Farewell, sort of
The warehouse at 99 Sudbury has served both as a film studio and as a rental venue for a range of events over the last 10 years.
Saturday was the official final party before the new owners take over the building, and the Black Market guys put together a monster lineup for the occasion: Derrick May , considered one of the founding fathers of techno; Larry Heard , generally credited as the originator of deep house; and along with those two legends, Detroit's Mike Huckaby as opener.
The room was already pretty full while Huckaby warmed up the crowd, dropping some classic techno and house anthems mixed cleanly and effectively. Before long, Heard stepped up to the booth and proceeded to play some of the stranger moments from the last three decades of underground dance music. Despite favouring the weirder aspects of DJ culture, he blended between the eras quite well, playing the tightest set I've ever heard from him. He's known primarily as a producer, but his DJing skills have improved greatly over the past few years.
As good as Heard was, May managed to send the energy levels through the roof within a few seconds of taking over the mixing board. Starting his set with classic underground disco, he tweaked the hell out of the system, causing half the room to throw their hands in the air and cheer.
This was impressive when you consider that the vast majority were there for more electronic sounds. Soon, May was pounding the room with sexy percussion-heavy techno, chopping up the rhythms with the cross-fader and sculpting the tracks with the EQ. If we'd forgotten why his reputation is so strong, this night brought it all back.
Some of you may have noticed that there's still one more event scheduled at 99 Sudbury for New Year's Eve, so it wasn't quite the final night. However, the Mercer Union NYE party is much less DJ-focused, so Saturday sort of counted as the last dance party.
Keep an eye out in the coming year for Black Market's documentary on the history of the room.
Supermarket gets sMASH'd
Supermarket has hosted a series of events called sMASH'd , where musicians from various indie bands take over the turntables for a night.
Friday featured members of controller.controller and the Uncut , playing a mixture of rock, electro, new wave and disco punk. The tunes were decent, although the mixing was for the most part non-existent. ( Mario J of AD/D joked that he should start a night called Rockstars Are Not DJs.)
A sizable crowd turned out, but it seemed like many weren't there specifically for the party. Ian Worang of the Uncut grumbled that random people came up to him while he was playing with comments like "Are you going to play anything from this decade?" -- up there with "Can you play something we know so we can dance?" as far as annoying requests go.
You'd think a $10 cover would screen out people looking for top-40 at an event like this.
Cute pub the Cloak & Dagger has reopened after renovations with new owners but a similar vibe to the one it built its name on.
Friday night, Madame Hair 's monthly party, Bitch Tap , had the bar pretty close to overflowing. Fun, trashy rock was the theme, and that included everything from punk to hair metal to classic rock.
Good rowdy fun.