Sometimes the beat doesn’t go on. Sometimes it just needs a permit. The organizers of Soul Summit Music Fest, a deep house event held every Sunday (with a few exceptions) at Fort Greene Park from 3 to 8 p.m., got the plug yanked when neighbors complained of double- and triple-parking, illegal vending, and the music going past eight.
Sadiq Bellamy and Tabu, two of the party’s organizers, said that while the parks department never rescinded their activities permits, they had to reapply for their sound permit weekly with the 88th Precinct. On August 7, after the London subway bombing, Councilmember Letitia James explained that police from the neighborhood were diverted to run subway security searches, leaving just one officer to patrol the area. At an estimated 2,000 people, this was clearly insufficient. “They did not have the manpower to monitor the festival as promised,” said James. As a result, the sound permit for that date wasn’t issued.
But Bellamy admits he went ahead and had the event anyway. To cancel last-minute “would have put us in a precarious position,” he said. “It was a pretty big day for us.” At the end of the night, he preemptively announced that the one remaining date on August 21 would be canceled, when in fact he still had a permit. Lucky for him and his crowd the cops are so forgiving. With an agreement reached regarding police security at the park, the Soul Summiteers were allowed to dance for the final party last Sunday.
Movies are more fun when they are free, when you get a free serving of caramel-covered popcorn popped special by Alec DeRuggiero, and when they’re hosted by a few of downtown’s favorite DJs. APT’s weekly Tuesday night movie series was especially good this week, with a screening of the deliciously good-bad Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and a snippet of the ’80s porn classic Driller. The latter is based on, yes, MJ‘s “Thriller” video, and features a hilarious zombie dance segment, topped only by a werewolf sex scene, during which the werewolf’s member grows to unimaginable proportions, then wiggles in time to the beat, and finally rotates like an electric drill. If all porn were this funny, I might actually watch it. The gregarious hosts were DJs $mall Change and his longtime co-conspirator, DJ Shakey, with their former ACME pal Gerald McBoing Boing. (All three get the award for best DJ names ever.) Evil Dead was apparently a regular form of entertainment in $mall Change’s West Coast California youth, so he wanted to share it with everyone. I’m glad he did.
The last few weeks in NYC clubland were tumultuous. The L.E.S. was abuzz with the bad news of the ODs of two 18-year-old girls—one of whom was a familiar face on the club and bar scene. Two weeks ago, Mellie Carballo and her high school friend Maria Pesantez were found dead with a combination of heroin, cocaine, and alcohol in their systems. (Since August 10, four others have died of apparent ODs in downtown Manhattan.) Though The New York Times reported the two met their friends at the Dark Room at 10 a.m., a Dark Room spokesperson says they reviewed videotape of that night shot both inside and outside the club: “We watched the tapes and they weren’t at the club. And we were closed at 10 a.m.”
Despite being underage, Carballo was a regular on the downtown club scene. A tribute to her with an accompanying photograph briefly appeared on the website for the weekly party Trash! (It has since been taken down.) On lastnightsparty.com, she was pictured with Motherfucker’s Michael T. The site’s photographer, Merlin Bronques, wrote: “I met Mellie at Beauty Bar a few months ago. She loved having her picture taken, and she made any photographer look good. She called me a week before she died to say that the panoramic pinup I took of her at ‘Bust’ a few days ago was her ‘favorite picture ever,’ and we scheduled to shoot again at her house this week. She was buried in her yellow ‘100% Mellie’ Fightcats T-shirt right next to Jam Master Jay and not too far from Aaliyah, Malcolm X, and Christopher Reeve. I’ll miss her.”