Weaver raves on
Friday night at Footwork , Stretch & Hooker brought Barry Weaver in to drop down some of his trademark "machine gun funk." Weaver, who came up through the L.A. rave scene, built a following in Toronto largely through Stretch & Hooker's old Dose parties. Now, of course, the glory days of rave are long gone: Footwork is definitely a club, the crowd is older, and they're not staying open until sunrise any more.
Stretch & Hooker's opening set had some good, edgy moments, but only a small handful of people were moving to it. At around 1 am, Weaver took over the decks and most of the crowd moved from the bar to the dance floor. Not sure what I was expecting, but it was surprising to hear that he's still playing really ravey stuff. Weaver threw in some rock remixes and a couple of acid tracks, but much of his set was more reminiscent of the fun fur days. Still, the folks on the floor looked like they were enjoying it, so it's quite possible I'm just a snob.
News broke last week that Lucid nightclub has been evicted. It was just one of many connected Lucid clubs around the world, and though the Toronto Lucid was one of the few to drew a crowd, the club was caught up in the ongoing collapse of its parent corporation. Another big, shiny mega-club, Level , opened up around the corner, so there are still plenty of mega-club options. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Syp Lounge is no more, so the notorious basement best known as 56 Kensington is once again empty after only a brief run under its newest name. Many of the indie dances have since moved around the corner to the Boat .
Pal Joey is a NYC legend in both the house and hiphop worlds. A few years back, people would've promoted him more as a house DJ, but things have changed since then. This appearance was framed more around the eclectic quality of his story, as well as his long history - he was booked to play a specifically pre-1994 set for his Saturday night gig at the Social . Apparently, the place took a while to fill up, but by the time we made it in it was packed, and the dance floor was hot and sweaty. Joey split his selections fairly evenly between big obvious anthems and underground obscurities, all of which went over well.
The police crackdown on the afterhours scene seems to have cooled down, so there were lots of options over the weekend for late-night fun. Since there aren't many options for house music events in clubs these days, the DJs and dancers have naturally gone back to the warehouses and lofts. Unfortunately, the nature of these events means it's a lot harder to find out about them if you're not in the know. Getting on your favourite promoter's e-mail list is probably the easiest way, although few do more than one event a month, and there are only a handful of regular spots.