Those rightfully disaffected clubbers will have you believe that, with the closure of Twilo and the Tunnel and the sale of the Limelight, there’s nowhere left to dance in New York City. It is harder than ever to obtain a cabaret license, and if you want to open a big venue, you might as well shoot for the moon. But that said, there is still an overwhelming number of nightclubs that, happily, are booking stellar acts.
One-Offs: Blink and You’ll Miss ‘Em
Ben Watt is better known for his work in Everything but the Girl, but if that side of his musical career ever takes a nosedive, he should become a full-time deep-house DJ. Touring with his Lazy Dog co-conspirator Jay Hannan, Watt brings the effervescent flavor of the club night to NYC. His last visit proved he wasn’t just another celebrity banking on his name to get a few cheap gigs: Watt can mix, he’s got immaculate programming sense, and he knows how to build a groove, stacking each layer as carefully as a kid building a house of cards. (October 3, Shine, 285 West Broadway, 941-0900)
While Thievery Corporation makes music that sounds like a big, fat blunt, the duo’s DJ’ing sets can cure insomnia. Their last gig benefited from a shared bill with like-minded dub-freaks Kruder and Dorfmeister. Unfortunately for the Thievery, K & D blew them off the stage—a task none too hard given Thievery’s propensity for ’60s lounge ditties and samba. But this is a live gig, so they might fare better. (With Blue State, September 12, Roxy, 515 West 18th Street, 627-0404)
St. Germain: They really only have one good song—”Rose Rouge”—but let’s face it, it’s really, really good. Good enough to warrant the 800 remixes on the market, good enough, perhaps to make hauling ass to the Hammerstein (311 West 34th Street, 279-7740) on October 5 for a chance to hear the jazzed-up house tune played live even remotely worthwhile.
Techno fanatics have two events at the Limelight to look forward to—the return of the Tresor parties on September 22, and of Jeff Mills, with two other beat punishers, Surgeon and Function. (October 12, the Limelight, 660 Sixth Avenue, 807-7780)
On the Regular:
Special Weekly Events
Drum’n’bass gets a little help from its friends over at Direct Drive, who stayed at Baktun through its cabaret-license troubles and now has the Saturday night slot. V Recordings honcho Jumping Jack Frost visits, displaying that combination of soul and macho intensity that only he and partner Bryan Gee seem to grasp. With local diva Reid Speed, Cassien, and Lloop of We. (September 8, Baktun, 418 West 14th Street, 206-1590)
Electro and intelligent dance music fans can rejoice at the return of Static, which has relocated to the newest joint in the East Village, Openair (121 St. Marks Place, 979-1459). Finnish electro duo Mr. Velcro Fastener, rockin’, plays live on September 5. SKAM Records’ Rob Hall returns for his guest residency on September 12 and M_nus’ Clark Warner hopefully spins some of his minimal treats on September 26.
Centro-Fly, no longer second fiddle to Twilo in the superstar DJ biz, is now officially the top dawg in NYC. Richie Hawtin celebrates the release of his latest disc on September 11, and Chicagoan Derrick Carter headlines on September 12 to Dance Ritual—the regular home of Little Louie Vega. Four-on-the-floor action comes courtesy of the Plant crew on Saturdays at Centro-Fly with residents Marcus and Dominique. The Pinky room party We & the Music run by Neil Aline and Chez Music features Kevin Yost on September 8, and San Francisco jock Mark Farina on September 15 (taking over the main floor). (Saturdays, Centro-Fly, 45 West 21st Street, 627-7770)
Touch brothers Billy Shane and Sean Hall welcome Timewriter on September 21 as part of a Plastic City America showcase. Tech house before it was called that, Plastic City’s built a reputation around artists like Timewriter, actually a German guy named Frank Cochois who achieves his spare and melodic house, in part, because he builds many of his own instruments. With Kenneth Graham and Mr. Robb. (Fridays, Shine, 285 West Broadway, 941-0900)
Don’t forget the old standbys. Subliminal Sessions with resident and Subliminal Records honcho Erick Morillo. Chicago house legend Roy Davis Jr. headlines on October 4. (Thursdays, Centro-Fly, 45 West 21st Street, 627-7770)
The ever dependable folks at Giant Step continue their weekly party with Ron Trent at the helm. There’s a special Giant Step Records showcase on September 13 with Donnie, Carl Hancock Rux, and Mark Anthony Jones. (Thursdays, Shine, 285 West Broadway, 941-0900)
And the usual suspects, Be Yourself with the unstoppable Danny Tenaglia, and Body and Soul with Joe Claussell and Francois K, will continue, hopefully forever, at Vinyl. (Fridays and Sundays, 6 Hubert Street, 343-1379)