Wed, July 25
Meant to have a mellow Wednesday night, but once again it didn't work out that way. It started out relatively low-key with a couple of drinks at Unit , where Jason Ulrich was laying down some chilled-out broken beats and deep house. A nice cozy spot to relax and chat, it's one of the under-hyped gems on the West Queen West strip, probably because most people don't realize it's a bar.
The quiet night ended when we headed a couple of doors down to the Gladstone for its weekly queer bash, Hump Day Bump . In the continually packed event, it's tough to avoid getting drawn into the debauchery (if you get in before they reach capacity).
This week, one of the guest DJs was Will Munro , who played a more accessible dance floor set than I've heard from him in a while, hitting some fun pop dance classics as well as some contemporary Baltimore club and electro bangers. People's reactions to the new M.I.A. track suggest good things for her fall release.
Thu, July 26
The girls at Pink Mafia have built an impressive following and reputation over the past few years based on a number of different parties, including Sport Pig , Lust For Kicks and Thunderpussy . They're also behind the scenes at a wide range of shit, from underground to mainstream events. Though certain scenesters may be suspicious of the mainstream factor, an equal number of younger partiers who don't draw the same lines any more are drawn in.
Last Thursday, the Pink Mafia crew celebrated the second anniversary of Sport Pig by taking over three rooms of Captain John's Boat . Musically, they hit all their bases. You had live surf rock from the Sin-Tones , hard rock with Die Mannequin , a karaoke room run by Syntonics (who also DJed between singers), indie dance electro-ish tunes from Shit la Merde , Denise Benson and Fierce Helder as well as some celebrity DJing from Bedouin Soundclash 's DJ Eoin and an early evening set from Chino Moreno of the Deftones .
Strangely, the good weather may have worked against them; most of the crowd stuck to the outside area, leaving the larger indoor room half empty much of the night. Shit la Merde and Eoin didn't seem to mind having most of the party out on the deck with them, though in typical T.O. style, they were occasionally told to turn it down to keep the peace with the neighbours.
Fri, July 27
Testing your Mettle
For partiers of a certain age and sensibility, the late 90s house and techno party Mettle was an institution, albeit smaller than much of their competition. It's been many years since the five DJs spun together, but because they were all in town at the same time, the Fukhouse crew decided to host a Mettle reunion at Toi Bar .
More than a few of their fans came out of retirement for the occasion, and the Mettle crew pulled old anthems out of the crates in exchange. Kinda weird to think about tech-house in nostalgic terms, but every style seems retro eventually.
The night's only drawback was the oppressive heat. Due to noise issues, the bar can't open its windows in the summer, and AC only does so much when a capacity crowd dances their asses off.
Changing of the locks
A few clubs won't be opening this weekend, or at least not with the same keys. Both the Queenshead and Crosstown are shut down over landlord/tenant disputes, which seems fishy as they're on top of each other at a busy downtown corner. Who wants to bet some kind of chain takes over the space?
Also, Andy Poolhall will be closed until September (as of August 6) to build more bathrooms and then combine spaces with adjacent sister bar Ciao Edie . Just south of them on Dundas, the White Orchid has changed owners but will remain under the same name for now. The White Orchid folks have acquired another spot, though, so look for a new bar opening soon.