I feel numb, burn with a weak heart
Guess I must be having fun,
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along…
I spend Friday chilling gettly, first downtown, and then over in Berkeley having lunch and continuing a chat from the CC Salon with the forever entertaining and thoughtful Victor Stone, before heading off to the aforementioned summit.
Behold the Great Mashup Meal of 2006.
Yes, A&D again excel themselves by bringing together more transatlantic mashup artists and remixers in one room than you can shake a dodgy copy of Acid at. I’m scared to list everyone in case I miss anyone out but (deep breath) we got A & D, Earworm, Party Ben, Dada, Phil & Dog, Radio Clash Tim (in his Instamatic guise), Ian Fondue, Supercollider, Juxtaposeur and The Overhope Organisation!
Add a few honarary guests and the scene was set for large amounts of beer and seafood to vanish surprisingly quickly. For me, a particularly great time, as I’d not met many of the attendees before, even the UK ones (I know the place is small, but we don’t all know each other, k?).
So after running up a pretty impressive bill, most of the assembled head over to the Rickshaw Stop for more beer and some of that ol’ time electro dance music until the early hours. This time, there’s nothing to get up for the next morning, so I take full advantage. A lovely feeling.
Saturday dawns gently, and with the day to myself, I head up to Golden Gate Park, stopping off on Haight for some breakfast supplies alongside a couple of free papers from Amoeba Records, thus unintentionally completing the Amoeba triangle (having visited both the LA branch the week before, and the Berkeley one the day before).
I could hear the records crying out to me. Honest I could.
Fortified, sanctified and feeling chock full of chilled Haight shopping vibes, it’s finally time for the big one. The unstoppable. The insurmountable. Yup. It’s Bootie SF.
Surveying the DNA Lounge as it gets set up and covered in hundreds of skull & crossbones logos makes me a little more nervous than LA, so I watch the UK contingent make themselves at home by filling their room with signs and posters and firing off messages to GYBO from one of the many Linux terminals that dot the club. Truly a home from home in more ways than one. Soon the doors are open, and the place is filling fast. Both rooms are starting to jump, with Dada and then Instamatic doing the honours in one room, and the Bastard UK collective chopping and changing in the other. It’s truly a sight to see, as the dancefloor grows and the crowd start cheering each section of a tune as it comes in. In the meantime people are stretching their heads in the Bastard room to a great drum’n'bass mix of “Uptown Top Ranking”.
Soon it’s time for Smash Up Derby (in their own words, “The world’s only Mashup Rock’n'Roll Band”) to get their groove on. Adrian and Trixxie circle the stage draped in union jack capes, pushing the band through a set of UK themed mashes. It’s pretty fuckin’ impressive, and the crowd, well familiar with this brand of insanity, obviously think so too. I get my tech together while the stage is filled with a truly deranged pirate hat fashion show, and then it’s blue touch paper time again…
Feet on the ground, head in the sky,
It’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong… Nothing’s wrong.
This was an awesomely fun set – not as tight as the one in LA, but in terms of pure enjoyment, as good as it gets, even when I freaked out my little Faderfox mixer, leaving a verse and a chorus hanging in mid-air almost completely acapella as I frantically tried to figure out what had gone wrong. The crowd just sang along, Party Ben stared at my frantic tweakings thinking it was part of the act, and Adrian later accused me good-naturedly of teasing his crowd. Definitely the mark of a good set when even the fuck-ups work! I’m that pleased, I finish the set with “War Of Confusion”, gleefully blending Dubya’s closing comments on the track with Cypress Hill’s “Insane In The Brain” acapella…
So everyone decamps to (After-)Party Ben’s to do the traditional afterclub business until the end of the night. Well, almost. I manage to wring the last few drops of goodness out of my trip stopping off at A & D’s for one last hurrah, before finally admitting that we’d sucked every last bit of fun out of the town and it was definitely time to crash. I float back through town, zig-zagging blocks in the early morning sun, pause in the hotel lobby to shame-facedly grab some muffins and coffee from the breakfast buffet while my fellow guests try not to stare, then fall in to my room and a deep, long sleep.
There’s not time to do much else the next day before the flight but take a quick wander through Chinatown and a browse in City Lights Bookstore, before it’s time to bid farewell to California, thank it profusely for the good times and ready myself for a good few hours of insomnia on the flight home.
Er.. which is where we came in, isn’t it? Well, the jetlag’s gone, and I’m yawning and ready for bed.
Time for one last huge thank you to everyone who made the trip such a memorable one (esp. John Battelle, A & D, Party Ben, Tim BC & Victor Stone), and apologies to everyone Stateside that I didn’t get to make it to this time. It won’t be too long before the next one, I promise!
And who the hell was it that asked me to write this trip up, anyway? I forget…
Home is where I want to be,
But I guess I’m already there.