Reply to "Is New York over?"

I'm of several minds on the question, "Is NYC over?"

The first is, yeah, a big club filled with interesting people is a lotta fun. But where have all the interesting people gone? I simply don't think that NYC has as many of them today as it did once upon a time. The younger generation is fraught with so much store-bought cool, and while there are some bona fide geniuses on the rise, the volume of genuine creativity and verve seems to have dwindled dramatically since the 80s, replaced by an H&M/Gap/Urban Outfitter's demographic for the most part.

Maybe I'm just older and slower, (maybe?), but I need to be on methalenedioxymethamphetamines to get into anything that goes THUMPtssTHUMPtssTHUMPtss for nine hours...and I've got better uses for that molocule than to blow my brains cells on a single night out. I've found that drinking booze does not mix well with a repetitive beat, and besides, the price of a cocktail at the bigger NYC clubs costs as much as a down payment on a car.

THUMPtssTHUMPtssTHUMPtssTHUMPtss......as far as I'm concerned, the redundancy inherant to most techno music has contributed to a large redundancy in the rave generation's spirit. It is reflected thematically throughout its culture. While this is admittedly a total generalism with the usual level of exception, what the crowd demands it will receive, and that's what is on the menu far too often. The soup du jour is simply yesterday's stretched stock, reheated and served up to people with little taste for anything else.

That said, my second thought is to admit that I have grown accustomed to, and learned to enjoy, being a flashy sort of anomoly amongst the crowd at places such as WH, at concerts, on the avenue, in the subway. It is impressive how well-received a little bit of effort is these days within the generic throng, tho frankly, with that in mind, it's also noted that this is generally all it takes, too: a -little- bit of effort. For the most part, a grand overture is lost on the masses, and subsequently, my own level of satisfaction is met on a much lower level than it once did. Most of the time all I need to feel like my need to exceed is a little bit of shoe, a little bit of paint, a little bit of hair. 90% of the neanderthals at Webster Hall look like they came straight from work. The folks who inspire me, like Brandon, Sabrina, Rose, Formika and Miss Understood, they raise the bar for the rest of us, they carry the torch in an ever-darkening night. Shit, that uberfreak Dresscode Ford still throws the curve off completely.

I think back to big club Twilo which decided in its brilliance that it was a good idea to dismiss Amanda and Sophia. How telling that was of the general state of decay, how the overall milieu of NYC nightlife has become homogenized and standardized, dumbed-down to fit the lowest common denominator. I'll never forget the protest or how its' participants were looking finer by far on thier side of the street than any of the chumps dropping 20's on Twilo's side.

Big clubs as they are *can* be fun, but the expectations must be altered tremendously these days. You've got to hit it with the understanding that you're not going to go and raise the caliber of the night as much as be a spectacle, and often an underappreciated one. Fotunately there are always going to be intrepid souls with integrity, taste and grit who make the effort and get shit happening for themselves, regadless of the impact. They do it for themselves, the right people respond, and the wrong don't even register on the radar. To them, bravo, please don't stop.

There is also the answer of smaller clubs and hush-hush parties off the beaten path where the real cool stuff beats off to itself in reduced, if concentrated numbers. John Street, Happy Ending, Mile High Club, Cheez Whiz and more such gems stand with all things Jackie on the ring of true NYC underground spirit.

[ed - saying this, I feel all patriotic, like if there was some kinda boheme flag I'd salute, hand on heart or some shit like that. Alas, I'm a sentimental dingbat that way.]

Nevertheless, culture engines are a fickle dynamic, never idling for long. As we move back into a straight-laced republican regime, I'm hopeful that the nightlife will respond in kind. In spite of Bloomberg's continuance of Giuliani's raping of NYC nightlife and David Rabin's cranial-rectal inversion, the pendulum always swings both ways, (and so do a lot of you fuckers).

While the RAVE act and the attitude behind it presents a newer and uglier challenge to making nightlife utopia, everything seems to hinge upon the whim of the demand. Many will recall the state of things during the Reagan administration, how *popping* shit was in the clubs back then. It was almost like the uglier things were during the day, the more beautiful it was at night by some kind of retaliatory effect. Given the thrall of the Dubya era these days, is it too unrealistic to expect a full-tilt backlash in the clubland domain?

Consider the relocation/transformation of Cheez Whiz into Star Tartare, back in the meat packing district. It bodes well, and as a watcher of omens, I'm reading this as a very potent sign that things may be coming full-circle. Hell, garage rock is mainstream now, and the promise of electroclash marries the energy of ass kicking rock to the sensibility of the disco. The next wave has already begun, and it wants to replace THUMPtssTHUMPtssTHUMPtss with a big, fat GROWL and a whole lot of BANG.
How the hell can that be a bad thing?
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