Jonathan Toubin: The NYC DJ should you know

Toubin goes for an air-swim. Credit: Alexander Thompson
Toubin goes for an air-swim.
Credit: Alexander Thompson

Jonathan Toubin’s New York Night Train parties are synonymous with NYC nightlife. He took the boring old formula of a DJ spinning songs for jaded twenty-somethings at a bar and created an all-out dance party that runs on soul 45s, adrenaline and style. And he’s well-respected in the biz too: Last year Toubin became the first DJ to have an entire night at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, and he was the first DJ to have an entire official SXSW showcase . He moved his Soul Clap & Dance Off party from Glasslands to Brooklyn Bowl, toured Europe, spun in Australia and has continued to grow his parties more and more with time. By incorporating a variety of talented guests like hula-hoopers, visual artists and go-go dancers into his shows, he keeps his parties exciting and new. Did we mention he’s also a really nice guy?

Toubin got his start as a guitar player in Austin, Texas. After moving to New York he began spinning at Motor City Bar weekly, with special guests like Bob Bert of Sonic Youth/Pussy Galore and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers, quickly earning a solid reputation in the industry. Before long he quit his day job to fully embrace his newfound career. In years since Toubin has featured guests like legendary NYC No Wave artist James Chance, The Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, party machine Andrew W.K. and more.

Not bad for an artist whose first gig made him feel “very lucky.” “I got paid $35 and [got] free beer,” he says. At the time he considered himself more of an “anti-record collector” with no aspirations of becoming a DJ. Now, well into his DJ career, he has chosen to strictly spin 45 records. “I decided that I would try to become the kind of DJ I would like to see, hear and dance to the most,” he says.

Toubin’s nights can be characterized by the creaking floorboards beneath the dance shoes of every attendee. The sounds of ‘50s and ‘60s soul permeate — music he was turned on to at a young age when his stepdad gave him the first two 13th Floor Elevators albums, Love’s first record and Pink Floyd’s “Saucer Full of Secrets.” He bought the first two Nuggets punk comps and sought out records by the little-known ‘60s bands on them. He got into blues and soul music by watching the “Blues Brothers,” “Animal House,” and Eddie Murphy’s “James Brown Celebrity Hot Tub” Saturday Night Live sketch.

“I think it’s fitting that John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Eddie Murphy introduced me to soul music, as the aesthetic of the Soul Clap and Dance-Off parties has always been none-too-precious,” says Toubin.

From the ashes

In December 2011, Toubin was the victim of a freak accident at the Jupiter Hotel in Portland, Oregon. At about 11 a.m. a cab driver went into a seizure and crashed through the hotel into Toubin’s room, pinning him under the car. He suffered a host of injuries including a punctured liver, crushed lungs and fractures in his skull, but made a quick recovery and was back behind the decks in May of 2012.

“It gave me a lot more perspective and I gained back my abilities and my focus and I think after some time, I surpassed myself on every level,” he says.

If you go

Jonathan Toubin can be found spinning on almost any given night. His signature Shakin’ All Over Under Sideways Down parties weekly at Home Sweet Home, his monthly Soul Clap & Dance Off parties at Brooklyn Bowl and numerous other events are listed on his website www.newyorknighttrain.com.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…