If Tulsa's dance and DJ scene hasn't been busy enough to keep you entertained, don't lose heart. About a month ago we visited Robbo's Mixtape Wednesdays, the themed weekly dance parties at Electric Circus that have survived changes in venue and are now gaining popularity again after arriving back in the room that originally put the party to flight.
One night a week isn't much enough to look forward to for most people, however, and that's about to change. Beginning this Thursday, September 1, Robotic comes to Tulsa for a weekly residency at IDL Ballroom.
For those show aren't familiar, Robotic Wednesdays has been a staple on the club scene in Oklahoma City for five years now and it's finally expanding and bringing the party to Tulsa. Resident DJ's Kylie, Kids at the Bar, Crystal Vision and GostEffects will hold court with gust local and national DJ's added to the lineup on a weekly basis.
The Tulsa edition launches this week, however, and it does so in style with a robot themed party and featured guests and national recognized DJs Jeremy Dawson (of Shiny Toy Guns) and Drop the Lime from New York, as well as local support from DJ Ed Crunk.
When discussing the launch of Robotic in Tulsa with event founder John Bourke, he shared that the original event launched in Oklahoma City and celebrates its fifth anniversary on Wednesday, right before expanding to add a night in Tulsa on Thursdays. Over the years, the party has changed locations and grown in size, becoming arguably the most popular dance party in Oklahoma City.
According to Bourke, the secret to the event's growth has been multifold. The main issue has been changing things up from week to week and month to month to keep the night fresh. That includes throwing themed parties once a month and bringing in nationally and internationally recognized talent on a weekly basis.
"We're also bringing our own sound system out, to make sure it's the best sound you can get," he shared. "Every step of the way, we've been doing whatever we can to make it bigger."
Don't mistake this for just another one-off dance party, though. Bourke and his crew have been busy planning the Tulsa launch and have the talent already lined up for the first two months. This week's launch is impressive in that the event not only brings in one of New York City's hottest DJ's with Drop the Lime, but it also grabs local attention with the inclusion of Jeremy Dawson from nationally known, but Oklahoma City based Shiny Toy Guns.
A quick glance at the coming schedule, which can be found online at www.facebook/RoboticTulsa.com, shows that current month features Lucky Date and Digiraatii on September 9, Designer Drugs (one of the best national DJ's I've seen in Electric Circus) on September 16, Le Castle Vania n September 23 and a Toga Party on September 30.
Resident DJ's for the weekly party include GostEffects (John Bourke, when he's back from NYC) and Kids at the Bar, both from Oklahoma City, and DJ Kylie and Crystal Vision from Tulsa. Kylie got involved with Robotic as a member of Dance Robots, Dance! and eventually became a regular guest of the event with Crystal Vision becoming involved with the newly expanding Tulsa version of the party as friends of Kylie.
When asked why he was bringing Robotic to Tulsa, aside from the fact that we've been sorely missing a regular party of this magnitude, Bourke responded "To be perfectly honest, that's part of it. It just always seemed like there was something missing in Tulsa. Robotic works so well in Oklahoma City, it seems natural that it should work in Tulsa as well."
"In Oklahoma City, we've got a venue with a capacity of 350 and it sells out by 10pm every week. I wanted to do something bigger and IDL Ballroom has a capacity of 580, so we've got a bigger room, bigger sound, bigger everything. There's not a better venue in Oklahoma City and once we started talking to (venue managers) Tom and Angie Green, they were so awesome about the idea and what we wanted to do, it just seemed stupid not to bring it to Tulsa.
Just to make things clear, the arrival of Robotic Tulsa doesn't mean that the Oklahoma City counterpart is going away. If anything, it's carrying on stronger than ever. This is just an expansion of the franchise, if you will, and a weekly event that should give our local dance and DJ scene a much needed shot in the arm.
Yes, other venues bring in nationally recognized DJ's, but the promotion is limited and if you frequent Robotic, you'll know that you're getting the best of both worlds: nationally touring DJ's and support from some of the best local and regional, Oklahoma based mix artists.
According to Bourke, the thing that makes the Robotic parties stand out is the energy level. "People come up to me all the time and say 'Wow, I haven't experienced anything like that before.' There's a sense of community about it and the energy level is over the top. There's crowd surfing every week -- that doesn't happen around here. These parties are the exception and they just keep getting crazier."
The crowd surfing may take a little time to catch on, but you can be sure that Robotic will make a strong debut when Jeremy Dawson and Drop the Lime kick things off this week. Doors open at 9pm and cover is only $10, with a discount if you arrive before 10pm in robot themed attire. Plan to arrive early and stay late. If this is your thing, it will become a regular addition to your weekly schedule.
Call Out to Hometown Talent
In case you haven't heard yet, last year's Homegroan Compilation was such a success that Z104.5, The Edge is ready to do it again for 2011. The station opened the submission last week for both bands and cover art.
If you're in a local band and think you're good enough to make the cut, you need to submit the one song that best represents you to the station on CD. The KMYZ staff will then review submissions and select the 12 songs that will appear on this year's compilation CD.
If you're not a musician, but are artistically inclined, the station is also looking for listeners to design the cover art for this year's disc. KMYZ will provide Edge logo and design templates online at www.edgetulsa.com and the winning submission will be picked by the listeners as posted on the station's website. The winning designer will also win a 16gig Apple iPad 2, autographed by the band The Naked & The Famous, as well as having their artwork featured on the cover of the 2011 Homegroan CD.
All submissions (songs and artwork) are due by 3pm on Friday, September 16, 2011, and can be hand delivered or mailed (no electronic submissions) to the KMYZ studios at KMYZ, Attn: 2011 EDGE Homegroan CD, 5810 E Skelly Drive, Tulsa, OK 74135. That only gives you two weeks to get your artwork and/or songs together, so get cracking, people!
Labor Day weekend has finally arrived and that signals the end of the summer season, even if an end to the extreme heat doesn't seem to be in sight. Although many people will be hiding out at the lake for one final long weekend away, there is still plenty going on in Tulsa this week. If you're one of the few that stayed in town, we've got the highlights to get you pointed in the right direction when headed out for a night of fun. Just follow our lead and you can't go wrong.
• Thursday, September 1 -- Blindside hasn't played a US show in nearly 5 years, but the band just released a new CD and is launching a short, three week stateside run this Thursday night at Enerje Event Center. Tickets are only $15 and Write This Down and Intohimo open the show. Rook also returns to the local scene with a show at CJ Maloney's on Broken Arrow and a $5 cover.
• Friday, September 2 -- Phil Marshall returns to his Tulsa stomping grounds with a show at Hunt Club on Friday evening, or you can settle in with Dustin Pittsley for a relaxing night of blues jams. Meanwhile, Red Dirt Rangers make a rare appearance at Mercury Lounge for one of the smallest and most intimate shows you'll be able to catch the band in this fall. Bigger shows include Marie Osmond at River Spirit Events Center and Gary Allen at The Joint, but you'll need some luck getting in as he sold out weeks ago.
• Saturday, September 3 -- It's a quiet Saturday night unless you stop in at The Colony where Steve Pryor lets loose and rattles the rafters with his smoking guitar. Hard rock fans can let loose as well with Joint Effect and Bound at Lt. Dan's or Tiranico at Cimmaron Bar. Meanwhile, pop and modern rock fans can't go wrong with RadioRadio at Hunt Club.
• Sunday, September 4 -- You can always settle in with weekly stalwarts like Paul Benjaman and Friends at The Colony or Brandon Clark at Mercury Lounge, but if you're looking to rock out on Sunday night, you need to catch The Chop Tops with The Rocketz and The Strikers at Downtown Lounge.
• Tuesday, September 6 -- Grazzhopper continues to work the local scene with a gig at Treehouse, but hard rock fans won't miss Mike Portnoy's latest band, Adrenaline Mob, at The Marquee with Aformatic and R.L. Jones opening at 7pm for only $10 at the door.
• Wednesday, September 7 -- It's a huge month for shows at BOK Center, but it may be opening with one of the best when Santana plays the arena this Wednesday night with Michael Franti & Spearhead opening the show. You've got a rock legend with a rising buzz band, both on the same bill for one great night of music.
Share this article: