Madonna "Four Minutes" WMC Release Party
Friday, March 28
Penthouse At The Raleigh Hotel, South Beach
We knew Madonna wouldn't show, but there was just a faint glimmer of hope as they dragged in the 3,000 pounds of hard candy up the elevator of the Raleigh to celebrate Madge's new release "Four Minutes" with Justin Timberlake from the "Hard Candy" album.
It was one of the happeningest VIP parties at the Winter Music Conference in the Raleigh Hotel Penthouse. And even though the Material Girl herself never materialized, and a rumor about Justin Timberlake showing up with Timbaland remained merely a rumor, you couldn't get any up front or closer to some great grooves.
Hosted by Warner Bros. Records on its 50th anniversary, the party had plenty of vodka flowing (Belvedere was one of the sponsors), and as the crowd filled up the eighth floor, oiled and muscled guys in Cleto Reyes boxing gear walked the floor with cigarette trays filled with an array of candy from Appleheads to Blow Pops.
So after the nearly 300 invited guests sauntered in and out, at times packing the penthouse, and sugared up on hard candy and vodka, the music started doing the pumping. Tracy Young got her groove on first. No surprise that Young opened the "Four Minutes" party since she's got her own personal affiliation to Madonna. Young, as you may or may not know is one of the rare breed of chicks in the male dominated world of club deejays. She's become a Miami Beach staple pulling rank with notoriety as hand-picked by Ingrid Caesares to be resident DJ at Liquid. Here's where the Madonna story comes in. At Liquid's Millennium Party, according to Young, Madonna heard Young's infectious mixes and asked her to personally play her wedding in Scotland to Guy Ritchie.
But it was Bob Sinclar, the international deejay sensation that caused a rock star-stir upon his entrance. Video cameras rolled, paparazzi snapped photos, and at this party, Sinclar was the star of the show. The Parisian producer is best known for his No. 1 Billboard Dance Club hit "World Hold On," which he played near the end of his hour-long set. Sinclar treated the crowd to his five-minute Space Funk Remix of "Four Minutes," which by the way is also known as "Four Minutes To Save The World." We can predict after hearing it that it's going to be his next Billboard Dance Club hit.
It was difficult to say if they saved the best for last at the Madonna Party Minus Madge, but you can't do much better than Tom Holkenborg, the artist and producer known as Junkie XL. Partygoers got a special treat as Junkie picked the Winter Music Conference to launch the tour for his new album "Booming Back To You."
VIP guests included Spank Rock, Richie Rich of Heatherette, Paulina Rubio, The Misshapes, and Christopher Ciccione. With some hot music, VIP guests, hard candy and international deejays spinning the tunes, the superstars were missed, but definitely not forgotten.
Personal bias: The only way to stay sane at the WMC is to get in to a private party, otherwise it's madness.
Random detail: After Sinclar and his posse left the Raleigh party, he played the night away for a three hour set at Set Club.
By the way: "Hard Candy" gets released April 29.
-- Michelle F. Solomon