Groove Line

Mon. June 21, 2004 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

Wow! What a busy time of the year. But a very fun time of the year. We have Pride weekend coming up followed by various festivities for the 4th of July. And of course, there will be tons of music to enhance your experiences.

Music, Pride & Fun
DJ Chris Cox (pictured right), who’s fast becoming a regular here in Chicago, kicks Hydrate’s Pride weekend off with a bang on Friday night. Further down the strip at Spin,’s own Peter Mavrik will be manning the decks. Westerly toward Clark & Addison, DJs Luis M and Sandy will be spinning a “Celebration Pride” party at Spot 6.

Pridefest is back again this year on Saturday, June 26 on the northern tip of Halsted Street with a stage at Waveland Avenue and another near the IHOP at Grace. A quality line-up of dance music diva acts includes Linda Clifford, Suzanne Palmer, Zelma Davis (from C&C Music Factory) and the legendary Loleatta Holloway.

DJ Hugo will be back in familiar surroundings as he spins this Saturday night at Circuit with DJ X-Site opening for him. Over at Hydrate, Ralphi Rosario will provide the club groove in preparation for the next day’s big event while Chris Eterno (pictured left) will be at Spin.

There’s a lot happening on Pride Sunday for all you dancing folks. Hydrate has a full schedule of DJs spinning after the parade including Laura B, Chris Eterno, Djeremy and Greg Drescher. Rounding out the night, Frankie Knuckles will do it like only he can. Other post-parade dancing spots include Circuit with DJs X-Site and Alex Perez as well as Spin with DJs Jungle Jorge and Eric Hall.

Lydia Prim (pictured left) is back in town at Sound-Bar during T-dance time before Sunday at Sound-Bar takes off later in the evening with Mark Pichiotti and Earl Pleasure. Trenyce of “American Idol” fame will be around to help liven up the festivities. And over in the Weed Street district, DJ DeMarko is in from the East Coast to man the decks for GLEE Club at Crobar Chicago (it will be interesting to see if going back to that franchise name will in fact bring the Sunday night crowds back to Crobar).

For more details and updates about all the Pride festivities , check-out the Events Calendar.

Kafka Pride
If you’re going to Halsted Street to enjoy the parade, the Buckingham intersection is definitely going to be a fun zone in front of KAFKA Wine co. I’ll be spinning tunes for the listening pleasure of Kafka shoppers as well as those on the street before and after the parade and on Saturday afternoon and evening. For those who aren’t in the know yet, Kafka is the absolute must place to shop for your wine needs. Their slogan: “Cheap. Easy. Fun.” That refers to the shopping experience and not necessarily to Joe and Michael, the principals of the store.

Concert Line
I’m assuming that if you have your tickets, you probably know this, bit just in case, his Royal Purple Badness, Prince, is Chicago-bound for five shows at the Allstate Arena starting on June 25 in support of his new CD, Musicology . He’s turned in his symbol for his old name and reports are that the show a good time for his fans, old and new. Another 1980s icon going through a name change, Madonna, hits Chicago for four shows at the United Center beginning July 11th. While I am anxiously awaiting my turn to see the Material Girl this time around (I missed the last concert tour due to terrorists – it’s a long story), I’m also interested to hear the various stories that will float around the city once he tour leaves town. Which restaurants Madonna dined at? Were hubby Guy Ritchie and the kids here? Who got to chat up Nikki (one of the back-up singers) and got the real scoop about Madonna? And of course, who got backstage passes after sleeping with one of the dancers.

For a concert not quite as expensive as Prince or Madonna and for a chance to hear a rising star, check out Rachael Yamagata at Schubas on June 22. Our music partner, Borderline Music, is having a giveaway contest for her new CD. Win FREE Music

For those who want their hip-hop with more of an old-school flavor: Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, and Slick Rick are at The Vic on June 24.

My favorite metal band – yes, I in fact do have one – will be here this summer. Metallica will be at Allstate for two shows in late August.

The 4th at Home
If you’re not too wiped out from the Pride weekend, there’s plenty to do in celebration of our nation’s birthday during the July 4th weekend. Start the long weekend off right with the deep house mastery of Marques Wyatt at Sound-Bar on Thursday, July 1. His recent Horizons CD is absolutely brilliant and to hear and dance to him live is a marvelous treat. On July 3 at Circuit, it’s Tag-Team DJing with Pete Crow and Jim Lewis while on July 4 Hex Hector is at Sound-Bar and Abel at Crobar.

Also that weekend is the annual Windy City Black Pride celebration with the Prop House (1675 N. Elston) the place to be on Friday, July 2 for the White Party ( and Club Reunion (811 W. Lake St.) the Saturday night spot for the Red Party. As usual on Sundays, Zentra hosts OTDL with July 4 being the Blue Party and then it all wraps up on Monday night at Door 21 (151 W. Ohio) for the Red White & Blue Party presented by House of Tut and Clubhouse Productions.

The signature event in the city that weekend will undoubtedly be at the House of Blues for the Grammy Award winning DJ Frankie Knuckles (pictured right) and his “A New Reality” party. Presented by D/E Entertainment and Tabernacle Chicago and with opening DJ V05- Elbert Phillips, this annual event never fails to satisfy the true house-heads as the master spins the night away.

The 4th Away (Michigan)
Probably the biggest weekend out in Saugatuck is the 4th of July as the once a summer folks join the summer regulars. As usual, the sold-out Dunes Resort will be plenty busy as the unofficial center of the western Michigan universe. For everyone’s dancing pleasure, they’re importing superstar DJ Lydia Prim along with Greg Drescher and Tom McBride to join new resident DJ Mark Vallese for the weekend. And this year there will be two Farm Parties on July 3 (DJ Mark Vallese) and July 4 (DJ John Olson) in nearby Fennville.

The 4th Away (Wisconsin)
Summerfest up in Milwaukee is as big as ever and what a line-up of talent. Many of the acts they’ll be having up there will make it to Chicago as well this summer, but the Summerfest experience on the Milwaukee lakefront from June 24 – July 4 is quite unique. Of possible note to readers: Indigo Girls, Rufus Wainright, Jessica Simpson, Big Boi (of OutKast), LeAnn Rimes, The Darkness, Pat Benatar, Liz Phair, Joan Jett, Ludacris, and The Fixx. Also quite interesting is the double bill of DJs Felix the Housecat and Paul Oakenfold on July 1. If Summerfest can have a DJ set-concert, you’d think that the powers that be could at least include something similar on one of the stages during Marketdays here in Chicago.

Celebrating Our Own
Often expressed in Chicago dance music circles has been the lack of respect our homegrown DJs have garnered over the years right here in Chicago. Well, the 8th Annual Chicago Summer Dance is providing a unique opportunity to rectify that situation by including some of the very best Chicago DJs in its ten-week long Wednesday night series (June 23 – August 25 from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm). They are turning the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park (at 601 S. Michigan Ave., between Harrison St. and Balboa Ave.) into an outdoor urban dance space with DJs Derrick Carter and Diz kicking things off this Wednesday. Of note, will be DJs Ralphi Rosario and Michael Serafini on June 30, Teri Bristol and Psycho-Bitch on August 11, and Frankie Knuckles on August 25. I encourage you all to get out there and support our local talent. For more information and a full schedule listing for Chicago Summer Dance call 312.742.4007 or visit

The Forward Calendar
July 11 – DJ Joe Gauthreax @ Sound-Bar. DJ Tracy Young @ Crobar.
July 13 – Om Records releases “Live At Om,” a double live cd set from DJs Derrick Carter and Mark Farina. It’s fantastic!!
July 14 – Basement Jaxx @ Sound-Bar
July 23 – The one and only Paul van Dyk @ Sound-Bar
July 25 – David Knapp @ Sound-Bar
July 30 – James Zabiella @ Sound-Bar