Fri, Nov 30
Shit La Merde broke up their usual indie-dance DJ party at Sneaky Dee's for a live performance by local synth-pop band Put the Rifle Down, who've been gradually building a local fan base through their energetic live shows. It's a bit misleading to lump them in with the whole dance-rock thing, since their electronic references are more related to new wave than to DJ culture.
Even if they're not really a dance band, their songs are more than bouncy enough to get the kids moving. The 80s references are front and centre, which works both for and against them. On one hand, the familiarity and nostalgia make them accessible to listeners inclined toward 80s retro, but it also makes it harder for those opposed to musical necrophilia to hear the hooks.
Stopped in at Toi Bar to check out Fukhouse Compressed's presentation of the North American debut of Finland's Juno Kahilainen. Considering that the up-and-coming producer is best known for his association with the Bpitch Control label, it was surprising that his set came as close to deep house as it did to techno. His mixing wasn't impressive, but he did drop a lot of obscure, melodic dance music that doesn't get a lot of play in clubs.
Once upon a time, partiers would call up party hotlines as the weekend approached to find out the locations of warehouse jams and raves. That's a distant memory now, but Internet networking sites have filled the gap, with promoters releasing info on below-the-radar parties through Facebook groups to keep the guest list and location among friends and friends-of-friends.
The Gym Socks And Lollipops shindig was the second top-secret party thrown by the Primary Colours crew, this one in a west-end loft that has somehow escaped the condo boom. While it's difficult to discern all the details behind something like this, there seemed to be a gayish vibe to the event, albeit mixed enough that it's tough to say how deliberate that was. A bunch of locals were DJing, and we managed to catch DJ Barbi (who's seemingly everywhere these days) and VNDLSM (who are currently challenging MSTRKRFT for the Canadian-electro-producers-who-hate-vowels crown).
Sat, Dec 1
It's been quite a while since we've checked in on Move On Up, DJ Anousheh's monthly classic soul and reggae party at the Cloak & Dagger. It's comforting to see that it's still the same casual and down-to-earth pub night, although this month she shook it up a bit by inviting minimalist rhythm and blues duo Catl to squeeze onto the tiny stage to churn out some hypnotic and strangely funky jams.