Groove Line

Tue. March 8, 2005 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

Goings and Comings
It’s been rumored many times before, but the truth seems to finally have arrived: gay Sunday nights at Crobar – be they called GLEE Club or Anthem - have ended. Any of you who went to Crobar on a regular Sunday during the past few months understand completely why the end has come. It’s hard to make money when folks aren’t coming through the door. The word is that Sundays at Crobar will exist in the future in conjunction with special events such as the Queer As Folk party in early May.

While GLEE Club exits stage left, Circuit Nightclub re-enters the nightlife scene stage right. After a six month closure for remodeling, the long-awaited Circuit Re-opening occurs this weekend on Saturday, March 12 with DJs Alex Perez, Dani B., and Matthew Harvat (Circuit MOM) handling the booth. While the Sunday Tardeada T-dances and Thursday night La Nocha Loca parties are back on the schedule, the rest of the weekly and special events calendar for “Circuit version 2.0” has yet to be fully announced. Whatever happens, it’ll be nice to have another altenative on Halsted Street.

Minneapolis Dispatch
This past weekend, instead of heading down south to Miami for Winter Party I accepted an invitation from my friend Linda went in the opposite direction to Minneapolis. I know it sounds nuts, but the weather in the Twin Cities thankfully turned out to be fantastic and I had a terrific time.

While Chicago’s gay dance club environment goes through fits of contractions and expansions - though seemingly more of the former – the scene in MSP has gotten more robust in the past year. Newcomer nightclubs - Bolt Underground with DJ Jon Herseth (pictured) and Friday nights at Quest with DJ Jason Lanoux - have joined the Saloon in giving the dancing folks up in Minneapolis plenty of quality options. Why the city of Minneapolis has oodles more square footage of gay dance space is totally beyond me, but it does.

On Friday night at Quest the one and only Celeda gave a performance that was rousing and totally awesome. The three song presentation, including the current chart-topper “dirtyfilthy,” completely enregized all of us who were there.

Saturday night - Part 1 included my attendance at the fundraising dinner/fashion show/dance party event called Diva. A successor to the previous years’ DIFFA events, this is a gathering of the fashion and design community of the Twin Cities to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities. Around 2,000 folks attended what many locals called one of the best events of this type they have ever seen in their city.

Saturday night – Part 2 (or Sunday morning – Part 1 depending on your perspective) was an after-hours party with NYC DJ Joe Gauthreaux at the music controls at Mel’s Beauty Bar. And yes, during normal hours it’s a place where you can get manicures and pedicures while enjoying alcoholic libations. While no cuticles were being pushed back during the after-hours party, groovy beats were enjoyed by all.

All in all it was really fun weekend for me. I solidified friendships and relationships that were started recently and got my “dance-on” – a much needed activity since I was not able to so at Fireball. I envision more excursions to the Twin Cities (probably when the weather is more predictably warmer) and highly recommend it as a great place for a quick weekend getaway.

"A little bit of this and that!"
They’ve added Kevin Aviance to the Circuit ASIA event that’s being held in Bangkok this April 28 – May 1. This party, in which is a promotional partner, could turn out to be a whole lot of fun. Details and info at

My favorite new non-dance musical act just released their debut album. I can’t recommend highly enough Blue Merle’s CD on Island Records called Burning In The Sun.

Fireball seemed to be an overall success with generally good reports about the music and the DJs. Interestingly enough, it is DJ Warren Gluck (pictured), the 30 year veteran, who seems to be garnering the highest accolades for his stellar direction of the musical landscape during Sunday’s Tea Dance at Excalibur.

It’s a Friday night East Coast invasion over at Hydrate during the month of March with Boston DJ Joe Bermudez (pictured) on the 11th, followed by New Yorkers Alex Lauterstein on the 18th and DeMarko on the 25th.

I got an advance copy of the new CD compilation mixed by Manny Lehman called Freedom . It’s due out toward the latter part of March and I would suggest you put this on your list to purchase. HOT!!!!. This may be his best mixed CD since Circuit Sessions 1.0.

"Music Review" Preview
I’ll be posting a full Music Review column on shortly, but in the meantime here are two recent releases you should be aware of.

Feature Single of the Month
Chicagoan Suzanne Palmer is back in our consciousness with “Home”, out on Star 69 Records. Both the Beat Hustlerz and Offer Nissim have mixes of this track, which in my opinion is even better than Palmer’s big hit last year: “Luv 2 Luv.” Homegirl has pipes and it’s always a pleasure to hear her voice

Feature Compilation CD of the Month
The annual Fireball benefit CD produced by Centaur is out and this year it was the VIP Flame Party DJ, Paulo, who was responsible for the mixing. Party Groove: Fireball Volume 3 (Purchase CD) is a top-notch effort that truly represents Paulo’s abilities in the DJ booth. As he does live, with this mixed compilation CD he weaves dark, sexy tribal beats - the best of which is Paulo’s own “Oh Yeah” - around solid vocal tracks. And by vocals I’m not talking about quickie remixes of weak voiced pop stars. I mean by true dance divas who can really sing, like Jocelyn Brown and Loleatta Holloway do on “A Better World,” the fifth track of this CD. Congrats to Paulo and Centaur!

A Personal Fireball Thank You
I just want to thank all of you who supported last month’s Fireball that was presented by the Hearts Foundation. Overall the weekend was quite the success creatively and I was only too happy to have been a part of the event as the DJ Coordinator in charge of the DJ Showcase, the Oasis Lounge, and Welcome Center. And as an Oasis Lounge DJ on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I’m glad so many of you appreciated the style of music I presented during my sets. Your many compliments have been gracious and resulted in a long-standing smile on my face. Thanks for the support and the love!