By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Paper magazine might have recently held its second annual Nightlife Awards (which I missed due to illness and lethargy), but I have my own ideas about who should've won and what other awards to give out.
Consider their Best DJ honors: Scenester/hipster types like Steve Aoki win Paper's awards, but these DJs (a) have bad taste, (b) play music heard at my junior high school dance, and (c) possess no technical skill. At the very least you can make the effort to match beats so as not to cause more damage to my hearing. You should also automatically be evicted from the DJ booth for playing New Order's "Blue Monday" after 2002.
So for Best DJs, I pick François Kevorkianand Max Pask. Kevorkian is a legendary DJ from the disco heyday who's evolved into a deep, dark techno minimalist, yet can also please the soul seekers at Body & Soul. Besides having a wacky sense of humor, Pask, our very own French import, possesses musical flexibilityhe's able to play hard for techno enthusiasts or more whimsically for fashionistas.
Fiercest House DJ: Honey Dijon, who takes Chicago house, turns it upside down, and drives a minimalist spike right through the heart. Then she slathers it with honey and makes it sweet.
As for honoring promoters, back in the day, we old folks used to print out flyers and hand them out to people on the street one at a time. We used to canvas poles with shitty xeroxed posters. We used to leave our apartments. While the fine GBH people won at Paper, in this age of the Internet, Best Promoter should be replaced by Best Promotional E-mail. Winner: Shaw Promotions.Put together by Andy Shaw, it out-hipsters Flavorpill by a mile, covering downtown parties as well as a few recommendations for the world outside of nightlife. (What, you mean people do things during the day?)
Building oneself up is a terribly overlooked art form, so we honor those who master it with a category for Best Self-Promoters. It began as a tie between Ultragrrrland the MisShapes, but in the final homestretch the 'Shapes have placed countless stories in the media about their fashion lines and books, and nabbed a BPM mag cover, not to mention countless Gawker posts. So they win. Ultra, perhaps too busy actually running her record label, will have to settle for runner-up.
Paper didn't have a category for this, but there should always be an honor for Best Door Bitch: That's Thomas Onorato, mofos.
Best Nightlife Mascot: a tie between Richie Richand Amanda Lepore. A club night will not have achieved successful downtown status without an appearance from one of clubland's two grande dames. Remember: Without them, you're nothing.
Best Sound System Designers With a Heart of Gold:Designed by Gary Stewart Audio , the setup at Love puts everyone else's to shame. This, my friends, is what happens when you put money into something that matters, instead of platinum-plated elf statues or whatever.
Best New Club Personality: tie, Aimee Phillips of the Trinity and Jackson Pollis of MisShapes. They come from competing teams, but they both have that je ne sais quoiAimee with her unbelievably perfect style (matching Chanel earrings and necklaces, bows that recall Minnie Mouse, and luscious ultra-fake lashes), and Jackson with his perfectly mussed-up look (the tousled blond hair, the chunky black glasses). They're both refreshing additions to nightlife.
Best Nightlife Performer Destined for Actual Stardom: Murray Hill. Hollywood, Paris, Vegas . . . he should be everywhere. I believe in the gospel of Murray Hill, a throwback to real showbiz days, a performer who actually knows how to hold a show together and make a lady feel special.
Best New Hostess With the Mostest:Peppermint Gummybear.While she's been around a few years, she hasn't quite catapulted to the A-list status of her peersthe Formikas and Bunnies of the world. But Gummybear, hostess of Rated X, brings civilized dignity and wit to the lusty proceedings.
Best Club Band to Make Good: the Scissor Sisters.They started by playing on East Village bars and are now playing Wembley Arena. They also once played Berliniamsburg, which was supposed to launch the careers of W.I.T. and Soviet. Remember them?
Best Burlesque Babes: Julie Atlas Muzand Dirty Martini. Julie brings performance art to burlesque, adding bondage and blood to her shocking, artful appearances. Miss Martini is more of a traditionalist, and nobody can touch her for sheer class.
Best Tits:The World FamousBOB*. She'd share the previous category with her homegirls were it not for her fantastic tatas, which are so glorious she's dedicated an entire performance (or three) to them.
Best Bootlicker:Michael T. Like there's anyone else.
Best Legend: Susanne Bartsch gives me a reason to live. Those cheekbones, that style, that graciousness . . . I hope I have a tenth of all of it at her age.
Seemingly Unending Musical Trend That Needs to Die: the '80s. Listen, I hear the '70s were a good decade.
Best Club Trend Yet to Happen in the States That Will Make Me Feel Old: The New Rave Movement. Ecstasy party at my house!
Best Nightclubs for People Who Actually Care About Dancing: Cielo and Studio B.
Cielo's cozy size and close proximity to my apartment places it a notch above, but Greenpoint's Studio B has an edgier booking policy with Justine D at the helm, and is better suited to bigger parties.
Best Nightlife Photographer: I'm completely biased because he's one of my good friends, but that doesn't really stop other award givers, does it? It's my party, and Gawker's Nikola Tamindzicwins. His photos are beautiful mini-masterpieces that make everyone look better.
Nightlife Trend That Should Die a Slow, Excruciating, Torturous Death: bottle service.The only solace we can take is that bottle service keeps all the morons sequestered as far away from the rest of us as humanly possible. Can we look into opening one more bottle-service spot on the moon? Please?
Best Nightlife Hotties: Theo and Justine D. Really, the epitome of Total Hotness.
Best Club Owner: Stuart Armando. Because the cute Australian is committed to good music, employs the Ass,and gives good gossip
Best Bar With Endurance: Lit. Perhaps it's the basementwhich makes you feel like being very, very naughtybut Lit is a guaranteed good time. Sometimes, too good of a time. Thanks, Max!
Best Nightclub Booking Agent:Alec DeRuggiero. Au revoirto the former APT guru, the man who for the past seven years turned a small, lame would-be bottle service venue into a cool micro-club for world-class DJs like Michael Mayerand Stacey Pullen. Luckily, he's being replaced by the equally able Justin Carter.
Best Reason to Hate New York Nightlife: The Nightlife Task Force + the Cabaret Law = Total Suck.While crime continues to fester in my neighborhood, the city spends my tax dollars enforcing the totally bullshit cabaret law, shutting places down because their licenses for dancing (that is not a typo) aren't up to code. It's enough to make me want to move back to Las Vegas.
Best Dog Owned by a Club Personality: Monkey. Owned by: Ultragrrrl. Just Google it.