Brace yourself: The Solution, one of the dopest hip-hop parties in Denver for the past half-dozen years, is making its return this Friday night as a weekly. The award-winning night (Best of Denver 2010) has thrived despite a succession of moves over the years, from Milk -- where DJs Low Key and Sounds Supreme first founded the night -- and Funky Buddha to Bar Standard and 3014, to its current home at the Meadowlark, the quaint subterranean space at 27th and Larimer just name-dropped in the New York Times. The secret to the Solution's longevity and success? Simple: The crew has always adhered to the fundamental tenet the night was started with in the first place: creating a party that they'd all want to go to.
See also: - Best of Denver 2010: The Solution, Best Club Night - Voiceplaces: The Meadowlark, 2701 Larimer Street - Danny! on how he wishes he'd never mentioned quitting music and kept his thoughts to himself
After hosting the Solution Showcase for more than a year, plus launching Goodness (a fresh, daytime outdoor patio party) and Introducing (a mid-week party that's precisely what its name would suggest, a gathering geared specifically to the introduction of new music), the Solution crew has finally found a home at the Meadowlark, which boasts one of the chillest patios in town. The bar has proven to be the ideal spot for the Solution -- but then, DJ Low Key has kind of always had the spot in mind for the party.
"I have had my sights set on the Meadowlark for the Solution years before I did anything else over there," Low Key confesses. "My initial thought when I was put on to the Meadowlark and how cool it was -- I don't know, the word eclectic seems like it gets beat to death when you talk about that venue, but you know, it's just got a lot of personality. The first time I was there and I saw that patio -- we were doing the Solution at the Funky Buddha at the time -- I was just like, "Man, the Funky Buddha is great and all, but doing the party on this patio would be kind of the next level."
Although the space seemed ideal, the timing wasn't right, says Low Key. This was around the time that the Meadowlark was dealing with noise complaints from the neighbors. What's more, despite reaching out on several occasions, Low Key says he just couldn't generate interest from the venue. Eventually, though, he and the Solution crew began hosting its Solution Showcases at the Meadowlark. The monthly event has a specific format that spotlights prominent local talent, various acts and producers, along with special guests from out of town, performers like TiRon & Ayomari, who appeared at the inaugural edition, and Danny Swain, and the Showcase has proven to be very successful.
Now with the Solution relaunching as a weekly, the monthly Showcase, Introducing and the mid-week party will all be absorbed into the Solution proper: The former will still happen once a month with the exact same format, while the latter has made a move from Wednesday to Friday and will now essentially serve as a happy-hour lead to the Solution from 5 to 9 p.m. There are plenty of reasons to come out early -- for the complimentary green chile tamales, of course, but also to make sure you get in. This Friday's relaunch is poised to pack.
Besides being the exact six-year anniversary -- six years to the week -- that Solution first got going, the whole Solution crew, Low Key, Sounds Supreme and Lazy Eyez, will be on hand and taking turns on the decks, along with DJ Manizer from Lady Wu and a very special legendary guest DJ (you'll have to go to find out who). And a number of local luminaries (Xencs from Lady Wu, Bravo One, Joe Blizzy and Karina B.) will all be celebrating their birthdays. Anniversaries and birthdays -- what better time for the Solution to return and what better reason is there to party?
"For us to be able to relaunch on our anniversary was a really cool thing," says Low Key of the Solution returning to a weekly and why now was the ideal time. "Beyond that, we also wanted to get through December and January, which are kind of the worst months to try to be launching something or doing newer stuff. That was something we considered when we first launched the Solution at the beginning of February back in 2007, and it's something we kept in mind again.
"And you know the other thing was this," Low Key adds, "even though we liked the idea of doing a weekly at the Meadowlark pretty much the whole time since we discovered the spot, you know, there just wasn't really an opportunity based on how much other stuff they had going on." And there were numerous other factors involved in finding the right spot, says Low Key, the most pivotal of which, besides aesthetics, was also finding the right partner, one who would open up their venue on a prime night and be willing to let Low Key and company maintain creative control of the party.
"That's one of the reasons we didn't just go do it somewhere to do it," he explains. "For making something like the Solution, there's a certain set of ingredients that need to go into it, and you can't just substitute some of those ingredients and expect the same results. So we're super excited. I think the Meadowlark is the right fit. I'm really looking forward to everything from here on out. We have so much cool stuff coming up."
Some cool stuff indeed. On Friday, March 1, the Solution will debut this year's edition of the Art of Records exhibit in which a select group of artists re-imagine classic albums and single covers in their own style. If you were on hand last year, it was quite an affair with DJ Low Key spinning an all-vinyl set of the featured albums. The exhibit will hang for the entire month of March. Although a date has yet to be announced, the Solution Beat Battle is also making a return, as is the Goodness patio party, which will get going again in May.
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