Before we sink into holiday hibernation, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on our exploits, and present to you our very own 2010 SOTC Nightlife Awards. Below, our third installment examines the people who make nightlife tick in NYC.
Best Party DJ: Just Blaze
We’ve seen Just Blaze twice this month alone, and both times he reminded us of why he’s one of the best doing it. Our first run-in was at the re-opening of his weekly reOPENed party at Santos, where Blaze was confronted with a vaguely dejected and irritable audience as result of the venue’s late opening and guest Mannie Fresh’s surprisingly tepid set. Within minutes of taking over the turntables, Blaze won over the grumpiest of the crowd. The expertly mixed set of rap that eventually unfolded into a bit of old school house and juke was key, of course, but it was his enthusiasm that we clung to. (I swear, it’s like we could hear him smiling as he shouted the usual hype-man nonsense over the mic.)
But it’s when we saw him at the Fool’s Gold holiday party a few weeks ago that we really fell in love. After managing to sneak “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into an impromptu rock set that found its way into the raps and dance anthems, the producer took to the dance floor himself, break-dancing (and, um, battling) until the bitter end. Honestly, if there’s two things that we appreciate in a DJ it’s versatility and knowing that they’re not too jaded to dance themselves.
Our Go-To Party Guides: MeanRed
My Google Calendar should have a color coded tab exclusively for Mean Red events. From booking BKLYN Yard and a Summerstage show (featuring the xx) over the summer, Oktoberfest and the Food Truck Festival on Governors Island in the fall, at least one warehouse massive a month, and something or other once a week, these event coordinators have been keeping themselves (and us) busy in 2010.
But It’s really the crew’s thoughtful and creative DJ lineups that concrete our faith in MeanRed. Their techno-infused Dark Disco series has brought everyone from Mary Anne Hobbs, MJ Cole, and Boyz Noise to venues all over the city, while the bass-friendly Club Infinity has hosted AraabMuzik, Roska, and DubbelDutch. Headlining acts are great but do not a party make, and one of the things we admire the most about these bookings is that their lowest billed act is always someone we’re interested in seeing too. Bookmark them, you’ll be glad you did.
Best Nightlife Twitterer: @SLUTLUST
Meet Slutlust: Osvaldo Chance Jimenez to his mother, and OJ to the rest of New York City. Whether you know it or not, you’ve run into this nightlife prince at your favorite bar, backstage at a show, tagging the streets of the Lower East Side, or eating brunch at Relish (RIP). He’s the smiley guy that everyone knows and loves even though they can’t remember exactly how they ever met him to begin with. It’s cool though–follow his Twitter account and it’ll start to make sense.
Smiles aside, the man has an uncanny knowledge of almost every nightlife spot in the city, thereby serving as our go-to source of late night party scoops, scene-y gossip, and backstage LOLs. Usually, we’ll laugh at his snark towards local politicians, musicians, venues, and DJ friends alike. But it’s right when the night is turning to daylight, around 5 a.m., when he uses his 140 characters to get especially lovey (or mopey) about New York, leaving us to gaze upon his tweets as a romantic embodiment of the city’s nightlife. This guy lives and breathes for late nights in the streets of New York and we appreciate that. (Read his blog for first-person chronicles of his adventures.)
Most Fashionable Scene Queen: Kenny Kenny
Here’s a guilty secret: One of the first things that we do when we walk into Vandam or the like is to quietly seek out Kenny Kenny. It’s not that hard for the most part, as the diva is fond of the most amazingly outrageous hats and hairpieces. Honestly, gay nightlife is exactly half of what the promoter is best at. The voyeur in us is equally as satisfied to fawn over Kenny’s newest Dietrich inspired dreads and perfectly applied eye makeup as we are to dance amidst his gaggle of cohorts. We can’t get enough of the chapeau veils either, no matter if they’re real or carefully drawn-on. Basically, I want to be Kenny Kenny’s friend just so I can borrow his accessories.
Best Performance Art Collective: House of LaDosha
There’s a few things you should know about Bushwick’s House of LaDosha. Their name stems from a DVD called Ghetto Brawls which is, in essence, a collection of “crazy, hood-ass fights” that featured one especially fierce girl named Dosha. (And this group of friends turned fashion-based music collective is nothing if not fierce.) Also, they could challenge Lil B to a swag-off and win. Drawing inspiration from Lil Kim, Beyonce, and Three 6 Mafia among others, their bouncey, raunchy, suggestive (menacingly so, at times) raps aren’t the only thing that keep us invested in their live shows. Wigs, spandex, fishnets, stilettos and vogue-heavy dance routines figure into every performance as well. While exhibitionism is surely encouraged, their evenings are propelled by confidence and attitude instead. You go girls.
Host With The Most: Andy Shaw
You may already know how we feel about Andy Shaw. He’s a perfect gentleman and quite possibly the happiest person we’ve ever met in real life. While some of his nightlife ventures aren’t quite our cup of tea, we’re willing to try it all once, just as long as Shaw comes as part of the package. The guy is quiet at first, but give him a smile and he quickly turns into the long lost best friend you’ve never had. He’ll introduce you to his girlfriend, show you pictures of his dogs, offer you and anyone you glance at a drink, and demand that you promise to come visit him again. The last time we saw him, he told us the following: “I love doing this. My job is to have fun and drink for free with my friends and introduce cool people to cool things. It doesn’t get better.” That pretty much how we feel about this whole nightlife thing too.
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