Who ever would’ve thought a nightclub event would take a page out of a classic literary masterpiece?
I’ve never been bustin’ a groove, getting all sweaty on a packed dancefloor, feelin’ buzzed from that last shot of tequila, when bam! into my head pops an obscure quote by, say, Edgar Allan Poe, bestowing meaning to my immediate surroundings.
Then again, at a time when seemingly bizarre couplings natto on ice cream or Paris Hilton in jail wear end up making delightful combinations, why should blending two of my favorite things in the world, literature and music, be nothing other than fantastic?
The tremendously hip La Fabrique in Shibuya, Tokyo, is debuting its first of such events, joining the dots between late 18th-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud (author of the poem “Le Bateau Ivre”) with a night of music and performing arts.
The first connection one might make with “Le Bateau Ivre (the drunken boat)” seems fairly obvious (er, insert memory of aforementioned tequila shot here). But after reading some of the poem, partygoers may be surprised with how deep the words resonate with the oblivion of a Friday night out on the town, as Rimbaud writes of getting pulled “into the furious breakers of the sea,” where he is “infused with stars.”
How decadent! Those wishing to indulge in the night’s diverse waves of entertainment can expect tHe pEneLOpe[s], a Franco-Finnish theatrical electro-pop duo fresh off the boat from Paris. Behind the decks will be Israeli industrial funk and punk-funk DJ Morpheus and Tokyo-based expat new waver, dj-A, among others.
Keeping with the theme, Japanese calligrapher Kaori Tsukikaze will also be making waves by performing. One of Tsukikaze’s main inspirations comes from the sea, captured in her broad brush strokes.
“Le Bateau Ivre” takes place on June 22 (11 p.m. start) at La Fabrique, Zero Gate Bldg, B1-16-9 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (tel.  5428-5100). Admission is 3,000.