Title: Cat Dirt Sez
Author: Cat Dirt, CDW
From: Golden Hill
Blogging since: May 2006
Post Date: February 17, 2007
Post Title: Friday Night in San Diego
Here are my thoughts on Stingaree: kind of overwhelming, truth be told. Stingaree bears a familial resemblance to the super clubs of Europe, but that's a strained comparison. Actually feels more like a club in Las Vegas, or, for that matter, Moscow. At Stingaree, there are lines inside as well as on the outside; the establishment of social hierarchy is integral to the supper-club concept. After all, you are asking people to spend a lot of money, and people who spend a lot of money want to feel "exclusive." In an economic sense, comparing Stingaree to Beauty Bar San Diego is like comparing the United States to Peru. In other words, no comparison. Sting-aree is a finely tuned, well-lubed, revenue-generating machine.
Say what you like about the social milieu of Stingaree, but the fact is that it has one of the best sound systems I've ever heard. Anywhere. In the world. Last night, Switch was awesome (Switch headlined at Check Yo Ponytail in Los Angeles this Tuesday with Acid Girls). He had a similar setup to Salinger of Acid Girls -- laptop and then a little modulator board with dials and switches for "rave" effects. The set was more identifiable as techno -- cutting-edge techno.
I have to believe that the crowd, while appreciative, was largely ignorant about the back-story to the music they were hearing. It was mostly the type of people one would expect to find at Stingaree. I found myself less annoyed, overall, than I was expecting to be -- but there were still some cringe-inducing moments, like the guy who was trying to get his buddy's drink order over his cell phone at the bar. Newsflash: text messaging was DESIGNED for that situation, asshole. The dance floor was a "no fly" zone -- way, way, way too crowded with the typical crowd. The roof of the club was crowded despite the fact that they don't pipe the music up there -- that was a sure indication that the crowd was made up of "punters," as they say in the U.K.
I'd have to say that the inclination is to try to push Barry Weaver to book more Southern California electro acts, like Guns 'n' Bombs and Acid Girls, say. It would be kind of awesome to unwittingly expose the Stingaree crowd to all these cool acts -- and judging from the 30-person turnout at Beauty Bar, cool San Diego doesn't give a fuck, so why should the DJs suffer? The Stingaree crowd will show up, $20 in hand, no matter what -- but Stingaree can build a national reputation easily by bringing in quality talent. California has the DJ talent to do residencies and stuff like that, the way it's operated for years in Britain.
Post Date: February 15, 2007
Post Title: Let's Talk About Barry Weaver
As far as I know, Barry Weaver was like the original electro-clash DJ in San Diego. I remember going to events of his at Rich's(!) in 2001, 2002. That was when we called it "electro-clash," but it always has been indie dance nation. You have to identify Barry Weaver as the indie dance nation godfather in the San Diego market, yes? Barry Weaver is now doing Dos Tres Thursday nights at Modus, and since Powder Room is closing shop after their Guns 'n' Bombs big finale (still waiting for an explanation on that one), you'd have to say that Modus will pretty much be the Thursday night go-to after that. So, for the benefit of my readers in the cultural journalism arena, I would like to present a little discussion of the trends in electronic music over the past several years in Southern California. OK, so in the beginning, there was rave music, and then there was "electronica," and kind of alongside electronica -- and separate from rave-style stuff -- there were indie/Brit pop nights -- which were more like "'80s nights" -- and then "rave nights." And then what happened is the indie/Brit pop nights kind of adopted some of the pieces of "electronica" and combined them with some of the Brit pop/indie bands, and that was "indie dance nation."
When indie dance nation started, everyone called it electro-clash, which was the wrong term for it. Barry Weaver was running electro-clash back in the day. It's actually kind of an anomaly from a global perspective, where the indie bands drop out of the mix and people do stuff like dance all night and party in abandoned power stations in East Berlin. One of the big trends that is neglected by indie dance nation is minimal house/techno, which is prevalent in German markets, like Berlin and Cologne, and in London and Scotland and France and Italy. That's why it's so cool that Dos Tres is bringing in the right kind of international DJ talent. As early as Friday, February 16, Weaver is bringing in Dave Taylor (Switch) to Stingaree with a relaxed dress code.
Re: Stingaree relaxed dress code: in Europe, the "dress code" or door policy works AGAINST dudes in expensive suits and dolled-up club babes. It's the normal-looking people that they prefer -- jeans and T-shirts. It's unfortunate in the United States that bouncers do not have good taste in patrons. At the Weekend Fun Club in Berlin, the dudes in suits have to bribe their way in. Tip to Stingaree: make the rich douche bags pay more to get in...let the cool people in for free.