Though it may take a bit of digging, Phoenix really does have a wealth of quality local dance nights on both the monthly and weekly level. So with The Blunt Club closing up shop as a weekly stop for not only hip-hop heads but also folks who just like to get down, it's nice to know that other dance nights are celebrating their one-year anniversaries. Just a few months ago, Provisions celebrated their one-year anniversary as a monthly dance night at Sochu House, and on Tuesday night, Sour Times will celebrate 52 weeks at Stacy's at Melrose.
"I have a lot of fun with the music and have a supportive venue to play it in. So in that sense it's a very nice situation. Also, it's a more current incarnation of a night I began a long time ago at the defunct Homme Lounge that is now an empty lot on Camelback and Third Avenue," says Sour Times promoter Rob Poe, a.k.a. DJ Tristan/Iseult. "People typically avoid trying to do weeknight events, though they forget that many people's weekends are actually in the middle of the week and some people just don't care if they have to work the next day. I hate that kind of watered-down decadence."
The music at Sour Times is a mix of music featuring tunes from the 1980s all the way through current music also erring to the "darker side of alternative music," according to Poe. He plays "everything from Bjork and Portishead to Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy to The Knife and Kavinsky."
However, the music is only half of the equation for Sour Times. Poe says that his Tuesday evening shindig is more about peoples moves, than his music selection. "Sour Times is definitely about the dancefloor," says Poe,though people love hanging out on the nice back patio that the venue now has."
It has taken more than just good tunes and good dancers to keep the night going through. Poe and the venue both made the commitment to be at the Central Phoenix club every Tuesday and keep the music going for five hours. In the 52-week run Poe says he has only missed two nights. One was to open for oOoOO at Crescent Ballroom as his live music persona Aon in May, and the other was for his honeymoon one month earlier.
"It takes a lot of patience and a very supportive bar/club staff. Everyone at Stacy's at Melrose really loves the night despite the fact that it is definitely the black sheep of all their nights, which typically favor top 40 and more generic dance club music like house or EDM. I think part of it is also creating a welcoming and consistent space. I'm very request-friendly as a DJ and have actually crafted the format for the night based upon people's requests. It's a very genre-bending night," says Poe. "It has a soul that isn't like the soul that Hallmark offers you. It isn't easily consumable autopilot music or someone talking about how they're going to dance like it's the last night of their life when in reality they are going to work in the morning."
Poe will be welcoming in a guest DJ for the one-year party DJ Halo. Halo took on the job for Poe on both of the evenings that he couldn't be there. Halo is Poe's chosen backup, and his guest for the one-year anniversary because he appreciates the dance first and eclectic nature of the night that he is trying to cultivate.
I definitely get lost in the music when I dance. Perhaps that's what I desire for others who come out to the night," says Poe. "I think people notice that I spend a lot of thought into my music mix and know I'm very open about fitting new or old things in the mix. It's all within reason though as there is a certain mood I try to maintain each week with the music, and there is never a cover. Actually Stacy's at Melrose never has a cover... not even on New Year's Eve, which I'll also be spinning at."
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