GNARLY featuring PANDEMONIUM JONES, COUSIN COLE, DOUGIE BOOM, DENNIS CHOW at Sneaky Dee?s (431 College), Saturday (December 8). $tba. firstname.lastname@example.org.
LUST FOR KICKS REUNION featuring NIKKI AWESOME, 3D SPECS, FAMOUS PLAYERS at 751 (751 Queen West), Saturday (December 8). $5. email@example.com. Rating: NNNNN
Technically, Darcy Scott (Dmoney) and Anna Von Frances (Pink Mafia) are in competition this Saturday. But you wouldn't know it from the way they finish each other's sentences and tease each other over drinks at the pub. Granted, they've collaborated in the past and originally met as children in the playground, where Von Frances claims to have once bullied the young Scott.
As promoters they also have common ground in that neither is doing it to aid his or her own DJ career, and both bring busloads of attitude to the game. They're also reaching the point where the hipster scene they helped form is no longer the alternative to the norm, forcing them to re-evaluate and reinvent.
"The sound had become homogenized," Scott admits. "Everyone is downloading the same tracks, reading the same blogs. I'll be the first person to say that I'm fucking sick of Justice. I don't want to fucking hear another Justice song ever again, I'm so over it.
"It used to be open-format dance parties, and while no one has changed that and no one is saying it's now a techno party, that's what it's become - everywhere you go, it's all blog-house. That's fine, but in a city this size, there's room for more."
"I feel like we're suffering because of the monster we helped create," Von Frances interjects.
Both Dmoney and Pink Mafia have done too many parties under various names and themes to list here, and they often serve as mirrors of each other - Pink Mafia is all about brash young girls, and Dmoney is a celebration of obnoxious male energy.
"In the early days, we had all the chicks that guys who were going to his parties were sleeping with, or wanted to sleep with," Von Frances reminisces.
"We'd use sex overtly - having a cute girl giving out fliers with cum shots on them, which really freaked out guys."
"For me," Scott interrupts, "sex is the one thing I've stayed away from. I'm much more comfortable using drugs and violence - that's an angle I can do."
"We don't make overly sexualized posters any more, because I feel like we gave licence to other people to exploit women," Von Frances responds. "I don't feel it's fresh, and I don't feel like there's a point any more. There's no longer anything clever, interesting or political about it."
Dismiss it as shock value if you want, but both promoters have managed to parlay the extreme reactions they provoke into dedicated crowds, which has put them in a position to reinvent their identities. Scott's Gnarly event is the rebranding of a party he and Von Frances collaborated on a while ago, which he promises will feature no blog-house if he has anything to say about it.
"We're trying to do a throwback to late-80s skate-punk-thrash attitude, but we're not limiting the music to that time frame - as long as it's angsty, high-energy and about directionless rebellion."
Additional Audio Clips
DJ mix that Pandemonium Jones did for the Gnarly party : www.topshelfmotherfucker.com/CAPSnJONES
DJ mix by Famous Players, who are playing the Lust For Kicks party : www.megaupload.com/?d=HMC78QMS