In 2006, Peter Lansky’s DJ résumé was shorter than Paris Hilton’s. With just a single club gig under his belt, the aspiring party thrower launched Too Much Love, which would become one of the Twin Cities’ most popular dance nights of the past decade.
“If you ask the DJs I played with the first week, they will tell you all of the terrible technical mistakes I made,” said Lansky, nursing a Bloody Mary during an interview at Liquor Lyle’s. “But the room didn’t really care,” he added with a laugh.
At first, “the room” was First Avenue’s 250-capacity Record Room. Within six months, Lansky’s indie-dance-inspired party got the call-up to the fabled club’s much bigger main room, where it ran weekly until late 2012 when it returned to its Record Room roots.
It was an impressive run for Lansky, his party and his brand of music, which he says would not have sustained weekly parties in big markets such as New York or Chicago. “So, it’s very weird, and it shouldn’t have worked,” said Lansky, better known as Sovietpanda. “We tricked people for a long time.”
After pulling the electro wool over partiers’ eyes for more than seven years, Lansky is retiring the parties (and his pseudonym) with a farewell bash Saturday. In its place the 28-year-old, henceforth known as TML, is launching Real Fun — a new party co-helmed by James Frickle of Wak Lyf, a DJ crew that just ended a two-year run at Kitty Cat Klub in Dinkytown. “Since I’ve done all of it on my own so long, it’s definitely time for me to change it up and go crazy,” Lansky said.
Lansky and Frickle, former roomies, decided to team up. Real Fun, which kicks off next Saturday in the Record Room, looks to find the common ground between the disco/house/techno hybrid TML evolved into over the years, and Wak Lyf’s anything-goes format.
“We got away with doing a lot of stuff,” said Frickle, aka Jim Frick, sitting across from Lansky with a set of Budweisers. “You can’t necessarily go to a party where you’ll hear Enya and then something that came out the other day on some crazy techno label or something. That was super cool. I want to be able to do that with the new thing with Pete. Maybe not necessarily Enya.”
Continuing in the TML tradition, Real Fun looks to avoid being pigeonholed as simply a house or techno night. Lansky said he will spin “interesting club music.” Like many astute DJs, Lansky and Frickle aim to walk the line between accessible and esoteric — balancing crowd-pleasers with adventurous but not-too-challenging tracks.
The 18-plus, almost-weekly party runs the first three Saturdays of each month and will also incorporate visual and design elements. “We’re kind of going for sinister party,” Lansky said. “Those nights where you’ll be like, ‘That was super fun, but that was kind of dark [laughs].”
Frickle jests that Lansky plans to go out spinning shirtless while getting the TML logo tattooed on his chest (oh, live webcasted too). The ex-party panda has less audacious or flat-out odd plans for TML’s finale, saying he will man the decks all night, playing four hours of music “the night has memories for.”
Aside from local college kids and house heads, count James Murphy, of LCD Soundsystem and DFA Records fame, among those saddened by TML’s sunset. Lansky and Murphy met after Lansky started a DFA message board in high school. Lansky brought the dance-punk star to TML twice, nights that live in First Avenue infamy. In fact, Too Much Love was partially named after an LCD song.
A recent post to LCD Soundsystem’s Facebook page (presumably by Murphy) praised Lansky and his dance night. “It was such a beautiful party and I was very proud to play it more than once,” it read. “Sad that it’s ending, but things always change and move and end, and we have to look forward to whatever is next.”
What’s next is Real Fun, and its founders’ goals are pretty simple.
“We just want to have a rad party,” Frickle said matter-of-factly. “That’s pretty much the extent of it.”
A cause as noble as any.
Michael Rietmulder writes about bars, beer and nightlife.
Winterfest sells out Depot
On Friday, beer fans will flock to St. Paul’s Union Depot for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s 13th annual Winterfest. After years at the Minnesota History Center, the intimate (and way sold out) beer festival has a new home, but maintains its commitment to showcasing in-state breweries and brewpubs, with more than 40 beermakers filling out the all-Minnesota lineup.
7-10 p.m., Fri., sold out, 21-plus, 214 E. 4th St., St. Paul, www.mncraftbrew.org
Taproom opens Saturday
Recently relocated Boom Island Brewing Co. opens its new taproom from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. From the modest 660-square-foot taproom, the Belgian-informed brewery will sling bombers, growlers and onsite pints, after being limited to a tiny tasting room in its former north Minneapolis location just blocks from its new home. After Saturday, regular hours will be 4-9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 1-9 p.m. Saturday.
2014 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-227-9635, www.boomislandbrewing.com
Déjà Vu adjacency
The team behind liquor-less lap dance hub Déjà Vu is opening a bar in an adjacent space. Peter Hafiz, also of downtown Minneapolis party bar Sneaky Pete’s, and Jason Mohney (son of Déjà Vu chain founder Harry Mohney) are launching the Office Pub & Grill at 307 Washington Av. N. The 73-seat bar will offer pizza, burgers and 36 tap beers, and feature a nearly 1,200-square-foot patio. Hafiz and Mohney also jointly own the Gay 90’s and the Brass Rail.
More is brewing on Lyndale
Uptown beer (and rooftop patio) lovers will soon have a new destination. This month the Minneapolis City Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for LynLake Brewery to operate a brewery and taproom in the former Theater Antiques space, which has been vacant since 2006. According to city documents, plans call for an added al fresco patio on roughly half of the rooftop. LynLake Brewery would neighbor longtime brewpub the Herkimer, which opened in 1999.