Around the World with A-Trak, Part XV: Texas to California

March 24, 2009

Week 2 of the Infinity +1 tour! After the overall awesomeness of the New York show on the first weekend, I knew it would be smooth sailing for a while. I guess New York has this sort of make-or-break-ness to it. So picking up where we last left off, I took the train to Boston for a show on St Patrick's day, last Tuesday. It's pretty rare that you get to take trains in North America compared to Europe, and it's such an easier way to travel when the distance isn't too bad. At Penn Station I was already seeing a bunch of dudes dressed in green, ready to double-fist some brewskis. The potential for obnoxiousness was pretty high, I'd say it was level orange. Arriving in Boston, I went to sound check with Mano and Hollywood Holt who were also performing that night and we realized that the club looked like a big boudoir. Jiggy clubs: another setting where bitchassness is very likely. The more velvet you see, the more likely you are to run into dumbbells. We went to eat a big lobster dinner and came back for the show. I guess it's a good thing that I hadn't played Boston in years because in the end I think that brought out my real audience and we beat out the evil forces of jiggy clubs and wasted jocks and had a really fun time! Everything else was a false alarm.

Early the next morning I flew to Austin for the SXSW festivities. I linked up with the French cousins Mehdi and So Me and we went for our initial stroll into town. We went to the FADER Fort, where I told a guy at the door "I write a weekly column for the FADER blog so can I get a wristband?" I tracked down my #1 broham Cosmo Baker and we quickly established that this week was going to be a bona fide brodeo. Then Nick, the Frenchies and I all went to meet up with Busy P at a proper texan BBQ restaurant. As Ron Burgundy would say: "ribs... I ate ribs" and the whole table was envious.

Later that night I had a gig with the Busy one, Flosstradamus and Drop the Lime at an event for Ticketmaster, Windish Agency, C3 and Blackberry. Hello, corporate America! It was in a house that had huge Halloween potential with an open bar on the front lawn. I swung by an afterparty later on and eventually called it a night. Thursday was my big day, I had something like 5 hours of interviews as soon as I woke up.

Then in the afternoon we went to hang out with Solange, she rented a house and was having a little BBQ (leitmotiv, anyone?) with some friends. Her friend showed her this perfume that she found, it was called "Just Like Beyoncé" and in small text just above Beyoncé it said something like "No actual relation to...". Funny! Then we went back into town and I had a dinner meeting with these A&R guys, talking about some very interesting prospects for the year. After dinner I swung by Diplo's screening of his Favela On Blast movie. I only got there in time for the last 5 minutes but he still seemed really glad that I came so that's all that counts! Then the real madness started.

Let me tell you about this Fool's Gold party that we did, a/k/a the best party of SXSW (*ahem*). It was from midnight to 5am at this spot that looked like a a big barn. I got there at midnight and there was already a line around the block. It was rammed in a matter of minutes after opening doors. We had the whole FG fam plus special guests DJ Mehdi, Mapei and Little Boots. I did a really short set, just some routines and scritchy-scratchy stuff to set it off.

Then at 2am I actually had to dip down the street to play this big Playboy party, which turned out to be kinda bunk so I cut my set short and ran back to our spot! People kept texting me that they couldn't get in, it was a warzone at the door. When I walked back in I grabbed a drink with Kid Cudi, original Fool's Gold soldier and he decided to do an impromptu set too! People were sneaking over fences on the side, it was live all night.

Then Friday was also crazy. First, I played a tag-team set with Diplo in the afternoon at the Pitchfork/WIndish showcase. There were a few technical obstacles: Wes had lost his laptop and the venue got us the wrong mixers. But we're trained professionals so that didn't stop our congo line. Our set ended at 5:45 and I had to catch a 6:55 flight to LA so my tour manager actually went to the airport earlier in the day to check us in. Right after my set we ran off, but in true Austin fashion we couldn't find a cab. Then this car drives by and these kids yell out "good set A-Trak!" and next thing you know they're driving us to the airport. We barely made it, but by George we made it. And that night I had another gig lined up. First I went to dinner with Steve Angello and friends. The Swedish house legend was wining and dining at Nobu, who could turn down that invitation? And then we went to Avalon for my gig, where I played for a packed house of 1400. I even extended my set, I was feeling it that night!

Finally the next day the fatigue caught up with me. I flew to San Fran and slept most of the afternoon. Then went to play this spot called Paradise Lounge with Vin Sol and my Fool's Gold compatriot Trackademicks. This club had more of a groovy, dancing vibe to it. With fresh mexican food sitting snugly in my tummy, I was ready to get it moving, no pun intended. At one point I was doing this new routine and I broke the crossfader! The metal prong just snapped off. It couldn't handle the funk.

To end it off, Sunday I flew back to LA and played at Banana Split, AM and Steve Aoki's party. That night was sensory overload. First there was this beatboxer who does trance and drum and bass beatbox routines with live looping and singing. It was intense! He also kinda looks like Mr Clean (no disrespect!) which added to the WOW factor. Then there's the fact that the party had a Star Trek theme including gogo dancer girls painted in green.

Then this dude Zuper Blahq played before me. I don't know if I'm supposed to hide his identity. I mean, he shows up with a big bodyguard so everyone must know he's a well-known dude, and he wears a black mask and black suit, looking like he's about to pull of a big heist. As Mike B so adroitly pointed out, he was straight out of the movie Dead Presidents. And finally I played my set.

Afterwards we all headed back to Steve's house. He has a real poker table from the Bellagio. I don't know how to play so I raided AM's laptop for rare acapellas while they all lost money. And today I have a headache!

From The Collection:

Around The World With A-Trak
Posted: March 24, 2009
Around the World with A-Trak, Part XV: Texas to California