While the British press is whining about the state of the Mercury Prize nominations, we in the States should be so lucky. Last Tuesday, members of the Thrills—one of the bands nominated for the prestigious Mercury—guest DJ’d a surprise set at my friend local DJ Brian Beck‘s new party at the Spring Street Lounge.
Chris Cornell was just around the corner at Pier 59 celebrating his birthday with 300 of his closest friends (including Perry Farrell and members of Incubus and Audioslave/Rage Against the Machine), but Moby and Teany co-owner Kelly Tisdale took in the tunes selected by Thrills guitarist Daniel Ryan, who chose Echo and the Bunnymen and Joy Division favorites.
The Irish lads are, like, totally thrilled about their nomination. Singer Conor Deasy said, “It’s great to be placed in the same category as Radiohead and to be shortlisted for one of the few music awards that matter.” They are also up against Coldplay, Dizzee Rascal, and the Darkness, among others. Should the Thrills win, the band nets 20,000 pounds, in addition to the critical stamp of approval.
If we had our own Mercurys, I reckon that the Rapture would be up for a nomination, but I think the Buddyhead.com folks might disagree—recent reports criticized the Rapture boys for being an indie version of a boyband. The post reads: “DFA, their label/dicso [sic] remixers, wanted songwriting co-credits with the band and the band wouldn’t do it. DFA says they wrote most of the electronic house music songs on the record and that the Rapture have no clue what the fuck they are doing with electronic equipment.”
DFA’s head honcho Jonathan Galkin denied there was any bad blood between the label and the band, but pointed out that the producer-band dynamic that is so popular and common in the hip-hop world is frequently considered odd in the indie world. “It might seem a bit hip-hop for the indie set, with producers sharing writing credit, but when you contribute as much as James [Murphy] and Tim [Goldsworthy] do musically, over as much time as they put into it, it makes total sense,” Galkin wrote via e-mail. “The Rapture also get co-producing credit on a lot of the tracks, as they contributed the other way around, production-wise. It was a group effort for sure. Not just a producer-band relationship. That is why it worked so well.”
One group effort you’d never expect to see is a bunch of nightlife veterans teaming up to play a good old-fashioned game of soccer. Fashionistas, media types, and DJs—including Leo Fitzpatrick of Kids fame and artist Ryan McGinness—came together for a soccer tournament hosted by Bronwyn Keenan, Jacqui Millar, and Adidas, two weekends ago. DJs Jazzy Jay and Grandwizzard Theodore spun while the teams from Supreme, Tokion, and The Fader played in the tourney. Fashionwire.com’s Paul O’Regan gave a hilarious account of the festivities. Sample quote: “Downtown design darling Benjamin Cho was also originally on the roster for Opening Ceremony . . . but in true fashion fashion, he overslept the 10 a.m. start time.”
The image of hungover scenesters huffing and puffing down the field is too hard to shake, so imagine my surprise upon learning that the squad led by the Soho and Tribeca Grand’s Egyptian maniac-in-residence, the Tommy Saleh team (so humbly named!), took home the trophy. The international crew included Matter:/Form’s Elan Akerman (Argentina) as the fearless goalie, former XLR8R music editor Luke Magnuson (Britain), Brecht Van Hoorebeke (Belgium), and two Brazilians who apparently only go by their first names, Gui and Sebastian. Akerman managed to squeeze in a few photo ops (“Yeah, in between smoking, drinking, and flirting with the cheerleaders, I took pictures,” he cracked), and the photos make these hard-partying kids look freshly scrubbed and—gasp—athletically fit! Not a beer belly in sight. Says Saleh, “We are not just fashionistas, or just music heads—we can also turn into jocks.” Say it ain’t so!
Fashionistas who would never be seen in soccer gear, local menswear designers Yoko Devereaux (which includes Hungry Wives singer Andy Salzer), are jazzing up the jeans Madonna‘s wearing in the Gap ad campaign, festooning them with a “Lady M” silk screen on the front, and an embroidered M on the back pocket in Olde English font. Those who want their own personalized Gap-Devereaux jeans can have them for a cool 350 bones. At the risk of quoting a lame E! program, it’s good to be Madonna.