#MALGroupPlay 2017: Buckle Up!

DC House Grooves’ queer correspondent Tommy Cornelis here, checking in for another assignment as Mid Atlantic Leather (MAL) Weekend descends about DC! If you missed my write up last year about this event organized by the Centaurs Motorcycle Club, definitely re-visit it and also check out LeatherWeekend.com. It includes all you need to know about the host hotel, a full schedule including expo hours and when the Puppy Pen is happening, the history of Centaurs MC, and all the great official events going on this weekend.

For DC House Grooves, I’ll be talking about the unofficial, underground events that have sprung up in support of this amazing weekend! And to thank you for reading this long-winded preview, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to see Horse Meat Disco on Saturday! Just fill out the form here.

For MAL 2017, we’ve definitely compiled our most ambitious schedule yet, with the TNX/DJ Lisa Frank, Honcho & Otter Den crews working together for what we’ve dubbed #MALGroupPlay: 4-nights of madness with amazing queer talent from London, Detroit, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and, of course, a heavy dose of DC!

Without further ado I’ll get to this full listings:

THURSDAY – JANUARY 12th

Fam Night w/ Jeffrey Sfire, Poppy Burns & Kunj [MAL Group Play]

DJs: Jeffrey Sfire (CockTail d’Amore & Ghostly, Detroit) & Poppy Burns (Tommy Cornelis)
Performance: Kunj
Location: Trade
Time: 9PM-Close
Cost: Free
411: Trade opened up on 14th street a little over a year ago, and it has been such a welcome addition for the gay community. We finally have a gay bar that allows DC’s queer DJs and drag queens to push the envelope in music selection and performances. For the past year, the extended TNX dance music fiends have been meeting up there on Thursdays for what we’ve dubbed “Fam Night”, and from there we stroll off to find the best dance floor, whether it be at St. Ex, Ten Tigers, Velvet Lounge, UHall or Flash. It’s really brought our community together and lights up any dance floor we end up at. We decided to kick off MAL weekend by bringing all of this energy right to Trade, and we’ve booked Jeffrey Sfire from Detroit… the brains behind this dance floor classic:

I’ll be on opening duties DJing under my drag persona Poppy Burns starting at 9PM, then we’ll have a special performance by visual artist Kunj at 11PM and then Sfire will bang it out the rest of the night!

I also wanna give a huge shout out to TRADE for letting us use their bar as our home base for the weekend. The lineup for the entire weekend is stacked and don’t forget about their XL Happy Hour Deals (XL mixed drinks and $4 beer/wine til 10PM).

DC Leather Pride- Welcome to DC

DJ: Keenan Orr
Location: DC Eagle
Time: 9PM-3AM
Cost: Suggested $5 Donation
411: A year ago I wrote that the DC Eagle was finally open for business after a lengthy and difficult move to Benning Road, and I hoped MAL weekend would help get DC’s only leather bar back on their feet. Wow- what a difference a year makes! The Exile dance floor space, the basement, and the patio bar are now regularly pumping out great dance events, and not just for the queer or leather community. Crews of all persuasions have made this a staple of DC’s now thriving after-hours scene. Definitely make sure you get out to The DC Eagle at least once this MAL Weekend. There are free shuttles from the host hotels, tons of parties going on, and this great little opening party with one of my favorite DJs in the world: Keenan Orr!

Also Worth Checking Out:
NightFlight 0112 w/ Neutral
Schadenfreude Neubauten

FRIDAY – JANUARY 13th

Location: Trade
Time: 6PM-10PM
Cost: Free
411: These two remain some of my favorite guests we’ve ever had at the old-format TNX at Velvet, and I’m so excited they’ll be kicking off Night 2 of #MALGroupPlay. The exhibitor hall is open at the host hotel at 4PM, and this will be the perfect spot to head to afterward and/or the designated meet-up happy hour before Furball with Vicki Powell and Honcho at U Street Music Hall! Dean Sullivan will be continuing on at Trade afterwards for the rest of the night, if you’re not quite ready to head to UHall yet.
DJs: Vicki Powell (Atlanta) & Honcho (Aaron Clark, Clark Price & George D’Adhemar, Pittsburgh)
Time: 10PM-3AM
Cost: $12 Advanced, $15 at the door
411: 3 years ago, I met and saw Aaron Clark DJ for the first time at the Luther party for MAL, 2 years ago Honcho and TNX hosted our MAL party together, last year we each hosted our own parties to make for a bigger weekend of events, and this year TNX is moving to a warehouse space and Honcho is taking over U Street Music Hall. The exponential growth of quality, underground events for MAL astounds me, and the fact that they’re bringing in Vicki Powell from Atlanta is just icing on the cake!

Also Worth Checking Out:
Perversion Therapy by Eames Armstrong & John Moletress – Opening
Bear Happy Hour at Rock & Roll Hotel: Jan 13 Leather Weekend
4U SOCIAL 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
(Vjuan Allure is DJing this!)

Saturday – January 14th

MAL Group Play Happy Hour w/ Outputmessage
DJ: Outputmessage
Location: Trade
Time: 7-10PM
411: Night 3 of #MALGroupPlay continues with Outputmessage hosting happy hour duties at Trade. Rest up during the day, then get your squad together here and carpool over to Horse Meat Disco! Barber Streisand is DJing the rest of the night at Trade here, and HMD will be going til 6AM so take your time getting over to 300 Morse (but not too much!).

Horse Meat Disco: MAL Saturday

DJs:
Horse Meat Disco (London), The NeedlExchange & DJ Lisa Frank
Location: TBA
Time: 10PM-6AM
Cost: $15 Advance, $20 at door before 3AM, $25 after
411: When something is so right and just makes perfect sense, why not do it again? Horse Meat Disco and MAL go together perfectly, so DJ Lisa Frank & TNX are bringing them back again this year, but this time at 300 Morse for extra hours of fun. Remember that MAL is a marathon not a race, so make sure you pace yourself just right for the prime-time event. If you’ve never caught an HMD set, get ready to dance and smile for hours!

 SUNDAY – JANUARY 15th
DJs: Mark Louque (FAGBASH, Provincetown/NOLA) & Strike Stone
Location: Town
Time: 5PM-10:30PM
Cost: $8
411: A new addition to last year’s schedule of events, this Sunday tea dance hosted by Otter Crossing ended up being the surprise breakout hit of the weekend! This year Strike Stone is on the lineup and they’re bringing in Mark Louque, founder of PTown’s legendary FAG BASH party. Last year Town ended up giving over the reigns for the night to a bunch of DJs still standing from the weekend afterwards, and there is a rumor that may happen again 😉. Plus Town is conveniently located by the official closing party at 9:30 Club with Ultra Nate!
Location: 9:30 Club
Time: 10PM
Cost: $35 Advanced, $45 at the door
411: Flagging + Ultra Naté, what more do you need?! She’s pricey, but the official closing party beautifully shows the history of dance culture for the leather community.
It’s very easy for MAL newbies to spend all of their time in the host hotel and at circuit parties, so my biggest advice is to get out and enjoy our beautiful city and the diverse and music-forward dance culture we have. As you can see, there’s not a lack of options!
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