Apparently, the sun shined down with extra-super-special gusto this week in 2002, because Meiotic, Surreal’s Famous Friday Soiree and Groove Parlor all celebrate the big F-O-U-R this weekend. If techno or mega-club dance music doesn’t float your boat, consider Groove Parlor’s b-day goodies: Mark Grant, Russoul, Vick Lavender and Mr. A.L.I. The latter is the brainchild of Lavender and Jere McAllister, a traditional band that incorporates a DJ and harmonizes house, soul, jazz and Afro-Latin rhythms. About 6-years-old now, the project also caps off two storied dance-music careers. Lavender’s been at the house game for over twenty years and hails from Glenn Underground’s Strictly Jazz Unit. Walk down McAllister’s memory lane and you’re tossing off amiable hellos to Madonna and Prince’s New Power Generation along with the entire 2-step garage scene and an older group of UK journalists nodding their heads in agreement that yes, indeed, it’s that chap who wrote “Let the Music Use You,” the definitive deep-house song of 1988’s Summer of Love. He’s made so many other people famous with his producer/songwriter wizardry—he’s like the Quincy Jones of house. This status has brought some of the best talent Chicago has to offer on the drums, guitars, brass, sax, bass, keys and whatever you want to call David Risque’s spot as the groove guru. Singers Carla Prather (Poi Dog Pondering) and Dajae (“Brighter Days,” “U Got Me Up,”) currently top off this Chicago recipe with a sweet, sultry chocolate sauce and a powerful, gonna-hurt-somebody cherry, respectively. (Melissa Lane)
Mr. A.L.I. performs at the HotHouse, 31 East Balbo, (312)362-9707, on July 28 at 10pm. $20 presale, $25 at the door.