If there’s one solid reason to go to the Dumbo Arts Festival this weekend, it’s hosts and DJs AndrewAndrew. The co-identitied DJs can turn just about anything into a party, oozing one sample at a time from Richard Anthony to Rickshaw Dumplings. We asked them what we should be excited about.
Lucky for us, they might have some good material to work with here. On top of their open studio previews, the Andrews speak of food trucks and light sculptures, and their show at the VIP party alone should be well worth the trip. Additionally, an underground dance movement is mentioned. Could it be? Is flexing really the new vogueing? Is something culturally significant going to happen at the Dumbo Arts Festival? You can’t not be curious.
I see you’ve started the previews already, and I was wondering if you have anything else in store?
During the arts festival, we’ll be walking around hosting some productions on the livestream channel. It’s this great platform— Occupy Wall Street uses it— where you can watch live video from your desktop or your mobile phone. You can just go to livestream.com/dumboartsfestival.
So for people who are not from New York, or for people who are agoraphobic, that’s a great option.
And are you going to be performing at all?
We’re actually DJing on Saturday night, there’s a VIP artist party. Last year’s was one of the funnest parties we have ever DJed.
We don’t use the phrase “one of the best parties we’ve ever done” lightly. It really was an insane party. We DJ for a lot of different types of people, but when we DJ for the creative community of New York, those are our people, and they just go nuts. It was bonkers. It was like a house rave for nerds. Last year at St. Ann’s Warehouse— I think it was one of the last things happening at St. Ann’s, because they’ve moved locations now. But I know for us, there was a sense that it was such an anchor of Dumbo, and this would be one of the last times that we would be drunk and onstage there.
Also, the thing is, the creative community of New York understands the irony of, how one minute we’re playing Azealia Banks, and the next minute, we’re playing the Italian version of ABBA’s “Waterloo.”
I don’t think irony is the right word. I think they understand juxtaposition…or collage…or bricolage? With music. I wanna use more art terms—
Just put in some art terms. The art crowd understands how we deconstruct the act of DJing. And also, there was a guy in a gorilla suit onstage. It was like a total bucket list. Ever since we got really obsessed with the teenage party movies of the 1960s, a la, like, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello— it’s always been a burning desire of ours to have a guy in a monkey suit dancing onstage with us while we DJ. We’re working on getting the astronaut and the swami. Maybe this year.
So obviously they get it, but how is crowd different? More energetic?
It’s not that they’re more energetic, if anything, they’re more cerebral. Like you know that on a Saturday in the Lower East Side bar crowd is pretty energetic, they’re all pretty jazzed about whatever. I think it’s just we can be clever-er with our music selection. You used the word “ironic,” but the word is on the tip of my tongue. Maybe humorous. There’s a goofiness that comes out of us because—
Quirky, uh. Can we bury that word?
So people aren’t going to lose interest if you’re not constantly playing Gaga…
Right. Well, it’s almost like the context demands that we not play Gaga. And actually, it’s like no no no, this is an art crowd; we should be playing inappropriate holiday music and oldies. And so when we do play Katy Perry, they lose it, because secretly, everybody loves Katy Perry. But you’ve got to coax them into it by playing Wagner, Young MC…
You have to exercise some restraint.
Yeah, it’s almost like Ace of Base is more valid than Rihanna.
What’s funny is that this is almost the opposite of what we’d normally do at regular clubs, where normally we’d have to play some Rihanna or Katy Perry to coax them into the other stuff.
Yeah, exactly. Like it’s okay that you guys are gonna play five different versions of “These Boots Were Made for Walking” because you warmed us up with Azealia Banks.
If you could use three songs to describe Dumbo, what would they be? Why?
“Way Down,” Elvis Presley; “Get Get Down,” Paul Johnson; “Boogie Down,” Al Jarreau.
Because well, you know…
So was that your favorite event last year?
You know what, they’re all our favorite events.
Events are like children. You can’t pick just one, and you can’t leave them in a KMart parking lot. [Pause. Laughing] That was a bad joke. I don’t wanna say that was our favorite event of last year, because I don’t want other events from last year to feel bad, but I will say that it’s in our top ten of all time. I’ll say that.
Whenever we’re performing, it’s always a give-and-take. We’re giving energy to the audience, and in turn, they give back energy to us. And it seems like with the Dumbo Arts Festival, energy was high up there, we were giving and taking enormous amounts of energy.
Yeah, I felt like Enron. We were trading massive amounts of energy, most of it was made-up, and we were gaining tremendous yields from it.
There’s a lot of New Yorkers who haven’t made it out to Dumbo yet, and it’s a really special community.
1-2-3, Dumbo’s favorite movie
Disney’s Dumbo. Disney actually wants to stage a musical spectacular based on the film at St. Ann’s. Julie Taymor is attached.
Is there anything else that you think that people definitely shouldn’t miss this year?
It’s so massive, is the thing. You can basically just wander around and be completely tickled pink.
One of my favorite things from last year, and this year as well, is the food trucks. I was kind of blown away by the amount of diversity and just amazing food that was there, because you’re walking around and of course, you’re gonna get hungry. The New York Food Truck Association, and I think some Brooklyn Flea members, are going to have some food and restaurants set up in the Dumbo Arts Festival. So that’s something I always like.
Oh, oh, and I’m really excited to see Flex is Kings. It’s like the new krumping, or something, I dunno— but basically, flexing is the new krumping, or vogueing, and it’s at the Powerhouse on Saturday. [September 29th, 7 PM, 29 Jay Street]
…[W]herever you can find street art and ivory tower art, it can go bad. But as DJs, obviously, if there’s any sort of underground dance movement that we haven’t heard of, it’s mandatory that we attend.
Also, at night, there are all these massive, weird light sculptures that are scattered throughout Dumbo after sundown. There’s one, I believe it’s called “Superhero” by Wildbytes, and also, there’s Cortex Dynamics— both of those are gonna be projected onto buildings and the archways of the bridge. [See] all of the light sculptures, but those two, in particular, are really worth checking out. Come for the day, stay for the night, type of thing.
There’s a lot of stuff you can call out specifically. It’s kind of like Burning Man, except it’s not Burning Man, which is why we’re there. You could not pay us enough money to go to Burning Man. I hate to say that, because we have so many friends who go, and they’re like “oh, it’s great, come on!” But you know what it is, Dumbo Arts Festival is like Burning Man, but with access to working toilets within a reasonable radius. And you probably don’t have to do your own cooking. I think at Burning Man, you have to catch a wild boar and slaughter it before you can eat, and here, there’s food trucks. So, it’s like the opposite of Burning Man. It’s like Water Woman.