Chicks Dig It!
(and I dig it too)
Me and my friend Elise at Chicks Dig It, early 1999.
Late 1998/early 1999 marked the start of a very good period of my life, especially as far as music was concerned. For the first time in about four years, I started playing musical instruments again — first, my trusty Korg Wavestation synthesizer and later that year, a dusty old Titano piano accordion given to me by my friend Rob. I also did more clubbing back then, and one spot I hit often was We’ave. We’Ave was an unusual club. It was in a little brownstone located not in the club-and-bar district, but near University and Dundas: an area where downtown Chinatown meets with an older residential neighbourhood, across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario. In addition to its unusual location, it also had an unusual night called Chicks Dig It.
My friend Lady P, at We’ave’s upstairs DJ booth.
Chicks Dig It was a showcase of women DJs that took place every Monday night. Being a Monday, the evening would start out a little more slowly, but as it got later in the evening, the place would be almost full enough to convince you it was Friday night. The crowd was a friendly mix of students, bar staff and DJs (who work weekends and often go out on Monday night), people with flexible working hours (such as me) and those who just didn’t give a rat’s ass about sleep. The tunes were good dance club fare, naturally, but an even spread of the sub-genres: drum and bass, house, upbeat electronica, ambient, funk and hip-hop provided by DJs Chocolate, Freedom, Denise Benson, my friend Lady P, and the incredibly cute AMtrack. I went there often with those friends of mine whom I could drag out of the house on a Monday night. I’ve had really great times there, and one bizarro date that ended with her curled up in the fetal position screaming at me (hey, it never occurred to me to demand Rorschach and urine tests before the date, okay?).
Rockin’ a phat beat at We’ave’s downstairs DJ booth.
With the demise of We’ave came the demise of Chicks Dig It. They tried a change of venues — Beat Junkie on Richmond Street, deep in clubland — but that didn’t work out because the roster of Chicks Dig It DJs had grown to an unmanageable number, among other things. However, Chicks Dig It is returning, not only to the scene, but to its old formula of a smaller DJ roster and the use of a club that’s slightly off the beaten track: Temple Bar (King Street west of Spadina, in the alley with the glowing red cross). It happens every Monday starting January 7th (that’s only a couple of days from now, folks). DJs Freedom, Chocolate and AMtrack will be there, and I believe I will too.
More tune-spinning at We’ave’s downstairs DJ booth.
The eye magazine story on Chicks Dig It. eye also ran a review of Chicks Dig It in its earlier incarnation here.
Sister SF: Women DJs and MCs in San Francisco and beyond. Here’s a story about them that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.
pinknoises: “The one-stop web resource on women + electronic music”.
Spinsters: A documentary film on Toronto women DJs and their experiences. Featuring DJ Wasabi, DJ Heather, Misstress Barbara and the legendary Denise Benson.
Going Illbient Underground with NYC’s Women DJs: W.i.g. magazine’s coverage of the other cool city’s women DJs.
Goddesses of the Turntables: Jive magazine’s story on women DJs.
sisterdjs: A mailing list and DJ Dazy’s “safe place to ask questions about DJing will help the growth of women dj’s out in the world.”
Bozhe moi! Women DJs are all over the world, even in St. Petersburg, Russia!