A long and often unpredictable winter is at last behind us, and Talbott Street definitely knows how to throw a party to celebrate the first day of spring. Nationally acclaimed DJ Mike Cruz spun a killer set Saturday, March 21, even managing to make Britney Spears’ “Toxic” sound cool. Not an easy task, especially among the city’s gathered trenderati.
DJ Mike Cruz works the turntable for an enthusiastic audience at Talbott Street Saturday.
But then, embracing silliness seemed to be the order of the day in this celebration of springtime. Among the so-tacky-they’re-supercool elements of the night were floppy neon glowsticks — hello, 1986! — being handed out by servers in green body paint and not a whole lot else, and shot-glass serving trays decked out in the very latest in superblingification, i.e., bright flashing red lights all around. The crowd’s dancing styles ranged from Supersmooth Queer Eye to the Really Straight Guy Shrug, but nobody cared. It was a night for letting go. And in this atmosphere, you’re never at a loss for photo subjects: “I know who you are!” Mikhail, one of the dancers, said to me mischievously. “Mr. Photographer!” He made little click-click motions with his hands. “Word gets around!” I didn’t have the nerve to ask exactly what word. Perhaps the musical high point was Cruz’s “’We Got Saddam’ Rag,” which is almost certainly not the actual title, but I like the way it sounds, so that’s what I’m going with. It was a perfect summation of his talents and neatly demonstrated why he has reached such worldwide acclaim. Cruz nicely sampled George W. Bush’s “We got Saddam” speech over a variety of tracks, taking the most surreal elements of current events and spinning them into something even more sublimely detached from reality. He swapped and matched beats almost constantly, evolving the throbbing, pounding tribal sounds that continually thumped from Talbott’s splendid sound system. About the only constant was the speed of the beats as the evening slid and flowed under Cruz’s smooth expert guidance, ranging from “way fast” to “ludicrous fast.” The crowd was a large one, packed to the brim but not quite reaching sardine-can levels, and they ate it all up. Talbott Street’s upcoming events include Twisted Dee spinning Saturday, April 3, to promote her new CD, Addiction. For more on Talbott Street’s schedule, check out www.talbottstreet.com, and for more on Mike Cruz and Twisted Dee, check out www.projectpublicity.com.