Mid City Meddler

Mid City Meddler
By Muffy Junes

Ravin' up a diz

Kids sniff the darnedest things. They like to get dizzy. If kept in close check, this need can be satisfied by riding roller coasters, playing "swinging statues" or hanging upside down from a tree branch. Jumping off a garage roof will make you dizzy, but it's dangerous.

You probably know what a rave is, but I'll tell you just in case. A rave is an event that draws a large group of people, usually ages 14 and up. This group shares a mad desire to whirl the night away, lose themselves in massive sounds of the musical underground. Accompanied by two turntables and a microphone (as Beck says), there are usually 10 - 20 different DJs, including a headliner. Energy abounds amidst major wattage and high tech "intelligent" lighting.

My friend David was designated frisker at a recent downtown rave. He amused me with stories of confiscations from these ravers, so I thought I'd pass along some info. One warning, though: As a non-parent, my idea of amusing may differ from yours, so child-rearers may wish to skip the next few paragraphs.

There were hundreds of underagers, so naturally all booze was out of sight. Smart drinks are still en vogue, blending up those necessary energy calories. Then there's bottled water. But wait . . . what's in those little backpacks and bags everybody carries?

This particular night revealed hundreds of Charm's blowpops, Twizzler licorice, hairspray galore and assorted pacifiers. If one sucker was accurate, he noted the need for a pacifier to block teeth grinding, generated from the effects of amphetamines. Of course, Mom, if you're still reading this, it's probably just a poser thing. Just like the surgical masks. I don't keep my surgical masks in my backpack, but I could if I wanted to, because they're legal and all. I'm just afraid all the dirt at the bottom of my bag will get on the mask and then I'll be breathing weird fuzzies. But these kids like to put Vick's Vaporub in their masks and dance around. Generously, they shared their goop. I bet they got DIZZY!

Aside from the rampant puking, smuggled pure grain alcohol and a few knives, the night went smoothly and everyone danced 'til dawn.

DJ BENMAN from Better Days/ Dance is the region's main source for rave music. Rare stuff you won't hear at a regular club. Contrary to popular belief, Ben claims that ninety percent of those attending raves don't do drugs. They trip on the experience. Dubbed "Minister of the Raves," he encourages the chemical-free spiritual vibe. Since he's been connected with the scene for nearly 15 years, Ben was able to give me a few other tidbits, too. For example, sixty percent of the party-goers at a local rave are out-of-towners, over the age of 19. Apparently, they feel safer here than wherever they live. They also like the area's DJs, who generally can pull off four types of danceable sets. The musical sub-genres include jungle, techno, house and ambient.

If you know how, you can locate a rave nearly every week. Ben can hook you up, too, since he has a "Rave-line" as well as various other info mediums. It may take place in a recreational hall, a warehouse, or "under a bridge," but not usually at an established nightclub.

As a teen, I remember the neighborhood boys getting together with rags and spray paint, stuffing their jaws with fumes. A female friend used to suck on the empty whipped cream can. Another pal, now on track, recalls the minute before she huffed toluene, and then the blankness that ensued before returning. I don't know if I've ever enjoyed getting dizzy (I've lost too many brain cells!!...just kidding!), but I do know that these days I'm . . . shoot, I forgot what I was saying. So, the moral of this story is: Dancing is good fun. Now, for all you doting parents, the next time you grab those tiny arms and spin your kid around....Wheee! Remember what it leads to.

Call/email your band info . . . 485-9677 / mufalata@iglou.com

(heart) Muffy