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Local Jockeys Throw Down At A Dive Bar Just A Stone’s Throw Away

Graham Clark |
June 8, 2012 | 11:26 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

While the dance floor of Mr. T’s has been crowed to capacity at times in the history of the venue’s existence, Thursday night drew a comfortably svelte crowd of more than 100 patrons. (Photo via Graham Clark)
While the dance floor of Mr. T’s has been crowed to capacity at times in the history of the venue’s existence, Thursday night drew a comfortably svelte crowd of more than 100 patrons. (Photo via Graham Clark)

The floor was made of the same material as roller rinks and middle school gymnasiums, and it suffered a battery of spilled drink matter over the course of the evening. 

The joystick of the giant projector-powered arcade game was clunky enough to make Galaga nigh-impossible, and worst of all, the bar ran out of PBR before the clock struck 11:45 p.m. 

But despite a few environmental elements that could be construed as detrimental, all of the dudes managing mics and turntables stayed on point during “56,” the Stone’s Throw bash held at Mr. T’s Bowl last night, meaning a handful of dancing booties kept shaking well into the a.m.

As Stone’s Throw has built an increasingly prominent and formidable presence in contemporary commercial music, productions of this scale may have fallen from center stage. 

But the label, which came into being and still thrives most vibrantly in the Los Angeles area, has its success staked on maintaining a rich web of local projects even while superstars such as Dam Funk, Madlib and Mayer Hawthorne are in the midst of international tours. 

High profile moments for the Stone’s Throw as of late include a performance by founder Chris Manak (almost exclusively known by his moniker Peanut Butter Wolf) to a packed house at Transmission LA, the modern art exhibit curated by Mike D of the Beastie Boys and sponsored in part by Mercedes Benz. 

During the show, he jockeyed a wide breadth of soulful videos and audio, including a tribute to the recently departed Beastie Adam Yauch.

Resident soundman Arlo has made sure that the mics stay hot at Mr. T’s for over a decade.
Resident soundman Arlo has made sure that the mics stay hot at Mr. T’s for over a decade.
When last night’s special guest Louis XIII took his place behind the MacBook, he too seized the opportunity to drop a sample from the late MC A, “Shake Your Rump” off their game-changing debut “Paul’s Boutique.” It may not have been met with the sheer volume of ears Manak’s show enjoyed, but the small audience rippled with audiophilic delight as the melody bounced sharply into jazz meter following this sojourn back to 1989 New York. 

Hype-man type statements made by the host of the evening’s festivities, a rapper by the name of Black Shakespeare, were broadcast throughout all of the DJs’ sets. 

These sometimes resonated with embarrassing clarity, as was the case when his call for “56 to make some noise!” was met with nothing but a stifled murmur. His request that the assembled crowd to “put your roller-skates on,” fared little better: “That was just terrible,” he said.

The audience also experienced a set riddled with classic breaks spun and scratched by DJ Curse, featuring notes and beats made famous on mixes by Kraftwerk, Cut Chemist and other figures from the canon of familiar hip hop sounds. 

As the program’s lifespan dwindled and morning approached, word began to spread that Flying Lotus (known at birth as Steve Ellison) was quietly making conversation with a quartet of fans in the amply sized parking lot available behind Mr. T’s. There was more than enough room for him to have company: spaces for cars at the venue are always provided free of charge. 

Pity the fool who can’t get down to that.

Dam Funk of Stone’s Throw will also be playing on Saturday, June 16, at Make Music Pasadena 2012.

Reach Graham Clark here; follow him on Twitter here.



 

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