Stars of the Zodiac
A local dance party attracts some familiar faces.
By Jess Mayhugh. Posted on May 19, 2009, 11:30 am
No, I'm not going to ramble on about astrology, though I'd like to (I am a Sagittarius after all). But I do want to talk about a great dance party I went to last night at Zodiac. The former restaurant/bar is now a performance space/bar hosting various Wham City dance parties, shows, and lecture series. Every Monday night the venue features a dance party called "No Rule" with rotating DJs and some regulars, like Cullen Stalin of TaxLo fame and Scottie B from Unruly Records. I've heard good things about this dance party so far (it started in April) so I wanted to check it out.
I wasn't sure how the former restaurant was going to pull it off as a dance space, but they made it work by clearing out the back part of the room and putting the DJs up in the loft. At 10:30 the place was pretty empty, but, in true Baltimore style, it got totally packed in less than an hour. Drinks were cheap (think $2 beers and $4 mixed) and the best part was the admission was free. Some of the people walking into Zodiac last night were more noticeable than others: After I was there for a half-an-hour, Dan Deacon joined the party and, a little after that, Blaqstarr walked in.
The dance party picked up towards the end of Cullen and Scottie's sets, which consisted of everything from songs off of Ultimate Dance Party 1997 (seriously awesome) to techno and R&B. Then Blaqstarr got up behind the turntables, but the funny thing was, it wasn't like the place went completely crazy at first. My friend remarked how the last time she saw Blaqstarr was a huge festival in Central Park and, here we were, seeing him for free. The modesty of everyone involved was incredible. That's not to say the crowd didn't enjoy Blaqstarr's set, a range that included Prodigy and a mix of hip-hop top 40.
I found out that it was a sort of a "welcome home" party for Dan Deacon (who was touring in Australia earlier this month). Continuing the humble nature of the show he said, "No, this isn't about me, we're all just hanging out." He went on to talk about how Zodiac was a great music venue and what he missed most about Baltimore. "This place draws such a diverse crowd," Deacon said, pointing towards the dancers. "That's one of the reasons I love this city so much."
Last night was also a pre-going away party for Blaqstarr who told me about his plans to move out to Los Angeles. "I'm trying to really find my artistic side out there," he said. "It will be good to free my mind." But if last night was any indication, the DJ will surely return to his hometown eventually.
I definitely recommend you check out the dance parties at Zodiac (heard they had a fun one on Friday too). It's cheap, it's fun, and you never know who's going to walk in the door next.
Jess Mayhugh is the digital editor for Baltimore, where she covers nightlife, sports, food, and events.