Torturing Tortured Soul
The gods of live performance were unhappy Friday night. At around 1 am, the three-piece NYC live house music band - special guests at Roxy Blu in a joint presentation by Phatblackpussykat and Flirt - stepped up to their instruments and blended their first song with the track thrown down by DJs Dirty Dale Arsenault and Jason Palma . But singer/drummer Christian Urich 's mic shorted out, and their techs frantically tried to get it working as the band jammed on. Many in the club had no idea anything was wrong, since there wasn't really a stage and most couldn't see the band.
Eventually, the band gave up and decided to call an intermission while the problems were patched up.
The DJs kept the crowd moving, and a short while later the band returned to their instruments and made a second attempt. The vocals were still low in the mix, but at least you could hear them.
Then, toward the end of their set, their bass player broke a string and the other players were left holding a groove while he restrung it.
You couldn't help feeling sorry for Tortured Soul. They've been touring non-stop for a while now, and have fine-tuned their impression of a DJ set into a highly effective beast. But they never let the problems throw them off. When things went wrong, they adjusted to it and made the most of the situation - much more effective than throwing a temper tantrum at the sound guy.
Earlier in the evening, Palma and Arsenault played together in the main room, dropping some smooth soulful grooves for an appreciative crowd. Both are pretty excitable when they DJ, but putting them together compounded this; by the end of the set they were jumping up and down with their hands in the air, singing along.
Mellow but festive
When Project opened earlier this year at Queen and Sherbourne, it seemed like the rough neighbourhood would interfere with the goal of establishing a chi-chi lounge. A few months in, the guys at Black Market Records have been brought in to help with booking the venue, and they've given it more of a small underground club feel. Last Saturday's slot was filled with a last-minute booking, an event called Festive Vibe , featuring some regulars from the local deep house scene: Peter & Tyrone , Peter Bosco , Alvaro G and Mat Chrysdale .
As usual for a hastily promoted event, the room wasn't exactly packed, but about 80 per cent of the people were dancing at any one time. Bosco, probably best known for his Web site (garagehousemusic. com), plays the occasional club gig in addition to his regular Internet mixes.
He played a nice set - not terribly flashy but solid and musical. He's known for his love of vocals, but he dropped some instrumental tracks this time as well. Nice to see him playing a peak-time set.
Stopped by Lust Nightclub late Saturday night for the weekly Arc event, this time featuring Chicago deep house heavyweight Boo Williams . The crowd here aren't the same people Williams usually pulls, but they seemed to enjoy it nevertheless. It's hard to say how long this Saturday night can be kept going, though. It's not drawing consistent crowds, and two of the three floors are closed most nights. On the other hand, System Soundbar 's long-running house night on Saturdays is ending this weekend, so a bunch of partiers may suddenly be looking for a new late-night spot.