Ultra Music Fest 2011: 10 Things Seen and Overheard Friday
Cloudless skies and a balmy 80 degrees made Day 2 of Miami Music Week ideal for a giant outdoor party. Thankfully, there were two to choose from: The Beatport Beach Party at the swanky Gansevoort -- a three-day, free daytime shindig hosted by the dance e-tailer -- and the Ultra Music Festival in sprawling Bayfront State Park in downtown Miami. Here's a few things that you missed at both:
1. '80s pop icons Duran Duran showed their age by opening their main stage Ultra set with 1985 James Bond soundtrack single "A View To A Kill."
2. David Guetta announced the May 2 release of the first single from his forthcoming, as-yet-unnamed album, the follow-up to 2009 multi-platinum breakthrough "One Love." The one bit of info missing? The name of the song. "You know why? Because I don't know!," he says. "I think the album is so good there are so many singles to choose from, but at the same time it's driving me crazy." It's come down to two choices: "Where Them Girls At," featuring Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj ("an obvious U.S. record") or "Little Bad Girl," featuring Taio Cruz and Ludacris ("an obvious European record").
3. D.C. DJ Miss Nine made the most of a challenging gig: Keeping the crowd going with extra-large house beats while roadies swapped gear between sets at the Ultra Live stage.
4. Ultra partiers are sporteing what appears to be a new uniform: Snarky Charlie Sheen quote shirts ("Duh, winning!") and Spirit Hoodies -- furry animal heads with ears and tails that made them look like Ben Stiller wearing his murdered panda in "Tropic Thunder." The hoodies were selling for $139 and up from the vendor stalls at the festival.
5. Deadmau5, nee Joel Zimmerman, just barely honored the terms of his exclusive performance agreement with Ultra by joining vocalist Sofi onstage at the Beatport Beach Party during mutual friend Tommy Lee's DJ set. Sofi sang along to "Sofi Needs a Ladder" -- one of two vocal tracks from the mau5's latest full-length "4x4=12" -- while Zimmerman did a nerdy bump-and-grind and mugged for the throng. Deadmau5 even crowd-picked and donned a fan-made mousehead, this one a macabre version of his own cartoonish icon, with a knife stuck in one beady eye.
6. DJ Danny Tenaglia threw his lip-synching drag queens for a loop, literally, by stuttering and repeating the vocal of Vernessa Mitchell house anthem "Reap" during his down-and-dirty classics party at Lincoln Road gay club Score.
7. Astralwerks GM Glenn Mendlinger beamed over Swedish House Mafia''s new iPad app, which combines the music of album "Until One" and the visuals of documentary film "Take One" into an interactive experience. The biggest point of pride? It was developed and produced in-house by EMI UK.
8. Pioneer Pro DJ demoed their new DJM-900nexus club mixer to the pro-sumers at the Beatport party, a long-awaited follow-up to the industry-standard DJM-800, which came out in 2006.
9. A parched raver filled an empty water bottle from the misting spigot at Ultra's Heineken-branded cool-off booth, rather than pay $6 for a new one.
10. Kaskade stopped by for an unannounced set at DJ Pete Tong's Surfcomber pool party, celebrating his upcoming Essential Mix for Tong's BBC radio show, one of dance music's only international platforms.
(Additional reporting: Josh Bennett, lessthan3.com)