simply rid diculous
Wasn't sure what to expect Friday night as I made my way toward Lounge 88 for the Rid Diculous party. Most events these days are promoted through flyers, e-mail and sometimes posters, but this party had only come to my attention through word of mouth.
Surprisingly, the inconspicuous side-street bar had a substantial crowd lined up outside and was packed solid inside. Performing were Adam Marshall on turntables and Pan/Tone on the computer, working together to create a tight and funky tech-house mix. The music was apparently more electro-themed earlier on, and many in the crowd took the opportunity to dress in their best ghetto-fabulous 80s fashion-victim styles. Unfortunately, the bar chose to turn on the bright lights shortly after last call.
The old Future Bakery spot on Queen West recently became home to a new restaurant/bar, Habitat. Stopped by Friday night to find it overflowing with well-dressed, upscale clubbers bobbing their heads and socializing to DJ Ali Black's smooth deep house sounds. Nicely designed, the place oozes Wallpaper-style sophistication and boasts a good-sized patio for people-watchers. It's still hard to tell whether Habitat will evolve into a dance bar or focus on being a restaurant and lounge, but either way it promises to be a hot spot for a while to come.
red beet juiced
The Sunday-night Red Beet Lounge at Fressen is still going strong and now has a regular lineup of DJs: Sircut Breaker, Tarik (who also gets on the mike once in a while), General Eclectic and Fable. The sound is a mix of classic soul and funk, hiphop, reggae and whatever else they feel like playing. Last Sunday's long-weekend edition was overflowing with partiers, but the night is now consistently well attended even in normal weeks. Odd as it may seem to be hanging out in a vegetarian restaurant dancing to hiphop late at night, the concept somehow works. Could be that people are tired of hanging out at the typical club venues and are hungry for something a bit more casual and intimate.
DJ Anousheh's new monthly get-together, Move On Up, started last Saturday at the Cloak & Dagger and will be continuing the first Saturday of every month. Focusing on 60s and 70s soul and reggae, she got a little help last week from Brooklyn's Ras Kush, still in town after his Holy Joe's gig Friday night.
While Kush's selections were top-notch, his overuse of the built-in sound effects on the mixer lost its charm after the first hour. Still, it was a nice opportunity to catch the dub reggae don at a low-key, casual event. Anousheh herself seemed content to dance for most of the night and only stepped up to the decks close to last call to provide the evening's soul quotient.
Although the Cloak & Dagger is much more a pub than a club, it's a swell spot for rootsy music and the perfect place for Move On Up.