Asura: Before Ryan York took the stage, people were mostly getting their drinks and still trying to get into the venue. The Los Angeles DJ was the first to get heads bobbing and arms swaying, by dueling indecipherable moans, groans, tweets, and clicks over stirring drum-and-bass stutters.Mary Anne Hobbs: The biggest hit of the show didn't even play any original music. Having just recently quit her BBC Radio program to become a music education professor, Mary Anne Hobbs proved to doubters that she still has her ear for incredible electronic music by jump-starting the dance floor to into full force from the moment she took the stage. Admittedly, she had the advantage over the other artists that night, because most of the people in the audience were already huge fans of hers. Standing in line before doors opened, you could hear terms like "the John Peel of electronica" and "most important figure in modern music" getting thrown around left and right. Once she took the stage, the crowd's demeanor transformed from stone-faced, stiff-legged apathy to adoring hysteria. I wouldn't be surprised to find a fair number of tattoos of her face in that crowd (which is the worst idea ever, by the way).
Best near-death experience of the night: Public Works is the worst place in the world to be when there's a fire. The windowless dungeon specializes in the kind of music that contains all sorts of sirens and electronic warbles, so that when a fire alarm went off in the middle of Hobbs' set it took an uncomfortably long time for anyone to notice. Smoke machine and intense body heat didn't add any clarity to the situation. If I had to die in any nightclub fire, I'd feel a lot cooler here than in a Great White show, but still...
Best drug story of the night: After a long night of drinking, no sleep and only an hour before having to go into work, a Cost Plus packaging employee took several tabs of acid to stay awake for his four hour shift. Dr. Seuss-influenced rhymes about boxes and fancy furniture ensued.
Bar prices: PBR? $5. Red Bull? $4. Spending $20 on a girl because you're sure that it will get you laid, only to have her storm out because of something you said? Priceless. Bar drama aside, the selection is small for now, but the counter space is wide, service is friendly, and the bottle shelves are as complexly structured as a bee hive. All the place needs is some signature drinks.
Sound: Funktion One speakers are absurd. They're the sort of terrifying looking things that you could imagine an audiophile dressing up as for Halloween. Stand close enough to the towers left and right of the main stage and by the end of the night you'll walk out of the club feeling like a squigglevision animation. Even more impressive is that this monster's heart-thumping bass doesn't affect the crisp clarity of the sound. Whether you're standing in the back of the bar, on the second floor or in the bathroom, the gist of whatever is emitting from the main stage is fairly identifiable.
12:15 Mary Anne Hobbs
1:15 Mount Kimbie
2:00 Nasty Nasty
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