Best known as a soul DJ, Toubin spins dozens of styles, giving dancers what they need, as opposed to what they want.
Shake it to Jonathan Toubin's priceless singles at his Soul Clap and Dance-Off party at Clock-Out Lounge Oct. 13. Alexander Thompson

JONATHAN TOUBIN (New York Night Train)

Current top 5 tracks:

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Barbara Lynn, "I Don't Want a Playboy" (Tribe)

Eddie Bo, "Just Like a Monkey" (Cinderella)


Levi Walker, "Shake It One Time for Me" (Shurfine)

[This track is so rare, it's not available for streaming. —ed.]

Ray Barretto, "New York Soul" (Pink Elephant)


Renaldo Domino "Let Me Come Within" (Twinight)


Crew/label affiliation: "New York Night Train/Norton Records/Burger Records."

Styles played: "Soul, blues, rhythm & blues, boogaloo, funk, garage, proto-punk, rocksteady, freakbeat, punk, rockabilly, ska, British Invasion, surf, contemporary underground rock and soul, girl groups, frat rock, psych, Turkish psych, UK/Euro beat, Tropicália, and miscellaneous Brazilian fuzz, '50s/'60s club jazz, no wave, yé-yé, krautrock, glam, calypso, mod stuff, novelties, country, salsa, etc. etc. etc... I'm sure i'm forgetting a lot, but essentially popular and music from the second half of the 20th century on the original 45s, with a focus on independent '50s and '60s black American music."

Events organized:
"- NY Night Train Soul Clap and Dance-Off (weekly in different cities since 2007)
- NY Night Train Shakin' All Over Under Sideways Down! (weekly in NYC since 2008)
- NY Night Train Sunday Soul Scream (summer Sundays since 2016)
- NY Night Train Haunted Hop (annually since 2006)
- Plus a number of irregularly occurring but sometimes repeated events like Polyglot Discotheque, Boogie Night, James Brown Night, Tardy Gras, NY Night Train Happening, Animal Train Happening, etc.
- And a number of former monthly and weekly residencies that will probably never return, like Motor City Wednesdays (over 300 nights!), Boogaloo Shampoo (also hundreds of times), Thursday Thump (hundreds of times), Ants in Your Pants Dance Party, The Shank, Secret Santo/Declassified, The Loose Caboose, Ya Ya Yacht, Summer Soul, Sit-Down Soul, Night Owl Hoot, etc."

DJing philosophy: "It would take volumes, but off the top of my head... Finding the common ground between my [record] box and the dance floor. Making fire! Being dynamic and distinctive. Trying anything and everything to make people fall in love with the music and with one another... Giving the dancers what they need (as opposed to what they want). Manipulating the sound and lighting. Paying attention to volume, EQ, and transitions. Being hyper-aware of pacing. Infinitely manipulating tension and release based on dozens of circumstantial factors. Playing kinetically and on the beat. Surprising people. Surprising myself. Not being of the times, but being of my own time and making my own world. Doing the opposite of what my friends and colleagues do and finding my own way back on my own. Discovering music everywhere and trying to find meaning and make meaning from it. Finding who out who I am and who my audience is (who we are!) through thousands of repetitions of records and nights and dance floors. Challenging myself. Making mistakes. Failing! Learning! Failing! Learning! Eternally working my ass off to improve my craft and my parties. Not resting on my own laurels. Trying to give people something they will get nowhere else. Building the parties of my dreams. Giving it all away. And, mostly, taking people places."

Format: "Only original 45 rpm vinyl."

Worst request: "All requests are equally the worst because I'm busy trying to do my job and make the room happy and your selfishness is distracting me, ruining my focus, and thus making the night much worse for the 99.5 percent who are there to dance to the music and are not demanding I pay special attention to them."

Upcoming events:
In Seattle:
Sat Oct 13: Soul Clap and Dance-Off at Clock-Out Lounge

Everywhere else:
Fridays NYC: Shakin' All Over Under Sideways Down! at Home Sweet Home
Sat Oct 20 Miami: Soul Clap and Dance-Off at Gramps
Thu Oct 25 New Orleans: Oh Sees Afterparty at Poor Boys
Sat, Oct 27 Detroit: Soul Clap and Dance-Off/Grand Re-Opening Party at UFO Factory
Tue, Oct 30 NYC: Sally Can’t Dance Cramps Edition w/Eugene Hutz, Howie Pyro, etc at Bowery Electric
Weds, Oct 31 NYC: 13th Annual NY Night Train Haunted Hop w/Roky Erickson, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Death Valley Girls, White Mystery and more at Knockdown Center