Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Recap - 944 Holiday Party @ Studio 54, Las Vegas 12/04/08

First things, first : I LOVE everyone at 944, they're my favorite group of people to work with, they really are a class act. They take care of me, everything is always on point and their parties are always super fun.

Having said that...

Southwest Airlines. I find it offensive that they joke around during the safety announcements. "Your seat cushion can be used as a floatation device, just in case we have to land on a body of water, IN BETWEEN BURBANK AND LAS VEGAS!"
So funny I forgot to laugh.

The woman on the plane next to me was wearing patchouli and was eating McDonalds. Slowly, I pulled the knife out from it's sheath, making sure not to alert my neighbor to my actions...

My driver at the airport in Las Vegas was wearing a bow-tie and grabbed my hand to pull me towards the car. He wouldn't let go. He needed human touch. He spent his days off home alone, surfing the web, looking for someone, anyone, to share his life with. Someone who would laugh at his jokes, eat the food he spent so much time preparing, as he really pays very close attention to the Food Network. Someone who would talk to him, really talk to him, not just the usual, "Wow, it sure is hot here in Vegas..." Someone who would take the time to discover all the nuances of his collection of miniature animals made of glass he has so eloquently and creatively arranged on the display case he found at Ikea in the "clearance" section for $29.00. Someone who would just be there. This, unfortunately, would not be me.

When checking in at the MGM Grand, I was handed two discount buffet tickets. I would not be using these.

I got in the elevator and it was full of people in blue jackets. One of them was Oscar De La Hoya. Crazy. "Ready for the fight?", I asked.
"As ready as I'll ever be!", he responded.
"Good luck!"
"Thank you!"
I got out on the 18th floor, and as the doors closed, I turned back to yell, "He's gonna win by a TKO in the eighth, you washed up has-been, HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Before the party, I rushed over to the hospital to see my best friend, Bree, who had just give birth two days prior to the most beautiful little angel in the world, Jaxon. I love that baby.

When I got back to hotel, I had 20 minutes before I had to be at the venue. I ran up to the room, did what poopy pants couldn't wait to do properly at my Thanksgiving party, and headed down.

The "Red Bull" dj booth was set up and all ready to go.
Wings please.
Fly away.
Far Away.

I was asked to play Christmas music for the first hour. Here is that playlist :

Merry Christmas Baby - BB KIng
Santa Claus Never Comes to the Ghetto - Yellowman
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jackson 5
Little Drummer Boy - Ray Charles
Zat You, Santa Claus? - Louis Armstrong
We Three Kings - Moog Machine
Gee Whiz, It's Christmas - Carla Thomas
Here Comes Santa Claus - The Ramsey Lewis Trio
Santa Claus is Back in Town - Elvis Presley
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman - Jimmy Smith
Go Power at Christmas Time - James Brown
Jingle Bells - Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
This Christmas - Donny Hathaway
Clarence Carter - Back Door Santa
Christmas in Hollis -Run DMC

The bathroom attendant came out just to tell me how much he enjoyed all of that.
Later, he still pressured me to tip him for handing me a paper towel.

I started to play stuff dance music, and, considering it WAS Vegas, I played some stuff I wouldn't normally play. I put on the Justice remix of "Electric Feel" by MGMT. A chubby, latin Vegas hipster kid with the hair, the mustache, the uniform and the attitude came over, gave me the thumbs down and said, "Never play that again." Throughout the night, he felt it was his duty to give me the thumbs up or the thumbs down, based on his personal feelings about various songs I had played. He got a real kick out of this. At the end of the night, as he walked by, I gave him the thumbs up.
He asked, shockingly, "What's that for?"
"The Eternal Flame this is YOU..."
He smiled.

I love smoking indoors.

A guy, approximately fifty-five, with old guy muscles, a young, black t-shirt, slicked back hair and a studded leather strap around his bicep came up and asked, "You got something fun, like "Born to be Alive"?"
"Not sure I have that..."
"Knock on Wood?"
"Yeah, again, not sure if I have that..."
"OK, well see what you can do for me..."
With that, he handed me a crumpled up one dollar bill.
I handed it back and told him to give it to the bathroom attendant for me.

Around 11pm I was asked to play a cd, as the first performance of the night was about to take place. A guy with work done to his face, grabbed the mic and said something to the effect of, "Las Vegas, please welcome, for the first time ever, blah blah blah..."
I put the cd on and three girls came out and did a sexy dance to a techno song.
Sexy.
Techno.
Hmmmm.

Moving right along...

I put on a long song and ran upstairs to the VIP section, where most of the action was taking place. There were bottles everywhere, people were partying, half naked girls parading around, etc. A drunk guy looked at me, looked down to the empty dj booth, turned back and said, "HA, you're supposed to be down there, HA, and you're up here, HAHAHAHA!"
"That's right Hardy. You see every drink of liquor you take kills a thousand brain cells. Now that doesn't much matter 'cos we got billions more. And first the sadness cells die so you smile real big. And then the quiet cells go so you just say everything real loud for no reason at all. That's ok because the stupid cells go next, so everything you say is real smart."

I grabbed a coffee and went back down to continue. Upon my return, there were three girls waiting for me. One grabbed me and said, "OH MY GOD! BRITNEY! PLEASE! WOMANIZER! PLEASE!"
"Britney, no. Womanizer, sure, room 20-128, 2:30 am, bring your diminished sense of self, I'll do the rest..."
"Ha, um, no, really, but, um, hee, Britney?"

I played, "Miss You", Rolling Stones, and a drunk guy jumped up on the podium I was standing on and said, "Hey, man, I'm from Minneapolis, and, dude, I know ALL the djs there, and I know what song goes perfectly with this one, they all do it there, it works SOOOO well, you should try it..."
"Dude, I'm from the San Fernando Valley, I know all the dental hygienists there, and I know what scent would go perfectly with that dragon breath, MINT, they all do it there, it works SOOOO well, you should try it..."

A girl asks for something she can dance to.
I ask for something I can live for.
We go our separate ways.

I took a photo with 3 girls for SPYONVEGAS.COM.
They weren't pretty.
I forwarded it to CRYONVEGAS.COM.
They sent it back.

My friend Daisy came from a party she had just finished spinning at to hang with me.
We had a blast making fun of everyone.

At 11:45, the second surprise performance of the evening began. Girls up on ropes and a big ring doing a routine to "Umbrella" by Rihanna.
I quietly wished for an umbrella like Mary Poppins had.

Thumbs down guy passes by.

A security guard asked if I could play Metallica.
Shocking, that a nice, well mannered man like that would want to hear something so loud and aggressive.

The band that was scheduled to play at Midnight, was preparing to start. They took the stage and I slowly faded out my music. They were described as "White Stripe-ish". Three piece, with a girl drummer/singer. They went on for an hour.
An hour.
At midnight.
It's hard enough going to a show to see a band you like and watching them for an hour.
Now, imagine being in a club in Vegas, for a holiday party, and, right when you're starting to get your rhythm going, a band goes on. They weren't horrible, just not very appropriate. For an HOUR. By the time they were done, the entire first floor of Studio 54 was completely empty. EMPTY.
Can't win 'em all.

Sometimes when I go out of town to spin, I'm billed as DJ Adam 12 (She Wants Revenge). This sometimes brings out people that aren't really interested in whatever party I'm spinning at, but, rather, because they're a fan of my band and the music I make. That's very sweet. But, the interesting thing is that they are very easy to pick out of a crowd. Imagine being in Vegas, lots of very colorful people and clothes, shiny shirts, sparkly things everywhere, and the one guy, standing alone, in all black, black hair, eye liner, patent leather, ripped fishnets somewhere on his person, staring at me so intently, I can feel it. The best part is when I look in his direction, he stops staring and nods his head to the music, looking around, pretending to be enjoying himself, as if he really likes what's going on at the party he would've never gone to in his life. It's really the best ever. When I stop looking, he stops nodding his head to the music and starts staring again, motionless.
I love people, so much.

My dog, Brooklyn, does that. It's a new trick she learned. She stares at me when I'm eating, watching each bite move from the plate to my mouth, never losing sight of the yummy people food I possess. When I look at her, she looks around the room, like, la la la, I'm just sitting here, don't mind me, just a pup, minding my own business, la la la. When I go back to eating, she starts the stare down again.
Amazing.

They booked a DJ named "Designer Drugs" from NY to play after the band. I have some of his remixes, and they are good.
But.
Talk about not reading a room.
First song, as Daisy pointed out, was called "Spinal Scratch" by Thomas Bangalter from the "Irreversible" soundtrack. A six and a half minute song that basically doesn't change and is pretty much made for prime time dance floors filled with coked up people that have already been going for hours... Not the best choice to start a party back up after an hour long band that nobody really wanted to hear anyways. I predicted he would have a meltdown after fifteen minutes of playing what was most certainly a playlist he had played before at whatever hipster parties he's accustomed to playing in NY or wherever he spins. Slowly but surely, his music went from what he was used to playing, to the Daft Punks of the world, which is OK. This is what you are supposed to do as a DJ. People hire you to do a job, and you should do your best to read the room you're put in, and spin accordingly, not just stare at your laptop and play for yourself and the chick you brought. Watching him meltdown was fun, I must admit.

I went up to introduce myself to him. He ignored me.

I hung out with my friend who looks like Jessica Rabbit and has huge fake cans.
I tried looking her in the eye.
Honestly.

Daisy and I went upstairs to take a photo in the photo booth, I got my check and we left. On the way out, I passed thumbs down guy.
He smiled.
I gave him the thumbs down.

We were both hungry, and considering the only place open in the MGM grand was McDonalds, we decided to head to another hotel to find something delicious to eat. We asked the head valet guy where we could go have amazing chinese food. He said that the coffee shop in Caesar's Palace was "the BEST CHINESE EVER!" We went to Caesar's, and after walking around for 20 minutes, walking past the late night gamblers, the lonely cocktail waitresses, a band playing on a boat and numerous closed restaurants, we finally found the coffee shop. They had one chinese dish. Noodle soup. Foiled again!

Vegas Rules!

Red Bulls : 3
Shots of Patron Silver : 0
Cigarettes : 8
Amazing bites of chinese food : 0
Poops that made it where they were supposed to go : 1
Times Britney was played : 0
Meltdowns : 1
Ninjas : 2
Coke offers : 4
Coke offers accepted : 0
Thumbs up : 11
Thumbs down : 6
Previous Real World stars that now work for 944 that came and said hello to me : 0
944 guys looking sharp in bow-ties : 2
Times I went to my happy place : 6
Times I clicked my heels three times and it didn't work : 2
Pieces of gum given away : 1
Cards from the marketing director at Hooters : 1
Sneers from cashiers at the registration desk after handing them a debit card rather than a credit card : 1
DJs that can kick rocks : 1
Daisys that were fun to hang out with : 1
Leather studded bands I wanted real bad for myself : 0
Goth dudes : 2
Babies I love : 1