Groove Line

Thu. January 6, 2005 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

Holiday Recap
While folks were somewhat surprised with crowds smaller than expected during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, patronage at bars and clubs during Christmas and New Year’s weeks was robust. The Wednesday before Christmas saw a crush of folks - many quite young and pretty – at Spin for their $1 drink night. Afterwards the crowd made their way to Hydrate where DJ Chris Eterno was just plain on fire! The next night, Thursday, you could barely even move in SideTrack and the coat check was full up by 11 pm. It was obvious that many were trying to get all liquored up in preparation for their family obligations.

Post-Christmas madness was just that as Sunday @ Y (Sound-Bar’s little sister next door) had DJ Luis M serving hard tribal beats to a very fun collection of groovy boyz and party girlz. And then later that night at Crobar, Tony Moran superbly demonstrated why he is one of the hottest DJs on the circuit at the moment. His music combined with a bevy of shirtless, well-muscled men vaguely reminded us all of the fun times Sunday nights used to always be.

New Year’s Eve provided an interesting group of options. For those who wanted to play dress-up in tuxes, the Queer Eye party (to benefit Chicago House) at the Sofitel Hotel was the place to be with Circuit Mom and Honey West helping out on the entertainment front along with DJs Chris Eterno and Matt Wells. (View Photos from QE2) Hydrate went old school, Studio 54 style, with Ralphi Rosario on the ones and twos (ok, I know he’s mostly CDs these days: “on the 1000s”). And with the paucity of true dance club options for the GLBT community, many same-gender loving folks were seen partying with their straight brothers and sisters at Sound-Bar and at the huge Marriott Hotel party sponsored by Pure, Music 101 and UR Magazine. To put a wrap on the holidaze season, DJ Greg Drescher spun a set fantastic set at Crobar’s GLEE Club on January 2. It was a very fun couple of weeks and now it’s time for a bit of hibernation.

MLK Holiday Weekend Sunday – The Circuit Music Division
Fresh off a strong line-up of DJs during the Holiday season, Crobar has Miami’s Monty Q in the DJ booth on Sunday, January 16.

MLK Holiday Weekend Sunday – The House Music Division
Two of the biggest names in the history of house music - Frankie Knuckles and David Morales - will be lording over the Sound-Bar dance floor on the Sunday of the MLK holiday weekend, January 16. The occasion is the celebration of Frankie’s 50th birthday. The advertisements for the event recommend early arrival. You’d be wise to heed this warning as Sound-Bar is surely gonna be packed. Expect a wide range of clubbers – black, white, Hispanic, young, old, city, suburban, gay, straight, and everything in between – to be on hand for first really big nightclub event of 2005 in Chicago. (Event Listing)

Fire In The Hole
They may be a bit behind schedule, but the guys over at the Hearts Foundation are in full-court press mode as they prepare for their annual Fireball weekend in February. All the venues and primary DJs have been set with Rosabel returning to the DJ booth to take musical control of the main event at Union Station on Saturday, February 19. Kristine W is slated to perform during the weekend and a group of talented up and coming DJs from Chicago and other midwestern locales will be featured at the DJ Showcase and the after-hours Oasis Lounge. Of course all info, tickets, and party passes can be obtained at ( is again pleased to be the official local online sponsor of Fireball 2005.)

2004 Plez Award
Just like everybody else, I feel it’s my duty to declare what I thought was the very best of 2004. I’ve done this for five years via other avenues, and am glad to bring my Plez Awards to Boi Magazine and The envelope please:

Best Dance Music Compilation CD (House Music Division): Live At Om – Derrick Carter & Mark Farina (Om Records). This is jack house music at its finest presented by two native Chicagoans whose global reach and influence is truly astounding. Their appearance at Zentra Nightclub in support of this CD was a highlight of the summer. Honorable mention in this category goes to Gotta Keep Movin by Julius Papp (Neo Disco) and to Fabric 14 by Stacey Pullen (Fabric Records), both of which are a bit deeper and more underground than Live At Om . ((Purchase CD at

Best Dance Music Compilation CD (Gay Club/Circuit Music Division): Tour De Beats – Tony Moran (Tommy Boy Records). A late entry into the competition, hitting the market in time for the holiday season, this 2-cd set is exceptional is its ability to capture the fun and energy of a Saturday night at dance club. Moran finds the hard to reach balance between hard tribal beats and diva vocal anthems, thus pleasing a wide range of listeners and dancers. Deserving a special honorable mention in this category is DJ Vibe’s Underground Sound of Lisbon (Star 69 Records), a sexy underground progressive house mix that’s just delicious. (Purchase CD at

Best Dance Music Single: “Lola’s Theme” by Shapeshifters (Positiva). This is the easiest choice of all the Plez Awards for 2004. In my opinion this is the best dance track produced in several years: probably since Kings of Tomorrow’s “Finally”. And not only is the main vocal mix superb all by itself, the remixes of “Lola’s Theme” by Victor Calderone and Eric Prdyz were terrific productions that put smiles on an even wider variety of dance floors around the world. Honorable mentions to “Dirty Filthy” by Superchumbo featuring Celeda (Twisted Records) on the harder end of the dance music spectrum and “Wonderin’” by Roy Davis Jr. with Terry Baxter (Large Records) from the world of deep underground house music.

Best DJ Performance at a ClubHex Hector at Sound-Bar on the Sunday of the 4th of July weekend was supreme. He even busted out Sheila E.’s “Glamorous Life!”

Best Event/Party – The Sunday night of the Northalsted Market Days weekend at Crobar with DJ Roland Belmares was just plain FUN! A great way to cap off Market Days.

Best Development In the City – The City finally gave some recognition to the fact that Chicago is the birthplace of house music and allowed for the addition of a weekly DJ series to its Summer Dance program in Grant Park . Far exceeding attendance expectations, the series started out with Derrick Carter in June, had Ralphi Rosario going old school in July, and ended with Frankie Knuckles in August with thousands braving the rain to pay homage to him. The showcasing of these three Chicago legends, along with other pioneering DJs, throughout the summer was long overdue, but very much appreciated by them and their fans. The DJ series will be back in the summer of 2005 and hopefully will never go away.