DJ Moxy and the Social Service
Though it’s now a couple of years old and has its fair share of imitators, the Satellite is still something of an anomaly: a Reno nightlife hot spot with a distinctly 21st-century vibe. Whereas many Reno bars feel like they haven’t changed much since like 1972, the urban hipster attitude and sleek, metallic design of the Satellite make it feel like hanging out inside somebody’s iPod.
If you come on the right night, it’s the iPod of somebody with great, eclectic taste. Wednesday nights, Satellite hosts Social Service, a night of wide-ranging musical selections from indie rock to hip-hop to garage rock to ‘80s dance to whatever else. Despite the hip environs, it’s a relaxed, cozy night with the emphasis on good music rather than meat marketing.
“It’s a night for locals, musicians, people actively into music, not those who are going out just to go out,” says Camille Torres, who, under the guise of DJ Moxy, is the night’s regular DJ.
Her sets range from bands on the brink to old favorites, from quiet, sedate indie pop to teeth-kicking garage rock, from familiar hits to obscure curiosities. She’ll play Abba and Gang of Four, contemporary indie favorites like The Arcade Fire and hit-makers like Shakira.
There are also a lot of local sounds—bands like namefollowedbynumber and The Sharpies and stuff from local labels like Slovenly Records. DJ Moxy tailors every set to the individual crowd.
“Who shows up and what their reactions are determines where the set goes,” she says. Many of the regulars bring CDs for DJ Moxy to peruse and play. “And a lot of the regulars aren’t necessarily people I know—they’re just the ones that show interest.”
DJ Moxy is also the regular DJ for the only-slightly-more-straightforward Indie Sundays at Tonic, a set that features more accessible, dance-able fare.
In addition to challenging and appeasing adventurous music fans as DJ Moxy, Torres does the music booking for Satellite. She’ll often hype upcoming acts by including them in her set. Two bands she says are not to be missed are The Plus Ones, Oct. 30, and The Lovemakers Oct. 23 and 24. The Plus Ones are an upbeat pop-punk band featuring ex-members of The Mr. T Experience and Screeching Weasel. The Lovemakers are a dance-rock, make-out bonanza who’ve garnered great notices and packed the house on previous visits.
Much of Torres’ music collection was assembled at her day job at Tower Records. She also does the booking for the in-store shows. “Local artists need to know that we’ll carry their stuff and even host their CD release parties,” she says.
Whether working as a bookie or spinning the steel wheels, Torres’ passion is making people happy through music.
“My whole goal is just to make people smile,” she says. “And sometimes that means I end up playing some really goofy songs.” She’s also been known to leave in a mix CD and join the dancers on the floor. “I never have a plan going in, which is why I always have to bring everything. I never know who’s going to come, what the vibe will be like. It’s not a night of knowing what’s going to happen—it’s a night of who shows up.”