What a Year That Was

NYC nightlife luminaries fondly recall what they can still remember from 2006

Meanwhile, Barry Hyde of the Futureheads is all growed up. His major 2006 achievement is moving to Glasgow and out of his parents' house: "It has been the first time I've ever lived away from the protective talons of my wonderful parents, and at the age of 25 I was worried that it might never happen and I would end up being 50, still in my pajamas, sucking my thumb and staring at the choo-choo-engine motif in the playroom, waiting for my mother to call me down for fish fingers and beans."

Chantal Claret's capper: "When I realized all of the things that had been a problem for me three years before had changed and dissipated, leaving me completely satisfied. Because three years ago I was homeless, broke, motherless, and manless, and now I have amazingly built a life for myself. Yayo!"

Jeff Salaneof the Panthers was most proud of "the publication of my wife Adrienne Maria Vrettos's book, Skin. It was great to go on tour with a book instead of a band. The hotel rooms are nicer in publishing, and I don't have to pack and unpack a drum set every night."

photo: Tricia Romano


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Some people's favorite events were out of town: Miss Modernage remembers the Iceland Airwaves music festival in October, held in Reykjavik. "It's still a music festival unspoiled by 'the industry,' " she says. "Oh, and need I mention the fact that everyone there looks like they fell off the Beautiful Truck? Dear lordy!"

Juan MacLean writes that his favorite 2006 event was DJ'ing on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel in downtown L.A. withJames Murphy. "A bountiful supply of gays, girls in bikinis, friends, and rock stars, along with a rooftop pool, added up to a surprisingly good time," he says. "James and I rented a white Mustang convertible and wore white the entire time we were there, driving around listening to his just-finished 45:33 album on the car stereo, laughing at how good life is."

Tim Fletcherof the Stills fondly recalls the Billy Bragg show at SXSW in Austin: "My buddy is a huge Billy Bragg fan like me, and we were drinking pints and singing along with 300 people, and we shed a few. Best show I've ever seen. Also, seeing Rancid with all my friends and singing along to that whole show and then meeting them, and they knew our band. Wow."

Black Lips' Jared Swilley says 2006's best moment was "the World Cup. It was really fun because I was in Europe. The Zidane headbutt was great, especially when he had to apologize to the children of the world."

Two club owners from different ends of the nightlife spectrum recall two very different favorite performances. While downtown, Max Brennan (co-owner of rock 'n' roll dive Lit) cited a Gary Wilson set; Noah Tepperberg (co-owner of the upscale club Marquee) named Jay-Z performing at Tao Las Vegas, his other club, as his 2006 highlight, "because it was the most incredible show I have ever witnessed. He caused such a stir that the place almost caught on fire."

Tech-house producer Gregory Shiff cited "coming back to New York after a summer in Spain, being surrounded by friends, and realizing that there may be some life left in this damn dark city after all. Then going back to Barcelona for a proper club gig and reconsidering." Elsewhere, Misstress Formika looks back fondly on the days when "all the clubs were open and parties were a-rockin'! Because now Limelight a/k/a Avalon will become a strip mall. Ugh."

Drag performer Linda Simpson loved Julia Sweeney's one-woman show Letting Go of God at Ars Nova; Trinity's Drew Elliot had a great time at the Tribeca Grand dancing to Erol Alkan; and Rated X hostess Peppermint Gummybear says she's torn between "the roster of Mofo '06—the Cramps, Morningwood, the Carrie White Follies, and of course the legendary Willie Ninja performance—and walking home to Harlem in drag after a night of debauchery during the transit strike of '06. It was like a one-woman black gay-pride parade at night."

Finally, let's not forget: We lost two nightlife legends this year. Willie Ninja and Adam Goldstone, R.I.P.

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