Posted on Jul 21st, 2008 in Behind The Scenes > Live by A-Trak
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday I did 5 shows in 3 cities. You know what that means? A new blog for you, that’s what. I’m gonna throw Thursday in the mix too because I did some pretty neat stuff. So strap on your blog seatbelt and get ready for the ride.
Thursday I was invited to the Nike ID studio in NY to design some custom kicks and they filmed the whole thing with some interviews to tie it back into the Running Man campaign. Since I don’t know how to design I brought along Dust La Rock and Kesh for some help. When we arrived they had a whole team waiting for us. Nike staff supervising, interviewers, camera crew, people to help us design, etc. I felt pampered.
We made 2 shoes, one inspired by the Running Man cover and the other for Fool’s Gold. I think they’re gonna give them the special homie treatment and make a couple extra pairs for us. Then I got interviewed for Nike Sport Music and Nike Women (woohoo!). Dust said I look like Stevie Wonder when I do interviews, the way my head moves around. Not sure what to make of that! Oh and when we left my apartment we saw a crane operator wearing an urban sombrero.
Friday morning I flew to Chicago. That’s where the madness really starts. I had a live set at the Apple Store to promote Running Man (since it’s an iTunes exclusive), then my lady’s high school reunion to attend, and then a Pitchfork Festival afterparty at Sonotheque. You know when you go to any Apple store there’s always that little theatre where some guy with a Madonna mic is giving a lecture about iPhoto and how your Mac is the centre of your digital life? That theatre is where I did my in-store. I think the best part was the posters, they looked so official.
They were also announcing it at Niketown down the street. Anyway I got there, wolfed down a burrito and got on stage for my hour-long thing. A couple kids came out specifically to see me and the rest of the people were just passers-by from the store. My set was totally improvised because of course I’m not gonna go to a computer shop and play the same stuff I play for drugged out club kids. I also made sure I included a lot of the tracks from Running Man, and I played all the new Say Whoa remixes which you’ll hear about soon I’m sure. So anyway that was the Apple event. Melisa’s high school reunion was a trip, we had name tags and some of her old friends ended up coming to my afterparty too. And said party was good fun. Sonotheque has a DJ booth that’s essentially an aquarium. I’ve played that club 2 or 3 times before but I’ve always asked them to set me up outside the booth. This time I played inside and still had a good time. Of course there’s less connection with the audience but I just went in there and did my thing through the looking glass.
Saturday I flew to LA for the Hard festival. I stayed in a really strange hotel. Usually for a show of that calibre you always get nice accommodations. This spot was chosen for its proximity to the venue, from what I’m told. In LA talk they said it was 5 minutes away. In reality that’s a 15 minute drive with no traffic. It was in this Japanese neighborhood. From the hotel looked a bit unassuming. The rooms themselves were decent, they had those fancy japanese toilet bowls that heat and wash your bumbum. But no room service! I took a nap and woke up at 10pm. My homie Ibn rolled through. I was told we could get food at the restaurant on the 2nd floor. They didn’t tell me it was a karaoke restaurant. Everything was really small in this hotel so we were right next to the inevitable big group of Japanese businessmen singing country songs. Then we bounced to the venue with Jesse from MSTRKRFT. Steve Aoki was playing before me and a rather inebriated Felli Felle was hosting on the mic. Those 2 made a very entertaining duo. Apparently Felli played my Stronger remix earlier in the night. The stage set-up was dope they had all these LED screens, and also a gazillion people hanging out up there. The first 10 minutes of my set was complete troubleshooting mayhem. There was this big monitor right next to me and as soon as I started playing it would cut on and off really fast like an off-beat transformer scratch. So it was pretty much impossible to mix the first couple of records I played. I just kept talking to the sound guy and trying to fix it. It was strange because at times it would seem like it was only one turntable doing that or that it would only happen when the levels were too hot but then something else would happen that would completely contradict that. So after a few records I just shut that monitor off, walked over to the other side of the stage and turned the 2nd monitor way up and that worked out great for the rest of my set. Once that was settled everything went quite nicely. Standing on tables and the whole nine. My set ended at 2:30am and as soon as I was done I had to jet to the hotel, take a quick shower and head over to the airport to catch a 6am flight.
I landed in New York at 2:30pm and the Mad Fools Summerstage party started at 3. I was on at 4. Needless to say it was strictly carry-on steez this weekend. So I jumped in a cab and made my way over to Central Park. Someone spotted me showing up with my suitcase and posted this awesome comment on my myspace page.
It was scorching hot in the park. The crowd was packed when I got there. I think capacity was 5,500 and they turned people away. We made Fool’s Gold towels for the party. Mad Decent went heavy with the merch, with their Get Mad tees and wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube-men straight out of the used car dealership. We were supposed to have a life-size Mr Goldbar mascot (that’s the dude giving the thumbs-up on Le Blog) but the costume turned out to be a safety hazard so we had to dead that at the last second. I figured an afternoon shindig in the park wasn’t really the place to go hard with distorted electro so my first record was Mary J’s “Real Love”. I did about 20 minutes of good ol’ NY BBQ hip hop and made my way up to some uptempo party shtuff. Diplo jumped on with some dancers and then we went back-and-forth for a bit. I think the best thing about the whole event was just the overall family vibe. And the super soakers. Boy was it hot. Just when it seemed like the crowd was getting completely numbed by the heat, Santogold jumped on and gave them one last big jolt of energy. After that it was a wrap, everyone went home and unless they were horrible monsters, showered. But that’s not the end of my wild weekend. There was still the afterparty at Santos Partyhouse. (Yes, I was billed as DJ Canada.) It’s funny how close the word partyhouse is to pantyhose. Anyway that’s when I started feeling a bit tired. Maybe it’s because that club stays open until 4. It was pretty casual though, the crowd was visibly people who were at our Summerstage party and a bunch of us traded off DJ sets during the whole night. It was a rock-and-roll weekend but at least it’s my only gigs for the month. I’m just holed up in the home studio working on some music, getting ready to unload a bunch of booty-shaking goodies in the fall! Thanks to everyone who came out this weekend. And to everyone who screamed the Orville Redenbacher line at Summer Stage.