It was hard not to feel a little verklempt during Halcyon’s final weekend. The Brooklyn café/club/furniture and record store said sayonara to its devoted followers on April 16. While the Halcyon DJ crew, including BOON and DJ SPECK, spun music ranging from hip-hop to house, local scene-beans like JEANNIE HOPPER and scribes BRUCE TANTUM, from Time Out, and ANDY GENSLER greeted co-owner SHAWN SCHWARTZ with “I’m sooooo sad!” To which he replied, with an ear-to-ear grin, “I’m not.” Schwartz told me he’s been adjusting to the store’s closure for a year, so that means the rest of us will be crying in our beers for the next 12 months. Former and current Halcyon employees (including publicist du jour MAGGIE STEIN and painter OLIVER VERNON) gallivanted around the now empty space as attendees break-danced and wrote graffiti on the walls. TIM FIELDING of Journeys by DJ contributed a story about how he played an entire record at the wrong speed but was too embarrassed to stop it, and graf artist KENJI of the Barnstormers crew went to town on every available surface.
In the girls’ bathroom, says Schwartz, someone scribbled, “Goodbye to the best bathroom to fuck in in Brooklyn.” Aww. How sweet. Another Deep Thought in the boys’ bathroom: “Damn this was gonna be where I wrote my novel.” Presumably the author meant the café, not the john. All is not lost, however, as the Halcyon folks plan to take over the world—or at least New York’s faltering club scene, which really, if you think about it, shouldn’t be too difficult. While the über-Halcyon doesn’t come for at least a year, Phase 1 of World Domination starts on May 11, when the Halcyon record store opens in DUMBO. And if you still miss the bejeezus out of them, you can hear pre-recorded sets from the many parties on the new WPS1 Art Radio station (wps1.org) every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m. Halcyonite Jeannie Hopper is the manager for the upstart station and has been booking DJs with P.S.1’s director of music, LOKKE HIGHSTEIN. The station is the brainchild of P.S.1 founder and executive director ALANNA HEISS, but Hopper notes wryly, “Bloomberg Radio sponsored the whole thing.” Rimshot.
Hopper, one of the more politically minded DJs in the city, is also putting together an event to benefit the Drug Policy Alliance, which is fighting legislation in Congress that would hold bands, bartenders, DJs, venue owners, radio stations, you name it, liable if a patron uses drugs at a nightclub or concert. The two bills are like the RAVE Act, but worse. The Ecstasy Awareness Act and the CLEAN-UP Act both target music events (the former specifically names raves and nightclubs) and essentially make everyone involved in an event where drugs are found liable—with fines and jail time the end result. Last weekend, clubs around the country participated in a Day of Outrage to protest the bipartisan bills. The New York contribution included a party featuring LOOP PROFESSOR, IXLEY, and ADDJ PADATI at 169 Bar. BILL PIPER, the director of national affairs for the DPA, believes the RAVE Act and the new legislation are “almost an admission that they [the government] believe the drug war has stalled. They can’t stop drugs from coming into the country. It’s an act of desperation to shut down the places where people might use drugs.”
In addition to hosting a radio show on the topic during her WBAI Liquid Sound Lounge slot (go to undergroundnyc.com to hear the archive), Hopper organized a mix compilation called Outrageous: Protect Live Music featuring SPOOKY, ROY AYERS, D:FUSE, BLAZE, and SPINNA, as well as contributions from local labels King Street and Wave Music. The proceeds go toward the DPA to aid it in its fight against anti-nightlife legislation. As Hopper puts it, the legislation would turn everyone into a narc, including the DJ. “I’m gonna have to turn everybody in,” she says, “including myself!”
Adieu: CENTRO-FLY is gone. Long live Centro-Fly. FATBOY SLIM, ARMAND VAN HELDEN, JUNIOR SANCHEZ, PRINCESS SUPERSTAR, and TODD TERRY played at the club’s last event ever—dubbed ever so morbidly the Funeral—on Saturday night. SHELLEY SHICK, the club’s spokesperson, said, “The owners’ wives said, ‘Enough.’ “
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 20, 2004