A weird interview about WEIRD.

by | Jun 15, 2010 | FESTIVALS & PARTIES

The WEIRD parties have been gathering steam at New York Deli. Anna Wittel and Meghan Worsham, the ladies behind it sat down behind their computer and answered some questions for us.

RVA: A little bout yourselves, have you promoted parties before?

Anna: Yeah, I threw two dance parties back when I lived in NY – We Are Your Friends, which was nominated for Best New Party by Paper Magazine and a rockabilly party called Bottoms Up! (I had co-party promoters for both events). We Are Your Friends was on a Wednesday and we made brownies and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for each party. We got our friends to DJ, usually for about $20, which maaaaybe covered their cab fare. In the year we did the party, we had Drop the Lime, Star Eyes, Eamon Harkin, Jacques Renault, Justin Miller, Lauren Flax, and Huggs DJ, just to name a few. They’ve all gone on to be really successful. Once and a while we had bands play (for free!) like Best Fwends and we threw a Grizzly Bear after-party that was killer. Cowboy Mark was our resident DJ (my roommate at the time) for Bottoms Up! That was just a really fun little rockabilly party at the bar in Brooklyn.

Meghan: This is my first party… I moved back to Richmond a year ago from St. Petersburg, FL. While I was down there I got to experience their dance party scene. There were so many DJs throwing weekly nights in the Tampa Bay area. I had a blast! When I got back to Richmond I felt unsatisfied with the dance scene. Anna and I met and we decided to have our own parties… and here we are!

The WEIRD parties have been gathering steam at New York Deli. Anna Wittel and Meghan Worsham, the ladies behind it sat down behind their computer and answered some questions for us.

RVA: A little bout yourselves, have you promoted parties before?

Anna: Yeah, I threw two dance parties back when I lived in NY – We Are Your Friends, which was nominated for Best New Party by Paper Magazine and a rockabilly party called Bottoms Up! (I had co-party promoters for both events). We Are Your Friends was on a Wednesday and we made brownies and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for each party. We got our friends to DJ, usually for about $20, which maaaaybe covered their cab fare. In the year we did the party, we had Drop the Lime, Star Eyes, Eamon Harkin, Jacques Renault, Justin Miller, Lauren Flax, and Huggs DJ, just to name a few. They’ve all gone on to be really successful. Once and a while we had bands play (for free!) like Best Fwends and we threw a Grizzly Bear after-party that was killer. Cowboy Mark was our resident DJ (my roommate at the time) for Bottoms Up! That was just a really fun little rockabilly party at the bar in Brooklyn.

Meghan: This is my first party… I moved back to Richmond a year ago from St. Petersburg, FL. While I was down there I got to experience their dance party scene. There were so many DJs throwing weekly nights in the Tampa Bay area. I had a blast! When I got back to Richmond I felt unsatisfied with the dance scene. Anna and I met and we decided to have our own parties… and here we are!

RVA: What is WEIRD all about?

Anna: When I moved to Richmond, I was really impressed with the city in terms of its beauty, history, that it wasn’t as claustrophobic and is much more accessible than New York. However, I couldn’t get over the fact that there might be one, maybe two dance parties on a Friday or Saturday night! And that at a lot of those parties they just played top 40 and mainstream hip hop! There seemed to be little variety and when I talked to DJs they all seemed to feel pressured to play strictly crowd pleasers, even if they were into cooler shit.

Also, a lot of my favorite bands would tour and skip right over Richmond. I think it has something to do with the “all restaurants are bars” thing and the dominance of hard core and/or hippy culture. In any case, the goal of WEIRD is to bring amazing out-of-town bands to Richmond, to showcase excellent local talent, and to throw a non-Top 40/hip hop dance party. Basically, we just wanted to add a little variety to the night life scene.

RVA: Why is NYD the perfect spot for this?

Anna: New York Deli has been really, really supportive of what we’re trying to do, which goes a long way. I’ve been seriously impressed. Also, once you clear away the tables and chairs in the dining room, you’ve got a really excellent dance floor. NYD is perfectly poised to become THE spot for DJ, shows, and parties in the Fan.

RVA: What are you looking for in the acts you put on stage?

Anna: We just want great music – we don’t have strict criteria as to style or genre. We do probably, because of our own personal preferences, lean towards garage rock, 60s influenced bands, electronic music, shoegaze, angular post punk, etc. But we had Les La Britanica play and they are a local rap group, totally fun, so there are no rules really. Meghan and I just give a band a listen and if we both like it we try to make a show happen.

Meghan: We’ve been really lucky to work with fantastic and talented people. They get party-goers out of their chairs and keep them on the dance floor till the lights go on. Sometimes the party lasts until we are forced to turn the music off! Those are the kinds of DJs and bands we are always looking for.

RVA: Who are you looking to book next?

Anna: Oh man…there are so, so many bands we would like to book. We are starting to branch out into Weird Satellite Shows (one-off events) just so we can book bands more often than once a month. These are the bands on our wish list (some we are in talks with, some we haven’t approached…yet): The Runaway Suns, Golden Triangle, Ty Segall, Hunx and his Punx, Ringo Deathstarr, Love Struck, Gross Relations, Best Coast, The Like, Love City, Electric Tickle Machine (again), The Smith Westerns, Love Like Fire, and Luca (Drop the Lime)’s rockabilly band – I forget their name.

Meghan: And then Girls is our pie-in-the-sky band. Booking them would be a dream come true!

RVA: What’s coming up for WEIRD?

Anna: We have our next Weird dance party this Saturday at New York Deli – local shoegaze band White Laces is playing followed by the “No Richmond” DJs. I heard them spin at Cous Cous not too long ago and totally freaked out (in a good way). Really sick post punk tunes to lose your mind to.

Meghan: Then, July 17th- we have a good friend of mine who does Iggy Pop covers. His band is called Iggy Plop. They will be followed by Djs Sara & Greg and Aaron Johnson (also responsible for all the amazing art work on our posters!). They will be spinning 60s garage, psych, etc.

Soon after we’re throwing our first official Weird Satellite party on July 21st — Black Girls (RVA), The Spooks (Philly), Pujol (Nashville), and Dj White Whine. Each month is getting better and better!

Anyone interested in learning more should find us on Facebook or visit our blog at weirdparty.tumblr.com! Anyone who wants to get involved in any capacity can email us a weirdparty@gmail.com.

DISCLAIMER: RVA is a main sponsor of Weird.

R. Anthony Harris

R. Anthony Harris

I created Richmond, Virginia’s culture publication RVA Magazine and brought the first Richmond Mural Project to town. Designed the first brand for the Richmond’s First Fridays Artwalk and promoted the citywide “RVA” brand before the city adopted it as the official moniker. I threw a bunch of parties. Printed a lot of magazines. Met so many fantastic people in the process. Professional work: www.majormajor.me




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