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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Night: Laughing Squid's Second Annual Unholiday Party

Posted By on Sun, Dec 28, 2008 at 4:55 PM

(Mark Growden Trio perform live at the Unholiday Party)

Laughing Squid's Second Annual Unholiday Party

"SOMA Venue Without a Name"

December 27, 2008

Words, Photos and Video by Tamara Palmer

Better than: Reading about it afterwards on Twitter

Like its multi-tentacled namesake, Laughing Squid has many different limbs, including that of Web hosting, art/tech/culture blogging, event calendaring and diverse community building. "Primary tentacle" Scott Beale hosts many informal drink-up gatherings as well as an annual Laughing Squid birthday bash each year. The second annual "Unholiday Party" fell somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, utilizing a small "secret location" and an unspoken declaration to rejoice not for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or Festivus, but just for being alive.

We arrived just as the Mark Growden Trio was about to start its too-short set. Playing the handlebars, Growden set the intrigue and originality levels on high from the get-go. And if you like watching the above video as much as we enjoyed being there for it, you can hear Growden and his full Ensemble each Thursday in January at Carol Queen's Center for Sex and Culture.

The rest of the evening was soundtracked by Timmmii, who understood the frequency of the people as far as when to feed them old-school electro and new-school techno, and when to simply re-enact a fight sequence from Last Voyage of Omega. With this crowd of artists, tech geeks and various other species of the colorful and the playful, that's a necessary skill. Dancers swirled around in human blurs, which were mighty hard for me to photograph.




There weren't any actual squid depictions in the room, but there were electric jellyfish and other sea-inspired creatures (as well as moonscapes) rendered in neon and metal by the artist Ehlenberger.






Critic's Notebook

Personal bias: I am a fan of Laughing Squid the site as well as the community it attracts.

Random detail: Scott Beale Twittered that he had considered the use of a "map point" to find the party's secret location, a technique used in the early days of raves in the early '90s. That could have been fun in itself, but luckily it wasn't so hard to locate.

By the way: I hid the bongos, and am not sorry.


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Tamara Palmer


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