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.

Art Basel Insiders: Tommy Ryk, Scenester DJ

What do you do? I’m a filmmaker and a DJ. I like to surf and bang as well.

What are you planning on doing for Art Basel? Convention Center, Downtown, Murakami at Louis, Adult at the White Room, Kanye West at Florida Room.

What are 3 restaurants/bars/clubs you recommend for people visiting Basel this week? Louis, Rokbar, Florida Room.

What do you like about Art Basel? Girls with some style, cool art too!

What don’t you like about Art Basel? Sparing use of deodorant by too many. What’s up with that?

image DJ Tommy Ryk gets crunk at Louis with artist Takashi Murakami during a Basel event this week.

Art Basel: More Top Picks

Welcome back to another year of Art Basel. You’ve seen our first picks, now check out even more ideas for burning your arty candle at both ends this week. So many shows, so many parties, exhibitions, exhibitions within exhibitions. Whichever of many potential routes you take during these next five days, do yourself a favor and hit up a few of these choice events.

Wednesday, December 3 ● Cartier Cocktail Party, Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. (2000 Convention Center Drive, 19th Street and Dade Boulevard), 6 p.m. Find someone with a VIP pass and latch on. AB sponsor Cartier tapped filmmaker David Lynch to play interior designer for their acclaimed 4,000-square-foot dome in the middle of the Botanical Gardens. If you’re diced from the cocktail reception, at least try to get inside to see the gold walls, hand-painted carpeting, a film Lynch created for the affair projected onto the ceiling, and specially-designed-for-Basel Cartier jewels abound. ● Honorable mention: “Jesus is My Homeboy” Exhibit, Wolfgang Roth & Partners Fine Art Gallery. 201 NE 39th Street, 2nd Floor, NE 2nd Avenue; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. WWJD. “Shock artist” David LaChappelle exhibits his take on it by juxtaposing Christ himself and bizarre modern settings. This one pushes the envelope – you won’t know whether to laugh or be disturbed. Also won’t be able to get enough.

Thursday, December 4 ● SCOPE Party, Shore Club. 1901 Collins Avenue, at 19th Street; 9 p.m. The long and short of it is that this is the perfect party to kick off a long, artsy weekend. SCOPE — AB’s edgier younger sister fair — always draws a good crowd that naturally comes with good music, interesting people to meet, and so on. Nice to see starving artists treated like boy-band superstars every now and then. ● MOCA Shaker Art Basel Party, Louis (in the Gansevoort South. 2399 Collins Avenue, 23rd and 24th streets. MOCA represents the best of Miami’s contemporary art scene. This is their VIP rendition of honoring artists featured in their very own Goldman Warehouse exhibit. Don’t miss Swedish performer Tobias Bernstrup. ● Honorable mentions: “Masters Mystery Art Show” at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach (1 Lincoln Road, at Collins Avenue), 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Probably the only chance you’ll get to own a piece by your favorite artist/celeb/VIP. Check out works by Patti Labelle, Carlos Santana, John Legend, Andy Garcia, Jose Feliciano — the list goes on. Everything sells for $50, which benefits students at Florida International University, Miami. Not bad. Also: Miami Art Museum’s “Party on the Plaza” with Interview Magazine, 101 W. Flagler Street, NW 1st and NW 2nd avenues; 7 p.m. Dedicated MAM members need to get dressed up and get out there for this. Live music, expensive and delicious hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and all the hipness that is Interview. It’s a splurge for a very cool scene.

Friday, December 5 ● Celebrating Democracy at the Wolfsonian. 1001 Washington Avenue, 10th and 11th streets; 5:30 p.m. Contemporary artists’ commentary on Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” posters of the 1940s. Perfect way to wind down a year of political overkill. It’s wrapping, and rumor has it that artsy Miami insiders will gather afterward for a little soiree.

Saturday, December 6 ● A-List party at LIV in the Fontainebleau. 4441 Collins Avenue at 44th Street; 10 p.m. The end of Basel is the perfect time for Ocean Drive mag to bring their current cover girl Pam Anderson to town to host a party at LIV. It will be fabulously sceney, drawing Miami’s most beautiful people into Miami’s Vegas-style mega-club. Worth trying to get into after a long day of art gazing. Otherwise, go upstairs to Plunge, have a few drinks, weep, and reset.
Carlos Santana Tickets Capitol Theater At Overture Center Tickets Madison Tickets

Art Basel: First Picks

We’ll have boots on the ground covering all the best of Art Basel throughout the week. But as Miami gears up for the premier artfest, here are just a few brief notes on what’s shaping up as a the top tickets in town. Much more to come.

Tuesday, December 2Circa28 in Wynwood for ArtOfficial. ● 11 p.m. – Art Photo Expo Presents In Fashion Photo in honor of Naomi Campbell (SET main floor).

Wednesday, December 3Mokai, 235 23rd Street, “hip hop party of the week.”

Thursday, December 4 ● 944 Magazine Presents Unscene photography exhibit. ● Louis, 2377 Collins, Marilyn Manson sings and shows of his paintings.

Friday, December 5 ● 11 p.m. – Porcelain Twinz Fetish Burlesque (their first East Coast show since leaving The Box in New York). ● Heathrow Lounge, 681 Washington Avenue: Prefuse 73. ● The Vagabond, 30 NE 14th Street, for Tommy Sunshine performance. ● Rok Bar, 1905 Collins, for 80s lounge scene.

Saturday, December 6 ● Official Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers closing party hosted by Jennifer Oz Leroy with Jimmy Choo, Sergio Rossi, Moschino slippers, and a special aerialist performance by the Wicked Witch.

Miami Openings: Fontainebleau, Gotham Steak, The King Is Dead, Louis

The Fontainebleau (South Beach) – Miami’s billion-dollar baby hotel returns. ● Gotham Steak (South Beach) – Swanky carnivorous dining under the Michelin stars. ● The King Is Dead (Wynwood/Design District) – All hail the Design District’s coolest club. ● Louis (South Beach) – VIP lounge with royal accessorizing.