Andrew W.K. doesn’t inspire lukewarm emotions. You either really like him, or you hate him. Last Sunday night at the Roxy, a teeming mass of scary frat boys bumrushed the stage to alternately mosh with—or hug—their hero. My friend, who likes Andrew so much she fainted at his March Bowery show, said, “I wonder how this is going to work?,” referring to the potentially explosive mix of frats and fags at the show, hosted by the Motherfucker collective. “He’s not ironic at all.”
By the time Mr. Bloody Face took the stage, the jocks were beating their beefy chests and hammering their fists in the air. Oh my. During one song, a young, very drunk lady staggered onstage, and attempted eight or nine times to jam on the keyboard.
Elsewhere, a beaming, beautiful Deborah Harry floated through the crowd (I got a little verklempt at the sight of my childhood idol) as fashion/Targét designer Stephen Sprouse, low-key in his skull-cap, sat on a speaker taking it all in.
An Andrew W.K. virgin, I watched with my mouth on the floor as the white trash band flung their hair around and headbanged with aplomb. Now, in most photos, blood or his long, stringy hair obscures Mr. WK’s face, so you just assume he’s f-ugly. But standing on the side of the stage, Nick of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs agreed I wasn’t crazy: With that big, toothy grin and huge, hooked nose, Andrew’s really a demonic, trailer-trash version of Tom Cruise.
It looks like Vinyl is set to get a makeover, complete with a name change, a Phazon sound system, and, possibly, new management or ownership. The folks behind the Saturday night Made parties are reportedly taking over the dry space, and renaming it Arc (a nod to the way the sound system is going to be hung from the rafters, I’m told). Joked a friend: “What, are they gonna have DJ Noah spin and have special admission prices for couples?”
One of the men behind the “new” club is none other than Mike Bindra—once responsible for managing and booking of the now-defunct Twilo. Because Bindra and Arc representatives didn’t return repeated calls and e-mails, the exact level of his involvement could not be determined, though Warren Pesetsky—the lawyer for the building’s owners—had never heard of Bindra and said that Bindra is “definitely not a principal.” Www.arcspace.net indicates that Danny Tenaglia‘s Be Yourself Friday night party will continue, as will the legendary Sunday afternoon jam Body & Soul.
Word to the wise: If you are going to proclaim you’re a “new” club, please do more than change the name and throw in a banging sound system, à la Shelter/Speeed. According to my sources, Bindra and his peeps have already made some minor adjustments, including taking out the stage and platform on the left side of the room. They also reportedly plan on knocking out the wall on the right side, to make the dancefloor wider. Based on Vinyl’s closing date (June 15 with Max Graham) and Arc’s “grand opening” (June 22 with Deep Dish), the changes are likely to be relatively minor.
But, even in the event that the club does undergo a more complete renovation, don’t expect to get liquored up there any time soon. Community Board 1 recommended 37-0 that the State Liquor Authority deny the Rohr Bros.’ most recent request to serve beer and wine, citing the club as a “site for shootings and drug dealing in addition to the usual litany of rowdiness, public urination, noise. . . . ” Pesetsky, who attended the April meeting, said he didn’t bother to address the Board, because he knew “it was a foregone conclusion that they would deny us.”
As recently reported by the New York Times, Tribeca is the richest real estate area in the city, something that was driven home by the Board’s Assistant District Manager, Judy Duffy, who pointed out that Robert De Niro lives in the area as does a bevy of celebs and their families, including Calvin Klein‘s daughter. “It’s not the old Tribeca,” said Duffy. “It’s become a predominantly residential neighborhood.”
Of course, the SLA doesn’t have to follow the Board’s recommendation, either. But with Bindra now tied to the club, it’s unlikely the SLA will find his Twilo résumé impressive.
Said one source: “You saw what they did at the Crobar community board meeting. They turned ‘Twilo’ into a dirty word.”