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Mike Shaffer talks Mondo Trasho, a new queer party at The Barbary

I used to go to Stash often. Like every week. It was so fun: Up in the suite (no cover), you and a dozen friends, $5 citywides with Jameson, and practically no one there until midnight, when everyone packed it in to get down with electroclash jams, riot grrrl anthems and ratchet radio pop. It was an oasis for folks like me, who fear the weekend crowd at Philly’s gay “clubs” because they became overly populated with college kids, muscleheads and meth daddies. Well, Mike Shaffer, who DJ’d Stash and kept his pulse on grit glam in our little queer universe, has picked up where Stash left off (lifeless at Rosewood), taken it to Fishtown and expanded the scope. Mondo Trasho is coming! Hide ya wife, hide ya kids, and shake all your tailfeathers tomorrow night.

So, what’s the idea behind the party, and how’d this process get started? How long have you been waiting for this?
Corey Griffith met John Redden through making his coffee at Rocket Cat Cafe and also by frequenting The Barbary. They discussed the lack of queer nights or queer bars in Fishtown. Corey just recently met Jake (Skull†Kid) [Nuxoll], and Jake and I have been friends for a long time and have DJ’d together for a year and some change. Corey asked us to come together to come up with a party. We met with John back in November to create the party. We want to embody an edgier side of queer culture without taking it too seriously. We got some help to work on a logo, flyer design, drink tickets, pins, visuals, and we’re going to have Pretty Girl perform at our first party this Wednesday. It’s been a process, but it’s been really fun.

MT2Why Mondo Trasho, and what do you think it, and the accompanying iconography, communicates to party-goers?
Mondo Trasho was John Waters’ first feature film. Corey told me that it loosely means “remarkable trash.” While we don’t intend the party to be complete trash, per se, we definitely have an edge and don’t mind a little sloppiness. We’re intending to create a space where a crowd of artsy, diverse queers and their friends can party to an open format of music and talk about how exciting it was the next day. The iconography is meant to be eye-catching and sexy, as sexiness is definitely a theme of this party. We shouldn’t be afraid to be a little sexy while on the dance floor, right?

Can you say a little about that hour-long mix folks can be listening to in anticipation of this party? Is this meant to be an indication of what will get spun there?
The mix is really just a small sample of what an hour at the party could feel like. We wanted it to flow so people could get a feel of it at the gym, at work, on the bus, while dancing in their underwear or whatever. We’re going to also be playing a lot of rock ‘n roll and punk rock anthems, but those genres don’t quite translate into a mix with dancier house and electro beats.

MT3Will this have a different feel from Stash by not being weekly and not being in the Gayborhood?
It didn’t help that Stash was on a Tuesday, but for two years, Stash made Tuesdays the shit. We still get people telling us that they miss that party. Mondo Trasho will have a different feel, but we have the opportunity to have a larger space with a potentially larger draw. Stash was amazing, and it’s where I got into DJing, but Mondo Trasho will bring more to the plate. We queers don’t just party in the Gayborhood! Also, this party will be bi-weekly, so the space between the parties will give us time to prepare new music and performances.

What kind of special events will you try to make happen, and are you lining up live performances, as well? Pretty Girl’s gonna be at the premiere? Her stock is on the rise!
Pretty Girl is a friend of ours and is definitely one to watch out for. We’re excited to have her perform for our opening night and in the future. We’re going to be having performers, guest hosts and a rotating line-up of guest DJs from all over. We’re just beginning.

Who do you think are the avant garde dance music artists that the gays should be squealing for when the beat hits ‘em at 1 a.m., instead of the run-of-the-mill pop divas that get gays to take their shirts off at Woody’s?
While we intend to throw in some interesting takes on pop music and throwback jams for sure, you should be excited to hear Cakes Da Killa, Roxy Cottontail, Mykki Blanco, Mt. Sims, Nicky Da B, Lords Of Acid, Miss Kittin, The Knife, Kid Sister, X-Ray Spex, Le Youth, Disclosure, Deee-Lite. We have a lot of surprises.

Anything else?
The debut party is free. We also have Pretty Hate Machine upstairs, which is a really awesome darker music dance party. Mondo Trasho will be the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, starting this Wednesday. While this is “our” party, as in the LGBTQ community’s, we want everyone to come and have a crazy time.

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