Anthony Bourdain, Penn Jillette Sound Off on Not Understanding EDM: ‘Are We Just Old?’

“Where once they used to say, ‘Cocaine is God’s way of saying you have too much money’ — now, maybe EDM is."

By Scott T. Sterling

World renowned foodie Anthony Bourdain is definitely a music guy. He’s hobnobbed with rockers ranging from buddy Josh Homme and Queens of the Stone Age to a backyard BBQ at Austin’s SXSW with Sleigh Bells. Bourdain, however, is not a fan of the beat-driven sound known as EDM.

During a trip to Las Vegas for the most recent episode of his CNN show Parts Unknown, Bourdain lamented the city’s shift away from elaborate stage shows to DJs and bottle service in a conversation with magician Penn Jillett of Penn and Teller fame, who’s also not into any of this newfangled dance business.

“We get invited to all the openings of the new clubs, but I simply don’t understand it,” Jillett groused. “And I’m embarrassed that I don’t understand it.”

“Are we just old?” Bourdain pondered. “Or are we non-douchey?”

Bourdain then launched into one of his signature poetic diatribes taking down the Vegas scene: “Where once they used to say, ‘Cocaine is God’s way of saying you have too much money’ — now, maybe EDM is…Come ye lords and princelings of douchedom. Hear my clarion call. Anointeth thyself with gel and heavenly body spray…Let there be high-fiving and hugging of many bros.”

He made a halfhearted attempt at understanding the Vegas EDM explosion by hitting the club Marquee with resident DJ Jason Lima, but just seemed to just come away from the experience bemused at the “new money” that would rather throw cash at a big-name EDM act than a gambling table, “where everybody for the right price and with enough sparkles and the right mix can be a winner.”


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