Party People

New York invades the Winter Music Conference in Miami

No matter how hard you try, you can't escape New York. Somehow, I traveled over a thousand miles to Miami for the Winter Music Conference last weekend and ended up at the Tribeca Grand. Except it was bigger, and it was called the Pawn Shop, and it had an outdoor area, a massive sound system, and thousands of people going off their rockers.

There was Tribeca's creative director, TOMMY SALEH, being the host with the most. Manning the mob scene out front were trusty New York doormen PHIL from Trash and THOMAS ONORATO. Inside the V.I.P. lounge, the MISSHAPES kids, GREG, LOVELEIGH, and GEO, ran around in tiny, tight shorts and, in Leigh's case, an über-miniskirt. Neurotic drummer boys JOHN SELWAY and ULYSSESwere hanging out a few feet away from LARRY TEE and DJ DB. MAX PASKbeamed that 2 MANY DJS—who were also spinning—had asked him to do a remix. Motherfucker DJ JUSTINE D and ULTRAGRRRL were spinning too. APT's publicist SAIDAH BLOUNT chilled out on a chair. TOMMIE SUNSHINE banged his big blond head in the main room. It was as if the city's night crawlers had been airlifted to Miami. I even ran into my colleague MICHAEL MUSTO and Paper's MICKEY BOARDMAN at the Raleigh hotel, where I was staying.

If there had been any doubt that Revolver (one of the many killer M3 Summit events that week), which featured blistering sets by TIGA, TIEFSCHWARZ, MYLO, and ELLEN ALLIEN, was the big party, then the arrival of FELIX DA HOUSECAT with a special sidekick ensured its place in WMC lore. Whispers, or rather, hoarse shouts of "Puffy's here!" ricocheted through the club. Soon there was no doubt that P. DIDDY was in the house; there he was wielding a glittery megaphone behind the DJ booth, as Felix and DJ HELL traded off on the decks, delivering a hard-as-nails, banging techno set, and then performed an unthinkable, but perfectly timed, little trick: They dropped MARILYN MANSON's "Beautiful People" and watched the crowd go apeshit. When Puffy was leaving I inexplicably tried to give him a raver hug. He did the only logical thing: He ran as far away from the crazy lady as he could, as fast as possible.

I should have done like young Geo that night and fallen asleep on the couch (even youth can't compete with exhaustion), but instead I followed Tommie Sunshine to a place known only as "the Villa," far away on the bay. The house had a sound system, a pool, a tennis court, and views of the water. No one seemed to know whose place it was, leading to a surreal conversation in line for the bathroom. "I heard it's some guy named Junior." "I am not sure, I think it's the guy with the dreadlocks." Me: "I just came 'cause Felix is here." Girl: "Felix Da Housecat is here? Ooooooh."

John Selway, outside: "I love coming to these things sober, because it makes it even more ridiculous. We just got here, and I already heard some guy telling everyone he got a blowjob from some girl in the bathroom." At Revolver, someone had handed a popular publicist a handful of pills and run off. Christmas in March. Yes, we were indeed at the Winter Music Conference.

The next night I bumped into still more New Yorkers. Time Out's BRUCE TANTUM and LCD SOUNDSYSTEM's JAMES MURPHY checked out the silly, wonderful set at the Shore Club by MU, MAURICE FULTON's project with his absolutely bananas wife, MUTSUMI KANAMORI, who did a punk rock geisha-gone-wild routine wearing a little bondage outfit. Afterward, MATHEMATICS DJ ROY DANKsaid, "Roy Drank hasn't made an appearance yet," and excused himself to go to the bar.

After MU, I headed back to the Raleigh. I'd had such a hard time leaving the hotel during the conference that I dubbed it "the Compound." With writers PHILIP SHERBURNE, SASHA FRERE-JONES, and a SYRUP GIRL (VIVIAN HOST, née STAR EYES) in tow, we caught two brothers from L.A., THE VIRGIN TEARS, who looked rather like Tommie Sunshine, only three years ago. It was the last night of the conference, and they shut the jam down at 3 a.m. Party over, out of time.

See photos from the Winter Music Conference


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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