cruisin’ for a bruisin

March 17, 2011


Now that the photos of half-naked Brooklyn bands champagne-raging on a Carnival cruise ship alongside overweight children have emerged [via Village Voice], I can’t help but be convinced that the recently returned Bruise Cruise is the 21st Century’s version of 1970’s Festival Express. While the Festival Express brought over a dozen epic bands and artists to Canadian rock ‘n’ roll fans through the use of a 5-day long party train that stopped for shows in various Canuck outposts, 2011’s first annual Bruise Cruise invited fans and Midwestern housewives to join bands on a Bahama-bound luxury liner for on-board concerts, keynote speakers and a 400-deep transported-Williamsburg pool party.

From the official Bruise Cruise website:

We are happy to announce that the Bruise Cruise Festival, the 3 day tropical rock’n’roll vacation is SOLD OUT. This high seas festival will be sailing from Miami to the Bahamas and back again on Friday Feb 25-28th 2011 Panache artists Oh Sees, Strange Boys, Quintron and miss Pussycat, Ty Segall, Strange Boys, Jonathan Toubin, Ian Svenonius will be joining The Black Lips, Surfer blood, Vivian Girls, and Jacuzzi Boys along with 400 other lucky passengers and embarking on the vacation and experience of a life time.

Both spectacles were the brainchildren of twenty-something promoters (Ken Walker and Thor Eaton organized the Festival Express; Panache Booking did the Booze Cruise) looking for extra exposure through lucrative music-centric experiences, but the difference between the two spectacles lies in the accessibility factor [via 21st century]. For more than 30 years (until the release of a documentary shot by the only film crew allowed on board), the inner workings of the Festival Express were known only to the band members who participated in the drug-and-booze-fueled extravaganza, but with the Booze Cruise, hipster fans could partake in the drug-and-booze-fueled extravaganza as it occurred right alongside their favorite Vivian Girl or Black Keys member and then watch the blogosphere go apeshit about the on-board hookups that ensue!

I guess the narrowing gap between fan and performer is the least of my true concerns in all of this. Mainly, I am worried about all the lo-fi icons being pampered to death at the hands of third-world men in jumpsuits and still not being satisfied with the service just as David Foster Wallace was during his time on Celebrity’s 7NC mastership [via Harpers essay]. After barreling through the unedited version of the tale in his essay collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, it seems even more bizarre that throngs of supposedly “broke alt kids” partook in one of the most capitalistic, American adventures in experiential greed known to man. Go back to your warehouse parties before all cred is lost!


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