By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
The transformation of the meatpacking district from seedy artist underworld to rich and slick playground is complete. Recent reports that David Rabin and his Lotus posse are opening up a lounge across the way from his glam club on 14th Street confirmed the rumors I heard that Philip Rodriguez of Baktun is planning on selling his beleaguered joint. (Readers may remember that Rodriguez spent 18 months fighting to get a cabaret licensewhich is what makes his venue so sexy to the prospective buyers.) Rodriguez says that he's been turning down enticing offers from "Ian Schrager types" for the last year and a half until someone named the right number. That someone turned out to be his neighbor across the street.
The deal is still in negotiations, says Rabin, and probably won't be finalized until January, most likely the last month of operations for Baktun. In place of the music-centric spot will be another high-end lounge that will serve as a complement to Lotus's celebrity-friendly space. "None of the businesses on 14th Street have anything to do with Baktun," says Rodriguez, pointing to the new stores of fashion designers Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.
The closing of Baktunwhich opened in 1998 and has featured a roster of the city's best DJs and producerswill be a huge loss for the New York underground music community and will be greatly missed.
Further proof that DJ Hell is the Pimp of Electro: He's making panties. The DJ joined forces with supersexy-lingerie designers Agent Provocateur to create a special-edition pair of International Gigolo undies in celebration of the label's 100th release in February. The label has a special connection to the designersowner Joe Corre is the son of Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols' manager. Lest you forget, Sid Vicious is the Gigolo logo. The panties are limited editiononly 500 pairs have been madeand are quite pricey at $65 a pop. They are being sold at Agent Provocateur shops as well as a handful of boutiques, including Seven New York in Manhattan.
Pardon me for mentioning Fischerspooner three fucking weeks in a row, but this is just too funny. Larry Tee, the electroclash mastermind, had a party at his loft in Williamsburg last week, and downtown types filled the space from wall to wallincluding producer Khan, back from Berlin for a bit; Christine Doza and Melissa Burns of W.I.T., the latter seen canoodling with a butch playmate; Sophia Lamar, the most glammed up of the hipster bunch; Motherfuckers Michael T and Thomas Onorato, fresh from a Voice cover shoot; and house DJ/producer Adam Goldstoneand Time Out's Bruce Tantum, hanging out in the corner complaining about club promoters' lack of timeliness with listings (yes, we understand). At 11, Tee kicked everyone out so he could head down to Berliniamsburg at Luxx, where the featured performers were Fishyspoonthe Fischerspooner cover band from Washington, D.C.
I asked Tee about the real FS members' reactions to already being coveredFishyspoon even has buttons with a Casey Spooner look-alike that say, "Your 15 minutes are up!" Tee, who once managed Fischerspooner, said that Cindy Greene and Spooner both turned white at the prospect of being sent up so soon, but at the show, Greene was front-and-center, camera in hand. She squealed with glee as the motley crewconsisting mostly of boys in drag as the backup dancers and a person of indeterminate gender playing the popular character of Peanutsmade its way through a few Fischerspooner songs and even debuted two surprisingly good original tunes. The singer, Case Wilder, didn't really resemble Casey Spooner, but that wasn't her fault since she is petite and, uh, female. The best redux was the number where Casey fights a windstorm in a black-and-white-striped outfit that unravels brightly colored folds of billowing fabric. The audience liked that one so much they asked for a repeat. But unlike the real FS, the doppelgängers don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars at their disposal and couldn't redo the scene in a flash.
The choreography was even close to correct. Apparently the cover band based most of their performance on an early FS show at the Pyramid, so when Peanuts came to the front of the stage, Greene, knowing the cue, shrieked and went running. Soon after, everyone onstage was spouting fake blood.
Greenewho took home a souvenir of a bloodstained tuxedo shirtsaid, "I loved it! How could I not?" Still, as game as the Fishyspoon kids were, there's nothing like the real thing, baby.