It’s no secret that the bars downtown have been in an all-out Pint Night war. And so far, the whole scene has leveled off with equity. Rather than maintaining a steady clientele, each bar is subject to the drift of patrons from watering hole to watering hole.
It seems since everyone is starting to offer a pint night (Woodstock’s, Downtown Brewing Co., Frog and Peach) everybody is just shifting to where the cheap beer is that night or merely moving back and forth.
As of last Tuesday, Downtown Brewing Co. threw the whole situation into a frenzy by relying on mere innovation. When I say threw the whole situation into a frenzy, I mean the inside of Downtown Brew on Tuesday night looked a lot closer to the inside of Downtown Brew on Friday night. Drinkers crowded the downstairs throwing shots back while girls threw themselves into sweaty erotic dances on stage.
So, what was the innovation? The injection of live talented DJ’s into the mix. The idea had been stewing around in KCPR for a while as DJ’s became much more sophisticated and talented. Unfortunately, these DJ’s could only flex their skills in the waters of college radio and a splattering of house parties.
However, the road block between the bars and the current state of affairs seemed a difficult one to traverse. It’s a hard sell to most establishments that feel like they already have a pretty good grip on the way things work in this town.
Not so for Downtown Brew. The moment I broached the topic with Korie, the booking manager, I was greeted with excitement. This excitement is the reason why Downtown Brew has grabbed the spot as the top bar in town. The ability for the bar to focus on quality acts rather than easy and cheap acts has propelled it far beyond any sort of small town mentality. They want a big town bar and it’s working.
The Bump Bump (this monthly dance happening) featured the skills of Loco and Foniks. Foniks started off the night bringing the talent that’s been highlighting his weekly radio show Table Manners on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The set blended underground with the mainstream in a furor of hip hop mixing and scratching. Initially, the audience was small but towards the end of the first set, a full dance party had erupted. Loco of Club 91 – Saturdays from 7 to 9 p.m. then took the stage bringing his mixture of house into an already thriving crowd that seemed to only thrive more as the set slammed into hits like Daft Punk’s “Around the World” among other things.
Foniks then closed things out scratching and running sampled sounds over sure-fire fillers like the Beastie Boys and House of Pain.
Overall, it was an excellent night because it’s proved more and more that San Luis Obispo is beyond small-town status in the scheme of music. It can support an out-of-town club scene that brings sounds heard typically only in big city clubs. It can support big independent headlining acts that can usually only play Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Basically, Downtown Brew is behind the push to propel this town forward into the world of great musical scenes. It seems all of you are too.
The Bump Bump will run the first Tuesday of each month with new DJ’s bringing vastly different skills each time.
Show tip: Cinemechanica plays Two Dogs’ Caf‚ on Sunday night at 8 p.m. Expect a lot of coffee being pushed up and out of cups by intense sound.
Graham Culbertson is a journalism junior and is the general manager for KCPR.