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October 15, 2010

The Get Down launches new gay party Peer Pressure

Baltimore's gay scene is as famously anorexic as some of its twinks. As far as dance clubs go, there's only Club Hippo and Grand Central.

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.

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Posted by Erik Maza at 12:09 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I understand now! I'm slow.

As a relative outsider to this community, I believe I learned more about the inner workings of Baltimore's LGBTQ scene and the idiosyncrasies of said group than almost any article I've read in the Sun in many a year. Kudos.

OMG. I just had to block you on Grindr. As if...

Maza - Loud and Proud!

Glad you are open Erik!

I was there! I had a great time at this party. Aisle-K was great! He played a lot more than just Sinclair. That Gaga mashup with Time After Time was killer. Also he played some other mashup of Madonna and the Clash. loved it! And the XXXO remix he played at the end blew my mind a little bit. I danced my ass off. I'll definitely be back in Nov!

Yeah...aisle k played that XXXO remix, not Lemz. s*** was HOT! He and Lemz both tore it up!

You leave early then write a review based on that? How professional. Also, there was only one girl that I saw in Uggs. I was there, it was awesome, and it was also the most people I've ever seen in that place on a weeknight. No one cares about the return of Taxlo. Last time I went to that s**tty party was on a Friday night with a whole 12 people there. How did you get this job again?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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