Death of a Party
DJ Eve's last Universal hurrah
More than 10 years ago brothers Matt and Chris Dickens began what became a very popular, sometimes adored and sometimes notorious club night at Burt's Tiki Lounge. Thursdays, once reportedly dominated by electronica and ’80s pop, became a dance party based around British music, made for and by music lovers.
Over the years The Universal, named after a Blur song, experienced a rotation of DJs (most notably the aforementioned siblings, along with Ben Adams, Josh Williams, Jessica Stone and numerous guests—including me: I became involved with The Universal in 2005 and was a resident there from 2007 until this month). Thanks to Yvonne Holden, otherwise known as DJ Eve, the recent years have been the night's most successful. Eve began attending the night a decade ago—she started spinning music there in 2004 and by 2006 was The Universal's resident DJ. She played her last Universal set this past Thursday, bringing about the end of a hot and sweaty, synth-heavy era.
"Ultimately, my mission was to keep the night grounded on what I perceived as the foundation of the night—British and British-influenced music. I also started to incorporate other music styles like indie rock and post-punk, because, ultimately, music styles like that were not represented anywhere in the city." She adds, "The night was never intended for DJ acrobatics. In other words, it was a night meant to play tracks, not beat-match or turn it into a remix party. The beauty of the night, for me, was finding the similarities of bands from different genres and play them back to back."
This month DJ Eve moves to Chicago, and Thursday at Burt's Tiki Lounge continues as a weekly dance party, now by hosted by DJ Ethan Moya. Eve expresses thanks and appreciation for the positive response from attendees over the years. "Until this last Thursday, I never knew how much this night meant to everyone, including myself." So here's to The Universal, and to future generations playing uncommon music on Thursday nights.