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Davis, California

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Column: KetMoRee is awesome

Most students on this campus would probably agree that Davis isn’t as boring as it’s typically made out to be by those around us. There are plenty of things to do on and off campus throughout the year, and if you’re actually bored, it’s most likely your own problem.

In Davis, finding parties is never a daunting task, and when parties fail (which they often do), downtown Davis nightlife is an acceptable alternative. And to be quite honest, these alternatives aren’t all that bad – as a relatively seldom bar-hopper who usually prefers a few beers at a friends’ apartment to a night on the “town,” the Davis night scene is usually more exciting than my average Thursday or Friday night indoors.

But the Davis-is-boring image nonetheless resonates throughout other campuses and high schools to a point where people choose not to attend Davis because of it. In high school, it doesn’t take much speculative nonsense during application season to sense this fear of ennui. This idiocy filled my graduating class, many of whom now attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, plan to graduate from community college or are married with children.

However, the Jesus-loving, scrapbook-making fans of my hometown aren’t entirely wrong. Though credit should be given where credit’s due, criticism should also be cast upon some of Davis’ infamous nightlife bastions which, for all intents and purposes, make Davis night life feel like a road trip to Utah.

Granted, Davis is often dead during midterm and finals season – being on the quarter system, this pretty much means Davis is dead most of the time. Last Friday, the new Noodle Bar had more employees than guests; Agave begged people to come in; G St. Pub was dirty; Uncle Vito’s was a waste of time; Sophia’s Thai Kitchen was empty and KetMoRee was stale.

KetMoRee, in particular, excels at kicking around the sickly Davis-is-boring image to keep it breathing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. I’m referring, of course, to their weekly dance events. That’s where this mediocre Thai restaurant on 3rd and G St. turns into a “club” after 10 p.m., blaring top-40 hits to a fun-seeking, ingenuous crowd.

For the most part, they make their customers happy – KetMoRee’s typical clientele loves what they play, and Davis in general can’t stand anything other than rap and hip-hop at local shindigs. But in a town where snobbish individualism prevails over the mainstream, this really shouldn’t fly.

Walking by KetMoRee and hearing the same semi-mixed radio hits every weekend is disconcerting, if not depressing – and for electronic fans like myself, there really is nothing to do besides sit at home and whine about it. Sure, a hip-hop club has its place in Davis, but when hip-hop is the only thing playing all weekend, you begin to wonder what all the indie KDVS kids are up to.

Then there’s Little Prague – a pretty little establishment where diluted gin & tonics are kind of worth it when they’re $2.50 on Thursdays. They’re also completely necessary in order to avoid the awkwardness of an empty dance floor, even amidst the blaring, potent soundwaves of their Thursday house mixes. If KetMoRee is stale, Little Prague is flaccid.

Don’t take my word on those $2.50 gin and tonics, though – Little Prague’s drinks seem to change prices every week.

DJs: Play anything besides radio rap on a Friday night and play it consistently to dramatically improve this town’s image and appeal. Please. Top-40 dance nights at KetMoRee are the last thing Davis should be known for, especially when your alternatives are places like G St. and Froggy’s.

JUSTIN T. HO thinks either more people should go to Little Prague on Thursdays or to electro nights at Delta of Venus, because KetMoRee’s electronic nights are just as stale. E-mail links to good house and minimal mixes at arts@theaggie.org.


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