About Last Night...

Musings from a club girl in the heart of Gotham...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007



MAGDA is way hotter than Richie Hawtin! Her milkshake brings all the girlz to the yard. For some reason my boyfriend felt the need to reiterate that "cheating" applies to both sexes. Do widzenia Magda.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The return to West 27th Street.

For the first time since Spirit opened I actually found myself under the disco-ball dancing! Danny Tenaglia has long been one of my favorite DJs and since Arc closed last April, I've felt deprived of a full flight DT night. Since 6 Hubert closed, DT has played 4x at Roxy, 1x at IKON and 1x at Cielo. I witnessed 2x at Roxy, which left me a little wanting and the Cielo gig, which was amazing for its intimacy, and while both had their merits, this time was the first chance to dance to DT with serious abandon.

I arrived at Spirit near 7 in the morning - which is late even for clubbing standards - after an overly-indulgent disco nap and an unexpectedly long stop around the corner at Crobar. I headed into Crobar at 4am with the plan of popping in for a bit of Deep Dish and moving on - (mostly observing, an unfortunate music industry malady) - but the energy of the place and crazy hullabaloo kept us riveted, eager to see what would happen next. Three hours, several cocktails and countless cozy conversations later, I managed to pull away... all without stepping onto the dancefloor once! But that was ok, because I was saving it for DT, and a few minutes before seven I departed for the Main Event. On a side note, there's something great about being mere blocks from two venues, especially in the middle of an arctic NYC winter night with frigid winds whipping in off the Hudson.


A good number of unfavorable reviews about Spirit have been spoken & printed since its opening last December. The criticism - hitting on a seeming failure to captivate the hearts & souls of NYC nightlife with its promise of spiritual renewal or even attract a steady crowd - has brought on bad publicity in the press and the vehement message board wrath of former Twilo devotees and casual clubbers alike. In spite of this adversity, just wait one New York minute; pretty soon everyone might be singing a new tune...

A change is underfoot at SPIRIT including a new sound system and promotion teams. The club on West 27th has been revamped with the world's second Integral Sound system (the debut system going into Sven Vath’s highly-touted Cocoon club in Germany). Integral is the new sound company formed by Mike Bindra and Steve Dash, the same partnership behind Arc's renowned system. As many will remember Steve Dash is the mastermind engineer behind the famous Phazon sound systems at Twilo & (original) Sound Factory and Mike was the manager at Twilo during its golden years. Considering the history of the space and their partnership, you can imagine how much care must have gone into the new system from these two. Go check it our for yourselves and then feel free to complain on whatever message board strikes your fancy (*ahem* rhythmism.com is a good choice for the jaded, high connoisseurs of dance music seem :P).

Back under the disco-ball the Integral sounded amazing, even through my -25 dB custom ear plugs. I found my sweet spot on the dancefloor with the low, mids & highs in full effect - although I'll venture to guess the entire dancefloor a la Twilo is one big sweet spot - but as we all know Danny was the star of the night. His track selection able to transverse mood and genre flawlessly, ranging from the house-y diva vocals to conga drums and deep bass-lines w/ dark textures, all interspersed with his unmistakable MCing. This night in mid January Danny even mimicked a New Year's countdown which may have seemed cheesy to some, but to me, it felt like our own private NYE celebration. Happy New Year!

This time of year is usually reserved for Danny's anniversary party and last year's 5 year party at ARC was a splendid occasion. I'm just glad I had somewhere to celebrate this year even if nobody else was in the same mind frame. So for me, it was New Year's Eve and a DT anniversary party all rolled into one.

I'm sure Danny will be back at Spirit (I hope so!), but until then, Danny has announced his birthday celebration at Crobar, March 12th. Get ready to BE YOURSELF!!!

See you on the dancefloor!

Monday, September 20, 2004

I *heart* NY



Now is the time for New York. Autumn is my favorite season in New York - the bright sunshine, vivid colors and brisk air mix to form the perfect climate before the air chills and mire of coat check lines form. Autumn also marks a cultural rebirth in New York as museums, theater & music istitutions of the city begin new seasons, school is back in session, and of course the clubbing season kicks back into gear after the summer lull. Since 9-1-1, I've used this time to measure the electronic dance music and clubbing barometer of New York City. Over the last three years dance music pundits have declared the demise of dance music and naysayers bemoan the degradation of Gotham clubbing but I've been witness to a dozen rebirths, reincarnations and progression of the scene to believe in Autumn in New York's night-life rennaissance.



Made Events has been a stalwart in all this. First, ARC and then a series of one-offs at the Roxy including Paul van Dyk, Tiesto, Armin van Buren and last weekend?s massive "Danny vs. Danny" with Tenaglia and Howells for those who have been living under a rock. Made Events ups the ante again this week with Made in Central Park presents Tiesto (9/22/04). Love him or hate him, please recognize. Tiesto was recently the first DJ ever to helm the decks at the Olympics. This year in Athens, he provided the soundtrack to the parade of athletes during the opening ceremony. I always dismiss the naysayers sipping their bitter haterade; every DJ serves a purpose and Tiesto is a "gateway DJ" akin to the original stepping stone to better music: Paul Oakenfold . To follow-up this heady week, we have nu-breaks King Adam Freeland at meatpacking district's current hot boite-du-jour Cielo.



Last Saturday, another heavyweight duo tag-teamed it at club IKON - two of the biggest figures in the global deep house scene Derrick Carter & Mark Farina came in to mark the release of their double-album "Live at Om". The cavernous club itself has gone through several incarnations over the years. Since my first foray in 1997 it has morphed from Mirage, to Carbon, to Exit, to the short-lived Black NYC and now IKON. The UK global clubbing brand Godskitchen have taken over the Saturday nights and they've already started an onslaught of talented DJs and live acts. This Saturday, September 25th :: be sure to catch the debut of Hope Recording artists GRAYAREA, a reportedly stunning live act from Chicago. After a lot of industry buzz and on high recommendation from James Zabiela, I'm looking forward to seeing them perform for the first time. After working with various live acts like Underworld, Orbital, and The Orb and now currently with Australia's INFUSION, I really want to see how GRAYAREA measure up.



Finally to celebrate this all, Crobar is hosting a watershed event Tuesday, September 21st ; BPM Magazine & The Recording Academy Celebrate the Addition of the
Best Electronic/Dance Album Category
. The addition of this event to the GRAMMY® awards is a significant step forward in recognizing this music we love as a legitimate artistic and commercial artform and not just fodder for video-games and commercials. In the larger context of the music industry and mainstream culture it is a win-win for the mainstream, and underground artists who've been supporting this culture with sweat and love. One of the organizers of this massive event, BPM magazine's Matt Colon says, "the Grammy's were the final obstacle that needed to be overcome to legitimate this genre in most people's eyes. We've gotten platinum albums (Fatboy Slim, Moby, etc), and Billboard coverage of our weekly charts, but this Grammy category was the final piece in that puzzle. It's the next step in the natural progression of the music."

One small step for artists, one giant leap for electronic dance music...

Made Events :: www.made-events.com
Godskitchen :: www.godskitchen.com
GrayArea :: www.graylabel.net
INFUSION :: www.infusion.net.au
Crobar :: www.crobar.com
BPM Culture Magazine :: www.djmixed.com

Sunday, September 5, 2004

P.S. 1 Warm-up Sessions



The annual P.S. 1 Warm-up sessions may just be THE quintessential NYC
clubbing event. It's a unique experience where art merges with music,
popular culture and people so diverse they could only be from New York;
all combining to create something part club, part fashion show and part
social mixer. This Saturday's Warm-up, the last of this year, was the
perfect note to mark the traditional end of the summer, Labor Day weekend.

For the closing weekend of Summer 2004, the all-star duo The Cosmic Twins
- christened by Detroit techno innovator Derrick May & French-born,
NYC-based house legend Francois K. - helmed the decks for the festivities.
Six hours of musical bliss for a crowd ready to party. As expected, we
heard classics like "Strings of Life" and "Knights of the Jaguar", but we
also heard a wide range of funky-jazzy-house, jungle, micro-bleeps and
banging techno; all mixed into a seamless blend of music for people to
dance to. And dance they did; I haven't seen such an inspired crowd all
summer. The twins had the masses on the "dancefloor" and all through out
the courtyard bouncing with fists in the air and cheering all afternoon.

Well over 7,000 were in attendance attendance throughout the day, and it
seemed each of them came ready for fun. The gathered masses included the
requisite hipsters, clubbers, celebs (does Moby count?), DJ groupies,
families with their kids in tow. I think many were just happy to make it
to the actual party and past a regular admission line that wrapped around
three city blocks and stretched for hundreds and hundreds of people. For
those people clever enough to arrive between 12pm - 2:00pm entry is
actually free; but of course, most people don't seem to take advantage of
this and arrive fashionably late to face interminable queues. Lucky for
us, membership has its privileges as MOMA members - as well as LIC
residents and accredited members of the press - have access to the shorter
special VIP line and free admission. That was a big benefit this weekend
on top of the good feeling of supporting a NYC art institution.



The setting of this year's Warm-Up was no less spectacular. Every year
MoMA's Young Architects Program hosts a competition for emerging
architects to design the PS1 courtyard space and envision an "Urban Beach"
environment as the setting for the Warm-Up series. This year's "Canopy",
designed by nARCHITECTS, was constructed primarily of freshly cut green
bamboo and featured spaces for lounging and relaxation including a wading
pool and a sandy area for sunbathers. The bamboo theme was widely agreed
by the party goers, to have trumped all previous years with it's
transparent intergration with the courtyard's open space and integrated
water mist sprays to provide temperature relief. We spent more than a
minute dancing in the mist, lost in a cloud of good intentions and quality
music.

You can't quite capture the energy of the dancefloor and the raucous
screams and hands-in-the-air excitement in words but while you're there
it's the most inspired feeling. It's an amalgam of all that NYC is and
what electronic music and clubbing should aspire to be.

For those who missed out this year, shame on you! This is a NYC summer
institution and a clubbing must.

See you in 2005!

Photo credit: Chris McNaughty P.S. 1 - photos 1, Chris McNaughty P.S. 1 photos 2


Saturday, July 17, 2004

Plexi's Last Dance :: Filter 14

Filter 14 probably closing

Such heartbreaking news...to hear that beloved Filter 14 will be
closing on July 20th. So this Friday was the last dance for Plexi - the
last Plexi party ever at Filter 14! After 3 years & 3 months of Plexi
parties, it's a bitter pill to swallow. The loss of something more than
a club, but a home for music heads and clubbers in the post-Twilo era.
More so than Centro-Fly, more so than Arc - Filter 14 is
the club closing that affects my clubbing sensibilities the most.
Filter 14 was a haven of quality music with a no-frills atmosphere of
drunkenness and camaraderie.

The many nights of Plexi. A group of us started with an idea, inspired
by our nights at Twilo and wanting to create that same energy
and music elsewhere. We landed at ReBar on Eight Avenue for a
couple months and after they closed for renovations we found Filter 14.
It was a dark, bare-boned space but we saw lots of potential. From a
promoter's perspective, there really is no place like it. We had a
great sound system, an honest owner & great staff that were actually
fun to work with, and an anything goes ethos as long as we were still
having fun. I've seen boobs & more, I've seen licking, I've seen things
I can't even speak of in the downstairs bathroom. I've had many
"meetings" with fellow cohorts in "my office" downstairs and I've
shared many a dance with you on the dance-floor occasionally stealing a
peak up at my favorite lighting guy.

One of my most poignant memories is Trendroid's debut party
which was scheduled for 9-13-2001 but of course we couldn't go on
because of what had just transpired two days before. Drs. Matt & Pankaj
were actually working at St Vincent's then and the overall trauma made
it impossible on so many levels. After much debate we went on with it
two weeks later and it was a special night for friends to come together
and grieve, mourn, listen to music and most of all just to be together.
Uniquely for a dance club, Filter was that kind of place. On another
memorable night in March 2004 [Although not a Plexi party], days after
the war in Iraq broke out, Kats Imai played the original version
of John Lennon, "Imagine" and it captivate the entire
club in show-stopping fashion; people from outside pured into the main
room to stop, listen and reflect. It was a magical moment where
anything seemed possible. People are still talking about that night.

We've also tasted at Filter 14 with treats from piñatas and birthday
cakes, and lots of champagne. Even crudités and peanuts when the mood
would strike. I've celebrated my 27th, 28th and 29th birthday there.
Now, I'm a little distraught about where to host the big 3-0?!?

Plexi parties with Tribe Trix on visuals, Kageki on
lights, Jordanna & Sandra at the door, Hattie the manager,
Jason & Alison on bar duties, Tommy the owner presiding
over it all and a rotating cast of DJs that were the very best of New
York City. That's what Plexi was about, its mission was to showcase the
abundance of NYC-based DJs and talent. We tried to follow the maxim, if
you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. After all, Filter 14 is
quintessential New York.

Thanks to Matt Licata (112 Crew) & Gaby Dershin
(Astro&Glyde) for making this last Plexi night special. Matt owns that
room, more so than any of his 112 cohorts. His big sound in the small
room is all encompassing and does the sound system justice. We'll miss
him, as much as he'll miss playing that room. And although Gaby may not
have played at Filter 14 quite as often, the sentiment was overflowing
with a remix / sampling of Madonna [from Like a Prayer]
"feels like home..."

That's what Filter 14 is...it feels like home...



Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Stereo, Montreal

There was once a venue that embodied clubbing at its best: the sound, the DJ and the vibe that all came together at the right time. For a while it was Twilo that set the bar but since then nothing has quite lived up to that. Until now. Actually I've been hearing about the club Stereo in Montreal for months and months - 5 years in the making with stellar DJs David Morales, Roger Sanchez, Hector Romero, Sander Kleinenberg, Danny Tenaglia - all seemed to have amazing nights there and the legend grew with each enthused recount of Stereo nights from clubbers and DJs alike.

The sound, the amazing sound. It is quite possibly the world's #1 rated analog sound system. To give you the full picture, the original system in Stereo was designed by Angel Moraes and the current analog system in Stereo which replaced the original sound system  in Stereo, has been upgraded, redesigned & re engineered by Shorty of SBS - systemsbyshorty and David Morales. For those who may recall Shorty worked on the sound at Twilo as well. It's the all encompassing sound with bass that breathes heavy on your chest. We did a couple breathing exercises and found it quite difficult to respirate without opening our mouths to relieve the pressure. The top end of the sound is crystal clear. New York based Shorty was actually on hand in Montreal to tweak the system a few days earlier. A welcome touch since so many venues go through the trouble of installing a designer system, only to let it go over the course of time without the proper maintenance and care.


The DJ, the amazing DJ. Hector Romero rules the roost at Stereo. We walked into the club together, only to see Hector greeted by staff and clubbers alike. That nice, warm feeling where everybody knows the DJ and is looking forward to the night. It was like Hector walking into Filter 14 x 100 - bigger and friendlier. At the end of the night while Hector was packing up, one girl came up to the booth to gush about the wonderful night, how she and her friends have never danced so long and whenever she looked up she saw Hector having as good as time as they were. I'm sure that’s' what every DJ lives for.

The vibe, the amazing vibe. It's rare you find a really diverse crowd nowadays on the dancefloor that is solely focused on the music and dancing. In New York, the sub-scenes have gotten so splintered that you have mini-scenes for house heads, hipsters, celebs, ravers, the shirtless boys, students, B&T, trainspotters, etc. In Montreal, it was one egalitarian dancefloor without the DJ worship. Instead it was a symbiosis of music, DJ and dancing that come together in celebration.

As Julian from hotspot eatery and lounge Cafeteria (3581 St Laurent Blvd) told me, people from Montreal don't really consider themselves Canadian they are have their own unique identity that's quasi-European. This adds a beautiful foreign aspect to a visit here, but without the French snootiness. Most similar to New Yorkers who really don't identify with the rest of Americana but are part of a global culture with a unique identity. Although we seem to be a bit marred by being harried & jaded.

Most Stereo regulars refer to the Stereo dancefloor as their living room and even for us first-timers we experienced that same feeling with a roomful of like-minded clubbers. An amazing experience not soon forgotten but taken away as an inspiration to what it's all about.



Piknic Electronik



This weekly summer Sunday event held in the Parc Jean-Drapeu on an island right in Montreal brings the best elements of summer and electronic music together. To define it in NYC terms imagine P.S. 1 in Central Park. Summer in Montreal is a most beautiful thing, more precious for the natives after the long winter months. Underneath a colossal metal sculpture with blue astro-turf pads laid out for dancing. The party is inhabited by dancers young & old with families with toddlers in tow, clubbers, students and everybody else. It was a beautiful thing with music my boyfriend referred to as new-wave tinged house - the current buzz phrase being microhouse.

Take a trip - Montreal is worth it. Only an hour plane ride or a 6 hour car ride.

www.stereo-nightclub.com
www.systemsbyshorty.com
www.piknicelectronik.com

Thursday, June 3, 2004

LE SOUK SUNDAYS

Summer is on! Memorial day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of summer and for me that heralds the beginning of outdoor parties. So Sunday night I ventured out to Le Souk (47 Avenue B) - my perennial summertime favorite hangout going on 3 years now this summer.

I remember the first time I walked onto the terrace in 2001 and I immediately felt like I was in Ibiza. Of course the terrace here is a miniscule one compared to Space, but it was the energy and the international crowd that sparked the deja-vu. Although only in New York City will you find the wide diversity of races - all speaking the same language.


Finally after a winter of construction the back terrace was open again. The owners, Egyptian brothers Sam & Marcus have successfully made additions to the restaurant-bar-club-madhouse over the years. First the addition of the second room, the terrace dancefloor and decks, the extra bathrooms downstairs and now a 20 feet sub-level dancefloor with a mezzanine terrace over looking it. The dancefloor wasn't fully open yet, but they anticipate a July unveiling with a grass dancefloor.

As it was, the space transported us to Morocco or was it to Ibiza, anywhere but New York. The architecture, the openness, the music, the smiles - all created a magical place. Many people commented on this, as if we were all of the same mind. Granted the holiday weekend had people in a tizzy and large amounts of alcohol and music fueled by the Sunday residents SWAMY and Astro&Glyde all added to the mix. I love New York!

I've found my summer place (again!) - at least on Sundays. Come have a drink, enjoy the sun!