Katie Kate was flown to Rome last week to play a private event. A hailstorm of drugs was consumed. Not by us, but by the event goers. Many, many substances. In the end, it became a battle between Italians doing speed, and Italians doing MDMA. The “speeds” wanted techno; the “MDMAs” wanted punk and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The club was called Circolo Degli Illuminati and the soundman’s name was Guido. A stern man with Hulk arms. No one was allowed to touch Guido’s gear but Guido. Kate’s set went off to much dancing, and staring, then Radjaw and I DJ’d. The first hour of DJing was fine—I drummed to tracks from M|O|O|N , Pink Skull, Comtron, Sex Worker, T. Raumschmiere, Lusine, and Vox Mod, while Radjaw scratched percussive vinyl and caught delays for interludes. (Thank you, Frankie Crescioni for help finding tracks.) Then things intensified and devolved.
Pierluigi (in the hat), during the three minutes he was not in the bathroom. He has a PhD in Ancient Arcadian, and is without a doubt one of the most amazing people I've ever met in my life.
Outside, in other parts of the ancient city, church bells rang placidly. Moths in the night landed soundless and squalid on the Pantheon’s dome. Cats purred next to the heat of a spotlight at the Torre Argentina ruin, where Julius Caesar was murdered. The place is now a stray cat sanctuary, home to 250 cats. (Kate’s favorite ruin.) Roma, the capital of Italy, founded 753 BC. Where Popes runneth game, with Emperor Nero, antipasto, and statues of fat babies everywhere.
Back at our Battle of Speed vs. MDMA, no cats purred. Only Guido. Also, a group of Italians who had taken peyote emerged.
The people on speed pretty much won the battle.
Read more after the jump!
Cake was brought out at some point, and suggestions for techno intensified, as we were responsible for the entire evening’s music. Eyes of the peyotees were fastened to the LED screen behind the stage—geometric shapes flew all night. One guy (on all the drugs) was wrapped in a black sheet, swaying like a tree in the middle of the dance floor. He apologized to everyone he spoke with. Guys on speed took off their shirts, and began to demand techno. The bathroom was the epicenter of activity. Some of the Italians stayed in the bathroom the entire time.
Radjaw took over DJ'ing by himself for a while, primarily catering to the MDMAs, while slipping in occasional Don’t Talk To The Cops! and Champagne Champagne. When I got up to relieve him, a girl with a green bowl cut, shaved on the sides, came onstage and put me in a headlock. She was pulling me closer so she could talk, but the sound system was too loud. She had to have been on peyote. I didn’t understand a word she said. She wanted NIN and was pissed off I had none to play. She was part Pinocchio, part Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Her breath smelled like Julius Caesar, if Julius Caesar were mud wrestling a log of salami on a hot windless day. For an hour, she put me in headlocks. Multiple times, she either wanted to kiss, or sock me in the face. When techno music was played, the MDMAs booed. When punk was played, the speed people booed, adamantly, with their shirts off. Radjaw returned for a set, and was put in a headlock as soon as he played his first song. We traded sets back and forth for what seemed to go on for seven or eight hours. Then, without a word or warning, Guido started unplugging the speakers, signifying the end of the event/battle.
The white posing man was very angry this woman was ruining the picture. I paid him 2 euros.
Rome is a dense, grit filled, powerful place. So old. So much history. Everything has versions of stories. It’s almost too much to adequately take in in one week. Every single person in Rome smokes. Even the babies. I saw a man ash on his toddler’s head. Discoveries during the week include, but are not limited to, the Italian psych and drone of Trans Upper Egypt and Sonic Jesus. Also there is the 2014 Roman Priest Calendar. It’s their version of the Fireman Calendar, only with young, sexy, tormented priests. I really wanted to post pictures and do a Roman Priest Calendar poll, but can’t because of copyright. Poll questions would have been: 1.) Which priest is the hottest? 2.) Which priest is the gayest? 3.) Which priest will be the first to quit priesthood?
For all your 2014 Roman Priest Calendar related questions, please contact Christopher Frizzelle, he now has his own. He'll be happy to assist you.
Radjaw/Kate, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
Colosseum. They were out of audio-guides, so we got a video-guide, and it was basically just scenes of the 1960 Spartacus with Kirk Douglas. I'm not kidding.
Trevi Fountain. Mind blowing, galvanic fountain. So so plates and bobble heads. 3000 euros in coins are thrown in the water every day.
Statue of a headless one legged body in a glass box, holding its penis. Now time for a "Pope Fact" - Innocent was not Pope Innocent The Tenth's real name. Giovanni Battista Pamphilj was. In his day, Pope Innocent X was somewhat of a baller. He's got a quality bobble head.
Kate makin friends.
We made up a joke about Jesus having a brother named Josh. Like Darth and Chad Vader. This is a statue of Josh Christ.
Kate makin more friends.
This is where Pope Innocent X went to play X Box. It was the first X Box in the world. Innocent preferred the joystick controller.
Radjaw and Mark Twain.
Non Cinnabons qui ancora.
In Rome, antipasto is of the realest deal.
The Spanish Steps
Mr. Clean is even more of a badass in Italian.
This Roman man on a concoction of narcotics got a hold of a piñata.
Italian wine is much better when you have a WSET accredited Wine Specialist guiding you through it. That would be Aubrie Talarico (on the left). She's an American/Italian Expat who has lived and worked in Rome for almost a decade. She and Dusty went above and beyond hosting us. Aubrie gives wine tours if you're ever in Rome. Click the picture for her site - venividivinoitaly.com. Thank you also to Pierluigi.