Parrish BurnsParrish Burns
The King Sunshine band brought Detroit's Theo Parrish back to the Reverb Friday, August 3, for a repeat of last winter's memorable gig. This time more of the crowd caught on to the fact that they shouldn't leave just because the band's finished and it's past last call. Parrish plays long, dynamic sets of jazzy disco, strange techno, cosmic funk, soulful house and whatever else happens to catch his fancy.
It's hard to classify what he does. Starting off heavy and slow, he gradually works his way through an astonishing number of genres, slowly bringing the tempo up to house speed. He rides the EQ hard to transform old songs, making 25-year-old classics sound fresh and exciting again. Not one to rely on hits, he sticks to obscure, strange but funky, epic songs. Too bad there aren't more DJs this adventurous.
familiar mixfamiliar mix
Roxy Blu was surprisingly roomy Friday night for the Level 101 presentation of New York's MKL. Granted, he doesn't have that many releases under his belt yet, but as a DJ he has a good reputation and has done an impressive number of high-profile gigs at key New York clubs. Unfortunately, that didn't translate into a packed club -- by 1 am the main room was still sparsely populated.
His set contained lots of anthems, a few deep jazzy tracks and some Afro-Cuban percussion workouts. Solid track selection but not many surprises or creative mixing. It's becoming hard to get too excited about this kind of DJing -- there are so many locals playing the same songs, and every week another big international DJ's dropping this flavour as well. Maybe it's time to diversify.
smokin' j smokin' j
San Francisco DJ Jay-J hit the Element Sunday, August 5, courtesy of Poundhouse for a solid set of dubby house, garage and pumping club house. One of the few San Francisco DJs to live up to the expectations generated by the buzz around the Naked Music label, Jay-J knows how to get a crowd moving. Slick mixing, good track selection and a refreshing variety of sounds kept the dance floor filled. Definitely a good ambassador for the San Francisco sound.
small is beautiful small is beautiful
The intimacy of little lounges can be a welcome change from big, sweaty dance clubs. The Up and Down lounge, for example, is an oasis of calm in the heart of the Richmond and Adelaide club district. The music policy is mixed -- expect to hear anything from R&B to d 'n' b. The comfortable couches upstairs encourage a relaxed vibe, and the size of the place forces you to get a bit friendly with your neighbours.
The IV Lounge is also worth checking out. It always feels like a party in someone's living room. Surprise DJs are a regular occurrence. Last Thursday, August 2, Manitoba stopped by to spin an unannounced set. Don't be fooled by the small front room; there's a back room and patio as well. Glad to see they've upgraded the sound system, but they could put the old speakers in the back so everyone could hear the music.