Centro-Fly’s final party, on April 24, dubbed “The Funeral,” wasn’t exactly a morose affair. While the bartenders had scary black paint on their bodies—including certain parts that were “censored” by smears of it—the vibe was festive, even optimistic, especially considering that one of the bigger and better clubs in the city was closing.
The star of the evening, FATBOY SLIM a/k/a NORMAN COOK, played a smashing set, and did his famous point-at-the-record-dance-like-a-monkey routine, which I adore watching, especially when he plays gorgeous stuff like PAPERCLIP PEOPLE‘s delish Detroit techno track “Throw,” and follows it up later with “I Feel Love.” Downstairs, bodacious PRINCESS SUPERSTAR, looking glam in gold, pumped up the booty bass with some AVENUE D (“Slut”) and MICHAEL JACKSON, pre-creepy phase. The dancing went on until the wee hours with TODD TERRY closing out the night. How fun was it? Said Plant Bar’s DOMINIQUE KEEGAN, “I can’t remember anything.” Hmm, that’s funny. Neither can I.
Across town, Arc—née Vinyl née Shelter née Area—shut down forever, too. Those hallowed halls—which once held the NASA and Shelter parties and hosted a list of legendary DJs too long to print—are becoming apartments for the rich. LEE BURRIDGE and the 112 CREW played on Saturday, and DANNY TENAGLIA spun one of his marathon sets on Sunday. However, this particular Tenaglia marathon might hit the history books, as the house DJ was behind the decks for 24 hours straight. I’ll have whatever he’s having. Juice (?), according to Arc honcho MIKE BINDRA. Bindra says that over the course of the weekend, 5,000 people passed through the club, and frequent Arc DJs DANNY HOWELLS and SANDER KLEINENBERG even flew in from out of town specifically for the finale. (Howells came all the way from South America.) For Bindra this is the second time a club has closed while he worked there. His first—forced—closure was Twilo. As for Arc, he says, “I’m really happy we were able to end it in a positive way. Twilo—it was just all of a sudden shut down.” At Arc “we were able to give it a proper farewell.”
While the clubbing masses were busy getting wasted and dancing (and crying, in some cases), a few hundred thousand people converged on Washington, D.C., for March for Women’s Lives. So important is the freedom-of-choice agenda, THE LUNACHICKS reunited for a gig at the 9:30 Club in D.C., where I am told Miss THEO sported a hairdo so big it got tangled in her bandmate’s guitar. Later, my spies attempted to go see ex-HUSKER DÜ singer-songwriter BOB MOULD spin in the back bar at the same club. Mould, once one of the most heavily closeted performers, now spins every week at the 9:30 Club for Blowoff, which friends described as a bear bar, as in filled with big, burly, gay men sporting beards. As in, so gay, no women are allowed (or at least really wanted). Anyway, Mould was out sick (his brother was filling in), so my friends never got to find out what sort of music he spins. (Answer, according to the Blowoff website: TODD RUNDGREN, GARY NUMAN, and, um, LISA MARIE PRESLEY.)
That other super-gay singer, DANIEL CARTIER, who came out of hiding to perform around the city, might want to consider going back into hibernation. Cartier’s car was stolen a few weeks ago, along with his beloved guitar, which he’s had for over 15 years. Says Cartier of the Takamine strummer: “It’s the guitar that I played down in the subway when I first moved to New York. It’s the guitar I toured all over America and Europe with. It’s the guitar I played on all my albums.” Don’t fret—he’s sold a bunch of the devil paintings and penis photos from his show at the Kanvas gallery and bar, which closed last Monday. During the closing party, the front of the space was dominated by a scary, conservative, preppie crowd (the bar double-booked for a birthday). Cartier’s kids were easy to spot—all gay, all bald, all tattooed. They hung out in the back of the bar, the so-called “erotic room”—or where all the pictures of penises were. Naturally.