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distinguishable dance music only!

An account of a Friday night at Avalon Bar with the DJ’s from ZAP

(4th Friday’s of the month dubbed Black Licorice)


Avalon bar is known for some of the most random and unpredictable nights in Costa Mesa. It’s an environment where the staff, entertainers and patrons don’t force a good time but instead let it come along on its own. It allows for creative conditions and it results in some interesting nights on 19th St. Many a night the crowd stumbles in from Detroit or out of their homes in near by neighborhoods, perhaps out for the infamous brown bag special or just to avoid crowds and cliches at other spots. They usually haven’t a clue as to who is hosting or if a band or DJ is playing. If the Russian beer or the occasional $1 PBR’s are in stock. If the music will be garbage or like nothing they have ever heard before. Granted some nights just don’t hit that climactic peak, but that’s the point, people are aware of that fact and so when it does turn into a good night it’s unexplainable and it’s truly special.

It isn’t a marketing or hype that gets Avalon going, it’s circumstance, and that’s the way the the Avalon crowd likes it.

Avalon bar remains the compliment to 19th St. and the alternative plan when a night out is simply needed. People show up there without expectations, so it is quite impossible to leave with a bad taste in your mouth or end up feeling like “damn it, that so wasn’t worth the cover.” There is no cover, there are only chances that what’s going on there makes you want to stay, chill at the bar, zone out to some peculiar retro flick, or dance like it’s nobody’s f***ing business.

One account of such a night took place on a Friday night. While it’s very well known that on Fridays over at Detroit “Static” is going on, people may not know of another option over at Avalon. On the 4th Friday of the month Avalon bar features a night of dancing with DJ’s who have been collecting vinyl records for a lifetime. The DJ’s pack quality 12″ pressings and a love for putting down for people. On this particular night Mikey Casey and Martin Worster are doing their regular monthly Friday called Black Licorice, but of course if you ask anyone there they wouldn’t know the night had a name or had been going on for a few months now, regardless people are enjoying themselves.

I headed over to Avalon bar with zero expectations, a crate full of vinyl, and an itch to play some records.

This night Mikey offered me to play and although at first my diva-ish apprehensions forced me to let Mikey know that I don’t want to be playing my set right after some dude plays his punk records (nothing wrong with punk but I’m sure someone playing punk records wouldn’t want to play their records next to disco records either). Mikey assured me that it would be a strictly dance music night and I would fit right in. I got off work at 10:30 and headed over to Avalon bar with zero expectations, a crate full of vinyl, and an itch to play some of the records I recently dug up in San Francisco. Mikey had just got a batch of records in from Juno (saw one by Art Department and another on the Delusions of Grandeur imprint). He was all excited to play, I was a bit jealous I admit, it’s so fun to play brand new records. Martin always surprises me, he has a lot of those original disco tracks that I’m simply unaware of because of my age. I remember asking him before what label a certain track was on so I could look up the catalog and uncover other gems and he just seemed confused. On other occasions he would come up to me and say “oh this is so and so” about a record I’m playing and I didn’t even know it. He unlike me is more in tune with artists, I on the other hand grew up in the time where edits of these originals were collected and unofficially released under obscure labels (90’s to present). So I know where to find these awesome edits but unfortunately I am, a portion of the time, unaware of the original artists. None the less our taste coincides and overlaps in just the right places, one DJ can decide to take it deeper for a bit, the next DJ can come up throw on a track to compliment and can then quickly take you for loop in the next mix bringing the energy right back.

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some tracks played by Myself (Steven Petropoulos)

DR DUNKS aka ERIC DUNCAN – Everybody Get None

ROTARYDISCO76 – Untitled in a Ghetto
(closed the night off with this one, absolutely love this track)

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some tracks played by Mikey Casey

40 thieves – beats in space

pop & eye – spinach spaceship

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some tracks played by Martin Worster a.k.a. Han the DJ

lcd soundsytem – 45:33 (prins thomas mix)

Random Factor – Second principles (greg wilson edit)

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