You would’ve rather seen him DJ in an alley too.
Venue: Fifth Avenue Apple Store
Date: Friday, June 1
Rating: Four broken iPods out of ten
By Annie Fischer
Since they weren’t there to dance and they weren’t there to drink, one can only assume that the hundred or so people present at the (brightly lit) Apple Store’s inaugural Midnight Mix—boys and girls alike—mainly showed up because Mark Ronson’s so bloody fucking hot. Except for that clumsy kid in the System of a Down T-shirt. At 1 a.m. on a Friday night, he might actually have been there to get his iPod fixed.
Not to downplay Ronson’s skills, of course. After nearly 15 years in the biz, homeboy knows how to make y’move, having evolved from ’90s celeb DJ to current It producer (Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera). The indie-approved, foot-tapping crowd rallied for “Valerie,” Winehouse’s interpretation of the Zutons track from Ronson’s new album of covers, Version; smiles all around for a beat-heavy revision of “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay.” And it wasn’t a completely static pack: small pockets of starry-eyed schoolgirls tried desperately to catch Ronson’s eye with their footwork, and one young couple—she was in an electric blue mini-dress; you couldn’t miss her—actually slow-danced off to the side for a large part of his set. Slow-danced. To, like, the Beastie Boys. Bizarre.
Clad in a white T-shirt and black jeans (Acne, if you’re interested), Ronson thanked his fans for staying despite the booze-free environs (“It was so nice to play for all you people and all these iPods,” he murmured in his still-thick British accent) and finished up the night with two more horn-happy Version cuts: “Stop Me,” featuring Daniel Merriweather, and Allen’s “Oh My God.” Then he sent everyone back into the night, fleeing from Apple’s nabe at 59th and Fifth as fast as their untired feet could take them.
To his credit, Ronson seemed unfazed by the self-conscious spins demonstrated by much of the crowd, not including the ten or so throw-’em-in-the-air-like-you-just-don’t-care front-and-centers. (In two hours, I saw him glance up exactly three times. And never at me. Ugh.) But there was no real way around it. Fluorescent overheads, customer service and a mess of electronics do not a dance party make. Too bad, since Diplo and Spank Rock, among others, are slated for Apple appearances in the summer months to come.
I suggest killing the lights.
UPCOMING MIDNIGHT MIXES
06.15.07: François K
08.03.07: Tim Sweeney and Tim Goldsworthy
09.21.07: Spank Rock
Zach Baron on Mark Ronson’s Version