One of the most unusual events of the year was Creators Project, a music and art extravaganza that seemed to come out of nowhere. Sponsored by heavyweights Vice and Intel, the series kicked off in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, before globe-trotting to London, Brazil, Seoul and Beijing. I was fortunate enough to snag a pass for New York through the open signups, and while the festival had some symptoms of exclusivity and corporate sponsorship - open bars, a private penthouse, free food - there was a refreshing focus on creativity, rather than consumerism.
The location was at Milk Studios at 450 West 15th Street, right by the High Line and a Diane von Furstenberg store, two symptoms of the rapidly changing neighborhood. Although rents have skyrocketed, there's also a pretty vibrant local art scene, and Creators capitalized on the environment by bringing a slew of visual and media installations, including work by Nick Zinner, Mira Calix and the xx. But the main draw was the music, which had some nostalgia-inducing locals like the Rapture and Interpol. "House of Jealous Lovers" and "Obstacle 1" have as much kick as they did in the early 2000s, and it was great to see veteran bands killing it.
On the other side were upstarts like Neon Indian and two of the biggest bands of 2010: Die Antwoord and Sleigh Bells. At the latter, I felt an intense deja vu - it was pretty much Justice 2.0, a sweaty, strob and bass-heavy affair, with an astonishing number of cameras clicking away (see above). Although it was all a bit overwhelming, I'm thankful that Alexis Krauss's saccharine vocals provide real hooks, even if they're often obscured by fuzz.
The signs at the event read "Welcome to Year One" - hopefully there will be many more.
(And yes, M.I.A. also played, but I was exhausted and went home. Sorry.)
Check out photos of Interpol here, rest of the shots after the jump
Gang Gang Dance