Friday, May 25, 2007

Event Review: Workout at Le Duplex

It's always a good sign when you start off your evening thinking "Oh, hey, I'll go have a drink and check this out, and then get myself home for a decent bedtime since I have to work tomorrow" and then find yourself walking home very toasty after having closed out the party. Such was my experience of Workout at Le Duplex, hosted by the kids behind Luxxury, Johnatron and Baron von Luxxury, where the boyfriend and I kept thinking, hey, this is cool, let's have another drink and see what happens.

What happened was a fun set of dirty electro disco from the Baron hisself, some strange 80s mixes from Pozibelle (including one of ABCs "How to be a Millionaire" that inspired my first ever DJ anxiety dream, flipping through my records looking for this track as the previous DJ's record spun down to its final groove, the crowd all waiting for me to lay down the next one), and an awesome awesome set of knarzy electrotechno grooves from Brooklyn's Devin Dirt (including his great remix of Luxxury's "Rock and Roll is Evil"). Devin is at it again tonight at Lights Down Low, and the Luxxury boys will be playing a live set, so go go go check it out, I cannot possibly think of a better way to spend your Friday night. Workout is a monthly on the fourth Thursday, and though turnout was low last night (maybe twenty people on the dancefloor at the height of the night) owing, I think, to the holiday AND Michael Mayer at Mezzanine, this feels to me like the kind of scene where you're going to get to see people that you'll be hearing a lot about later. And did I mention that there are cupcakes?

As for Le Duplex, it was Le Suck. I remember when this space used to be a gay leather bar called The Loading Dock (I even spent some time suspended from the ceiling during one memorable evening), and aside from tarting the place up with a red and white color scheme, some cheap-ass lights for the dance area, and a stripper pole, not much has been done to improve the space. The sound system was truly terrible for this kind of music, two EAW speakers that handle only highs and mids up on the ceiling and a subwoofer that was CUT OFF. Really, no bass at all. Plus, $6 for well drinks and $7 for Stoli and tonic is outrageous. We had a drink earlier in the evening at Wish, the home of handbag house (and a crowd that creeps me out), and it was a buck cheaper than Le Duplex, which is much, much lower on the club evolutionary scale. And then, they flipped the lights up at 1.15, after Barbeau had been DJing for what seemed like twenty minutes. Indifferent and surly staff, expensive drinks, lousy sound, and they don't even have the decency to let the party run its course. Here's hoping Le Duplex gets rid of its lousy attitude and upscale pretensions ($170 dollar bottle service on other nights to sit in cheezy upholstered booths) and realizes that it's really just a hole-in-the-wall club in a desolate part of the Mission.

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