December 27, 2015
Was there a better place to people watch in the world than Williamsburg? Take any emerging style or movement you would generally find an element of it within a five-mile radius of right here. Bushwick was the growing heart of the underground but Williamsburg was still the culture clash in the middle. Strolling around here, always crossing the street onto the sunny side – so simple but just so good. I challenged anyone to spend an hour walking around and not see someone that they would love to sit down to coffee with. That is the beauty of this place, it sucks in the goodness from around the world and sprinkles it from block to block. Clichés – sure, but with the diversity of people from around the world, clichés are irrelevant.
Once again film trucks dotted the side streets of Bedford Avenue, everyone looking to shoot were the action was. The crew floating around with radios on their belts, trying to look busy but not seeming to be doing a hell of a lot. That’s how it was on the bigger shoots – a lot of standing around, waiting for this and that. Doing a water run, coffee run, food run.
I’d spent the morning hacking together a video from the Tomorrowland live stream. In a somewhat ironic way I had taken the vocal hook from an Avici track and laid it over an old swing tune at about a third of the tempo, slowing down the dancers from the festival to move in time. It was stupid. I uploaded it to the Malt Liquor Monday channel and came out for some fresh air.
I was walking into Blue Bottle for coffee when her text came through.
<Emma> Hey Mason, Emma from East & Low here. Got your number from Andre. Had someone pull out for a promo gig Thur night. Are you free at all? 🙂
I’d been dwelling on not hearing from Andre since the studio session, although they had paid me, and the money was good. I swiped out of the message so Emma wouldn’t see the bubbles thing when someone is replying, that can be awkward, knowing someone is considering how best to answer you. Emma seemed cool and the gig would likely pay well and keep me close to the label. I decided to at least wait till after I grabbed my coffee to reply – not wanting to appear too keen. Imagine a world where people straight up expressed how into or not into something they were. That would be too weird. Conversations at bars packed with raw honesty. Can’t see it working.
I ordered a New Orleans’s Ice Coffee and noticed they are now doing it in little cardboard milk boxes for takeaway. This stuff is a totally new level of iced coffee, nothing else comes close. It’s like comparing the house pour bourbon in a Brooklyn bar to a twenty year old scotch from the Isle of Sky. It actually tasted like a scotch, it had this smoky sweet flavor to it. If Jim Morrison and Bob Marley were going to meet up for coffee, they would be drinking this. Jim would love this stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if Blue Bottle took over the world, the recently got a bunch on venture funding from a firm that had an office next to their roasting house in San Fran. Makes perfect sense. Just don’t mess with this winning formula.
After sitting for a bit I decided an acceptable amount of time had passed. I could now reply. Naturally, crafting something that gave the impression of being in demand.
<Mason:> Hey. might be able get cover for somewhere else. Keen to help out. What’s the deal?
<Emma> Don’t want to put you out. It’s a gig sponsored by Carlsburg, DJ Slips is playing. Need someone for about two hours beforehand.
<Mason:> ok, cool. I’ll get back at you soon
<Emma> Awesome. Thanks!
I’d heard Slips play a bunch of times, met him at a party once. He was pretty big as a club DJ, played a bunch on the festival circuit. I saved her number in my phone. Wasn’t sure how long to keep her waiting before replying. I waited in line, picked up a New Orleans iced coffee, watched the half n half explore its way through the cup like a stoned kid from the 60s staring at a lava lamp when they first become a thing. I decided to text her back when I got home.
<Mason:> All sorted. I’m in. Just flick through the details when you can.
<Emma> You rock. Is $500 ok? Will send through more info tomorrow. phew
<Mason> Easy. Always good to rack up favors. Chat soon.