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Going mod in Rock City

Allston Soul Club brings hip shaking to the Model
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  October 20, 2010


"Are you the DJ?" a sleuthing young lady asks the unassuming, bespectacled guy standing behind two giant turntables, a mixer, and stacks of old 45s. "Can you play some hip-hop, or Mariah Carey, or ODB or B.I.G.?"

"I'm playing soul records," responds Ari Rosenfield, a/k/a DJ Jack Dutone, with a dry smile. Rosenfield is the man behind the new Allston Soul Club monthly dance party at the Model.

"Is that, like, Aretha Franklin?" the girl asks, a bit confused. No one within hip-shaking earshot can tell whether she's serious.

Undeterred, Rosenfield keeps the beat train rolling, seeing promise in the October 13 launch of his new party that takes its cue from his former nights: Cheap Thrills A Go Go at the nearby Common Ground and Mambo Beat Club at ZuZu in Cambridge.

Allston Soul Club is the usual hodgepodge of '60s sounds, mixing in Northern soul, freakbeat, mod, psych, bubblegum, boogaloo, and the rest. Aside from mod-night standards like the Creation's "Making Time" and the Small Faces' "What'cha Gonna Do About It," there are more-obscure gems like the End's "Why," Ronnie Jones's "Little Bitty Pretty One," and the Surfaris' "So Get Out."

"I mix a lot from this era, a lot of different subgenres," Rosenfield says, firing up another record. "A lot of people think I'm playing just two genres, but the guys in suits know it's a bunch of stuff."

The mod scene has always been a strange beast in Boston underground nightlife. Mod Night at the Common Ground in the late '90s set the pace for the Vespa-riding, suit-and-parka-wearing subculture. In the past decade, ZuZu has become an unofficial home base, with its Soul-Le-Lu-Jah party packing the Central Square room and compelling those shut out to dance on the sidewalk.

But after three years in the tight confines of ZuZu, Rosenfield is back giving some soul to the Rock City. "I figured I can get a fun thing going again," he says. Next up: the second Allston Soul Club party on November 10.

Related: Aren't you cold in that?, Review: Made in Mexico, Rootin' tootin' Hooten, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Allston, Creation, Model Cafe,  More more >
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