Soul Party DJ Jonathan Toubin Tours SOUL CLAP & DANCE-OFF, 5/16-9/23
After heralded welcome-home events in New York this month, Jonathan Toubin, America's rock and soul party DJ, will return to touring this summer. He will headline clubs and perform at prestigious festivals across North America, including Portland, Oregon, where a vehicle struck him in his hotel room last December and left him in critical condition in ICU.
In most of the cities on the summer/fall tour itinerary, Toubin and his enterprise New York Night Train will offer the signature Soul Clap & Dance-Off. An all-soul 45s party and dance contest, Soul Clap began as a way for Toubin to play his records to a small north Brooklyn underground art/rock social community in the spirit of the mid-1990s indie/punk scene in which he cut his teeth as a musician. In the five years between the party’s inception and Toubin’s accident, the humble makeshift neighborhood effort evolved into North America’s most popular soul party, touring across the U.S. and around the world, getting people to dance to music most of them have never heard before.
The Soul Clap brings communities together not only on the dance floor, but also on stage via the Dance-Off judges Toubin selects. Juries have included popular locals as well as cultural figures like Satanic Priestess Karla LaVey, Green Party vice-presidential candidate Matt Gonzalez and musicians like Mike Watt, MGMT leader Andrew VanWyngarden, Royal Trux’s Jennifer Herrima, Jello Biafra, the Avengers’ Penelope Houston, and Monotonix’ Yonatan (who has judged in three countries), Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner and more.
Toubin just resumed his monthly Soul Clap & Dance-Off at Brooklyn’s Glasslands Gallery, and the weekly Shakin’ All Over Under Sideways Down at Home Sweet Home in Manhattan. These residencies are part of a gradual return to work following a five-month recovery from the accident. Toubin’s return has been covered by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The Village Voice, Brooklyn Veganand other outlets, and an interview on WNYC’s “Soundcheck.”
New York Night Train, which puts on all of Toubin’s parties, is a deliberate attempt to offer a higher quality, more unique approach to nightlife. While his concepts often include bands, performance, and visuals, his DJ’ing is typically the most vital component and the biggest draw. Toubin has managed to become one of the country’s best-known DJs by eschewing obvious hits, contemporary trends, and tinny mp3s to focus on high quality, mostly forgotten, but timeless, dance music—exclusively on authentic 45rpm records. Battling what he calls the “laziness, mediocrity, and predictable lack of originality” that makes up the formats of most current dance parties, he is out to shake up culture with a fresh approach to recordings from what he calls “the golden age of popular music.” Over the course of his career, he has stepped away from the constraints of typical DJ culture to have fun with a nightly museum of the most immediate “maximum rock and soul” recordings ever made, bringing a variety of cultures and subcultures together to get down to “the best music you’ve never heard.”
Jonathan Toubin Upcoming Appearances:
New York Night Train’s Shakin’ All Over Under Sideways Down takes place virtually every Friday night at NYC’s Home Sweet Home. See http://homesweethomebar.com for Home Sweet Home calendar.
May 16 Manhattan, NY Webster Hall - With Ty Segall, White Fence, The Strange Boys, The Men
June 2 Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern - Soul Clap & Dance-Off
June 9 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands Gallery - Soul Clap & Dance-Off
June 16 Toronto, ONT - NXNE Festival
June 17 Edmonton, ALB New City
June 19—21 Calgary, ALB - Sled Island Festival
June 23 Portland, MN Space Gallery - Soul Clap & Dance-Off
June 30 Pittsburgh, PA Brillo Box - Soul Clap & Dance-Off