Once Boston initiated its 18-plus dance-club ban (which puts an 11 o’clock club curfew on people under 21), the popular Paper party on Lansdowne Street went on instant hiatus and its main DJ, Eric Marcelino (a/k/a E-MARCÉ), hit the road — heading south to gigs in Philadelphia, DC, and New York. “It’s been awesome,” he says on the phone from Brooklyn. “All the parties have been full and wild.” Like many of the new dance nights in the urban US, Paper and its resident DJ sprang from the hardcore/punk-rock scene, and E-Marcé used all his hardcore contacts to set up the last-minute tour.
“There are so many hardcore kids turned DJs. All over the place. Seventy-five percent of the kids I talk to are like, ‘Yeah, I used to be in a hardcore band,’ or, ‘Yeah, I used to be in an indie-rock band.’ ” Marcelino’s hardcore claim to fame was his band SEX POSITIONS (and before that the DEDICATION). “I used to tour, so I know all the hardcore kids, and they show me the different dance nights.”
Marcelino played two nights in the hardcore haven of Washington, one of which was with Boston-bred DJ JUAN MACLEAN, who also played in a band — SIX FINGER SATELLITE. “That night was crazy. In addition to both upstairs and downstairs, there was also a huge bar, and it was packed. I was in a room with a 300-person capacity and it was full. It’s so much warmer down there, people are ready to welcome you. It’s not like the Northeast, where everyone is so, you know, cold.” The night was 18-plus, of course, something Marcelino considers crucial to a successful event. “We haven’t done Paper for three weeks, ’cause I refuse to do it if it’s not 18-plus. A party is not a party unless kids are going nuts, and the kids who go nuts are the 18-to-20-year-olds. The people who are 21-plus, a lot of them are the ones standing against the wall with their arms folded. I don’t want to throw parties like that. I’m trying to throw parties where kids are throwing their arms in the air — that’s where the energy is.”
Boston’s recent ban on 18-plus club nights set Marcelino off. Paper was one of the 18-plus parties in Boston. “We try to call City Hall and they say they’re not allowed to discuss it. No one is giving us an answer.” It must be doubly frustrating for Marcelino, who himself doesn’t drink or do drugs. “But people in general haven’t really been fighting it,” he laments. “It’d be good if we can organize something to allow people to go out dancing after 11 o’clock.”
In the meantime, Paper and their promoters are booking up any venue outside Boston that will have them, including parties at Central Square’s Middle East. Marcelino himself is hosting a 19-plus party at the new Cambridge club Shine that’s called Lush Life, after the 2004 night where he got his start. He’s also continuing with his Throwed parties at Harpers Ferry. ANDREW W.K. drops in February 20 for a DJ set and live solo performance. “We’re trying to keep it going. It might not necessarily be Paper, it might be a side party, but we’re definitely going to keep this shit going. It would be ridiculous to stop now, whether we have to go to Revere or the Elks Lodge or the Middle East, we’re not going to stop. I would love to get 1000 kids to go to City Hall and protest and blast party music. We could throw a rave in City Hall Plaza! How about that?”