Thursday, March 4th

Thu. March 4, 2004 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

The Intro

Hi there to you all and welcome to Sound Scene. I’m DJ Plez (aka Michael Pleasants) and I’m the new Music Editor for (CP). Following in the footsteps of my predecessors, Chris Eterno and Greg Drescher, I’m really quite excited to be taking over this position. With help from the incredible folks here at CP and a variety of contributors, I’ve got some grand plans in store for making CP the trusted online source for information about the music that shapes our lives as GLBT people in Chicagoland.

First, a bit of background on me. I’m a long-time resident of this great city who has been dancing and clubbing since the moment I first arrived. And all the while music has played a very important role. Throughout my tenure in Chicago I’ve been a Berlinite and remember when they had a beer garden out back; hung out at Carol’s Speakeasy; partied with NWA backstage at the Riviera; seen Circuit rise, then fall, and now attempt a comeback; danced to sweaty exhaustion at Club LaRay; sung showtunes at Sidetrack and watched it grow and grow and grow and then grow some more; traipsed from Rage to Bistro Too to Christopher Street in one night; seen the Sunday night dance crowd go from Limelight to Bedrock to Cairo to Ka-Boom back to Cairo to Crobar (for a long ass time) then disappear and now be dispersed between Crobar and Hydrate; attended almost all of the Fireball and Hearts Parties; went to Pangea; played Post Office at Roscoe’s; felt myself getting older on Wednesday nights at Spin while remembering that night of the week as when everyone gathered at Shelter; got nasty at AA Meat Market …….. Well you get my drift.

I’ve been around Chicago a long time and seen a bunch of things. But most importantly, I’ve heard a ton of music during my time here and have a good idea of the broad range of music that makes our diverse community smile. I plan on using this knowledge to help shape the content that we provide for you here at CP. In addition to continuing our strong coverage of dance music, we’ll be covering other music genres that are of particular interest to the GLBT community in Chicago. Also, it will be our goal to continue to introduce to you the local movers and shakers withing the music community - both pioneers and the up-and-comers.

In addition to reviews, profiles, and interviews, I’ll be penning this column, Sound Scene, (maybe monthly, maybe bi-weekly…. I’m not sure yet) with my musings on any and everything. It will be a work in progress but I hope to make it entertaining as well as informative. The musings for this first edition (which follow) will be somewhat condensed since I’ve already written so much. You’ll get a full dose next time.

Main Event

As written elsewhere on this site and in numerous chat rooms and boards across the Net, the music that Rosabel was pumping out during Fireball at Saturday’s main event was “off da hook!” Big congrats and thanks to the Chicago half of Rosabel: Ralphi Rosario. You did us proud. ……. The biggest dance music industry event of the year - Winter Music Conference (WMC) - takes place starting this coming weekend in Miami. All the big name DJs, remixers, and producers as well as dance music aficionados will be basking in the sun and partying deep into the night. Chicago’s own Teri Bristol will be down there at Crobar Miami (March 4th) and the big GLBT-oriented Unity festival, a 14-hour affair, takes place at Bayfront featuring DJs Junior Vasquez, Boy George, Peter Rauhofer, Tom Stephan (Superchumbo), Tracy Young, Monty Q, and JRNY.

Closer to home and presented as a WMC Preview Party by the folks at Pure, DJ Danny Howells, a true heavyweight in the progressive house music scene, will be at Crobar on Thursday, March 4th. I’ve heard this man spin twice before and he’s the real deal. Any serious fan of electronic dance music should make an appointment to be with Mr. Howells for this Chicago engagement. A group of Chicago DJs do opening sets that night so get there early in order to support the locals.

The current house track that I can’t get enough of? The Marques Wyatt remix of “Rhythm Is?” by Afro-Mystik (Om Records). This deep house track has an incredible funky jazz feel and lush piano chords that completely energize any room or dance floor. This song is simply delicious. …… The club cut that I’m playing and getting a huge response from the dance floor with is the current edition of Industry’s “Release Me”. Specifically, it’s the Cruz and Bagz Tribal Vox Mix on this Star 69 Records release. ………. The word on the street (and in a recent ad in UR) is that Sound Bar is finally going to open this Spring. Will they go after the dancing boyz and try to take some of the Sunday night crowds away from Crobar and Hydrate? Or will they be able to bring out new folks with a different approach? Stay tuned.

I went record shopping for my DJing gigs (a very different exercise than shopping for my own personal listening pleasure) and there wasn’t much worth listening to, let alone purchasing. The good thing is that I didn’t have to spend a whole bunch of money I don’t have. (Sounds like that car insurance commercial, doesn’t it?) However, the amount of content and the quality should rise significantly in the near future as artists, producers, and remixers finish up their post-holiday creative processes and proudly present their work during, and shortly after, the WMC in Miami. We highlight the best of the lot in the upcoming weeks here at

The Good-Bye

Well, that wraps up this first edition of Sound Scene. Be on the lookout for reviews in the near future and another Sound Scene to come your way in a few weeks.

To contact me with comments or questions, email me at And you can catch me at my weekly DJing gigs at Cell Block on for Swallow My Pride! Sundays (3 pm - 9 pm) and at Ezuli on Mondays for the Recovery Supper Club (6pm - 2 am).