Check out CuriousJosh's latest column for more photos from Wham Bam Thank You NAMM.
Last weekend, thousands of musicians, DJs, producers and other assorted gearheads headed out to Southern California for NAMM, the annual industry trade show. While most of the action occurred in Anaheim, with so many DJs in town, it was only natural that the party would continue in Los Angeles. Friday night, local promoters Friendly Integration, Droid Behavior and Electronic Creatives took over the Downtown Independent Theater for Wham Bam Thank You NAMM.
Right now, you might be thinking, party in a movie theater? How does that work? The promoters divided the party into four sections, with artists playing in the lobby, theater and on the roof. A room on the second level of the building had been converted into a VIP area, where guests could nibble on appetizers and check out new gear while watching performances from the lobby. It definitely wasn't your typical party design, everything but the main theater was brightly lit and the night's headline acts (including Richard Devine and John Tejada) played in a seated area. Of course, few people stayed in seats, most of the action took places in the aisles. Using a movie theater, though, proved to be a great decision, as it allowed video artists to go crazy on a massive screen, something you don't get to see that often in a warehouse or standard nightclub.
Wham Bam Thank You NAMM was truly a party for the geeks. The line-up was heavy on electronic music innovators, people like Moldover, who builds and hacks controllers, violinist and Ableton Certified Trainer Laura Escudé and media artist/tech writer Peter Kirn. Between the performances in the theater, Game Boy wizard Baseck raffled off prizes that included Ableton Live 8 and other related gear. Around the club, you could practically see the crowd salivating over the latest in DJ technology (your faithful correspondent must admit to having developed a bit of a crush on the Livid Ohm64 midi controller). For those of us who didn't actually make it to Anaheim for NAMM, this was the perfect way to start off the weekend.