Well, today was the day that I really started cracking down on my housing dossier, which pretty much took up my entire day. I collated all the scans and PDFs of my various documents and started organizing them and stitching them together into a larger document. Then I created the table of contents for the whole thing. Then I wrote all the translations for the documents that were in English. It kinda went on interminably.
By about 20h00, I put things on pause and made dinner (i.e., re-heated arroz chaufa) and broke open a bottle of wine with my roommate. It was a Cahors from the south-west of France (from Lot), which started out super-tannic, but opened up into something like a Bordeaux’s more robust older brother. Mossy, musty, earthy, but not nearly as thick as a red from the Rhone region.
Anyway, the wine was great, but perhaps not the brightest idea considering that I was supposed to be going out tonight. Half a bottle of red can make you pretty tired, especially if you haven’t been living like a Frenchman for more than a year. I made myself a very strong coffee and tried to get myself motivated for the night out.
Weekend Club: Horizontal Night
By about 00h30, I finally got a move on and headed out the door. Apparently, the plan was to go to Weekend club and see Dinky spin, along with a label-mate on Horizontal called Matthew Styles. Never heard of the latter guy, but Dinky impressed me quite a bit when I saw her spin at Panorama Bar a couple of weekends back, so it was on.
As it turns out, the last train had already come and gone, so I hopped into a cab and then picked up Fantômette and her GF and a surprise visitor and we all rolled our way to Alexanderplatz. There, we met another four people, one of whom had a spot on a guest list with +4. As it turns out, the guest list spot was for the next night, but saying so at the door still got us past the bouncers, which was good considering we were 8 in total. Well, at least 6 of us were girls, so that helped.
As a recent article on Resident Advisor has mentioned, Berlin techno scenesters will always complain that Weekend is too much of a drunken meat-market, but the club’s layout is great and the music programming is often hard to resist. Well, that would be my complaint, too, but you’ll see near the end of this story that I have no right to complain tonight.
After grabbing a drink up on the rooftop patio, we eventually made our way downstairs and got dancing. Dinky’s set was great, if not quite as dynamic and enthralling as her set at Panorama Bar a couple of weeks ago. She made good use of tracks that had melodic sub-bass lines, which gave everything a certain forward, driving motion. Also, she seemed to be part of that cohort of DJs that have declared the summer of 2008 the Summer of Congas, as every third track seemed to feature Afro-Caribbean percussion prominently. She even ended her set with a track that involved a remix of some guaguancó song, which I had some trouble identifying. All I could made out of the vocals was that the woman repeatedly sang “Dando, dando…” and occastionally would finish phrases with “Así terminó la confianza, caballero…” Anyway, I have no idea what the original song was, or what the track itself was, but it was a nice finish to her set.
3h00-?h??: Matthew Styles
Styles’s set started out really classic-house, which was fun at first but then got a bit boring. After a few tracks, though, he started mixing in some minimal and tech-house and generally exploring some neighboring genres, and by 4h or 5h, his set was firmly within a minimal-house sound. Generally speaking a good set, although occasionally marred by really tall trainspotters that would shove past me to demand the name of the track currently spinning.
As it turns out, my Irish lad from last Friday missed his train and was still in Berlin. He had said that he might show up at the club tonight, and by around 4h30 or 5h00, he made an appearance. Aware that this was a happenstance and probably rare opportunity to repeat the fun of last week, aware that this place was a meat-market anyway and in wry defiance of the fact that this was a mostly heterosexual meat-market, we proceeded to make out like crazed weasels. I’ll admit to being a bit self-conscious about the whole thing, since (unlike Irish-boy) I was still going to live in Berlin for another 3 weeks. On the other hand, if some bouncer decides to deny me admission to the club because I was doing something that countless heterosexual couples were doing, I’ll just go to Berghain/Panoramabar, thank you very much.
Speaking of being denied admission, I looked at my phone later that morning and discovered that one of my friends had been blocked at the door and told he couldn’t come in without some women on his arm. I found that so bizarre for two reasons: 1) this guy is not usually the sort to get denied entry anywhere; and 2) the “bring girls” thing seems so inappropriate to the Berlin techno scene. Then again, maybe I’m just confusing the part for the whole, that is, the Berghain/Panoramabar scene for the whole of Berlin.
On the way out of the club, as the Irish lad and I took the elevator back down to the main floor, leaning exhaustedly on each other, a slim fey Asian boy glared at us, said something in heavily-accented German to one of his companions, and then gestured in our direction. I’m guessing that he was making a snide comment about the two of us making out on the dancefloor, but I chose to ignore it. Considering how miserable he looked, I guessed that he was jealous of the fun we obviously had.
After getting our coats from the coat check and heading back out, that same Asian boy and his friends were standing outside near the door. Although I wasn’t really paying much attention, I heard from his direction, “*coughcough* CHEAP *cough* CHEAP *cough*.” Silly boy, if you want to be bitchy about it, you should be cough-shouting “slut!” instead; nobody says “cheap” anymore. Maybe “whore,” sometimes.
Anyway, his friends didn’t laugh and I didn’t look in his direction to see their facial responses to the thing, but the whole thing seemed to be less about ridicule and more about frustration or something. From the moment he spotted us in the elevator to the moment he sulked away from us outside the club, he seemed to be genuinely angry. As before, I ignored it and Irish lad seemed to be oblivious, so we sat down on a ledge nearby, had some water and chatted, before heading to Alexanderplatz and taking our separate U-Bahn trains home.