Thursday Bar Wars Part XVIII: Neighbours gets Dirty and jumps on the POP bandwagon

Published by on April 11th, 2012

Neighbours gets Dirty...and Poppy...with DJ DrewG starting this Thursday. Art by Jon McQueen.

What the hell is it with Thursdays and local clubs/promoters on Capitol Hill? Apparently, Mama Tits is right: Thursdays ARE the new Friday and every big queer club is fighting for a share of your big pink dollars. The fun all started with Sinfinite Productions (Arden Turnbull and Jimmy Scarpello) taking over The Baltic Room to create “ElektroPOP!” last fall with hostess Mama Tits and regular DJs Skiddle and PBear. They certainly didn’t reinvent the wheel; ElektroPOP features all the staples of your average gay club party event: dj pop music, a dance floor, go go boys, drag host, themes, glitter and discount drinks. But, somehow the obvious seemed to come together and ElektroPOP became a must see Thursday event for a variety of different reasons and appealing to a nice selection of the community, largely due to Arden and Jimmy’s skills at promoting the hell out of the event…and, the talents and charms of all involved.

Naturally, this caused some concern among the other bars/clubs/venues in the community. Seattle likes to think it’s a wild and crazy party town, but let’s face it…most folks only go out on the weekends and Mon-Thurs used to be pretty bleak stretch in our entertainment calendars. Obviously Thursdays have always had some appeal and higher rates of attendance than Mon-Wed but really only in summer could Thursday night spell Big Business for most venues. ElektroPOP proved that if you “Build It, They Might Come” and other venues became determined to grab a piece of that action.

R Place has hosted their “Amateur Strip Show” aka “ASS” for years on Thursdays but they decided to mix things up and moved ASS to Wednesday and created a new night called “Thirsty Thursday” and imported “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars for the first three weeks and added in the usual djs, go go boys, glitter and drink specials. Various people got their feelings hurt about this change with (largely ridiculous and inconsequential) charges bouncing back and forth, all aided by our own Bill Gray’s inflammatory article, the original “Bar Wars” post. But, Drag Race stars ain’t cheap, even the lower quality ones, and “Thirsty Thursdays” has been a bit parched for name talent for the last few weeks.

MEANWHILE, over at Neighbours, they’ve been having their own woes. The long running beloved dinosaur of a show, “Rock Lobster” started sinking into the tar pits of 1980′s themed club nights late last year with furtive attempts to revive/reformat it to little avail despite the noble efforts of DJ Trent Von. But, that all changed with the announcement of “Dirty Pop Seattle” which started last week and continues tomorrow, Thursday, April 12. Here’s the poo from the Facebook invite:

The biggest Pop Party in the US find it’s newest home in Seattle at Neighbours!

Cheap drinks, beats and hot boys.

The hottest pop remixes and mashups all night long.
Accept no substitutes.

Drew’s remixed some of the biggest names in the industry and now he’s here in Seattle to share his work.
Along with guest DJs Bret Law And Trent Von!!

Dirty Pop Seattle Hosted by the lovely Aleksa Manila.

Sounds: http://www.soundcloud.com/djdrewg
http://www.Facebook.com/djdrewg
http://www.twitter.com/djdrewg

Sponsored by N101.com & Soldoutclothing.com

I’m not really up on DJ culture but apparently DJ Drew G is a hot talent who has worked with some big names…he’s also hella adorable. But, I have to say that the above Facebook info is rather sketchy and incomplete. Apparently, “Dirty Pop” is the NEW weekly Thursday event at Neighbours and Bret Law and Trent Von will be the regular DJ’s and Drew G. will pop in from time to time as his busy schedule permits; he doesn’t live in Seattle but based out of Los Angeles. It has a drag hostess and apparently go go boys and drink specials. It’s your typical gay bar/club event.

It also needs to wake up and smell the coffee…in fact, ALL the old venues in town need to wake up. It’s 2012 and you CAN NOT produce and promote an event with a 1992 mentality…it’s a BRAND NEW WORLD out there and the playing field has changed. Clubs can’t just think up a cute name, hire a dj and a drag queen and whip up a poster to slap on telephone poles anymore. You need to produce a show that has some Uniqueness and Creativity and not be afraid to mix it up a little and change things up frequently. Then, you need to PROMOTE THE HELL OUT OF IT!!!

Fact. I did NOT know Arden and Jimmy at all until they approached me last fall to invite me to ElektroPOP. I’m an old fart who prefers sitting at home with a laptop on my lap, “Golden Girls” on the TV, and a 20 pound cat perched on my shoulder but I know I need to get out and see shit and network and promote the site, so I dragged my butt out of my chair and went out late on a Thursday night. (Also, I respond well to people nicely asking me to see stuff with a personal invitation…)

I went and was immediately ill at ease, as most lumpen gay men over the age of 40 are at an event where the average age of the clientele is about 23 and everyone looks like they really need to eat a cheeseburger. I’m not a huge fan of most contemporary pop music; Nicki Minaj makes me projectile vomit. But, guess what? I ended up having a good time largely due to the charms of Arden and Jimmy who made me feel very welcome, (but not in an ass kissy sort of way…that doesn’t work on me very well…) and the talents of all the people involved. I’ve gone several times to “ElektroPOP” and I’ve always had a nice time and it’s usually because they know how to put on a fun show. As I’ve said above, “ElektroPOP” is NOT revolutionary…it’s still your basic club night of DJ/Dance/Drag Queens/Go Go Boys/Drink Specials. But, Jimmy and Arden are clever enough to mix things up with different themes and guests. Every week is a different party experience.

And, they sell the hell out of it with posters, and Facebook posts, and Tweets and a non-stop barrage of publicity with plenty of bright photos and graphics and stunts and information to let people know all about every event and they do it EVERY week. THAT’S the key to success in this day and age. Give the people something pretty and charming and fun and mix it up a bit and then, promote the shit out of it. It’s interesting to note that the Smart, Young Promoters in town realize this and they get the most attention and they’re the Ones To Watch Out For. Jimmy and Arden do it; Nark/Kevin Kauer; Qulture Qreative/Kendall & David Richey; Shanon Thorson/Ruckus; Two Knight Events and several other producer/promoters all get it. (And, some of those folks aren’t even that young…wink). And while all their events don’t always succeed, they all know how you play the event game. They understand it’s a New Era.

And, more change is coming. Two big new clubs are under (endless) construction. We joke about how long they are taking, but it is happening. And, there will be more changes to come, both good and bad as Capitol Hill and the Gay Community continue to evolve. Hopefully, everyone is along for the ride as our world continues to move from Gay 1.o to Gay 2.5…

Good luck to all the players and all the events.

And…

BUY A DAMN AD ONCE IN AWHILE!


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