Monday, October 04, 2004

A weekend of boats, velvet ropes, and Che

I had quite a satisfying weekend on the culture front.

The first event, Friday night, was a party for XLR8R magazine (, with James Murphy, Tim Sweeney, and Roy Dank spinning at the Frying Pan. My first visit to the Frying Pan - this is an amazing venue! An old rickety boat (bordering on big enough to be a ship) on the West Side of Manhattan that has a main dancefloor flush in the bottom. The rest of the boat is open for frolicing when you need breaks from the music. We got there in time to catch most of Mr. Dank's set. Roy is a friend of mine from when my short career in music PR (more an internship than a career), who I always try to see whenver he is in town. Initially, he came to prominance as a banging D'n'B dj and producer, but as of late as been DJing in the realm of punk/funk/dub/italo-disco/anything else that has a sensible groove, with a great monthly party at APT called Pop Your Funk (1st Thursday of every month - definately worth checking out). Roy was excellent, getting the floor charged with dark dubby beats for Mr. Murphy (perhaps the biggest, baddest man in NY music at the moment between producing The Rapture and putting out a series of incredible songs with his band/project LCD Soundsystem), who also had the place going hard as well, with songs like "Hush" by Mitsu, and Headman's "It Rough" (I can only identify these seemingly obscure tracks because they are on the CD One Louder, mixed by Erol Alkan - but gushing about that will be saved for another post). Tim Sweeney dropped "Ain't Talkin About Love" or whatever is the name of that Zep track. Among other highlights (but we aren't sure who played them) include "Voodoo Ray" by A Guy Called Gerald (one of the key tracks from the Madchester, Acid House days), "Move Your Body" by Marshall Jefferson (essential Chicago house song), and "Higher State of Consciousness" by Josh Wink (techno tweeking at its most manic). A great night in a great space is always hard to beat.

The next night, I went to see a band called Bloc Party at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. They are a band that released very little so far (an EP) but have garnered all kinds of hyperbole in the British music press. The bells should have been warning me that this was be a bit scenester rather than serious music lovers based on that kind of a set up, but it was free and had an open bar for a bit, if you could get passed the rediculously slow line and the jackass pompous door guy from the weekly Mishapes party at Luke and Leroy. The band was quite good - hard not to see them in the same ballpark as Franz Ferdinand, but a bit edgier sound and with a black vocalist.
The scene around the show though was pure NYC scenester. Suroosh, the Editor of the hilariously Vice Magazine was there, as was Carlos and Daniel of Interpol. In order to get into the room where the band was playing, there was a sub-velvet rope within the hotel. A bit extreme the whole experience. The difference between people who genuinely love music and want to hear cutting edge music before everyone else on one hand, and people who get off on getting into exclusive events on the other is a fine line and the Bloc Party party show seemed to draw from the grey area between the two.

What makes the experience at the Tribeca Grand a bit exasperating is comparing it to the party at Frying Pan the previous night. The Frying Pan show, with James Murphy playing NYC for the first time in ages, could have been a total velvet rope night. Instead, it was completely easy to get in and had no pretentious air about it, making it a much more overall fun experience.

As for Che, I saw The Motorcycle Diaries last night and thought it was excellent. It tells the story of Ernesto Che Guevara's life-changing travels around South America. Gael Garcia Bernal plays a very convincing transition from young aspiring doctor into people's revolutionary. South America also looks really cool - I have only been to Uruguay so far and this film piqued my interest in seeing a lot more of the continent.

Quality weekend - also got some music this weekend, which should provide me with fodder for later this week.


At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow - you weren't kidding when you called this a mega mega mega self-indulgent exercise

anyway .. a couple questions for mmm:
-is that dre 3000 in Mulholland Drive? and if so, i assume that's the inspiration for the Hey Ya video? how come i never heard about this?
-did Doves give any credit to Brian Wilson for blatantly ripping off the organ part from Plymouth Rock (of Smile) in their first bonus track on Lost Souls? If you haven't heard this song, trust me, it's the same.

if the answers to either or both of these are obvious, my apologies. Also, yes, i could probably find the answers myself with some decent googling but i want to challenge the blog-man a lil

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Phil said...

a) How is Mulholland Drive the inspiration for Hey Ya video? i don't remember the connection. I don't think Dre was in it - he isn't listed on the IMDB - doesnt mean he definately isn't in it, but I don't think so.
b) I have yet to hear that track from Smile so i can't make full comment on it yet, but as Smile was only now released in its current form, it may just be coincidence that the Doves track sounds like a track on Smile - it's possible that the liner notes acknowledge a sample.

Is this Stone? I want all anonymous posters to sign with a name at the end - and this is the last time i respond to a comment without a signature as I am not answering anonymously...

At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fair enough - ya, this is dstn.

So, I guess the answers are if either is true (Dre in Mulholland and/or Doves ripping Smile) you hadn't heard it. which means they're probably not - but still could be.

There's a scene in MD with a band in extreme 50's style gear, with a guy that looks a lot (exactly?) like Dre. Sorry i can't describe this more precisely.
Also, check out the Wilson song when you get the chance, it's on realrhapsody if you have access.


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