With the closing of popular-but-not-popular-enough club night Shelter lingering on the edge of a very near future (Nov. 28), I've been thinking a lot about the deterioration of the electronic dance music scene in Minneapolis and what exactly happened. We went from a booming, future-seeking creative community ('97-'07) whose ears gravitated toward a diverse spectrum of loud, synthetic sound echoing in places as bizarre as airplane hangers and junkyards -- to this. Now, I realize a lot of it is due to plain and simple political and economical changes (e.g. RAVE Act says we can't hold parties in weird places anymore; Bush admin. ruined everyone's entertainment budgets), but at least places like Chicago, LA and NY are still treated to touring acts in a variety of clubs on a very regular basis. Ours, however, is a scene that has to fend for itself nearly every weekend, and that's a double-edged glowstick. On the one hand, it's made us a strong, tight-knit scene that works for what it earns, but it's also been painfully dulled recently by careless homegrown "party" DJs (hey, I wouldn't be able to mix "The Humpty Dance" and "Policy Of Truth" either) -- and is barely kept alive with big trance one-offs every six months, an afterparty every other weekend featuring the same 5 DJs and 50 people, and a few club nights that focus on image more than anyone would care to admit. **
(**Please read to the genius tune of "Losing My Edge" by LCD Soundsystem)
Maybe I'm old (30 is looming) and maybe it's over. Or maybe there are parties in local airplane hangers and I'm just not invited anymore (possible). But it's most likely -- as is the case with many insular scenes -- that we've been too busy keeping our clique tight and guarding our music that's been bastardized time and time again that we've isolated the very people we expect to pay $5 for our events. And I'm certainly no angel, either.
Taking a look at the rest of November, I noticed a bunch of hopeful house and techno events that might save this native species from the path of extinction, should they decide to open their minds and Rolodexes (so retro) to invite some fresh feet to the cold Minneapolis dancefloor.
FRI., NOV. 14 - DJ CENTRIFIC'S BIRTHDAY PARTY - THE LOFT @ BARFLY (TECHNO)
SAT., NOV. 15 - FIRST AVENUE - DJ PIERRE (ACID HOUSE)
WED., NOV 19 - FEDDE LE GRAND (ELECTRO)
FRI., NOV, 21 - FIRST AVENUE - ELIOT LIPP (MINIMALISH TECH HOUSE)
SAT., NOV 22 - 7TH ST ENTRY - BACK TO BASSIX WITH DJ MAN X. (GLORY-DAYS HOUSE)
TUES., NOV. 25 - SPIN - DAVID GUETTA (FRENCH VOCAL HOUSE)
(My personal take on Guetta is that his mixes are pretty good, but his own production is like the soundtrack to a night of Red Bull and rohypnol)
WED. NOV. 26 - THE LOFT @ BARFLY - CHUCK LOVE (HOUSE)
FRI. NOV. 28 - SHELTER CLOSING PARTY - GUEST TBA
And as long as we're playing with YouTube, here's my personal loveletter: