Ohio Classic returns to Therapy Cafe

Photo by W.A.N.G Photography Photo by W.A.N.G Photography

Electronic Dance Music + fashion year #4

By Wu W.A.N.G.

Rock tha’ Bells! or Jing-Jing, jingle, Oh yeah … Ah, it must be December and inching way too close to Christmas, because I am looking at my wallet and wondering what magic trick will make my wrinkly, moist and faded  twenty-dollar bill spend like a bling-worthy purchase powerhouse fifty-dollar – wait, a “Baller, livin’ off-the-wall,” one-hundred Dollar bill. Not to worry, in a few days, I should receive just enough gifts cards and fruitcakes to make it into next year. Plus, I’m counting on the price of alcohol falling drastically before Dec. 21. Seriously, there’s at least one thing Dayton can look forward to, just after the family Christmas indulgences.

Yes, it’s time for the annual fashion and music event known as the Ohio Classic IV, at Therapy Cafe on Thursday, Dec. 27. I stopped in at Therapy on a Tuesday night last week, during their weekly EDM event, to chat with John Chapel who – along with Tony DeSaro – has been the party-planner-for-this-winter favorite among the locals, people in town for the holidays who might be looking for something cool to do or – for me – a place to show off that new soft-cotton sweater and knee-high green hunter boots from J.Crew.

John, tell me a bit about this year’s Ohio Classic.

Well, the event is returning for a fourth run. This is actually a networking event based around fashion, art, music and photography. Althea Harper from “Project Runway” will be showing her latest clothing line starting at 6 p.m., Clash Consignments and Lissa Lush Makes Stuff will also be showcasing their lines and David Michael will play music during the fashion show segment. After that, the DJs take over. We’ve got Matt Freeman, Mike Donovan, DJ Dusk (from Cincinnati), Tony DeSaro and Magua (from Columbus). So this is really a special event for the holidays, right after Christmas and just before New Year’s. -John Chapel

Tony, how do you fit into this event?

Well, John asked me to help. He asked me to play at the first one and that was a great time. So now I gladly use my network within the music scene to help promote the Ohio Classic and to get the word out. I like to come out and help set up for the night from the beginning of the evening, I don’t just come out and play. It’s a fun time and this event is a good meeting place for the holidays. People come out and dance all night. John pretty much puts together the lineup. It’s not a typical event in Dayton, the vibe is good and I treat this as a yearly event that I like to do. -Tony DeSaro

John, you also host a regular Tuesday night event at Therapy that focuses on electronic dance music. What’s going on with that?

We promote EDM (electronic dance music) here at Therapy. Mainly, we focus on local DJs getting a chance to have an audience, but we do try to have more well-known DJs come and play. Often they like to come here and play different styles of music just to take a break from what they might normally play out during gigs. -JC

This weekly event seems to attract a younger crowd; how did you build your audience?

The plan is just to try to create a community and have a scene for EDM music. We don’t really market to the college kids. It’s not as big as it could be, but we keep Tuesday nights for people who want to hear up-and-coming DJs. We see it as a small, tight-knit group who likes a specific type of music that they can’t hear anywhere else. –JC

How did your Tuesday night EDM events come about?

I actually started out doing an early slot at Therapy, playing music early in the evening. But then I started playing a later slot. I decided that I wanted to give the locals a better slot along with some better-known DJs. –JC

So you give the younger guys a chance to rotate in amongst the more seasoned DJs?

Yes, it actually helps the scene. My main mission is that EDM at Therapy is more concerned with newer DJs getting a chance to leave their bedrooms and perform for people. On top of that, we keep throwing the event with no cover. We are catering to the working class, so we want people to afford to have a few beers and still be able to enjoy a nice night during the week. –JC

How do you feel Dayton is doing as far as the music scene?

Everyone from Dayton wears this town as a badge. People either openly support the scene or they do so from a distance. So, people may leave but they often end up coming back. The scene is brewing, there’s a lot more interest now. I think the Tuesday night EDM night is the place that will always showcase new artists. -JC

The Ohio Classic IV takes place Thursday, Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. at Therapy Café, 452 E. Third St.Tickets are $10 or $15 for VIP with free swag (Courtesy of Clash Consignments and Lissa Lush Makes Stuff). 

Reach DCP freelance writer Wu W.A.N.G. at WuW.A.N.G.@daytoncitypaper.com

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