Monday nights are usually a tough sell, but you wouldn't know it from the crowd lined up outside Alto Basso for Love Movement , a sweet little hiphop night hosted by K-OS and Sol Guy , with DJs Na Na and Fase . The authorities are keeping a close eye on capacity these days, so the lineup starts early and moves slowly. Those lucky enough to get in find a friendly, no-attitude hiphop party - the ever-present breakdancing circle, singalongs on the choruses and good vibes all around. It's hard to say what's made this night such a success. That a high-profile name like K-OS is attached to it helps, and DJ Fase has built a good reputation both for production work and his busy DJ schedule. Still, lots of people try to do early-in-the-week parties and fail, while these guys are doing better than many weekend events.
If you had to classify the night, it'd be in the underground hiphop realm, but you can still expect to hear the better parts of commercial tunes, along with lots of classics. Looking around the party scene, I'd have call this little Monday-night party one of the hottest weekly events going on, especially considering it's a no-cover all-local jam.
If you love hiphop, aren't digging the club district jiggy scene and find the backpacker side too nerdy and dull, Love Movement might be what you're looking for.
The people behind the now defunct Slut School parties have started up Wasted Talent , a weekly Wednesday-night event at Fuse Room . Like Slut School, it's an open-format-type deal - you can hear everything from hiphop and electro to booty and pop. Resident DJ Dig Doug has an interesting ADD-fuelled, eclectic collage approach, and he's joined weekly by guest DJs spinning similarly mixed-up sets. Despite upbeat tunes, the space is more about lounging than dancing. The front patio gets claimed relatively early, but there's usually space in back. As at most mid-week parties, you can expect to find no cover and reasonably priced drinks.
Cocktail Molotov isn't billed as a DJ venue, but it does have the equipment and a few cool nights happening right now. Every other Wednesday, When We Were Athletic touches down for yet another of those no-format parties. A mostly student crowd gathers to hear hiphop, old school, indie rock and guilty pleasure pop. The mixing is nothing to write home about, as usual for these hipster-type nights, and nobody seems to mind the lack of beat-matching. The indie DJ scene is suddenly getting crowded in Toronto, but these guys have carved out a little space for themselves that seems to be working.
Sometimes you get sick of seeing guys mixing records and actually want to hear some musicians. Revival has had a long-running open-mic night on Mondays where you can hear undiscovered local talent flexing their vocal muscles over conscious R&B, soul and old school. It might sound like a variation on karaoke, but the ultra-tight VIP Jam Band keep the vibe live and electric.
In between singers, veteran DJ Dave Campbell spins some sweet tunes, often playing off the song choices of the singers. It's a fun, mellow night, and convenient for those who can't get in across the street at Alto Basso.
Be warned, though. They like to turn on the lights and clear the tables very shortly after 2 am - not a late-night kind of scene.