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Sugar & Spice

Feb. 11, 2009
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Ah, Valentine’s Day: I can almost taste the excitement bursting in my mouth like a cherry cordial. Across the city, bars pour pink martinis and scatter heart-shaped lollipops on tabletops, all while commanding partygoers to “feel the love!” beneath a sea of naked Cupid cutouts.

Well, I’m certainly in heaven.

Thankfully, two local club promoters are offering up a few sweet and scary alternatives to the usual saccharine soirees. Anyone who can’t decide whether to laugh or cry on Valentine’s Day now has plenty of options to do both.

Groovy Grooves: Turns out a true touchy-feely love fest is brewing at Wherehouse, a longtime Milwaukee venue that has been heating up of late. Chicago’s DJ-turned-producer Lady D fuels the fire at a party billed as “Love—A Psychedelic Celebration.” An established name in underground house and a member of the ’90s SuperJane collective, Darlene Jackson (just D, by those who know her best) works over crowds with shades of disco-centered house, chunky bass-lines and vocal loops that give partygoers that warm-n-woozy feeling all night. Good thing, because this ’60s-inspired love jam prompts guests to tote in flowers, flutes, drums, feathers, chimes, costumes—even photos of personal saints (and heroes of the underground).

If you dig your beats in the esoteric style of Glenn Underground, Ralphi Rosario and Derrick Carter, then tune in, turn on and drop in for D’s heady house thrills.

Friday, Feb. 13, at Wherehouse (818 S. Water St.), with DJ Q (Bonne Musique). Goodies and gifts for those in costume. Music 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Cover charge: $5

Heartburn: Acid reflux never felt so good—at least under the love spell that is ESP Woody McBride. The self-proclaimed “elektro-shaman” fuels the burn with a mix of acid house, electro, and hard and tribal techno. Harnessing the authentic thrash of old-school, minimal EDM, ESP has garnered more recent love for his live PA performance at the legendary Mayday Festival in Germany. In 2008, the Minneapolis native took things one step further, re-launching his seminal electronic label Communiqu Records on both digital and vinyl mediums. ESP takes pride in juggling his many hats—musician, DJ, live performer, event promoter, graphic artist and live audio engineer, to name a few. Music-wise, since his early days of playing for festival crowds in the 1990s, ESP has defined his sound by what he calls his signature “deeper than deep 909 kick drum, a base chakra synth funk and thick, mysterious 303 acid sound.”

In March 2009, he looks to release a new mix album on Dave Clarke’s White Noise label; on Valentine’s Eve he looks to be part of a massacre.

ESP Woody McBride unleashes all at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre on Friday, Feb. 13, at The Highbury (2322 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.). Rebecca Ciaglia, John Michaels and Brian Small support. Music 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. No cover charge.


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