Friday, January 26
It's hard to explain the simple joy of partying in a place not intended for that kind of activity. For some reason, it always feels like you're getting away with something.
A prime example happened Friday night when the Sport Pig party returned to the Bright Pearl restaurant, better known for its dim sum than for dancing. But take out the tables and chairs, throw together a rental sound system, dim the lights a bit, pack in a few hundred rowdy kids and you've got a delightfully weird event.
Arrived midway through the set of Brendan Canning , who may be better known for his involvement with Broken Social Scene but is actually a pretty decent DJ and has been at it since before his BSS days. As far as tunes went, he seemed to favour the more soulful and organic side of dance music than the indie and electro, although he still played some Hot Chip "for the kids."
One of the drawbacks of unconventional spaces, though, is their unwillingness to go late. In this case, the bar shut down a bit early, and the lights came on not long into the Famous Players ' closing set.
Some readers may remember I picked on them a few weeks ago for using pre-mixed CDs on a lazy night. This time their electro mash-ups came from a laptop, but the shtick still seemed to involve jumping around a lot without actually doing much. In their defence, though, the audience jumped around a lot with them, which is what matters ultimately.
Saturday, January 27
Over the past month, Toronto's seen several performances by Jeff Milligan , who's gearing up to go back to Europe. The most recent was his Saturday appearance at Footwork . In many ways, this was the one local fans were waiting for: a club with a decent sound system that allowed him to do the four-turntable techno wizardry he's loved for.
I got to Footwork after last call, following my own gig, and Milligan was already well into his set, changing the mood of the room with every well-timed flick of his wrists over the faders. In an attempt to pacify the DJ nerds who'd normally be crowding the booth, the club had a video projection of the action shining above his head.
Milligan's technical prowess is indeed fascinating to watch, but DJing is not a sport (except in the case of competitions like the DMC Championships). In the end, it has to work on the dance floor, not on the video feed. After hearing him in his element, I have no doubt that his unique style is actually effective on a physical and emotional level. He's not doing tricks for the sake of showing off, but to put across the music.
Ended up that night at a a small warehouse jam just as Team DMT took over the decks, throwing down their trademark mix of classic house, electro and generally dirty dance music. DJ DMT and Jaime B , who play every Saturday at the Social , recently adopted Team DMT as their new moniker. Apparently, they decided it would make more sense to perform under one name.