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The next time you find yourself at a Hard Rock Hotel or Casino or Cafe, take a moment to look around and enjoy the TVs and digital signs. Seriously.
That's because Hard Rock has partnered with moving image exhibitor Microcinema International to create mesmerizing digital moving image art that is synchronized with the popular hits playing in the hotels (or cafes) from classic rock jams to today's latest
Bieberpop hit or the latest in EDM. It's kind of similar to the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas that are synchronzied with classical music, except instead of shooting water canons, you see trippy digital art keeping the beat on the TVs and other digital signs.
“As a forerunner in the curation and distribution of moving image arts, Microcinema is the perfect partner for Hard Rock International,” said John Kirkpatrick, head of music and artist relations at Hard Rock International. “Microcinema’s ability to understand our customer base and aesthetic approach produced impressive results and we look forward to continually evolving the relationship between music and visual arts together.”
Here are a few snapshots taken from a Hard Rock Cafe. Just imagine your favorite Rihanna track as you flip through the gallery, or better yet, the new Daft Punk album. #sogood.
All photos courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels
Summer is almost here, and as many folks start planning their annual pilgrimage to the Big Apple, we thought we'd offer some tips on where to book a hotel—and save ton$$ of money—in NYC's hottest borough du jour, Brooklyn! Jay-Z and Beyonce sightings not guaranteed.
Hotel BPM: Modern, clean, and super affordable, the Hotel BPM is Brooklyn's first music-themed hotel, owned by an internationally-known DJ. It opened last summer with starting rates of $139/night, and luckily, prices haven't gone up too much since then. Right now, with their 21-day Advance Purchase special, you can find rooms this summer starting as low as $171.75/night—even better, the hotel just launched its in-room dining menu, available 24/7.
Two more cheap Brooklyn hotels after the jump!
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There's tons of New York hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· The Carlyle's Got Bono Under Its Skin: Remember back in September when Mariah Carey dropped in at The Carlyle to do an impromptu performance of Lullaby of BIrdland? Well, it must be something in the water there, because just a few nights ago, Bono went and did the exact same thing.
According to the Huffington Post, singer Jim Caruso and pianist Bily Stritch were performing standards from The Great American Songbook at Bemelmans Bar, when Bono suddenly rushed up to the stage and started belting right along with 'em (the song was "I've Got You Under My Skin," in case you were wondering.) Apparently, right after singing the last note, Bono waved to the crowd, hopped off stage, and took off into the night.
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About a dozen Westin heavenly beds were hauled up to the hotel's third floor ballroom, where select SPG members got cozy and settled in for a private performance by indie trio Ben Folds Five. It's not every day you get to watch a live concert in bed!
But that wasn't the only exciting thing about the grand opening. Earlier in the day, HotelChatter got to sit down for an exclusive interview with the band and quiz them on their early days in the 90s as motel-hopping road warriors. Sure enough, they had plenty of stories to share...
HotelChatter: When you guys were just starting out and traveling to different cities each night, what was it like? Where would you stay?
Ben Folds: The Knight's Inn. Usually, one of us would book the room as if it was just for one person, and the others would hide out in the van and wait. The reason being, if there was more than one of us, the price would go up. So then we'd get into the room; someone would share a bed, I usually blew up a mattress and slept on the floor.
HC:: And how much did you have to pay?
BF: $39.95 usually. We would use whatever cash we'd gotten from the night before.
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Over the weekend, a few guests were enjoying some light jazz during dinner at The Carlyle in New York when one of their fellow diners got up on stage and join in with the band for an impromptu singalong.
Normally, this would not be cause for much concern, except for the fact that the amateur singer in question was no amateur at all but Mariah Carey, dressed in an iridescent gold Naeem Kahn dress, honey locks flowing down her shoulders.
The appearance, we're guessing, was slightly more than guests had originally bargained for when they booked their dinner reservations. Waiters, meanwhile, kept busy afterwards picking up jaws that had dropped to the floor.
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While hotels in Atlantic City usually tend to hover around a reasonable $110 or $130 a night, rates have shot through the roof for the upcoming holiday weekend. In the days leading up to Labor Day, AC properties are asking for up to $500-$600 a night, and many of them are already sold out.
Including Revel, which has two special guests headlining at the resort this weekend: Cee Lo Green and The Eagles. Each of them will be putting on concerts—Cee Lo at The Social on Friday and Saturday nights, and The Eagels at Ovation Hall on Saturday and Sunday nights—to amp up the Labor Day festivities, which include fireworks on the beach, casino giveaways, BBQ parties, a White Party, and burlesque at the Royal Jelly nightclub.
But for those who just want the concert tickets without having to worry about secretly crashing in Revel's lobby, here are a few other hotels that still have availability.
[UPDATE, 9:55am 8/9/12: We learned from the hotel that due to delayed permits, BPM is in fact not open yet, and had to push the opening back to mid-August. Looks like the Front Desk agent we originally spoke to may have been slightly misled.
As for guests with pre-existing reservations, owner DJ Bijal says: "Hotel BPM has been working with a few hoteliers in the area to accommodate BPM guests while we finalize some remaining permits for the official opening."]
Well, look who finally decided to show up to the party. Actually, come to think of it—we've all known about Brooklyn's music-themed Hotel BPM (and its nifty volume control knobs installed in each room) for quite some time. The only difference is, now the place is actually open.
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We were excited to step into the lobby at San Francisco's Hotel Carlton, part of the
Joie De Vivre—ahem, Commune—family, mainly because the hotel offers a free wine tasting every afternoon from 5:30pm to 6pm. Very Kimpton of them, indeed.
But we got more than we bargained for. Yes, the wine was wheeled out on the dot at 5:30, and, sure enough a crowd (comprised mainly of middle-aged Dutch and German couples) began to form there in the Middle Eastern-decorated lobby.
What we weren't anticipating: Theo, one of the hotel's Front Desk agents, setting up in the corner of the lobby with aviator sunglasses, a Yamaha keyboard, and some of the sickest synth beats we've heard since Flight of the Concords was still airing on HBO.
It would be hard to come up with a single genre to classify the strange music we were bopping our heads to, though if we had to pick a word that best sums up the whole experience, it would be this: snazz.
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Built on a 17 acre tract of land outside of Marfa, TX, El Cosmico is more than just a hotel—teepees, yurts, and campsites are all available for guests to stay in. But on the hotel side of things, the site offers five funky restored vintage trailers, each named Vagabond, Branstrator, Royal Mansion, Imperial Mansion, and Kozy Coach (pictured above).
We think the spot is pretty much ideal for the kind of low-key, long weekend, artsy getaway we love, but later this month, the hotel/campground is hosting a "songwriter's retreat" that should prove irresistible to music-makers and -lovers alike.
Titled "Music Is A Family," (May 17-20), the retreat will offer musicians the chance to hone their songwriting skills, while enjoying a whole weekend of guitar-strumming in the desert and impromptu campfire jam sessions. Si, señor!
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We were snooping around the Mandarin Oriental New York the other week just for kicks and we wandered up to the midtown hotel's sky lobby. Expecting some nice Central Park views (check), some snooty tourists (check) and maybe even a celebrity sighting (disappointment), we were about ready to head out when we stepped into the hotel's restaurant-in-the-sky, Asiate for a quick look.
And there, it hit us: like angels wrapped in silk sheets singing from the heavens, we were completely hypnotized by the soothing music playing overhead. It was like a cross between the kind of flow-y meditation music they play at the end of yoga class and that Bjork song, 'All Is Full Of Love.' We were instantly relaxed. We had to know what it was we were listening to.
Since it opened in 1920, Chicago’s legendary Drake Hotel has always served up music in the background, as if it were a necessary feature of the posh, palatial scene. We’ve heard the harpist during afternoon tea in the grand Palm Court (so did Queen Elizabeth and Diana the Princess of Wales) and we’ve caught lounge acts and huge cocktails at Coq D’Or bar. But now, we’re going with more intention as The Drakes music steps out of the shadows for NextGenJazz, a three-month series featuring the freshest jazz playas in town.
Formed as a partnership between The Drake and the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and sponsored by Chicago Jazz Magazine, NextGenJazz is all about spotlighting rising talent as a way for Chicagoans and visitors to more easily experience the latest jazz in Chicago. The Drake is perfect to house the show, too, with its magical way of making the classics cool.
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Any true Ben Folds Five fans will have already heard the news (which Mr. Folds announced himself via Twitter in January), but for the rest of you: the Ben Folds Five will be making their first album since 1999. And one of the places they'll be re-uniting onstage? The Westin Times Square.
We know what you're thinking...but before you go scratching your heads about why they would pick such a random concert venue for their reunion tour, know that this gig is actually part of a new live music program being launched by Starwood hotels all over the world. Titled "On Tour with SPG: Hear the Music, See the World," the promotion consists of notable bands either performing in, DJing at, or attending parties inside Starwood hotels—all for the enjoyment of (incredibly spoiled) SPG members.