Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel Music: James Murphy and Black Lips Invade Grand Central, Toyota Sales Skyrocket

See the full 38-photo slideshow from Toyota Antics with Special Disco Version and Black Lips at Grand Central.

James Murphy and Black Lips

Grand Central

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Better Than: 28 MPGs in the city, 35 on the highway.

New York City hipsters, Pitchfork-approved band, hand-rolled cigarettes, ironic facial hair, and A-list celebrities were all marked off our Basel Bingo card at last night's party presented by Filter Magazine and Toyota Antics with Black Lips and James Murphy's Special Disco Version, the DFA label boss's collaborative, traveling party with former LCD Soundsystem bandmate Pat Mahoney.

The event was open to anyone 21 and older. It generated about 4,000 RSVPs. And by 10:30 p.m., the queue outside Grand Central stretched an entire city block. There were thousands of Art Basel party people, all of whom were waiting to step inside a corporate-sponsored world that resembled a game show set and sideshow, featuring a Toyota Corolla photo booth, screen printing station, a tricked out Yaris, etc.

For an hour, the drinks were on Sailor Jerry as disco-house DJ Midnight Surfer provided the tuneage and "TOYOTA" flashed wildly on Grand Central's LED wall. Several minutes before midnight, the crowd's attention was diverted to the Yaris booth for the combination game and giveaway portion of the evening, furnished by everyone's favorite Japanese auto giant.

Meanwhile, Midnight Surfer broke down his equipment and made way for Atlanta's favorite "flower punk" band, the Black Lips.

Unlike the crowd for Black Lips' post-2 a.m. set at Grand Central during February's seven-hour Bruise Cruise kickoff party, the Basel audience's enthusiasm wasn't dampened by some weird puppet show. Last night's crowd welcomed the Lips back to Miami with open arms, crowd-surfing, head-banging and devil horns.

Security working the show had a tough time keeping fans from jumping onstage and dancing alongside the boys. Naturally, by "Oh Katrina," the group's second or third song of the set, hipster lads and ladies were already stage-diving into a pool of rock 'n' roll.

"Security, get the fuck off the stage," yelled drummer Joe Bradley when they tried to stop it. Guitarists Ian Saint Pé and Jared Swilley, and lead singer-bassist Cole Alexander also did their part to ease security by stiff-arming them each time they neared.

Saint Pé generously donated a bottle of Sailor Jerry to the crowd and midway through set, somewhere 'round "New Direction" and "Ain't No Deal," the entire front row was onstage with the band, a true testament that garage rock will prevail.

Speaking of garage rock, Jacuzzi Boys were spotted roaming around Grand Central last night and even got a shout out* from Black Lips. We're so proud of those dudes.

In all, Black Lips raged for about an hour before thanking Miami for being gnarly and walking offstage.

A few minutes later, the great James Murphy walked past us and climbed the steps onto the stage. In terms of coolest dudes on the planet, the LCD mastermind ranks damn near the top of our list. So we thanked him for being rad with a ferocious fist-pump as he prepared to close out the best Basel party of the week.

Soon, we were grooving with Murphy and Pat Mahoney's record collection, but it was getting late. And after a late finish at LIV the previous night, hours stuck in traffic, art fairs, and blogging, we were hit hard by the sleepies. So we regrettably missed surprise DJ and LCD alum Nancy Whang.

Guess we'll have to catch her at the DFA party at Bardot on Saturday.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: See Basel Bingo

Overheard in the Crowd: Some really humble dude by the bar told a group of girls, "I make way more money than you guys."

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Victor Gonzalez
Contact: Victor Gonzalez