The Get Down launches new gay party Peer Pressure
At these venues, the music doesn't stray far from Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, and the favorite past-time is not dancing, but blocking people on Grindr.
It's a complaint heard so often, many young, local LGBTQ just commute to Washington on Saturday nights for proper venues, like Cobalt or Town (Danceboutique).
Among those bored are a former Sonar promoter and rapper Rye Rye's former DJ. On Wednesday, they launched a party at Fells Point' The Get Down to fill the void. Midnight Sun was there.
When I walked in, Kyle Holtgren, aka DJ Aisle_K, was playing Bob Sinclair's "World, Hold On." Not a good sign. If I'd wanted to hear hackneyed house, I would have stayed in Miami.
But when Steve Lemmerman, nee DJ Lemz, got behind the tiny booth, the music improved dramatically. I can't recall the last time I heard Roisin Murphy at a club; maybe when she played Mansion in New York a couple of CMJs ago. Lemmerman played Crookers' relentless "Royal T," where she's featured.
Naturally, he also played new M.I.A., but unlike her recent set at Virgin Mobile FreeFest, it wasn't a mess. "XXXO" sounded as good as it does on the album. I didn't stay past one, but if he remixed "Teqkilla" later, the ensuing hoedown would have been worth the price of a Yuengling alone.
Lemmerman says that while he'll play top 40, he wants to spin less commercial stuff, like Boys Noize and local DJ Blaqstarr. That would be a change from the venues around now.
Dustin Sugar-Moore, Peer Pressure's promoter, is right when he says they stick to the usual anthems. There are a few parties that play subgenre music, like No Rule at Metro Gallery and Deep in the Game, which is now actually held at Hippo, but they are typically mixed crowds. (Sonar's popular Taxlo returns next month.)
Moore says that while Peer Pressure welcomes allies, it's the first party catering specifically to young gay Baltimoreans. On Wednesday, I didn't see a huge turn out from this group - there were more girls in Uggs than gays.
But it's early.
The other often-heard complaint about Baltimore's gay scene is that it skews older. Moore says he started the party partially to avoid getting hit on when he goes out, but he could have used that crowd Wednesday.
Young and senior gays stay far away from each other enough as it is; it would be smarter to appeal to both age groups, and just strive to improve what's booming from the stereos. On that front, Peer Pressure is a start.
The next party will be November 10. There is no cover.