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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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BCC Listening Event @ The Aurora Gallery
Friday, May 12, 2006

(Conscious, Me & Ignite @ The BCC Listening Party)

Wednesday night the legendary Boot Camp Clik had a listening event in New York City for their upcoming release, The Last Stand. As a rule, listening events can be cliché in one of two ways. Either they’re held at packed clubs where no one can really hear the record because the music is too loud and the liquor has been flowing just a little too much, or we all find ourselves at a studio somewhere, sitting down with other members of the press, giving the record a quick listen. The people at Duck Down made this event a bit different, however, as they held it at an art gallery on the second floor of a building in Manhattan.

When I arrived with a friend we noted that there was no doorman, and there wasn’t even a sign on the building that said Aurora Gallery. The only marking of the place at all was a small Boot Camp Clik snipe hung on a railing outside. It was truly an event where if you knew where to go you were welcome, but the majority of the people passing by probably had no idea what was going on there.

Once inside and upstairs we found ourselves in a spacious loft with a makeshift bar. Various members of the BCC were doing small interviews while the new record played. Personally I don’t do interviews at events like this, I like to keep mine more personal one on one sessions, plus I’ve never liked hearing background music on my interview tapes. What made this space really nice, however, was that it also had a rooftop area for all of us to lounge on, as well.

The roof had some fantastic graffiti that, unfortunately, was roped off by caution tape making it so no one could get their picture taken with it (or paint over it). There were also chairs set up and nicely placed lighting. The roof was the spot to network as I met numerous other industry people, including folks from Skillionaire Enterprises, as well as a few people filming for DVD magazines and even a couple other writers.

The really enjoyable aspect of the event was that while the album was playing loud enough for everyone to hear, no one had to shout over it to have a conversation. If you wanted to hear a song you could, but if you wanted to network you could. I think this left everyone with a positive feeling towards the album. Oh yeah, and some of the production was phenomenal, not to mention at least one track featured Heltah Skeltah rhyming like they did back in their Nocturnal days.

Sightings: Obviously the entire Boot Camp Clik was in the building, or I guess more precisely, on the roof. Rack Lo of Low Lifes fame was there, as was Dyalekt of the Mindspray crew. Hip-Hop’s renaissance man, Conscious, made an appearance, as well, with fellow artist Ignite.

Liks: While the bar may have been makeshift it was a full open bar, and you can’t beat that. I only had a few beers, but anytime you can get a drink for free in New York City it's hard not to have a good time.

Overall: I dug the space, I dug the atmosphere, and I dug the album. I hope more labels do listening events in this way in the future.

Fun With Trains: This has nothing to do with this listening event except that it’s how I got home from it. My dang subway was taking forever to show up and I was seriously worried that I was going to miss the 11:22pm train and have to sit in Grand Central for an hour while all the stores close up shop, waiting for the next train to open up. The shuttle finally showed and got me into GCS at 11:16PM, but there was a problem, I was starving and I knew Zaro’s was still open. I quickly found out which track my train was on and then saw Zaro’s out of the corner of my eye, there was only one person in there, I ran inside and quickly grabbed some food and water (NOTHING beats a Zaro’s muffin on a long ride home). At this point I knew I had very little time to catch my train and, of course, I would find I was on the wrong side of the station. In my nice shoes, note I said shoes not sneakers, I bolted down the tracks all the way down to 20 where I boarded a very crowded 11:22PM train. About a minute later the doors closed and we were on our way. At about Southport I realized no one had come to take our tickets and I was getting off at the next stop. After all that running I got myself a free ride! Hooray for cardio! Talk about a great night!

posted by Adam Bernard @ 9:22 AM  
  • At 8:31 PM, Anonymous ariel said…

    sounds fun! and NICE to a free train ride.

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