Heading South

Revolver evolves the Winter Music Conference; MisShapes invade Miami

Near the end, I wanted to not hear dance music. It poured out of every crevice—restaurants, beaches, hotels, cars. On Sunday night at the early karaoke party at the Shelbourne thrown by Tommie Sunshine (the flyer proudly pronounced it a "turntable-free event"), I got my wish and watched Mark Verbos sing Aerosmith, and watched a group of scenesters, including John B, Patrick "The Captain" and Michael Cohn of Cut, Milena Mepris, and Syrup Girl Vivian Host (a/k/a Star Eyes) sing along to Bon Jovi.So busted. So was I.

Miami is the place where anything goes, where Pharrell from the Neptunes doesn't get recognized when he's trying to get into a party at the Marlin Hotel, but gets saved by the beat-enthusiastic crowd, where Paris and Björk mightbe at a party but no one sees them, but the rumor's just as good as reality. Miami is the sort of place where the Heatherette fashion show was delayed by over an hour and half, in part, because they were still spray painting the runway (and had misspelled Heatherette on the catwalk); where, when waiting in line with Small Change and DJ Shakey you are entertained by a video of a drunk dancing dude at the earlier Femi Kuti concert. In Miami, you can sit front row in between David Hershkovits, Mickey Boardman, and Gary Pini and watch Lady Bunny command the photographers in the photo pit as much as the models on the stage. Best thing about the Heatherette fashion show, artfully handled by the Trinity:cellulite. On the models' legs. It made me feel like a normal girl.

Miami is also the sort of place where someone will come dressed in a bunny rabbit suit for no reason at all, where a guy will walk around with a black sparkly megaphone and will promptly lick it whenever a camera is pointed in his direction (he gave me his card; he was from L.A.—figures); where you enter a party and get not one, but three special wristbands, each with its own V.I.P. purpose; where getting up at noon is early; where going to a party that starts at 5 a.m. is perfectly normal, and where sleep just doesn't happen. Sleep is for suckers, anyway.

I got just enough sleep to hang on for Jamie Lidell on Saturday night. He played after Lady Sovereign on the M3 Summit stage at the Surfcomber (the cooler, alternate fest masterminded by David Prince, once the master of the master list). You wouldn't have guessed it before the show, but the mild-looking Englishman made his fellow countrywoman seem practically demure. Lidell was totally unhinged and easily the most entertaining performer I saw in Miami. He introduced one tune thus: "It's a little song about Berlin. I couldn't handle it, so the song's a bit negative." Lidell has a bunch of analog gear and samplers that he uses to manipulate his own voice. He creates beats on the fly and sings over himself. He's a white boy with the velvety voice of a black soul singer. He reminds you oddly of Will Ferrell,if Will Ferrell were better looking and not quite as dorky. He dances, spazzes out, comes out from behind his equipment, and sings directly to the crowd. By the end of the set, every single woman in the audience was ovulating. Probably some men too. Jamie Lidell, be my little baby. Or, better yet, I'll just have yours. That'd be sweet justice.

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