Thursday, February 12, 2009


There's been a lot of talk (some of it by me, all of it true) about porteños and their spectacularly terrible taste in music. Every time I go out to a disco, there they are, bopping up and down to that generic electronica beat as if it were the most amazing sound in the world. And since I moved here nearly two and a half years ago, every time those opening strains of that tired remix of Alanis Morrissette's "Uninvited" comes on, a flock of seagulls, er sheep, scrambles to the dancefloor as if they are hearing it for the very first time. Me, I roll my eyes, shrug, make a sarcastic comment to my friend Luciano (if he's with me), and wait for the next beat to drop.

But Saturday night, something happened that knocked me onto my feet and kept me there. I went to Ambar la Fox, the Saturday night party at the Roxy, with my friend Andres, and--surprise, surprise!--the music was good. Great, even. I'd been to the Roxy a few times before, and I always appreciated the occasional rays of musical light. But Saturday night, track after track kept me moving: Elastica's "Connection," Garbage's "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)," the Rolling Stones's "Sympathy For The Devil." The more current stuff made me wanna jump and shout, too (and I did): The Ting Tings (both "That's Not My Name," my new theme song for no reason other than that it's got so much attitude and sounds so damn good from the dancefloor, and "Great DJ"), Katy Perry (sorry, but "Hot N Cold" blows "I Kissed A Girl" away), Kylie Minogue's "The One," Goldfrapp's "Ooh La La" and several others that my currently failing memory can't recover.

Just another hour with my iPod, yes, but considering that the average Amber partier is probably barely out of their teens, it was a small miracle that they seemed to be so enthusiastic for a million-year-old Rolling Stones jam--and in its original form, not that ridiculous Neptunes remix. Amazingly, there wasn't a hip hop or an R&B beat in earshot. (Yay, no Rihanna! No Beyoncé!) This clearly wasn't New York City. Even the perfunctory Britney Spears tracks didn't bring me down, although I'd take "Gimme More" over "Womanizer" or "Circus" any night of the week. As I jumped up and down and chanted along to "Sympathy For The Devil," I thought to myself, It's only rock & roll, but I like it.

The crowd was as easy on the eyes as the music was on the ears, although a little on the young side, which outside of the disco, doesn't normally deter me. But 21 year olds are sloppy drunks, and that's not such a beautiful thing. My friend Andres scolded me for snubbing the cutest boy there, who he thought was obviously into me, but I didn't care for his stumbling-druk ways. And so I danced. Fittingly, I ended the night (or rather, the following morning) discussing the musical ups and downs of Fiona Apple in an elevator across town with Nicolas, an Anthony Kiedis lookalike who had just turned 30. And that, for me, is a happy rock & roll ending.
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