Posted Mar 21, 2010 in Music, Travel | 0 Comments

SkyWhores UNITE!!! The Demise of House Music

I’ll be  going to Miami for the 2010 Winter Music Conference. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to this trip. Absolute stress is ruining me and I need to get my life back! However, though my preference is house music and I’ll be reporting on the house events this year. I can’t help but complain about our scene and how it just sucks.

Now I’m sure a lot of you househeads out there are wondering what the f@&k is this guy talking about. Well let’s take a real look at the situation. We’ll look at the two very different scenes of Montreal and Toronto.

I remember growing up in Montreal. There was energy in the air. There was the quiet hum in the every day life as you walked on any street passing certain people and giving them a nod, a wink, acknowledgment knowing full well that though they were in their daytime attire living their everyday life…tonight they would emerge in a totally different light to escape their humdrum life. House music did that.

I grew up with Hip-hop and alternative music and its funny how the different scenes react to the past. I find Hip-hop heads remember when they first heard a specific song while house heads remember that entire phase of their life. Who knows, maybe we’ve all matured and need other avenues of release. To me nothing helps me more then a wicked night out (preferably outdoors).

Nowadays, it’s so rare to find a good party that’s dedicated to good music and not numbers. Lord knows I’ve tried by throwing cheap parties with excellent dj’s so as to not exclude anybody. I would search for obscure spaces to maybe relive the style we so took for granted in the past. The trendy bar with designer furniture…how are we suppose to get down to the nitty-gritty when we’re afraid we’re not dressed properly or that we might ruin the furniture. With places like Business, Lezard, Limelight, Crisco, Jungle we didn’t worry about any of that. The famed warehouses of the early 90’s gave us another level of debauchery.

Well now, I get emails and phone calls from people begging me to plan an event…for what? These are the same people who all of a sudden get tired, or can never afford to go out, but a pack of cigarettes or a dozen drinks is affordable.

We managed to bring a DJ from NY to play for the 1st time in Montreal. He played amazingly well, but did not over-shadow our local dj one bit. In fact a newfound respect was found for this local. But will he get booked, no. His sound is too soulful, and that crowd is almost impossible to reach except by a certain number of people. Maybe a handful…not even 4-5 people.

These people managed to put their egos for the most part aside and managed to throw one of the wickedest parties to happen in the past 10 years. From 2am-10:30am, with one of the best systems in the world, blacks, whites, and hip hop heads lost their minds to this sound they so rarely hear. Of course what happens, the club runs off with the money. When something good happens there’s always a mess-up. So we’re back to the 9-5 grind, listening to the downloaded music or to our friend (struggling as a dj) cd‘s.

Now that was Montreal.
What have I gotten from the Toronto scene?

I remember going out around the Spadina/Wellington, Queen east, and various other spaces that were not exactly rented with the owners consent. A red light was all that was needed, with some good beats, and interesting people…what could go wrong besides the cops. Even then the cops were part of the fun. We partied till they broke it up.

Its gotten so commercialized that we have dozens of people competing for a piece of the pie. Is their one night in this city that people follow religiously for its music? What’s with the overseas dj’s who can barely rock the crowd as well as the local? What’s with the out of control prices of admission? What’s with the attitude of certain people, “I don’t go to that event cause they undercut my friend.”? Its a sad day when the music is solely a business.

I manage to go to a certain party at the Rivoli every chance I’m in town. It’s a monthly geared towards classics of all genres including house. Now I get ‘my life’ on that floor and I usually never dance. But I can see it’s clearly to make a buck. They don’t offer any changes such as different dj’s, better sound system nothing. You pay 10$ for the same repeated formula every time. It’s cute for now but how long will that last. Your job is to improve as you go along, if not improve at least change. Funny enough tis lasted for many years, so maybe I should shut my mouth.

Now I know some dj’s who try to create a night but have these visions that hundreds of people will come out of nowhere and pack the place up. Why do promoters have feelings of grandeur? It’s not like a few years ago when 500+ would show up. It’s rare if 100+ show up. So make due. Find smaller venues and work from there. Capacity is a major issue but don’t forget to find incentives to bring people out even earlier. The”headz” in Toronto think they’re too special to be out before 1:30am. C’mon now, because of attitudes like that the people who actually did show up leave because the venue was not full. If you came earlier and stayed you might have had a wicked party.

Too many cliques. If Montreal promoters did it, why can’t Toronto promoters come to their senses and realize that they as well as the dj’s killed the scene through greed.  Come together and create. I’m not saying weeklies or even monthlies. But would it be so hard if a group got together and threw something every season in collaboration. No competing nights for the sake of the scene, come together like the music we promote says. You guys have so much pride that you haven’t even noticed an organized outsider pull the rug out from under you? That’s sad.

If the promoters are not doing it, then the dj (especially radio) being the backbone of the scene should ban together. You guys have the power of communication behind you. I listen to you guys as much as I can since I can’t find what I want to hear elsewhere, I’m sure I’m not alone.

Get a black glove, stick your fist up in the air and pull a Nike, just do it.

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