vendredi, août 15, 2008

Playhouse night at Panorama

After my frolicsome adventures the previous night/morning, I slept like a log until about noon or so, and then hauled myself out of bed and got to work. I pushed myself to do some rapid blogging and get it out of the way, and then I went out and wandered from copy shop to copy shop until I found a place that would scan a document for me. Once I got that document scanned, I went back home and started finally putting together all the financial documents and housing documents I had to create a sort of “renter’s dossier” in PDF form that I could send around to potential landlords and carry around to the apartment visits.

All of this took a long time, especially since I had to add translations for all of the letters of support that were in English (i.e., all of them). By the time I was done, everything was in place except for one document that I had been waiting on from UofC. I got an email later that night saying that the document would be faxed to me in a matter of hours, so I resigned myself to putting the finishing touches on the dossier on Saturday and busied myself with looking up some more postings on FUSAC, and Craigslist. Apparently, there has been an explosion of scamming on the Paris Craigslist apartment pages, mostly from Nigerian scam artists who post impossibly cheap rentals and then demand wire transfers or money orders. Thankfully, I already had an idea of the going rates for rentals in the area, so I knew that a 35m3 1-BR in the Marais for 500€ is not just unlikely but impossible.

Anyway, I sent out emails to the owners that had posted email addresses, made a note of those that I would have to call on Saturday or Monday, and then started getting ready to head out.

Panorama Bar: Warhol’s Unfinished Symphony (aka Playhouse label night)

One of my Frenchy friends was up for going out tonight, and we eventually agreed to check out Panorama Bar. This was the same guy that made we wait ONE WHOLE HOUR for his late ass last week, so I made a point of telling him that we would meet inside the club this time. Also, he was bringing along two other guys with him, so I didn’t want us to approach the door as a clot of 4 people.

There was a relatively small lineup when I got there (about 1h45) but things were moving rather slowly, as the bouncer was on a total refusal kick, barring entry to nearly 3 out of every 4 groups that approached the door. Most of them, in turn, would try to bargain with the bouncer or get him to explain his reasons for bouncing them (which they never do), which took up time. Nonetheless, after a few minutes, I was near the front of the line.

I got in pretty easily this time; the older grizzly guy with facial tattoos and piercings took over the door as soon as I got to the door, and he waved me in without hesitation. Phew! I was beginning to regain my confidence in my ability to get into clubs (although I still haven’t been back to Watergate, if that says anything).

0h00-4h00: Carlos Valdes

This set started out as rather low-key house that leaned more in the classic/vocal sub-category, rather than the “minimal” house that tends to be played out here. Although it was perfectly appropriate for an opening set, his “opening set” was a 4-hour slot, so after an hour or so I began to want something a bit more dynamic. Eventually he transitioned into a more intense, more tech-house sound, and then he made his exit through a more minimal house sound. Overall a good set, although I wish he hadn’t taken so long to get to the more energetic material.

Although it was still relatively early in the night, the crazy partiers were out in force tonight. We did what we usually do at Panorama Bar, that is, park ourselves right at the front of the room and hide our bags in the empty beer crates and dance like crazy. And tonight it seemed that all the totally drunk / high wacktards decided to do the same, as I spent a lot of my time that night dodging sloshing drinks and lit cigarettes that were in the hands of these human windmills.

4h00-8h00: Heiko MSO

I wondered why this guy called himself “Heiko MSO” when “Heiko” would do just fine, but then I did a search on MySpace Music with just “Heiko” and I discovered that it’s a very popular name. So fair enough.

Anyway, Heiko’s set was much more intense from the outset. The sort of tracks he was throwing down tended to sound like minimal techno that just happened to have house-influenced elements thrown in. There were even moments when an old-style acid-house 303-line (a.k.a. Roland 303 [LINK]) would come in, echoing the recent revival of the acid-house sound about 2 years ago. The set was heavier and more pounding that what I would usually like to hear, but I was impressed with his way of making the sound work. He had a very good hand for controlling the ups and downs of the set, neither taking too long to find a peak of intensity, nor flipping back and forth between suspense and release like a light switch.

By about 7h00, I was beginning to feel a bit tired, but I tried to keep going to see the next DJ at 8h00 (Nick Höppner). Right about then, three totally drunk girls decided that it was a good moment to start a drink-throwing fight, spattering the decks with liquid (surprisingly, the DJ took it in stride and kept on spinning). Before I really figured out what was going on, I had a vodka+red bull down the back of my shirt. Great.

The feel of the cold drink down my back cut through my mood like a scalpel, and I went from “Maybe I can hang out a bit longer” to “OK, I’m done.” As it turns out, my buddy was also ready to head home, so the two of us got our bags and coats and headed out. We felt like walking, so we wandered along Holzmarktstraße until our paths diverged, and then I kept on going until the Jannowitzbrücke U-Bahn station and continued home from there.

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