Electronic dance music, by its very nature, is a transient music. Venues change, audiences change and sounds change at a clip that we don't see in any other genre. Partially due to its clandestine origins in rave culture — where its inaccessibility was part of its allure — and partially a result of technology's constant forward push, dance music and its proprietors rarely exude a sense of permanence, of perpetuity. DJs come and club nights go with tenures more often measured in weeks than in months or years. It's a rare thing for a residency to last one year, let alone three with no signs of flagging on the horizon. But that's exactly what local DJ and party promoter Jeremy "Coach" Todd has done with his Y2K at 12th & Porter.
When you factor in Todd's other nights — Sunday's classics-only Whiskey Disco at No. 308, the old-school hip-hop party Recognize at Mai, the monthly Girls & Boys at the Cannery Ballroom — all of which have their own different demographics, it's pretty obvious that he's not resigning as Captian of the S.S. Party Town anytime soon. Todd and his cohorts — like Y2K resident Hands Off Sam, Recognize resident Kevin Perryman and promoter/gadfly/all-around-good-dude-to-know Jim O'Shea — have managed to cultivate a vibe more akin to an epic, movable house party, and the crowds have followed in kind. And even though, as Todd himself will point out, about half the actual faces in the crowd turn over every six months, it's the blend of veterans and newbies that reveals the staying power of the concept. That concept, of course, being a damn good party.
"For the most part in Nashville it's about the party rather than the artist," says Todd. "Which is fine, because artists come and go, but obviously a party will stay as long as people are having a good time. ... That's a good thing."
Y2K frequently expands from the one-room, DJ-only format to include bands and live performers of all stripes — hip-hop, indie rock, pop — in both of 12th & Porter's performance spaces. It has become one of the go-to destinations for Nashville's party people, precisely because it eschews normal dance-night considerations. Where most regular dance nights are as predictable as the tides — they may be fun, but they are the same kind of fun, week in and week out — Y2K shifts gears so often that it doesn't have a chance to wear out its welcome. It's Todd's ability to straddle so many lines, to make people of just about any background get down and boogie, that has landed him his latest and sorta-highest-profile gig yet: playing LP Field.
After a random one-off gig spinning for Titans players and fans during the pre-season — "I played a bunch of disco, which is kind of hilarious, but they were super into it" — Todd got the call from the front office of the Boys in Baby Blue. They wanted pre-game tapes for the players and the fans — different sounds from the usual, predictable fare — and Todd happily obliged. And frankly, who the hell else in this city could get the blood of 70,000 people pumping? While we've seen many a righteous DJ come out of Music City, none have the pop sense — that sense of what will work best with the most people — that Todd puts on display three times a week every week. In a city whose major export is music, it's only right that eight of the biggest parties in town have the music provided by one of our leading party exponents.