Jay-Z in a Bottle

Table 50, a kinder, gentler bottle-service club; KEXP invades New York

Table 50, the new swanky spot on Broadway and Bleecker, aims to be the next APT, a bottle-service place that features really good, forward-thinking music. It's succeeding: Last Tuesday's lineup featured MIGUEL MIGS, DARSHAN JESRANI, and ALEXI DELANO, and the club boasts a really slamming sound system. However, most music-minded folks don't have the dough to spend on bottles of alcohol, nor would they be foolish enough to throw away a few hundred bucks on anything but 12-inch records.

On a recent visit, a very nice manager sold the place as a kinder, gentler bottle-service venue—one where the door guy isn't snotty, and one where the bottles are "only" $190. (Gee, that's "only" $170 more than you can pay at the store.) But the door guy sniffed at us until we said the magic words, "JDH's party," and then talked to the gadget on his wrist Secret Service-style, instructing some poor person to come upstairs and stamp us so his pretty fingers didn't get dirty with ink.

To be fair, the manager seemed almost embarrassed to be shilling the bottle service; you got the feeling he'd rather be working for a place like Volume. (Though that night's scheduled RICHIE HAWTIN show at Volume was moved to the too-small Sullivan Room due to lack of the necessary public-assembly permit. The June 18 FRANZ FERDINAND show was saved by a temporary public-assembly permit.) But when we overheard a tall model-esque woman request something more "upbeat, like JAY-Z" from the DJ, JDH a/k/a JOSH HOUTKIN, we elbowed guest DJ DAN SELZER, who shrugged: "It comes with the territory." The woman actually works for Table 50, and she told JDH that the Jay-Z request came from the owner, because "The Village Voice is here." Houtkin, who knows better (the owner hired him and his crazy music-nerd friends, after all), laughed and pointed at the "Village Voice," i.e, moi, who would never speak to him again if he stooped to play Jay-Z or any other such Top 40, bottle-service-friendly Muzak. The crowd was dancing without the assistance of Mr. Z, anyway.

Theo rocks the Sweet Action party.
photo: Tricia Romano
Theo rocks the Sweet Action party.

The Table 50 fun-fest was only a tad better than the previous night's Sweet Action magazine release party at M1-5, at which Miss THEO—who's an advice columnist for the mag—played with her nifty new band. Sweet Action is a porn magazine for girls started by two enterprising young ladies, ROBIN and MICOLE, but don't expect to see buff, Chelsea-like gay boys. Instead, imagine if Williamsburg had a porn magazine and you'll come pretty close to what Sweet Action is about: Though the centerfold is a hunky black guy, the models are mostly skinny, pasty, unwashed, greasy-hairedindie-rock boys with erect penises (all together now: Eeeeeeewwwwwww). Apparently I'm in the minority, as there were plenty of cute, tattooed straight girls in attendance. A straight male friend smartly attended the show and easily ignored the bad, ear-splitting sound, which threatened to destroy everyone's hearing. "I'm thinking, 'Hottie here, hottie there, hottie over there!' " he said with a grin.

Shocking news: New York City doesn't have everything! Seattle radio station KEXP is a hit with New Yorkers. New Yorkers love the station so much they comprise the largest number of listeners outside of the Seattle area, tuning in online and donating $20,000 to the station. Associate program director and Morning Show host JOHN RICHARDS visited New York last week to return the love, broadcasting live from the Museum of Television and Radio. He says of New Yorkers' obsession with the Seattle station, "I'm as blown away about it as anybody. It's very unique." KEXP, once known as KCMU, is home to Seatown friends and excellent DJs RIZ ROLLINS, DAREK MAZZONE, KID HOPS, and MASA. The station's DJs play extremely fresh music like TV ON THE RADIO, CLEM SNIDE, and DJ SHADOW. That's so crazy: In Seattle, they have good music and no bottle service. How do they ever manage?


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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