A Raucous Wednesday Night On the LES, Starring RCMP, Eli Escobar, And All Black Everything


When you hear that a “wintery mix” is headed to New York, the best thing to do is go out while you still can: Snow means no school, no work, and no cabs. (Sigh, we’re all so spoiled.) With my fingers crossed and a great evening lineup summoning me to the Lower East Side, I was intent on making the most of my Wednesday night.

We began at nightlife photographer Nicky Digital‘s Ella Wednesday party, this one playing host to the Young Robots label launch and record-release party for disco duo RCMP‘s new self-titled EP. (As for the acronym, it means nothing at all–seriously.) An edit of Chic’s “I Want Your Love” was pumping over a wildly excited dance floor when we walked in; granted, it was already 1 a.m., and the two tables closest to the DJ booth had bottles of vodka that looked made it look more like a free-for-all than a host table. Time to move on, but we’d be back.

By 1:45, we were at Von for the debut of Eli Escobar and Blu Jemz‘s new weekly jam session. It’s no secret that I consider Eli among the greatest DJs NYC has to offer, so let’s just say that expectations were high for this “strictly vinyl” event. Not to mention that while Von books a really wonderful rotation of DJs, the layout is painfully awkward, with the turntables stuck in a corner, separated from the bar and the actual dance floor. Regardless of such inconveniences and the somewhat pricey drinks (is Von the APT of the LES?), Eli and Blu Jemz kept the mix of scenesters and suits dancing (or shimmying, at least); there’s something really intimate and special about watching DJs play records they’ve hand-picked and lugged to a gig. I think someone lugged/played Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back,” and I appreciate that.

By this time, I’d picked up two more friends to accompany me to Happy Endings for “All Black Everything”: I think the joke here is that all the DJs are African-American (though their clientele certainly aren’t) and play goth rock. Seriously. Our time there was short-lived, as the venue was pretty much completely empty, with the few stragglers sitting at a table. We suspect that resident DJ (and Death Set drummer) Roofeeo was out of town. No people means no fun, so: back to Ella!

By then it was 3:15, and though the party had died a bit, those left were still going strong. The combination of liquor and disco had made everyone overly emotional: One DJ was pinned against a wall, deep in a makeout session. Nearby, Ella residents Shane Daddy and Sarah D engaged in a dance-off as a group of sweaty girls jumped up and down next to them. “This place doesn’t suck! You know these DJs? I want to dance with them!” screamed one girl with a particularly thick French accent.

All in all, quite a Wednesday-night lineup, and one recommended for weekday warriors. We’ll leave Happy Endings out of the mix for now, but maybe one day it will live up to the PBGP of yesteryear.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 25, 2010

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