Ultra Music Festival pummeled Miami's Bayfront Park last weekend, motivating innumerable fist pumps over thirty hours of music, but it was the brief speech by a 53-year-old woman wearing a shirt emblazoned with the letters "MDNA" that has prompted disbelief within parts of the electronic dance music community. That woman is Madonna, who as part of the scorched earth roll-out for her new album MDNA introduced headliner Avicii and incited the overwhelmingly young attendees with the question: "How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?"
In the last 20-plus years, filmmaker Kevin Kerslake has amassed a mind-boggling list of music-industry credits, not only shooting videos for Sonic Youth, Prince, Green Day, R.E.M., the Rolling Stones, but also directing the visual treatment of Nirvana's "Come As You Are" and the MTV VMA-winning Ed-Sullivan-homage "In Bloom." So it's something of a genre departure that Kerslake--who will begin working on the film adaptation of J.G. Ballard's Running Wild starring Samuel L. Jackson this spring--is the man behind Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, a feature-length electronic-music concert doc released on DVD this month and produced by EDC founder Insomniac Productions.
"I did a film back in 2000, with [Insomniac CEO] Pasquale [Rotella] on Electric Daisy Carnival, but this was all conceived as a three-part series," explains Kerslake. "This is the first attempt to really put it out to a wider audience, and to turn people onto what the scene is all about."
Many people think the scene is all about is drugs--at the 2010 EDC in Los Angeles, which drew more than 180,000 people and where this film is primarily set, a 15-year-old died from injuries related to a drug overdose and more than 100 people were sent to the hospital. Compounding EDC's negative publicity woes, there was a mini-riot at last summer's Hollywood premiere of Kerslake's film Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, which caused Regal and AMC Cinemas to cancel their upcoming national screenings. But Kerslake insists that's hullabaloo is only one part of the story, and a tiny one at that. "There are negative aspects of anything that I might endeavor to do," he says. "But I don't choose to focus on those." We spoke with him recently from the West Coast.
American Juggalo: The scene with the smoking Juggalette
Commercial director Sean Dunne brought a six-man camera crew to this year's Gathering of the Juggalos, Insane Clown Posse's annual psycho-porn amusement park, and returned with footage of predictably lowbrow hedonism: Juggalos drinking, inhaling, whoop-whooping, hallucinogenic tripping, shooting fireworks, sucking on nitrous balloons; a green-haired Juggalette too messed up on Ecstasy and vodka to get out of a car; a pregnant Juggalette smoking. Naturally, the 23-minute web doc went viral--the biggest surprise about American Juggalo was that it took someone this long to make it.
Dunne admits that he was hesitant to be so late. "When I thought of this idea it was before the Gathering last year," the Greenpoint resident insists. "The shit hit the fan last year with Tila Tequila. And it made me be like, 'God, do I want to be this guy who goes in there and does this still?'" Since he decided to be that guy, we spoke with him about getting pulled over the cops outside the Gathering, why there may be an Illinois arrest warrant out there bearing his name, and why people should give Juggalos a break.
Tomorrow night, Insane Clown Posse headlines Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets are still available here.
Dashiki rolecall: La Otracina at Brooklyn Psychfest #1
Bootstrapped Broadway venue Party Xpo tends to specialize in punk/noise/muffled-acoustic hijinks, but this Saturday, the still kicking-and-screaming show space amusingly floats off into yoga-studio territory with the second annual Brooklyn Psychfest. A 12-hour space-jam marathon organized by Lady Bree, who's best known for her booking accomplishments at Don Pedro's, the eight-band bill of tambourines, organs and at least one sitar is either the perfect hook for a trend piece about Brooklyn's burgeoning psych scene--it's there, brah, just pull the rental figures on Enter the Void--or maybe it's a sign that our local DIY spaces can be a little more genre-porous than one might expect.
Hannibal Buress walks through a city of lost souls, i.e. the Gathering of the Juggalos' Drug Bridge
On the comedy stage of All Tomorrow's Parties New York this weekend is the recently minted 30 Rock writer Hannibal Buress. The local comic's been all over the festival circuit this summer, from Pitchfork to Wilco's Solid Sound to the Gathering of the Juggalos. The latter is where he told dearly departed Paste that Tina Fey discovered him for his new job.
Let it be known the Beach at Governors Island website's official FAQ section, as far as rock-concert venue FAQ's go, is surprisingly enjoyable reading, though it doesn't exactly have great things to say about humanity. Of particular interest is the rapid-fire list of shit you can and cannot bring: eyedrops yes, umbrellas no, a stroller "yes, if it is for an infant/toddler." (This wording pretty much guarantees that somebody for some reason showed up at like an Erykah Badu show with a toddler-less stroller, which is fascinating.) But the best Q that is apparently FA'd is even weirder: