Live: Samantha Ronson DJs Gawker Media's Silent Disco, And Everything Gets Weird
Fux The Noise feat. Samantha Ronson
Gawker Media Roof Deck
Thursday, October 6
Better than: Doing ketamine by yourself, I'd guess.
Standing on the Gawker Media roof deck, a bunch of pencil-necks swung drinks and stood around, cold. Signs had been hung, reminding "Fux The Noise" silent disco attendees to check into Foursquare, to use the hashtags #FTN and #FuxTheNoise on Twitter. There were Cheetos and dumplings. Thousands of pixie sticks filled oil drums to the brim; I had one, and it tasted as green as it did when I was thirteen. People dressed up their button-downs with bar mitzvah swaga chemiluminescent headband here, a couple of glowsticks there.
There's a lot of moving parts to what, exactly, a "silent disco" entails, so here's a quick explanation: Attendees get wireless headsets with two channel settings, each of which pumps in a different kind of music. (For the entire night I was left wondering, is this person listening to the other channel, or are they just a really shitty, off-beat dancer?) The first channel held the bland in-house mix, which basically consisted of the sounds pumped into airplane cabins; the other played Samantha Ronson's set, a straightforward mish-mosh of whatever music white people likestuff like Watch the Throne and "Head Over Heels" by Tears for Fears. (Actually, one of the few black girls at the partywearing a maxidress, her hair closely shornjumped up and down when she heard Tears for Fears, screaming "I love this song!" Or maybe she was on the other channel. I couldn't tell.)
It was early, maybe like nine o'clock. Rex Sorgatz, a Gawker punching bag with square glasses, walked in. Gawker Media head Nick Denton, in a smart gray sweater and button-up beneath, smoked a cigarette and giggled nearby. I asked a girl, "Have you ever been to a real rave?" "No." I haven't, either. From another building, someone threw two eggs, as if to say "Fux the noise!" (The eggs splattered, landing in the middle of a group but unbelievably not hitting anyone. Fux your aim, asshole neighbors.)
Beating the cold within her thin leather jacket, Ronson stood with Josh Maddenbrother to the Good Charlotte boys, former DJ for hip-hop footnote Charles Hamiltonbehind a barely cordoned-off table. Throughout the night, she'd be plagued by technical issues; the mixer she hopped onto was programmed with outdated software. At one point, between the old-school reggae of "Murder She Wrote" and Jay-Z's "Give It To Me," the sound cut out completely, and a scrunch-faced guy five feet away from her unspooled. He groused: "Oh no!" She groaned right back at him, "Oh no!" and then shrugged her shoulders. Her cigarette dangled from her teeth, wagging in his direction like Nelson Muntz's finger. Snark on the Gawker roofdeck.
As the night wore on, it got progressively stranger. The crowd changed. A guy wore a Phantom of the Opera mask on the back of his head. Another Skittle-stepped across the floor, his pointed shoes tripping in an elaborate heel-toe combination, a sudden Beyoncé in a boy-toy's body. (My headphones played Biggie's "Hypnotize," but I don't think his did.) At the same time that a boy and girl slurred the wrong words to "Freedom '90" and argued, a Britney wannabe in thigh-high suede boots and flouncy top danced by herself as if being paid to, a pole dancer uncaged. No one stood near her: she was on a level of HARDER-FASTER-STRONGER-FASTER Jessie Spano caffeine. Her boyfriend came back, but she didn't slow down. Some girls screamed when Samantha played Rihanna; everyone looked in their direction, confused. A slouch-necked beefy body in a mover's jacket walked upstairs, looked around, and then left. He came back, did the monkey for approximately ten seconds, then left again.
There was talk of ecstasy: did anyone have any? "They really let the weirdos in here," said a Gawker staffer, already rolling on E. "They OD'd on the weird." A former editor said, "I've never seen such a sleazy crowd here. Put that in your review." I kept wiping my nose from the cold. As I was leaving, some friends said, "We're going to go downstairs to do drugs." A longtime writer fell down the stairs like a kid going down a water slide, his vodka soda spilling completely on a girl below.
Critical bias: I got my hair cut yesterday, andafter twenty minutes of conversationthe girl cutting my hair spun my chair around and said, "Now you're ready for your silent rave!" I wasn't.
Overheard: "Is that vomit?"
Random notebook dump: A sign was hung on the entrance to the Gawker offices, saying, "FYI There will be a photographer and videographer capturing the awesomeness of Fux The Noise." So, you know, there's that.