Trouble & Bass
Wednesday, February 3
Better Than: Any sock hop your school threw when you were a child.
Hotel nightlife is something that we’re immensely intrigued with here at SOTC — it’s something that we aim to love but often approach with trepidation. Such is the case with the Ace Hotel, most recently thanks to this vaguely ridiculous article in the New York Times, in which they dub the place a “hipster mall.” That said, it was only a matter of time until there was a sock hop at the hotel’s Liberty Hall, but we never thought Trouble & Bass would be the ones to throw it.
The girls sitting on the steps with cropped leather jackets and scarves tied into their hair when we arrived should have been the first sign that tonight’s patrons weren’t expecting a secret rave. The ladies smoked cigarettes acquired from a leopard-print cigarette case (it matched her heels), while their male companion slicked his hair back with a comb. (A comb!) Definitely a scene you’re more likely to find on the Lower East Side or Bedford Avenue. Inside, we were directed through a glowing purple side door and down a freight elevator to Liberty Hall, where we were greeted with Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode.”
The dance floor took some getting used to, if only because of our surprise. The hotel’s lounge is set up like, well, a hotel lounge — big couches, candlelight, and a gratuitous number of tables and nooks provide a setting conducive to bottle service and the occasional group sing-a-long. Tonight was something a bit different. Clusters of people coupled off to swing dance as intensely as the crowded dance floor would let them to Little Richard’s “Good Golly, Miss Molly.” A collective bout of shimmying and twisting came into play for “The Bird’s the Word,” prompting even the hotel’s initially confused patrons — a couple who had stopped in for a drink at the bar — to abandon their still-untouched beverages for a mini-dance-off.
Dodging flailing arms and the occasional girl swung between the legs of her partner, we made it to the front of the room to discover that the DJs for tonight — allegedly Trouble & Bass members under the pseudonym the Bad Lupo Brothers — were indeed the crew’s superstar, Drop the Lime, and manager the Captain. It was the latter’s birthday, and some of the crew’s signature kookiness remained despite tonight’s turn from dirty bass to good, clean rock ‘n’ roll. The never-ending plates of tooth-shaped cookies that circled the room at the hands of Star Eyes, for example. Others were celebrating, too, though it seemed they forgot that they weren’t in an dimly lit warehouse. As the Captain played the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” the couple next to us lost it, launching into a full-body make out session, one that lasted the duration of the song and well into the Temptations track that followed. “Get a room!” joked a fellow onlooker. They very well could have.
Critical Bias: I was in my middle school’s production of Bye Bye Birdie.
Overheard: “I’m so pissed I didn’t wear my pearls.”
Random Notebook Dump: This is the new all-ages dance party.