Sincerity. Sometimes it seems as rare as hair on a naked mole-rat -- the kind that's all wrinkly like an old man's scrotum. Image make you cringe? Hell, so do many of the scenesters I run across. So I spent the weekend thinking about sincerity.
My weekend started Fri., Oct. 7, at MJQ, because I believe the kids sincerely love hip-hop. Detroit's Platinum Pied Pipers were in the Drunken Unicorn, laying down not krush grooves but krushed velvet grooves, freestyles and free spirits for those with a love jones for funk-soul.
MJQ has always seemed sincere about low-to-no cover charge, cheap beer and a vibe. And Oct. 22, the club will present its 7/11 party -- celebrating both MJQ's beginnings 11 years ago and the move to its current digs (as well as to reference the winning combo in a game of craps). That night's winning combo will be Afrobeat from New York's famed Rich Medina, as well as roller skate jams by Brian Parris.
But for everything there is a season, and after November's first weekend, MJQ's long-running Saturday DEEP house night will cease. So is house music just the soundtrack to shopping at the Gap, and hip-hop the jump-off because everyone prefers a flashy logo to a comfort-fit tee? Do we have to have a hook on that beat?
Following MJQ, I crammed into Azul's narrow alleyway for the free Decatur Social Club, now the apex of hipster havens where hundreds joyfully jerk it out weekly till 4 a.m. Here I chatted with promoter Randy Castello about identity and how Generation Blech's "hip" girls love gaudy bling almost more than hip-hoppers -- even if bags and belts end up more 1979 Halston than Vivienne Westwood.
Why is it that lanky "dance punks" meticulously preen to be seen yet I didn't see enough "faux hawks" digging Gang of Four at EarthLink Live on Sat., Oct. 8? Are Urban Outfitter's fingerless gloves a better use of $22 than hanging with a stylish crowd of local musicians (Greg Stevens), photographers (Frank Mullen) and journalists (me)? The guys in Gang of Four nearly burst their fortysomething guts performing righteously convulsive calisthenics with less than one-millionth a twentysomething's pretension.
I'm tired of the same M.I.A., New Order and Lil Jon singles. I'm left to wonder if nowadays scenes are being created or merely regurgitated and consumed. But maybe rock parties and hip-hop are the new house scene since many people look genuinely giddy vamping like drag queens over every hook.
Speaking of queens, my weekend ended at the Cheetah, where longtime local DJ/Glamour Shots spokesmodel and soon-to-be husband Starboy valiantly feigned interest in naked women. Starboy recognizes how silly having an "image" in Atlanta can be (see photo), which is why I love him. Sincerely.
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