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Club Kid Michael Alig Tells All

After 17 years in prison for the grisly, drug-fuelled murder of Andre (Angel) Melendez, self-proclaimed "King of the Club Kids" Michael Alig is back in New York and looking at the next stage of his life.

Portrayed by Macaulay Culkin in the film Party Monster in 2003, Alig was instrumental in the rise of club kids in the Big Apple and beyond and also helped shape the late-'80s and early '90s club scene. Alig's rise came at a time when the media was still struggling to understand the emerging club culture and the rise of the rave scene. More than a party promoter, cultural instigator and a drug addict, Alig defined the excess and anything-goes ethos that then-mayor Rudy Giuliani was trying to stamp out of popular night clubs run by Canadian Peter Gatien, such as The Limelight, Palladium, Club USA and Tunnel.

While the club kids were a refuge for loners, weirdos or anyone who didn't feel like they fit in, there was also a dark side to what was happening in New York. At the height of Gatien's empire and Alig's rise to the top, a four-day drug bender ended in the gruesome death of Alig's friend and dealer Melendez. Robert (Freeze) Riggs and Alig would later be charged with Melendez's death and would spend nearly the next two decades in prison.

In his first video interview since being released, the now sober Alig talks about life in prison, how his insatiable appetite for drugs slowly consumed him and how he is approaching the next phase of his life. Alig is already active on social media, has a camera crew shooting a potential TV series and is working on his own book. There is also an upcoming documentary in the works called Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig, directed by Ramon Fernandez.

 

Stream of the Week: Hana Lu Lu -- Keepsake

The latest edition of the Bands Vs Filmmakers is set for May 23 at the West End Cultural Centre. Bringing together Winnipeg's visual arts community with local bands, the fourth instalment of the popular series will feature acts including Hana Lu Lu, Birdapres and Grey Jay, Ridley Bent, Mise en Scene and Les Jupes along with filmmakers Damien Ferland, Kayla Jeanson, Madison Thomas, Tyler Funk and Matheu Plouffe, who will each be debuting new work to visually accompany the bands. Tickets are $20 in advance at the West End Cultural Centre, Ticketmaster, Music Trader, Winnipeg Film Group and Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store and will be $25 at the door.

 

Video of the Week: 2ManyDJs -- As Heard On Radio

Soulwax Pt 2

 bit.ly/2manydjs_video

Back in 2002, 2ManyDJs (a.k.a. Soulwax) released the groundbreaking mashup mix As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt 2. Capturing the musical zeitgeist at the time, 2ManyDJs carefully stitched, sampled, mixed and reappropriated over 114 tracks into a genre-smashing concoction that has stood the test of time and is seen as the benchmark in mashup culture.

Part of their ongoing project to release 24 hour-long audiovisual mixes through their app/Internet radio station, As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt 2 is a stunning example of mashup and sampling culture and makes you wish that 2ManyDJs would head back into the studio again.

 

Anthony Augustine is a freelance music, technology and pop culture writer who spends way too much time in front of a computer. Got a site you think he should see? Email him at anthony.siteunseen@gmail.com or follow him at twitter.com/anthonya.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 22, 2014 C14

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