Archive for the ‘Press | News’
Hartford: Rising to the occasion – 52 places to go in 2006
Special to The Herald Press
by Christine Paluf
April 16, 2006
by Steve and Edie
February 9, 2006
Most of our friends (and, for that matter, the rest of the country) were still at home nursing hangovers from last weeks State of the Union address and its accompanying drinking game, so Edie and her beau, Mr. X, decided to check out DJ Dave Russell’s Flipside at Braza on Saturday night. Flipside is a house music party — think electronic disco with great vocalization and a thumping bass undercurrent – that’s been around Hartford for the past few years.
Russell, a Hartford native who now resides in Arlington, Virginia, has spun around the country from Mantis in D.C. to the Derby in Los Angeles. He started Flipside in late 2001 at Scarlett O’Hara’s, a now defunct bar on Pratt Street. After moving around a bit to Spris, the Wood-n-Tap, and Sully’s (in fairer weather), Russell seems to have found a home at Braza and returns to the bar monthly to keep the party going.
We had noticed Flipside postings … and were glad that we finally had the chance to check the night out. And the low $5 cover charge compared to other nightclubs made it seem almost too good to be true.
Braza had a good crowd of devotees of Russell’s traditional, pure house sounds as well as area club fanatics who left the dance floor intermittently to trade mobile updates on crowd sizes and energy levels with friends texting in from NV, the new club downtown, and Room 960. We didn’t see anyone taking any bait to leave and, in fact, most of the people that we met had seen Russell spin the night before at Crush.
People did not stop dancing all night, and we got all hot and bothered just watching them from the bar area while ordering rounds of robustly crafted cocktails. It was a true Benetton crowd — very diverse in age, ethnicity, and sexual orientation — and most had made an effort to get dolled up for the night out, wearing flash outfits chosen to make an impression on the dance floor. We especially liked a Harvard Sucks T-shirt paired with tight-fitting black pants sported by a Yale alum.
Braza gleamed under dimmed lighting, and had cleared tables to create a sizeable dance floor. The lights actually flickered at one point which made us worry that last call had arrived earlier than expected, but the staff was just adjusting the levels to get the mood right.
Love for the music, dancing, and fellow individuals seemed to be in the air — although, unfortunately, so was an onslaught of rain, and a few couples had their amorous parking lot rendezvous diverted into the bar area and random doorways. We were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t take in the view of Farmington Avenue from Braza’s expansive patio, but the love connections themselves provided enough of a sweetly entertaining backdrop.
Churrascaria Braza is located at 488 Farmington Ave., Hartford, (860) 882-1839. Upcoming Flipside events are posted at www.clubflipside.com
The Nightly Grind
by Dan Barry
September 16, 2004
Cranking up the tempo with Newandyke, playing through the middle-aged favorites with Yellow 9, and diverse deep house with DJ Dave Russell
Later in the night, I caught a set by DJ Dave Russell at the Arch Street Tavern. Self-described as “deep, vocal, soulful house,” Russell periodically hits the Hartford club scene, and drew a good crowd despite the construction on Adriaen’s Landing. His selections balanced a driving beat with cheerful, organic instrumentation. Russell shied away from candy-coated dance anthems, digging his claws into underground material just enough to keep things spicy. And speaking of material, there was lots of it. Russell cut quickly from song to song rather than let any track play for an extended time. The formula worked: it allowed him to work in remixes of popular songs, dark, ravey passages, and recognizable favorites all in equal measure.
Russell’s set was almost diverse to a fault. He covered all his bases so well that he backed himself into a stylistic corner, and couldn’t really take any risks of the sort that would make a crowd go hands-in-the-air wild. He traded the ability to surprise for the ability to please. Then again, surprise isn’t really the point of house music; perhaps that kind of excitement is better left to more hyper stuff like drum ‘n’ bass. People left the tavern at 2 a.m. with grins, and that’s enough to convince me Russell’s doing something right.
by India Blue (R.I.P.)
November 8, 2001
Last Friday it was old school reunion time at Scarlett O’Hara’s. DJ Dave Russell and Marvin Harris put together a house dance party “Flipside.” The only snafu was not having a defined dance floor. There will be another one Nov. 23 and if a dance floor gets worked out, it should be fab. The nostalgia of deep, classic and vocal house was sweet and any die-hard house dancer needs to be there.