Wed, Sep 12
Boys Noize (aka Alexander Ridha) is one of the hot electro house producers of the moment, so I was easily convinced to trek over to the Social to check him out in a smallish venue on a weeknight.
Nasty Nav was cranking out a pretty bangin' opening set as the place started to fill up and the dancers found their groove. Formerly known as Deejay Nav during his days with jazz funk collective Movement, Nav has since moved into the indie dance scene with great results, using the skills he developed mixing vintage 45s to bring a bit more technical finesse to this sound.
It was obvious even from the bathroom when Boys Noize took over the decks, since he took the opportunity to play many of his own productions and remixes, starting with the much-loved Feist remix that closes out his new album.
Overall, his set was hard and aggressive (not in a bad way), but not quite as abrasive as his noisiest tracks.
Sat, Sep 15
While most venues that managed to secure an extended last-call licence for the Film Festival used the opportunity to host celebrities pretending to be DJs, the Social dumped all that extra money into a shitload of actual DJs.
The quality entertainment was appreciated, but by Saturday night the Social was starting to feel a little too much like a second home and the nights were starting to blur into one another.
Weekends are generally packed there as it is, so adding Damian Lazarus (the man behind the Crosstown Rebels label) to the bill wasn't really necessary to draw in the crowds.
Compared to the full-on vibe that the residents (Team DMT) crank out each week, his sound is almost sleepy and minimal, but when you've got a full house of partiers, you can get away with being a bit more introspective and heady.
Best were the moments when Lazarus moved away from techno and dropped a few vocal tracks - not really house, but soulful and deep in a way you don't really expect at this kind of night, which tends to be more about big, fist-pumping speaker-thumpers.
Granted, many in the crowd were clearly waiting for the residents to come back on, testament to the vibe and following Team DMT have built up over the past few years.
At Footwork, UK tech-house dude Mike Monday was playing some pretty decent tunes when we walked in. Unfortunately, the extended serving hours at other bars cut heavily into the late-night crowd that normally turns up here, making it a relatively mellow night.
Situations like this highlight the complete lack of logic of the current liquor laws. Are people in Toronto too irresponsible to drink late except when there are famous Americans around? Why extend hours only in some bars, creating a handful of late-night zoos? We aren't children (our ID proves it), and it's embarrassing to have to explain our archaic laws to visitors.
If we're a world-class city, let's allow our nightlife to reflect that instead of doing everything possible to make it hard to run a profitable club.