This is a compilation of my three part piece on my first trip to WMC in Miami.
What a weekend.
For those of you who are uninitiated WMC stands for Winter Music Conference. It’s basically a week long party in Miami Beach where everyone involved in electronic music gather to try and destroy themselves. Beautiful women, boatloads of drugs and beer that’s been marked up 300% are the hallmarks of this event.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been able to go before. This year I decided to make it down for a few days, if only so that I can stop having to explain why I’ve never been to every one of my friends. Overall, I had a complete blast. I was fortunate enough to luck into a great group of my friends who were partying together down there and they let me tag along. When you’re in a strange climate with strange goings on it’s definitely the people who make the party.
As with all parties there’s always the requisite breakdown, the whiner, the cry baby, the drama the whatever. We’ll get to that later of course, but let’s start with a quick bullet pointed recap:
Friday 4:00 pm
I head off from my office Newark Airport. It’s amazingly easy to get to this airport from anywhere in New York. A billion times easier than La Guardia or Kennedy. It’s also usually cheaper. With this in mind I booked my flight to Miami from there and checked in.
Four hours late. Instead of getting in at 9:00 pm and heading over to my Uncle Carl’s place in Pompano Beach for a night of relaxation I was now arriving at 1:00 am. This problem was two fold. I had originally planned only to be in South Beach from Saturday morning to Sunday night, completely erasing the need for a hotel room. Now I was in town for three days and needed a couch to crash on. In a matter of minutes I went from hardcore partier to mooching schlep. I hate that.
Fortunately I have some awesome fucking friends. A couple minutes on the phone and I was all set up with places to stay, a press pass for the night’s party and a group of excellent kids. My people for the weekend would include: Joel, Colleen, Saisha, Dale, Karen, Leks and Elisa. Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned these kids before but they’re the nicest, most accommodating people you could ever have the honor of meeting. I had snagged a piece of carpet to crash on, check. Party on.
With that settled I got ready to hang out at the airport for a while (read: get drunk). The only place to do this was at a TGI Friday’s. So there I was, instead of being on my way to a bohemian weekend in Miami, I was sipping beers in a chain restaurant watching ESPN. I felt more than a little pedestrian. Fortunately a friend of mine was more than willing to engage with me in some heated texting, :lol:. Made me feel at least 75% less lame.
Finally, at 9:00 with a great beer buzz in head, I boarded the plane. We sat on the tarmac for the next hour and I passed the hell out. I was seated next to one of those big guys. You know the type, not HUGE but big enough to slightly annoy you for the next three hours. One of them. I have the absolute WORST luck with flights. Four hours late and seated next to a big sweaty dude pressing thigh the entire way. I considered Purel-ing my jeans.
Fortunately because of my delay I ended up landing at about the same time as my friends, Saisha and Dale. These kids are fucking ridiculously cool. Dale is one of the only guys I know who loves to drink for the same perverted and wrong reasons I do. We made successive plans to steal the following: A car, an alligator, a baby and a gnome table. None of this happened.
We hopped into a cab together and headed off to our friends’ hotel room at the Essex House. It was 2am and we started drinking, heavily. Within 30 minutes we were freshened up and off to the AM Only party on the terrace of Nocturnal, a club in downtown Miami.
To call the place packed would be an understatement of the largest order. Fortunately our friends were throwing the party and a VERY frazzled Jen came out and walked all six of us in. Within minutes we were upstairs dancing in the cool night air the very banging sounds of Mistress Barbara.
Drinks and drugs followed and it would be a total waste of my time and your time recounting every little detail. I will mention that I fell completely in love with this one girl and made the most idiotic mistake of not getting her number. I’ve literally kicked myself every hour on the hour since. 😆 All I’ve got is a first name, location and hometown. *kicks self again*
I danced like a maniac for about six hours. We jumped around, hooted and hollered and had an absolute blast. Once the sun started coming up around 7 I realized I had made what would be my first of many n00bish mistakes of the Conference. I’d forgotten my sunglasses.
This is the scene. In the background, that girlie blond mop, that’s Richie Hawtin and his homotechnoemo hair. But damn can he throw down some records.
As everyone around me suited up and partied away in the sun light I was left cowering in a corner like Nosferatu. It was not pretty. Around 9am, our supplies limited and after making the decision to get some sleep and rally for a big Saturday, we headed home. We had a short, abortive attempt at grabbing some early morning beach time, but the wind was so fierce that we just decided to crash.
There would be no sleep for me as I was about to head off for day 2.
So I laid down and tried to get a little sleep, but it really wasn’t happening. I was fitful, to say the least.
After a little while I got a call from my recently made former girlfriend, Eileen, asking if I wanted to grab some breakfast. She’d been down there since Wednesday night, also out on her first WMC excursion. Now, I’d just grabbed a little bacon egg and cheese on the way home from Nocturnal, but I was surprisingly ravenous and just a little too excited to just lay around. Plus it’d been a while since we’d hung out and I figured a little time in the sun would do me worlds of good.
I’m a huge fan of making nice with all my former relations. Some take longer than others, but this one seems to be going well. We’d actually gone out for a sum total of three years, so at this point I consider her one of my best friends. She’s also really pretty, so just hanging out with her is always at least cosmetically enjoyable.
We grabbed a seat at Cafeteria, which has GREAT food. I ate fruit for the first time in like six years (I’m not really a fan of non-animal produce) and I got to hear all about her week at WMC so far. As with all male/female conversations, I mainly listened 😆 and asked her questions about her. I did get asked how I was liking my fruit salad though. 😆
Once we were sated, we ended up heading over to the Ritz Carlton for what were supposed to be, as my roommate, Spoony, promised, the World’s Greatest Pina Colodas. He was right. Check these bad boys out!
Most amazing drink ever. Not only do they taste excellent, but the location that you drink them at is excellent. You’re far away from the madness of Conference. You’re not near any crackheads except yourself. You’re looking out over the beautiful beach and beautiful people. Simply a joyful experience.
From there we headed off to the Beach Plaza hotel rooftop for my friends’ Sleepy and Boo’s party. They basically have run of the entire hotel and throw parties in the garden area and on the roof. They booked some SICK talent there this year. Unfortunately, it started to rain intermittently. Regardless, I actually got a lot of good sun up there. This would be very important in keeping up the illusion that I was in Miami and not stuffed into the corner of some megaclub the entire time. A fact that would keep my bosses happy, I hoped.
Unfortunately, because of the wind and rain, we didn’t get a chance to really dance around. I started drinking in earnest and after meeting up with some of the crew, and a few long lost friends, I gathered up a crew and headed off to pick up supplies for the long long long night ahead of us.
So this is where the day gets hazy.
Foolishly, I combined nearly a dozen drinks of all kinds, what was now a sun burn and an illicit substance that I’m normally very fond of. I wont say its name direKtly, but I’m sure you may know what I’m talking about. Nothing super messy, just as we were walking back to the hotel I sunk about 50 feet underground and lost major speech functions.
Describing a hole to someone who’s never been in one is kind of pointless. I happen to enjoy the experience recreationally, but when you’ve got to get shit done, like get showered, dressed and ready to go, it can be a bit of a pain. Since you’ve lost all ability to think clearly you’re sort of operating on instinct alone. Fortunately for me I’ve got these awesome instincts that allowed me to do the following without falling on my ass and/or cracking my head open:
- Take a shower
- Wash my hair
- Wash my balls
- Get dressed
- Drink a glass of water
- Convince people that I’m not retarded
These were all VERY difficult in my condition, yet somehow they just happened. By the time I completed the tasks, everyone but my group-appointed caretaker, Dale, had left for happy hour drinks. After sitting around for a little while, losing stuff, finding it and then losing it and finding it again, we headed out as well.
I started getting really punchy at this point. As is evidenced by this picture:
Anyway, we grabbed some drinks, which took, I swear, no less than 45 minutes to be made. They were also served by a super queen with BLEACHED eyebrows, or the most fashionable albinism I’ve ever seen. I grabbed some food (realizing that I wouldn’t be eating for quite some time after that) and then we headed off to meet up with some friends of ours from New York that were throwing a party at a little place called Buck 15.
It was hard to find and it was on the second floor above a Chinese restaurant so instantly this party reminded us of home. There were super cheap vodka drinks and you could smoke inside so I was feeling like why go anywhere else. A ton of New York kids showed up and we chilled out for a while. We boogied around, got nice and toasty drunk before my boy John and I headed off to the next party that he was throwing at a place called, of all things, Sin. First we had to stop by his swank hotel room and get cleaned up and say hi to his marvelous wife, Jen.
Walking around during Conference is apparently a group activity, because within five minutes a straggling drunk girl joined up with us out of nowhere. Her name was Victoria or Vivian or something, it’s not important. What IS important is that we saved her from walking into moving traffic at least eight times. When we got her safely to Collins she split off heading south and possibly was run over by a truck.
One other notable happening from that portion of the evening was John open palm slapping me for using the word, “Wife” which is, and I’ve checked, in clear violation of Guy Code.
So I’ll stop there as the next twelve hours sort of run together. Things to look forward to: A Caped Captain Rhythm, sunlit dancing and a luddite field.
Ah the final 36 hours of my stay in Miami were definitely a good time. If you remember from yesterday, I left off just as my boy, John and I were headed to Sin for the Sullivan Room party.
Sullivan Room is a great space here in the city on Sullivan between Bleeker and West 3rd. Up until recently I wasn’t the biggest fan of the place because it was cramped, dingy and just poorly laid out. A little over a month and a half ago they redid the place entirely and I’ve been spending about a night per week there since. So when I heard they were putting on a party down in Miami (also featuring my favorite DJ in the whole wide world, Hector Romero, who is the resident DJ for our White Party at my apartment) I was locked in for the evening.
Armed to the fucking gills with favors galore we rolled in around 11 and gathered around a bottle laid out for us so nicely by the staff. The locals (meaning NYC locals) we playing in a little duplex area off and above us, while I just proceeded to get seven shades of faded. Never leave a bottle of any type of vodka and a bucket of ice in front of me, ever.
I got the type of drunk where I started to think that a go-go girl had the hots for me. HA! That’s clubber newbie mistake #507.
Anyway, around this time my friend and boss over at Rhythmism.com, Brian, shows up with a banner. Now we were partially sponsors of this party. By partial sponsors we said, “sure you can put our name on the party and we’ll send out a mailer.” The benefits of this are kind of impossible to quantify. We have this great cloth banner, but we’re too lazy to show up before the party to hang it up and WAY too lazy to hang around afterwards to take it home. So at the Buck 15 party I’d suggested that we just bring it anyway and wave it around and be silly.
Well, somehow I got it in my mind to tie two of the ends together around my neck and wear that shit like a cape, thus creating the character who would be name, Captain Rhythm. I’ve only got one picture so far, but there’s a video out there and at least twenty other pictures that I know of, so once I track them down I’ll post em.
So I danced around in that thing for about six hours. Overall the party was a fucking blast. Great times hanging with Hector who, besides being a world caliber DJ and packing gigantic venues all over the world, is among the nicest and most humble people I know. He also posed for the cover of Pacha Magazine looking like he was posing for Tiger Beat. No shit, check it out:
Hahahahahaha! I gave him no end of shit for that, he’s sooooooo cute there! The cutie on the left is my friend, Colleen, who is one of the best party favors you can have around, very good people.
Around 6 or 7 in the morning myself, Eileen, Elisa and Leks headed out to the fabled Sunday School for Degenerates party at Pawn Shop in downtown Miami. Before we left we had to walk about ten blocks to get something from the hotel room and take a cab (which took forever to find).
On a positive note, I walked the entire ten blocks as a reaaaaally drunk Captain Rhythm. I made Ei and Elisa flap my cape like I was flying.
By the time we finally arrived I think we were all a little burnt out. I’d been going for over 50 hours straight, mostly on adrenaline and alcohol, which as many can tell you, is NOT a great stimulant. Not to mention I was only on the list +2 which meant that since Ei and Elisa are fancy ladies, poor Leks had to pay to get in.
Now let me explain to you what the location Pawn Shop is all about, because it’s kind of hard to picture. The place is ginormous. There are three music locations, two inside and one outside. Inside the front hall there is a hollowed out school bus and trailer that have been converted to crackhead seating. It’s kind of like a playground for the mentally handicapped, because after a night of partying at conference, if you’re not mentally handicapped at 7am, something is seriously wrong with your party ethic.
Around 8 or 9 our other friends (who’d taken much of the night off to get some needed sleep) started arriving. We spent most of our time outside dancing away to some ridiculous tunes. I was trying desperately to pull together but I actually just would wander around aimlessly in a barely conscious trance. Despite this, I had an excellent time. Ran into some kids I haven’t seen for years, even though we live in the same city.
Here are a few pics from the party:
That’s me and Joel. He rocks harder than if AC/DC and Metallica merged via that mutagen stuff from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Not only did I die, but everything ON me died. My phone died and my WATCH died. What are the fucking odds? I went from partying it up to being a caveman, barely capable of speech in about 2.5 seconds. As I felt the dewy shroud of sleep closing in on me from all sides I split, headed back to the hotel room (which was now upgraded to a suite and very empty) and passed out for the next 10 hours. I woke up to Joel and Coll coming back from a day of exuberant partying.
We turned on the Jacuzzi and relaxed for a bit, I was headed for an 11am flight the next day and was going to be gracious for all the sleep I could get.
And that’s really the cliff notes recap of my first WMC, all in all a fucking blast. I’m definitely planning on going back in the future, and doing maybe slightly differently. My work schedule around now is just SO fucking hectic that I don’t think I could ever really get down there for more than a few days, but damnit I’m going to try.
Oh, by the way, I had another awesome flight on the way home. I was seated right in front of a REALLY loud kid who was kicking my seat the entire way, despite me telling him and his mother to stop. Right after the first time I yelled at his mother… the kid puked ALL over his sister. No joke.
I think I’m taking a train down next year.