Reception, aformal absinthe tasting, an on-site chef preparing hot hors d’œuvres and experimental aerial and butoh-inspired performances.
10/28 “The Enlightenment“– A night of the extrospective self enlightened through light, fire and the ethereal. This gala night features an on-site chef preparing a sampling of internationally-inspired tapas with flavored mead tasting courtesy ofB Nektar Meaderyand exotic fire, aerial and experimental performances.
10/29 “The Masquerade“– A festive celebration through a menagerie of exotic cirque, sensual rhythms and masquerade. This closing night features theformal mask-mandatory masquerade ball, an elegant seated6-course aphrodisiac-inspired dinner, sensuous dance performance interludes, thedreamworld aural ambiance of DJsJosh Burge(Plastic Passion) andSlofu(Happy Endings) and a menagerie of strolling cirque performances all night. This night ismask mandatoryandproper attireonly.
DAMNED, first and foremost, is an exhibition of the intensely personal creations that are often born from within the artist’s most darkest hours that often returns them towards the light. DAMNED then cultures an intriguing visual ambiance of art-inspired explorative performance vignettes with the region’s most creative talent. For 2016, the astounding performance roster includesSatori Circus,Detroit Circus,Amber Carter,Jade Ashekerra,Shadowe Feuer,Jennabelle FeuerandStella Isis Rothe. Aurally, the haunting gallery soundtracks are custom designed byLife Toward Twilightwith the mesmerizing live music ambiance ofDixon's ViolinandMarcus Copernicus.
Then on Saturday October 31st, DAMNED will heighten the exhibition towards a sensuous celebration of extravagant delicacies, libations and dance with aformal, mask-mandatory Masquerade Ball. Beginning at 6pm, a very intimate VIP engagement will commence as we usher you to your private seat for an elegantSix-Course Aphrodisiac-Inspired Dinnercreated by our own DAMNED chefs. Between courses, brief interludes of intriguing dance performances will further enhance the senses and inspire. Exotic desserts and keepsake photograph are also included. The public doors then open at 9pm with a special aerial performance byDetroit Circusat 9:30 amidst the art. Then from 10pm until 2am, the evening becomes enveloped with the dreamworld aural ambiance ofDJs Josh Burge(Plastic Passion) andSlofu(Happy Endings) bringing a carefully selected mix of ethereal dreampop, lush trip hop and smooth grooves all blended with alternative classics for a night that will delight your sonic senses. All within a menagerie of exotic cirque performances throughout the venue.
Tickets are now available online and at Noir Leather in Royal Oakand V-Male Vintage in Dearborn Heights starting at $15.
Visit the DAMNED website at “www.thatdamnedshow.com” to review past photos, find further detailed information and to purchase advance tickets.
The Tangent Gallery/Hastings Street Ballroom is located at 715 E. Milwaukee St. in Detroit.
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DAMNED IX - An Exhibition of Enlightened Darkness Fine Art + Performance + Fine Dining + Masquerade Ball
Former DSO Erb Jazz Chair and NEA Jazz Master Chick Corea has been at the forefront of jazz—both as a renowned pianist forging new ground with his acoustic jazz bands and as an innovative electric keyboardist with Return to Forever, the Elektric Band, and the electro/acoustic Vigil.
Now, Corea returns to Orchestra Hall with his trio featuring drummerBrian Blade and bassist Eddie Gomez to perform music from his Grammy-winning recording Trilogy. Hear reinventions of classic Corea compositions and previously unrecorded originals to an array of jazz standards.