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

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Indie Guide to Blogs in Paris: My Little Paris and Merci Alfred

How Two Websites will Lead you to the Secret Side of Paris

Some alleged cool kid (friend of a friend) asked for advice on where all the other cool kids hang out in Paris. He was visiting from London from Toronto and he was of course doing the obligatory tourist obstacle course of La Tour D'Eiffel, Arc de Triomph, le Louvre blah blah but he wanted the underground and non touristy stuff as well. Naturally, I started him off with the A Poor Student's Restaurant Guide for sweet, authentic and affordable eating and thee best and easy to use Guide to Clubbing for electro-lites, minimalists and indie kids but he wanted daily cool activities too, which my travel guide doesn't quite do.

This blog is thus taking the opportunity to a acquaint you with a couple of neat little Parisian websites that do exactly that, give you the secret gems that the city has to offer on a weekly basis for young intellectual and artistically inclined gens.  

The websites are My Little Paris, which is oriented towards female ideas of cute Parisian adventures but also exclusive parties, and Merci Alfred the recently launched male counterpart. The concept is that you sign up to their email list and you get mailed a secret address or quirky idea. This coolness happens twice a week, first "to colour your semaine" and the second to "spice up your weekend."

In Merci Alfred, you can find yourself in a plethora of chic, cool and  efficient restaurants (hard to find in France) to take an important colleague for a business lunch, or if you're a traveler this could be a great list of where to bring French contacts you are looking to impress with your Parisian knowledge.

In an interview with the man behind 'Alfred' he described the site as, "That friend of taste to show you where the wild things are."After being approached by the ladies of MLP looking for someone with some balls, literally, this young trendsetter has made Alfred a way of life and has dedicated himself to showing the classy man a different side of Paris.

Other suave ideas include where to find the oldest and classiest Squash place in the city and one of Alfred's favourites, a tour of La Tour D'argent wine cellar. Pretty much if you are a young Don Draper in the making (Pete Cambell?) and visiting Paris this website will keep your brown loafers busy around town.

For the moment though you''ll have to rely on your highschool French skills to navigate the site, but hey, the crucial info is in the addresses so with a bit of common sense you should be okay. 

 In the more universal version, My Little Paris, discover exclusive parties with hidden addresses you can receive only by text  or resto gems with the best patios when you're looking to escape the busy streets and hide yourself amongst lattes and flowers.  Regarding the nightlife, "Take me the 7eme Ciel," was one text you could have received for a secret concert on the rooftop of an apartment in Montmartre. Other parties included a giant apartment party in an unknown location hosted by Vitamin Water with the address sent only by email. Paris has so much to offer that you will never read about in your guidebook yet My Little Paris  gives the trendy soul a small, time sensitive portal into this world.

Photo: Sitting down with the man behind Merci Alfred, Super Klaude. Vernissage at the Ukrainian Embassy

Bref, these sites are a great resource if you're just passing through the city or here for the long haul on an internship or exchange and looking for chic and trendy adventures. Although Lil'Fel Rocks the World does not focus on weekly activities, hopefully it has given you a good start to finding the secret Paris and thus the real reason that Paris is the best city in the world.  

Our own hidden night of fun in Paris. Fashion Show at the Ukrainian Embassy

Other Useful Ways to Find the Scene

ETE D'AMOUR: Summer is over now so tant pis, but this group hosts all sort of wicked parties during the summer along the Seine with the Eiffel Tower showing off in the background to cool boat parties with great DJ's. Fan this on facebook for updates.

See Also...
A Poor Student's Restaurant Guide to Paris

Hype Clubbing in Paris. Don't go where the tourists do.

Photo Essay: A Night of Secret Art and Fashion Shows

For your listening...

This will make you want to ride bicyclettes and indulge in fromage saint nectaire along the Seine. Yum. Plus it will give you a bit of retro French music culture that isn't just Edith Piaf. France Gall rocks.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Papua New Guinea Vintage

My New Project(s) or How to Find Style in a Country known for Cannibalism

I love vintage shopping. I love finding small markets to get the raddest clothing for cheap. I love getting crazy things and fixing them, cutting them or sewing them (paying someone else to sew, more accurately) up to make em' crazier. I love this stuff so much that I'm going to take a branch of this blog and make into a tree.

Indie Guide to Shopping stuff will become it's own blog of all the little rad things I find for mad cheap. As I was discussing with fashion blogger extraordinaire, Camille Over the Rainbow for advice on starting a fashion blog, I didn't want to girlify Lil'Fel Rocks the World too much, a travel guide that is supposed to rock everyone's world, not just the ladies (Heeelloo ladies, Old spice voice). For this new project (don't have a name for it yet..ideas?) it won't be a trend-setter blog like the other beautiful fashion ones, but keep the same voice of LFRW, as a guide as to how to find the cheap yet coolest stuff all around the world.

Any web developers or designers who want to help make this the most bad ass shopping guide to Vintage around the world. Hit me up, fo serious. We can work it out, ad revenue stylez. 

Shopping here is going to be awesome and with new limits. I just found a little Indonesian woman who fixed up my oversized Mad Men like vintage blazer from Malaysia for 15000 RP or less than 2 USD! So excited. Anyways,

Here's my latest fixer upper.

If you've been keepin' up this summer, I went to Papua New Guinea to climb some high ass volcano (almost died of exhaustion), see what we did here.