Sunday, December 17, 2006

Guys, Seriously, You Didn't Miss Much. A Long Post By Klaus

There was so much controversy surrounding the The Onion's Annual Obligatory Holiday Party that it seems necessary for me to address some of that controversy as well as the actual party itself, which I attended (for the most part). The main source of the city-wide sourpussiness regarding this shindig was the fact that news of this event went public on several reputable and often visited blogs (mine, which averages 7 hits a day, doesn't count) and that RSVPs were quickly swallowed up by people who apparently weren't supposed to know about this event in the first place. I personally feel partially responsible for the overexposure of this event. I saw it listed on the ProductShopNYC website on December 5th. I then posted the news on my blog and also passed along the news to Brooklynvegan. I am pretty sure this is the moment where the RSVP situation went completely shithouse. By December 6th the event was officially sold out. Then on December 13th, that fateful e-mail was sent out that essentially blamed Brooklynvegan for over publicizing the event resulting in hundreds (maybe thousands?) of people having their RSVPs revoked, causing a rash of bad feelings across the city towards the Onion, 826NYC, and God himself. At this point, I am not sure if I agree with the Onion's tact with handling this event. The party was already listed on the 826nyc website as well as ProductShopNYC. I feel it was only a matter of time before the bigger blogs out there caught wind of it and publicized it. I do feel like I accelerated the hype by passing word onto Brooklynvegan, but it was only a matter of time dudes. An event like this couldn't stay quiet for long and all of the uninviting bullshit was most likely inevitable.

And after attending the actual event, I am wondering if the folks at the Onion were even taking their own RSVP policy very seriously. When I got there I told the guy who I was and he didn't even look me up on the list. He sent me right over to the beer ticket/raffle/donation table where I gave them my name. They told me I had to give my name to the guy at the door. I told them I did and they sent me right in. This begs the question; were they even checking names!? It seemed to me that anyone could have waltzed in there, given them a name, and they would have been allowed in. And I am pretty sure that, based on how over-crowded the place was, that is exactly what happened. UPDATE According to a friend who stayed later than me, they did in fact let anyone who showed up into the venue.

Like I said, I didn't stay for the entire event. After having my 1 free beer (disappointing considering the flier made it seem like you'd get free Bass all night), I headed downstairs to the empty live entertainment room. It filled up very quickly and by the time Jessica Rose & The High Life went on, the room was packed. I'm not that into rockabilly, but they were actually really good. And having never seen a show at Union Hall I was surprised at how good the room sounded considering its diminutive size. Througout Jessica Rose's set, the room got more and more crowded. David Cross followed Jessica Rose & The High Life and by the time he hit the stage, the room was packed with people all the way back up to the stairwell leading to the upstairs area. Cross's set was pretty tight and covered subjects varying from tourettes syndrome to his new puppy inducing a wet dream. But the room was so crowded and there were so many people in there not the slighest bit interested in his set. All througout the room were groups of people talking amongst themselves and one of my friends actually had to tell several people around us to shut up.

After David's set, I was filled with this intense claustrophobia and felt I had to leave the live room for fear that I would die at any minute. Seeing all of these people crammed like sardines all the way up to the stairwell, all I could think of was the fire that killed 100 people in Warwick, Rhode Island at that Great White concert. I don't know when I turned into such a old pussy, but I had to get out of there. When I got upstairs, the main hall was just as packed as the live room. It all seemed insane to me. At this point, I decided to leave the party altogether and endured a 15 minute human slalom to leave. When I got to the door I ran into an old friend and we shot the breeze for a while. While we were talking, I saw Horatio Sanz haul ass out of the venue. I then saw Aziz Ansari leave the bar with a few drinks and brave the crowd as he made is way towards the back of the venue. Then, Andy Kaufman Award winner Reggie Watts showed up with a friend. I didn't realize my friend is pals with Reggie, so I was surprised when he came over to hang out with us for a few minutes. I was able to congratulate him on his recent awards, gush about his stellar set at the the ITU show at Bowery, and talk with him about his old band in Seattle. Once Reggie parted ways, so did I. I never saw the Whitest Kids set. I never saw Sloan. And I never saw the Found Footage Holiday Treasure Trove.

I found the whole event overwhelming and feel that anyone who had their heart broken by being uninvited should rest assured that they didn't miss anything special. It was sheer human gridlock that didn't live up to the hype. However, I was happy that the proceeds went to a worthwhile charity. Contributing to that was probably the highlight of the evening


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