10/18 – 7 YEARS OF HOUSEPITALITY WITH THEO PARRISH – THE STORY
Dear midweek party people, this is Miguel, your Housepitality captain writing this post. First of all we are extremely excited to announce THEO PARRISH as our 7 year anniversary headliner on Wednesday October 18th. I am personally addressing this post because this headliner has special significance in my life and thus I want to tell this story, plus I worked hard along with resident Fil Latorre to lock down Theo for this very special show.
Thank you all for your continued support. I owe you at least this story about one of the few times I ever hung out with the maestro Theo Parrish. This is ultimately why I’ve wanted to have him headline one of our anniversaries for so many years. Ok, here it goes. Enjoy this one..
It was the summer of 1996 and I was a university student and young dj in Ann Arbor Michigan. It was an era where so much amazing music was constantly happening around me and in particular one of the best weekly parties of the day were the Tuesday nights at The Bird of Paradise hosted by Matt Chicoine (aka dj Bubblicious back then) who later became known as Recloose. Matt was turning out this club with acid jazz, funk, hip hop, straight jazz, a little bit of house here and there and whatever else was dope and made people dance. It was an amazing vibe and on top of it all he invited rare Detroit Djs and musicians to come and play such as drummer Craig Huckaby (yes, related to Mike Huckaby), Tony Olivera aka dj Slymfas and many others. This is where I experienced Theo Parrish play records for the first time and it was impressive. I remember it was phenomenal.
After the show a few of us went over to Matt’s house afterwards on Ann Street and Theo was with us. It was here that Theo gave me a copy of his first record, Baby Steps on Elevate. I remember being thrilled to get a record and kick it with him. Most of that night is a blur in my memory except the conversation over a blunt I had with Theo when he gave me a ride home around 4am. He drove an older but really nicely kept gold Nissan Z with the dope pop off roof windows. As soon as we got in he popped in this tape with this super sick 8 bar jazzy sample loop and we both started bopping our heads to it. I had no idea what I was listening to but we drove around slowly Ann Arbor rocking hard to this loop. I remember NOT feeling bored by it so I finally asked him what it was and he told me that it was a sample. “So what do you produce with in your studio” and his answer was priceless: “man, all I got in my studio is a keyboard, an mpc, and a lightbulb… that’s all I got.”
I think there was a long moment of blunt silence here where I was trying to process the answer and I looked over at him bouncing deep to that loop. We were both into it. It was a delicious little groove in its rawest form, it didn’t change nor did you want it to. When the tape side suddenly ended (and this tape deck didn’t flip automatically over) Theo pulls the car over, takes one more puff. “Hold on” he says and he carefully takes the tape out and flips it over and presses play. We wait those 7-10 seconds of silence and anticipation while both looking down at the tape deck when suddenly…… boom, THAT SAME LOOP STARTS PLAYING. He dropped me off and drove back to Detroit listening to that same loop.
Little did I know at the time but I had just witnessed part of the genius behind Theo Parrish’s music. This is what made him a unique iconic artist on a different level from the rest. I had experienced part of the formula which made his music so special. He would dig deep into the crates for a very specific groove to carefully sample and produce into a loop. This musical surgery was crucial for the tracks he produced which ultimately became his Sound Signature, just as his label is named. I had that aha moment years later when I reflected on that night. This was truly one of the most special moments I’ve ever experienced with an artist. I have few other notable Theo Parrish moments but those you’ll have to ask me about in person like when I went to one of his parties on the 6th floor (I think it was the sixth floor) of the Griswold loft is and then his life changing set on the side stage during the first Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 1999.
Anyway, all of these moments have collectively made me a life long Theo Parrish fan. He is an artist like no other so naturally today I want to bring things full circle and have him bless the decks at Housepitality for our 7 year anniversary. I want all of you to experience Theo in our intimate setting on a Wednesday night. Let’s face it, if you see Theo Parrish on a lineup it will usually be rocking the main stage at Dekmantel or some other applauded festival or some other large venue. It is seldom these days where you will get to experience the art form of Theo Parrish in a small venue like ours let alone during the middle of the week.
So, Wednesday night party people, I am calling all of you to come out in the droves and lets show Theo how we get down in San Francisco on a Wednesday night. Let’s pay respects to his art form and celebrate 7 years of doing this Wednesday night party in full Housepitality style to his Sound Signature. Let me tell you, its not like he just took this gig. Despite our 7 years of amazing lineups and dope artists coming to our house he still made sure we were legit before agreeing to this show. Thanks to the work of our resident Fil Latorre who had booked Theo for a few of his Staple shows in SF circa 2000, we were able to do it.
I ran into Theo one other time many years later in Chicago but he didn’t remember me by then. I hope that I will have a chance to recall this 1996 incident with him this time around. Either way I am beyond excited for this epic 7 year celebration with the one and only THEO PARRISH…. Housepitality Wednesday nights, SEE YOU THERE…. WE GOT YOU!