Saturday, April 26, 2008

Event Review: Fuck Shit Let's Dance (FSLD) at Deco Lounge

Last night's fourth installment of Fuck Shit, Let's Dance! (FSLD) at Deco had a somewhat smaller turnout (a disappointment considering it was the first time it wasn't raining and freezing cold since we've begun) and we had some issues with crowd timing, but it also helped us reach a conclusion about some format changes we've been considering.

FSLD has taken off later and later in the evening since we've started, and this has complicated our sense of timing. Last night, though there was a steady trickle of ones and twos through the door after 10, it wasn't until around 11.30 that we began to see the larger groups arrive. When I checked in on the dancefloor around midnight there was a nice turnout of gay boys grooving to Lord Kook's set and I thought, cool, all is well. While there were guys who arrived early and stayed almost all the way to 2.30, there was also the typical departure of folks between 1.00 and 1.30. When the really late crowd arrived to replace them, they found a mostly empty dance floor (I subsequently discovered that about half the party was upstairs in the lounge, while the other half was outside smoking) and that, instead of our advertised techno, Donimo was into a hard electro set. As a result a group of about six gay alternaboys, and three rolly-looking raver kids, arrived, walked through the club, and subsequently departed. It left the boyfriend and I heartbroken, as this is exactly the crowd we see as being crucial to our nascent little scene, and I hope we can win them back in the future by making some format changes.

When we first conceived of FSLD we thought it would be cool to have a headliner every month because we know so many DJs, we wanted to develop a sense of community with them, and we thought we would get some cross-promotional turnout. This hasn't exactly worked out the way we expected in terms of the actual event. Since the crowd has been showing up later, it also means that they've been turning out in force toward the end of Lord Kook's set and the very beginning of the headliner. Unfortunately, a vibe is a delicate thing, and I'm afraid that we've been putting our crowd and our DJs in the unfortunate position where, just as you're getting into the groove, you have to deal with a change-up, the spell is broken, and the energy has to build itself back again.

Having already seen this happen a couple times in our four events, we've been thinking about ways to work on the timing issue, and so, after Ken Vulsion's appearance next month at FSLD, and Mr. with Beatbox Events, Big Top, and Fag Fridays at Mighty in June, we're going to change up the format in July and concentrate more on developing our own group of DJs and delivering a consistent musical journey. Practically, this probably means that we'll keep the rotating opener, which has gone over very well every time, put Lord Kook on for a longer set (probably 11.30 - 2.00), and then I'll bat clean-up for whatever duration the party continues. Though I've really loved bringing in folks like Baron von Luxxury and Johnatron, Dee Jay Pee Play, Donimo, and DJ6, what I found out last night through a couple conversations is that what people really want is techno, and I think we need to develop a trust in ourselves to deliver it to them. It's a bit funny, really, since we thought we would first need to engage people through electro or other means before springing the techno on them, but having now advertised "faggot techno" we're getting people who want true techno, so I guess we should give it to them.

Among the gratifying experiences of last night was seeing several folks who had come back for a another visit after last month, and getting a very nice compliment from David Peterson of Fag Fridays about Lord Kook's set. I think that we may have also helped facilitate at least a couple hook-ups, judging from the wink one fellow gave me as he departed with someone who had arrived much earlier and separately. I guess it's in the whole nature of the game to be fretful about your parties - it's a consistent topic of conversation with other promoters I know - and want them to blossom into this perfect, ideal event, but, no matter how you plan and promote, everything comes down to the interactions between individuals, and those are the things against which you need to judge your success, rather than that ideal. Everyone wants to have a big party, since there's status behind that, and it provides both material and emotional support for what you're doing, but size only matters as a means to putting an optimal number of objects in motion and having them bounce off one another, so to speak. As long as we can keep things moving, as long as we can keep catalyzing reactions and combinations, through whatever musical or other means, I think it's worth continuing on with the experiment even if we need to adjust our formula.

2 comments:

hard electro shit said...

Seems like there are good parties in SF! How's the electro scene on the coasts, are a lot people into this stuff? Keep writing!

The Jaded Gay DJ said...

I'd say that the bloghouse scene has definitely ascended over the electro scene here in the city, largely due to Richard Oh!? of Big Stereo being located here and being associated with several nights, as well as the Frisco Disco/Club Loaded/Blow-Up triumverate of nights under the auspices of Richie Panic and Jeffry Paradise. That said, though, you can still hear electro at Lucky Pierre and other events where Donimo and DJ6 play on a regular basis, as well at some of the nights at The Cat Club.