Campus radio concert series finds new life

Dance to the Underground resumes show

CFRC music co-ordinator Scott Stevens and business manager Joanne Williams sit in front of the entrance to the station’s headquarters, located in the basement of Carruthers Hall.
CFRC music co-ordinator Scott Stevens and business manager Joanne Williams sit in front of the entrance to the station’s headquarters, located in the basement of Carruthers Hall.
Photo: 
The now-defunct Death From Above 1979 played Dance To The Underground at The Grad Club in January 2005.
The now-defunct Death From Above 1979 played Dance To The Underground at The Grad Club in January 2005.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Concert Preview: CFRC’s Dance to the Underground feat. Fun 100 and Fat Robot @ Clark Hall Pub, Tonight

Queen’s campus radio, CFRC, would like you to know that up and coming Canadian musicians don’t have to be confined to the airwaves.

The station’s monthly concert series, Dance to the Underground, aims to promote independent bands and local DJs by providing them with a venue.

With bands like Kid Koala and the now-defunct Death From Above 1979 on its roster, the event became a mighty force in concert promoting on campus from its beginnings in 2003.

Last year, however, the concert series took a backseat to the station’s first annual fundraiser.

“Last year it faded a bit,” said Scott Stevens, the station’s music co-ordinator. “We only had a couple of shows.”

“It wasn’t for lack of wanting to do it,” said Joanne Williams, ArtSci ’06, who is the business manager for CFRC this year. “The station was busy organizing the funding drive.”

The event has been unofficially passed down through the business managers since it was started by Steve Birek, CFRC’s first business manager during the 2003-2004 year, after the station was taken over by the AMS.

Birek, who now works at the University of Toronto’s campus station, CIUT, began the concert series with his band FUN!.

“Back when the Scherzo [Pub] was still around, FUN! would play there once a week,” said Stevens.

Dance to the Underground was changed to a monthly event the next year, by then-business manager Mike Sallot.

“[The station] started bringing in outside bands,” recalled Stevens, who has been with the station for nine years. “There was a mandate to include local bands as well.”

Despite its unofficial hiatus, Stevens and Williams plan to resurrect Dance to the Underground tonight with a show at Clark Hall Pub.

“I’ve never done much concert organization before,” said Williams, who explained that it was easy to organize the show thanks to websites like MySpace.

Promotion also wasn’t a problem because of Facebook, Williams added.

“The [DTTU] Facebook event has 28 confirmed guests!” she said.

“Whatever social network [website] that costs us no more than our time is good for promotion,” said Stevens.

Williams and Stevens agreed that the hardest part of organizing tonight’s show was deciding which venue to use.

“We spent a couple hours brainstorming which venue to go with,” said Williams.

Deciding which venue to stage DTTU can be a Catch-22. Having the event at Clark Hall is free, provided there are enough bar sales. However, because it’s a campus venue, members of the community can only attend if they’re signed in by a student.

Having the concert at the Grad Club solves this problem. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to put on a concert at the Grad Club.

“We don’t want to exclude any of our volunteers,” Williams said. “But we don’t have the capital to put on concerts.”

The station is optimistic about the future of DTTU, however. Williams and Stevens are eager to see the concert series become an institution of sorts, with promotion for other artistic endeavours on campus.

In fact, Knock Knock Ginger and the Barmitzvah Brothers have been confirmed to play the next DTTU at the Grad Club on Oct. 16.

Tonight’s show was co-promoted by the Single Thread Theatre Company, a non-profit theatre group that was started at Queen’s in 2003.

“A big problem in the arts community at Queen’s is that each group is very individual,” said Liam Karry, the artistic director of Single Thread, and an English Master’s student at Queen’s.

“So why not pool our resources together?” Karry said. “We should connect as one large artistic community on campus.” “Our main goal is to sustain the live arts community on campus,” Williams said. “And get some good dancing in while we’re at it.”

Advance tickets for the event are available at the CFRC offices in Carruthers Hall for $7. Admission at the door is also $7 and doors open at 9 p.m.

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