Quite a weekend! It's Wednesday late-night and I'm starting to feel normal again. It was an official Plexi PR company holiday on Monday due to Danny Tenaglia's grand finale at Arc that started Sunday at 6pm and ended nearly 24 hours later - a little after 6pm on Monday evening. Now that was a P-A-R-T-Y! There's a lot to recount, so let's start with the easy stuff - Centro-Fly first, especially since I wasn't there. The account below was provided to me at Arc sometime on Monday afternoon during my last dance at Arc by Centro-Fly lighting girl extradonaire Michelle - just the highlights please. I really need some more time to gather my thoughts about the closing of 6 Hubert Street. After spending countless Fridays & Saturdays, some Sundays [Body & Soul] and FIVE!!! New Year's Eve parties there (2000-2004) - we need a moment to mourn and reflect.
The Funeral at Centro-Fly
"This is the end, beautiful friends. To all the lazy, punk-ass promoters who robbed us blind--we love you. To all the primadonna DJs who furthered their careers on our backs and sponged all our profit--your talent is worth every cent. To all the booking agents who made meat-packing whores look like Saint Angela Merici--you're concern for the good of the dance community is inspiring. To the kill-joy MTF and Health badges who wrote tickets for breathing--you've done us all a big favor. To all the VIPs who can't pay a cover but criticize every aspect of their experience--yes, it is your world, we just live in it. And finally, to all the loyal club-goers who supported us over the last five years, we sincerely thank you--you made it worth it for a while. Now let's get drunk."
-Dave Baxley [co-owner of Centro-Fly]
They kept in theme on this night, as they rolled out a coffin in the middle of the night and lo-and-behold from the wooden box emerged Norman Cook AKA Fatboy Slim. [I really wish I was there to see this!] He went on to spin a spectacular set with a full house and at one point in the night grabbed co-owner Tom Siske and went into a full rendition of Frank Sinatra's My Way. They even provided a final open bar between 3am and 4am. What a way to go!
Thank you Centro-Fly for all the nights! My highlights were the GBH Fridays, Thursdays with the Low End Specialists, memorable nights with Laurent Garnier, Erick Morillo & Subliminal Sessions, Layo & Bushwacka!, John Digweed and Carl Cox. Thanks for turning a blind eye to the smoking ban! Thanks for the fridge in the DJ Booth! And a big thank you to Tom for recognizing new, emerging talent in Infusion and always giving them a place to showcase their music in New York. Yay Centro-Fly!
posted on 1:33 AM
Spring Music Conference
That's what the NYC clubbers have been jokingly referring to this weekend. The sheer # of parties and quality of DJs are in abundance. Even after Laurent's spectacular set last night, we still went out for more.
First stop, Mark Farina & Donald Glaude @ Avalon. Unfortunately, Donald missed his flight so Farina piloted the decks double-time. But then, in a photo-finish moment Donald caught the next flight and made it in time by 3am. Yay for all the Donald fans!!!
Then off to see Layo & Bushwacka! @ Crash Mansion - BLVD. The club is called BLVD and the downstairs space is dubbed Crash Mansion. The space is spanking new and while hip-hop reigned upstairs, L&B! rocked it proper down below. The DJ set-up was built on a stage meant for live acts and the low ceilings gave the room a small feel but in good company, good beats and 25 DB musician earplugs - all is good.
Finally to the last Be Yourself @ ARC with Danny Tenaglia. By 4am the line was snaked around the block. Luckily we bypassed it and bumped into Nick AC manager extradonaire who whisked us into the teeming club. I don't think I've ever seen it this crowded in the last 5 years I've been going. In true egalitarian Be Yourself fashion, the glass wall for the VIP room was removed creating an all-things-being-sense in the club, except for the staff-only / FON (friend of Nikki) bathroom. When you have to wait 30 minutes to use the toliet, you really develop a sudden aversion to drinking. The next time I had to go, I found myself hailing a cab instead. It was probably quicker that way.
As is tradition Danny got on the mike, but it seemed less so than during other big nights, letting the music do the rest. But of course, it wouldn't be a danny night without and with emotion he announced that we were all witnessing "history in the making." The theme of the night was grandly pronounced as reflections [on the history of dance music] and of course reminding "everybody to be yourself." Classic Danny. We'll miss you!
posted on 2:47 PM
Last dance @ Centro-Fly with Laurent Garnier
This is the weekend of last dances. Out of nowhere Centro-Fly has announced that after Saturday night it will shutter its dancefloor forever. A couple months ago, we had heard that the club was on the market and the Miami proprietors of BED and a similiarly linked NYC club owner MADE an offer and that a deal was being inked. Apparently, the deal fell through but again we heard that Centro kept the rather large deposit and was planning on forging ahead with the newly renovated Centro-Fly with new investors. Sadly, the club never seemed to take off again since its Fall 2003 round of renovations and failed to replicate their earlier success with Subliminal Sessions and GBH in its hey day. Now, curiously enough they've chosen ARC's closing party weekend to hype their own demise. Centro is even offering a 3am-4am OPEN BAR on Saturday night with Fatboy Slim AKA Norman Cook [we've loved him since his days in the HouseMartins] on deck duties. Coincidence or is it one last stab at a deal gone awry?
Regardless, we went to dance and we did to "The Don" also known to the uneducated as Laurent Garnier. One of the world's most respected and talented DJs. His last two gigs in NYC were aborted due to visa issues. Once due to a passport hijacking and another as a casualty of the war on Iraq during the whole "freedom fries" episode. It was a spectacular night with friends and industry surprisingly in abundance. I stopped to chat with Layo Paskin - co-owner of The End nightclub and 1/2 of superb production duo Layo & Bushwacka! He's in town for a gig at Crash Mansion tonight and has been studiously working on a new L&B! album for release this Autumn. Their last artist album Night Works was a brillant display of quality electronic music made for complete listening from beginning to end. [Of course, I'm not just saying that because I worked on the press campaign ;) I actually give out copies of the album to budding EDM producers for inspiration and as an example of a quality album done right.]
Back to Laurent, quality music and his specialty - the ability to play across every genre seamlessly. My dance floor moment was the segue from White Stripe "Seven Army Nation" to Nirvana "Lithium" - new classics and old merged for the dancefloor. Mental note to self: do not ever miss Laurent when he's spinning in town.
So it was - our last dance at Centro. Now we're off to ARC for the long weekend...but first Layo & Bushwacka! next.
posted on 2:06 PM
TABLE 50 (643 Broadway) - another entry into the NYC nightlife scene. The new venues never seem to cease but this one has been done in particularly high-style. A subterranean space with clean lines, sleek architecture, candle-lit ambience and a great powerful-sounding system without any distortions. Perfect for their new cabaret license! The off-to-the-side entrance invokes the feel of a modern day speakeasy. This just might be the next perfect lounge / mini-dancefloor combination. Party guy and DJ Jason Swamy is playing host with John Creamer & Dave Vasquez on Tuesday nights. Upcoming line-ups include Clive Henry (Peace Division), Meat Katie and a bevy of international underground heavyhitters. Nicely done! FYI - The name Table 50 is a reference to gossip reporter Walter Minchell's table in the exclusive Cub Room at the Stork Club.
Look for more club-lounge hybrids this Spring from GBH's Alejandro - ELEVEN in the Lower East Side (a nod to Spinal Tap "The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...These go to eleven.") and MOVIDA from Swamy in the West Village designed by none other than Dah-len - photographer to Pink & Madonna. Both venues are looking to push music-oriented agendas. Certainly good news for us aging clubbers.
posted on 12:15 PM
Has it been that long? I guess when one's hobby turns into a profession, the amount of leisure time ceases to an extent. From clubber, to writer, to promoter, to publicist - it seems like a normal trajectory until I think about my uber-corporate background in IT consulting. Well it has only been better prepare me for the well-conceived but ill-executed dance music industry. Of course there are shining winners out there that I love working with [especially the artists], but first you have to weed through the muck of haters, unprofessional and drug-addled folks who just don't get it or are sometimes to insecure and paranoid to remember why we all got into it in the first place.
We're coming to the end of an era this week with the closing of Arc. I actually spent my last 5 New Year's Eves at 6 Hubert Street and countless # of nights at Be Yourself Fridays with Danny Tenaglia, Body & Soul, Shelter, and more recently Made Events over the last 3 years. It's with great sadness that I look forward to the weekend's festivities - the closing parties at Arc with Lee Burridge, the 112 Crew and of course DT. Also, seeing Laurent Garnier @ Centro-Fly (also rumored to be closing), Layo & Bushwacka! @ BLVD (new venue), Mark Farina & Donald Glaude [Friday] and Danny Rampling [Saturday] @ Avalon. Whew! Tired yet?
posted on 6:02 PM
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