Thu, Apr 24
Got to the Social a bit before midnight and found a surprisingly empty club for Paris-based electro house producer Lifelike. Seemed the patio fatigue (exhaustion from afternoons of outdoor drinking) that kept clubs quiet last week might be continuing, but within half an hour the place filled up with partiers.
He wasn’t doing a traditional DJ set, instead performing a pseudo-live set off a laptop. Peering over his shoulder at his screen, I saw he was often running several channels of audio, blurring the line between a DJ set and a full-fledged live show.
He wasn’t as aggro as some of his Parisian electro buddies, which was refreshing, but he also didn’t connect with the dance floor quite as well. Unfortunately, many partiers still need to hear the standard hits of the month if they’re going to go nuts.
Fri, Apr 25
Helder Family Singers
The House of Helder (aka the Fritz Helder and the Phantoms extended family) celebrated both the release of their newest 12-inch single and the birthday of vocalist Pastel Supernova at Wrongbar. As at the Social on the previous night, attendance was unusually sparse until relatively late. Thankfully, the place filled up just before the band took the stage, so their fabulous costumes and stage show weren’t wasted on an empty room.
If you haven’t caught Fritz and the gang for a while, you’ll be impressed at how much the musical aspects have caught up with the visual. There’s much less of an electro-karaoke vibe these days, and they’ve really tightened up thanks to touring and a busy gig schedule.
Wrongbar has recently added a second door and a hallway to cut down on noise pollution, a good step in dealing with the neighbourhood. But bouncers at both doors making sure that only one is open at a time make it slower to get in and out. You may want to keep that in mind if you plan to avoid lineups at peak hours.
Sat, Apr 26
Breakandenter and Tempo had listed only an address for their presentation of Stewart Walker and [a]pendics.shuffle, which got some people’s hopes up about a good old-fashioned techno warehouse party. In reality, they took over Cervejaria, a Latin bar and grill that Breakandenter used for an event in December.
By blocking off the windows and bringing in a banging sound system, they still managed to make the place feel like a proper underground party, and both headliners threw down strong sets. [A]pendics.shuffle brought more electro flavour to his dubby techno, to the dismay of purists, but it balanced Walker’s more restrained and textured approach.
Stopped by a late-night event on Queen to find four police cars parked in front of the entrance and partiers filing out. Seems the crackdown that started in legal after-hours clubs has moved to the loft party scene, though the authorities have recently been much less heavy-handed than at the infamous Comfort Zone bust. No SWAT team, no assault weapons, no handcuffing everyone in the place face down for hours.
This kinder approach is appreciated, but you’ve got to wonder when the pols and cops will finally realize that a city this size is going to party all night, whether it’s allowed to or not. Do something about last call and you’ll see closing-time club-district violence greatly reduced, not to mention the end of booze cans. The city has the legal power to do this. Why are we still waiting to join other “world-class” metropolises?