The newest New Wave generation has been getting its baptism by hard-edged dance music on Saturday nights at Odell's. "Meltdown" is the name for these progressive gatherings at the nightclub.
It's a youngish crowd in its late teens and early 20s, which means that alcohol-wise you should prepare yourself for BYOB or a juice bar. Some of the more achingly self-conscious hipsters turn out in purist garb, which translates to black T-shirt sporting the name of a band like Skinny Puppy, baggy black shorts, black shoes and white socks. But this being Baltimore, many of these skinny puppies also turn out in casual clothes appropriate to a family crab feast.
Playing last Saturday night was the aptly named Thrill Kill Kult. The group's stage presentation includes a revved up front line of well-packaged female singers, a "nurse" who pats tissues on perspiring brows, a mock crucifixion scene ensuring this group will never play at a meeting of the National Endowment for the Arts, and a bartender whose tux shirt is cut off at the shoulders to show off his tattoo-covered arms.
Needless to say, the Thrill Kill Kult went over well as a supplement to the usual DJ-controlled music. There were some boisterous surges in the tightly packed crowd, with a slam dancer or two seemingly nostalgic for the kamikaze moves of the early '80s.
The weekly Meltdown may be melting into something a bit different in the weeks ahead. Odell's manager Mark Clark says ** that as of this Saturday there will be a new schedule that has Meltdown alternating with contemporary dance music.
Odell's is a private club; you must first fill out a free membership form, then pay a cover charge ranging from $7 to $10 depending on the event. The club targets certain nights of the week for distinct crowds. These include a high school night on Fridays, with DJ's spinning R&B; and Top 40 records, and a gay-oriented disco on Mondays.
Where: 21 E. North Ave.
Hours: 9:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday, Saturday,
PD Sunday and Monday, available other nights for private bookings.
Menu: No food served.
Credit cards: Not accepted.