Hot Pants Rare Soul & Funk slots belated Valentines dance party for Saturday
Last October, there was a story going around about Mark Trehus, owner of Treehouse Records, selling a rare Wanda Davis 45 for $1,425.00 online. It wasn't an earth-shattering piece of news, but the interesting point was that Davis was from St. Paul and had been part of the sometimes forgotten Twin Cities funk and soul scene. That single, "Save Me," remains one intensely sought after by record geeks and DJ's the world over.
Their monthly shows, which have moved around the city but are currently hubbed at the Nomad, are the die-hard soul fan's wet dream. The three take shifts on the turntables, fading records in and out as opposed to really mixing anything and since each member has their own specific tastes, the night varies in tone as it picks up steam. Burback's prone to play male group harmony and sweet soul records, as well as ballads when he can justify them to the audience, while Mena likes late sixties uptempo stuff, crossover and northern soul. Brian Engel is almost exclusively a rare/raw funk guy: these are their roles, and they try to stick to them, they don't share records.
They've even got self imposed rules: no reissues, no bootlegs, no comps, CD's or Serato. They spin soul and funk 45's and nothing else, and when they can get something local in, something from the old Twin Cities scene like, Maurice McKinnies' "Sock-A Poo-Poo 69'" or "Love Me Leave," from the Valdons, or even the slightly more tricky-to-dance-to "Save Me" from Wanda Davis, they'll always do it.
"In order for someone to really get loose and dance to songs they may have never heard before, they need to be open minded," Benjamin Mena says. "Which more often than not, leads to most people being pretty cool right off the bat."
He says that when the party really takes off is when, "they're happy to be there or just excited to hear the songs, because you can build on that vibe until the atmosphere is positively orgasmic. At that very moment, is when I like to drop a Motown monster that just tears the place down. "Aint No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell or "Move On Up" by Curtis Mayfield. I fuckin' live for that moment man, but you have to build up to it."
Hot Pants Rare Soul & Funk's Belated Valentine's Party. 9 p.m. Saturday, February 18 at Nomad World Pub, 501 Cedar Ave S., Minneapolis. Click here.
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