WMC 2010: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We are sort of stretching this since Winter Music Conference wrapped up Sunday, but it just took a while to finally sit down and process everything we did over the course of last week. But here it is, our final call on all the great and not-so-great things that we experienced last week.

Photo by Santiago Felipe
Somebody probably got pregnant during Major Lazer's performance.
Best Performance at Ultra Music Festival: Major Lazer

You can read our review for our complete thoughts as to why Switch and Diplo deserve this honor. It was unlike any Ultra performance we had seen before, and better than anything that was going on at the main stage, we are sure. Plus, there were foam laser hand gun thingies. Can't argue with that.

Best Performance Outside of Ultra: Duck Sauce

Given that the Fool's Gold Showcase at Grand Central was the first time A-Trak and Armand Van Helden have performed together under the Duck Sauce moniker, the night itself was a pretty big deal. But throw in soul and disco, with some electro for good measure, and you've got a winning combination.

Best Party You Probably Couldn't Have Got Into Anyway: Belvedere Music Lounge at the W South Beach

The party was for VIP and press only, and, since we are press we got to attend. Never mind the awesomely bad AstroTurf -- if you rubbed your feet on it and touched somebody you gave them a jolt of electricity. There were endless cocktails, plenty of celebrity and semi-famous (not really) DJ sightseeing, and gorgeous swimsuit-clad Belvedere spokesmodels. Yes, we saw a camel toe or two.

Photo by Lex Hernandez
Busy P might has well have been spinning lullabies at the Hard Pool Party.
Don't Believe the Hype: Hard Pool Party at the Fontainebleau Resort

It wasn't a bad party -- on the contrary, it was quite fun -- but considering Hard's legendary status in Los Angeles and New York, we expected better. Where was the insanity and mayhem? Hard's organizers also claimed the event was sold out, but it never felt packed. Next year, we hope the event organizers return, but this time skip the pool party and give us the legendary Hard event we would expect.

Trend We Wish Would Die: Jamtronica

Jam band music is awful enough as it is; why is it invading our beloved dance music genre? Ultra at times felt more like a hippie freak show than a rave. Keep your hemp necklaces and bags kids, we're into the designer drugs.

Trend Reaching Dangerous Levels of Annoyance: Dubstep

We get it, dubstep is here. Funny thing is that a year or two ago, most of these "dubstep" DJs were spinning electro-house, and this year they miraculously because enamored with the genre. We aren't going to mention names, but way to jump on the bandwagon.

Most Hilarious Witnessed Scene: Frat Bros Sucking on Pacifiers

Seriously, chewing gum works just as well as a pacifier if you are rolling your balls off. At Ultra, we saw so many shirtless frat bros sucking on the rubber nipples while erotically rubbing up on their broskis, that we were almost sure we walked on to a gay porn set. A better scene to witness would be these dudes waking up next to each other the following morning. Awkward.

Best Closing Party: The Do Over at Bar

Sunday School for Degenerates is too obvious of a choice, and Hard to Leave at Goldrush had strippers, but the Do Over at Bar didn't need 24-hour party people or naked ladies to win this. The low-key affair was the perfect way to come down from the WMC high. Cheap beer and free barbecue also helped, while the guest DJs spun a mix of hip-hop, reggae, house, and Lord knows what else, all while broadcasting it on pirate radio.

Photo by Nicole Cussell
Even Brooklyn performance artist Bad Brilliance made a cameo at Get Physical's warehouse party.
Best Party We Missed: Get Physical Varsity Workout Warehouse Party at Charcoal Studios

Word of advice, a "disco nap" on day five of Conference can easily turn into a full night of sleep. We are still kicking ourselves for this one and refuse to hear the stories about how amazing it was.

DJ Who We Amused the Most: Annie Mac

The British DJ knows more about us than we care to share here, but she found our story hilarious. We'd rather not go into any further details, but know that we were a little embarrassed. So much for first impressions.

DJ Who You Expect to Be a Dick But is in Fact Really Nice: John Digweed

We bumped into him at the Vagabond Friday night, the day before his party at the venue, and he was so down-to-earth and seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say. We also had fun attempting to do a British accent when telling our friends about the encounter the next day. It still needs work.

Worst Visitors: Angelenos (AKA people from Los Angeles)

We had to remind several of them that they were visiting our city, not the other way around. Show some respect to your hosts and you'll get some respect back. Yes, some of us live here full-time; don't act so surprised. New Yorkers are definitely a close second.

Photo by Ian Witlen
Afrobeta perfoming at Ultra Music Festival.
People Who Probably Had the Best WMC Yet: Local Acts

Afrobeta, Panic Bomber, and Otto Von Schirach all got great bookings during the week, giving us a nice sense of pride. And we couldn't have asked for a better bunch to represent the 305.

People We Wish Would Skip WMC: Spring Breakers

At times, this year's Conference felt more like MTV Spring Break than an actual celebration of dance music. The horror! We wouldn't have been surprised to have seen a wet T-shirt contest or keg stands. It's only a matter of time. Miami is becoming the new Fort Lauderdale -- does that mean Fort Lauderdale is the new Miami?

Overall WMC Winner: 14th Street Clubs

Bar, the Vagabond, and White Room all had killer lineups and we constantly heard world-class DJs refer to events at the three as among the best clubs and parties they've ever been to. This just proves that a strict door policy and posh decor does not necessarily make a good nightclub. Instead these spots relied on amazing bookings, plenty of afterhours fun, and, most importantly, good times to make their parties work.

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