Some people are inclined to believe that every success begins with failure. This rings especially true for Moncton’s Marc “DJ Bones” LeBlanc.
In the mid-90’s, as he was getting his start as a DJ, LeBlanc believed audiences would be responsive to the worlds of pop music and alternative music being brought together and played for audiences looking to dance to some of the best music of the time.
Local club owners weren’t so sure, however.
“I submitted a musically eclectic mixtape to a local club owner, consisting of alternative, pop and rock music, and was basically laughed at,” LeBlanc chuckles, recalling the memory. “Ultimately, what I was looking to do was to bridge the worlds between catchy pop music and the more underground music of the day.”
LeBlanc was no stranger to the role of DJ, having hosted a radio show on the Université de Moncton`s campus station, CKUM, starting in 1990. Four years later, he put his skills to use, playing music for students at the university’s former campus pub, Le Kacho.
It was during a 1997 trip through Europe that LeBlanc’s vision for bridging the worlds of independent and mainstream music was solidified.
“I travelled through 15 countries during the span of about three months. It was at a venue in Ireland that the DJ was playing some obscure material alongside mainstream/ Top 40 music. As far as I was concerned, the music gelled so seamlessly. It was then, really, that the seed for what would become Indie Pop Night germinated.”
In 2004, LeBlanc began hosting Indie Pop Night, now known as IPN With Bones – playing music from music legends like the Ramones, Joy Division and The Cure alongside modern acts like Franz Ferdinand – at the now-defunct Player’s Lounge before eventually relocating to the former Paramount Lounge on Main St.
After having built a significant local reputation for his Indie Pop Night events, LeBlanc began bringing his show to different locales in the Maritimes, including Fredericton, Sackville, Saint John, Charlottetown and Halifax.
By his own estimates, LeBlanc now has more than 300 IPN With Bones events in the books and has expanded upon his original idea, curating nights specifically catered to Motown, punk and retro music.
One of his more popular specially-curated events is the Kids Pop Party, where he mixes kid-friendly songs from The Pixies and others, along with more traditional children’s music.
“The idea for the Kids Pop Party was really born from the fact that many of those people that attended some of the first Indie Pop Nights were now parents and couldn’t necessarily make it out to those late-night events. Gearing an event towards children and their parents was a win-win for practically everybody: The kids have the opportunity to dance to some great music, while the parents have a place where they can socialize with other parents. It’s a great match.”
What: IPN With Bones
When: Friday Jan. 22, 10 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton