House finds a new home


Josh Buchanan (Drip Mobb) playing his set at The Mint on Nov. 27. Photo by Damian Lopez

Damian Lopez, Social Media Manager

Josh Buchanan, known by his stage name Drip Mobb, hopped and danced along patrons of The Mint Bar in downtown Bakersfield at a Thanksgiving-eve performance on Wednesday Nov. 27. Colorful lights flashed, bass blared, and energies came together for a night of fun.

Josh is a 25-year-old producer/DJ from Bakersfield, California. His friend Frank taught him how to use turntables, and his love of music turned into a gig as a full time DJ. The Mint is where Josh often plays his sets, but welcomes travel.

“I love house! House gets everybody moving… It’s cool to play it here because a lot of people aren’t too familiar with itI like playing it because I know it’s going to get people moving and I know it’s going to get people dancing,” said Josh.

“House music began in Chicago and developed from the combination of 70’s disco and electronic synths, allowing for a continuous beat to keep the dance floor moving,” wrote Michaelangelo Matos in his 2014 Rolling Stone article.

Frankie Knuckles, “godfather of house,” played at The Warehouse in Chicago, which was originally a member only night club for black gay men. Larry Levan, a friend of Frankie Knuckles, would DJ at Paradise Garage in New York City.

“One important thing that the [Paradise] Garage did, which is not being done today, is to bring together black and white, straight and gay in one place. When people learn to dance together, they can get along,” said Mel Cheren in an interview with Douglas Martin for New York Times. Mel was a major financial backer for the night club and was cited in the article as the “Godfather of disco.”

People dance at The Mint while Drip Mobb plays his set on Nov. 27, 2019. Photo by Damian Lopez

According to Yelp, The Mint bar is considered a gay bar and reviews state the environment is welcoming to all walks of life. One review by an anonymous contributor said, “There’s all kinds of people here, you can walk in and see a priest, a hooker, and a lawyer hanging out.”

Although The Mint is not The Paradise Garage, when Josh is there playing house for his set, people know that they are all there to have a good time, enjoy each other’s company and dance to the music; turning into a small taste of what The Paradise Garage stood for.

“There is a big range of people who go to The Mint. Sometimes you see punk type people, other times you see a lot of gay men and women there. The crowds vary a lot depending on the night but often times when I go I’ll see: a big collection of gay men, loud personalities, the occasional drag queen, “homie” type guys, and hipster aesthetic girls. A big hodgepodge for sure,” said Julian Adame, a communication in digital media major at CSU Bakersfield.

“Every time I’ve gone to The Mint it’s been a positive and fun atmosphere with everyone dancing/socializing,” said Starr Perez, also a communication in digital media major at CSUB, “I truly enjoy the house music.”

Frankie Knuckles was quoted saying that house music was “church for people who had fallen from grace,” because it was a space for people who those who did not belong elsewhere to enjoy themselves and dance among others.