Too Much Love calls it quits

MICHAEL RIETMULDER | Updated 2/1/2014

Peter Lansky ends his James Murphy-approved dance night, starts Real Fun.

DJ Sovietpanda aka Peter Lansky
Alex Uncapher

In 2006, Peter Lansky’s DJ résumé was shorter than Paris Hilton’s. With just a single club gig under his belt, the aspiring party thrower launched Too Much Love, which would become one of the Twin Cities’ most popular dance nights of the last decade.

“If you ask the DJs I played with the first week, they will tell you all of the terrible, terrible technical mistakes I made,” the Too Much Love founder recalled, nursing a Bloody Mary at Liquor Lyle’s. “But the room didn’t really care [laughs].”

Back then “the room” was First Avenue’s 250-capacity Record Room. But six months later his indie-dance-inspired party got the call-up to the storied club’s Mainroom, where it enjoyed an impressive weekly run until late 2012, when it returned to its Record Room roots.

It was an impressive run for Lansky, his party and his brand of music, which he says would not have sustained weekly parties in such bigger markets as New York and Chicago.

“So it’s very weird and it shouldn’t have worked,” said Lansky, better known as Sovietpanda. “But we tricked people for a long time.”

After pulling the electro-wool over partiers’ eyes for more than seven years, Lansky is retiring the TML series (and his Sovietpanda pseudonym) with a farewell bash Saturday. In its place the 28-year-old, henceforth known as TML, is launching Real Fun — a new party co-helmed by James Frickle of the recently dissolved Wak Lyf crew.

With Lansky looking for something fresh and Wak Lyf capping its two-year stint at the Kitty Cat Klub in December, the former roomies decided to team up. Real Fun, which kicks off next Saturday in the Record Room, looks to find the common ground between the disco/house/techno hybrid TML evolved into over the years and Wak Lyf’s anything-goes format.

“We got away with doing a lot of stuff,” said Frickle, aka Jim Frick, nestled into a back booth. “You can’t necessarily go to a party where you’ll hear Enya and then something that came out the other day on some crazy techno label or something.”

Continuing in the TML tradition, Real Fun looks to avoid being pigeonholed as simply a house or techno night, with Lansky broadly citing “interesting club music” as its beat-centric compass. Like many astute DJs, Lansky and Frickle aim to walk the line between accessibility and esoteric. The almost-weekly party runs the first three Saturdays of each month and will incorporate visual and design elements.

“We’re kind of going for sinister party,” Lansky said. “Those nights where you’ll do crazy shit and be like, ‘That was super fun, but that was kind of dark [laughs].’ ”

Despite Frickle’s two-for-ones-fueled jest that Lansky plans to go out spinning shirtless while getting the TML logo tattooed on his chest (oh, live webcasted, too), the ex-party panda has less audacious plans for TML’s finale. Instead, Lansky will man the decks all night, playing four hours of music “the night has memories for.”

Count James Murphy among those saddened by TML’s sunset. At 18, Lansky met the dance-punk star of LCD Soundsystem/DFA Records fame after starting a DFA message board in his native Chicagoland. The two stayed in touch over the years and twice Murphy performed at TML. Lansky, who lifted the Too Much Love name from LCD and Death From Above 1979 songs, said Murphy often recommended that international artists come to Minneapolis specifically to play TML.

After news of TML’s ending broke, a heartfelt post (presumably by Murphy) appeared from LCD Soundsystem’s Facebook page.