Orchard Lounge | 02.13 - 02.14 | NY

Words & Images by: Rich "Ranchsauce" Guerra

Orchard Lounge :: 02.13.10 :: Station 171 :: Brooklyn, NY

Orchard Lounge :: 02.14.10 :: Club Love :: New York, NY

Lost In Orchard Lounge :: 02.13 :: New York
Orchard Lounge's "Lost In Orchard Lounge" weekend didn't go exactly as everyone had planned. Station 171 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn seemed like an ideal underground venue for the holiday multi-band double header. And it was until things got too big.

The Malah - Brandon Maynard (guitar, synths), Elliott Vaughn (bass, synths), Seth Fankhauser (drums, percussion) - are a powerhouse electronic trio who do not travel light. In addition to Maynard and Vaughn's duel computer/synth and instrument set-ups and Fankhauser's wide body drum kit, The Malah's light rig is massive. As Station 171 started to pack it in on Saturday night, multicolored lasers and lights spread across the small fog covered stage enshrouding The Malah's hypnotic beats. Near the crowded front of the stage, the ROYGBIV color sequence could be found on the faces of the mesmerized crowd. If someone wasn't yelling out in euphoria at the music, they were speechless.

Higher Nebulae (Charlie Brick) brought the deep house during the night's set breaks. Felix Moreno and Tibaut Bowman (DJ Thibault) of the new Austin-based DJ/bassist duo Auto Body arrived in Brooklyn to throw it down at "Lost in Orchard Lounge" after their first-ever Northeast shows in Boston and Baltimore. Much of the crowd had no idea what to expect from the long haired southerners and Auto Body was intent on leaving an impression. As live electro bands go, Auto Body has something spectacular going on. Bowman and Moreno radiated energy throughout the over-crowded Station 171 dance floor as they continued to motion to the soundman to crank up the volume. Both musicians showed off their booming vocal power on opener "Closer to the Edge." Moreno swung his sweat-drenched hair in time with his bass line and Bowman's beard in the light-filled fog made him look like a disco Jesus.

The Malah - Lost In Orchard Lounge :: 02.13 :: New York
Orchard Lounge's Ben Silver, Bethany Lokken and Spencer Lokken arrived at the secluded Brooklyn loft ready to let loose at the first of what were sure to be two epic Valentine's Day sets. The trio mingled with their New York City fans and close friends before taking part in an on-the-spot video interview shot by Cage Free Productions. As Orchard Lounge began to make their move toward the stage, the men in blue showed up. "We are shutting this party down!" an NYPD officer standing atop Station 171's recently acquired Bassmax bass amp yelled into the back room.

Apparently, as the party had reached its climax and Station 171 seemed as though it would explode from the sheer size of the rager it had produced, an angry patron ratted the party out to the authorities. Ultimately, Station 171's owners and those involved in the event's production simply wanted to provide an underground party where the fans and artists felt as liberated as possible. Although Brooklyn can sometimes seem like an ideal place for such events, even its industrial district cannot avoid the long arm of the law.

Sunday morning arrived. Frustrated ticket holders, confused musicians, and an exhausted event production team all waited for a miracle to revive the second night of "Lost In Orchard Lounge." Since Station 171 would not be holding any more high-profile parties anytime soon, the underground event approach was no longer an option. A last minute venue was needed, and Manhattan became the only option. Sonic Spank, The Malah and Orchard Lounge would not let the unfortunate circumstances stop them from playing that night. "We will find a place to play," Bethany said to fans as Saturday night's party ended prematurely. "Lost in Orchard Lounge's" production staff needed a legit venue equipped with a booming sound system. Their last minute efforts landed the party at NYC's Club Love, home of the popular Dub War NYC. The second night was forced to be a 21-and-over show and ticket refunds were now owed to some.

Orchard Lounge - Lost In Orchard Lounge :: 02.14 :: New York
While Station 171 represented the fresh, underground location, Club Love embodied the opposite end of the spectrum - the longstanding, legitimate venue. Sonic Spank - Benjamin Karp (guitar, synths), Ian McGuire (synths), Scotty Zwang (drums) - started the night off right, set-up as a full live band on the dance floor of Club Love. Spank's raucous set erased much of the crowd's anxieties from the night before, showing that "Lost in Orchard Lounge" was still alive. Karp's head shook feverishly as his guitar wailed, McGuire's skilled fingers tackled multiple synths at once, and Spank's new drummer, Zwang, made it clear to the crowd that Sonic Spank's beats had gone organic.

Love's caves were filled with Valentine's revelers quite ready to receive Orchard Lounge. Bethany covered the front of the DJ booth with heart shaped lollipops and tossed stretchy, light-up toys into the crowd. Despite the weekend's mishaps, Orchard Lounge threw down the Valentine's Day banger their fans were promised. The club remained packed as Spencer and Bethany took turns cranking their favorite jams, with Bethany giving the crowd one hell of a Hot Chip remix. Much of the set was straight jungle house, the kind of beats that keep you on the dance floor for three hours straight. Once the Lokkens' hands touched vinyl, all those who were a part of "Lost in Orchard Lounge" were able to take a well-deserved deep breath of the Lounge.

Continue reading for more pics of "Lost In Orchard Lounge"...

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