Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sander Kleinenberg

This is Miami?
The Showbox, Seattle, WA

Let's get straight to the most pressing topic tonight: the abundance of carefully-selected shirts. As you know, the new corporate casual uniform for men has changed in recent years from blue button-down shirt and khakis to striped button-down shirt and fancy jeans. While during the Blue/Khaki years guys couldn't quite get away with wearing their work clothes out at night, the new uniform is perfectly suited for both work-work and dance-dance revolutions.

The room is not as full as I expected for a Sander Kleinenberg show, but it's nice to have some elbow room. Opener and local favorite DJ Eva gets off to a good start, but like the better-looking bridesmaid, is handicapped by lack of video effects and strong beats. One guy at the front makes these weird gang-like symbols with his hands. When I ask him what they means, he says "It's an E and a V. If I had another hand I'd make an A!!"

There are three primary types of dancers at events like this, each of which I have been in the space of five minutes.

(1) The Zoner - gets into a personal mental zone and dances for him/herself alone. Does not wish to be approached or even acknowledged. Little to no eye contact with fellow dancers. Easily dehydrated.

(2) The Bonder - dances primarily for the attention of others, and often for the attention of one person. The music is secondary. Prone to frustration if dancing with a #1.

(3) The Watcher - focus is elsewhere, either on fellow dancers or on the musician. Does not think about his/her own body so dancing tends to be subdued. Extreme Watchers may consider too much movement and wavering of attention to be disrespectful to the musician.

Now watch this video and see what I mean. The girlfriend of red shirt guy is the best #2 I've ever seen.

The guys look great, but the gals here take it to a new level, making me wonder which Seattle neighborhood might have produced them. Kirkland? It feels like they were airlifted here, with their blown-out hair, J.Lo sunglasses, and VIP wristbands. Most of these girls are #2 and #3s, which you'd pretty much expect. They make the whole crowd prettier. And me feel older.

I don't entirely understand the set of equipment used to transform Sander from straight DJ to DVDJ, so some of the performance looks canned. Having images announce a hit song is great branding, but knowing that the video is pre-produced takes some of the spontaneity away. My friend tells me that Sander could do way more with his video decks, but I can't tell what's static and what's fluid. It reminds me of an MF Doom show I saw here where he pressed Play on his DAT player and then sang his album note for note. But we've discussed this before.

Some people are overwhelmed by the sound and dance with fingers in their ears, which would be EASILY REMEDIED BY THE USE OF EAR PLUGS which I haven't railed on in a while so consider that a rail. Sander's set ends abruptly, and we all experience that surreal break between dancing and making a dash for the coat check line. We are sweaty, thirsty, and satisfied, which is just what you want when you come out of the zone.


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