Fri, May 18
Do the Hustle
Headed to the Boat to check out this month's edition of Step Ball Hustle , an indie-dance party that regularly features live acts as well as DJs. Friday's featured band was Put The Rifle Down , a synth-pop four-piece who've been honing their sound for the past couple of years. A lot of their onstage presentation suggests what we've come to expect from contemporary electro-pop bands - sequenced synths (with a headphone-wearing drummer as accompaniment), electric bass somewhat buried in the mix and a singer who prowls the stage while wrapping himself in the mic cord.
But if you ignore the visual cues and just listen, PTRD make pop music that's much more straightforward than they'd probably care to admit. That's not necessarily a bad thing - we've seen more than enough "edgy" electro bands who suffer from a lack of hooks and no pop sensibility. These guys aren't in that category at all, and they would likely be better off if they either chose to push the dance-band aspect further or to completely give in to their pop impulses. At this point, the cowbell and electro-synth riffs feel tacked on for effect, rather than being genuine elements of the songs.
DJing alongside the band were Dougie Boom and Orly , both of whom did their best to counter the stereotype of technically challenged indie-dance DJs. Some might argue that the computer software used by both DJs makes the process easier, but if you stood behind them for a while and watched the screen and their hands you'd realize they work hard for their pay behind the decks and laptop.
On the way home, stopped by DMoney 's Edumacation party in the Drake Underground . Featuring DJ Fase behind the decks, it's a sunny, old-school-themed party that dives into many of the forgotten moments of 90s urban music - fun for anyone who's ever felt nostalgic for the sounds of new jack swing and old dancehall reggae hits. It may not be the most forward-thinking concept for a night, but it's definitely a good time out.
Sun, May 20
The Pink Mafia squad have started up a new Sunday night party at the Bovine Sex Club called Thunderpussy . As you might guess from the name, the weekly is geared towards girls, though it's far from being an exclusively women's event. That said, it's fairly queer, with some crossover from the Bovine's normal rock 'n' roll crowd, as well as a smattering of hipsters and Queen West art fags.
For the long weekend edition, they featured a live set by Fritz Helder and the Phantoms , who were a great match for the new illuminated disco dancefloor stage (think Saturday Night Fever). The bar was packed to capacity long before the kitschy electro-funk band came on, which made for good energy in the room, but poor sightlines for a show that's as much a heavily choreographed dance performance as it is a musical act. Sound troubles compromised the first half of their set, but by the end Fritz - who's starting to sound more like a singer and less like a dancer attempting vocals - was working that stage like a younger, male Grace Jones.