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Winter Music Conference 2005: Tuesday
by translucent: 03-22-2005


With a few hours to kill before the Groovanauts 17 Hours of Mayhem party starts, I decide to join a small gang of us on the beach for a few rays. Since I usually wind up coming home as pale as the day I left, I figure I might as well as spend as much time in the sun as I can. So, after coming back from Space, I change into my bathing suit (or maybe I don't…I can't quite recall) and start drinking some Heineys in the sand. Before I finish my first beer, it occurs to me that the party starts in about an hour and that I should probably go start setting things up. So, I bid my mates adieu and head back to the Fairwinds.

Now, getting anything accomplished in Miami is usually much more difficult than it needs to be. WMC parties are no exception. Much to our dismay, my opening DJs and I find out that we don't have a working monitor for the booth and are missing a few necessary cables. If that wasn't bad enough, Osta (Royce Haven), who had been entrusted with bringing needles/cartridges for the turntables fell victim to a temporary spell of Alzheimer's. Our opening DJ doesn't have any CDs to spin. So, I pop in Lust-E's Fabric CD and start improvising. Joel (joelvb420) is kind enough to run to Radio Shack and pick up some connectors. I hop in a cab with Alex Pearce and Adam Dunlavey to pick up some needles/cartridges. Looks like we'll be able to pull this shindig off despite the few hurdles. We are manly men. Hurdles don't scare us.

As I pick out the needles at Grooveman, Alex Pearce notices that Oakenfold is standing behind me. Alex sees Paul and transforms from a manly man to a girly girl in record time. I grab Alex and Adam and head for the door. Alex protests, whining about how he wanted to tell Oakenfold how he was the reason why he got into DJing and how he changed his life. I remind him that we have a party to throw and that Oakenfold was wearing his "I'll spit on you, sycophant fan-boy face" anyway. No time for chitchat.

We get back to the Fairwinds and get our shit in gear. People are starting to pile in. Adam replaces the Fabric CD and hops to it. For his debut WMC set and considering all the hoops he had to jump through, Adam is surprisingly composed and on point. I try to hook up my MP3 recorder to record his set. I manage to do nothing but pop the speakers a few times before giving up. I take that as my cue to start drinking. Before I get to enjoy my first drink, one of the 1200's starts to cut out. I hop on my cell and have a new one delivered from Ft. Lauderdale within 45mins. Hurdles? I'm fuckin Carl Lewis incarnate over here. Back to drinking.

The back bar is manned by a burly guy named Ralphie. This guy is a savior. Coolest guy in the world. He proceeds to feed me and my DJs free booze. Anything I need, he tells me, he has my back. Fantastic! Finally, someone on my side in this no good town. As more DJs show up, I send them straight to Ralphie for free booze and grub. Meanwhile I can concentrate on making sure everything else is running smoothly.

Considering that everyone is mixing without a working monitor, the DJs are doing admirably well. I guess this is a real trial by fire for some of the less experienced guys. If they can spin without train-wrecking at a Groovanauts party, they can spin anywhere…or so goes my positive spin that I try to sell them on. By now, Mike Swells and Joe Mama are on the decks. They have the place jumping. We have a bunch of professional dancers getting down on the floor doing things I'd only seen in rap videos and Mentos commercials. There's a crowd around a black guy in the back, taking pictures with him and asking for autographs. I figure he must be some big British DJ. He looks a bit too thin to be Carl Cox though. Later, I find out that it's none other than rap superstar DMX. Holla!

The Groovefire guys take over and start spinning one of the best sets I'd ever heard from them, if not the best. The place is packed and everyone is getting down like James Brown. People are streaming in and this is shaping up to be one of the best parties of the conference. I breathe a sigh of relief that we were able to pull it all off despite everything that got tossed our way. Just as that sigh leaves my lungs, I'm informed that the cops are out front looking for whomever is throwing the party. Figures. The officers explain to me that there is a new noise ordinance on SoBe even in effect at 5:30pm in the afternoon. Apparently, our audio system sounded so nice and loud that people could hear it clearly laying on the beach…quite impressive since the party was on Collins and Ocean Dr. was between us and the beach. Phazon what? Regardless, I promise the cops that I'd lower the volume a bit. I have the booth lower it until the cops give me the thumbs up to continue. They go on their merry way…on their cute little girlie bicycles and the party continues.

Kucho and the EMC guys take over the decks and kick the party up a notch higher, if that were actually possible. Funky goodness. The revelers forget about the 5-0 and get back to business, drinking themselves silly and dancing to some quality choons. As soon as I finally relax, I get summoned to the front again. Apparently, someone fucked my washing machine and my party in the process. I guess the DJs forgot about keeping the sound down and slowly had increased the volume to the point that the cops received another noise complaint. This time, no girly bikes. A police woman in a manly police cruiser is out front. She informs me that this was my second warning and that if the police came back a third time, not only would I be fined $2500, but would likely get arrested to boot. As much as the thought of her cuffing me might have aroused me, I figure it might be a good idea to reassure her that there won't be a third time.

I get to the booth and unplug the subwoofers. We turn the bass almost all the way down and tape a sign over the knob explaining that anyone who touches it will likely cost me money and jail time. Surprisingly, no DJ takes the opportunity to see me get ass-raped. Since the volume got dropped through the floor, our kickin outdoor bash suddenly becomes a chill lounge party. Most of the people leave and it's just me, the DJs and some diehards. Ben Lost takes over. As Ben increases the volume just a slight bit, I see flashing lights and hear a siren wailing outside. I nearly shit my heart. Is it the paddy wagon? I start looking around for the back door. Fortunately, it's just an ambulance. Some amateur is having an early night out there somewhere. Better him than me. Back to drinking. Steve Gerrard and Rich Webb tag team after Ben. Hey, we still had free booze from Ralphie. So, we proceed to get tanked. By this point Hisham and the Robots show up and wind up spinning to a nearly empty bar. We're taking this opportunity to record their sets (I figured out how to plug in my recorder without blowing shit up).

Just when I finally kick back and relax, things get really wacky. Apparently, Luis (MOTO) and Andrew (NeoLite) had been in the back getting drunk with Ralphie the whole time. One of them had the bright idea of dragging him out on the dance floor. So, Ralphie staggers out, clutching a vodka bottle and looking worse than some bum in pre-Giulliani New York. He's flailing about and mumbling something with all the grace of a weeble-wobble. The coolest guy in the world is now a blathering drunken hulk with his sites set on Denis Rodgers and Nic's girlfriends. "YAAARG!!! I WANNA DANCE WITH YOU PRETTY LADIES!!!" As the girls shrivel and attempt to melt into their seats, I grab Andrew and tell him to put the gimp back in his box. This shit has front page news written all over it. Having averted jail thus far, I'm not about to reenact the shower scene from some gay prison movie…not that I'd know what happens in one, but I have all too vivid an imagination.

Having just gotten to our party straight from the airport, Eli Wilkie has the chance to drop one track before I run to the booth and tell him to cut the sound. I explain the situation to him and having taken one look at Ralphie and what is about to happen, Eli and the rest of the guys turn from international DJs to roadies. We dismantle that booth quicker than a bunch of seasoned Ozzy Ozbourne roadies, all while taking turns distracting Ralphie. By this point, Ralphie leaves the "I love you all" stage of drunkenness and segueys to the "I'm gonna kick someone's ass" phase. He's waving the empty vodka bottle around and yelling about how he "hates his faggot brother" and is gonna kill him. I take this a sign to get some of the Fairwinds Café's other staff involved and run to the front bar. I grab the nearest bartender and tell him that someone should do something about the bartender/short-order cook in the back before something bad happens. They all look at me and tell me that they're not going anywhere near him. They don't want to lose their jobs. That drunken slob is not the hired help, he's the FUCKING OWNER! Splendid. So, I run to the back, by which time everything is packed up and ready to go. We get the hell out of Dodge before there's any bloodshed.

With the 17 Hours of Mayhem party winding up only being about 13 hours, a few of us decide to hit up some other parties. We schlep to the RA party at Spin. Hernan is quite good. The whole place is full of drunk Aussies who look to be on the verge of getting into a fistfight. After about an hour, we leave for the 80's party at Automatic Slim's with Howells and Burridge spinning. We join the rest of the gang there and close out the night. I eventually make it back to my hotel room and choose to forego afterhours for some sleep. Since I hadn't slept since Saturday, I figured it might be a good idea. One hour later, I'm up and ready to party.

 

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