Stones Throw / May 8, 2009 / New York (American Museum of Natural History)

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James Pants, Mayer Hawthorne, Dãm-Funk, and Peanut Butter Wolf--all artists on the independent hip-hop label Stones Throw Records--provided a celestial soundtrack Friday night (May 8) at “One Step Beyond,” a monthly series at the American Museum of Natural History where attendees experience live music while dancing under the virtual stars at the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

A self-proclaimed lover of ‘80s soul, boogie, new wave and late ‘70s disco, Pants started off the label's first New York stop on its North American tour with a dance mix of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” that immediately got the crowd moving, then shifted into a medley of deep, throbbing bass complimented by skillful scratching techniques. Next up was Pants’ labelmate Mayer Hawthorne, who jumped on the turntables decked out in all red, black, and white, from his baseball cap and tie to his multicolored sneakers. Hawthorne got the crowd clapping and singing along to his Motown-inspired set, which included a remix of The Supremes’ classic “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Before the next artist, Dãm-Funk, took the stage, Hawthorne declared, “I grew up in Detroit…I live in L.A…but I love New York!”

Dãm’s “boogie zone” style proceeded to make dancing fools out of the barely-21 crowd, of which some were formally dressed and others casual, and many were guzzling large bottles of Red Bull. “I’m not just a DJ,” said Dãm, laying his own live vocals on several tunes in the sexy-funk set. The revelers waved their hands in the air as a farewell to the artist, who proudly turned over the mic to Stones Throw founder Peanut Butter Wolf just before the clock struck midnight.

Wolf strayed from his labelmates a bit and played old-school hip-hop, mixing A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario” with “Award Tour” followed by Old Dirty Bastard’s “I Like It Raw.” The DJ then dropped mixes of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”, Beastie Boys' “Intergalactic”, Daft Punk's “Around the World”, and Biz Markie's “You Got What I Need” before announcing that his last track would be KRS-One’s “Step Into a World, then ended by entertaining the growing crowd with his smooth dance moves.

When the lights went up, Wolf expressed his gratitude to the crowd and to the museum, yelling, “Give it up for outer space and the universe!”