Sunday, October 31, 2010

Indie Guide to Indonesia Partying: Blackout Party HALLOWE'EN

Partying in Jakarta while Indonesia Explodes
Best indie discovery so far in the city

While most of you internationals may think we're out here in Jakarta surfing some Tsunami wave or magma attack, I urge you to a) look at a map. Jakarta is far from most of what you've seen in the news but thank you for your kind messages and b) to keep in mind the earthquake is not another Padang disaster albeit serious issues remaining and regarding Merapi volcano stuff, most people have evacuated the area so things aren't too bad yet.  I've heard that the media is making a bigger deal of this than necessary. Anyways, here's how life is being lived. The only explosion I've seen is in FUN, please chillax Mama.

(Photo credit: BlackOut Party)

Whoah guys..
Today I had a happiness attack from the realization that Jakarta is actually a pretty damn cool city. For the first time since I've arrived I have felt completely comfortable in a club, like I've found a slice of Toronto or Paris. I loved all the music and danced my bon bon off with locals and expats alike sans soucis that people are there just to show off. If you haven't lived here you can't understand the desperate attempts I have made to find the scene only to end up at pretentious try-hard joints like Blowfish.  It took two months of living in Jakarta plus an ex-pat friend (thx aubz)  to find this indie scene but alas I am sharing this info to you so you don't waste your time teetering around on your bitchiest heels in the same pursuit.

The event that has my heart beating love thumps throughout my body is called Blackout Party. Like Hogwarts' Room of Requirement, it happens at random when the organizers feel the need to inject Jakarta with coolness (every couple months) and in different venues around the city.  Expect to hear an eclectic mix, anything from Frans Ferdinand, to drum n' bass to bangin' electro and punk.

Smells Like Home but not Quite
When I looked around in my thick Where's Waldo spectacles (or known as Wally in Oz, what gives?) and saw that everyone was staring back in the same glasses and tuques my heart smiled with satisfaction. Nearly the same outfit that had me almost rejected from Blowfish the night of Tiga (was mad vexed, took me an hour to negotiate my way into that damn Blow hole) was embraced here. The best part though was that, unlike Wrongbar in Toronto where it is commonly criticized for lacking an authentic good times vibe, the kids here put all their hearts into dancing to the music.

Overall, the ambiance was unique and reminded me of a mix between Andy Pool hall in Toronto and Le Tigre in Paris- fun, rad music, yet good style and people. Even in Asia, despite all my love for Bangkok I have never quite found the same scene as with Blackout last night. I mean, some punk music came on and people started jumping around.. total opposite of everything I've known thus far in Jakarta or anywhere in my recent life. Hell, even at the Boys Noize show at Indochine, people were holding back, probably from fear of breaking a 3-inch elevated ankle (can you tell I'm bitter about being forced to go against my lil'ness in Jakarta?).

Photo Cred: Blackout Party

Entrance to this event was free which is BOSS, however, like most free events, the drinks are a bit pricey. For a half pint of beer it was 55,000 RP (like 5.50 Euros). I mean, if you are a poor intern as I am there are obvious ways to get around that (hint: it's all in the pre-drink). On clothing, as far as I could tell there was no dress code and people tended to dress associated with the style of music they were into. This ranged from black tights to dread locks  and enough marinières to sail the Royal Navy.

The only bad part is that this awesomeness only happens once every couple months. The best way to know what's going on is through their Facebook page.  Unfortunately indie clubbing ain't easy here. In fact there are no set "Indie Clubs" in Jakarta just different organizers who throw the events. So knowing who they are and when they have stuff going on is key to climbing fun mountain.

Definitely looking forward to the next one. In the mean time, if any of you know where we can party like a Blackout Party in Jakarta more regularly, your feedback here would make you a champion of human kind!!

For the full album of Hallowe'enie good times, go here.

ps. Cool blog by one of the organizers, Kiki. I Love Glam.

Partying in Jakarta? Check out..
Avoiding the Hookers: Review of Immigrant Club

Extra Sexy Tunes
Recently heard this at work while completely tired and hung over and I swear I did not need to drink any coffee after listening to this. I put it on repeat and had a mini rock out sesh' at my desk. This song needs to play in Jakarta clubs slash..Tiger Love  if you read this please come here so I can interview you guys and this city can jam out to Pussy Cocaine!

Download: Pussy Cocaine- Tiger Love


  1. awsome review of the crazy Blackout night ... need more underground jakarta scene ...if you like heavy bass this saturday will be DnB night at Willow ....

  2. omg, that video is hilarious! I have now realized that my dance moves have been missing a whole lotta hand claps.