4AM DJ Tour Diary: Mick Boogie Does Comic-Con & LA

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m always arranging performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day, the reports I get back from my DJs sound like the kinds of wild adventures that I rarely get to be a part of as a desk jockey. The people who flock to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this monthly column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this Tour Diary, you’ll read about Mick Boogie as he makes his way to San Diego’s Comic-Con for a celebrity-packed party, and then to LA for one of that town’s legendary daytime jams. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

Thursday July 21: I landed in San Diego to deejay a party at Comic Con. The party was sponsored by Complex Magazine, and featured celebs like Cowboys and Aliens Jon Favreau—who spun a guest DJ set—and Olivia Munn. When I’m not manning the decks, I’m a huge comic book and graphic novel fan, so checking out the convention was something I’ve always wanted to do. It did not disappoint. Pure. Mayhem.

Friday July 22: I traveled via train from San Diego to LA. If you haven’t taken that train ride, I highly recommend it. 2.5 hours of scenic coastal views made the trip one of the first times I’ve ever travelled and wished it had lasted longer. I arrived in LA at around 3pm, and met my wife (who flew into LAX from NYC that afternoon) to begin our LA experience.

Saturday July 23: I was the featured DJ at one of my favorite clubs in the world, Playhouse. It’s a DJ’s dream: amazing sound, huge stage, insane lightshow, and the energy is intense. Thousands of people are going crazy to the latest house bangers. A big shout out to Igor from Playhouse, who has always supported the Mick Boogie movement.

Sunday July 24: After a night of drunken Euro-rific house madness, my Sunday gig was the complete opposite, and quite possibly the most fun I’ve had DJing in years, at the legendary LA daytime party, the Do-Over. Any deejay who declines an invite here, or says they didn’t have fun, is not a real DJ. This is a music lover’s dream, where you can play anything under the sun, as long as it isn’t the contrived nonsense we have to play 85% of the time everywhere else. A big thanks to Azul and Dominique. Selections from my Do-Over set included about 10 songs produced by J. Dilla, a set of samples from the Tribe Called Quest discography, a Brazilian funk set, some dancehall, and a 70s slowjam grand finale. I would deejay the Do-Over every week if I could. After that, it was back to NYC and the regular grind, but this weekend showed me why Southern California is such an amazing place, and I can’t wait to go back!

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4AM DJ Tour Diary: Mia Moretti & Caitlin Moe Go to Paris

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m always arranging performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day, the reports I get back from my DJs sound like the kinds of wild adventures that I rarely get to be a part of as a desk jockey. The people who flock to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this monthly column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this Tour Diary, you’ll read about It girl DJ Mia Moretti and her partner in crime, violinist Caitlin Moe, as they make their way to Paris for a gala at the Louvre Pyramid. It’s a whirlwind, 24-hour trip, just enough time to eat drink, and expand their wardrobes. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

We just landed in Paris, and we’ve got 24 hours to get dressed, get our faces on, get to the Louvre for the 2nd Liaisons au Louvre gala, and get back on a plane to New York City. How very Cinderella of us.

The first gala, which Duran Duran performed at, was the first time in history that the Louvre allowed a performance inside the I.M. Pei-designed glass pyramid. This year, they called upon the queen of pop herself, Miss Janet Jackson.

Caitlin and I were asked to perform an opening DJ & violin set leading up to Janet’s performance, which might just be our favorite gig yet (yes, even better than playing for you, Bill Clinton). But it isn’t all fun and games for us two professional party crashers—we had some major work ahead. So off we went to the Sonya Rykiel Paris showroom on Blvd. St. Germain to pull from her personal archives (thank you very much, Mr. Horne, for setting up our appointment with the most gracious and beautiful Clara Noujain). image All that hard work deserved a little reward, and in Paris a little reward comes in the form of a bottle of rose and a plate of fromage. Now, back to the hotel to make a beauty of the now tipsy, fat, and jet-lagged beast. Surprise, surprise! Back at the hotel, what was waiting for us but more dresses! One of my favorite new French designers, Carven, had sent over bags of dresses, corsets, collars, and bustiers galore.

A little powder, a little blush, a lot of lashes, and we’re off. To be playing inside the Louvre and hearing the strings echo through the pyramid is nothing short of magic. The party-goers danced until the sun came up, and we ran out of there just in time to catch our 7am pumpkin, er, flight.

Merci Paris! You are everything!

Bisous,

Mia & Caitlin

DJ Jus-Ske’s Adidas All-In Asian Tour Diary

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m constantly arranging for performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day, I get reports back from my DJs filled with the kinds of wild adventures I rarely get to be a part of as a desk jockey. The people who flock to their stellar international events get to experience the end results of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this monthly column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this 4AM DJ Tour Diary, you’ll read about DJ Jus-Ske‘s trip through Shanghai, Taiwan, and Hong Kong for the Adidas All-In Tour. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

In May, I was given the opportunity to be a part of Adidas’ All-In Tour. The tour took place in Asia and lasted a week. I flew from NY and landed in Shanghai, where I had a car waiting for me. The hospitality from the guys at Adidas was tremendous. I was taken to my hotel, where I slept off a bit of jetlag before getting ready to start my week of events. I stayed at Puli Hotel while in Shanghai, and it was sick.

During my first day in Shanghai, I met up with my buddy, Kevin Poon, who owns a clothing company called Clot Inc. Kevin is deep in the fashion world in Asia, owning stores like Juice Shanghai and Juice Hong Kong, which I was able to check out while I was there. He’s also opening the WOAW pop-up store in Hong Kong, which will feature a bunch of luxury eyewear brands all in one store.

Kevin was extremely helpful during my entire stay in Asia. The day of my first show, we went through the event that was about to take place that night. Later that day, I went for sound check at the venue, Block 6, and after did a ton of press in the green room. Eventually, it was time for the main event. I was set to go on after Edison Chen, who is a huge actor and musician in China.

After doing sound check and press, I was ready to rock, but then I found out that the party was getting stalled due to overcrowding. The cops in Shanghai showed up to the venue because too many people were trying to get in. There were problems with fans forcing themselves past the barricades at the entrance because they were so excited for the event, but they ended up just getting the show postponed for three hours. During that time, I just chilled backstage and became cooler with Edison. He’s a great individual. The cops stalling the event only created more anticipation for the show we were about to put on.

Edison went on first and killed it for the crowd. After his performance, he was nice enough to introduce me to the crowd. Edison being such a huge celebrity in China really helped the crowd to accept me. By the end of my set, the crowd was totally into it. The show ended up being totally official, even though it was pushed back for a few hours. The next day I left for Hong Kong first thing in the morning. Hong Kong was where I spent most of my time during my trip. I was there for five days and I was able to travel around the city, go shopping, and eat traditional Hong Kong cuisine. I stayed at The Upper House, another sick hotel.

In Hong Kong, I met up with my business partner Daniel to talk about my sunglasses line, Illesteva. The first thing we did was meet up with my friend Gilbert, who owns the biggest club in Hong Kong, called Dragon-i. We all got dinner and then made our way to Dragon-i, which always brings out the best crowd in Hong Kong. The next day I went sight seeing around the city. I luckily had the best driver, Jonathan, who took me all around in a Mercedes minivan. He took us to the gold and electronic market and to some other shops, including Juice HK. Shopping in Hong Kong is crazy. I met back up with Kevin Poon and we eventually got dinner.

My second Adidas event took place during my third night in Hong Kong and the crowd was amazing. The event was held at the Ocean Terminal Rooftop. The next night Gilbert hosted a dinner party at his insane penthouse in the hills. It was great running into all my Tokyo and Hong Kong buddies who were there. After dinner we went back to Dragon I and then later to Volar with my Hong Kong fam. Later that night, we all met up at Hong Kong’s best late night spot, Tsuewah, for traditional Hong Kong cuisine.

The next day I had some meetings and then left for Taiwan for the third and final stop of the Adidas All-In Tour. I stayed at the W Taipei. It was my first time in Taiwan and I didn’t know what to expect. After I landed, I went straight to sound check, then I met up with my friend, Soda, and went to a traditional Thai barbeque spot. The food was on another level. What was so great about the show in Taiwan was the event was held in the biggest shopping center in the country at No. 8. That night I did the red carpet with Edison Chen and I was able to watch and enjoy the show before performing. The crowd in Taiwan was extremely hyped. After the show I went to check out my boy, DJ Vice, because it’s always good to see friends especially half way around the world. The next day we went around Taiwan and went to Eskuche, one of the most amazing stores I’ve ever seen. I also stopped at Juice Taiwan to go shopping. One of my favorite things about Taiwan was the culture and watching some of the dudes there break dance, I’ve never seen anything like it. From Taiwan, I flew back to Hong Kong where I finally caught my flight back to NY. The hospitality I received during my stay in Asia was incredible. Everyone went above and beyond. The Asian culture is completely different and my friends who live there were gracious enough to show me around and make me feel at home during my stay.

4AM DJ Tour Diary: DJ Phresh Hits Las Vegas

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m constantly producing performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day I get reports back from my DJs filled with the kind of wild adventures I rarely get to be a part of as a desk jockey. The people who flock to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this 4AM DJ Tour Diary, read about DJ Phresh‘s insane weekend in Vegas. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

New York, Friday, March 18th, 7:14am: Vegas is a big deal for a lot of American artists and DJs, but at all I could think about was that one extra minute I had planned for on my Blackberry alarm — 7:15am is so much better than 7:14am, especially when it comes down to New York minutes. One of my managers, Arie Deutsch, was calling me in his Diddy-esque “Goin’ Back to Cali” voice to make sure I was up, and my other manager, Adam Alpert, was dually texting and emailing me to make sure I checked out a mention I got in Page Six for the previous night’s insanity. And so the day begins.

Showered, locked, and loaded, I rushed down the stairs of my apartment, Tumi and Incase bags in hand, right into my car, and proceeded to drive through the pothole run that is the route between Williamsburg and JFK Airport. With 10 minutes left before final bag check time, I pulled in at Terminal 5 only to remember that it is the terminal from hell when it comes to parking. I finally found a spot on the top floor of the structure and had to make what felt like a half-mile dash down the corridor leading to check-in. Gotta love it when they turn off the walkways in the morning! The check-in line was ridiculous, and in true New York nightlife fashion, I caught my breath, put on my best, and approached one of the female attendees, who then escorted me past the line and right up to the counter. “Please help this handsome, sweaty man catch his flight.” she said to her coworker. After the usual bag check and inspection of alien devices, later to be described as my DJ needles and equipment, I met up with Adam and Arie in the terminal and got my customary stash of snacks for the flight. After a couple minutes of safety prayers, I threw my iPad new music playlist on, and then it was heels up, and lights out.

Las Vegas, Friday, March 18th, 1:00 pm. Five animal crackers, a sandwich, a four hour nap, one remix, and twenty levels of Angry Birds later, and hello Las Vegas! There’s just something about Vegas that gets me every time. The minute I land it’s like the entire city is screaming “GO IN!”

The crew and I made our way out toward baggage claim, where our driver was waiting with his “love boat” sign. We got our bags and headed to our first stop on my Vegas Spring Break weekend, The Mirage. Light Group had me set up to spin at The Bank at the Bellagio, Jet nightclub at the Mirage, and The Bare Pool at the Mirage. Light Group is one of the major hospitality development and management companies in the States. I was introduced to them initially through Danny A., who cosigned me for my work at Upstairs.

Once we got to the Mirage, Arie and I decided to go check out the Bare Pool and see what the vibe was down there. It was 70 degrees in Vegas, which totally beats NY’s mid 40’s. When I got to Bare, I bumped into Kalika Moquin, who was running the show. She walked us right in and it was everything I expected. The music was on point, the vibe was right, and the crowd was sexy. It definitely took me a lot longer to blink than usual. After that, we decided to stop by BLT Burger and grab a bite before linking up with my homie, DJ Ikon. Ikon just opened up a sick sneaker store called Feature LV and he wanted me to check out all of the progress they had made since my last visit. Not even 5 minutes into my sneaker hunt, and I already had 3 pairs of kicks on the counter waiting for checkout. Once I wrapped up, I took a trip next door to my other good friends DJ Crooked and DJ Neva’s clothing store, KNYEW, which stands for Keeping New York Everywhere. I picked up a few shirts from some up-and-coming brands, and a couple accessories, and headed back to the Mirage for a pre-game nap. image

Friday, March 18th, 10:00 pm. After waking up and retrieving Arie from the sportsbook, we headed over to the Bellagio and had dinner at Yellowtail, one of my personal favorites. It’s also about 50 feet from The Bank. Once dinner was done, we walked over to the club, which was a total scene. It wasn’t even midnight yet, and it was already packed. We were greeted out front by Colin Comer from The Bank and a linebacker-sized security guard, who then proceeded to make an opening through the crowd toward the DJ booth. DJ Karma was opening and had the crowd nice and ready when we got there. I don’t usually drink — unless it’s with the Light Group crew, apparently. Because Jake Saady from Light Group walked into the booth with Karma in the middle of my set and it automatically became Patron time. At that point, I just went into autopilot and went in with all the hits. Vegas is a hits-only kind of town, and that’s one of the things I love about the crowds. They just want to dance. The Bank is a high-end room, and there’s no room for the too-cool-for-school mentality or wallflowers. As a DJ, it’s the perfect stage to exert your crowd motivation and party rocking skills. I stayed on until after 3am, tapped out, and passed the headphones to Karma.

Saturday, March 19th, 5:00am. In a perfect world, at this time of morning I’d be tucked under some high thread covers, dead-to-the-world-asleep, but not in Vegas. We leave The Bank and and somehow got from the Bellagio over to the a bright and modern hotel, whose name I was too drunk to remember, where we met up with some friends for some late night gambling, and then over to a friend’s two-story suite for the after-after party. The rest of this story has been redacted to protect the not-so-innocent and their fuzzy warbles. Bedtime: 10am.

Saturday, March 19th, 4:00pm. So tonight is Jet Nightclub, and a 10pm reservation at Stack. I was supposed to spin the Bare Pool earlier at 3 but the temperature dropped 15 degrees, so it’s not warm enough outside for the pool to be open. It’s a big let down because it would have been my first pool party in Vegas. But there’s always next time. Kalika and the Light Group crew were cool about it too, and let me know that they’d make up next time. So now it’s time to get productive, which means remixes.

Saturday, March 19th, 10:00 pm. I headed down to Stack Restaurant, where Light Group had us set up with an all-you-can-eat dinner for 6. The food was great. I usually don’t enjoy DJing on a full stomach, but I didn’t feel that weighed down or tired after the meal. After dinner, I ran up to the room to find myself real quick, and then came down and met up with JT and security. They took me over to the club through the secret “bat cave” entrance, which led right up to the red carpet. I had a couple shots taken, and then ran inside and hopped on with DJ Ikon.

Jet was insanely packed, and more hip-hop centered than The Bank. At around midnight, I got on with Ikon’s blessing and started to go to work. A short while later, Adam Alpert showed up with a huge crew to support me. Ikon had the “Patron Time” look in his eyes, so we went down that road again. My encore set was even more fun for me, because I actually got to spin house. New York clubs want to leave on a high-energy note, but every now and then you should smooth them out. Once the club finally closed, we decided to go meet up with my good friend and a great DJ, David Christian.

DC does the DJ booking for Light Group. We met over at this local Asian restaurant on Spring Mountain Road that all of the industry people go to. It was pretty packed for that hour of the night, and the food was remarkable. Good times were had, and I got a chance to meet some more of the local Vegas DJs. The camaraderie amongst DJs in Vegas is unrivaled. After failing miserably at downing the mountain of pad thai I ordered, I decided to call it a night and skipped past the sexting part of the night right for the pillows. Overall, the trip was successful and fun, and that’s the best you can ask for — good times with good people, and a whole lot of left-out details, because what happens in Vegas…well, you know the rest.

The Sound of Music: 4AM DJs, WMC, Women

With the Winter Music Conference blasting Miami, a great many of the DJ staples are not at their usual haunts. Sure, they often enlighten us, educate us, and take us to a different place, but all too often they play the same tracks in the same order as their brethren. With Vinyl and CD’s heading in the same direction as the Eastern Ghost Cat and the Dodo — extinction, if you didn’t catch my drift — the loss of ingenuity looms dangerously, as redundancy threatens.

Miami’s gain can be ours too, as new DJs and sounds will have a chance to spin. While the cats are away, the mice might play at a club near you. Things might be getting a bit too desperate, bookers may indeed be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Example: Rob Fernandez has asked me to spin at Pacha real soon. Don’t panic, house heads: the only house I play is at home with my Amanda. It’s a rock and roll event.

Since some people who don’t pay attention, or are maybe just a bit lost, are asking me to DJ, I think I will take up 4AM’s offer, and sign with them. The DJ/talent and management agency is hosting a WMC soiree on Thursday night at 10PM ‘til 1AM in celebration of their one year anniversary. It will be held at the Soho Beach House. Featured DJs include Jus-Ske, Jesse Marco, Ani Quinn, Brooklyn Dawn, Mia Moretti, Orazio Rispo, Phresh, Price, Sinatra, Suss One, and Theory. Now, it may become a conflict of interest if I am writing about someone I am getting work for, but that would concede the fact that there is actually interest in my talents, or lack of. I will disclose.

If I was in Miami I would have attended last night’s Def Mix the Godfathers of House Descend Official Opening Party for WMC 201, held at the Vagabond. Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, and Hector Romero were in charge of the music. The other day was International Women’s Day: a shout out to all the women in nightlife who struggle in what James Brown would surely call “A Man’s World.” Jayma Cardoza is killing it over at Lavo, and there are a few other ladies of the night out there, but the cards are stacked against them. The awareness day hits home in an industry where women are generally categorized as commodities. On the night of International Women’s Day I happened to be at a joint sipping a Diet Coke with some friends when a lovely lass left the mayhem of a promoter’s table to say hello. She thanked me earnestly, through once prettier eyes, for always taking care of her at clubs I associated with. Still drop-dead gorgeous, I imagined she cocktailed somewhere when she wasn’t getting plastered. I declined credit for her entry into clubdom, and kissed her on her cheeks. I remembered the words of Scott Lipps, head honcho over at One Model Management. He told me recently that you never see the real girls at the clubs, as they’re too busy working. So the sad scene of the “C” model, with the “C” promoter, at the see and be seen table, was sad. (Editor’s note: What? She couldn’t just be out having fun? Blowing off steam after working all day as a hedge fund analyst? You never know! Love you, Uncle Steve) I guess they aren’t all getting what they want, but maybe what they need, as the girls are indeed having fun making connections for small work, and meeting cool guys. The promoters are delivering talent to the club, which is scoring on the bottles that the suits at the adjacent table were Black-Carding. Now there is no reason to change too much, but it would be nice if owners possibly hired a few women promoters to bring some model boys to the bar. Patty Doria used to do that, and worked everywhere. Now, of course, she keeps things smooth at the Chateau Marmont in Beverly Hills. Maybe International Women’s Day should be a monthly.

4AM DJ Tour Diary: DJ Theory Hits the Sundance Film Festival

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m constantly arranging performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day, I get reports back from my DJs filled with stories about the kinds of wild adventures I rarely get to be a part of as a desk jockey. The people who flock to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this monthly column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this fourth 4AM DJ Tour Diary, you’ll read about DJ Theory‘s wild few days in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival, where he spun at our Sunday Funday party at Tao. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

Saturday, January 22: Sundance is a festival for independent films. We, however, set out to Utah for a much different reason — to DJ, of course. The events included our famous Funday event at TAO at the Samsung Galaxy Tab Lift, thanks to Strategic Group’s Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss. Our journey out West started where many often do — at Terminal 5 of JFK, throwing back shots of Patron. I arrived to the airport to be greeted by Kirill of KirillWasHere.com, Loren Whalen, Vanessa Lennon, DJ Sinatra, and Vanessa Ratnavich. Jonny Lennon, my manager at 4AM, had assembled a strong team of individuals. We were meeting him and DJ Jesse Marco who were already in Park City, and we ran into XIX’s Ruben Rivera, who ended up joining us on our JetBlue flight to Salt Lake City.

During the flight, most of us slept, myself included. Row 3E-F, comprised of Kirill, Sinatra and Vanessa R., played “Black and Yellow” on repeat, and drank mini bottles of Jameson until we touched down in Utah. As soon as we landed, our entire group decided that it would be a good idea to head straight to Park City and check out what was up. We were all a little stir crazy and ready to meet up with everyone else. Thanks to Thrifty Car Rental and driving from Loren, we all arrived quickly and in one piece. We hit some gifting suites and got some cool swag. Later, all of us headed to Tao Sundance. The venue looked great; alcohol was flowing like it came from a water fountain. Our entire team was in one place.

We met up with Kristina Marino of Downtown Diaries, Sarah Appleton, PJ Monte, Julian Cavin, and the rest of the crew. The group made their way around the room, saying hello to their respective friends and colleagues. I enjoyed many a Stella Artois from the seemingly endless buckets positioned every 10 feet. Despite being in Utah, there was an overwhelming presence of New Yorkers. I ran into fellow DJs the Chainsmokers on my way to the bathroom. Finally, around 3:30 a.m., we decided to begin the long trek back to the 4AM Sundance house, a huge 7000-square-foot ski chalet outside town. Our group finally pulled into the driveway around 5 a.m., exhausted and ready to crash. image

Sunday, Funday, January: I woke up and wandered upstairs into the kitchen to find a delicious breakfast being made. A few brave souls, Jesse Marco included, had headed off to the Park City Slopes to get some fresh powder. We watched the AFC championship football game. The Jets lost, only briefly dampening our spirits as we prepared for our party at Tao. Some friends prepared an Italian feast for the entire house. Jonny, Loren and myself headed into Park City in our 4AM-stickered Ford Excursion before everyone else, as I was DJing Jamie Patricof’s Little Birds premiere after party before Sunday Funday.

While walking down Main Street on my way to the event, I realized I had left my laptop sitting on the counter at the house. Luckily, one of the guys was nice enough to drive into town to deliver it just as the event was starting. I took a deep breath and began spinning just as the doors opened. By 11 p.m., the venue was filled front to back. The crowd enjoyed the music, chatting with each other until midnight, when Sunday Funday began. As the room loosened up, it shifted from an event into a real nightclub party. I played a quick hip-hop set, dropping Slick Rick’s “Mona Lisa” and Naughty by Nature’s “Jamboree,” as well as Big Boi’s “Shutterbug.” By the time Jon Lennon, Jesse Marco, and DJ Sinatra made their way through the packed crowd at 12:45, there wasn’t a single person standing still.

Jesse hopped on the decks next, opening with the Kill Bill theme, a song that fit both the mood of the party and the film industry crowd. Soon, the room was dancing to club anthems like A-Trak’s “Barbara Streisand” and “Heads Will Roll.” After our kind waitress kept the bottles of Patron coming, our night blurred. At one point, our table of friends had 4 circulating handles of alcohol being passed around. While the overall music wasn’t as loud as we would have liked, the DJ booth monitor kept the immediate area towards the stage well fed with sound. Much to our dismay, it overheated throughout the night, causing it to turn off.

The room didn’t seem to notice the lack of sound, as party revelers continued raging late into the night. Recent 4AM signee, DJ Mia Moretti, who had performed at the Day & Night brunch and many other events, came by to say hello. Diplo showed up and dropped a quick but memorable set. Cee-Lo, Shwayze and Jermaine Dupri were there too, and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Just as expected, the Tao space was at capacity until 3:59, when the speakers were promptly shut off. A “Broooooooklyn” chant erupted, led by DJ Sinatra. We exited as a group, piling into the 4AM-mobile out front.

The drive back to our house was complete with a stop at 7/11. Sinatra discovered what the inside of a walk-in beer fridge looked like, a life-long desire of his. We bought enough frozen pizzas to feed a medium-sized town. An anonymous superstar DJ learned what a bottle of Patron felt like the second time around. Some slept, some fretted over the location of their wallet. Back at the house, we reviewed pictures taken that night by Kirill, and ate like kings until the wee hours. image

Monday, January 24th: After 5 hours sleep, the entire house arose at noon to go snowmobiling. After last year’s inaugural outing, we were all very excited to spend the afternoon cruising around the snow-covered woods. We managed to pack 15 people into our Ford Excursion, and set off towards Salt Lake City, traversing through the mountains along the way. Upon arriving at our destination, we realized we had entered the wrong city into the GPS, and were 80 miles away from the correct Thousand Peaks, Utah’s largest mountain ranch. After our slight course correction, we met up with friend Jon Alagem, and got ready to hit the snow.

I can only describe snowmobiling as riding a motorized polar bear. We spent the whole afternoon ripping around flats, finding jumps, and racing each other before ascending into the mountains. After hours in the cold, our entire group headed to the grocery store to gather supplies for dinner. Back at the house, each person helped prepare our feast. Jesse showed us his signature steak marinade, a combination of Italian and Japanese cooking. I prepared a delicious vegetarian-friendly meal. Our Utah-family dinner was served, and afterwards everyone relaxed, still recovering from the night before. I played a few matches of ping-pong before falling asleep at 11:45. Tuesday, January 25th: Much to my surprise, I was the first one awake on Tuesday. I hadn’t seen 8:45 a.m., in a while, so it was nice to experience a real morning. I was heading to the slopes with my friend Sarah for a day of skiing. After breakfast, we both grabbed our gear and drove into town. It had been 3 years since I had been on a pair of skis. After many years of ski racing while growing up, I was excited to be back on the snow. We had a nice dusting of fresh powder as well. By 10:30, we were at the summit of Park City Mountain. The two of us spent the morning gathering our bearings. After a quick stop for lunch, we were fortunate enough to be shown around the mountain by a local who was familiar with the terrain.

In no time at all, we were standing at the tip of the infamous Jupiter bowl, terrain so steep that if you stood too close to the edge, the ground underneath you would crumble. After some contemplating, we all dropped into the steep pitch and experienced an exhilarating ride through the back woods, miles from any other skiers. Late in the afternoon, we met up with Jesse and Natalia. All of us finished the day with a quick meal at lodge and headed back to the house. We headed to the airport to catch the redeye flight back to New York. I was asleep before we left the ground, tired after a long day of skiing. We landed as the sun was coming up. I was back home, comfortably in my bed a little before 7 a.m., happy with the successful weekend I just had in Utah.

4AM Tour Diary: DJ Sinatra Spends NYE 2011 in Miami

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m constantly arranging performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day, I get reports back from my DJs filled with the kind of wild adventures I rarely get to be a part of as a desk – rather than a disk – jockey. The people who flock to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this third 4AM DJ Tour Diary, you’ll read about DJ Sinatra‘s insane week leading up to New Year’s Eve in Miami. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010: My lovely girlfriend Vanessa and I left the great blizzard of 2010 in NYC and headed to sunny South Beach for our NYE 2011 celebration. The driver picked us up at 8am to drive us to the airport. There was 30 inches of snow and the roads were terrible. A lot of flights were delayed, so we weren’t sure if we would even get out. When we got there, our flight was delayed until 2pm. What to do at the airport at 9 in the morning? The answer: Drink bloody marys! We must have had 3 or 4 during breakfast, and I couldn’t wait to get down to South Beach to ring in the New Year with my 4AM DJ family.

We headed over to our gate and there was my homie, DJ MOS. We hung out until we boarded the flight. We were lucky to be flying. When we touched down in Miami, it was cold but better than New York, so no complaining from us. My first night in Miami, I deejayed the ill Tuesday party at The Wall nightclub at the W South Beach, called “Favela Beach.” I was amped because I was DJing with a good friend of mine, DJ Ross One. The party was hosted by Tatanka, Paolo, Flip, Sebastian, Roy, Los, Navin Chatani, Karim Masri, and of course, Nicola Siervo. It was insane, packed wall-to-wall. Nicola was on the mic going nuts, and called out DJ Vice to come spin with us. We had a surprise DJ cipher with Vice, Ross, and myself. The energy in the room was next level, as we kicked off NYE week in style.

Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010: I was exhausted from working and traveling. I really didn’t get much sleep, so I had to recharge my battery. That night, Vanessa and I hit up our favorite Mexican restaurant on Lincoln Road. After we ate, we met up with our buddy Jack Furious, who was down from New York. We rolled over to Coco de Ville were I DJed that night. We hung out with Sebastian, Jack, Iron Lyon, and Eric even came through – always a good venue, run by my buddies of OneFifty.

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Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010: One of my best friends, DJ Vitale, arrived, and we were ready to party. The weather was getting nice and we decided to go check out DJ Jacamino, who was spinning Derek & Daniel Koch of Dual Groupe’s “Day & Night” brunch party at Vita. We hung out for a little, had some laughs, and then went back to the hotel to get ready for another night of DJing! I was spinning at Louis at the Gansevoort South. I had never spun there before, so I was excited to go in. The room was packed and the energy was in the air. A few Patron’s later and the night was a blur. From what I remember, though, we had another great night.

Friday, Dec. 31, 2010: It was the night we all had been waiting for: The 4AM 2011 New Year’s Eve party at The Wall at the W South Beach with Drake performing. I was DJing the biggest stage of the year and couldn’t believe it. When Vanessa and I arrived, we were greeted by my manager at 4AM, Adam Alpert, and he walked us in straight to the red carpet. What seemed like a million photographers were shooting me from every angle. With flashing lights everywhere, I couldn’t have been more excited. Questions were being thrown at me, one after the other. It was amazing and fun and I just rolled with it. Vanessa was a pro and joined me for a few photos. We then headed to the 4AM DJs cabana and listened to my 4AM family member DJ Phresh, who was spinning by the pool. Fast forward to 10 minutes left in 2010, and Drake jumps on the table and drops “Runaway” and “B.M.F.” The place is going nuts. We saw so many people from New York and my Miami peeps, Mr. Mauricio and Raul. When the clock struck 12, I kissed my lady and we made a video to send to all our family and friends. We looked up, and Drake was performing right in front of us. Bottles were flowing. Then it was time for me to DJ. The place was going crazy and I jumped on the mic. I said something about 2011, I can’t remember, and the club erupted. The lighting was on point and the sound was great. The Wall is truly one of my favorite clubs. I will never forget this night.

Thanks to my 4AM team, Adam, and DJ Jus-Ske, who was spinning NYE in St. Barths and who we all missed. After my set was over, we went over to meet up with DJ Vitale, DJ Riz, DJ Reach, and Los. 2010 was over and the week was such a success. It was great to be able to share it with my 4AM family and all my other DJ brothers. This trip left me so inspired and I couldn’t wait to get back work.

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See other 4AM Tour Diaries here and here.

ME Cancun Goes All-Inclusive, So Drink Your Hearts Out

This past weekend, ME Cancun Resort officially went all-inclusive. I was questioning whether this was a smart approach, but then realized, as a guest, how much money I saved on booze. Lots. And food, too, but mostly to soak up the booze. I also no longer have to worry about non-guests taking that beach palapa with my name on it. There’s also free fitness classes, free WIFI, and free select items in the mini-bar. That said, there’s still some kinks to be worked out. For instance, hard liquor in the rooms costs extra, but you can go downstairs and get it for free. Weird. But I have legs.

For those who don’t know, ME is part of the Spanish brand Sol Melia, which is basically equivalent to Starwood’s W. The fact The Real World: Cancun was filmed here jacked up the hotel’s “cool” factor for Americans, who now come in throngs to relive…reality. Though tours of the Real World suite are not available to the masses, you can throw down $7,500 a night for the suite, if that’s how you roll.

ME Cancun offers three swimming pools, including two adult pools (I didn’t see a single child the entire stay), a full-service YHI spa, and a new partnership with London’s Hed Kandi and NYC’s 4AM DJs, who will provide their music in public spaces and make frequent cameos.

It’s funny to think Cancun made a serious bid to shed that “Spring Break” image a few years ago, positioning the beach spot as “luxury,” but it looks like ME hotel is bringing back the party. Seriously, booze and DJs aside, the mini-bar offers three different types of condoms, chocolate body paint, and a weird vibrating cock ring thing. I’m still trying to figure out what it is. In any case, it takes “party in my pants” to a whole new level.

4AM DJ Tour Diary: DJ Price Spends Halloween in Miami

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m constantly arranging performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day, I get reports back from my DJs filled with the kind of wild adventures I rarely get to be a part of as a desk – rather than a disk – jockey. The people who flock to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this monthly column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this second 4AM DJ Tour Diary, you’ll read about DJ Price’s insane Halloween weekend in Miami. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

Miami has to be one of my favorite cities to play in. South Beach’s energy and excitement for music is among the best in the world. From the moment I walked off that plane and threw on my Ray Bans, I knew it was going to be a great weekend. I’ve been to Miami many times before, most recently this past year for the Winter Music Conference and the 4AM launch party at the Mondrian hotel. You can download our CD recorded live that night here. Also, I was excited to have just received my new indie house mix CD, Dynamics of Moving Bodies Volume 1, fresh of the press to bring with me to give out. I gave out over 500 copies in 4 nights. You can download it here.

This time around I had a full tour booked: 4 gigs in 4 nights. I landed Thursday, October 28th with my best friend and Reason business partner, Phil Bassis, and headed to our room at the Fontainebleau. I have nothing but good things to say about the Fontainebleau. My room was huge and the view was amazing. If you’re looking for a hotel in Miami that you won’t ever have to leave, this is the spot. I started the weekend off spinning at The Wall at the gorgeous W Hotel South Beach.

The club hasn’t even been open a year and they recently renovated it and re-arranged the layout. The new lay out is very conducive to dancing, and the new state-of-the-art DJ booth has been relocated front and center to have a great view of the room. One of my favorite design elements of the room was the custom designed crystal color changing disco ball in the center. That Thursday I was hired to DJ the after party for the launch of Lou La Vie’s Miami Premier Exotic cars. I played an open format set, ranging from hip-hop, rock, and house, and even sprinkled in some of my favorite indie, disco, and ‘80s tracks. The crowd was rocking way past 4am. Thanks to Navin Chatani for showing me a great time.

I headed back to the Fontainebleau for the next 24 hours. Spent the day by the beach, ran into the great hip-hop artist, Pitbull, went jet skiing, sorted through some new music, and had dinner at Chef Scott Conant’s Scarpetta inside the hotel. When we walked into LIV, we knew Halloween had officially started. They transformed the 30,000 square feet into an Alice in Wonderland-themed adult playground. Bartenders were dressed as Mad Hatters, and waitresses like Alice. Someone was running around in a giant rabbit costume. My manager/mentor DJ Jus-Ske had requested that I open and close for him, knowing that I would be in Miami.

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LIV is undoubtedly one of the largest rooms in the country, and was formally an ice skating rink in the Fontainebleau. It’s a nightclub that has the feeling of an arena. The DJ booth is massive, with two banquets on each side, and 2×4 turntables set up (2 mixers, 4 turntables). The club is busy by midnight and you’ve got to keep the energy up. I warmed the night up nicely with an assortment of hip-hop, rock, and house records. Some of my favorite’s of my set were Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out,” Auburn’s “La La La,” “XXXO” from M.I.A., the new Ting Ting’s single “Hands,” Duck Sauce’s crossover hit “Barbara Streisand,” and I even threw in “Samba De Janeiro” and some Brazilian records to spice it up. The room was slammed, and dancers and performers were dressed in costumes, bouncing around throughout the night. I turned around at one point and Gumby & Pokey were jumping on the banquets behind me. Out in the middle of the room Marty McFly was holding a magnum bottle of Belvedere in the air.

Jus-Ske came on at around 1, and proceeded to tear it down flawlessly. Jus is one of my favorite DJs and crowds love him wherever he goes. In Miami, if you’re a good DJ, the clubs won’t close until 5 a.m. Jus let me finish them off with enough time to still play some high energy joints, check out this short video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OmoOj9LsLQ&feature=email

We woke up the next day and took it easy around the hotel. My manager, Adam Alpert from 4AM, arranged VIP tickets for us to go to the Miami Masquerade Motel featuring the Swedish House Mafia, billed as one of the largest Halloween parties in the country in a 55,000 square foot tent. The Masquerade Motel has been making waves over the summer at Pacha Ibiza as the go-to party every Monday night. They have been mixing talents with an assortment of costumed dancers and performers, and a mind-bending array of visual effects.

The party was amazing. I’ve never seen so many people in unison, jumping around and enjoying the music simultaneously. Some of the highlights of the night was when the trio played their hit “One,” and without a doubt Steve Angello’s “Knas.” After the show, I ran to my gig at Opium Group’s Louis nightclub inside the Gansevoort South hotel. We headed there around 12:30 a.m., as club-goers in costume were pilling in. Halloween in New York is always impressive, but I have to say the costumes in Miami were well-thought out and fun. Louis is a great nightclub experience. Designed like a royal Parisian palace on an acid trip, it’s one of the most exciting backdrops for a Halloween party I could imagine. One of the highlights of the night was when a little person dressed as Napoleon started dancing around on top of the bar and sprayed the crowd with a fire extinguisher. I couldn’t have asked for a better Halloween crowd.

Sunday’s weather was a bit overcast, so we headed to South Beach to check out some shops. We had lunch at La Sandwicherie, one of my favorite lunch spots in South Beach. I recommend the Pate sandwich on a croissant. We checked out the Versace mansion and even some retail, which has gotten better recently with shops including Barney’s and Polo Ralph Lauren within walking distance of each other. A trip to Miami wouldn’t be complete without paella, so we had to get that for dinner. Sunday was October 31st, and I was going to DJ at Coco de Ville, also at the Gansevoort South hotel. The crew at the Coco DeVille is great. Roy Alpert, Tatanka Guerrero, Paulo Cardoso, and Sebastian Puga run the best intimate, dance lounge in the city. I have to say Tatanka and friends had the best costumes I’d seen all weekend as Chilean Miners, including someone dressed as the actual mine hatch and a Spanish speaking reporter.

My set at Coco DeVille was great and included a lot of New York flare: ‘90s hip-hop, reggae, baile funk, rock, and house. Highlights of the night include Kanye West’s new hit “Runaway,” “Fancy” from Drake and Swizz Beatz, and one of my all time favorites, “Juicy,” by Notorious BIG. We crawled out of there around 5, which concluded a very successful Halloween 2010 Miami tour. We headed back to NYC the next day ready for another great week in the greatest city in the world.

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For more info on DJ Price go here.