Tag Archives: WhiteElephant

Dancing In The Desert, Pt. 3

25 Jan


[With the Coachella lineup just announced, excitement is running high again for this year’s installment of the Southern California music extravaganza.  Here at Dan Swanky’s, we wanted to push past the breathless hype and get the gritty details about what the Coachella experience is all about.  Lucky for us, our resident Steed made his first trip to the festival last year, and offered to give us a rundown of his time there]

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

After two days of toeing the line at Coachella, I woke up on Day Three with a little bit less fire in my belly than I had the previous two days.  My head was pounding, and part of me wanted to stay right where I was, curled up in the warm sun on the soft turf of the golf course.  Oh, yeah – I woke up that day on the golf course, 12th hole I think, that ran next to our rental house.  My Australian flag was still around my neck and serving as a blanket, but Ibis was nowhere to be found, and my name had been carved into the soft grass with the hole-marker, which looked like it had been javelined several feet away.  I also wasn’t wearing any pants, once again, so I brushed off the cobwebs and took a brisk jog back to our house, which woke me right up and got me raring to go dance once more.  At this point, I figured I would deal with the emotional and physical reckoning on Monday.  I was going to go all in on this one while I still had the chance.

I rustled up the DJ Collective from their various resting spots, and we got a couple hours of pre-gaming out of the way before hopping in a party bus that someone had parked on the front lawn the night before and abandoned.  Whoever left the bus there had also left several cases of beer and Ciroc in the back, so we took our time getting over to the concert grounds and were in a fine mood by the time we parked.  I guess I was in too fine a mood, because as we were walking through security, I told the security guard to At Least Kiss Me If You’re Going To Touch Me Like That, and I was briskly taken over to “HQ,” which was a trailer next to the Main Stage filled with sobbing girls and passed out bros.  I was able to muster my charm and kept it coherent enough that the Stern Police finally let me go on my way, but not without taking all of my 5-hour energy stash, and taking my ‘Benadryl’ for Safe Keeping.

As I made my way out of HQ, I realized that I had lost my group, and had no phone or any other way to contact them in the ambiguous mass of people spreading out in the meadow before me.  I needed a cold Heine to rest my nerves after the Security run-in, so I headed over to the nearest beer garden.  After grabbing a drink, I struck up a conversation with a lively group of bros, all wearing mid-90s Vin Baker jerseys, who suggested that I try spotting my friends from the Ferris Wheel.  One of the Baker Bros also handed me a fresh beer, which he said was White Elephant brew.  He winked as he said this, but I figured what the hell and polished it off before heading over to the Wheel, so I could get on there before the good tunes started.

I hopped on a solo car on the Wheel, and as I started to circle up to the top, I felt a quick little surge of adrenaline, that went away almost as suddenly as it came.  Looking back, that was like the first little rain drop you get before the hurricane hits, but at the time I shrugged it off.  As my car went one rung past the top of the Wheel, I got a clear view of Sahara, and amid a sea of waving bods, saw the glorious stuffed bunny that I had worked on the day before.  At that point, I understood that the little fellow had made the bunny to be used as a signpost, and as I was realizing that, the White Elephant from the Baker Bros finally made its presence known.  I could no longer sit still.  The car on the Wheel was slowly making its way down to the ground, but I couldn’t really wait any longer, so I clambered on to the outside and shimmied my way down the scaffolding to the ground.  Security was not too happy about my early departure, but my legs were pumping before I even hit the ground, and I was off running the fastest quarter-mile you’ve ever seen to Sahara.

I got in to Sahara at the start of the Ducks [Duck Sauce] show, and as they pumped out the electro jams, I grooved my way up to the bunny and re-united with my buds.  I was enjoying myself near the stage for a bit, when something about the music must have triggered the other part of the Elephant, and things began to take a turn.  I has already been getting nervous about the giant inflatable duck that was on stage for the show, and when the “Big Bad Wolf” song started, I decided that the duck needed to go and I made a run at it.

To get to the duck, I had to clear the fence around the stage, and my running start for the jump was hindered a bit by the wet grass and the big crowd – I ended up catching my shins on the fence and whipping my forehead into the back of a security guard.  This dazed me for a second but didn’t put me out for the count.  The guards picked me up and shipped me out of the Tent, telling me to Take It Easy, and as I stood in the grass collecting myself, I could hear the faint tunes of Chromeo, and I followed the seductive dance beats to the outdoor stage.

By the time I got to the Chromeo stage, the mild concussion I had sustained earlier had met up with the White Elephant and all I could do was put my seatbelt on and hope for the best.  I saw some of the DJ Collective in the crowd, and they passed me a pair of Party ‘Bans to help with the sensitivity to light.  For some reason, as soon as I put the ‘Bans on, I became convinced that I was actually Chromeo himself, and that it was up to me to put on the best fucking dance show that the crowd had ever seen.  For the next hour, I proceeded to do just that, completely oblivious to the actual band performing on the stage behind me.  I was throwing keyboard licks around like no one’s business, unleashing dance moves that screamed Sexual, and one point I even brought myself to tears.  By the end of the show, I was sweating profusely and wasn’t quite sure how I had gotten there.  One of the Collective buds told me to follow them to Kanye West, the capper to the whole festival, and I obliged.

For the majority of the weekend, there had been loose talk flying around about Kanye’s show and all of the special guests he was going to bring up.  Jay-Z, Beyonce, Will Smith, and Coldplay were all being tossed around as names, but as we waited for the show to start at the Main Stage, I became convinced that I was the special guest the show would have, to take it over the top.  All I had to do was figure out a way to make my epic entrance, and then I could do the Twista lines on “Slow Jamz” and it would bring the whole house down.  As I was looking around frantically to find my way in, Kanye came gliding over the crowd in a crane contraption, and I knew what I had to do.  As soon as he got back on to the stage, I crept over to the base of the crane and started to shimmy up the side, towards the platform on the top.  I figured that once I was up there, Kanye could just toss me the mic and we’d go from there.  I got about 6-7 feet up the crane neck before some Boy Scout spotted me and yelled for help getting me off.  I tried to keep climbing, to keep the dream alive, but as Kanye started in on “Hell Of A Life” some security guard crawled up after me like a goddman spider monkey and I tumbled back to earth after a brief struggle and a taser shot.

It took four security guards to round me and the Elephant up, and after doing a quick check to make sure I hadn’t broken anything, they told me my weekend was over and began to escort me out to the parking lot.  I told them that We Would Meet Again, and they said You’re Probably Right.  The next several days would be a long recovery session, filled with doctor’s visits and marathons of Friends, and even though I eventually came back to full health, there’s a part of me still laying out there in the grass of the Polo Grounds.  Until next year, my friends, until next year.”


On Bended Knee: Band or DJ?

19 Dec

(Editor’s Note: On Bended Knee delivers the gritty details of wedding planning straight from those with their ears to the pavement.)

Band or DJ?

The fading memories of high school dances are subtly enhanced by a seductive rhythm playing on repeat from the depths of a time we would rather forget. This subconscious harmony was the product of a fledgling DJ who still, 10 years later, uses lines from “Bye, Bye, Bye”  to attract women at bars that we haven’t frequented since they took our fake ID’s. Compare that memory to the pinnacle of live concerts (Dave Matthews Band at The Gorge to be precise) and the choice for wedding entertainment is obvious.

The only real objective decision is between a cover band or the local alt rock all stars. Both types of groups provide a unique atmosphere, however the choice is honestly best made on personal preference. Be sure to remember that intoxication of the performers plays a major role in the success of the event, although it is safe to say that regardless of the drug buffet provided, as long as alcohol is involved the night will go off without a hitch. Most modern day Wedding Singers prefer a few bumps of White Elephant before taking the stage, however if a Bohemian Cover Group is selected they might prefer top shelf grass, at a minimum.

Song selection is also a major component of every wedding. Most performers have an endless catalog of love ballads and mindless rock anthems to softly swoon party guests into near psychosis. We suggest tossing out all previous lists and requiring your band to learn new material. This encourages a minimum commitment to your gig and if they fail to play your requested songs you can always maximize cash flow later on in small claims court.

A few tips:

  • Grooms, be sure to note the slow songs in advance so your best men have an opportunity to get the best partners before Uncle Trent realizes he isn’t at his usual dive bar on his usual Saturday night.
  • Brides, be sure to brush up on your rebuttals, as you will be forced to dance with no less than 10 different men on your special night. No, not Prima Noctra.
  • Ultimately, music is the mood of the party. A mix of slow and fast beats sets the stage for an unforgettable occasion.

Blitzed for the Holidays: White Elephant Party

16 Dec

[Editor’s Note:  The holiday season is rife with opportunities for joyful merriment and for some, that means overindulgence.  With that in mind, we have our resident Steed standing by for the rest of the month to tell us how he enjoys this wonderful time of the year]

White Elephant Parties

“One of my close associates invited me to a holiday party last week, and after I had already said “Fuck and yes” he told me it was a White Elephant party.  He asked if I was cool with that, and I said ‘Yeah, man, are you cool?’ and then my minutes ran out so I couldn’t much more details beyond the time and place.

I go on living my life, then the day of the party comes and I get dressed up in my holiday attire, vest and everything, and hop in the IROC.  Now, I know I haven’t been the best party guest in the past, and I wanted to change that this time, so I stopped off at Heems’ place on the way over to pick up some White Elephant and ensure that I wouldn’t be coming over empty-handed.  No freeloadin’ here.  The party was across town, and I got stuck in traffic leaving from Heems’, making me about 45 minutes late.  I didn’t want to be left out when I got there, so I took my share of the Elephant on the way and was pretty tusked up by the time I walked in to the party, if you know what I mean. [Ed.’s note: We don’t]

So I come gliding into the party and there’s a good amount of people there, just kind of milling about.  Not as amped up as I was expecting, but I chalked that up to the early hour.  The Elephant usually starts kicking bout 2-3 hours in.  Anyways, I sidle up next to the open bar and am taking the edge off with a hot toddy when a hot little number in a cocktail dress and reindeer antlers walks over.  I introduce myself and we get to talking, not sure how long we’re there for but sooner or later the host calls out for everyone to start the White Elephant in the living room.  Well shit, I think, here I went and got a head start on everyone, and as I’m pulling my bag of extras out, everyone moves into the side room and sits down around a table of presents.  At this point I was starting to lose feeling in my legs, so I just went with it and sat on down next to Reindeer Antlers, who was getting friendlier with the minute.

Well I’m sitting there for a bit, trying to keep my head on my shoulders, if you dig me, while people are drawing numbers and taking presents off the table.  I wanted to keep my status as a good guest going, so I tossed my Elephant bag right in there and sat back to play hungry eyes with my new lady pal, who, combined with the good ol’ WE, had managed to get me standing at full attention.

At some point, Reindeer notices the third guest in our private party, and gives me a nod towards the bathroom ’round the corner.  I may be some things, but I’m not stupid and I crouch-walked my way out of the living room and we got the fun started over the bathroom sink.  Pretty soon after the pants came down, I finally lost the battle with the Elephant and had one of those patented love blackouts.  She must have felt the love too, because we were both hooting and hollering up a damn storm, drawing a crowd that included her husband, who kicked down the door and collared me up, yelling about What the Hell Was Going On.  Reindeer responded, Why Don’t You Go Ask Your Tim Tebow Highlight Reel, and this little interchange allowed me to roll my way down the hall and right out to the bar, where I grabbed a Schlitz to go and took my leave of the party.  Never did get to find out what the hell was going on with those White Elephant presents, but my personal Elephant at least had enough kick left for my power sprint back home.”