Big Primpin 's concept pretty much speaks for itself - a bunch of fags and their fashionista friends getting down to bling-hop, dancehall, booty and R&B at the Stones Place, a Rolling Stones tribute bar in Parkdale. There's been a lot of word-of- mouth hype about this party over the summer, which might seem weird considering that the music isn't much different from what you'd hear on any club-district night. But sometimes context is everything. Putting those sounds in this space with this crowd shifts the meaning so much that it becomes something new.
Last Saturday with DJ Tough Love wasn't Big Primpin 's most packed night, though, which may be a sign that the novelty has already worn off. Of course, it may be that film festival events kept some of the crowd away.
Over the past year, mainstream club hits have suddenly been adopted by scenes that would normally consider themselves above pop music. Maybe this is a bad sign for the state of underground music, but it's more likely a reaction to the high level of creativity shown by many of the chart-toppers of the past couple of years.
Whatever the reason, it's lots of fun getting down to Missy in an environment less oppressive than any the Richmond/Adelaide strip has to offer.
Suction Records ' showcase Friday at the Rivoli delivered live, bouncy electro pop and new-wave-inspired techno. I walked in partway through a performance by Germany's Skanfrom , who put on a good show, singing live over top of his beats and even playing some of the synth lines live. He called his sound cold wave, but there isn't really that much of a difference between it and the other electro/new-wave related sub-genres.
Suction co-founder Lowfish followed with his own take on the 80s revival, but, unfortunately, he hasn't come up with a way to make the laptop performance interesting to watch. He sparked some awkward IDM dancing, but most of the crowd was content to stand and watch him twist knobs.
More visually interesting was the Lowfish vs. Solvent set that followed, since Solvent has more stage presence and sings (through a vocoder).
It's always fascinating to see how much more an audience reacts when the performers look like they're having fun.
The monthly Hot Times party has moved again, settling into the top floor of the El Mocambo . Friday night the venue was full of indie scenesters getting down to their trademark mix of post-punk, dancehall, hiphop, classic rock and pretty much anything else with a good beat. How can you not love a night where you'll hear Sean Paul, Television and AC/DC in the same hour?
The new venue is terrific - big enough for the crowd, and understated and raw enough for the vibe. If you're interested in this anything-goes approach to the dance party, Hot Times is one of the bigger and better examples. But a growing number of other people are doing these kinds of anti-DJ-culture DJ nights, too.