After mash-ups took over the clubs last year, and DJs moved away from instrumental dance music to dance music structured more like a pop song (e.g., electro), it was inevitable that the scales would tip to a full-blown ’80s rock craze. Forget tinkering with the tunes to make them something different; audiences just want to hear the originals. That might be why there are lines hundred-strong down the block at every Motherfucker party; DJs Michael T and Justine D know that “Blue Monday” always gets them moving, so does anything by Blondie; don’t forget the Cars, and a little Joan Jett never hurt anyone. I love rock and roll. Throw in a little Strokes, or Interpol, or Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the music feels just modern enough.
New rock parties commandeered by DJs and not p.a.’s are everywhere—even Spa revamped itself as a rock club, now Plaid. Tiswas at Don Hill’s on Saturday (511 Greenwich Street, 212-219-2850) is an old standby; so is Shout!, Sundays at Bar 13 (35 East 13 Street, 212-979-6677). New parties have sprung up, too, like Yes! Selector at Spring Street’s upstairs lounge (325 Spring Street, 212-414-1344), which finds A- and B-list indie rock bands gingerly taking their first turns on the tables on Tuesdays. More raunchy rock (Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses) can be heard at Rocks Off on Thursdays at Rivertown Lounge (187 Orchard Street, 212-388-1288); Brit poppers can get their fix at Trash at Rififi on Fridays (332 East 11 Street, 212-677-1027). Get lost at the Hole on Wednesday (29 Second Avenue; 212-777- 9690) or venture to Lit on Friday for a fix (93 Second Avenue, 212-777-7987).
Ironically, the rock-DJ revival comes just as several new superclubs arrive: Crobar (due to open in October), Avalon (the old Limelight) set for a late September unveiling, and Spirit (the revamped Twilo space). Downtown, Shine has been redone as a swanky lounge called the Canal Room, where a little bit of both worlds should collide sometime this month. Everything old is new again.
AVALAND: SEB FONTAINE
AVALON, 47 WEST 20 STREET, 212.807.7780
It’s opening night for the newly revamped Limelight space but you’ll only get minor déjà vu since it’s been drastically redesigned. But Seb Fontaine will recall the days superstar DJs reigned and trance and progressive house ruled the dancefloors. Glowsticks, please!
TRONIC TREATMENT CLASSICS NIGHT: FRANKIE BONES+ADAM X+DARA+DB
SULLIVAN ROOM, 218 SULLIVAN STREET, 212.252.2151
The long-running techno jam reaches back in time with the grandpas of New York’s techno scene Frankie Bones and Adam X battling drum’n’bass heads Dara and DB (who will likely call up their acid house records for assistance).
LIQUID SOUND LOUNGE FALL EQUINOX BOAT CRUISE
THE HALF MOON, MARCO POLO CRUISES, EAST 23RD STREET AND FDR DRIVE, 212.631.3617
Jeannie Hopper, the erstwhile DJ of Liquid Sound Lounge on WBAI, celebrates the show’s 10th year with its annual Fall Equinox Boat party. While the price is steep ($45), it does include an all-you-can-drink open bar and a goodie bag. Also included are performances by Hopper, DJ Romain, Lorenzo Tyler, and Jay Rodrigues (of Groove Collective).
APT, 419 WEST 13 STREET, 212.414.4245
When the music geeks at Other Music tell you something’s the bee’s knees, you should sit up straight and listen. Once a month they set about educating the ignorant masses to music that pushes the boundaries (far far beyond, say, Justin Timberlake). Their first fall outing features Jimmy Tamberello (of DNTEL and the Postal Service) who specializes in abstract brainiac electronic ambience. Get out your notebooks!
MICROMINI: STEWART WALKER & GEOFF WHITE
FILTER 14, 432 WEST 14 STREET, 212.366.5680
This show marks the first time the duo have performed together since recording their beatific, wondrous ode to all that is minimal techno, Discord. Even better: you can dance at this party and not get arrested.
October 4 and 5
PLAID, 76 EAST 13TH STREET, 212.388.1060
BOWERY BALLROOM, 6 DELANCEY STREET, 212.533.2111
The lewd Canadian performer—who sports the world’s greatest mullet and is prone to wearing bright fuschia outfits and a camel toe—is back. Yes, Peaches, that nice Jewish girl, has a new record of potty-mouthed tunes to titillate us, called Fatherfucker.
AVALAND: TIMO MAAS
AVALON, 47 WEST 20 STREET, 212.807.7780
While he’s never struck a nerve as well as he did with his remix of “Doom’s Night,” Timo Maas still makes dance music with epic flourishes that even adults can love. His latest album, Loud, featured Kelis and MC Chicaboo in an amalgamation of styles that left you wondering if there was anything left in his kitchen sink.
October 22 (CMJ Marathon)
TRIBECA GRAND, 2 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, 212.519.6500
Pretty, but twisted, textural tones come from these Guidance artists whose music is perfect for a lounge setting. Thankfully, Bent doesn’t fall prey to that retro kitsch style (nor does it go the trip-hop route).