Thursday, August 27, 2009

Macho City News for You

OK so I don't think my role is officially Mouthpiece of Macho City (shut up), but I am going help get some details about coming months explained and on your calendars.

This month's installment will be the last regular installment at the R&R Saloon until October, due to a special feature I will talk about in a minute. But there are uber-special guests for August!

DJ's Mike Tee and Scott Zacharias will be working their turntable disco magic to start off the evening, and then will be joined by this month's special guest DJ's Carlos Souffront (affiliated with Ghostly International, the amazing electronic label that started her in our very own Ann Arbor) and extra special last-minute addition BMG of Ectomorph.

You may not be familiar with those names, but the bottom line is these are guys who know their stuff and know how to pack a dancefloor, even one full of leathermen and middle-aged guys who still like to party like me. If the Nancy Fortune night is any indication, it will be fantastic fun with amazing music.

Next month Macho City is changing things up. Disco legendary legends Black Devil Disco Club, a collaboration between two French dudes back in 1978, are playing just a few dates in the US and one of them will be the Macho City for September! Our Macho City DJ's will play before and after what promises to be a very cool danceable show. If you listen to their spooky electro disco on this MySpace page I think you will see how I become obsessed with them in two days time. Apparently they have had such a strong following over the years that some individuals (who shall remain nameless) paid like $200 for their record!

This Macho City (Sept 26) will be held at the Majestic instead of the R&R Saloon and will have an actual ticket at $15 instead of a cover charge you can pay with change from under your seat cushion. Now I can hear the protests already (actually I already have) so I'd just like to throw this out: has Macho City let you down yet? I think it is a pretty safe bet this night will be phenomenal. So start saving now, and pay attention to this here blog because maybe we can work out some ticket giveaways or something.

As an aside, I think the thing that gives me irrational love for Macho City is how effortlessly it seems to combine high and low culture. Mike and Scott have an almost academic approach to dance music and you can't even tell how curated it is when you go, you just love it and have a good time. It ties back in a way to what I wrote about in January, about raising the aesthetic bar here. We get a dirty dance party in a leather bar at the edge of the ghetto, that may be expected in Detroit, but inside we get some of the top local, national and international talent on the decks.

Speaking of top talent, things return to normal (or as normal as Macho City can be) for the October installment of Macho City when we head back to the R&R and the special guest DJ is Supergay Detroit! What? So much for maintaining standards, DJ Mike Tee! Without posting my playlist, I think we can safely say I'll be veering more toward the disco than the electro, and you'll be shocked to discover that it'll be the gayest night Macho City ever had. Let's just say I never met a chorus of female voices or a string section I didn't love.

OK, now you have all the info you need about Macho City. I promise I will try and write about something other than Macho City in my next few posts.

Time Again for Macho City!

Well it's the end of the month so it must be time for MACHO CITY! Yes that's right, everyone's favorite underground disco dance party sensation is up on the docket for this Saturday night.

Can we talk about Macho City for one second? Because it just keeps getting better and better. The last Macho City, well, what can I say to describe it. It started like this, as we got in line behind some leather daddies:

[Hip chick in paisley poncho on cell phone in front of R & R]

Girl: How far away are you guys?
Girl: Yeah we're out front.
Girl: A lot of leather.

One of the fantastic things is that the leather crowd turned out and looked great. I hope they don't get irritated with the whole new crowd descending on the place once a month and stay away. I would like to encourage all Macho City attendees to take the opportunity to - at the very least - allow a leatherman to cop a feel in a bathroom or dark corner to make sure we all continue to be welcome at the R&R.

DJ's Mike Tee and Scott Zacharias played, according to one friend, "all this music you've never heard before but is all really great." Which is exactly what I want at a dance party. I mean, when was the last time you went out and heard all great music you don't know? Like, Midnight Sun, 1995? This is the stuff you end up telling 25 year olds about when you are 40. ("When *I* was 25 ...")

He: It's so cool they keep playing these snippets of songs that you know!
Me: Those aren't snippets, those are the songs where the samples came from.

Special guest DJ Nancy Fortune was a total wild card, in the sense we had no idea if she'd be going disco or electro or what. She came on about 1am and played the greatest electro/house set ever ... it WAS like Midnight Sun 1995! Not the music, but the house vibe and the energy. No voguing though. It was a funny transition from disco to electro but man it worked like crazy.

Don't think about it, just do it.

The dancefloor was packed all night (with fantastic new visuals from Nancy Fortune compadre Tommyboy), and I had to bid a reluctant adieu to Macho City around 2am. But the thing goes until like 6am on Monday morning and you very well may not want to leave before then.

I mentioned to a friend yesterday, while enjoying gay Wednesday night cocktails at Atlas Global Bistro, that I don't even drink at Macho City anymore because I don't want to miss any of the evening, and he excitedly proclaimed that he doesn't either. It's so good you just feel great dancing and talking and mixing and mingling.

So I guess my point is, don't miss out on Macho City. Nothing this good lasts forever, and if this blog had an audience of more than 15 people I'd feel bad promoting it as much as I do. But I figure we've got a year of real unadulturated Macho City fun - the kind that gets a great mix of R&R regulars, hipsters, us middle-aged fellas who still like to party and a smattering of cool straight folks. I'm really not kidding - don't miss out!

(details on Macho City for this month, next month and the following month being posted shortly!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Don't forget!

Tonight is our summertime Doggy Style! Come down to the Park Bar tonight for an all-new video compilation, refreshing alcohol, laughs with the downtowns gays (and honorary gays) and the big ol' hot dogs over at Bucharest Grill (you know what I'm talking about).

Come tonight after 9, videos start around 9:45, good times last all night!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Martha Reeves, In Memoriam

Mostly good news in the election results from last night, including an openly gay candidate finishing first in the City Council primary (which to the rest of the world at least will look like progressive thinking, not star worship). I am overall pleased, although with Matt Naimi not finishing in the top 18 I won't be on a special Detroit homo task force anytime soon. Oh well.

The only incumbent to not make the cut, other than pre-convict Monica Conyers, was Martha Reeves. Now let's face it, Martha was out of her league from the get-go, although the amazing platform that got her elected (to rename West Grand Boulevard "Berry Gordy Jr. Boulevard" and erect statues of Motown stars) was a pretty good indicator of things to come.

So let's not focus on the sloppy has-been mess she became as Martha-Rose, and instead let's take a minute to reflect on the glory that once was Martha Reeves. She lacked the polish and beauty of Diana Ross but made up for it with grit and soul and a much much better voice. And she was good friends with Dusty Springfield!

Here at Supergay Detroit, we prefer to remember what once was, and what could have been if she had laid off the fried catfish and continued to be professionally styled. Here are a few Martha Reeves moments for you to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hot Doggy Style

We've made it through most of the summer, so let's celebrate with an all-new, one-night-only Doggy Style!

Join us next Tuesday, August 11, from 9-ish onwared at the Park Bar in downtown Detroit for drinking, laughing, loving and gay camaraderie (even if you aren't gay). Videos will start around 9:30-9:45.

It's our one big Doggy Style night until November, so make it count!


Monday, August 3, 2009


In an ideal world I would be doing a post about the Reese Witherspoon movie and not the third of four elections in Detroit this year. Normally I don't like to get into the whole political thing here because I am pretty much an idiot. I leave political analysis to people who know, like Woodward's Friend over at Dyspathy. Plus if my secret identity is ever compromised then I will be held accountable for anything I've said on here and what if I have become BFF's with, say, Martha-Rose Reeves by then? Embarrassing.

This election is pretty significant because of the absolute insanity that has been coming out of city hall over the past few years. It's a real chance to get some agents of change in charge, as uphill a battle as that seems; Detroit is a city that really does seem invested in maintaining the status quo. From a gay blogger perspective, it is also significant because we have the first openly gay city council candidate running, local media celebutante Charles Pugh.

So I am just going to weigh in with a few thoughts and Detroit voters, you can take it from there.

Charles Pugh
Clearly it is significant that an openly-gay man is not only running for City Council in Detroit, but appears to be in the lead in the polls. Detroit is notorious for its culture of homophobia in the African-American churches. And those churches really drive a large portion of the voting electorate here. It just goes to show how strong the celebrity/name recognition effect is in Detroit elections.

Pugh's platform seems relatively innocuous, and hits some of the right notes. I think he is right that crime needs to be addressed as Detroit's single biggest issue and the rest will follow. And I am heartened to see him talk about the need for regionalism in creating a plan for public transportation - I hope that transfers to other efforts as well.

Neighborhood services, parks, community pride - everyone mentions those with few specifics about how they will improve them - but I think someone with Pugh's popularity could be very effective at raising community morale about these things.

I don't see a lot about fiscal responsibility, economic development and making the city a better place for businesses, large and small (other than "I will allocate a portion of my budget to visit and work with store chains around the country and encourage them to invest inside the city of Detroit." Feh.) And he does not discuss the issue of right-sizing the city.

Anecdotally I can only throw in a few observations. On the plus side, I've heard he is incredibly nice and a good listener. And of course his life story is inspiring. And he really believes in this cause: I've heard he is convinced he can make Detroit better.

On the flip side, maybe we don't really need someone who has quite the kind of ego involved in thinking they can single-handedly make considerable improvements in Detroit. And judging from the short-lived Facebook post of an ex-lover a few weeks ago (it pays to have lots of Facebook friends), that narcissism seems to extend into the personal realm. Deja vu?

And I have no fewer than four reports from white Detroiters that he always seems to assume they must not live in the city when he encounters them. From a resident of Brush Park, this seems a bit ridiculous.

So does Charles Pugh get the Supergay endorsement? Sure .... why not.

I don't think he would be disaster by any means, he is charismatic and beloved by many. And I don't think we can underestimate the message that electing him sends to gays in the region about Detroit as a good place for living as a gay person (which pretty much any gay Detroiter will tell you, but this broadcast goes much further). But honestly I think there are a lot of other choices in this election who will be more effective in transforming Detroit.

Other options
I don't have a slate of 18 candidates for your reference. One friend says she is only voting for accountants, city planners or attorneys, which is a pretty good plan (although I pointed out Mon Con was in fact an attorney). There are some great candidates out there: incumbent Kenneth Cockrel and contenders Saunteel Jenkins, Lisa Howze (an accountant!) and Andre Spivey seems to get high marks from editorial boards as well as voters I have talked to. Other candidates that come highly recommended include James Tate, John Bennett, and Fred Elliot Hall.

And now, I want to take a second to put in a plug for my friend Matt Naimi.

Matt is the candidate I feel could help Detroit become the forward-looking city it needs to be. Matt is a business owner who is responsible for creating the city's RecycleHere! program, and has a strong and progressive "green" platform that I think hits the right notes and can make transformations other candidates aren't even considering.

Fighting blight, which he cites as a breeding ground for crime, with "smart" demolition; developing green technologies; encouraging urban agriculture; treating recycled material as a resource; right-sizing the city - these inititatives will not only address Detroit problems, they frame Detroit as a city looking to the future and the role of an industrial city in the 21st century. You can read more about his platform at

Matt has worked extensively with city government and community groups and knows how the city's public works department works. He also knows the challenges business owners face. And as a resident he knows how important a cohesive community is. He also knows that that working on city council means harnessing the strengths of various members, and applying your best judgement to the result.

The attitudes and approaches of Detroit's government are seriously outdated: they barely worked when the city was flush and they are counterproductive with the city in its current state. I think everyone agrees drastic change is needed.

I am singling out Matt not just because he is my friend, but because I really strongly feel that if Detroit embraces a new way of thinking it will not only create solutions for current problems but change the image of Detroit in the country. And trust me, I normally hate the hippy green bullshit. But Detroit is a place of incredible opportunity - on a micro and macro level - and I think some of these ideas really do make sense in this context. Matt can really help Detroit become an exciting, new kind of city.

And a last thought about City Council primary voting - you don't have to vote for 18 candidates! Don't just pick random names to fill out the ballot, only vote for the candidates you know are comfortable with. And mostly ignore incumbents, mbien?

Speaking of drastic change
Finally - if you are a Detroit voter and have not signed the petition to create City Council by District, please do so immediately or sooner. Get more information HERE, you can probably sign a petition at the polls tomorrow. They need all the signatures they can get and tomorrow night is the deadline!

There's no guarantee that Council by District will eliminate corrupt politicians in Detroit government, but it will create more accountability and make a relatively insane primary election process a lot more manageable. It will also help underrepresented areas of the city get the voice they need on City Council. And there is no guarantee that the City Charter revision committee will instate council by district - they passed on it in the last revision in 1993.

OK, do what I just said above and then we can say we helped move Detroit forward!
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