Thursday, September 18, 1997

SonicNet, Sherry Netherlands, Conde Nast, Pseudo

While all the big web music industry types were hobnobbing and breakdancing at the SonicNet party, I ended up on a unique span of New York's nitelife. After meeting up with Ann Yokum, who currently works with the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a special photography magazine, we went to a black-tie event at the Sherry Netherlands for the Colonial War Foundation. I unexpectedly bumped into Randall Stempler ( who told me of all sorts of fun parties, and his work in the Law sector of late. He introduced me to Cliff Ainsworth ( who has a number of interesting projects.

After tasting some yummy desserts we headed down, but alas! too late for SonicNet. Instead we chatted with Mohammed, the security guard up on the 10th floor at Conde Nast International about Baywatch and the magazines they publish. Continuing south we spied a group of people hanging out on the sidewalk in front of Pseudo's building.  We ventured upstairs and indeed there was a mini rave going on.  Wafts of strange smoked weeds greeted us as hosts and producers Thomas "T-Bo," and Uzi Fisher of the show "FreQ" were well into a jam session. FreQ is 3 hrs. of electronic music ranging from house to techno and trip-hop to jungle. Thomas had already painted his face all bright blue, donned 4 ties, a red Bozo clown wig, tweed hat and jacket, fake glasses with eyelashes, raw silk beige shirt, faded charcoal twill pants, and birkenstock-like shoes. Hopping around, and warming up, he wasn't too talkative to us. Uzi however filled me in on how this show is more rave oriented and they are interested in building a community or mud-like channel. (They should try Burning Man!) Uzi states: "People get ahead by helping each other." The interface he describes as like a Matryoshka, a doll within a doll, a navigable world, multi-national based community. Regarding Burning Man he comments the "cultural fragmentation is unbelievable...Sometimes the fragmentation doesn't' lead to wholeness."  We were like magnets to the blue screen and the big guys break dancing in front of it... In near giddy-hypnotism we moved behind the ravers and boogied a bit ourselves. After a few rounds of songs, we stepped out from the mesmerizing music (you should see the psychedelic colors on the webpage!). One raver came up to us and said, "the contrast was intense!"

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)