Groove Line

Thu. July 7, 2005 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

Pride Revisited --
Once again, the gods smiled down upon Pride in Chicago. There was a bit of a miscue at the start on Friday as DJ Lydia Prim didn't show up for the Pride Dance. My suggestion for the future: show pride in Chicago's talent and use a local DJ. There are plenty of us in town who are more than willing, and most importantly capable, of doing a great job for our hometown crowd and visitors.

Saturday's Pridefest continues to grow in popularity and attendance. RuPaul, Lady Bunny (pictured, courtesy Boi Magazine), Jinx Titanic, and Circuit Mom headlined a strong entertainment program. The merriment continued well into the night with packed bars and dance floors whipped into a frenzy by the likes of DJ Ralphi Roasrio (at Hydrate Chicago). DJ Hugo and stage performer extraordinaire Sauci Bernaise were in top form at Circuit.

There were a reported 450,000 folks along the Parade route on Sunday checking out all of the contingents, including the always entertaining ROTC, Hydrate's massive mobile sound machine with DJ Greg Drescher, and's fabulous Jessika Sterling in a Jaguar convertible. Kudos to the city for keeping Halsted Street closed post parade so the celebration could continue block party style. And trust me when I say that the most fun before, during, and after the parade was had by those gathered in front of Kafka wine co. at the Halsted & Buckingham intersection.

Sunday night saw Crobar back in the gay swing of things with DJs Teri Bristol and Hex Hector and a decent sized crowd. The consensus seemed to be that Teri's opening set harkened back to the fun times of the old Crobar while Hector's presentation was more NYC on a Saturday night rather than Chicago on a Pride Sunday. To some this was a very good thing. To others: not so good.

From my perspective and from that of most folks I know, it was a very fun and successful Pride weekend. Congrats and much thanks to all who played a part! (Pride 2005 photos)

The 4th Revisited --
My peeps who stayed local for the celebration of our nation's birthday indicated that many had fled the city for the holiday weekend. For those in town, the reported highlight on Halsted was Saturday's IndepenDANCE "Circuit x 3" affair: Circuit Mom DJing Circuit Dad's 40th birthday party at Circuit Nightclub. Happy birthday, Roger! Off the strip, Chicago's Windy City Pride attracted many GLBT folk of color throughout the weekend and coincided gloriously with Frankie Knuckles annual party at the House of Blues.

If not in Chicago, THE place to be for the 4th of July weekend was definitely the tri-city area of Douglas, Fennville, and Saugatuck, Michigan - from where I am penning this column. For yet another year this area on the opposite shores of Lake Michigan was FUN, FUN, FUN!. Campit, the gay campgrounds, had up to 600 folks semi-roughing it; the Dunes Resort complex was a busy beehive of activity featuring DJs David Knapp, Brett Henrichsen, Mark Valesse, and John Olson; and all rental houses, hotels, and B&B Inns were booked solid with "family." Finally, yours truly had the honor of DJing the Saturday night Farm Party for 1,000 of my closest friends. Usually preferring modesty over self-aggrandizement, even I after to say that this outdoors after-hours party under the Michigan skies was "of 'da hook!" (The bass beat and dance music you heard early Sunday morning in Chicago was actually the sound from the Farm Party traveling across Lake Michigan. ) Thanks to the many of you who showed me some love and expressed your appreciation.

Music You Can Use --
It's not only dance music that get's re-made, re-remixed, and re-generated. Check out these two CDs filled with covers.

Classic Moments - Patti LaBelle (Def Soul Classic Records)
The one and only Patti LaBelle, a 40-year veteran of the music industry, is back to bathe our eardrums with her incomparable voice with Classic Moments , an incredible collection of covers of songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Highlights of this CD include duets with May J. Blige ("Ain't No Way") and Elton John ("Your Song"). This woman just keeps getting better with age!

Red - John Stevens (Maverick Records)
One of the most controversial figures in American Idol history (he kept advancing when many thought he should have been voted off) is back on the scene with his debut album. This teenager has been singing Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra since the age of 8 and expectedly includes covers of classics such as "Come Fly With Me," "Let's Fall In Love," and "It Had To Be You." He even takes on the recent Maroon 5 hit "This Love."

One Final Word --
While the words "legendary" and "superstar" get cavalierly attached to way too many performers, it was always most appropriate when describing Luther Vandross, the R&B singer who recently died. His ability to express feeling and emotion with that soulful voice of his was truly amazing. He will indeed be missed, but his magnificence as an artist will forever be with us and remembered.