'Motherfuckers!'

Rappers, rockers, and coppers, oh my. Club Shelter had a mess on its hands for the Labor Day weekend Motherfucker party—the roaming "polysexual" event held on major holidays.

To hear the MF posse tell it, Shelter—née Club Speeed—is an organizational nightmare. MF producers Michael T, Johnny T, Justine D, and Georgie Seville were unhappy with the way the overbearing security treated their customers, and were befuddled by the massive police presence on the block. The final straw: A week before the event was to take place, MF spokesperson Thomas Onorato said they received bad news from the club—a hip-hop event had been scheduled for the same night, and would be held on the bottom floor, despite the original promise that MF would have the entire club.

The police had cordoned off 39th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, a fairly commonplace practice with the club, says one of the owners, Rickey Mercado. "When we expect a large crowd, we tell [the police]." But for MF, it was an unexpected development that made it difficult for some of the evening's performers to enter and exit the club. Misstress Formika—who was with Deborah Harry—had to be escorted past the barricades. And the Rapture, the headliners, weren't able to load their equipment onto their truck, causing their gear to get wet in the pouring rain.

New York doll: Interpol Singer-guitarist Paul Banks
photo: Tricia Romano
New York doll: Interpol Singer-guitarist Paul Banks

As expected, the two crowds mixed like oil and water, with MF patrons complaining of harassment from Speeed's clubgoers. Even though 1700 people showed up for Motherfucker—more than twice as many as the hip-hop party—the math is still easy. The hip-hop party charged from $20 to $50, with ladies free before midnight. The MF patrons paid between $10 and $25.

Mercado admitted the double booking should have been avoided: "It was not a desirable combination." He took full blame for the mix-up, saying that he had left it to his partners to cancel the weekly Sunday hip-hop party for that night. "I'm totally responsible. I should have taken more care of Michael T."

Said Onorato: "Our audience is a heavily gay crowd, and mixing it with a hip-hop audience is a death wish."


Interpolmay be the next dolls of New York. A line snaked around the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday, with shit-outta-luck fans sitting dejected on the sidewalk. The four lads are the most dapper band in New York—wearing button-up shirts and ties and nice pants for their packed show. They turned in a pitch-perfect performance, playing many of the songs from their debut, the Joy Division-esque Turn on the Bright Lights, which cracked the Billboard 200 the first week. Another sign that they are on the fast track to fame: A scalper sold tickets to the desperate for 50 bones each.


New York takes England, part 2. After last month's Reading Festival, co-headliners the Strokes and Jane's Addiction hung out with New York producer Matt E. Silver and former New Yorker (and Sway club owner) Nur Kahn at the exclusive Wellington Club. Kahn moved overseas a few months ago and is opening a 10,000 square-foot nightspot on London's hip Berkeley Street. The posse also included former New Yorker Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite fame and model Kylie Bax. Kier—who's been living in London for the last five years—just finished producing four tracks with George Clinton, and is featured on the most recent Bootsy Collins disc. Apparently she's over her drum'n'bass obsession.


PARTY GIRL: Britney Spears partied hard the night of the VMAs at the Tribeca Grand after-party. A source says Miss Goody Two Shoes "wasn't feeling well," and discreetly went to the downstairs bathroom where she promptly hurled. An assistant helped her "put her face back on" before she went upstairs, says the source. And despite her pleas to the contrary in People, our spies tell us that Britney is indeed a smoker. When confronted with a photo of her puffing, she had told the magazine, "I was holding it for a girlfriend." But looky-loos at the Tribeca Grand report Spears was "chain-smoking" throughout the evening. Busted!


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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