Seven years of Too Much Love: An oral history
Serene Supreme, July 2010. Partgoer Monique Tenison poses outside of First Ave.
Too Much Love's DJ Sovietpanda, AKA Peter Lansky, has announced plans to end the weekly series on February 1 after a successful seven-year run. Beginning the following Saturday, First Avenue will play host to a new weekly event created by Lansky and friend James Frickle of WAK LYF, that they have christened REAL FUN.
To honor the memories that were created at this epic dance party, Gimme Noise spoke to Lansky and the partygoers who kept the dance floor alive each and every weekend. Here is the story of Too Much Love, told in their words.
Katherine Echols Moore. Sept. 2011 James Frickle of WAK LYF gets the munchies while Sovietpanda DJs.
Peter Lansky: The reason I started DJing was I ran a DFA message board in high school, so I had met James Murphy a couple times...and I asked him what I should do with my life, because I was super depressed. He told me to start a Sovietpanda night. I'd been 21 for a month the first time Too Much Love happened.
Sam Spafford: It was the youngest 18+ crowd in town. Break dancers, house beats, getting fucked and not called back. TML was a night of firsts for many of us.
Bach Pham: I remember when TML first started in the VIP Room- that's when I first met and mixed alongside Peter Lansky and Jonathan Ackerman.
Lansky: They [First Avenue] were like, we'll give you a night, and see how it does. It was one Friday in the Record Room. They said, if that goes okay, we'll see what can happen. I made the logo, and I made a flier, and I went on MySpace. I found everyone in Minneapolis who liked the bands I liked, and added them, and told them to come. Through MySpace, I found DJ Bach, and Jonathan Ackerman.
Albert Elmore: MySpace was blowing up. Nobody knew how the heck they got there... I remember ending up there with no idea of who was playing, but knowing it would be something different and interesting regardless.
Serene Supreme DJ Bach spins at TML in 2010.
Lansky: I always wanted to do a party just so I could DJ, 'cause the music I wanted to play wasn't really being played anywhere -- like the crossover stuff, from post-punk and indie rock to dance music.
Sean Schilz: It was a very uplifting and positive sound, like none other, and NO ONE else was playing this stuff. I started getting extremely passionate about the music, and that would radiate off of me and was expressed through dancing. I did not know how to dance before TML because nothing I had heard had made me want to dance. This music made me want to dance as much as I wanted to kiss my first girlfriend.
Lansky: In March of 2007, it moved to the mainroom, and became weekly. It was very surreal. It was weird because so many different kinds of people would come, and it was people I would never have known otherwise. Older people who didn't get what we were doing would come early, and then a bunch more people would show up. I was just happy to play music for people.
Ann Roy: I remember back in 2007, going there and trying to avoid getting danced on by dudes who were twice my age.
Serene Supreme. Dec. 2009 Katherine Echols Moore and Ivan Heitmann dance with friends at TML.
Bobby Kahn: My favorite memory was early on, I think in 2007. I was up on stage with about a dozen other people, when suddenly everyone got in a circle and started walking around, like a cakewalk, except we were dancing while walking. Someone stood in the middle and as we walked by, we gave them a high five. It's one of my all time favorite dance floor memories, and I bring it up when I am teaching my dance class now.
Lansky: September of 2007, Arcade Fire was on tour with LCD Soundsystem. All of LCD Soundsystem came to DJ, and all of Arcade Fire came to hang out with them. Then, three weeks later, Diplo came to town and played. That's when I knew I had succeeded. I only had like 200 songs I liked to play when I started DJing. Now I have thousands. I had to not only DJ every week, but I had to open almost every week. You learn a lot from opening. You learn about what makes people dance...