“I should be sick of all of these songs by now,” says DJ Matt Bailer. He’s referring to the hits from the 1990s that are the staple of what he plays every month at Peach Pit. And this Saturday, Oct. 19, the ’90s-themed party will celebrate its first decade.
“Did I ever think it would last longer than the actual decade it celebrates?” says Bailer. “No. I’m just amazed that upwards of 500 people still want to come and dance to basically the same songs month after month.”
Named after the popular hangout spot on Beverly Hills 90210, Peach Pit started in the tiny former Eritrean restaurant Dahlek. By its second year, it had settled in at DC9, where it has reigned as one of the intimate club’s most popular nights.
“It’s gone from being a small gay party to being really awesomely mixed,” Bailer says. “It has ebbed and flowed, and now again it’s a predominantly gay party, but with a really nice mix of straight guys and gals of all ages and races, losing their shit to Wilson Phillips meets Spice Girls all night.”
Asked if there’s one song that’s proven to be the most popular, Bailer nods to the biggest hit by the R&B trio TLC. “There’s always a scream when the first four plunked-out guitar notes of ‘No Scrubs’ play.”
Ultimately, there’s never a dud in the batch, says Bailer, who even looks forward to hearing songs that he never liked personally — including “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba and “All Star” by Smash Mouth.
“Those are both songs that I would have been fine never hearing again — songs that were played to death in the ’90s,” he says. “But when I play them, people are singing along and jumping up and down, and I can’t pretend that I’m still jaded about those songs when that happens.”
This weekend’s 10th anniversary party will be followed the next day by the launch of a new standalone party in the Peach Pit mold, but with its own particular twist: Shady Pines is an ’80s-focused rooftop tea dance named after the retirement village where the gay-popular TV series The Golden Girls took place.
“We’re going to try DC9 on the roof from 3 to 7 in the afternoon, so people can do their kind of ‘Sunday Funday’ outdoors thing, and not go too late.”
Of the era’s music, he notes: “There are some legit, solid hits, but then there’s stuff like ‘Whip It’ by Devo. Even Duran Duran [had some] really odd songs, but they were huge hits. I’m definitely looking forward to figuring out what people will respond to.”
Bailer already knows the most popular song that will get played at Shady Pines: Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” “Literally of any decade, that is the most popular dance-floor song that no one gets tired of.”
Peach Pit’s 10th Anniversary is Saturday, Oct. 19, starting at 10 p.m. Shady Pines is Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m., both at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Peach Pit is $5 to $8. Shady Pines is free. Call 202-483-5000 or visit www.dcnine.com.