Some of my friends think that I'm mad when I tell them that I will drive 6 hours to go DJ somewhere. For one, I don't do it for the money. I'm glad when it covers expenses. I'm ecstatic when I have money left to buy a few records.
I do it because I get to hang out with people that are as passionate as I am. And that is worth driving twice the distance. When DJ Ty Jesso invited me to join him at his Soul Power night in Providence, Rhode Island, I didn't hesitate one second. I don't throw the word "mentor" around frivolously but when it comes to Ty, it applies quite adequately. Ty is the type of DJ that "gets it". He doesn't care about rare records or first pressing (even if he has a collection that will put us all to shame). He only cares about what works and what will make people dance and want to PAR-TY!
Before heading out to a full night of doing the Watusi and spinning records, our host brought my wife and I to one of his favorite watering holes.
As soon as I walked into Ogie's, I was greeted with some classic 60s Soul. Always a good sign. You also have the impression that you're inside a 60s trailer park at night. It's what I call "kitchy done right".
On the menu, you'll find confort food that you'll find in any respectable trailer park. The mac 'n cheese balls were worth every mile I travelled to put my hands on some. And I have to say, their selection of local beers on tap is another reason why I didn't want to leave.
But we had a gig to DJ. Next stop was Dusk. The perfect venue that has the right amount of vintage feel and equal parts charm. The crowd that came is definitely a notch above your average mix of drunk college kids and pretentious hipsters. The patrons had as much class as the city they live in. The go-go dancers were more spectacle than authentic but they seemed to enjoy themselves and that's good enough for me.
The brief night's sleep didn't stop me the next morning from getting up early and going through several hundred 45s my mate Ty had set aside for me. I managed to deprive him from a little more than a dozen 7 inch gems. You can hear most of them on the latest Parka Avenue Podcast here.
This unknown scorchin' Soul stomper from the southeast is one exemple that I pulled out of Ty's stash. When I find a dance floor mover and shaker that has sweet lyrics like "Are you a turtle? You bet your sweet ass I am", you know that it's going directly in the DJ box.
This mystery Garage jewel is another one that will get a lot of spins. Not much can be found about The Brotherhood. I find it interesting that the song is credited to Serge Blouin. Mr Blouin came out with several cheesy 45s in my own province of Quebec.
The rest of the day was spent cruising the city, taking in its beautiful architecture with the occasional stop at a vintage shop or record store. We had picked the perfect spring weekend. The sun was shinning and the trees were in full bloom.
After a light lunch at Chez Pascal, a local French bistro, where I devoured some delicious sausages made in-house, we were ready for every Mod's favorite activity, shopping. Our first destination was a second-hand shop called Foreign Affair. The selection was small but the prices were rock bottom. Unfortunately, the friendly owner let us know that her shop might be closing soon.
Next stop was Rocket To Mars. This is the type of place you wish every city had. They have a decent selection of clothes and every knick knack you need to decorate your groovy pad. I left with 2 shirts and I was privy to the "friends of Ty" discount. Could not ask for more.
Our final shopping spot was The Time Capsule. Half of the store is dedicated to comic books but the other half is all about records. You'll find plenty of $1 to 5$ records to dig through. There's a good selection of more common Garage and Soul 45s that you can buy to complete your collection. The rarer stuff is usually put right up on the net. I left with a small stack and the good news is that I still had plenty of money in my pocket.
|Ty doing his thing|
We had just enough time to sample some more beers from the area and a few stuffies, a local seafood staple, at the Hot Club before heading to Boston for Soulelujah. We are in store for another night of spinning records and debauchery.
|The view from the deck the Hot Club|
For a sample of the records I pillaged in Providence, head over to the Parka Avenue Podcast on Mixcloud right now!