Dear KFN Resident DJs,
You used to scare the shit out of me, way back when I thought you were all the coolest dudes around. Rolling into the bar right around the time the headlining band would be wrapping up their set and preparing to clear off the stage with your cases of records and confident smiles, you had me convinced that your job more or less involved a) looking cool; b) giving lots of high fives; c) being excellent at partying; and d) the whole spinning records thing. So yeah, far be it from me, the lowly intern, to think I was rad enough to hang out with any of you.
Then, of course, I actually got to know you. Ha. Now I’m going to introduce you to everyone else, at least as well as I can given the limitations of the internet (and my vocabulary, because wow, all eloquence seemed to go out the window with the rest of my dignity on the El ride home last night). Just kidding about that last bit. Hi, Mom.
Anyway! The easiest way to organize this post is probably by day of the week, which means that Thursday’s Night Train duo, Ian St. Laurent and Dennis Wolf.fang, are up first. Night Train starts at 11:00 on the dot (give or take) every week, usually drawing a ridiculous amount of people to come party and dance to the fusion of soul/electro/rock music that these guys have become known for. But the thing that stands out most about Dennis and Ian is that they’re soulmates of some kind or another if I’ve ever seen any – nearly perfect complements to each other. Right now they’ve even got the dark-light bit going, Dennis sporting some kind of blond and Ian with his signature black. Watching them spin together, that connection is subtle but palpable, and it’s part of what makes Night Train work so well. They’re an absolute blast and really sweet, the kind of people who will meet you once back in April and still remember your name three months later.
Fridays we play host to Robotique, a dance party of the disco variety brought to you by two dudes named Billy W and Ryan T. First of all: sweetest guys ever. Huge music nerds, really passionate about what they do, always talking about the latest awesome vinyl find. Lately they’ve been hosting a lot of guest DJs, local and touring alike, to supplement their sets. Best news, even? THEY JUST HAD A BARBECUE, AND IT WAS AWESOME. With no show, we started two hours early and just ate outside on the patio. Probably one of the more chill events the bar has seen lately, all the product of Billy and Ryan being awesome and knowing good people. Robotique: spinning disco magic and grilling surprisingly edible food right here in Philadelphia. Check it.
Saturdays at KFN work on a rotation-type schedule. First Saturdays, the England Belongs To Twee DJs spin a bunch of stuff called “oi,” which is a mixture of old-school English punk and rock. Unfortunately, that’s about all I can tell you guys, as I haven’t had the opportunity to meet them personally. Second Saturdays Broadzilla rolls through with DJs KT, Thom & James behind the wheel(s). You can download their fantastic mix of Hipster Trainwreck Anthems here to get a rough idea of what they sound like live. Apparently, as they get progressively drunker throughout the evening, they break out the Gwen Stefani more and more frequently. The thought of three grown men (I may have giggled a little bit while typing that out) breaking it down to No Doubt should really be enough to make you want to check these DJzillas out in person. Third Saturdays we have Drumsong, hosted by the awesome-but-yet-to-be-
Oh hush, Shawn Ryan, you know I’m just kidding. I needed a paragraph break anyway. Months are rounded out by the 80s dance party known as Steppin Out, hosted by the aforementioned Shawn and the guy whose picture is next to the word “cool” in the dictionary – Dirty – on fourth Saturdays. There’s a rumor that this party numbers among the more successful ones at KFN, a rumor which I refuse to believe based solely on the fact that their most recent promotion technique was using Rick Astley. Every time I saw a poster, or handed out a flyer, or made the mistake of glancing at the Facebook event, it was like being Rickrolled. Granted, that song never actually assaulted the ears of anyone present, but having it stuck in my head for about a month was something akin to torture. This is the kind of stuff I have to put up with. Sympathy cards can be mailed to my Philadelphia address, thanks.
No but seriously, the DJs are a huge part of what makes Kung Fu Necktie the incredible place that it is. These guys and gals are all stupidly talented (or “stupid AND talented,” as my friend DEL so lovingly pointed out), all genuinely care about the Philadelphia art scene, all work hard to make sure that people have a good time and that the community benefits as well. I don’t really know what else to even add at this point. I feel like I always just end up gushing about people here – it’s embarrassing.
And on that note, I’m going to head out and go watch some of these guys spin. It seems crazy, but that never gets old.