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On Nightclubs, Dancing Fools And The Men Behind Them

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 23rd August 2012 2:02pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 13


So I've been thinking (laughing actually) about WynnSocial.com for the last week since it was announced and started thinking how history - inevitably - repeats itself.

Like many of you, I remember disco. I was only 10 years old at the time, but I remember it well. Everybody went disco. Rollerdisco. Blondie went disco. Elton John Disco. Van Halen Disco. Even KISS went disco.

Who better to help us understand the disco trend of the day than the greatest composer of the 20th century, the one and only Frank Zappa. Take it away Frank!

Yeah, that is Saturday Night Live in 1978. And yes, that is an actual live band playing all that impossibly gorgeous music in perfect precision on live tv. No backing tracks or auto tuned vocals.

Yeah. So what I was talking about? History... and how it repeats itself. What applies in 1978, applies today. The fashions may change, but the chains still jingle and the kids are still looking to have a night out dancing and snorting blow. Can we fault them? Absolutely not. But at the expense of everything else?

I guess I'm just not one of the cool kids. Or I grew up in an era where pretense was frowned upon, Meister Brau was breakfast, the whole family shared one land line phone and a being able to afford a jar of peanut butter and a pack of cigarettes was enough to ensure a week of survival. We all knew that celebrities partied like rockstars, overflowing wine and champagne, pills lined up like Formula 1 cars at the French Grand Prix, the jet setting from the Rome to Rishikesh and leaving a trail of hotel rooms with waterlogged TV sets along the way.

Maybe it is this dream that drives the beat. We are all dancing fools in some way or another.

But why do these guys seem like such scumbags? From the street level nightclub pimps to the sneering VIPS to the duck lipped candid Candidas to the suited sleazeballs who honestly think they have invented the concept of pairing music, alcohol and dancing and charging people for each?

Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy. Pride. Tick them off one by one as you enter ground zero of a semi-popular nightclub. It is a den of human combustion, a cess pool of heathenism, writhing in a 160bpm group grope of epic proportions. Like any good orgasm, it feels fucking awesome at the time, but is forgotten long before the ringing in your ears subsides. Empty lust, gluttony of desire, greed of magnitudes, the hollowness of sloth, the rage of poison and thwarted lust, the envy... oh the envy, and the pride of truly believing that we all are indeed special as our Facebook posts tell us.

Yes. We are all dancing fools.

Tagged: nightlife   wynn social   


Comments & Discussion:

I look at this trend in the same way the food wave hit Vegas a decade ago. During that time every hotel was outdoing each other to bring in the best celebrity chef and outpost of a famous restaurant. Now if you were in to great food it was like heaven and it was the reason I came to Las Vegas on more than one occasion. I also know people that weren't that into spending their Vegas time and money on tasting menus and didn't partake despite the display of those restaurants being everywhere. Now that certainly hasn't gone away but I don't see it growing either and most people who wanted to try Roubochon or Kellers food has come out to vegas and done that. So it seems nightlife with celebrity DJ's as opposed to house DJ's are the next big thing. Maybe those who never understood the foodie movement are more happy with this. Perhaps in another decade the spa movement with happen and Deback Chopra will operate a heath spa at wynn or self improvement will be it and Tony Robbins will set up shop at Pallazo. I will say this, regardless of if I will use and enjoy the current hot trend in Vegas I do appreciate that the city is always re-inventing itself and in my opinion it always keeps the best parts of the last big thing even when it moves forward.

I posit that, musically speaking, EDM will eventually be harder to explain to future generations than disco. Look, I'm all for communal, orgiastic music experiences, but it boggles my mind that hundreds, sometimes thousands of people will gather together and focus their collective attention on a single man - a DJ - who is in no way, shape, or form doing anything remotely musical. Not singing. Not playing an instrument. Nothing. Just facilitating the playback of pre-recorded music. That's it. And people intently watch him do nothing.

I don't get it. I'm puzzled by it. And I'm looking forward to the derision that will eventually accompany the inevitable backlash against it. Can we get Dweezil on SNL to do Zappa Plays Zappa?

I don't want to come to the aid of the Electronic music scene because it is disco and mostly SHIT, but truthfully the only thing as pompous and vomit-inducing as an "up and coming" DJ explaining how "Electro-House is way different than dub step" is listening to some aging dope go on about what real music is (no offense). There was a time, I'm sure, when banging rocks, was "music". What it will be in 50 years is anyone's guess but I'm quite certain we'll all hate it. The appeal of anything that comes in via our senses is based on how it moves us, personally. I'd like there to be a rule that says The Beatles and The Doors are great but there are literally billions of people who disagree.

Incidentally, Jim Morrison predicted this Electronic Music phenomenon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS3dIyHpAgc

@nodeuces banging rocks is creating music, DJing is playing other peoples recorded music!!! :))

To be fair, many of the current headliners aren't DJ's at all, but producers. "EDM" is unique in that one kid in his/her basement can create fantastic music, but it's done by using tons of layers, interchanging numerous times per track. there is no honest way to reproduce this 100% live...there are only various degrees of tweaking and mixing that can happen. Some DJ's/Producers have more customizeable live sets...others just push play on an ipod, juke their heads, and "look busy."

Blanket statements about all of EDM are at best inaccurate, and at worst make you sound old. :P

It's unfortunate for EDM that it has this intertwined relationship with Vegas clubs. I like a good bit of EDM, I've heard Chuck say the same. We also share a general contempt for the sleaze that operates these ridiculous places. It's not the idea of going out to a club, drinking, dancing and partying that is offensive. It's the elitist attitude that drives idiots to charge $600 bottles of alchol that has no taste to mix with their Red Bull. It's the abhorent behavior of 20 something Jersey Shore drunks. These clubs are better at attracting assholes than a roll of Charmin.

Here's the thing. When the assholes find a new fad and move on, are the people that were pushed out going to return to a place they last remember smelling of shit? EDM is not the issue in this post as I read it. Assholes are the problem.

If I pay $600 for a bottle of alcohol, it will have been born in Scotland the same year as me and for damn sure not chugged with a "mixer" while watching Snookie do the humpty hump poolside at XS.

Short Answer: http://techno.org/electronic-music-guide/music.swf

Long Answer (this is a little foulmouthed and raw by my standards, but oh well...)

"EDM" has existed long before nightclubs started producing massive revenue for Vegas resorts. In fact, it existed when Bellagio, Paris, Monte Carlo, NYNY and company were still new.

I don't have a problem with the music itself, it's not too different from the whole "EVERYBODY DANCE NOW *BOMP BOMP BOMP BOMP* badupbupDAHDAHDAH" stuff that I grew up with, or the weird airy Vangelis stuff that appeared on the Dune soundtrack or whatever. What I *do* find turns away my interest is the part Vegas adds to it: the whole class system, fleecing of money, to do what? Hang out with drunks while the music blasts.

Dance clubs have existed for a long time, and EDM was fairly modern too. Hell, I had an XM subscription in 2002, I tuned into BPM sometimes, I was aware of it. All dance clubs do is use this music as a precursor to spend lots of money in hope you'll be fucking a few hours.

And Vegas is VERY good at separating you from your wallet with the promises that you might fuck by the time it's all over. If they could, they'd advertise that no man leaves a virgin (they get pretty close to that already.) It's WHY it's so expensive, it's WHY there's so much classism and rampant gender ratio nonsense. Because to the youth of the nation, a room blasting EDM loudly is the expresslane on the Shag Highway.

If you're taken, or otherwise disinterested or intimidated from casual encounters, these venues hold little purpose to you. You're probably at Vegas to gamble, relax, or somehow enjoy being pampered without worrying about impressing random strangers. That this cottage industry of mating calls is annoying you is only because it's happening where you're trying to relax and be yourself.

I enjoy some EDM derivatives myself, particularly the kind of that sounds like a retro video game, but I don't know if I'd pay to sit in a room where that sort of thing is popular. I remember being disappointed that Insert Coins downtown was using regular/traditional style of DJ nightclub every night. It seems like the perfect 'scene' for chiptune stuff like Anamanaguchi etc. So maybe I would.

Born in 1975 I grew up listening to Folk, Rock, Disco and on into 80's pop/hard rock and metal. I am fortunate enough to come from a very musical family. A musician myself my tastes range from the smooth elevator type Jazz of Larry Carlton all the way through current pop older thrash metal and yes EDM. Every music genre can be argued for it's validity. Unfortunately these Vegas clubs and more importantly the douchey "hey bro" patrons are giving EDM a bad rap to an elementary Vegas Crowd. I'm a fan of much EDM mainly for the production aspect of it. The DJ term really is way outdated and doesnt apply to much of the EDM movement. There are some seriously good turntable DJ's that have amazing skills and there are great producers that mix their own and others previously recoreded tracks into a frenzy all in the sake of a good party. Then there are guys like Bassnector live mixing and creating electronic music live and on the spot. Many top DJ's are trained musicians and gravitated toward technology because of the freedom and endless pallete of sounds. The clubs will come and go and the crowd will change but make no mistake EDM is an ever evolving Genre that is not going away. The US is 10 yrs behind in the EDM movement. We still have a lot of catching up to do. ooontz oooonts oooonrz.. Baaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssss

Guys, I make electronic music (I make Electro-Industrial, NOT DUBSTEP). Akala is right... this stuff isn't really possible to do live.

That said, not all electronic music is dubstep or whatever. The Vegas clubs are just following the trends like always and getting the commercial dance music crowd in to make money from them.

Vegas is a place for hedonistic revelry. It is Catharsis USA. People go there to blow off steam, and dancing to electronic music whilst on a fantastic cocktail of cocktails and blow is a good way to blow off steam. Gambling is too.

I'm no fan of the douchebags but let them have their fun. And some of them aren't really bad (some are very funny). As long as they don't flood the casinos (without gambling) I'm fine with it.

Aria and M have the right approach; there's the casino entrance and the douche entrance and the crowds are kept mostly apart.

For every pinhead in an Ed Hardy shirt and his girlfriend in a designer dress there are at least five people who look at them standing in line to get into a club and wonder what their problem is. Vegas being Vegas that element is always going to be there but as G Gordon Liddy once said, 'the trick is not minding'.

Well, Vegas is a town built on money...specifically finding any way possible, legal or not, to suck it out of people's wallent and purses. The EDM crowd has money as is willing to spend it. A bit of a shame that a place like Wynn felt the need to go lowest common denominator for the dollar, but I'm guessing the fad will kinda wash out by 2014 and go back to smaller raves and whatnot.

FWIW Santana's doign a residency down at Mandalay, so if you wanna shake it to live percusion and guitar and whatnot, there ya go.

Interesting discussion, the fact that clubs are DJ focused right now doesn't bother me, if it's not EDM style music, then it would just be hip hop, or some other type of dance music, at the end of the day it's what you need in a club.

To me clubs in Vegas are still just an incorporation of the town into a sort of mainstream attraction. When I first visited Vegas I was heavily into clubs and I hated the fact that the place had two spots that qualified on the strip. (RA and Voodoo lounge). It was overdue for the strip to add nightclub attractions like this. I don't fault them for adding this, I fault them for not thinking beyond the concept and creating things that are accessible to a large % of their guests.

I'm still convinced that Caears might actually have it right with what their intent for Linq is. If they do focus on live music venues, mid tier restaurants, and carnaval court style places, then it won't be long until you see those types of things spread to the other resorts. Which would mean the higher end places would have higher end offerings that fit that demographic. Just a hope at this point, but all talk I've seen from Caesars seems to indicate that it's their focus.

I believe that @jinx73 nailed it, though. The average visitor is 49 years old. Fremont Street crowds have seen tremendous growth over the past 18 months as they look for an experience more suited to them. Add in the way Fremont East is going to be a hotbed for the younger set that isn't the club crowd, and The Strip does have a reason for at least small concern right now. I mean, Fremont East is even getting its own radio station (something a property on The Strip should have thought of long ago).

I continue with my prediction that Fremont Street will be well-known as its own entity by the traveling public in a few short years. Just as the traveling public knows what Gaslamp is without saying San Diego.

How well Linq (and any future copy-cat projects) do at keeping that business on The Strip remains to be seen. CET is likely to have trouble offering value pricing at Linq just because of what the land costs (something of key importance to many visitors). I also question how well the Big Shot will do at luring the crowds to essentially walk down a side street. If there is one thing that is a constant with many visitors, they have an irrational fear of leaving "The Strip". Even if it is just the way they percieve it.

With the CET arena tax deal dead (Full disclosure: I live in the proposed taxing district and thus not a fan of paying for the damn thing every time I visit 7-11), the other big lure to get people traversing Linq is (at least for now) history. I think Linq is going to be very challenged to live up to expectations.

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