After the Banda de Turistas show (see previous post) Harrison and I ended up talking to a group of porteños who initially approached us to say that Harrison looked like Ryan Gosling. This happens semi-frequently. One of the dudes and I started talking about all the Argentine post-punk/goth bands I’ve been listening to lately and we asked them (quasi-forced them) to go get a drink with us. We all went to a bar in San Telmo, a neighborhood I really want to explore more, where they had cheap baby pitchers of beer and themed music nights. The theme that Friday was….
BRITPOP!!! Hell yeah. The entire night they were playing britpop music videos on the wall (with a generous definition of the genre including Artic Monkees, Muse, Gorillaz, and more) which was awesome because I know a decent amount about britpop and thus was able to nerd out about shit like Suede (I prefer the self-titled album over Dog Man Star) and the Stone Roses (I can more or less sing along to “She Bangs the Drum”) with my new porteño pals. After feeling like a total mook the night before, it was nice to realize that I’m not actually an unbearable awkward person, I’m just not the kind of person that usually goes to dance clubs. Get me in my proper element, which is more or less drinking pitchers of beer and nerding out about something like music, and I do fine. Just fine.
The best part however was that our entire conversation was in Spanish. Well, they wanted to practice their English too at the end of the night so some of them replied in English to my Spanish questions. But that’s not the point! The point is I spoke in Spanish for OVER FOUR HOURS and didn’t feel frustrated or constrained. This made me realize what a big difference the simple act of liking your audience and sharing mutual interests and not one of you being a shitty middle aged hater makes. All of these kids were super nice and funny and loved T. Rex and so I spoke Spanish fine. Not once did we talk about boats or the numbers of photos of them that one of us had taken. It was very nice.
The line-up for Saturday was pretty sweet. First up was this thing called SQUAT HOUSE! I don’t know if I’m 100% correct on the concept but I think that this group finds a house or building that’s not currently in use and rents it out (I don’t think they actually squat) for a night and puts on a killer party. My awesome boss Deb had gotten me two comped press tickets for the party, which Harrison and I had to pick up from a not so friendly party lady at a very random abandoned house. Determined to do Buenos Aires the right way, we took gangster ass long naps and then met up at Harrison’s place to pregame before the party, which didn’t start until 1 a.m. with the cool kids arriving at 3 a.m. We had another party engagement later in the evening so we rolled up around 1 a.m. and were a bit underwhelmed.
Sometimes when you read about something like “Abandoned house SQUAT party with DJ set by Thieves Like Us!!!!” it sounds super duper cool but then you get there and you’re like, “Oh, this is a lot like being in a bar where someone is playing music. Or maybe it’s the radio. This is very much like a large bar.” After a couple of hours, we had to jet to get to the other party before the guest list closed.
Okay, so I’m probably going to sound like a name dropping douchebag in this part, but I don’t know anything about house music, generally care about being in VIP, or ever go to exclusive clubs, so for me this whole process was just wacky and hysterical. One of my bosses’ friends is a superstar DJ named Thomas Penton. He had invited me to come see him play at this boliche (giant club) called Pacha which holds like, a million thousand people. Harrison and I got to the club and found out that I was on the list (tight!) but Harrison wasn’t (suck!). Fortunately, I’m a good friend so I went and grabbed Thomas (whose set didn’t start until 5 a.m.!!!) who came outside and threw his weight around and got Harrison in without much difficulty. Inside, we chilled in VIP which is still an arbitrary line that divides the dance floor in half, but I guess dancing is more fun when you aren’t near poor people so that’s cool. Thomas told us not to leave VIP because he didn’t have wristbands to get us back in, but I was wasted and promptly found myself on the wrong side of the VIP fence moments later. I tried to tell the bouncers I was friends with Thomas, I tried to wave to him so he could help me, but it was useless. I was fucked. I was fucked right up until the moment where I climbed their little Berlin wall of coolness and snuck right back in. Suck my dick, elitism.
After Pacha closed down at the ungodly hour of 8:30 a.m. Harrison and I went to catch a bus home. There, Harrison neglected to protect me from myself and allowed me to jump on a mystery bus going who knows where while he was chatting up a lady (I may have been a bit unruly at this point. Maybe.). Mystery bus dropped me off at the intersection of Middle of Nowhere Ave and How the Fuck Do I Get Home Blvd and from there I walked in what I hoped was the right direction. After walking some distance, I gave up on hope, got sick of walking, and took matters into my own hands by hailing a cab. My friends, this is the difference between prayer and magic. Prayer is waiting for something to happen and hoping it does; magic is doing some made-up ineffective bullshit but getting exactly what you wanted to happen, and then turning around and going, “Ha! See. I did that. Me.”