Still shacked up
It's been amusing watching Shack Up evolve over the past year. For a long time it consisted of just a handful of people listening to whatever Mikey Apples and Jaime Sin were digging that week, sipping beer on a chilled-out Thursday night at the charmingly downmarket Queenshead Pub .
Somehow, though, without any real attempt to promote or hype up the night, it became one of the most consistently fun weeknight parties in town, and much hipper than either of the organizers ever intended.
The grimy pub ends up feeling more like a club once it fills up, albeit without the booming bass and fancy lasers. Granted, the indie dance music played wouldn't really feel at home in a real club, and neither would many of the patrons, for that matter. The crowd is a mix of younger college kids and slightly older scenesters, music geeks and party animals. Musically, it's based on that dance punk thing, but pretty much anything goes.
They often invite guests to play with them but don't make a big deal about it. They don't bother flyering, whether it's a no-name local or LCD Soundsystem 's James Murphy .
Mostly, they've done the opposite of what every other party does. Instead of bottle service, they offer cheap bottles of beer. Instead of hiring big-name guests to attract people, the big-name guests are attracted to the night and ask to play. Instead of offering guest list, they just don't charge a cover. Regardless, there's a lineup most weeks, so they must be doing something right.
Walked down to the DeLeon White Gallery after my gig Saturday night to check out Black Market 's presentation of Darshan Jesrani , better known as the other half of deep synth disco kings Metro Area .
Those of you paying attention will note that this event was originally slated to be at 99 Sudbury but was moved at the last moment after disagreements between the owner and the promoters. The other upcoming Black Market events have also been moved, but some events organized by other promoters are still scheduled at Studio 99 .
The last-minute change definitely affected the turnout, but since the space was smaller, it wasn't really noticeable. It also meant that a higher percentage of the people there came specifically for the music, which meant a more receptive crowd.
Like his partner in Metro Area, Morgan Geist , Jesrani favours obscure vintage dance music over the newest and hottest, blending old house, 80s R&B and plenty of disco. Geist tends to get a bit weirder, and Jesrani plays more soulful, but they're essentially mining a similar area. He's not the tightest DJ by any standard, although in his defence, records with live drums can't be mixed the same way as those based on drum machines. Besides, his fades were usually so short that you didn't really notice the looseness, and the quality of the tunes made up for any lack of technical showmanship or flash.