EUROTRASH GIRL: Kim Sorise, already well known as one-half of the Dirty Soul Party duo at Red Lounge, now spins on Fridays at North End Bar. Her Global Grease is a melange of Eurotrash pop, Afrobeat rhythms and several styles in between. (photo by brian bohannon)
WHY: To open your ears to world music while chilling sufficiently.
WHERE: North End Bar (1722 Frankfort Ave.)
WHEN: Every Friday from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
Some things are conspicuous when they’re absent. Hitting a few bars on a week/files/storyimages/night almost overwhelmingly means you will be subjected to music played at volumes loud enough to sterilize small children, not to mention that talking with your friends, and more crucially, placing drink orders, requires frequent shouting.
“So what’s the downside?” you ask. Nothing, except that sometimes, change is good and almost always, less is more. A fine way to experience great music, expand your cultural horizons and still be able to hear yourself think is to pay a visit to the North End Bar on Friday for a night of Global Grease, a melange of Eurotrash pop, Afrobeat rhythms and several styles in between.
Global Grease is helmed by Kim Sorise, she of Dirty Soul Party renown, who draws upon her exquisite taste and vast collection of world music and thrift store lounge-vinyl to offer up an alternative to the typical Friday night outing, and the North End Bar, which opened last month as an adjunct to the North End Cafe, and is becoming a target destination for scenesters, young professionals, DINKs and the all-important service industry crowd.
“Kim Sorise has turned me on to more cool music than anyone I’ve ever known,” volunteers Scott Mullins, but as he’s Sorise’s partner-in-crime for Dirty Soul, he’s not the most objective source.
“I was looking to play music that was a little more atmospheric,” Sorise says. “Doing the Dirty Soul Party with Scott, we kind of created an event, and this was more an opportunity for me to be able to create an atmosphere for people where it wasn’t quite so loud, but I still think that it’s varied enough where people don’t quite know what to expect.”
That atmosphere is ably assisted by the venue itself. The North End Bar is an elegant room with loft-style architecture and clean, modern design that complements the audio experience and vice versa — an aesthetic match made in hipster heaven.
“Most of the stuff I play is from the ’60s and ’70s,” Sorise says. “I’m playing some Serge Gainsbourg and the ladies he performed with — Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot — and then I’m also playing Brazilian artists: some early Gal Costa, Milton Nascimento, early Caetano Veloso, stuff like that, also throwing in a lot of Italian cinematic music like Ennio Morricone and Piero Umiliani. And then I try and mix in, on occasion, Fela Kuti and Ethiopian stuff from the early ’70s. Every so often I’ll try to mix in some newer world pieces that I think will also represent the same kind of mood.”
North End Cafe recently unveiled the North End Bar, where it’s actually possible to converse and listen to music at the same time. (photo by brian bohannon)
Last Friday, Sarah Voyles and Gerald Kelly, both from New Albany, stopped in for an order of Global Grease. “It’s good to see that local businesses want to support local music, especially with Kim Sorise, because she’s such a talent in our area,” Voyles says. “I was determined to hear what she was spinning, especially since she’s playing other rare stuff. The funk and soul she spins at the Red Lounge is just amazing, and I think that’s great that she has even more stuff she can play.”
“I think the response has been relatively good so far,” Sorise adds. “It’s still a relatively new thing. A lot of folks are really happy with the space. I think the North End created a beautiful space, so it’s nice to play music that goes with the space. I’ve gotten a lot of really good compliments. It’s not your typical bar music.”