Line Out Music & the City at Night

Friday, June 11, 2010

Penetration is the Best Night Out in Seattle Right Now

Posted by on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 10:18 AM


Last night, Dumb Eyes’ awesome audio-visual spectacle Penetration returned to the Unicorn. Djs, promoters, et al, take note: the best club night in Seattle right now is being thrown by a graphic design company. Part of what makes the night so good is that it markets itself as a night of visuals that just happens to have a DJ, as opposed to yet another DJ night that happens to have visuals. This allows the weird genius of Christian Peterson’s DJing to sneak up on you; unlike many DJs, Peterson’s sets are not about the seamless mix but rather about the high-contrast juxtapositions (the Prodigy into Aerosmith into the Feelies). His selecting, aided by Penetration’s atmosphere, reveals the latent psychedelic qualities—strange sounds, hypnotic grooves, disorienting atmospheres, mood elevating riffs—in all kinds of music not normally associated with mind-alteration, from radio hip hop to hair metal. People got down.

The looping (and loopy) digital video projected all over the club—lots of stylized eyeballs and garish smiley faces—as well as the prismatic glasses handed out at the door provide plenty to look at, but they also encourage a kind of general voyeurism, and it’s a good looking crowd. (Taking cell phone pics through those glasses is a good look, too.) A friend remarked that the Penetration makes the Unicorn look like the bar in an ‘80s movie about the future, and it does feel fairly science-fictional to be able to trainspot Peterson’s set using Shazam on my iPhone (during Buccaneer’s Enya-sampling dancehall track—yes—“Fade Away” one head did this the oldschool way, by going up and asking the DJ what’s plying). There were technical difficulties—Peterson rewound and replayed one track after realizing it was only coming out of one speaker, and a couple songs skipped in a way that actually kind of worked in terms of “trippiness” (full disclosure: I lent them the turntables and mixer); also, some excitable drinker accidentally knocked over one of their projectors. Penetration returns to the Unicorn every second Thursday, right after Capitol Hill Art Walk; don’t miss it.


Comments (14) RSS

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cosby 1
Cell phone pictures in the club = never a good look. Ever.
Posted by cosby on June 11, 2010 at 10:49 AM · Report this
The music was pretty bad...
Posted by A Concerned Citizen on June 11, 2010 at 1:03 PM · Report this
hey concerned citizen,

i guess you missed all of the people enjoying
it madly on the dancefloor!

lamest comment ever?
Posted by mr burns on June 11, 2010 at 2:01 PM · Report this
Andy_Squirrel 4
it was ok, i had much higher expectations though, they really need to turn down the lights a few notches & dance floor was too small and cramped. I got confused, disoriented and sick when he started spinning eminem and was forced to leave the building. Dear god, why?
Otherwise, I see great potential, I wish there was more focus on dancing (I swear I did my part) and less on sitting around looking bored and waiting in line for drinks.
Visuals were top notch, as were the custom glasses!
Half Win!
Posted by Andy_Squirrel on June 11, 2010 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Eminem is a genius.
it's not cool to pretend that he's not anymore.
did nobody tell you?
Posted by mr burns on June 11, 2010 at 3:05 PM · Report this
Where were you when it was a The Bus Stop?

Oh, that's right. Seven/eight blocks down the hill is too far of a walk for a lizard-face...
Posted by Yeah, I went there, so what? The truth hurts... on June 11, 2010 at 3:56 PM · Report this
cosby 7
@5: ????????

Idiot savant give him too much credit. Right-place-at-the-right-time is nearest to correct.

Playing Eminem in 2010 at a club is an fisticuffs worthy offense in my opinion. Even if it is meant to be "ironic".
Posted by cosby on June 11, 2010 at 4:09 PM · Report this

just like eminem (the genius)
penetration doesn't do "irony"
they mean it 1000%
save your fisticuffs for
anyone who does anything "ironically"
for those are the true offenders.
Posted by mr burns on June 11, 2010 at 4:45 PM · Report this
this post and the positive commenters seem to be all people who have set up, or work for, or run penetration- if you lent them the A/V equipment Eric, then you must be part of their friendly circle and this is just promoting your friends night and not helpful/useful for people wanting to know what/who is actually the best DJ/night in Seattle.
Posted by Max Bills on June 11, 2010 at 5:59 PM · Report this
do you have any friends Max Bills???? I bet you don't
Posted by friendlyfire on June 11, 2010 at 6:15 PM · Report this
@max bills

maybe you should go and make your own mind up.......

it's the only way to be sure.

we will all be penetration stooges soon enough.
Posted by mr burns on June 11, 2010 at 6:17 PM · Report this
the music has ALWAYS been AWFUL at PENETRATION! Prodigy to Aerosmith = AWFUL SHITTY AWFUL. The visuals are hit or miss and, more often than not, irritatingly repetitive. Also, the anaglyph footage (that I've seen at least) has been pretty poorly encoded and ineffective as a result.
Posted by the shape on June 11, 2010 at 8:32 PM · Report this
At least somebody on this hill is trying to do something creative and dance-worthy that any hipster or non-hipster can enjoy. IRONICALLY, the people who think they are too cool for everything are the people who are actually the most boring to be around. Hahaha, I just made myself chuckle in my mind.
Posted by sonicsben76 on June 11, 2010 at 8:53 PM · Report this
I'm not in the cool club and LOVE this night. It is great because it doesn't take itself too seriously, which is the perfect attitude for a Thursday night. The venue itself adds some great lighting touches to the prisim glasses experience in addion to the trippy visuals. The music is well selected and the "high-contrast juxtapositions" make me laugh out loud. I also love that a graphic design company organizes it, because there should be more cross art form collaboration in the world. It's already crowded enough, so if you haters don't go that's fine with me :P
Posted by EricaToelle on June 14, 2010 at 11:40 AM · Report this

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