Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Putting the ME in Menergy

Those of you who are awesome will remember an early Macho City where a certain gay blogger was a guest DJ and introduced the Detroit queer world to the glory of Disco Evita, among other rare disco delights. It was a, if I do say so myself.  Well guess what?  I'm at it again!

This Saturday marks the third run of Mike Trombley's fantastic Menergy party and yours truly is the special guest star!  I will be bringing my minimal beat-matching skillz but, frankly, rather amazing and esoteric musical taste to the Temple Bar for one night only, serving up gay 80s Hi-NRG, Italo Disco and more the way I remember it happening.  Or at least the way I imagine I remember it happening.

Menergy has turned out to be a fantastic new dance party from the Mike Trombley (TM) brand, a very fitting sequel to Macho City and a super fun way to get a cultural history lesson while you gay dance the night away!  Plus the cover is a ridiculously low $1!

[Speaking of, the Macho City, Three-Year Anniversary party is coming up April 28, so mark your calendars!]

Come this Saturday, it all starts about 10pm and goes til 2!  And don't forget your poppers!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Doggy Style Curtain Call!

The last Doggy Style of the season is here!  How did that even happen?  I blame global climate change.

Anyway, tomorrow night, Tuesday April 3, is the last Doggy Style of the season!  Come on out and get one final dose of downtown gay camaraderie, plus drinks and fun videos!  Come and watch the Hotel Charlevoix fall apart into the street!  Park on the street before the city bans it after 10pm!  So many things to enjoy at this special moment in time.

The good times start around 9:30 and continue into the evening.  I've got lots of new videos for you to watch, or you can even talk to friends, old and new.  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Later, Skater!

The sad story of my life is that I don't get out much anymore.  You know how that goes: the less you go out, the harder it is to force yourself to go out.  Sometimes you just want to hang out and watch some episodes of New Girl on demand, ok?

Last night, however, comedic genius and my partner-in-crime Robert M. Nelson managed to stir me from the sofa to head out for a night of gay rollerskating in, of all places, Farmington.  That's a hell of a drive.

I am not a good skater, never was.  The last time I rollerskated was in, say, 1980 when I face-planted on the rink at Metro Beach (resulting in three root canals a few years later). The last time I rollerbladed I ended up in the ER with a closed-head injury (cute ER resident though!).  And one thing I really hate is not being good at something in front of other people.  So it was with great trepidation I approached the entire adventure, but I'm really glad I did.

Snack 'n Chat!!

Robert obeys the rules in the Snack 'n Chat.

The Bonaventure Family Skating Center is a full-on 1980 time capsule, from the architecture to the interior signage to the skating rink lightshow.  I don't think I have to tell you how much that excited me!  It was exactly like this scene in Tales of the City.

It was boys-boys-boys and some girls (and some ladyboys) and everyone was so damn nice, it was great.  I watched the action rink-side for a while before venturing in, and one guy was skating by and said "hi!" and then fully wiped out.  Classic!

Robert M. Nelson, rollerskating enthusiast.

Cindy Elmwood only fell twice, but looked lovely doing so!

The Lady Anastasia was booking around the rink.

Robert loves Prize Time!

I wasn't as bad at skating as I thought I would be, although I hesitate to say I had it mastered by the end of the night.  But I did see some guys I know and haven't seen in a long time except on Facebook, and I got to skate to "Xanadu" which is pretty much the greatest thing to happen to me this year.

Shiny disco balls.

After the fact I found out it was organized by Menjo's and Backstreet, so I think I am in love with them and I'm going to check out the new Menjo's re-do as soon as it opens. There's an article about the gay skating night here, and God willing they will do it again soon!  Best gay time ever!

Bonaventure really IS the home of the good times!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lezzie les bons temps roulez!

In the interest of the recap, let me just say that Menergy was the funnest, gayest dance party I've been to in forever.  It was so fun to see so many friends and SO MANY new faces.  It's always nice to get an influx of new gay folks to meet.  And check out.

It was also great because it was really, really a gay night.  I love a gay dance party when it's just the gays and the cool kids because it reminds of what a trip to the gay bar used to be like.  There have always been straight women, and sometimes straight men, but they were always there as part of the party, not to co-opt the party.  One of the trade-offs with gay mainstreaming is now the gay world is more accessible to more straight people, so you sometimes get a phenomenon like Boystown in Chicago, the bachelorette party capital of the Midwest.  Where it isn't about having fun in the context of a gay scene, it's about the novelty of the gay scene.  No, really, I'm not super-fun and I DON'T want to do body shots off the bride-to-be, I just want to check out the gay eye candy. Plus seriously, until gay people can get married don't you find it a little cavalier bringing drunk wedding hijinx into a gay bar?

Or to frame it locally - one of the first times I went to Macho City I heard a couple straight folks talk a bit incredulously that there was a guy giving another guy oral pleasure against the pool table.  It's a gay leather bar, you were expecting hopscotch?  One of the last times I went there were two hipster-glam straight girls making out on that same pool table, which just struck me as a terribly desperate cry for attention. You're at a gay bar, ladies, so for once, it isn't about you.  Hang out, be cool and just have fun, mkay?

Of course Temple Bar isn't technically a gay bar, so I probably feel less defensive about any and all sorts showing up.  As long as Mike Trombley is spinning awesome music and Robert is running around the dancefloor offering poppers to everyone, I'm good.  And I can't wait for next time!

In other news, the Doggy Style countdown has begun!  We're about six weeks out from Opening Day, so crawl out of your hole one of these Tuesdays and enjoy Detroit's best gay-er night before it's gone for the season.  Tonight will be extra fun because a whole slew of unsuspecting Guns 'n' Roses fans will stumble in after the show and enjoy some Abba or Limahl or Angela Lansbury with their nightcap.

So, perhaps we will see you tonight at the Park Bar for some Mardis Gras fun?  And don't worry, we are respectful and all about having fun in the context of the straight scene, because really, what novelty is left?  Kidding!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Is it just me or are things kind of blah around here lately?  I know people are saying all kinds of nice things about Detroit and if life were as active as my Facebook feed things would be rockin', but it isn't and they aren't. Maybe it's the winter doldrums but I just haven't been feeling it lately.

Which is why you can imagine my excitement when I was chatting with Mike Trombley a little while ago and he told me that while Macho City is on hiatus, he's come up with a new dance party for homosexuals like (possibly) you and (definitely) me. Moving forward a little bit on the gay dance music timeline, this one focuses on the synth-heavy dance music of the early 80's, and it takes its name from the iconic hi-NRG track by Patrick Cowley: Menergy.

If you're like me and obsessed with gayness before your time, Menergy (menergy) is of course a completely thrilling concept. It's San Francisco, 1981. You dance the night away rocking the clone look and doing poppers on the dancefloor, hooking up with a stranger in the back room and not worrying about AIDS because nobody heard of it yet.  Well, there's no back room and we have heard of AIDS now, but maybe make out with a stranger in the corner and pretend, or get a handy in the bathroom.  And bring your own poppers, they won't be for sale behind the bar like at Macho City.

Menergy (menergy) is also generating enormous excitement Chez Supergay because Mike Trombley is THE KING of finding great music you never knew existed.  To help you visualize the vibe, Mike has provided a list of people, places and things you should contemplate (which, conveniently enough, are also gay blog keyword search gold):

Think Hi-NRG, Patrick Cowley, Oil Can Harry's, The EndUp Club, Bath House Etiquette, Bobby Orlando, Ian Levine, Sequential Circuits, Trocadero Transfer, Todd's, Midnight Funk Association, Man Parrish, Mr. Master, Italo Disco, Disconet mixes, mustaches, Numbers, Club Heaven, Stock Aitken Waterman, Tales of the City, Joe Dallesandro, Cruise or be Cruised, The Hanky Code, Tom of Finland, Fire Island, Urei 1620, Minimal Synth, Megatone, Kenneth Anger, Bruce LaBruce, Peter Berlin, Chad Douglas, Klaus Nomi, Keith Haring, Larry Levan, Den Haan, The Music Box, Continental Baths, poppers, beards, booze and dance moves. 

Menergy (men-er-gy) will be held at the Temple Bar, which is super awesome because it is conveniently located downtown and has a proven track record of hosting awesome dance parties ie: Haute To Death. It debuts this Saturday night, February 11, so prepare to get hot and sweaty on the dancefloor.  I'm off to listen to my Megatone 12-inch compilation to get in the mood - see you there!

Hi-NRG * Italo Disco * Minimal Synth
21+ / $1 Cover
The Temple Bar, 2906 Cass Avenue, Detroit

Monday, January 9, 2012

Centaur Style!

For our first Doggy Style of 2012 we're going on a little road trip!  And by little I mean very little ... Doggy Style is moving up Park Avenue for one extra fancy night at Centaur!  So everyone come out for a whole new audio/visual/homosexual experience tomorrow night!

Why the switch-up?  Well, I have been friends with Centaur owner Sean Harrington for what seems like forever.  It has to be 15 years now.  He is a great guy, and we have worked together on many projects together over the years, most significantly my temporary (and soon to be permanent) store Hugh, where he served as very accommodating landlord.

When I came up with the idea of the Pride Project last year, Sean was one of the first people I called and was the very first one to commit to a sponsorship - for both Centaur and Town Pump - so I guess you could say he is the one who really gave me the assurance I needed that I would be able to pull together a reasonable amount of support.  And obviously, that turned out great.

So as a thank you, I told him we'd do a Doggy Style "uptown" and hopefully spend a little of that alleged gay dollar up his way.

Those of you who have been hanging around the Detroit scene for a while will remember the Guerrilla Queer Bar events that were held at Centaur (there were two), and they were always great fun.  So to kick off 2012 we're going to give a little love back to Sean, since really a big reason anything I've done in the past few years was remotely successful was because of his help.

Centaur is going to hook us up with special prices on drinks for the night!  House pours are usually $7, but they will be $5 for the night (and their house pours are not junk).  And if you've been meaning to check out the new Hot Taco in the old Hugh space, you can do that cuz they're open 'til 2!  So come out to Centaur, the original home of the gay straight guy, and have some fun, Centaur Style!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Shaping Up Detroit

One of things that has been on my to-do list with this blog (which I’m sure you can imagine is pretty long at this point) is to write about gay and lesbian business owners in Detroit.  In the first piece I wrote for Model D back in 2007 I talked about some of the gay-owned businesses in the city, and what great ones they are.  But where do we stand four years later?  Is there anyone new?  It turns out that yes, there are, and I am going to start talking about them, beginning with Kimo Frederickson of True Body Fitness.

I first met Kimo last year at Doggy Style.  As you may be aware, fitness is not my milieu, so when I found out he was a personal trainer I naturally tried to get away as quickly as possible to spare myself any judgment.  Well, several friends started working out at TBF and it turns out it is like the least judgmental place ever.  Which I guess I would have known if I’d looked at their website where it says in big letters “Fitness without the attitude” but you know, gym websites are not high on my browsing list. 

I probably never would have gotten to know Kimo unless Liz Blondy (of Canine To Five, Detroit’s best dog daycare, boarding and grooming facility) hadn’t said to me, “Dude, you won Hatch Detroit and are going to have your picture taken a million times next year.  You will need to look good.”   So I finally got my act together and met with Kimo on a professional level. 

Now this isn’t meant to be a SGD fitness report, but it’s kind of hard to separate out my experience from writing about True Body Fitness.  So let me just say it’s going fine, don't expect anything crazy and we will never speak about me working out again.

Kimo actually started True Body Fitness in 2008 in a residential space in Howell.  Can you imagine how bleak that was? (Nothing personal, Kimo)  So at the end of 2010 he made the big leap and not only moved to Detroit, but rented a ground-floor studio space in Corktown on Michigan Avenue, set it all up and started putting together all the components of a full-fledged fitness studio.

The studio is awesome.  I’d just assumed it was going to be some small-ish crappy drywalled space but it’s all brick walls and mirrors and high ceilings and lots of light.  It’s in that commercial strip on the north side of Michigan Avenue just before Trumbull, the one with all the brick buildings and green awnings.  Watch for it the next time you drive out of downtown.

Kimo’s main thing is the one-on-one fitness instruction, which I can attest really kicks your ass.  He’s so nice about it though, not so much in the way he’s a total prick making you finish a set that is really fucking hard but in the way he makes you feel like you genuinely did a good job when you finish.  Personal training isn’t totally cheap, though, and I get it isn’t for everyone.  What is cool about TBF is that there is an entire separate room where you can get your Zumba or yoga on.  I could give the whole spiel but you should take a look at the class schedule here to see the offerings.

I asked Kimo why he opened up in Detroit, and his answer wasn’t unexpected.  He wanted to feel connected to a diverse community and do his small part to make Detroit a better place.  He has had a really great response, especially to the classes.  One very nice idea he had is the “Fit to Give” classes, where the proceeds from those particular classes each month benefit a designated charity.  

Overall, he told me it’s the people that are the best thing about being open in Detroit, and how overall it’s been great being a new-ish member of the community.  I know that’s a common refrain, but it does make me happy to hear that people are coming to town, genuinely working hard to build something and having a good experience.

I have to throw this in though: the other day we were talking about this whole “gentrification” discussion that’s going on (which is not really about gentrification but that’s another blog post) and he told me about an email he got when he opened.  Some woman from Corktown wrote to let him know that she and her friends viewed him as some kind of interloper from the suburbs and she and her friends were carpooling to Dearborn for their yoga class.  Just to let him know.  It turns out it’s some white chick originally from northern Michigan somewhere.  If that doesn’t sum up how ridiculous that whole “outsiders moving in” bullshit is getting, I don’t know what does.

Anyway, back to Kimo.  I haven’t even talked about the gay aspect of things, and I guess other than the fact that he has a lot of gay clients, there really isn’t one.  He’s just an out gay man running his business in the city, and since he has a boyfriend he isn’t even bitter about the gay social scene. Kind of refreshing!

I know some of you are making some New Year’s resolutions to be more fit, so why don’t you check out some classes at True Body Fitness and support a sister while you’re at it! Oh and check out TBF on Facebook for lots of studio pics and more info!

[Oh, and Kimo wanted me to ask: TBF is looking for a gay-friendly bootcamp instructor, dance instructor and maybe a trainer.  If you know anyone cool and city-loving, have them email Kimo here!]
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