We had to know that this would be a strangely exciting event the moment we walked into downtown club La Cita for Mustache Mondays. The wall behind the stage was lined with newspaper that had subsequently covered with graffiti. On top of that played video footage of some sort of street uprising. And in front of that was a muscle-bound male go-go dancer clad in black briefs sinuously moving to the beat. Sometime before the waistband of the dancer's underwear bulged with dollar bills, the floor filled driven mostly by the sound of '90s house.
We joined in the dance floor madness, singing “la da di la di da” alongside Crystal Waters, raising our hands in the air when Inner City's club classic “Good Life” penetrated the floor. The dancing ceased briefly when Shebeast played a short, soulful punk set, then began again when the DJs pushed 4/4 rhythms onto the floor and Partyline, the Washington DC/New York City-based band fronted by Bratmobile founder Allison Wolfe, began to set up on stage. Angela Melkisethian began playing along to the house track blasting in the background. Drummer Crystal Bradley shyly posed for some photos and Wolfe twirled around in her floaty, green vintage dress as she danced a bit with the night's MC and booker, Fade-Dra. Soon the DJs lowered the mix and Partyline began.
Living up to the dual implications of its name, Partyline combines political sentiments (“Trophy Wifey,” Wolfe said during the show is about “how we look on a rich person's arm”) with a good dose of fun. As they switched up rhythms from a pogo beat to a punk rock march, Wolfe jumped up and down, stomped and even swung from a bar rail at the top of the stage before hopping into the crowd.
That someone thought to combine mega house mixes with bands who play two-minute, punk-ish songs was amazing. But as with a lot of great ideas, the originality of the event was lost on a lot of people in the crowd. The prospect Partyline's three-song set seemed to aggravate a handful of people who promptly headed to the smoking patio muttering things about “bands” and “dance music” before the show actually began. Some people can only handle four-on-the-floor, but those who stayed grooved to a different beat for a least a short while.
Partyline “Trophy Wifey”