Speaking from experience collaborating with him on the decks, the litmus test that best gauges the success of any Ian Paige DJ night is how well Booker T and the MGs' "Green Onions" goes over — which it always does, one way or another. The song is inherently risky: It's an instrumental, the beat defiantly plods and never fluctuates; it's nothing more or less than an expression of cool. As such, it implies confidence in its selector. "Let's take this down a notch," he thinks at midnight, as things should be heating up. "They'll stay with me." And so, this night, they did, and won't again, at least not for a while.

Mod Night — the Northern Soul/British invasion-inspired dance party which will live on, with Paige's adopted partner Kurt Baker taking the reins — is the purest distillation of Paige's modus operandi: to revive the Happening, a place to see and be seen, gaze at and be gazed at, or do neither and weird out to your heart's content. From its humble beginnings at the White Heart, the event ebbed and flowed with the momentum of the town, its seasons, and bouts of cabin fever. It evolved with Paige's musical whims, taking hiatuses to devote time to psychedelic campfire sessions, programming at SPACE Gallery (a position he'll leave this month to scour the country in a van), or, in the case of our partnership, some giddy and goofy dance parties as Bam Bam. Each event was founded on a rule more DJs should pay attention to: Keep as many people in the room as happy as possible at any given moment.

Let me make it even clearer that this is a eulogy to one of our great promoters and unassuming entertainers (and not at all a show review) with a plea to encouraging a population of youngsters to act on the Ian Paige model: Strive to give us this much fun.

  Topics: New England Music News , SPACE Gallery, SPACE Gallery, EMPIRE DINE AND DANCE,  More more >
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