As Wes Allen and Daniel Vila 's Doing It To Death monthly party at Thymeless approaches its first birthday, the focus of the Friday-night shindig continues to be classic funk, garage rock and soul. Some might know Vila from the band No Dynamics, but don't expect that kind of pummelling post-punk here - the vibe is much mellower and more rooted in the classics, even if the crowd is drawn mainly from the indie rock scene.
The bar looked a little sparse when we got there, but as is often the case with this venue, the back patio was packed, and as the night wore on, people started moving back inside to groove to the tunes.
Neither DJ shows off much, but with this type of music it's not really expected. Check the night out after the weather cools down a bit and they'll likely have a good little dance party going on.
Friday afternoon, word started spreading that this would be the last weekend the much-hyped after-hours club Boa-Redux would be open at its present location. Citing ongoing problems with the landlord, organizers, led by Rony Hitti , plan to move to a new venue, but it's unclear when that will be possible.
Boa's biggest selling point is the amazing sound, which is partly due to the great system but is also helped by the acoustics in the former movie theatre that they converted into a club. We hope they find a new room that works as well, but don't hold your breath.
The past couple of years have seen an astonishing reduction in the number of quality underground clubs. Considering that until recently Toronto was known for its exceptionally strong dance music scene, the changes have been dramatic.
At the same time, the number of mainstream clubs has ballooned, mainly because it's much easier to make money from that format. The underground tends to go out late, and it's hard for bars to turn a consistent profit when most of their clientele doesn't show up until an hour before last call and when half of them want to be on the guest list.
Boa tried to get around that by not having a liquor licence, a plan that many in the scene were skeptical about but that worked much better than you'd think, at least for their Saturday nights.
Unfortunately, they never really managed to brand their Friday nights the same way, which meant that they were rarely busy unless there was a big headliner.
This was pretty much the story for the last weekend of Boa. Friday night featured great deep house (courtesy of local DJs Dale Arsenault and Jason Ulrich ) for a small crowd of dedicated music lovers, while Saturday was busy and sweaty for resident DJ Sean Miller 's last set of big thumping tribal house.
That final set was a marathon. Miller was the only DJ and ended up spinning for around nine hours. He's come a long way since he started, mainly due to his gig here. Big-room house can be kind of mind-numbing if you're not in the right frame of mind, but Miller keeps it musical and has a good sense of how to create drama throughout a night.
Let's hope they find a new home for the club. No one can deny that over the past year they've raised the bar for all the other late-night joints. Now they just have to live up to the standard they've set.