Everything is everything
At his Saturday headlining appearance at Footwork, Montreal deep house veteran Fred Everything showcased his chunkier, pumping side. Don't be mistaken - it wasn't a set of hard banging tracks by any means, but neither was it a night of soulful vocals and mellow vibes. Overall it was decent, but it occasionally plodded along too long without moving up to the next level. But even on an off night, Everything's still better than most.
Not until about 1 am did the club fill up to a respectable level. You can see why clubs like this, if they're only doing decent business at the bar for half an hour before last call, raise their cover charge as the night goes on.
No wonder so few venues are open to hosting nights devoted to underground dance music, while so many others remain in love with the bottle-service-and-top-40 crowd, who tend to get to their destination much earlier and drop a lot more money on booze in the course of the night.
It's that time of the year again, when all your favourite CKLN radio shows hold out their hand for the donations that keep the station running. Friday night at Andy Poolhall, Synchro hosted its fundraiser event, featuring special guests Mel Boogie, Circle Research and Dubmatix alongside residents Denise Benson and Andrew Allsgood.
Early in the evening, Dubmatix had the dance floor going off to live electro-dub reggae sounds. Later on, a relaxed and very detached Mel Boogie rocked the decks to a packed house, calmly cutting up hiphop and old school while looking like she could have been filing library books rather than commanding asses to shake. The lack of fist-pumping theatrics clearly had no effect on the crowd's enjoyment of the tunes.
After her, the Circle Research crew stepped up with a fun and cheesy-in-a-good-way set that embraced the open-format theme of Synchro. Those of us who know them mainly through their long-running radio show might have expected more straight-up hiphop, but it's nice to see DJs step out of the boxes they sometimes find themselves in.
Earlier on Friday night, I stopped by the Beaver for the first edition of No TO at its new location. Will Munro has moved the monthly no-wave and punk-funk-themed party, formerly at Thymeless, to the bar he now co-owns. While both are more bars than clubs, Thymeless boasted that booming reggae sound system that added welcome oomph to some of the more lo-fi records. The Beaver, however, is definitely more queer and more punk than Thymeless, and while the sight of art fags hanging out next to somewhat bewildered dreads was always good for a laugh, you can see why it might be a better fit here.
The problem with throwing parties like this at the Beaver is that there's no clear dance floor. The raised area toward the back is the obvious spot, but the DJ booth is in the front and the dancers tend to feel like they're on a stage, which is only appealing for exhibitionist types.
Some nights have seen people dancing in front of the booth, but there they get blinded by the video projector that's usually aimed at the window, and they have to step aside for people coming in and out of the bar.