Beloved underground scenesters bolting for shark-infested, mainstream waters in hopes of bigger and better things is part of a perpetual cycle. Here we go again: Many notable gatekeepers of the Design District's indie scene are flocking to South Beach. The graduates include M-80's Ana Diaz-Balart, Poplife's Ray Milian, Jordan Binder, and media darling Revolver's Josh Menendez.
Menendez spearheads the "invasion" of SoBe (although it seems more like abduction by SoBe). He's hosting at the Delano, teaming up with Maxwell Blandford on Wednesdays to infuse new energy into the longest-running hotel party on the Beach. That means eclectic New Wave tunes replacing frothy house music (good thing) and Flock of Seagulls/Joan Jett mullets mixed in with conservative crops of corporate types (odd thing). Menendez will also assume a night at the "soon to be open" (not) Rok Bar. But there's one party that signals the end of the indie scene's finger-flicking attitude. It's an Eighties party at Mynt, called Society of Alternative People or simply SOAP. I resent the acronym on behalf of numerous alternative people who eschew bathing. What exactly constitutes an alternative person anyway? I always thought it was track marks, a lack of sexual orientation, and a strange smell. I'd never consider lounging at Mynt as alternative.
Now, I don't want to be the sour grape who begrudges the mainstream for scraping at the potential of something it had always scoffed at, and I don't fault growing fish for wanting to swim in a bigger pond, but the DesDis elite should keep it real because they've said they always would. I have a lot of respect for what Menendez has done with Revolver (though Rolling Stone was really reaching by naming it one of the top ten parties in America), but he's patronizing the peeps who made him. On his e-mail invites to SOAP he instructs whatever real "alternative" people might show to "dress with some fashion sense." Hey, revivalism is all about dismissing fashion sense. Look at the success of Von Dutch, a brand of ridiculous rags for prolific posers.
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And get this. Outside of Mynt last Thursday, a pair of suave, Versace-clad Argentine boys, not the kind of cats you see at Soho Lounge, asked me in annoyingly arrogant accents, "Where's Meent?" When I explained that tonight was SOAP and it's probably not the "crowd" they're used to, they replied, "but we're on the leest." I should have known.