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WMC 09: B-Live takes us back

Bacardi B-Live WMC 09

WMC 09 - March 26

The '80s were back in full force at the Bacardi B-Live Pool Party at Blade at Fontainebleau Miami Beach.  Asymmetrical haircuts abounded, Richard Simmons shorts covered plenty of behinds, neon bikinis left and right.  A crew of boys even went as far as to bring back the high top fade, Kid 'n Play-style.  One of them was rocking a Gumby, the lopsided high top that imitates the noggin of our favorite little green ball of clay.

There was plenty of crack, just like in the '80s, but not the kind you're thinking of.  The crack at this party was peeking over the tops of the models' miniscule bikini bottoms.

All this reminiscing gets you thirsty, so Bacardi was taking care of everyone with mojitos, daiquiris, Cuba Libres and a specialty bar where the mixologist asked us, "If you could go on vacation right now, where would you want to go?"  My co-worker said "Puerto Rico", so that was an easy one.  The mixologist came back with a fresh concoction filled with lemon juice, ginger beer, mint and, of course, Bacardi. 

She should have faked him out and said something like Detroit or Albuquerque.  (I wonder what Detroit would taste like in cocktail form? Actually, no, I don't.)

So while we are sipping on our Puerto Rico-inspired beverages, who do we spot but the ultimate '80s DJ, DJ Jazzy Jeff, off in his VIP corral.  He looked just like he did when I would see him as Will's irresponsible, yet lovable friend on "The Fresh Prince." We missed his set and I couldn't get over it the rest of the evening.  

Watching this model's pasties fall off didn't even make it better.

WMC 09: Simple surprises

Paul Van Dyk WMC 09

WMC 09 - March 26

A few events Thursday perfectly summed up the essence of what Winter Music Conference should be:

At the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach, the Armani Exchange Sirius XM Penthouse party was a classy, energetic but elegant bash with cutting-edge beats, tasty hors d'oeuvres passed around (potato puffs!), and free Fiji bottled water, Heineken and Belvedere vodka drinks. German electronic dance music legend Paul van Dyk (he hates it when you call his music "trance," but that's really the closest explanation) kicked things off with a fairly chilled-out set, at least compared to the main-room mania he inspires at his favorite big-club haunts like Space.

Afterward, a young, blonde DJ from L.A. named Yvonne Black (nope, we've never heard of her, either) absolutely slayed everyone with filthy tech, tribal and progressive house beats, including the coolest dance version of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" imaginable. Patrons including celebrity DJs Tracy Young and Paul Oakenfold comfortably migrated from the outdoor rooftop -- which overlooked the Raleigh pool, the ocean beyond that, and the crazies hopped up on goofballs at the Shelborne pool next door -- to the intimate but not-too-packed indoor bar area. An incredibly cool scene.

The Remix Hotel, normally known as the National a couple doors to the south, was almost as fantastic (open bar would have helped, though $7 per beer is far from outrageous by SoBe standards). The DJ (couldn't tell who he was, but he looked similar to our beloved local hero Ivano Bellini because of the lack of hair) commanded a huge stage out back beyond the pool, with mesmerizing visuals on the 20-foot video screen behind him. His mixes - best was a thumping version of "Funky Town" - reverberated behind the stage throughout the walkway all the way back to the hotel, creating a happy cacophony that had the whole area buzzing.

On Lincoln Road at Lenox Avenue, the music outside Segafredo cafe created constant, spontaneous, joyful dancing by people passing by. A DJ spun jazzy, soulful beats while a live trumpet player provided some tasty improv during the breaks in the vocals, jamming among the dancers, who ranged in age from 3 to probably 83 (one elderly gentleman was really getting his groove on with an undulating young woman).

If the megaclubs and their obscene cover charges (if you can get the doorman to look your way) and thousand-dollar table service turn you off, seek out scenes like these.  

Just walk around town, to the SoBe hotels or up and down Lincoln Road - you never know what you'll find.

-- MICHAEL HAMERSLY

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