Miguel Migs and Lisa Shaw at The Hamilton Room, Birmingham, Michigan, 7-22-2011
Though we’ve only been publishing online for a few weeks, I Love Detroit Michigan’s been attending live music events in the metro area for a solid two decades now, and in all that time never have we ever attended a top-rate event in the city of Birmingham….until now.
We headed out to downtown Ferndale late last Friday night, anticipating an excellent showing from two long-time Naked Music recording artists: DJ & producer Miguel Migs of San Francisco and singer Lisa Shaw (aka Li’sha) of New York by way of Toronto. A wide open parking space directly in front of the extremely popular ‘Boogie Nights’ should’ve been our first clue that Ferndale’s week-long electrical outages would force a change of venue. We still didn’t get the hint after noticing along the way to the club that every single downtown Ferndale business north of 9 and west of Woodward was dark, barren and obviously closed. A quarter-mile hike later and we were staring at a sign in Via Nove’s window directing us to the snooty sounding Hamilton Room in downtown Birmingham.
We love a virgin venue, people, and we love Birmingham, but we’ve NEVER advised our friends and readers to hit B-ham for the best of what the local underground dance music scene has to offer. Still, we headed north only slightly apprehensive, hoping for the best.
Turned out the place knew how to jam. Friends tell us local opener Ben Scott livened the place up nicely before the main event, but we were only able to catch a moment of his set on account of our detour. Migs took the ridiculously tiny stage behind the bar (about 30 square feet!) around a quarter after 12 and dropped a solid two hours of house funk. Shaw, well known for her many contributions to era-defining Naked Music releases of the early to mid 2000s, added some quality, soulful live vocals over two short 15 minute appearances. Though the sound system left just a bit to be desired, we have to give props to The Hamilton Room, a joint we doubt has ever played host to artists with as much underground credibility as Migs and Shaw, for their part in making a successful night of what could’ve been a disaster.
I Love Detroit Michigan advises our readers to learn more about the recording careers of both Migs and Shaw. You can watch a great example of their collaborative work for Migs’ own label, Salted Music, here. Enjoy! ~I♥DM