Winter Music Conference 2006

 Culture, Music, Nightlife, Travel  Comments Off on Winter Music Conference 2006
Nov 012005
 

It’s coming up! If you haven’t marked your calendars do so now, book those posh hotels and start hitting the gym hard! I reciently was reminded and thought I would put in my two cents to the background and scene happening down in Miami these days:

I sooo want to go but I’m sill feeling out commitments from the boss about taking the last week off of the quarter – I think it can work it but I’ll have to wait to commit…

Regarding Millennium Music Conference vs Winter Music Conference… (its long winded but I had to comment on this and on Louis Puig)

So there’s a post on MMC and what’s it for here:
http://www.rhythmism.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29428
Take a look at the post then move down here:

I heard that something like this was going to happen and although the reasons listed on that post are great, the underlining reason is something more – Money

There is another conference called the Miami Music and Multimedia conference (M3 Summit) which is typically the week before WMC. During that event a new “MEGA festival” started now called the Global Gathering Festival… The scheduling of more music events during M3 is driven to primarily for maximizing revenue for the clubs and hotels during this new and “third” conference call Miami Music Conference and this is also timed during the college spring break to take advantage of more participants – I don’t see this as relieving the congestion or the pricing for the weekend, just enhancing it.

But M3 is actually started explicitly focused on technology, products and its impact on music/multimedia not necessarily for the music itself or the events.

Here’s the gossip piece of this from what I can gather on the net. The promoter pushing the promotion of events around this years M3 conference is Louis Puig, the owner at Space Miami – he is also the founder of the Global Gathering festival which has been scheduled during the M3 event and is the weekend before the long running Ultra music festival which was started by ####################

Louis Puig adds a non-competitive clause for his talent djs and performers contracts. With in their contracts they are not allowed to play at Ultra if they are booked for any club or event party he hosts or runs. Last year Louis ran an event called “SpaceFest” which was in direct competition to Ultra and which ultimately failed to pull the record numbers that Ultra did last year. It seems he’s looking to a bigger initiative to maximize his profits the week before WMC…

More on that: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/issues/2004-11-11/bitch.html

Louis states that the reason for all these events the previous week is to extend the events surrounding WMC – because
1. Not everyone can attend the events scheduled during the week of WMC….
~ Contrary: WMC is the largest American music festival and rivals those festival events in Europe – if you are a DJ, artist, promoter etc., you will make arrangements to be there during that time… no question, just plan ahead.

2. There are too many events –
~ Contrary: its called supply and demand – if you can’t put together a quality event and pull the crowd, then don’t get in the game… besides we went to some small events and they were still packed with people that wanted to be there… It certainly takes some creative planning to attend all the type of events, music and DJs you want to hear, but spreading this conference over 2 weeks is not going to make it easier… I think Louis is just sour about the lack of attendance to his own club events and needs to make excuses for the fact that other promoters are actually putting together better shows and people prefer to attend them over his promotions.

3. There are too many DJs –
~ Seems to me that all the good DJs play Ultra and again Louis needs to make the case to hire talent for his clubs, and again the attendance thing … people who attend WMC will make arrangements to plan the week accordingly to hear the djs and talent they want… honestly who wants to, or can actually attend 2 weeks of parties – 1 week seems enough for me, and my body can’t take additional physical, chemical and emotional abuse – case in point last year!!!

4. WMC has gotten too expensive (The Expenses)
~ Does Louis actually think that adding another week of partying will alleviate door lines, hotel bookings or even mean that club promoters and hotel proprietors will magically drop their door charges or hotel stay charges? Absolutely not… the prices will stay the same and with longer event schedules, my costs will go up, not down…

5. The South Florida Locals – locals don’t attend the WMCs because of costs and crowding
~ same as 4… come on… every metro area has their events where they have to deal with crowds and costs. and if he thinks that locals don’t go to WMC club events because of costs, then maybe he should drop his own door charges from $50/$60 a night to $20/$30

6. Over crowding in the clubs…
~ I’ve been to South Beach on normal weekends… the clubs are still crowded… all-be-it not like WMC weekend but still you can’t get around this…

7. No time to stop and enjoy Miami…
~ Yeah, I’m too busy doin blo and going to clubs to actually enjoy the beach… or a beer on the patio and people watch some hot a$$ … or a little shopping time … or have a Cuban sandwich….or wait what else does Miami actually have to offer? I think there’s more to WMCs than the clubs, get over yo’self Louis…

With all that said… I am all for promoters of clubs making money… if they didn’t then they would close their doors and we wouldn’t have anywhere to have a good time or listen to top notch talent and music. I think part of the reason club culture has declined in America is not because of the quality of music but because club promoters have not thought enough about their customer – the club goer. They don’t understand that times have changed, hip hop is the most popular music in America (not house) and having a house music centric club in America is not the most profitable venue venture to get into (unless you’re in Las Vegas, or New York).

If you’re going to offer house music, the experience for the crowd has to be a good one – the DJ must be good (and I mean more than just a beat matching, bobbing head standing behind 2 decks – mix the damn records well damnit!!! ), big names help but sometimes the cost of DJ BIGHEAD-EGOIST out ways the gains, the club must be clean and have an enjoyable environment (we all know what happened to 1015 – even new paint couldn’t bring SFers back – nice job with Angles though, Trang *wink* – too bad I haven’t been able to go), bottle service and VIP are a must to cater to those egos, wallets and see-n-be-scene people (hey who don’t like being on that side of the velvet rope), on the flip side of VIP – give the folks in VIP a reason to go to the main room though and don’t put your full focus on the VIP; they aren’t the reason the masses return to your club, respect your customer (asshole doormen, rude hosts and attitude in the club will eventually turn away your most devoted star-gazers), bartenders should be able to pour a good drink! (I can deal with a costly drink, if the pour is good, served with a smile and there are options besides the $14 cosmo) and most important about music, is change up the talent – meaning throwing some live acts, vocalist or MCs, 2×4 vs. dj groups, artists, fashion shows, and hire outside of your local DJ gene pool (I love local dj support, but sometimes people want to hear someone new). The latest welcomed addition to clubs is the lounge (whether that’s a smoking, vip, bar, couch in the hallway etc., just some place to go that’s chill and you can talk up with a hottie). Whew… um yeah getting down off the box now…

I could add more but I think my diatribe is over for now…. see you in Miami!! just not at Space. Cheers!

Gainesville, a drinking town with a football problem

 Nightlife, Sports, Travel  Comments Off on Gainesville, a drinking town with a football problem
Oct 102005
 

I think that college T-shirt I read in the Grog house sums up my weekend in Gainesville, FL. I went down with a couple alumni for the homecoming game against Miss. State. The flight down on JetBlue left much to be desired. I now realized that Orlando is the place for family vacations and thats about it…

This was a long weekend. Florida won the game and we boozed it up for the weekend. I’ll finish this post with some pics from the trip:


Orlando Airport cocktail waiter, complete with soul-glow curly mullet and highway patrol officer stash – welcome to the dirty south!


The locals get out the gear – complete with Gator branded shoes, socks, watch and gator wallet. Rockin the Orange and Blue baby!


This is tailgating. Satellite tv set up with 2 flat screens, fridge, fans and out-house.


Throw up the hands… Safety!


Southern Wings!!!


Score!!!

You can see the rest of the pics here.

Daily Grind

 Culture, Society, Travel  Comments Off on Daily Grind
Sep 082005
 

Every now and then, the MTA allows for some art work (Art for Transit program) to color our underground commute and I found this one, still left over from a long standing “art” request. This is more of a poem, located in the long corridor between the red (1,2,3) line and the yellow (N, R, Q) platforms the at 42nd street stops spelling out:

“OVERSLEPT,
SO TIRED.
IF LATE,
GET FIRED?
WHY BOTHER?
WHY THE PAIN?
JUST GO HOME
DO IT AGAIN.”

Washington DC Trip and the National Cherry Blossom Festival

 Culture, Personal, Society, Travel  Comments Off on Washington DC Trip and the National Cherry Blossom Festival
Apr 132005
 

This was a trip initiated by my woman for two reasons: To see a good friend of her’s and to check out the Cherry Blossoms bloomin around DC… ahhh boyfriend duties… These are the times when you need that body double right? Well it worked out to be a fun and interesting experiance to say the least. We left Friday afternoon and returned Sunday evening so it was very quick.

We decided to take the “Chinatown Bus” from NY to DC. This is the cheap bus that runs chinatown to chinatown between the two cities. It cost was $35 a person round trip with a company called Apex (I’m not even going to link them and you’ll find out why). It was a mad dash to get to the Manhattan bridge on Friday because our NY taxi took us on the real estate tour of LES and Chinatown, pointing out the empty retail spaces we all could use to start businesses. We ended up running on the bus 5 till four and getting the last pair of seats together on the bus… near the bathroom with the broken door. I won’t go into nausiating details of the smell we had to endour for this trip.

The bus ride is a 3 hour journy through the Garden state, something I still have yet to discover why. All I saw were brown trees lining the parkway. We made a convienent stop at a bus rest stop to dump the toilet. Near the end of the break, about 70% of the riders are back on the bus and I look out the back windows to the building side of the bus and there’s a lanky, 5 foot 5 Asian man with his lips sucking down a make shift gatorade bottle turned bong. I tried to get my camera out for this but didn’t have time, although all the back riders had a good laugh with the public 420, until we saw this man get on our bus and turn the keys to rev up the engine… he was our bus driver!!! More on this later…

Despite knowing our driver is high we were able to sleep about an hour and arrived in DC slightly past schedule. Jodi had arrived and parked in the lot where the bus unloaded which posed a problem to get out, however, it gave us time to get familiar with the local tenants of the parking lot and the employees at Today’s Bus. We learned of the house where John Wilkes Booth meet with conspirators and hatched the plot to assasante Abraham Lincoln. Upon asking the bus driver if he could move the bus so we could leave the parking lot, he replied with “ppfffffftttttt” (cough) (cough)… another bong hit and “yeah I’m almost done.”

That evening we hadn’t planned a thing but were quite hungry. We dressed and went to a great Mexican/Spanish restaurant called Lauriol Plaza. I had a combinacion quatro which was very good, unfortunately a little too good as eating ALL of the offerings didn’t bode well for me later.

Jodi lives in Dupont Circle area of Washington DC. Which if you’re not familiar with DC, this is similar to the Castro district in SF, Chelsea area of NYC, Hillcrest of San Diego, South Florida well I hope you get the general picture… Dancing was on the menu for the evening and so was having my ass grabbed apparently … so getting stupid drunk was on my menu. We headed to the local spot – Cobalt. Lucky us, it just happens to be a blow out party for them with a 3 yr anniversary party running all weekend. Friday was Heaven and Sat was hell night. I snapped a few good shots, in between taking down some stiff Greygoose and crans… Friday night was a sore one as I woke with serious head trama from the vodka.

A late start on the day Sat resulted in 2 PM brunch and getting a quick once over of the festival. Some interesting mentionings were that this “festival” had serious corporate sponsorship, with a huge Saporo blow up, a target tent teaching white kids how to write their names in Japanese calligraphy (or maybe it they said “White Devil” not sure), and a large McDonald’s tent with the marketing slogan “I am Asian!” – Check my gallery for the rest of the photos. The blossoms were classic, although being hung over and dealing with so many tourists, I didn’t have the desire to contribute any longer to the “festivities”. We took a quick 10 minute walk around and then headed back for naps….

So there’s a break in my writing this and since I haven’t finish and I don’t have time to remember everything… the quick synopsis is that we went again to the Cobalt, this time after stopping by two beautiful homes in DC – one overlooking the downtown, with a huge balcony and the other a two story brownstone type building with dark hardwood floors and a an open bar! Both also being owned by gay men… wow I never knew I would be so coveted – a straight man infiltrating the gay life of DC. I had a great time but I got the promise from the girl that I would get special treatment at the women strip club of my choice (Scores!)

However, the last fun story we have is the ride home. This I will always remember and another reason that justifies the saying “You get what you pay for” So with the China bus home, we arrive half hour before our departure time, and the bus was late…by 2 hours… we were stuck in the sun till 3 PM until we left DC. On the way I notice something irritating the driver (being in the 2nd to the front seat, and having that knowledge of bus driving from riding the yellow bus to school for 10 years). Half hour outside DC we started picking up speed and a few minutes later we were not slowing down… literally… we started down a hill and as the traffic started to back up, our driver started pumping the breaks… nothing… no squeal or slowing of this metal boat on wheels. He started to vier off the highway onto the sloped median – I also notice some cars starting to swerve to the right as they too noticed a giant bus barreling down the hill at record speeds… As the bus started to catch gravel and grass on the side, the breaks slowly kicked in and we were able to slow enough to avoid the stopped cars and the drive succeeded in not tipping the bus over the median… whew! Well as you might expect the bus to pull over because there was an obvious problem… um no. He decides to call into headquarters and let them know “we are heading back for a break adjustment”!!!

Everyone seems to be on edge they are traveling on a bus with out breaks (as am I) and the driver continues on as if this is a regular occurrence! Needless to say we make it as far back as Maryland and wait another hour while the breaks are “adjusted” before heading back on our way… Not making it back into the city until after 8, I was thankful to see the sun setting over familiar sky… I’d do it again… maybe I’ll just rent a car next time. ;)

Protected: Winter Music Conference 2005 – South Beach. FL Break Out

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Mar 312005
 

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Check out my boy- Adam12

 Music, Travel  Comments Off on Check out my boy- Adam12
Nov 242004
 

Adam 12, no not the other Adam 12, from the south bay has some sick mixes and a sweet set up at the house if you’re pervy enough…

I’m partial to the Breaks and 2-Step mostly because you can preview some of the tracks I bought but never got around to put em down on mix… and I guess you can check the HH … to each his own…

Enjoy

Halloween in NYC

 Nightlife, Society, Travel  Comments Off on Halloween in NYC
Nov 012003
 

My first trip to NYC and it was a great weekend. I went for work, to find my woman in the city and to meet up with with friends Christine, Moni, and Steve.

I think it was a full weekend as the Yankees were headed through the World Series playoffs, I watched one of the games at Smith and Wollensky’s. I walked much of the city seeing the Rocketts in Grand Central Terminal, Central Park, Times Square, World Trade Center disaster site, City Hall, Battery Park, and getting a sunset view of the city from the Empire State building.

Being that I had some friends in town, I also got a chance to check out some Halloween parties (this year I dressed as a magician and even had the bloody rabbit parts in my hat), hit up a few clubs (Encore and Avalon), see much of the village Halloween parade, and dine out at some fine NYC restaurants. think I’ll be moving here soon!

Here’s some video and picture highlights:


New York in Oct 2003 Gallery

Blowing up in South Beach

 Society, Travel  Comments Off on Blowing up in South Beach
May 192003
 

Have you ever been so frustrated and stressed out with one person that the internal feeling was like a heart attack? I think I had a total break down this last weekend on my trip and it’s probably ended my time with this person. I can’t now detail one thing but it’s a whole package kind of problem.

I went out to South Beach this past weekend with a woman I’m dating and stayed at the Doubletree Surfcomber Hotel. Conveniently it’s the national butch lesbian convention at my hotel and each day, the pool is packed with all the participants for the convention. Contrary to believe, it didn’t make for good eye candy at the pool but I had my own things to worry about.

We hit the beach or the pool most of the weekend, hit up an empty sushi resturant (Chill and Sushi), Mojito’s and Mango’s Tropical Cafe on the beach strip. Clubs were Opium, Crobar, and Nikki Beach, among others.

I can’t even remember what started the fights except I’m sure it revolved around jealousy and an imbalanced relationship. I can’t see this going any further emotionally. Regardless, here’s some pics of the weekend:


South Beach, Fl Gallery

America’s Day in San Diego

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Jul 272002
 

Some last minute ideas came through for the 4th and I rolled down to San Diego with some boys to hit the largest 4th of July celebration on the west coast. Pacific Beach and all it’s dirty, ghetto, bikini clad, So-Cal glory. The residence was accommodating, complete with 3rd level viewing deck for watching the Marine World’s fireworks, or just practicing nude T’ai Chi Chi Kung. No rest for the wicked, but obviously the wicked were not at Larry Flint’s Hustler party. Apparently he was casting for some movies at his sex shop earlier that day and had the after party at On Broadway but I didn’t see any pornstars but of course I’ve never seen any porn so I probably wouldn’t know what to look for. I find it a little pretentious that they call this place an event center…it’s just a bank turned club and yes it’s nice but tell it like it is – a bank turned wanna be upper echelon club!

DJ Dan did play a wicked set, actually better than I’ve heard him in the bay lately…I guess he’s tired of the home town crowd. And I give props for Paulie P and his crew as we seemed to roll with to each event he had going on all week (respect D Reyes for the hook ups).

The beach was off the hook…about a million people on both the bay side and beach side of PB, cruzin’, boozin’, dancin’ and celebratin’ for America’s freedom. I can say I did here quite a few renditions of the Pledge of Allegiance with God in the verse. I was a little worse for wear thinking that my thin white shirt would protect me from the Hades like burn I received that day. I would have to say the highlight was the old skool feelin of groovin’ on the beach, having a great time and not giving a shit about responsibilities and regulations – just going for it!!!

Random thought: More burritos than toilets in SD but at least most of the time there decent…well at least the burritos are.

Managed to meet everyone in SD down at Ole Madrid’s in DT San Diego. Nice place except the first DJ was playing not only CDs but he was playing the whole Mixed CD disc of Mark Farina’s Session One. He was even pretending to work the board to Farina’s trademark filters and EQ tricks…. what a spoof! And worse the promoters thought we were hating on the DJ…well yeah?!?

After the close out of Ole’s we conjured up the cabs and headed to Club Montage located in the warehouse district of northern SD. It’s quite industrial and ghetto (2 porta-potties located ground floor by the entrance for bathrooms – build a toilet why don’t you!) SRH and Paulie P’s Studio 54 was going on/off this Friday with Paul van Dyke and Scooter & Lavell. They don’t like when the club boasts of the 5-room maze, my first time through got me twisted. Not a PVD fan but S&L DJ’s rocked the house with some dope scratch-hard house combos…yeah I said HH… I guess it helps when you 2×4 and you don’t have to listen to the same rhythmless beat for 4-5 minutes. Good party, but the roof is the spot in the summer.

The week didn’t end without a trip through the PB bars and relaxing the day away on the beach, by the pool and over all a great road trip with friends showing that socially American’s know how to live it up. What I still don’t know is how long will it take for the GP to learn respect for our environment and will we as a people learn to be as vocal within our own private circles as should be about our public/global portrayal of ourselves.

President Honors Veterans at West Virginia Fourth of July Celebration

“Sixty years ago, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, General George C. Marshall declared that “before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom, on the one hand, and of overwhelming power on the other.” This is our purpose again today. Once again, history has called America to use our overwhelming power in the defense of freedom. And we’ll do just that.” ~ President George W. Bush

Chewbacca: “Aaaaarrrgh!”
C-3PO: “He made a fair move. Screaming about it can’t help you.”
Solo: “Let him have it. It’s not wise to upset a Wookiee.”
C-3PO: “But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.”
Solo: “That’s ’cause droids don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.”
Chewbacca: “Grrrrr…”
C-3PO: “I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, R2 – let the Wookiee win.”

STAR WARS Episode III