Sunday, November 25, 2007

München ist Verrückt

Left: the early crowd at Bootie Munich

Grüß Gott (good day) from München, where the beer and the Bavarian pride is as strong as ever. I'm recovering from Bootie Munich last night which was completely insane, and I was unfortunately unable to enjoy it as much (and as long) as everyone else since I've finally succumbed to the dreaded cold I'd been afraid I would catch. Cough.

But let's begin back in Liege, Belgium on Friday night where the Soundstation was one of the most professional clubs I've ever worked with. It's an old train station and every once in a while a train will rumble over on tracks that are directly above what's now the club's entrance. The dressing room is perched three rickety flights of stairs above the main room, and evidence of the building's old purpose is everywhere. It's more of a performance venue, unfortunately for me, since I prefer to be in a DJ booth and don't like being up on a huge high stage with bright lights on me, but my co-DJ Zebra revels in the limelight, and during his headlining set before mine from 12-2am, he jumped around the stage and sang along with his (mostly French) tracks. I'm not that kind of DJ, plus I don't speak French well enough to shout cool stuff at the crowd. It was a little rough, since even during Zebra's set the uber-hip young Belgians were more interested in standing and nodding than dancing around—honestly, it was a kind of rock-feeling venue so that's what people do. So my set from 2-4am was a little less interesting to watch but hopefully interesting to hear, and surprisingly there were Party Ben fans in the audience requesting some of my mashups, which ended up helping me out since I would have forgotten to play "Walking With a Ghost in Paris." My camera died right as we'd arrived at the club so of course I don't have any pictures but a lot of people there had cameras so I'm sure some will turn up. Anyway, we headed back to the hotel (the adequate Liege Holiday Inn) around 5, where I slept three hours, and then it was time to get up and head back to the train station.

The Thalys train wound through the frost-dusted Belgian and German hills for about 90 minutes until we were back in Koln, and then I headed out to the airport for the flight to Munich. Bootie Munich was put together by a couple crazy German dudes, and I'd like to reiterate that none of us at Bootie in SF have necessarily pursued the international "franchises;" Booties Paris and Munich came to Adrian & Mysterious D to see about starting their own versions of what I guess is our now-legendary club in the Bay Area. So these guys are, shall we say, wildly enthusiastic. I was in town with just enough time to go to dinner and experience the real German beer hall: the Augustiner, one of the oldest such establishments in Munich, and one which is apparently off the beaten track enough to avoid most tourists. The place was cavernous and completely jammed with beer-swilling, pork-knuckle-devouring Bavarians. Solidly-built women would barrel through the crowd with trays filled with giant mugs of the eponymous lager, and if you happened to inch even slightly into their path they would just shove you out of the way with a guttural shout of "Auf d'seitn!" ("off the side!"). It was, in a word, awesome, and the pork knuckle and dumpling was melt-in-your-mouth fantastic.

But soon enough it was time to head over to the Munich club, located in a kind of complex of night spots out by the train station, with about 30 or 40 bars and clubs all in the same zone. We still weren't sure when (or if) people would show up, but by about midnight the place was pretty jammed, with some of the attendees tracking me down to let me know they'd driven in from different places just to see me, which was of course humbling. It was a hopping party with a great crowd and tasty drinks, but I had started to feel under the weather on the train to Koln and was both exhausted and somewhat ill at the club. I actually felt terrible but didn't want to worry the promoters or let down all the fans so I was trying to put on a good face, and I sucked down "Cobras," the local version of Red Bull, to try and wake up, a bargain with the devil since I knew I'd feel worse the next day but what are you going to do? Thankfully, whether it was the caffeine or the infectious energy of the crowd, I jumped back into the old routine, running out of the back room with my light saber and Jedi robe and giving the crowd a " Grüß Gott" and my typical silly intro which I'd memorized in what I'm sure was barely-comprehensible German. The crowd went nuts and only proceeded to get crazier: Germans are completely insane! Fellow DJs Alex, Schmolli, Comar, Morgoth and the whole crew were drunkenly jumping around the stage and hollering my name, and they seemed to think that despite my exhaustion, my set went off pretty well. The crowd responded a little less enthusiastically to their specially-made German mashup than the Poles did: I'd put together a track using '80s German duo Modern Talking's "You Can Win if You Want" with Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," and I think the shock of hearing this quintessentially German hit mixed with a current smash was a little much for everybody, and the energy level of the room seemed to go down a little bit as people's jaws dropped. But thankfully I got them back with some of the Baltimore-style stuff I've been playing lately, and a drunken DJ Comar told me afterwards it was one of the best sets he'd ever seen.

Left: Frank from Bootie Munich, Austrian DJ Schmolli who's also a resident in Munich, myself, Paris' DJ Comar, Berlin's DJ Morgoth, and Bootie Munich mastermind/madman Alex (Bootox)

I had used up all my energy on the set, and when I finished at 3:15 or so, I crashed, and could barely stand up. The party was still going strong at 5am when I told the guys I needed to catch a cab back to the house and go to sleep. This morning they told me people were still there until 7am, with new arrivals paying the entry fee way into the 6am hour. I wish I could have stayed to witness it but I needed the rest.

Alex put together a breakfast of sausages and pretzels (I know, I know!!) and now Comar and I have to head to the airport to catch our flights to Paris. But yeah, especially because I wasn't sure if I would be able to stay upright for the whole thing, my DJ set here was another one of the highlights of my career—a crowd that up for it is an honor to play for.


FM 24 said...

Thanks Party Ben for your awesome set at Bootie Munich #2! You did a great job.
Wish you all the best for your gigs in France.

ComaR said...
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ComaR said...

seriously... even if I was a bit drunk (and to be honnest, I think I was more excited by the music than drunk), you did an amazing set.

With the time, it seems to me that it's harder and harder for me to be impressed by a mashup dj set and you can't imagine how happy I am when I realize I still can be amazed.

Oh, and again, all my apologies for that microphone thing... I hate when people are doing this and I'm really sorry I was about to do it with you :/

Anyway, it was nice to see you again.

burnin_and_lootin20 said...

thank you for the show @ the Soundstation!!! I was with the man who asked for Tegan and Sara and it was a real pleasure to hear it on friday. I'd also like to thank you for the cd you gave us it was pretty nice from you. Please come back soon in Belgium to make us enjoy your music one more time

Jean-Yves said...
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Jean-Yves said...
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Jean-Yves said...

Hey Partyben!
You were awesome @ bootie munich! thank you for your fabulous set! Here's a little post in my blog about the bootie munich. Please come back soon!

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