This Thursday, June 26, if you're in the Pioneer Square area, there are two good spots to hit, within walking distance of each other. The Merchants Cafe has been bringing in consistent weekly house talent for Vinyl Lounge, and tonight showcases Tilted/Lowdown's Jon Lee. Also, right up the street, Lulu's has been putting on a weekly live-music night with guitar, percussion, and vocals, along with Chris Nelson (AKA DJ Lonestar) playing hiphop, downtempo, and house with the band.
(On a sad Pioneer Square note, though: A few Fridays back, after catching Dufflebag's Wally Callerio's fabulous set at Merchants, I found out someone was gunned down right up the street a few moments prior. Within seconds, Chaka Demus & Pliers' dancehall track "Murder She Wrote" was cued up and blaring somewhere, unfortunately reminding us of why this track might not ever get retired.)
Mushroom Jazz fans have much to rejoice about this Friday, June 27, when the wee but mighty Mark Farina hits the Last Supper Club. If you haven't seen Farina play Mushroom Jazz hits or house sets yet, go check him out--or at least track down his records. Also, 360 BPM's third installment of Drum & Bass Sessions is happening at Noiselab, and this month it's the UK's Ed Rush and Optical with MC Rhyme Tyme.
A few months back, I was commenting on how having house music at Asian restaurants seems to be all the rage these days; next thing I know, Bonzai Bistro downtown puts on Get Sake'd on Saturdays. The night features free sushi (while it lasts) with your $5 cover charge, with resident and rotating DJs.
This is also Gay Pride weekend, so there are more than a few events happening up on Capitol Hill. USC and Noiselab bring us NYC's self-proclaimed "gender illusionist" Miss Honey Dijon, as well as Donovan and Julie Herrera playing tribal house (Saturday, June 28). Most of you out there only get to see local DJ Jeromy Nail play ultra-cool underground hipster parties (with players like François K and Ian Pooley whipping up Chex mix and deviled eggs), but if you wanna see how young Jeromy pays his rent, check him out at Watertown, bangin' hits (Saturdays) and trying to snap people out of shiny-silk-shirt trances.
If you're able to squeeze in a disco nap and you crave some after-hours dancing, Noc Noc's EDM is quite the spot to shotgun a few Red Bulls and dance until the sun comes up (Sunday mornings). The last time I was there, a crew of people who looked like they just escaped from Billy Idol's doomed 1993 Cyberpunk tour showed up!
Re-bar's Flammable still has its religious following of Sunday-night househeads. On June 29 the LawnChair Generals are DJing, which will make this an evening of quintessential Seattle deep house. Ten-year turntable veteran Queen Lucky is at R Place on Sundays, playing ass-shakin' R&B and hiphop--the gay crowd just can't get enough of sweet Carla!
Though this isn't necessarily electronic, fans of Afrobeat dance music directly inspired by Fela Kuti should enjoy Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra at Chop Suey on Monday night (June 30). This live dance band probably has more performers on stage than MC Hammer back in the day. If you need something a little less organic, though, check out Movement at Noiselab. I'll say it again--if you haven't seen these people dance, you betta!
Last but not least, triphoppers Andy Smith of Portishead and Scott Hendy of Purple Penguin (who go under the name Dynamo Productions) have been witnessed touring around the world, cutting and scratching everything under the sun, including hiphop, Northern soul, funk, and rare groove. They'll be DJing a set this Wednesday, July 2, at Chop Suey, along with Seattle's own Sharpshooters, who'll be playing their rare groove-influenced beats.
I'll see ya out on the town--and for the record, it's been confirmed that "Hansel" from the movie Zoolander, as well as his personal DJ and entourage, were in fact staying at the Camlin Hotel's penthouse suite a few weeks back. NICOLAE WHITE