Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mod On The Road: I Want More of Baltimore

Ask me to come and DJ in your city and chances are that I'll jump in my car and drive 10 hours to come and party with you. When the opportunity presented itself to spin some wax in Baltimore and Washington, DC in the same weekend, I responded with a resounding and enthousiastic "Yes!".

I had never set foot in Charm City before and I saw right away where the nickname came from. I was telling my welcoming host Rachel about my first impressions and how I liked the turn of the century architecture, the charming row houses and the industrial feel of the city. She said that her city reminded her of Brooklyn. "While it is certainly NOT Brooklyn (in fact, there's hardly a comparison to be made), we are getting a little taste of it here and there. New bars and restaurants are kind of channeling Brooklyn. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere, right? Our own little cultural renaissance isn't going to happen overnight..." I can see why she would say that.

My lovely host Rachel - photo by George Skepton

This one night only event  was held at Gallery 788 in the burgeoning neighbourhood of Hampden. It's situated at 3602 Hickory Ave, right off 36th (also dubbed "The Avenue"). Rachel had quite appropriately called the night, The Thaw - 100% Vinyl 60s Dance Party. What better way than to thaw out from the grizzly winter season and flee the snow banks of chilly Montreal than to drive 10 hours due South.

Aside from the other talented DJs that I had the honour of sharing the decks with, we were surrounded by  art from up and coming local artists. But that's not all! The space also featured a pop-up showcase of mid-century inspired furniture brought to you by the good folks who put on FURNmob. You needn’t be a design aficionado to appreciate the slick lines and smooth designs of these amazing pieces.

The hard life of a Mod DJ. And the furniture was confortable too! Photo by George Skepton
A little over a hundred attended and the wooden dance floor was flooded (no pun intended) with eager dancers. The last time I had shared the turntables with DJ Amanda Otto was a couple of years back at MODchicago. Aside from being a real sweetheart, she's known for spinning some of the best trippy, psychedelic and far-out tracks you have ever heard.

Photos by George Skepton
I had never met DJ Rob J. before and I have a feeling that this won't be the last time we will play 45s side by side. His musical taste is impeccable and his choice of tracks were right up my alley. I also had the pleasure to meet Rob Macy from the popular Save Your Soul monthly extravaganza. Jake Starr, frontman for local band Jake Starr and The Delicious Fulness was also in attendance, keeping the party going.

The suave and stylish Rob J. Photo by George Skepton

When I embarked on this 903 km road trip, I had no idea what to expect.  The night surpassed all my expectations and I would do it again in heartbeat. But that didn't prepare me for what was going to happen the next day...

Part 2, to be published very soon.

For a small sample of the tunes that were played on that night, have a listen to Episode 14 of The Parka Avenue Podcast right here.

A huge thank you to all my wonderful hosts for having me over and a special thank you to George Skepton for providing the photos.

No comments:

Post a Comment