Located in New York City’s infamous Meat Packing District, the Wired’s pop up shop has been attracting many visitors due to the hot items it is hosting for 2010. While it has been continuously impressive, Friday night had a plethora of unique stuff on offer: video games (Mario Wii and Tony Hawk Ride ), plush couches to kick back on, an eco-friendly open bar, free 10 minute massages from townhouse spa (townhousespa.com) and music from talented artists. The line-up for the night consisted of a large range of musical talent starting with English DJ Mark Ronson, English alternative by Dan Black, heavy rock by Delilah featuring Jamie Burke and hip hop electronica fusion by Theophilus London with DJ Treats.
The event, most importantly, was being held to raise awareness for the TckTckTck campaign. TckTckTck has been focused on bringing attention to the recent climate change discussions held in Copenhagen. I spoke with David Jones, CEO of Havas Worldwide, about the details:
The Retrospective: So first off, how did you get involved with Wired Magazine and the TckTckTck campaign?
Jones: Well, basically we were approached by Kofi Annan just over a year ago now. He asked if we would put together his campaign on climate justice to target Copenhagen. So we did that. We launched it in June with Bob Geldof and Kofi. We had a presentation to 2,000 people in the global advertising industry. And what we’ve done since then in October we launched the music track that goes with the campaign, which is a remake of “Beds are Burning”. And since then we’ve done a series of events to actually push that further. We had a big one in Paris. And this is actually a key event because it’s the last event before Copenhagen takes place.
The Retrospective: For our audience, what would they need to do to get involved in this last minute time?
Jones: I mean, what I think has been fantastic is how many people have got involved. So we’ve had now, 10 million people who have signed up to become climate allies. The video has been viewed 15 million times and downloaded a million. But we still have two weeks to go. And I think what’s great around the world is momentum is picking up. All the news programs are talking about Copenhagen. Leaders are feeling under more and more pressure to go. The UK government actually came out and endorsed the tck campaign the last month. Obama’s now said he’s going. But in the final two weeks: spread the word, download the video, and if you haven’t signed up as a climate ally, please do.
The Retrospective: What would be the greatest outcome of this in the end?
Jones: Well what I think we need is a global, binding and fair climate agreement. I think we’re not going to get that out of these next two weeks. But what we need to do is make major progress to insure we nail it in the next year. And I think that fact that Gordon Brown and the British Government have endorsed tck. The fact Obama is going. We’re seeing some real momentum now behind this. People understand. To me I’m blown away by the fact that 10 million people have come on board behind the campaign. The supporters of tck. It says to me how big of an issue this is to the people of the world and it’s really put pressure on the world’s leaders. We need them now to act.
The night kicked off with Ronson spinning ‘Just’ feat. Phantom Planet as the crowd poured in from the red carpet through the plastic meat market curtain. Wired set up the large loft space with modules containing gadgets that ran the gamut from transportation to entertainment. With so much to see, I thought it best to consult one of Wired’s on-site staff to find out what the most talked about items are in the showcase. Noah, super-friendly staff member, responded with the following list:
Dyson Air Multiplier aka the Bladeless Fan
– priced at $299.99 for 10″ model and $329.99 for the 12″ model
Project Garlic’s YikeBike
– priced at $5,100
Powermat’s Portable Mat
– priced at $99.99
After inspecting the items up close for myself, I turned my attention to the stage as Dan Black launched into his set. Admittedly, I had not heard of the English electronica/pop musician before Friday, but I have to say his music is sensational. His voice comes across so clearly over his guitar as he reaches a range of pitches. As if that isn’t enough, he had a great sense of humor about himself. He jokingly commented on how he had just flown in from Paris for this gig sans band members and was slightly “jet fucked”. He continued on with a story about immigration telling him that if he wants to make it as a musician in America, he needs to “comb his hair and have a shave.”
When I approached Black for questioning, he suggested we go behind the scenes for some quiet for the interview. What followed was a conversation full of laughter on my part due to Black’s honesty.
The Retrospective: So how did you get involved with this event?
Black: With the TckTckTck thing?
The Retrospective: Yes.
The Black: The truthful honest answer is, it is organized by Kofi Annan, obviously the ex-UN guy who is main figure head of the campaign…he approached The Hours, which is a French company – also in America now – to organize it and they are really old friends of mine. So they said to me, “Hey can you help us out?”And I was a bit like….well, I’m always a bit nervous to get involved in like “charity” things. I think pop stars doing charity things can be a bit like…annoying and you know – fuck off. But since they were such good friends of mine, and even a cynical-old-misery-guts like me can accept us fucking up the planet is probably not the best idea, I said of course I’ll get involved. And it’s you guys! So yeah.
The Retrospective: Haha! So…where’s the rest of your band?!
Black: The rest of my band…well, it depends what you really mean by my band. Cause when we were last in New York, we were 5 and now we’re just 3. And I only got a phone call yesterday saying, “Can you come out and play this thing in New York?” And I was like “Awww God”. It was my first day off in a month! So I said, “Aww do I have to?” And they said, “Oh come on. It’s gonna be good! Fiona will be there!”
The Retrospective: HA!
Black: So I said, “Well alright.” I’ve never done that before – I’ve never played acoustically with a laptop so it was a bit ramshackled. But you know, hey- life’s short – gotta do these things.
The Retrospective: Alright. You said you were in Paris -
Black: I live in Paris.
The Retrospective: Okay. You live in Paris. What do you do when you have time off in Paris?
Black: Time off…hmmm…let me reach back into my memory. I think was 7 years old playing conkers with my friends. Hmmm. I like culture. I like watching films. I like going to art galleries. Sometimes listen to music. Books. Films. Books and films are probably my thing.
The Retrospective: What’s your favorite movie?
Black: My favorite movie EVER?
The Retrospective: EVER.
Black: Uhhhh….I love…what doesn’t sound really wanky. Charkovsky. I actually do like Charkovsky. But I dunno. One film. Someone is going to read this and be like This is it. This is who this guy is! Thats his favorite film!
The Retrospective: Okay…maybe a genre then?
Black: No! I know a film I love! Philadelphia Story. That’s a film that came at the right time and I love.
The Retrospective: Alright so-
Black: No! No…My favorite film is “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.” Do you know that film? Emeric Pressburger. That’s a-MAZING! I love that film. That would happily be on my death bed – on the the stone – favorite film.
The Retrospective: Haha. Okay, I’ll make sure I put in my list then. So, how about an introduction of yourself for our readers?
Black: Of me!?
The Retrospective: Yes!
Black: Oh god…uhhhh, Hi. I’m Dan.
The Retrospective: Haha – What’s your sign?
Black: I’m – Yeah! I like uhhh to talk to people. Hey. I used to be in many bands. I always had many ideas and used to hate how they would get filtered through other people, dismissed or… So I finally had the brains and the guts to say Fuck it! I’m doing something on my own! I made an album totally on my own. Utterly on my own. And it’s me trying to bring together the different things I like. Which is kind of experimental fun. Slightly weird. But not totally inaccessible. A hip hop production mixed with quite moving film-ic, melodic alternative music.
The Retrospective: Ah, well -
The Retrospective: Hi! And thank you!
When it came to creating best dance atmosphere of the night, Theophilus London took home the prize. He wrapped up the event with DJ Treats spinning and got the crowd moving. For those unfamiliar, London’s music stylings are a fusion of electro, hip-hop and pop, put together in such a way that it’s hard to resist dancing. Currently signed to Green Label Sound, he has released his debut single “Humdrum Town”. I caught up with the Brooklyn-native for a few words:
The Retrospective: So I know you just recorded the video for “Humdrum Town” — when can we expect to see that?
London: I think top of the year, we’ll be able to release it: January 2010. I’m really excited about the release as well – it’s an amazing video from what we got so far. It’s very cinematic. I think it’s gonna…kinda shift the culture and set the pace for 2010 for myself.
The Retrospective: Do you have anything else coming up in 2010 that you’d like us to know about?
London: Yeah…well…with the release of “Humdrum Town”, we’re working on some remixes right now with some very big names that I can’t really talk about, I want it to be a big surprise. But it’s some really cool names and we’re talking about switching the whole former remix thing – getting other artists to sing my lyrics and making this really cool stuff with it. And yeah, working on the LP as well so you can expect that full length.
The Retrospective: Great. How did you get hooked up with Wired magazine?
London: I know in the summer time I got asked to partake in the thing for climate change with tcktcktck. I did the song for them, right in the studio – they had the lyrics, it was great. We did the video right there on the set. Knew there were a lot of amazing opportunities coming in the future from being involved in this. And you know, I’m all for climate change. I’m all for the cause and I’m happy they would pick me to do it. And that’s how I got here today. Gonna perform for some people tonight. Cheer ‘em up!
The Retrospective: Thanks for your time.
London: Thank you.
Sadly, after his set ended, the lights came on and the crowd began to disperse, but not before clearing out any extra beverages in the fridges. In the end, I had quite an eclectic night. Not only did I get wired – I got educated on climate change, amazed by gadgets, buzzed on an awesome open bar and pumped from dancing to a variety of tunes from 7 to 10 – Definitely beat regular happy hour.
Find out more about the TckTckTck campaign
Wired Store: 415 West 13th St (Between 9th & Washington) |
Meatpacking District | WIRED.com/wiredstore
Previous Post: A night of nostalgia and low-top chucks with The Pixies