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?
Oddly in my looking for this topic to reply (my mind admittedly Elsewhere), I landed on a very interesting post in Studio 54 by Miss ChiChi. I think the article is well worth a read and very much related to this subject.

Minerva your post speaks eras of wisdom (I am in awe truly). There is real truth in all of your words, so easy to travel along with each beat, save this one thing I must counter-culture: the description of alt youth. They are indeed 'mad freaks about' and 'wild, genderfried, wired aliens' -- but that's a whole lot of something truly fascinating. And no, they just don't hang in the EV all the time anymore and I'm pretty sure they are not "Club Kids" at all. And raves, well, that's something they grow out of now about the time they hit 18-19.

Media/the web/art/fashion--friendship (tied in groups of 3-8 they do not venture off one without another) and they are "punks who wash their hands". Sure they have issues -- they ARE a bit weary, they take A LOT MORE in with every glance than any generation before it ever has had to. And with no single one issue (yet) of their generation surmountable enough to bring them together, they seem anonymous drones in cell-shock. But if you stop and watch them, you'd be amazed.

I had several spinning me round an Elctroclash floor at 3am this morning to a disco/goth version of The NeverEnding Story Theme Song (and I was living, especially when at the end of the night a brave skunk-haired girl the size of my knee offered a meek hello to me). And do they shine with "effort" i.e. Decadance? They are just beginning too ... you gotta see my FuckFashionFilm shot a month ago at the DollHaus. Freaks abound and unwound ... taking it all above and beyond while bringing it back around.

We have ta go rockin' one night in the Burg, gotta take ya round Sweetwater, Luxx and ... Speaking of girls I gotta ask out, Betty Domination, you up still for taking in Betty Crow's show? Or am I too late to get in on that one? been busy since your post, but I'm taking a few days to dance and socialize, and oh yeah Soft Cell this weekend as well as a big Geico banquet, sunday. Is nightlife dead? This is the first time in 8 years I've been interested enough to actually get out and get involved with everything that is going on. Tunnel Vision - big asset, BTW, in the wild and wired world of 2002. Focus and Search capabilities, ability to switch from platform to platform, again skills I attribute to finding and fulfilling great parties and nightlife. Personally, I've never liked the BIG clubs, just the cool ones (occassionally they were big).
Minerva, your post was brilliant as always. (Ted, I agree with your post as well ... though on the subject of WH I must submit an official "no comment" for reasons I won't bother to go into).

You touched on many things I've felt myself about club culture and New York in general. It is definately true that, barring a few exceptions, historically big clubs don't draw the most interesting crowds, due primarily to the high cost of running a large space which in turn makes big club management far less discriminatory in terms of who gets in and who doesn't. Big clubs serve as entertainment for the masses, certainly. But the best of the big clubs always offered some salt of the earth and geniuses mixed in with the masses, and in theory could serve a kind of spectacle that is not really possible in smaller venues. My basic point about the return of big clubs was that the "big club experience" has always been an integral part of New York's nightlife, right alongside the smaller and medium-sized spaces where underground and cutting-edge movements happen, and that tradition deserves to continue. Back in the day New York was filled with tons of clubs of ALL sizes, both mainstream and underground, and every night the clubs were filled ... everybody went out and people from all over the world came here to go out. I had many great experiences at big clubs - Love Machine at the Palladium, the old Sound Factory (which later became Twilo), Club USA and Disco 2000 at Limelight, etc. The options were endless.

A variety of factors changed that. Guiliani's anti-club policies, which succeeded in closing many establishments while simultaneously scaring away nightlife tourists, was one factor. The 90s real estate/development explosion was another factor, transforming formerly industrial areas into residential neighborhoods. I always felt the AIDS crisis played a role as well, since a large number of the most imaginative, brilliant people who gave New York's scene its color and vibrancy died, leaving straight-laced, boring, normal people who lacked the same level of talent and creativity to carry on their places. Less measurable elements, like the Internet (which some argue make people less like to go out and socialize in general) are perhaps other factors.
And so, bit by bit, the big clubs became by and large extinct. And that is why I think it's a good thing big clubs are opening again, but it's a sign people are going out again in larger numbers.

BTW, I actually liked Twilo. It wasn't something I'd do frequently (I've always preferred the more intimate social interaction at smaller and medium-sized spaces), but once in a while was cool. The B&T there I felt was in general much friendlier to me than at other big places, hence the popularity of people like Amanda and Sophia. As for what happened to them, of course I think their firing was completely disgraceful and wrong and I fully support their lawsuit against the Twilo management. But club jobs have always been easy come-easy go for everyone involved and many people get unceremoniously dumped for equally stupid, insane reasons. Amanda and Sophia were also given 4 + years of employment before they were fired, which is a pretty good run. The club world is sleazy is precarious, which is good and bad at the same time.
As a kind of therapeutic machine for universal maintanence these boards were the best location to broach the question that is the topic of this particular forum.

For myself personally the objective in attending, and by attending thereby contributing, to a good party is to get out of control. Most of the really intense club parties mentioned here so far really offered that wide open sense of being kind of libration zones. The main two categories of answers to the problem of the club party scene going soft - to make your own thing happen or to move to another city, with all due respect to the suggestors of those answers, are quantitative responses to the problem that bring their own proportions of drawbacks. I'm not saying both answers could not be fulfilling (though I really lean towards making your own thing happen over moving out). Leaving NYC really means the big adventure of changing your life again and really I think Lex is very right with saying the types of performance productions and over all creativity that still yet reign here have it over the other major crazyopolises most people think of (Moscow is probably the only Euro destination that has totally whacked out liberation zones going on right now and trying to set your life up there is well, not for the even marginally practical-minded at the moment). I would just sum up slightly differently what many here have been saying, that this city is always mutating, constantly decaying and building up simultaneously, and the club parties that live during any one era are in part a response and engine of that process. So by its very nature the enjoyment of what the city has to offer is a transitory exercise that necessitates that one moves around and through the scene experiencing. If I experience even one totally live person during a foray into the current scene I feel completely optimistic about it even when I have the general sense the scene is in a diminshed mode at present.
Great post, Seven! You must be related to Seven of Nine, one my favorite Star Trek characters. Fierce!

Also I forgot to mention that throwing parties is not the answer for everyone. If you are such a person, then just keep going out and supporting. That's what it's all about.
Since I have been here, I have seen parties come and go and seen People come in and go out of scenes...
I think this is somewhat normal for NYC but I also feel that longing.
Like something isnt quite right.
I am trying to keep my eye on everything and get happily and ardently involved as much as I can....
Does anyone need me to help with anything?
The networking can make me scatter-brained.
So Much to keep track of...
But I need to be connected to live!
Esspecially in the wonderland That is my home.
Ya... Listen to that Lexy And Miss Tanya....
There is alot of love from many, many more amazing people in this string of posts.
I haven't got a terribly solid plan, yet.
But watch out...Lexy's right...Ima comin'.....
(Muah ha ha.)
Those in the know do know.
Once I put my ego and the baby doll references into context.
Was completely taken with momentous thrall for Marc Almond's new Soft Cell number Sunday Night at the Roxy. During which I had caught images of most of you posting to this topic.

I don't think BTW the visuals were generated by myself. E-ffecting this dialogue is.

Dee Dee - who we have to thank, you wouldn't by any chance happen to be the one who the opening night of MI7 with adept dancefloor skill ever so specifically rubbed my shoulder for a second too long? Most curious about this one who came in white I am.

Recommended listening for this dialogue "Cruelty Without Beauty" CD containing "Monoculture" video.
Well it would seem that the advent of the
"super clubs" is upon NYC. The opening of
the new and improved Estate, while not as
interiorly large as it used to be..it looks
like the changing of the guard is upon us.
How many venues have just spent their/your
dollars on renovating/ updating their interiors
for club goers? Hush now Discotheque, Mint
formerly Chaos and waaay back The Bank? All
this re-invention..to rejuvinate your good
time and surroundings.
Yes, Crobar is going to be massive in size,
liken it to Exit if you would...and the
new Buddha Bar soon to be opened in the flower
district will transport you to the venue
back in Paris.
How can promotors give you what you want
when clubs now sock you with high bar
guarantees,insist on over 18 age status and
really are only interested in the "bridge &
tunnel" set or the up-town "slummers" who
really do spend all their money on the bar?
You'll find what you're looking for in
smaller venues...if they can hold out long
enough to start a trend. Promotors for goth,
electro and industrial are now watered down
to one or two venues that keep changing. You'll
find Dj's from the soon to be defunct Gomorrah
posse at Sapphire,Webster Hall,Remote, CBGB's
Gallery, Slipper Room,Bat cave....LI & so on.
Where is everyone going now? Are promotors
finding that holding an event once a month
easier than fleshing out a new theme each week?
Hopefully we'll all be dragging our well
heeled stylish derriers to some of these newer
venues soon....where everybody knows your name!
The new Buddha bar is slated to open @
Feb or march...west side @ 18th or 19th. Crobar
is slated for a Feb. opening but will more
likely open in March.
The next Black & Blue Ball is tentatively
booked for Crobar. It;s the old Mesmer studio
location on west 28th street. It's massive
in size.
I´d like to add my thanks to everyone who came out on Friday. I´ve been jetting around Spain so was unable to be there in person, but I´ll have some new mile-high stories to share at this month´s installment.

The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller each time i travel... and this trip has proved it twice, so far. In Madrid, I picked up the gay rag and saw none other than NYC´s own W.I.T. inside the front cover. So random! One of my favorite electro bands, produced by genius Larry T., W.I.T. are on a european electroclash tour. I missed their madrid show, but caught up with them in Barcelona, where they played to a nearly sold-out crowd at a venue just slightly smaller than Irving Plaza...pretty amazing. they´re off to Germany this week. The next night, as per my usual, I went to a local gaybar - a real bee´s nest of faggotry - to get smashed before hitting the clubs... and I ran into NY nightlife fixture DJ Jeffo, who is record-store hopping his way across europe. Small world indeed. Or maybe it´s that we world-wise new yorkers have just got to keep movin...

[This message was edited by Michael Madison on 12-04-02 at 10:56 AM.]

Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post
×
×
×
×