The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features

Day by Day by Day

A column ends
By DAVID DAY  |  September 18, 2007

David Day

Two years ago, the Phoenix asked me to write a weekly column about Boston’s growing electronic music and DJ scene. Having moved here just before the year 2000, I was fortunate enough to see the community come into its own. Now, as I write my last column from a music studio overlooking the hubbub of San Francisco’s Polk Village, I can say the Basstown scene is a force to be reckoned with. Before the turn of the millennium, Boston electronic music was practically non-existent. Yes, there were strands that touched far beyond the Hub. FRED GIANNELLI and his experiments in early acid and industrial music; ARMAND VAN HELDEN’s brief but influential time at the Loft; the hip-hop of EDO G and DJ PREMIERE; TOM MELLO and his well-known warehouse extravaganzas.

But for the most part, there was no tradition of non-rock musicmaking for Boston transplants to sink their feet into. It’s amazing what has changed. Boston’s transitional student population makes such traditions necessary. Without Aerosmith or Jonathan Richman, for instance, new Bostonians would not know they could rock and succeed. But as the music scene at large fractured, bedroom producers could become famous, DJs could become superstars, and kids with laptops could get signed off a remix. Boston adapted in kind.

The first story was one “Up All Day” (né “Circuits”) never really told, that of electronic-music experimentalist Keith Fullerton Whitman (a/k/a HRVATSKI), who brought cutting-edge experimental electronics to the indie-rock masses. To this day, people all over the world still align Boston with the elusive Somerville laptop experimenter. Whitman blew up around the same time as MR. LIF, who typified a city known for its intellect with his own far-ranging thoughts and brain-blowing lyrics. The release of Lif’s Enters the Colossus EP was a turning point in the local hip-hop mentality.

On the techno tip, the new millennium brought UNLOCKEDGROOVE, a collective of MIT kids who loved sturdy dance music and a good party. The Unlockedgroove mentality persists at places like the Phoenix Landing on Wednesdays, on thousands of vinyl slabs around the world, and in the local empire of DJ ALAN MANZI. One change brought on by the naughties was the acceptance of DJ culture and dance music — hip-hop MCs are now powerful record executives, and French house duos sell out arenas. Once again, college town Boston has adapted — turntables are a familiar sight on rock-club stages, and you can’t go far without a flyer for the latest LEEDZ EDUTAINMENT show being dropped into your hand.

One thing that has not changed, however, is the attitude that prohibits dance parties for college kids. The recent show of maturity within Boston’s hip-hop scene (see the recent U.N.I.T.Y. festival) and the success of HEARTHROB, PAPER, and THUNDERDOME (at some of which this writer used to DJ) represent an invitation for venue owners, government officials, and the community at large to reconsider the situation.

Over two years of columns, there are many I have left out and many I probably wrote too much about. If you feel left out, I encourage you to inform the media about your event, and try to do it more than a week in advance. Many times I wrote columns simply because the subject was persistent — persistence always pays.

But this is the final edition of “Up All Day.” The Phoenix will, of course, continue to cover the electronic and DJ scene. It will have no choice: you have established yourself. You are the tradition. Turn the tradition into legacy . . . oh, and Fred Gianelli just re-released his hugely influential Acid Didj music for the digital age. Head to and pick it up, won’t you?

Related: Party pros, The Bladerunners, The breaks, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Music,  More more >
  • Share:
  • Share this entry with Facebook
  • Share this entry with Digg
  • Share this entry with Delicious
  • RSS feed
  • Email this article to a friend
  • Print this article
Day by Day by Day
<a href="//">BASSTOWN </a>LIVES! Alive and well, no less. Thanks DDay ;)
By Basstown on 09/18/2007 at 9:47:54
Day by Day by Day
Although I do appreciate the writer's contribution to the dance landscape in Boston, it seems a bit narrowly focused in terms of painting a picture of the actual landscape. Though it is stated that people were left out, blaming lack of persistence is a thinly veiled excuse for being lazy or self-motivated in research. No mention of Phoenix Landing Sunday Nights (a breeding ground which produced up and comers Sergio Santos and Tanner Ross? Dancing on the Charles, which has brought a few hundred people together from all of the different dance music scenes? Or Axis's old hotspot 'Square One?" ..Steve Porter (sure he's gotten cheesy but he's world famous now and he deserves props.) Chinatown Afterhours 808 Loft Parties that introduced many unsuspecting people to minimal techno? Lava Bar in the Howard Johnson where deep and acid house actually had a home in Boston? Hibernia saturday nights? Avalon used to bring in the biggest djs in the world but is completely ignored. RISE? The only dance club open in Boston well after the city shuts down? Then there's tons of other stuff that ended around 2002-03 and I'm leaving out a lot of stuff b/c I only got into things around the year 2000, but nonetheless a lot of these places were fairly popular for a time. This article, like many other articles by the writer, however helpful to the scene as a whole, are fairly imbalanced and entrenched in loyalties and ego unfortunately. It's as if dance music doesn't exist outside of the trendy nites he's been a part of. I don't go to Avalon or Axis anymore (except for the final night Friday with Tiefschwarz), but it's callous and irresponsible not to mention the contribution. Again, no disrespect implied; the writer seems to have added to the scene yes and partially given it a pseudo voice, but nonetheless appears motivated by djs and nights he's personally vested in. That degrades his credibility as a writer and/or voice.
By spiral on 09/18/2007 at 11:36:08
Day by Day by Day
I wrote about bump <a href="//">here</a> and early in the column. I wrote a number of articles on Soul Clap <a href="//">here</a>. I wrote about the 808 parties <a href="//">here</a>,. I wrote about Rise, Avalon (a profile on Dave Ralph among others), I profiled Tanner Ross <a href="//">here</a>. The point of the last column was to talk about what was before the beginning of the column and what is yet to come, not squeeze everything from 7 years into one piece. I don't like to respond to comments, but I am anything but lazy.
By david day on 09/18/2007 at 11:57:28
Day by Day by Day
I'm glad you responded actually bc I do take back you being lazy. I do stand by certain things i stated, give you credit for backing yourself up a bit, and to continue further would be argumentative and unnecessary. Cheers to healthy discourse!
By spiral on 09/20/2007 at 1:30:02
Day by Day by Day
spiral, I am on the same page with you musically, but loosen up! Yes I agree Day's coverage represents music he has a vested interest, but the music and DJs he covers represent change and progress. Hibernia was great in its day, but c'mon its not 1998 anymore! for better or worse a lot of people from the scene spiral alludes to are immigrating to Day's scene over the past year, but a lot of the people from Day's scene are discovering they wont be shot by the hipster gestapo (and they exist folks) for playing very unironic 4/4 house music. Change is good for the music scene. Oh and Steve Porter to me is as groovin as a polka band. He needs to be shot off into space
By t1 on 10/18/2007 at 4:22:32

[ 10/08 ]   Junior Mance  @ Church of the Covenant
[ 10/08 ]   R. Kelly  @ MGM Grand @ Foxwoods
[ 10/08 ]   White Lies + Flying Machines  @ Lansdowne
--> -->
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DAY BY DAY BY DAY  |  September 18, 2007
    Two years ago, the Phoenix asked me to write a weekly column about Boston’s growing electronic music and DJ scene.
  •   THE DUFF CONNECTION  |  September 12, 2007
    “I really haven’t had to deal with any crazy paparazzi, since we usually keep a low profile and sneak in the back door of places.”
  •   BASSTOWN NIGHTS  |  September 12, 2007
    If 2006 was the year Boston germinated, 2007 is the year it grows up.
  •   PARTY PROS  |  September 06, 2007
    Weekend Warriors, or WKND WRYRZ, is the Sunday-night lounge party at ZuZu in Central Square.
  •   CITIZENS OF BASSTOWN  |  August 29, 2007
    The proliferation of dance parties in Boston has led not only to a rise in the number of DJs but also to a growth in the ranks of dancers.

 See all articles by: DAVID DAY

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group