Bump gets bumped
The Hot Stepper brothers are adjusting to a couple of new babies in their family, leading to their decision to put their Garage 416 parties on hold and move Bump N' Hustle to a smaller location, the Rivoli . Word is that Garage 416 will be back in some form this summer, but in the meantime, Bump N' Hustle continues to be one of the most happening funk, hiphop, reggae and deep house nights around. Last Saturday, residents Paul E Lopes and Mike Tull proved once again that international guests aren't needed when you have top-notch locals who know their crowd.
The Rivoli doesn't feel much like a dance club, but this party doesn't need flashing lights and clubland glamour to get down. Immediately, you notice that most folks are dancing - this is no place for wallflowers and bar stars.
The two DJs play a lot of classics, but it's not quite an old-school party, if that's what you're thinking. Expect lots of hands in the air for the mixes, and plenty of singing along for the anthems. Good down-to-earth sweaty fun.
Migs funks it up
Miguel Migs 's Naked Music label has a deep history. It was at the forefront of the commercial peak of the deep house scene at the end of the 90s and pioneered a more modern approach to the soulful side of house that had previously dominated that party scene. The glittery, pop-based, dubbed-out sound appealed to many who weren't that receptive to the earthier sound that was the cornerstone of the garage and deep house scenes. This created a dilemma for DJs, who had to play more of the Naked Music style of track or risk turning off the new faces.
Now the division isn't nearly as sharp, so Migs's DJ appearance last Friday at Boa-Redux was well attended by house heads of all stripes. Wisely, he stayed away from the sleepier side of his sound and concentrated more on the funk, which kept the majority of the crowd glued to the dance floor.
As a special surprise, singer Lisa Shaw accompanied him to town to lay down some live vocals. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a Polkaroo situation, since there was no schedule and I somehow managed to miss both of her appearances at the mic while taking breaks in the lounge.
According to those lucky enough to hear her, she was one of the highlights of the evening, displaying a voice much stronger than suggested by her singles.
Despite a complete lack of promotion, Bird actually does quite well most nights. It's a cute little second-floor lounge on College, with outrageously tall ceilings and a very slick design sense. Saturdays feature Jason Ulrich , a local DJ who keeps impressing me with his surprisingly wide taste. The vibe at Bird reflects Ulrich's more mellow side - deep jazzy house, melodic techno, soul, disco and a little bit of R&B once in a while.
A great spot to hit on the way out to something bigger.