Derrick Carter and Mark Farina to play Epic show
Old-school Chicago buddies Derrick Carter and Mark Farina are house music's modern heroes. They're about as popular as a pair of DJs can get, Mark hailed for his legendary Mushroom Jazz compilations and fluid style and Derrick for his epic late-night sets and ability to work a crowd. The two are reuniting to play a show together at Epic on October 1, and seeing as though it's a package deal (and rarely ever is anymore), I thought I'd take a moment to tell you a story involving these two.
In 2004, popular glossy magazine URB sent me on my first cover story assignment to Chicago to interview Farina and Carter for the mag's 120th issue. The two had a gig at Zentra to launch a tour surrounding their double CD coming out on Om Records, and the label pitched the story as a jaunt through house's golden days from the mouth of Mark and Derrick in the city that bonded them in the late '80s. What happened was a version of that, but mixed with near heart attacks, perilous wall-climbing and a wild goose chase.
Derrick Carter (left) and Mark Farina, BFF
It was a hot Friday afternoon in the Chi, and Mark and I rolled up to Derrick's apartment in a flossy limo paid for by the label, both of us slightly uncomfortable with that but ready to tour the city and get nostalgic. Derrick, however, was nowhere to be found. After more than a half an hour of knocking and phone calls to friends and neighbors, Mark, who is a petite dude and incredibly laid back, began to scale the outside wall to reach Derrick's second-story windows. Hours passed and concern grew, but Mark insisted that Derrick does his own thing and adheres to no one's schedule and not to worry. All I could think about was that damn cover, visions of it dancing around in my head, taunting me to make it happen.
Evening rolled around and we showed up to a packed club Zentra hoping to discover some amazing reason for Derrick's MIA status, but there he was behind the DJ booth with a sassy smirk on his face, commanding the crowd like they were dancing puppets. I suddenly felt like a puppet myself.
"He just made you work for it, that's all," Mark smiled as he joined Derrick in the booth.
"Don't be mad, girl," Derrick said as he approached with a hug, his charm his greatest weapon next to his music prowess. Mad was not the word, but exhausted was. It was 3 a.m. and we had spent the entire day after an early flight running around Chicagoland, so even the dancefloor started looking like a welcome place to steal a nap. Instead, we rounded up the befuddled team of makeup, hair, wardrobe and photographers to FINALLY get the cover shot. A wave of relief rolled over as the camera clicked away. It was the sweetest sound ever.
Returning home the following afternoon, I somehow snagged Derrick for a phoner as my deadline loomed dangerously close.
"So, uh... what ... happened back in Chicago?" I inquired cautiously.
"Oh, you know...." Derrick said coyly. "I just don't like interviews."
Here's the flyer for the October 1 event at Epic, which is sure to be a blast:
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