mardi, novembre 11, 2008

DJ Luciano and Sorrow at Le Rex

Since Tuesday is going to be a quiet day (and I had already filled up Monday’s post with my Andouillette debacle), I’m actually posting about Monday night’s outing to Le Rex here. Considering that I didn’t even leave my place until 1h00 in the morning, I suppose all of this happened on Tuesday, anyway.

I had been originally signed up for the Com2Daddy guestlist for tonight, but I got an email from them a couple of days ago saying that there were so many people on the list, they suggested getting there even before the club opened to ensure that you would actually get in before the guestlist closed (at 1h00). I wasn’t excited about waiting outdoors for hours just to get into the club way earlier than I would want to, so I made a few emails and managed to get added to another guestlist that was good all night.

So I waited until about 1h00 before leaving my place, thinking that the people waiting to get in with the Com2Daddy guestlist would’ve either gotten in or given up by now [this was not the case]. It was raining in alternating waves of light and heavy, so I waited for a moment when it seemed to have calmed a bit, put on my leather (i.e., waterproof) jacket and headed off to find a vélib. The bike ride over to the club was actually not too bad, I was only a bit wet when I got there. Nonetheless, I consoled myself with the certainty that the storm would pass by the time I left the club [this was not the case, either]

When I got to the club, the lineups were still massive on both sides of the entrance (i.e., both the cash and guestlist lines). I sighed, resigned myself to a fate of getting rained on for an hour, and got in line. At the back of the lineup, I ran into a cluster of friends, who were also on a non-closing list and confused at the throngs still remaining in line (despite the fact that they were no longer getting in for free). Thankfully, Molly’s boyfriend was among those of us in this group, and within a few minutes, Molly appeared and took us directly into the club with her. Thank gawd.

Inside, I ran into another friend who was…well…far more drunk than I’ve usually seen him. At first I noticed it in his intense tactility when talking to me (he’s not usually one to be very touch-feely, even in club contexts), and then in his slowed—but not slurred—speech. As we were leaning against the bar and ordering drinks, he said to me, “As you can probably tell, I’m…totally drunk tonight. I needed to release all of the tension from this past week. You see, I lost my grandfather this weekend.”

What the !@#$ do you say to that in this context, immersed in a space designed for play and surrounded by revelers? Sorrow is certainly one of the more “inconvenient” or “awkward” affects of nightclub scenes (or nightlife in general). Is there a way to comfort and console that is also appropriate to the modes of nightlife? Caught without a socially-appropriate script to read from, I did what I would’ve done on a day-lit street: I said, “Ah non!”, let my dismay show on my face, and then gave him a hug in a gesture of compassion.

It may seem like a silly anxiety, but I was worried that these sorts of gestures would mean less in this context, where everyone was touching and hugging and being warm. The gestures of comfort and conviviality are both very similar if not identical, and both are kinds of intimacy and solidarity; so I was worried that the significance or efficacy of my gestures would be lost in the sea of public intimacies in the club.

He immediately minimized the impact of the event and the intensity of his feelings, saying, “It’s OK, I’m fine. I’m having fun tonight.” The corners of his mouth were turned sharply down and his eyes didn’t look very happy (in fact, they looked somewhat glassy), but I supposed that he was convincing himself more than I. We shared a moment of silence together, surrounded by the blaring music of the opening act tonight, and then he saw somebody he knew and disappeared.

The music for the night was a bit inconsistent in quality. The opening act was Los Updates from México. They were more of an electro-pop performance group, of the sort you would usually hear at a concert hall, and certainly not very well suited for the crowd that had shown up for Luciano the headliner for the evening. Their set was decent, so I felt bad that some of the audience booed at the end.

From about 1h30-3h30, DJ Wild came on a did a set, which was not bad but not excellent, either. The track selection was sort of “best of the summer of 2008,” without really a sense of overall organization. His technique was smooth and the tracks were good (if a bit overplayed), but it felt like he had just chosen 20 tracks at random from his library and mixed them together.

Luciano’s set started out a bit disappointing and made its way up to “underwhelming.” Again, it wasn’t bad. Certainly, there was no question about Luciano’s skill as a DJ and his set was much more cohesive than the DJ that came before him. However, I had come to expect a certain kind of sound from the standard-bearer of the Cadenza label, and so I was a bit surprised to find him leaning heavily on dubby-vocals and a sort of classic deep-house sound. I suppose you could call this “minimal,” but this was very much at the borders of the style/genre. Anyway, I hung out until about 5h00 and then started heading home. It was raining harder than ever, it was really cold, and climb up 6 flights of stairs to my apartment felt pretty long.

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