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Everything Sort of Old Is Kind of New Again
Heard Mentality: The best of the music, arts & culture blog for the week of Aug. 17-23
Busywork, the old no-cover Wednesday dance night at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, has been replaced by Pistol, the new no-cover Wednesday dance night at Detroit Bar. The similarities don’t end there.
Sure, there are different resident DJs (Joaquin, Nick Hernandez and Dallas Cornell), but the general vibe remains the same—and given the success of Busywork over the past two years, maybe that’s the point. I still think Detroit Bar itself, for all of its obvious strengths, is an awkward place for a dance night. The mainstage area is curtained-off, and people are meant to dance right in front of the venue’s entrance, directly in the line of fire for those stepping out for a smoke. On opening night Sept. 2, there were never more than a few people dancing at a time; some even danced by the couches toward the back wall.
There were a lot of ’90s hip-hop hits: “This Is How We Do It,” “Creep” (TLC, not Radiohead, natch) and “Going Back to Cali” (Notorious BIG, not LL Cool J) were all in the mix; hard to imagine getting psyched about hearing those tunes. When the opening notes of Daft Punk’s “Around the World” kicked in, there was sort of that feeling of “Really? We’re still doing this? In 2009?”
We’ll see where Pistol goes from here—I got there after midnight, which is late for a Wednesday, though there was a pretty healthy crowd (not packed, though). It was also the first night, so it’s unreasonable to judge it too harshly. Busywork attracted big-name guest DJs such as Steve Aoki, even back at its opening; here’s hoping Pistol grows and figures out how to distinguish itself other than playing tracks we were sick of a decade ago.
I did hear “Can I Kick It” by A Tribe Called Quest. Don’t think I’m complaining about that.
* * *
Newport Beach may seem entirely too laid-back of a place to spawn a screamo band, but that’s where five-piece Saosin are from, and Sept. 1, they released their second studio album (and their first in three years), In Search of Solid Ground. First single “Changing” is much more melodic than previous efforts, and I’m fine with that, but it has already alienated some hardcore fans (“very dissapointing” [sic], types YouTube commenter “SeanSaosin”). It’s definitely more appealing to the mainstream than some of their other work. Saosin return to Orange County with a show Dec. 20 at the House of Blues.
Another veteran OC act, Atreyu (one of the top 10 greatest bands to name themselves after a Neverending Story character), released details on their fifth album, Congregation of the Damned. That’s scheduled for Oct. 27, but they don’t have any OC shows coming up, just one at the Wiltern in LA on Nov. 21.