We all know the place to be on Saturday during the day was Rabbits Black: Home for the Holidays in Santa Monica. But the place to be on Saturday night? The Hollywood Palladium, installment of HARD x Mouth Taped Shut, for one of six international installments featuring some of the best in electronic music, all leading up to the release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Although free, the RSVP list for all six events filled up before headliners were even announced. The LA event featured Eye, Proxy, a special DJ set from James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, and Deadmau5 “unhooked”. Were you one of hundreds of people who couldn’t get in on Saturday? No worries! As always, Rabbits Black has you covered!
Skipping out on the conventional Hollywood, red carpet, A-list, extravagant parties, promoters for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo pieced together mysterious and un-billed shows from Los Angeles to Stockholm. The true selling point? Every show was free to those who made the early RSVP list. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross partnered up to score the film, and it was Reznor’s idea to use such an unconventional way to generate hype for the film’s release. If you haven’t already, check out Reznor’s and Karen O’s cover of “Immigrant Song”.
The sparse connection between the events and the film were wholly intentional. According to Reznor, he was “thinking outside the box,” and the team “wanted to do interesting things for the promotion of the film. [Something] other than some bullshit party at the Chateau Marmont […]” (via Rollingstone.com). The result? HARD’s Gary Richards curated events in Stockholm, London, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, all billed under HARD x Mouth Taped Shut, and all free.
The real focus of the series was the music behind the film. Reznor stated HARD x Mouth Taped Shut could “[reach] people that were interested in the soundtrack. And somehow everyone thought that was a good idea.” Although the sparse promotional material leading up to Saturday’s event noted the connection to the film, nothing at the show actually revealed how the two related to one another. Despite the mystery, Reznor considers the night a success, stating: “The end result is an event that anyone attending leaves and goes, ‘Wow, that was great. Oh, and it was free. Fuck, it was pretty cool. [. . .] That’s my only agenda here.”
The RSVP list maxed out before HARD announced any of the acts for Saturday night. Four thousand people filed into the packed Palladium for a long night of partying. The large and open dance floor, surrounded by a slightly elevated split level, makes the Palladium one of the best venues to catch some great electronic music. Starting at 9 pm, the Palladium turned into a huge dance party for over five hours.
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem had the crowd in a steady flow of disco grooves. As the night drew closer to 12:30, the anticipation in the crowd for Deadmau5 grew more and more tangible. With very little time between sets, Joel Zimmerman – the man underneath the mau5head – came out ready to play to the crowd. As this was an “unhooked” set, Zimmerman used the same stage set up as the three preceding acts. Sans his signature Expert Griefing Machine and linked LED mau5head, Deadmau5 played a great combination of fan-favorite releases and newer club mixes. For over two hours, not a single body stood still. And at the end of it all, despite not knowing exactly how HARD x Mouth Taped Shut related to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, everyone had a great time at an exclusive but free Hollywood event.
The viral internet marketing surrounding Reznor’s score and HARD x Mouth Taped Shut, although unconventional, drummed up a lot of buzz over the past two weeks. Hopefully Reznor will dream up more unique parties to promote the next film installments of the series. Be sure to check out The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which hits theaters nationwide on Wednesday, December 21. Pay particular attention to the phenomenal score and soundtrack!
Photo credits to James Oakdale.