Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Erotic City

Aw, crap. We'd spent too much time at the The Waffle again. But it's not difficult when you've got good company and good food, all at 25% off because of a Facebook promotion. Red velvet waffles, and gluten-free waffles that taste like cake are not a game, and neither are waffle ice cream sandwiches. PB Wolf was due to play at Freak City down the street in 15 minutes, and we hadn't even got our check.

We did our best to hurry to Freak City before midnight, but with so much stuff going on that Saturday night in Hollywood, parking of course was a bitch. I didn't think we'd make it. It was approaching 12:30 when we were finally walking into the venue. The $5 cover charge was a good deal, but shit, had we already missed half his set? Or maybe his entire set if he was only doing a short one! Argh! Dammit!

Whatever... as I was waiting for Lisa and Shimosh to pay, I saw a man wearing a racoon cap suddenly appear behind them. Uh... um... HOLD UP. There is only ONE person in the whole world who can rock that look... and YES, OMG IT WAS PB WOLF!!! Wait! WTF? What the hell was he doing here? Right when we happened to come in? Wasn't he already playing??? Had he already played??? I was so taken by surprise that I only managed a lackluster "hi" when he passed by.

But that's ok, a few minutes later I managed to get a picture with him:

WU-TANG! He was super nice and down to earth. The best part was finding out that he hadn't played yet... I'd seen him play nothing but '90s videos at FYF last year and I caught him at Club Nokia on New Year's Eve, and I was kinda blown away both times, so I was expecting nothing less tonight. It's an '80s night tonight. He HAS to play Prince, I thought.

When he launched into a ton of eclectic '80s shit I'd never heard or saw before, I was impressed. He KNOWS his shit. He doesn't have to rely on hits to rock the party. Some of it sounded familiar, and I know I've heard more than one or two songs on 93.5 KDAY or HOT 92.3 (formerly The Beat). The videos make it so much more engaging and nostalgic. He introduces you to so much new shit while bringing you back to the stuff you already know, and it's so fucking fluid how he does it, you barely notice the songs/videos changing, no matter how many genres he treads...


It felt like pure blissful victory. He chose the right song with the right video for the mood. He could have gone the obvious route and given us something from "Purple Rain", but he's PB Wolf and he knows what the fuck he's doing. Especially when he played what looked like a rehearsal video of Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

There is something undeniably hypnotic about what he does. You have to witness PB Wolf VJ to truly understand the magic. I've suddenly found myself getting more into the '80s lately, bizarrely enough. I've never particularly liked that decade much until pretty recently. Maybe it's too much French electro? Or Prince? But whatever the reason, PB Wolf gave me even more of an appreciation to the ridiculous aesthetics and decadence of that era. Not every DJ has that kind of effect on you.

Freak City is an interesting venue; it's got tons of rooms, it's got a little shop upstairs, and it's full of coked-out hipsters. In fact, I swear I saw an American Apparel model there. It's got a cool intimate vibe but sadly became apparent that most of the people were there to be seen and not really there for the music. I saw so many people just randomly start dancing out of nowhere for a few songs then just completely disappear upstairs or to another room. I couldn't tell if they were even feeling it, and a lot of them weren't even paying attention the videos. But whatever, that's their loss if they're too cool to appreciate PB Wolf but are hip enough to go to Freak City and know when to dance because the '80s are kind of in right now.

But props to the people who were there for real, like this guy, who wins DGAF audience member of the night. He was constantly at the front, feeling every note of every song, dancing his ass off, I mean this is what I am talking about and this is how it should be:

Wow, even Mayer Hawthorne made an appearance:

A dope end to a dope night, yeah, fuck Ed Hardy:

And one more thing: PB Wolf, will you marry me?

It was in Culver City that I knew joy

It was noticeably less packed than other times we'd been to Scion Space in Culver City, and it made DGAF go WTF. I mean, there were still complimentary gift bags available at 9 p.m.! Those things are usually completely gone by 8! There was no line outside by the time we'd left, which there usually is. In fact, there wasn't even a line for the wine and Honest Tea, which was a first. We don't know where everyone was, but we knew they were missing out. I mean it was cool to be able to walk around more easily and be able to look at the work, but it was disappointing not to see the overwhelming love that Sixpack France deserved. I mean, they're not exactly obscure, and ok, the place wasn't empty, but see for yourself what the fuss was all about:

It was on Earth that Sixpack France knew DGAF.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Brooklyn? Maybe we should have stayed in (Drag) Queens...

So... besides everything you saw and read about... what else did we get up to when we should have been working, blogging, and mixing? Well, we're gonna come clean. Besides staying up til 5 a.m. comparing Pizza Tours (Google that shit!), we ended up watching a few cheesy Disney movies; especially sequels to the Little Mermaid... and let's not forget the mighty Dragulator.

Believe it or not, these are ALL made from original, non-Photoshopped photos of me (lighting made my face darker or lighter in some photos). Believe me, I still don't know how I went from Joan Rivers to Missy Elliot and everything in between. At least for once I don't look like a French DJ man with facial hair and shit.

All in all, it was a very productive week...

anYway: day 9

Right after the Polysics, we went around to find something to eat as we were both starving. After passing a bootleg In-N-Out burger place called Fresh-N-Fast (everything from the menu to the logo to the interior design were copied), we realized we didn't know where anything was and couldn't find anywhere to eat. It was past midnight so a lot of places were closed. We randomly walked around and found some supermarkets, but nothing really struck us.

In-N-Out Fresh-N-Fast

That is, until we came across three 24-hour restaurants at the same time. One, of course was a French restaurant, and the other was the cheesiest looking diner you will probably ever see in your life. The French restaurant was packed and darkly lit and didn't look as fun as the diner next to it. We figured we could go to a French restaurant in LA, but a NYC 24-hour diner would definitely be worth visiting. We couldn't resist Big Daddy's restaurant, with its explosion of pop culture decor. The $2 beer with a burger was also an incentive.

I eventually decided to pass on the burger and what would probably end up being a generic American beer and decided on a Reuben sandwich with tater tots and a chocolate egg cream instead. Wise choice. They HOOKED it up, and it was insanely good food too. I knew we'd come to the right place. Good service, good food, a fun vibe, and even Trivial Pursuit cards on each table.

But I REALLY knew we'd come to the right place when Erotic City started playing. THEN I saw a man with an Andy Warhol-style ODB shirt sitting near us. That's when I knew it was fate. Unforgettable last dinner in NYC...

...After sleeping in again due to a pretty tiring weekend, we went on a last-minute mission to Williamsburg, which is apparently the Silverlake of NYC. We went to get some NYC gluten-free goodies for our friend Lisa but we found out the bakery was closed when we got there. Oh well. We managed to find a Kosher health food store nearby that sold gluten-free cookies, perfect! After getting lost, we finally found our way back to the G Train replacement shuttle back to Greenpoint and we had to get packing for out flight out.

Welcome to Hipsterville

Closed on Sunday? :(

Straight outta Williamsburg

Uh oh, we're lost

Whew, we made it back to Greenpoint

But dammit, we had to go!

I'm actually really glad we ended up taking the subway and AirTrain instead of chickening out and taking a taxi again. The trek wasn't bad at all. Our suitcases also weren't too big or heavy, and the buses and trains weren't too packed. It was a cool experience because it was our last day in NYC and it was a nice last chance to take in more of the city. The AirTrain was cool too!

This station did not used to be called Poney Poney

I'm on a plain, I can't complain

We were exhausted but not quite sleep deprived this time. We managed to finish our We Are Your Prostitutes mix in time for Mixin' Monday on the plane of all places! Temperatures we'd previously thought were cold in LA were suddenly warm as shit. Our friend Jorge picked us up, and of course the Frenchess continued with the sounds of Phoenix on the car stereo.

Verdict? I decided I'm going to move there one day. I've always wanted to since a teenager and now I know for sure. But LA is hardly even ready for CMYK, so it will definitely take NYC some time to get ready.

Special thanks to Karen and Chris for letting us crash at their place and being the best hosts on the planet! We owe you guys! And to Melanie, for meeting up, introducing me to some bomb dumplings, and for making her dream to live in NYC a reality! Major props! Our friend Stephanie, as well, with her DGAF hair and for random gifts! All DGAFriends! And of course a VERY DGAF shout out to the people of NYC, the Ed Banger Crew, the Polysics, and everyone else who helped make it happen!

aNYway: day 8

I'm sure you can understand how tired we were after the all night Ed Banger bash. What's great about staying sober while partying is that you not only save money, but you don't feel like shit the next day. And it's not as hard to stay up all night as you think without stimulants, especially when you're having a great time.

I was still out of it though, as I'd obviously slept in and had to hurry to meet my friend Melanie, who I used to work with at Tower Records back in the day. Melanie moved to NYC a year and a half ago to get her Master's degree; she loves it in NYC and I can totally relate! Shimosh and I were planning on going to the Polysics that same night, and Melanie had homework, so I didn't have all day and night to hang out. Of course I forget all about my camera, so I not only forgot to empty the memory card but also to bring it. Oops!

But that's ok, because all I knew is that I had some BOMB dumplings from Chinatown, super cheap, delicious, and filling. The place wasn't big, but it was really packed and busy, which is always a good sign. I'll post the name of the place once I ask Melanie, I forgot what it was called and where exactly where it was! LOL One of the best things I love about NYC is the mom-and-pop style restaurants, with no frills, where the emphasis is on good food. I like the lack of non-chain restaurants, where everything isn't so sterile and cookie-cutter. I'm totally into the personality, the roughness around the edges, and the authenticity of places like these.

After hanging out in Chinatown for a bit, it was time to finally go to the Gramercy to catch the Polysics! This wasn't our first time seeing the Polysics, but definitely the first time seeing them outside of LA! In fact, this was our first rock show in NYC. I'd seen them before at the Knitting Factory and the Roxy, and I'm not necessarily glad I missed them at the Roxy recently, but I'm glad I was able to see them in NYC instead. Definitely one of the most fun, energetic, and engaging live acts I've ever seen, no exaggeration.

We were worried about the show selling out, but fortunately we were able to get tickets at the door. The place reminded me a little bit of the Troubadour in LA, or a smaller Avalon. I don't want to be a hater, but I was not impressed with the opening band at all. Maybe it was because I was unfairly anticipating the live spectacle of the Polysics, and maybe my standards were too high. They weren't bad, but it just seemed like the usual indie rock drone and I swear one of the members thought he was Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead.

The Polysics though. The fucking Polysics. They're the complete package: they entertain you when they're playing music and when they're not playing music. It's genuine, it's amusing, it's hilarious. You dance when you're supposed to dance, and laugh when you're supposed to laugh. There is nothing like them. You have to be there to really experience them, videos don't do them justice:

Besides the relentless dance action of their songs, let's fucking talk about Hiro. One of the most DGAF performers you will ever see in your life. We're still not sure why we needed to be reminded why he needed a DGAF profile on here. We will never know where is energy comes from, but it never stops for a second. Shit, his glasses are covered in sweat after one song! He leads the crowd through chants, dances, and even jumping jacks. He only speaks Engrish and he does not give a fuck: he pronounced it "New York Shitty." If that isn't DGAF I don't know WHAT is.

I wish I could have recorded his announcements on how he wants everyone to use "TOISU!" in everyday life, and also about how he asked if the Polysics could be your Valentine because it was Valentine's Day the next day. "MUCH ROVE!" I really, really feel sorry for whoever missed these moments. I'm not sure if I've ever laughed harder in my entire life. Hiro fucking MEANS every word he says, too.

I'm glad we got to catch Kayo on her last tour. I fucking loved the contrast of Kayo's robotic deadpan stage presence to Hiro and Fumi's spazz outs. It's a shame because they all have such good chemistry and they all contribute equally to the Polysics dynamic. It definitely won't be the same without her.

But no matter what, it'll always be the POLYSICS OR DIE!!! TOISU!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

aNYway: day 7

Yes, it turns out that Day 7 was also the same day as the Ed Banger 7 at Terminal 5. Here's where the visuals go down in both quantity and quality a little bit... of course my backup digital camera that was working fine right before the trip decided to crap out on me during the trip when I needed it. I mean on the upside, it still took photos. On the downside, the display was broken so we couldn't see for shit what we were taking pictures of. talk about the blind leading the blind! The camera also stopped taking pics too, it got filled up and we had no way of deleting them to make more room. We should have been better prepared, but whatever. We still managed of course to have the time of our lives, and also take a few pics from that night:

We arrived a little late, but managed to catch the very end of Mehdi's set. The place was already packed and bumpin'. Coat check was already closed. The special guest was A-Trak, as he dropped what seemed like a nearly flawless set, except he did not play the obvious Duck Sauce crowd pleaser "aNYway"! He did somehow manage to fit in the intro of "Circle of Life" from the Lion King without skipping a beat, though. Utterly baffling. But the crowd was going insane, with good reason. The next surprise guest was Uffie, who had a short 2-song set. She was cute but not hugely impressive. I am still confused as to what happened after her set, right before Busy P came on. Everyone got on stage as this giant cake was unveiled, and there was a balloon drop... I just can't really explain it. I still have no idea what happened. Just watch this video to get an idea:

The crowd was getting more chaotic, and I had to get out of the crowd as Busy P started his set. (It's awkward being stuck in a dancing crowd when you have to hold onto you coat.) I love how he drops the Crookers remix of "To Protect and Entertain" every time he plays. Busy P always knows how to bring the party, it's a well known fact.

Justice are cute if a little low on bass. Gaspard is not doing anyone a favor by wearing those creepy glasses. I once told him he was hot at Cinespace and I couldn't imagine doing that now. We realized we were actually more excited for the afterparty with SebastiAn, So-Me, and Feadz. After Shimosh gave A-Trak a high five in the hallway, we decided to roll up to the Webster Hall in a taxi. It was a good decision, as we arrived just as the party was starting. So-Me was already killing it!

The smaller venue and more low-key vibe made a huge difference, as there was actually room to get up to the front, and more importantly, to dance! We'd already decided the afterparty was way more fun. When So-Me took us back to the '90s with "You've Got to Show Me Love", it was more like, you've got to So-Me love. But when he continued the '90s with Wu-Tang's C.R.E.A.M. (which is WAY more fun to sing at karaoke than Prince's "Cream", by the way), that pretty much made my night. The only major difference I've noticed between NYC and LA electro fans at clubs is that EVERYONE KNOWS WU-TANG LYRICS IN NYC! I felt right at home. Peanut Butter Wolf would have been be so proud.

So-Me ended his set by doing a VERY DGAF backflip into the crowd. Then SebastiAn made his entrance by playing none other than Mariah Carey's "I Can't Live (If Living is Without You)" which cracked us up and confused the hell out of us al the same time. Then he flipped everything on us when he began the 11 minute long mind fuck of an intro of his new song "Threnody". The whole crowd was left in a state of suspense until the song dropped, and the party kicked up again. SebastiAn is never short of surprises when he DJs, which definitely makes him one of the most interesting around right now. He does it all with a straight face, no matter how ridiculous it gets. Even when he plays a string version of Killing in the Name Of.

Now Feadz, who we practically discovered that night, is a completely different kind of DGAF. I don't remember seeing anyone else from Ed Banger who was feeling it more than he was. I don't remember seeing him stop dancing around for a second, and he was clearly wasted and making the most out of it. He even messed around with the crowd a bit before throwing an Ed Banger 7 t-shirt into the crowd, waving it around like a matador would with a bull. The shirt was even red, LOL and he was getting a kick watching the crowd freaking out in anticipation. Hell, I was too, and I was in the crowd! I still have no idea how he managed to pull off a really smooth DJ set while most likely drunk. He seemed to know every word to every song he played though... if Busy P brings the parties, Feadz definitely brings the fun.

The afterparty was over at 5 a.m. with no regrets whatsoever. What followed was an odd taxi ride back to Greenpoint, which involved our taxi driver picking up an additional customer who was about to get ripped off by a private cab. We'd officially discovered that the G train, near our friend's apartment, wasn't running from a nice old lady who randomly started talking to us when we got out of the taxi. Good thing we took a taxi. Good thing we're DGAF.

aNYway: day 6

Back in business with Tim Burton @ the MoMa

one word: GENIUS

Pretty DGAF

Uh oh, I'm scared

From Paris to LA in NYC

Gateway to the Shaolin Slums

Why pay $12 when you can get this view from the Staten Island Ferry for FREE?

Best kept secret tourist attraction in NYC

But Staten Island's Pizza is no secret

So what exactly brought us to Staten Island? DGAF likes to not just explore the touristy spots, but places that are the real deal as well. Besides the obvious Wu-Tang connection, we'd also found out about the Staten Island Pizza Tour. Yes, a PIZZA TOUR. We initially weren't too sure about spending $40 until we realized you got HOOKED up with not only a standard tour of the borough, but also, a slice of pizza and a beverage at FOUR locations, two desserts, and a T-SHIRT.

After we realized how good of a deal it was, we were HEARTBROKEN to find out that the tours only ran on Saturdays and you needed to book at least 2 weeks in advance. It was the day after the Ed Banger party/afterparty, and we'd only found out about it online a few days before it was supposed to happen. So we decided to take our own mini-tour. I'd researched the four stops on the tour and we decided on Lee's Tavern in Dongan Hills as it was the most easily accessible one. The other three required riding buses and a little more navigation, but Lee's was pretty much right outside the Dongan Hills Staten Island Railway stop.

Dongan Hills is a totally chill suburb. It was almost hard to believe that we were still in NYC. It was a purely legit local's bar, and we felt a little out of place. The bartender, who we think was the owner, was witty as all hell and the mozzarella and basil pizza was nothing short of mind blowing. It was totally fresh, the ingredients were all real, and we managed to eat an entire large all by ourselves. If you wanna explore NYC, make sure you definitely visit some non-touristy areas. We also found New Yorkers to be generally friendly, and you probably won't be let down by the food. It's all about realistic experiences, so be DGAF in all your travels.