When the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino announced it was opening two new interconnected nightclubs, Pangaeaand Gryphon, we were like, "Big whoop. If we wanted to dance in a disgustingly contrived environment where we lose lots of money, we would let hundred-dollar bills hang out of our pockets and twirl around in the juniors' section of Neiman Marcus." But as we read further down the press release and saw that Serena Williams would be stopping by on opening night, our cold, jaded hearts began to thaw. And when we read that Dennis Rodman would also be poking his head in, we were so there.
Maybe it was the winding bamboo tunnel that leads into Pangaea. Maybe it was the topless girls who were getting zebra stripes airbrushed on their boobs. Maybe it was the chain-mail wall in Gryphon or the crystals dangling from the club's ceiling like icicles. For some reason, the venues radiated a "this is a result of somebody's marketing plan" vibe but were overwhelming all the same. The multimillion-dollar space felt decadent yet fascinating, like watching porn or walking through Disneyland. We knew we were being suckered, but we couldn't resist. Yeah, they could have built 700 schools in Guatemala with this kind of cash, but the leather couches sure are sweet! For the record, we never saw Serena, but Dennis Rodman was fabulously hunkered in a booth with a beautiful lady friend and some burly security dudes, and there was at least one unexpected treat: Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor. Yum.
Try as we might to resist the Hard Rock's sucking vortex, the massive entertainment complex has again exerted its pull: for New Year's Eve, it booked Pete Moss. The big-time DJ, now 30, has been spinning since he was 17. "In fact," he says, "my last year of high school, I was excused on Mondays because I was working on the weekends." Moss moved from Boston to Philly, where the dance scene was happening and where he was promptly scooped up by Ovum Recordings, the label of legendary house heads Josh Wink and King Britt.
This week, Moss will go to the storage space where he keeps his 10,000 records and pick out a few for his four-hour New Year's set. "I don't check baggage, so I bring whatever I can fit on the plane," he explains. "Ninety percent of new DJs play CDs -- I think because they want to carry a light bag!" The beats he selects are, in his words, "always soulful, never sleepy" -- which should help you last until sunrise and beyond (Hard Rock has a 24-hour liquor license). We all know that Josh Wink is a drug-free vegan, but how 'bout Moss' partying habits? "I'm the opposite -- the polar opposite," he laughs.
Do it up tonight. Helping poor people, being good, and building schools for starving children? That crap doesn't start till tomorrow. -- Deirdra Funcheon