For nearly a decade, DJ Marc “Bones” LeBlanc has been regularly hosting one of the most well-attended dance parties around.
In 2004, the 12-time ECMA-nominated Moncton DJ/radio host/photographer/graphic designer/promoter began hosting a regular monthly dance night called Indie Pop Night at The Paramount Lounge, where he focused on playing independent music with a dance vibe.
“People said, ‘You know, you’re never gonna’ last more than a year charging people while playing indie pop rock music to make people dance,’” said DJ Bones, in an interview before his latest show at Baba’s Lounge in Charlottetown last Saturday night.
“And now, it’s almost close to 10 years that I’ve been doing it.”
And as it blossomed into a regular circuit that includes Moncton, Fredericton, Halifax and Charlottetown, the dance party is now simply known as IPN — which Bones says could now stand for Inclusive Pop Nights, featuring indie music mixed with more mainstream dance and hip hop hits.
The main point, according to DJ Bones, is to create a dance scene that is as inclusive as possible — welcoming anyone and everyone to the dance floor. And in the packed house at Baba’s last weekend, it was clear that it was a night of no exception.
“Hi, welcome to IPN, I’m DJ Bones from Moncton,” Bones announced from the microphone on the Baba’s stage as the night kicked into gear. “If you guys want some suckers I have some suckers up here,” he said, motioning to a jar full of candy suckers by his turntables.
And with that, the party starting pumping just after 11 o’clock, as the bar filled with people who were there for one thing and one thing only: to dance their feet off in a frenzy of fun.
Gargantuan remix gems fired through the speakers, as one blended into the next, like Someday by The Strokes, Just by Radiohead, L’Oncle’s funk-a-fied version of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division, Shout by Tears For Fears and Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over.
And by midnight, not a soul could get in the bar for a coveted spot on that sweaty dance floor, as the lineup outside then extended all the way to the Old Triangle.
It was at this point in the night that Moncton’s award-winning new electro-pop band called In Dreams took over for a well-received half-hour set of original dance music.
Live music has not been a mainstay of IPN in the past, but featuring electronic bands is something that Bones is looking into doing on a more frequent basis, as this, of course, goes hand-in-hand with his dedication to promoting local original music.
The Music/Musique N.B. award-winning In Dreams is also nominated for an ECMA this year for electronic recording of the year for its debut six-song EP called Sleepwalk.
And, performing songs from this EP like Crazy Enough and Sleepwalk, the duo of Nick Fowler and Susan Colwell gave the Baba’s crowd a taste of the ECMA showcase material that Halifax will experience next month.
Jumping back to his stage station after hopping around the bar taking photos (one of which will surely become the next IPN poster — a great promo technique part of Bones’ always bang-on marketing), Bones resumed the DJ dance-fueling with none other than Prince’s Kiss (the never-fail party igniter) with a seamless blend into pounding Daft Punk glory.
And with more whopping hits into the late night like Heartbeat (Treasure Remix), Feed Me Diamonds by MNDR and many more remixed indie grooves and pop hits, it was hands-up-in-the-air, spotlights-a-flashing, hot-and-sweaty, no-room-to-move-yet-everyone-still-moving, and smiles-through-candy-suckers-all-around straight through ‘till close.
The next IPN at Baba’s will be the night before St. Patrick’s Day on March 16, and the following month will be April 13.
For more on DJ Bones and all that he has going on in his successful multi-faceted life in the arts, check out www.myspace.com/djbones
Next week: I’m still considering a couple of excellent options . . . .
Todd MacLean is a local freelance writer and musician. If you have a comment or suggestion for a review, you can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 626-1242. But he won’t be offended if you don’t.
See Page 2 for Todd's Picks
1. New York After Dark: Revue Dinner Theatre - Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, tonight and tomorrow night. An evening of sketch comedy, improv and music on a New York theme, complete with a buffet of Italian dining.
2. Dean Brody with Dylan Guthrie - Harbourfront Theatre, Summerside, tonight.
3. Comedian Jeremy Hotz: The Magical Mystery Tour - Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, tonight at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m.
4. Ceol Agus Caidre: The Chaisson Trio - B.I.S. Hall, today at 8 p.m. with fiddler Richard Wood and Gordon Belsher.
5. Serena Ryder with special guest Danielle Duval - Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, tomorrow at 8 p.m.
6. The Totally Serious Stand Up Show - The Big Orange Lunchbox, Charlottetown, tomorrow at 9:30 p.m.
7. More Soul - Globe World Flavours, Charlottetown, tomorrow at 8 p.m.