In every city, there are always new nights popping up with ambiguous names like Aspire or Zenith, complete with fliers that use some nondescript, futuristic font, with every Photoshop filter in the book thrown in for good measure. These events usually end up resembling some kind of rubber-stamped cult rendezvous rather than something that is supposed to inspire a party.

This week I was sifting through my pile o' flyers for something to grab me, but everything was looking pretty flat and bland. So I pulled myself together and decided to check out the Wednesday night house party at Contour, called Belief. Usually I get butterflies in my stomach when I hear the music pumping outside the club because I'm imagining all these beautiful Dionysian moments unfolding on the dance floor without me. But last week, when I ran over to the floor, it was just me and the DJ; I was the first one there. Mark E. Quark was spinning, though, which meant that even if I was the only person grooving, at least it would be with a solidly skilled house DJ.

As the night progressed, a few people started taking the floor here and there, then a handful of familiar faces showed up for a drink, and at last it evolved into a textbook dance-party scenario. There was one of those weird random guys in slacks and a polo shirt who's always waiting for the dance floor to get comfortable enough to unleash his crazy, spastic, "I've never been laid, but if you get close enough you may be my first" dance. The dance-scene hipsters were on hand, setting their drinks down to show the weird guy how it's supposed to be done, with urban flair and sophistication. Then there were the small groups of people who resembled the relatives from Iowa. They had the best time because they had absolutely no preconceptions about what was supposed to go on--they just knew they hadn't danced in a long-ass time, and it feels as good as fuck!

What could very well have ended up as generic as the pile of fliers on my microwave turned out to be an evening that I'm proud to have been a part of, especially because Mark E. Quark played a fabulous set. There are those who want cool experiences served up to them as immediate and ready-made as a 49¢ Value Menu taco, but the stimulation of creating and defining your own experiences is what excites me. And that's more real than paying a wad of cash to get into some super club where everything is perfect, everyone is beautiful, and the beat never skips.

Belief, every Wednesday at Contour, 807 First Ave, 447-7704, 10 pm-2 am, 21+, $5.

nicolae@thestranger.com

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