This Week in the Mercury

Modulation

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Modulation

Violinist Karen Gomyo Makes a 170-Year-Old Classic New(er) Again


Ghosts of Games Past

Feature

Ghosts of Games Past

At Night Dive Studios, Stephen Kick Frees Vintage Videogames from a Mess of Red Tape



Friday, July 18, 2008

New York State Of Mind - Day One!

Posted by Rob Simonsen on Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 6:08 AM

nystate.jpg

You know what city kind of rules? New York. I'm here on vacation, and so far things have been pretty amazing. I mean, the first person I saw once I got off my plane was Kevin Drew (along with some other dudes I can only assume were Broken Social Sceners, but I didn't recognize any of them). Last night, walking around Williamsburg, I saw the guys from Monotonix, looking as bearded, crazy, and awesome as ever. I know in Portland you can't spit without hitting somebody in a band, but it's nice seeing different musicians roaming the streets for a change. Plus, everybody so far has treated me like I'm from Narnia, quick to ask if Portland really is that great, which, duh, of course it is.

Last night I attended my first show, which was a little surreal. The venue was just a door: no sign, nothing around it, nobody milling around outside. Inside, the place was decked out like an Under the Sea themed prom (which, if you can tell in the shitty cell phone picture, those girls are dancing underneath a giant paper octopus), and was ridiculously, well, shiny. I was there to see some friends of friends, called Big Digits, who were enjoyable. They played a hyper-active set of rap-infused electro, kind of what I would assume The Snuggle-Ups would be like if they existed outside of Portland. The really interesting thing about their set, though, was the crowd's reaction. The place was kind of empty, but there were about ten people up front just going for it, dancing like crazy despite the heat, and they all seemed to be kind of independent of each other. Nobody was really dancing like they knew the person next to them, and everyone had enough space that they weren't just moving to the beat, they were dancing, something I feel like Portland doesn't see too much of.

The DJ, too, should have been my new best friend. Amidst the standard hip hop tracks (T.I., Dead Prez, Lil Wayne, etc) he was dropping in some gems (like a remix of Fergie's "London Bridge" and "Gimmie More") that would've made most Portland audiences squeal with contempt, but most everyone seemed to be eating it up, shitty great pop music included.

The picture above comes from some unknown dance troupe. (I realize the picture is of somebody's ass, which, I promise, was not the intention here: they were posed like that for about a minute before any dancing started, and at that point I was too drunk to try and capture anything other then them standing still.) They kind of seemed like what would happen if the Sprockettes and Fleshtone had a love child: way too much spandex, the obligatory boob flash, and a pretty great dance routine set to what I think was Avenue D. It was entertaining (I guess?), but the best part came when at the end of their two-song set (which, of course, had a costume change in between), they got almost half the crowd to participate in doing the electric slide with them. That impromptu synchronized dance session, along with the prom-esque decorations, made me feel like I was in the middle of some shitty movie about high school. The only thing missing was someone crying and puking out front, and me drinking straight vodka out of a water bottle.

Tonight Vivian Girls, one of my current favorites, got added to a bill last minute, and I couldn't be more excited. I will definitely have more recaps tomorrow, as long as I'm not too hungover.

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