Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Isn't that the guy from Depeche Mode?

There are generally two ways an evening of Voice Street Teamstering can go. The first is in the manner of the Knitting Factory gigs, where we show up just after the sound check and sit patiently in the corner for the entire performance, grabbing people between sets and forcibly extracting their personal information with our throbbing, gargantuan brain powers.

The second is less common. We brandish our clipboards while hanging upside down from the ceiling for a few hours before a show, and as soon as the music starts, bolt off into the night sky. I prefer the bolt to the extract--less strain on my brainness and my valuable sitting-around time.

Monday night was an extract. I worked the after party of the Off Broadway Awards--the Obies--hanging around the lobby of Webster Hall with struggling actors and musicians and former Voice employees who were very eager to tell me how glad they were to be on the other side of the swag table. While Antibalas played the main room upstairs, I got to witness the exodus of award winners (and losers, I assume, but it was harder to pick them out, maybe they slunk out through the staff exit) in their East Village formal wear, which is similar to Oscar fashion but more fabulous. I wish I had more to add, but what can I say? It was a party, and parties is parties is parties, in my experience. Just a lot of people getting together and going "peoplepeoplepeoplepeople." Sort of like an elephant migration on the savannah, except nobody's naked.

I didn't leave Webster Hall until after midnight, which meant the MTA was doing their late night subway repairs on the F line. Riding the subway at one in the morning on a weekday is a weird experience. There's about as many people and as much activity as you'll see at one in the afternoon, but everything moves at a much dreamier pace, like the entire subway system just took a massive hit off the bong. New York may never sleep, but that was definitely the calmest I've ever seen it. But I digress.

This week was a double-dip Teamster week for me. Last night, I went crosstown to the West Village--seen at night, in the rain, as usual--to take my turn at the Street Team's new regular, Le Poisson Rouge. I can't tell you how badly I wanted that to translate as "The Red Poison," but sadly, it means, "The Red Fish." Le sigh. Le Poisson Rouge is a nightclub. It took me about an hour and a half to figure that out. I thought it was a concert space and couldn't figure out what the hell was going on in that enormous underground room. "Are they all just going to stand there?" I wondered. "Is a band going to get up on that stage or what? Why isn't anything happening?!"

Once I figured out that yes, they were all just going to stand there and mill about, I started to play a little game called "Spot the Euro." I think Le Poisson Rouge must appear in guidebooks somewhere as a--let me see if I can get the tone right--"trendy West Village hang out, a place to see and be seen with New York's hippest night owls." Lots of tight black clothes and asymmetrical haircuts and flat-chested Nordic beauties who were strangely willing to sign up for Voice email alerts, which means there's either a large population of these freakishly good-looking Euros in New York City, or Europeans are a lot less discriminate than Americans about who they give their personal information to.

I hung out for about three hours, reassuring my breasts that even if they weren't as cherry as European breasts, they were still beautiful in their own way. Just as I was getting ready to bolt, my exit was blocked by the guy from Depeche Mode. You know the one. I don't know where he came from or what he was doing there, but my mind instantly went to The Venture Bros. "Sweetie, isn't that the guy from Depeche Mode?"

So I guess that sometimes a party isn't just a party. Sometimes it's a bizarre, real-lifey version of a subversive cartoon.

And in my opinion, that's just super.

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