SOTC Nightlife Awards: The Best Parties of 2010, Featuring Q-Tip, Let's Play House, Jelly NYC, and More

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The crowd at Let's Play House, our favorite wandering house party. Photo by John Barclay.
Before we sink into holiday hibernation, we thought we'd take a moment to reflect on our exploits, and present to you our very own 2010 SOTC Nightlife Awards. Below, our fourth installment examines the year's best parties.

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The 10 Biggest Music Stories of 2010

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Ah M.I.A., it just wasn't your year, was it? Photo by Rebecca Smeyne.
In 2010, Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire both had #1 records. LCD Soundsystem, Spoon, MGMT, the National, M.I.A, and Sufjan Stevens all had albums debut in the top ten. Kanye West joined Twitter. Drake started a riot in New York. Converse opened a recording studio in Brooklyn. M.I.A. went to war with the New York Times. Pavement reunited. Juggalos went mainstream. From our vantage point, this year in music was one of the most lawlessly entertaining--purely ridiculous, even--in a long, long while. So in the spirit of the deluge of year-end lists even now beginning to rain down upon us (don't forget to vote in Pazz & Jop!), we figured we'd look back on our ten favorite storylines of 2010. They weren't necessary the biggest, but they were the ones that SOTC had the most fun with, and the ones we cared most about.

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Gucci Mane, DMC, Andrew W.K., Cool Kids, Big Freedia, Tim Harrington, And Doug E. Fresh Played The Last Jelly Pool Party, Possibly Ever

And so it ends, the fifth and most calamitous season of Jelly Pool Parties, with a finale abruptly canceled and grudgingly reinstated, in the end overloaded with a semi-secret parade of random-ass rappers, semi-secretly headlined by your friend and mine Gucci Mane. Never has the line "I don't wear tight jeans like the white boys/But I do get wasted like the white boys" had so much resonance.

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Brooklyn, This Is Your Rain Dance: Rating Audience Moves at Yesterday's Chromeo Pool Party


So much umbrella dancing.

"An accurate summary of the pagan ritual-meets-Fred Astaire umbrella dancing that became yesterday's BK show," wrote Montreal joke-funk duo Chromeo on Twitter earlier today, about our own Puja Patel's report on the show. (Thanks Chromeo!) But that got us thinking: what does pagan ritual-meets-Fred Astaire umbrella dancing actually look like, in real time? Is that like what they do at Phish shows? Not having seen this species of dance in NYC before (our photographer stuck to portraits, sadly), we went looking for documentation. Luckily, there's tons of it. Gather round and see what Brooklyn looks like when its drunk off rain water and the persecution of the OSA:


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Live: Chromeo Thrill A Soaked, Oft-Shoeless Jelly Pool Party Crowd With Rampant Corniness

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Throw down your umbrellas, Brooklyn. Pics by Sam Horine.
Chromeo
East River State Park
Sunday, August 22

Yesterday afternoon's rain-soaked Jelly NYC Pool Party, once thought to be the last one ever due to a since-resolved spat with the OSA, might have been the best one of the season. Storm worries delayed things, but a few hours and a handful of encouraging Tweets later, the rain-soaked grounds of East River State Park opened their gates to the public, which soon enjoyed a headlining set by Montreal's electro-pop cheeseballs Chromeo (see photos of the whole thing here).

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The Last Jelly Pool Party, Featuring "SECRET SPECIAL GUESTS!", Is Back On

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Last chance to do this, for real this time. Pic by Sam Horine.
Yes, the final Pool Party of a remarkably tumultuous year has been saved, set for this Sunday, August 29, rescued after an ugly few days of Jelly and the Open Space Alliance trading crabby press releases. The dialogue is still crabby ("We are pleased that Jelly was able to meet most of its obligations," lalz), but apparently a couple nearby businesses kicked in, and State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (aside the tireless Chuck Schumer) mediated a compromise. Confirmed to play so far: DeLorean and Dominique Young Unique. Uh... bring on those SECRET SPECIAL GUESTS! Full release below:

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Jelly Responds To Pool Party Cancellation: "We Would Like To Take This Time To State Some Facts, And Express Our True Sadness And Shock With This Decision"

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So the last Jelly Pool Party of the year, set for August 29, was canceled last night via a sassy press release from East River State Park overseers the Open Space Alliance, citing payment default; Jelly has now prepared an equally epic response complaining of arbitrary, last-minute fees: "It is important to mention that OSA laid out the first additional fees, which were significant to say the very least, less than 48 hours before our first show on July 11th." They further lament the axed show ("With all our planned special guests and unannounced surprises, it was sure to be a day no one would soon forget") and, finally, offer a barrage of farewell-speech-sounding thank-yous. Goodbye to all that? Is anyone gonna be in the mood to try this again next year? Full release below:


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Last Pool Party Canceled, OSA Slams Jelly, Jelly Prepares Rebuttal: "Their Statement Contains Numerous Falsehoods That We Can Document"

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At the !!! Pool Party Sunday, in (slightly) happier times. Pic by Sam Horine.
A bad summer for the Jelly Pool Parties is ending worse. Word spread last night that the August 29th show at East River State Park, featuring Delorean, Dominique Young Unique, and two never-revealed SECRET SPECIAL GUESTS has been canceled by the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA) via a stupendously bitchy press release calling Jelly out for unpaid debts: "Our primary concern is improving open space in North Brooklyn, and we will not endanger our mission by putting the finances and reputation of our organization at risk by allowing Jelly to slide on its financial obligations." That full press release is below; reached late last night, Jelly's Sarah Hooper told me the organization planned a full rebuttal: "We are gathering our thoughts/statements and will be back to you soon, but I can 100 percent say that their statement contains numerous falsehoods that we can document."

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Photos: !!! and Lee Fields Played Yesterday's Jelly NYC Pool Party

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!!!'s Nic Offer, greeting his constituents. All photos by Sam Horine.
Despite the intermittent rain and vile humidity, a decent crowd turned up at yesterday's Pool Party to see !!! and Lee Fields play two very different vintages of funk on the Williamsburg Waterfront. Nic Offer spent much of the show in the crowd, as he often does; Lee Fields, meanwhile, rocked a truly impeccable pair of gold shoes. Weed and the threat of lightning were in the air, but luckily, this one came off without any further conflict with the police and/or parks people. That's a good thing, especially with the summer Jelly NYC have been having. Thank them for all these free shows when you see them. More photos are below, or you can consult Sam Horine's full gallery, here.

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Jelly's Free Pool Parties Cost About $500,000 This Year, Aren't As Much Fun To Put On Anymore

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The scene at Sunday's Cut Copy fete. Pic by Sam Horine.
"I kind of hate the Pool Parties now," notes Jelly NYC co-owner Sarah Hooper in the last (!) graf of this not terribly sunny NPR report on the promotion company's current mindset. "It's no longer the series we envisioned," she notes elsewhere. "Every time we've done an event, we approach it like, 'What can we do to make it better and more fun for the audience?' And when it gets to the level like we're seeing now where we're no longer able to make it fun for the audience in the way we want to, we start rethinking things."

And what is the issue, precisely?

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