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


Lady Munter said...

Hi. You might be all for ‘keeping it real, mighty real’, but are you FOR real? I know this isn’t your club, but since this is a public forum, I’m gonna air my views on here:
Whilst I appreciate that imitation is apparently the sincerest form of flattery, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t extend to lifting the image directly off of one of our club’s old flyers ( and simply changing the typeface! Obviously I get that we both must have a love of Patrick Cowley and his song – and we don’t have a problem with that at all - but the fact as well that you too bill yourself as a ‘gay dance party’ playing ‘hi-NRG and Italo disco’ really does smack of a real lack of imagination. What I find more laughable is that you’d think we’d never find out! We have a LOT of big name DJ and musician friends ALL OVER the world, so that was a mistake on your part. Shady.

Niall said...

We're not the only club in the world playing hi-nrg, and of course"Menergy" is the title of a song, but the similarities between those two flyers is ridiculous. Did you honestly think we wouldn't find out?

Supergay Detroit said...

Ladies, please. Calm down.

While it is utterly beyond me why or how you even care what is going on in Detroit all the way from Glasgow, I have a few thoughts in return.

First of all, don't shoot the messenger. I just report the facts, I don't make them.

Secondly, it appears that apologies are indeed due about the one poster image, with an explanation. The DJ behind our Menergy had a designer put together several images to promote the night, and the image you cite was an early "save the date" one. The DJ didn't know it had come from your party. As for me, I just grabbed it off the internet because it was the most visual/least textual of the bunch and I like that. Now I'm not saying you guys cribbed this particular image from somewhere else too, but your Sylvester and Grace Jones flyers started out someplace before they ended up in your Photoshop and I think you could perhaps chill a little bit about this use that in no way impacts your clientele. Still, I have changed the image in the post to a newer poster, but if you tell me you've got dibs on Tom of Finland then maybe Supergay Detroit isn't the place to start your intellectual property litigation.

Which does bring me to my final point (addressed to Lady Munter): in what year do you live where Hi-NRG and Italo-Disco are not being rediscovered by urban faglets of a new generation the world over? And a name like Menergy, you think you are the first to use it for a gay dance party? You should perhaps bone up on your gay history, starting with Crowley's own "Menergy" gay dance parties at the EndUp in San Francisco thirty years ago.

Mike, the DJ behind this, has great musical history chops and for three years has had a party called Macho City (a party with the same name recently started in Glasgow and you'll hear no complaints from him) which played underground disco and Italo-disco, and the music here is a natural evolution of that. I can assure you, Mike does not scour the internet for ideas for gay dance parties. For all I know he's already got one planned for a 90s Masterbeat circuit revival to debut in 2016.

So really, please try to keep it all in perspective and realize that sometimes similar ideas evolve simultaneously as our little gay world digests popular culture of the past. And since it is highly unlikely anyone from Detroit can make it to Glasgow for your party, why don't you just let us have our fun.



Andy said...

It's kind of cool that people in Glaswegians are paying enough attention to the D to get a bug up their asses about this.

Lady Munter said...

Also, I'm fully aware of digesting and recycling aesthetics - I'm a drag queen, after all. ;-)

I get and agree with a lot of your points, but it was the fact that this image was a direct lift of ours. If it had been the original b/w ToF image that'd have been one (spooky) coincidence, but it was the same colour-tinted gradient idea, same position of the logo, composition, and the similar wording in the description.
Now I know we don't have monopoly over the name or Tom of Finland's artwork, but it does smack of laziness on your part to just jack our flyer, even if you don't know where it came from. Personally, I'm surprised that you don't get where we're coming from or why we'd be taken aback by seeing this with no prior warning. We've spent 2 and a half years building our brand and not just within Glasgow, but in the UK and soon Europe too. Rightly or wrongly, when you see what appears to be someone riding on your coattails - you planning meetings, your image choices - it's galling.
We probably wouldn't have even been miffed if we'd just been approached and asked even.
Also, is this purely a coincidence too?



I'm not interested in litigation obviously - we're not THAT bothered or anal and we are nice people, really. We're very much into getting on well and having strong relationships with other clubs who do similar stuff as we do, all over the world. We're clearly doing something right if our artwork design is being deemed good to enough to be used by others.
No shade, but please don't patronise us. I think we were justifiably upset.

Supergay Detroit said...

I'm not sure I'd use "galling" to describe the situation, it's just a flyer for a dance party, but I do think you've made your point well about the imagery. The Tom of Finland estate is probably having an aneurysm about all these graphics as we speak. "Making Time," a big Philadelphia club, uses that Madonna quote too by the way. And it seems that flyer was another one sent in the batch by the designer, and Mike did take that one down as well once this was brought to his attention. Although thank you for saving it as evidence in the civil trial. I guess the bottom line is, I get what you're saying, and it looks like the designer cast a pretty wide net in his search for inspiration, to put it mildly. In his defense, I think his approach was he was doing a favor for a friend who was throwing a local dance party in the Cass Corridor of Detroit.

Regarding the rest of it though, I know the guy throwing the party pretty well and I can guarantee his Menergy party idea evolved on its own, independent of yours. I think the fact he provided that list of over forty cultural influences for the party - many of them local to Detroit - plays to that point.

As for my being taken aback if this happened to me - honestly, if someone halfway around the world jacked some flyer I made for my night, I think after the initial shock I'd not feel too threatened, knowing that no one in my part of the world would have any idea about it unless I pointed it out.

And finally, just to clarify again, it's not my night. But I do give you mad props on your night, because clearly your graphic design is good, and from my googling it sounds like a good time too! I hope we can Menergize our respective parts of the world together.


DetroitGuy76 said...

Wait. You're not that anal? Well... that's no fun! :-) Planning a trip to Glasgow in August. Looking forward to seeing your fair city.

Lady Munter said...

Okay, so I feel a lot better having slept on it. :-) Sorry if I was a bit ratty initially, and I totally get your points and that it was just a misunderstanding. We're all just creative types trying to do our thang, which just happens to be pull from the same sources after all, and I do actually think it's quite cool that it was a club in Detroit that this happened with, and not some rubbishy backwater, y'know? ;-) Everybody say love! :-D And mmmmmaybe we should hook up when you do come here. Menergy UK vs Menergy US, similar to what Trannyshack US & UK did with one another in the past.
On a side note, when the guy above said about having a bug up my ass, is it really awful that the first thing that came to mind was AIDS? Oh dear. :-D

Supergay Detroit said...

Yay! I'm happy you feel better. Wouldn't a Detroit-Glasgow mashup be amazing? Dare to dream ...

Lady Munter, I'm glad we've met.



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