Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel Music: DFA Records' 10th Anniversary Party With Holy Ghost! at Bardot, December 3

DFA's 10th Anniversary Party

With Holy Ghost!

DJ Sets by Nancy Whang and Juan MacLean

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Better Than: Spending midnight in Paris.

DFA Records, the label masterminded by LCD frontman James Murphy, Jonathan Galkin, and Tim Goldsworthy, celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday night with an Art Basel Miami Beach bash at Bardot.

Common folk could gain entry for the exclusive fête for a mere $40. But tickets were already sold out before midnight. On the docket? DJ sets by Juan MacLean and Nancy Whang, and a live performance by Holy Ghost!

We were a little confused/excited when we saw that local faves Plains and ANR had been added to the list of performers. But an email from 10K Islands' Will Suter last night confirmed, "We were going to, but wasn't going to be logistically possible." Sad face.

Art Basel hasn't made this an easy week for going to shows, often sitting in traffic for a half-hour just to travel four blocks. But after waiting in line for almost an hour (standard for Bardot on a big night), we walked in and instantly felt welcomed by a petite woman on the decks -- Nancy Whang. The music was so danceable, we didn't even notice it was her at first.

We love Nancy. Sure, we were a little worried that we'd experience a repeat of the last time she was in town. But we were pleasantly surprised. The songs seemed to transition easier with little stumbling between each of 'em, and remixes of tracks like "Precious Little Diamond" and "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" were at once cute and hype-inducing. At one point, a woman even yelled "I love you, Nancy!" and waved in front of the DJ booth, and Nancy politely smiled and waved back. It wasn't us. Swear.

Juan MacLean kept popping in and out of the booth during Nancy's set. And then a little after 12:30 a.m., Holy Ghost! took to the makeshift stage. The gig was a last minute addition to the duo's tour, no doubt Holy Ghost!'s way of saying thanks to DFA for putting out their debut album in April. "This is a special show for us," frontman Alex Frankel proclaimed. "Our last of 2011."

Once an electro-poppy DJ act, this twosome now has a very live-indie-rock feel, particularly because they're now backed by a full band on tour. Keyboards, drums, synths, and guitars had all the makings of a great live performance. And as Frankel belted out favorites like "Hold On" and "Do it Again," he tooks drags from his cigarette.

Frankel schmoozed with the crowd constantly, at one point sounding like a radio DJ because of all the happy birthdays he was announcing. "A lot of birthdays," he joked. "Well, you all turn 21 in my book. It's my 18th birthday. Bullshit."

Once Holy Ghost!'s ten-song set ended at 1:30, Juan MacLean jumped on the decks with bass-heavy dance jams. We couldn't help but feel like we were being reminded of Special Disco Version's fun, dancey feel from Thursday night, and that was okay with us.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I love everything DFA, particularly James Murphy and Nancy Whang.

Random Detail: There was a woman with bunny ears and a lace mask over her face doing the bunny hop. We're not kidding.

Random Detail #2:James Murphy wasn't there. Pat Mahoney wasn't either. Nancy supported their show at Grand Central. We can't help but wonder why they weren't at their own anniversary party?

The Crowd: Bardot regulars and Art Baselers.

Overheard in the Crowd: "This place is so French, even the cigarettes smoke."

Holy Ghost!'s Setlist

-"Static on the Wire"

-"It's Not Over"

-"Hold My Breath"

-"Say My Name"

-"Slow Motion"

-"Do It Again"

-"Hold On"

-"Wait and See"

-"I Will Come Back"

-"Jam for Jerry"

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