Redeye March 11 2004

Spring in my step: Two bubbly New York spring breakers boisterously fidget in the corner of a powder blue sponge-painted train car heading toward Miami. Their thongs peak seductively over ruffled miniskirts. An Italian transfer student who might as well walk for Helmut Lang reclines his impeccably tussled hair against the window. A bored businesswoman buffs her nails. All have heard South Beach is the place, but none realize it's the weekend of Winter Music Conference and the M3 Summit, the year's premier, far from wintry, dance music industry conventions.

For some Georgians, it's a yearly pilgrimage; for others, a foundling tradition. For me, it turns into a reunion of sorts. Arriving Sat., March 6 at the Soho Lounge for the Revolver/Output Records party, I'm greeted by Francois, an MJQ original who has since moved to London. Within minutes, former CL lifestyle columnist/Miami transplant/perpetual fashion plate Rebecca Kleinman enters the courtyard with a nonchalant aplomb that smacks of Sex and the City. Electroclash founder and infamous, decadent DJ Larry Tee waltzes up to mention he's looking forward to a tentative return date to Atlanta with Peaches.

The next day, M3 hosts a rudimentary Q&A with one-time Decatur/Athens resident Danger Mouse. The DJ/producer talks about his ongoing artistic/legal wrangling with The Grey Album mash-up of Jay-Z and the Beatles, previously chronicled in Vibes' Sharp Notes. Afterward, Fischerspooner's Casey Spooner, another former Athens resident, says hello and talks to legendary Factory Records figurehead Tony Wilson about his semi-fictitious biopic 24 Hour Party People.

That evening, Danger Mouse headlines M3's Sunset Sessions, layering his Grey Album live on a stage wedged between the Surfcomber Hotel pool and the South Beach dunes. The trappings of fame — emphasis on trap — do not sit well on Danger Mouse's bowed features as he is whisked in and out of awkward photo ops. Still, he keeps in stride as he leaves eyes wide from an eclectic showcase.

On Tues., March 9, former local Scott "Prefuse 73" Herren performs at the Sunset Sessions. Meanwhile, Atlanta-based labels SoCo Audio and Twijit Recordings host a party featuring, among others, Michael Scott, DJ Inc., Jonathan Edwards and Hustler's J-Luv. And all this is just a small sampling of the invading ATLiens.

There's an intoxicating sense of abandonment hard to abandon, and I'll certainly return (at least until visible panties, flavored vitamin water and respecting adults' rights to responsibly indulge become more regular Atlanta accessories).

Keep one RedEye open. And send all comments, questions, observations and invitations to redeye@creativeloafing.com.