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Basstown nights

The new scene emerges; Halloween preparations
By DAVID DAY  |  September 12, 2007

SOUL-CLAPPED: Felix da Housecat does the Middlesex Lounge on Halloween.

Fall preview 2007
“Happy endings: Bad news begets good tunes.” By Matt Ashare. 
“Busy busy: Something for everyone this fall.” By Debra Cash. 
“Stage worthies: Fall on the Boston boards.” By Carolyn Clay. 
“Bounty: The best of the season’s roots, world, folk, and blues.” By Ted Drozdowski. 
“War, peace, and Robert Pinsky: The season’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.” By John Freeman.
“Trane, Joyce Dee Dee, Sco, and more: A jam-packed season of jazz.” By Jon Garelick. 
“Turn on the bright lights: Art, women, politics, and food.” By Randi Hopkins. 
“War zones: Fall films face terror at home and abroad.” By Peter Keough. 
“Locked and loaded: The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness.” By Mitch Krpata.
“BBC? America!: The networks put some English on the fall TV season.” By Joyce Millman. 
“World music: The BSO goes traveling, and Berlin comes to Boston.” By Lloyd Schwartz.
“Singles scene: Local bands dig in with digital.” By Will Spitz. 
If 2006 was the year Boston germinated, 2007 is the year it grows up. Basstown, as some in the scene have taken to calling it, is the crop of manic dance nights with home-grown party-rave DJs and a crowd that may be even wilder. Boston loves to wild out as much as it likes to rock out, and from Allston to Jamaica Plain to Cambridge, and most places in between, you find a night of stomping tunes in every corner.

When it comes to high-class, bottle-service-style trends, no area owns the game like the Theater District, with its revolving door of clubs and club nights, all seeking to be new and fresh. MANTRA (52 Temple Place, Boston; 617.542.8111) leads the chi-chi pack; the new night is called NYC VAULT THURSDAYS and features the stylings of DJ DEKA. Promising New York hard and vocal house music, it kicks off with an invite-only soiree before featuring guests like MICHAEL KNYTE (September 27), DJSTRICT (October 4), and, up from New York, MIDNIGHT SOCIETY (October 11). The driving force is monthly Rise resident Deka, who if he lives up to his on-line biography will “take you on a journey through musical euphoria.”

On the flipside is the Thursday party MAKE IT NEW at MIDDLESEX LOUNGE (315 Mass Ave, Cambridge; 617.868.MSEX) every week. For more than three years, the highbrow night has been bringing the absolute latest in pure dance sound courtesy of residents BILLY KIELY, ALAN MANZI, and BALTIMORODER. With local-music distributor Forced Exposure at its back, you can expect only the freshest wax. (Let me acknowledge that I am a former Forced Exposure employee.) September 20 features the international style of JEFF SAMUEL, who can be heard on Poker Flat, the celebrated techno label of choice.

From there, the local scene gets only more hip. Consider the MILKY WAY LOUNGE AND LANES (403-405 Centre St, Jamaica Plain; 617.524.3740), which welcomes back the crisp stylings of the MARINATE hip-hop party September 28. They start it off right with live action from Brooklyn’s LOUIS LOGIC and 5G PRODUCTIONS. “Logic was someone we wanted to book for a while,” reports Marinate co-founder and sex symbol DJ KNIFE. “It’s perfect for the heavy-drinking crowd, and J.J. BROWN [of 5G] is doing some surprising stuff right now. He’s working on a mash-up album mixing Hall and Oates with Gym Class Heroes.”

Not to be left behind, the always-current MIDDLE EAST (472-480 Mass Ave, Cambridge; 617.864.EAST) is booking more and more dance parties, and two events really jump out. September 28 it’s STEVE SMITH (from Dirty Vegas of “Days Go By” fame) upstairs with GABBY GLASER (Luscious Jackson) — and get there early for the hot hot live electro from local duo MATTERS & DUNAWAY. On October 10, the larger downstairs hosts the live electronic tunes of DIGITALISM. Like any smart booking agent, the Mid East staff has recruited ravesploitation duo BIG DIGITS to open the Digitalism show with DJ E-MARCE.

If gay nights are more your style, the NEIGHBORHOOD is here to suit. Holding court every second Saturday of the month at the MIDWAY CAFÉ (3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain; 617.524.9038), DJ D’HANA and friends throw a night that is “always femme, butch, gender variant, fairy, leather & CD friendly.” Make special note of October 13, when the all-inclusive club package brings in TRIPLE CREME from New York. According to D’Hana, the group are debuting a new video and are “pretty big in the queer rock scene.”

Every year, thousands of new 18-to-21-year-olds descend on Basstown, and the bad news is that our bewilderingly staunch Footloose-like local government doesn’t want these people to dance — except for rare occasions like the HAPPY ENDINGS party at the PARADISE LOUNGE (969 Comm Ave, Boston; 617.562.8814). October 13 will see a totally wild time when resident DJs SAMEER, IAN, and PATRICK hold a second-anniversary party. The trio promise their Halloween party will be off the hook, too. More on that later.

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  Topics: Music Features , Steve Smith , Morgan Louis , Robert Pinsky ,  More more >
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