Archive for the DJ's Category

Black, Beautiful & Badass…

Posted in DJ's, Music, Nightlife, Parties with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2011 by thefrogge

When I first heard that Harley Davidson was throwing a launch party for their newest bike, it came as no surprise to me that they chose Don Hill’s as the venue… as they should have! However, nothing irritates me more than walking up to a joint that I frequent, aka live in, and have some dumb blondie ask me if I am on the list. I am not saying that I am The Queen of Sheba or anything, but it’s pretty insulting when you are in fact, a regular at a place and someone asks you if you are on the list. Who was she? Was she on the list? Was she even qualified to be handling the list? That would have never have happened if good ‘ol Thomas or James was at the door… But that’s what happens when Harley Davidson rents out Don Hill’s and decides they need something blonde with large boobies to guard the doorway.

HD Launch Party @ Don Hill’s

I was concerned that because of this “door situation” some of my special friends would not be inside. And although many of them were unfortunately shut out, due to the Fort Knox status, I was pleased to walk in and see my bubbly buddy Kelle Calco, the man behind Ladyland and Ruby Tuesdays. Of course, he was accompanied by his gal pal, the beautiful, the intelligent, the talented Ash Fox, rock & roll photographer and creator of Tit Tees, a handcrafted, rock & roll influenced T-shirt line based out of NYC.Ali Hassan, Wildstreet bassist was present, as well as the always jovial Mr. Marty E, drummer of The Dirty Pearls.Jonathan Murray, ex-bassist of BM Linx was also in the house, when I asked him why he left BM Linx, he said something about “not wanting to grow a beard.” Jonathan leaving BM Linx is old news, but I bring it up because that was something I was genuinely sad about… Their music was good, they were interesting to watch, and I wanted to see how far they were going to go…

Ash Fox & Kelle Calco

To continue reading this article on The Downtown Diaries, click HERE!

 


Having a Laugh w/ DJ Louie XIV!

Posted in DJ's, Interviews, Music, Nightlife, Parties with tags , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2010 by thefrogge

The thing that interests me most about DJ Louie XIV, probably even more than his music, is his sense of humor. If you ever have the chance to sit down with him, I highly recommend it as he is nothing short of hysterical. During this interview he had me cracking up to the point where I had to ask him, “Why are you pursuing a career as a DJ and not as a stand up comedian?” Actually, as it turns out, Louie XIV is a trained actor and spent many an hour at the Black Nexxus Studio studying with famed Susan Batson. He said after a while he knew it had to be one or the other. Unlike many other “DJ’s” that called themselves “DJ’s” in NYC, Louie XIV actually treats DJing like the craft that it is (Thank god someone around here does!) He knew that in order to be one of the best, he would have to give it his undivided attention. When he realized that he had more of an innate connection to music than to the theatre, his journey as a DJ began, and he tells us all about it in the interview below… Enjoy!

DJ Louie XIV

The Frogge: I’m here with DJ Louie XIV and we are going to jump right into this interview because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I gotta get home and cook a Tofurkey! What is your favorite venue that you have DJed at so far?

DJ Louie XIV: I would say that I like The Eldridge a lot. I used to really like Baddies. I’ve spent a lot of time there. I used to DJ there on Saturday nights. I liked Baddies because it was so small; you could establish a high level of intimacy with the crowd. I just think there is something really great about being packed into a small room when you are dancing. But, if you are doing an event, there is nothing worse than being packed into a tight room! I recently DJed an event at the new Gansevoort Hotel on Park Avenue, on the roof deck, and it was so beautiful, the panoramic views were incredible.

TF: Is there a venue that you haven’t DJed at yet, but for some reason, you feel really connected to it, and you would like to DJ there soon?

LXIV: Everywhere that I haven’t DJed at yet is somewhere that I am interested in spinning! Every venue comes with its own set of challenges. I would definitely like to spin at The Boom Boom Room, I think that would be really fun.

TF: Is that because you are into panoramic views?

LXIV: Yes… Also, I would love to spin at a really big, multilevel club that holds like 20,000 people in Ibiza or in Tokyo.

TF: Interesting that you say that, because the rooms in NYC are so small. With that said, I feel like the size restrictions of the clubs in NYC allow every club to be very “specific.” This club is for “rockers” that club is for “hip hop” that club is “gay” this club is “Euro,” and the list goes on. Because the clubs are small, in reality, they don’t need very many people to pack them out. I feel like this system is pretty much segregating people, what do you think?

LXIV: Well, I wouldn’t say it’s “segregating” groups of people, but I would say I actually kind of like that. Any time a club is trying to establish an identity outside of the individual parties that they host nightly, weekly, monthly, I think it’s a positive. I think one of the downfalls of nightlife in this moment in time is that most of the clubs are invested in these nightly, weekly, monthly parties. They let whoever is “running the party” that night dictate the vibe of the club. In my opinion, this doesn’t create an environment where you’re going to the club because you like the club… It’s more like, “Oh, well my friend is hosting this party on this day so I guess I’ll go there.”

TF: That is definitely true because people will say to me all the time, “You go out, and you know what’s going on, so where should I go?” And at this point in my life, sometimes, I really don’t know what to say to them. It’s because, lately, I haven’t felt very connected to any one place. Actually that’s not true… I do really enjoy Don Hill’s, I think they have something going on there, it feels right, and St. Jerome’s has practically become a second home to my friends & I… but that is because I’m a Rock N’ Roll girl… But aside from that, there are no places that I feel I need to be. If you asked me this question 4 years ago, I would have definitely told you to go to Snitch. I’ll never be over Snitch, it was my favorite place in the world. It was like, no matter what day it was, no matter what time it was, when you walked into Snitch, you always knew what you were going to get. I felt extremely connected to Snitch, I also felt very connected to Collective Hardware… But nowadays, you mostly feel a connection to “your friend” who is throwing the party, or to the DJ… but not necessarily the venue itself. Okay, let’s talk about your set right now, what’s your thing, how do you describe your style?

Check out Louie's Website: http://louiexiv.com/

LXIV: I like to play what’s fun. I know that’s a lame answer, but at the end of the day I like pleasing crowds. I am a performer at heart. But just because I like to please crowds, does not mean I will play anything! I am not a whore. I have very specific tastes, but by the same token, I am not an elitist in any way. If I like it, I will play it, whether is pop-sugar or dead serious Radio Head, to show tunes, Diana Ross, Rihanna, disco, new disco, or hip-hop. My roots are really in hip-hop. That’s what I started DJing, I love hip-hop, and I am the most comfortable playing hip-hop. I could literally stand at turntables for days and weeks and never get bored, never play the same song twice, I just know hip-hop like that. I know the styles, I know the beats, I know the history. When I put a set together, I consider a lot of things; how do these two songs go together? Do they have similar sounds, beats? Do you dance the same way to them? I think about the history, I think about how two songs go together in a cerebral sense. For example, I love playing Disturbia, Bad Romance and Sweet Dreams together. If there was no Sweet Dreams, there would be no Disturbia and there certainly would be no Bad Romance. You can hear the influences with in these songs… Putting these things together not only for the crowd, but for myself is very gratifying.

TF: It’s almost as if you are putting together pieces of a puzzle…

LXIV: It’s like I am weaving a tapestry. I think a crowd can always tell when a DJ is thoughtful compared to when a DJ is just kind up standing up there playing songs with the same BPM rate…

TF: When you aren’t DJing, what are you favorite spots? Where could The Frogge find you in your spare time?

LXIV: Believe it or not, I’m really not a club person. I don’t like going out that much. I’m kind of a homebody. When I am up in the DJ booth, I watch what is going on as if it were National Geographic. It’s really been an experience for me, especially once everyone is wasted and the mating rituals start to take place… Sometimes it’s almost as if I can’t believe what I am seeing… Of course, I completely understand the appeal of the clubs. After all, I do work in this industry. Sometimes I tell myself that I should go out more, because most of the time when I do, I meet someone I like, or something good happens, but after I’m out for like a half hour, I’m pretty ready to go home.

TF: We are complete opposites… I could go out all night, every night… The thing that I like most about clubs though is they are an environment where it is conducive to let out your inner desires. And, as I am sure you know, it is the DJ who is mostly responsible for that. Because the bottom line is, if the music was bad, everyone would leave and nothing would happen. How do you feel about the fact that as the DJ you have the power to completely influence people’s moods and practically cast them under your spell?

LXIV: I adore that! That is why I do what I do, or at least, a very large part of why I do what I do. Any artist, if they are really honest with themselves, is looking to influence and effect people that way.

TF: If you are making art and not affecting anybody than you probably aren’t making very good art…

LXIV: The great thing about DJing is, every time you do it, you are doing in live. It’s not something that you do alone in your room and then bring it out to show everyone. Being a DJ is about live performance and it’s a real thrill. When you have been spinning for 45 hours and you have built up and built up to the climax of the night where every single person in that club puts their hands in the air, it’s really the most gratifying thing. Because you did what you came to do, and it’s really happening in that moment… I’ve cried before in the DJ booth!

TF: Your music is so danceable… And I know that is a funny thing to say, because it seems so obvious, but sometimes I feel that certain DJ’s don’t play music which enables the crowd to dance… I don’t know what they are doing… But it’s really frustrating… Do you know what I mean by that?

LXIV: Yes! They are playing music for themselves. Or, they are trying to act “cool” by showing off “how much music they know.” When I first started DJing, I also had a desire to play obscure music to show “how much music I knew” but I’ve learned to temper that with what actually works. I am very sensitive and I know what works, and what doesn’t.

TF: Okay darling, here is your chance, tell the beautiful people where and when you are spinning next…

LXIV: This Saturday night, the 27th at The Eldridge (247 Eldridge Street.) The party is called BADDITUDE and it starts at 11 pm…

TF: If I come and request a song, will you play it for me?

LXIV: If I like it…

Get your BADDITUDE on! 11/27 @ The Eldridge! Music by DJ Louie XIV w/ guest host Dani Baum.

So there you have it people! The answer to all your problems… You ate wayyy too much turkey and mash… You feel fat, and you are wondering how you can work off all of those extra calories? Clearly, there is no better way to do it than to go get your BADDITUDE on…

Love your friend who has a major BADDITUDE,

The Frogge ❤

Kelle Calco & The Colored Boys… Debut Show @ Don Hill’s!

Posted in DJ's, Fashion, Music, Nightlife, NYC Bands, Parties with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2010 by thefrogge

It all started last winter on a very cold day, curled up on a red velvet couch in the back of The Belmont Lounge. I was introduced to Kelle Calco, who was probably wearing Paisley, a year later at this point, I don’t remember. We were at his beloved Rolling Stones party drinking rum and listening to DJ Ian El Dorado‘s favorite song Can’t You Hear Me Knocking… We became instant friends as we somewhat see in the world in the same way and are concerned about the same things…

Kelle, it seemed, came out of nowhere… but quickly found his place among the Rock n’ Rollers… the Dreamers, the Merry-Makers, the Creatures of the Night. Wherever he went, he brought the good vibes, his peaceful, loving energy, his entourage of peacocks, as he calls them, and a very large bottle of rum.

The Rolling Stones party was the start of a new beginning… New friends, new faces, and a new scene to play in. The Belmont Lounge quickly became The Royalton Hotel, and red couches were replaced by fire places and platters of oysters… And then one day, Ladyland was born… A party dedicated to Love, Light, Laughter, Ecstacy, Inebriation, Grit, and Glamour.. Spreading and celebrating the spirit of a real and infectious musical sound which christened a lifestyle of liberation, libation, and celestial satisfaction.

But this coming Tuesday, November 9th, Kelle has another gift in store for us… His music… Which no one has heard… yet. There have been whispers in my ears saying very good things… very, very good things… And I can’t wait to heart Kelle Calco & The Colored Boys for myself.

Please join StyleLikeU as we invite you to experience the music of Kelle Calco & The Colored Boys for their Debut Show! Come show your love on Tuesday, November 9th at Don Hills … 511 Greenwich Street… 8:30 PM Sharp.

StyleLikeU invites you to experience the music of Kelle Calco & The Colored Boys

For more information, click here!

Love your friend,

The Frogge

PS… Tweet at me here!

“Yo, Lemme Get a Tranny with a Side of Pierogi.”

Posted in DJ's, Gay & Lesbian, Music, Nightlife, Parties with tags , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by thefrogge

Good day! Frogge here… I hope that everyone is feeling lovely even though the weather has been so yucky! I have some news for all of you little froggers & froggettes! The Frogge was asked to contribute to ScallywagAndVagabond.com… The Scallywag’s over at Scallywag and Vagabond describe themselves as, “A dissection of pop culture, a platform for the avant-garde, an offering from the arbiters of taste and probing interviews. Imagine; a fusion of editorials from the New Yorker meets the savagery of Gawker with the allure of Vanity Fair.”

I wrote about a provocative party called GERMS, which takes place every Friday night at Club Europa (98 Meserole Avenue. Greenpoint, BK.)

Gorgeous GERMy Girlies Complete w/ Green Jello Shots!

The post starts off like this: Saturday morning. 2.30 am.

As I stepped out onto the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a man (? )approached me, “I knowww you,” s/he howled. Under his strange hat, Lady Gaga style sunglasses, white face makeup, ruby lipstick, and clothes that looked like s/he time traveled here straight from 1994 I could make the tell tale signs of an oscillating mouth.

“It’s One-Half! One-Half-Nelson, sweetie!”

I look at him a little longer, observe the dangling yellow green glow sticks and the barrage of glamorous kids suddenly flowing up the barges of Club Europa and suddenly realize that  I have come to the place that I had been hearing so much about lately- Germs, a weekly party that was ‘going off’ on this side of the universe…

To read the rest of this ravishing post of this post, click HERE! You will be redirected to Scallywag and Vagabond for the rest of the  juicy details. Rock on!

Resident Photographer Elle Rex & Friend Showing the L<3VE @ GERMS!

Love your (sniffly & under the weather) friend,

The Frogge ❤

How Soon Is… Next Sunday??

Posted in DJ's, Music, Nightlife, Parties with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by thefrogge

Good day! Frogge here! And I’ve missed all of you little Froggers & Froggettes sooo much! But there is no time to waste, as I have not written for about a month now Yes, it’s true that I have been such a busy Frogge, but to be honest, I also haven’t been feeling very inspired lately! I have been out, I have been about (actually, I had a really kick ass time at Avenue on Tuesday night… I’ll get back to that later) and things have been ‘okay,’ but there hasn’t been anything sooo awesomely amazing that made me think to myself, “Ohhh my goodness! I NEED to share this with the entire blogging world of America!” So last night I said to my friend The Cat, “Let’s go to a party that we have never gone to before… I just need to do something different.” Thats how we ended up at Sway (Spring & Hudson) for MORRISSEY night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that is a lot of exclamation points, and I don’t want to get all 500 Days of Summer on your asses (especially cause that movie sucked!) but The Smiths are foo sure in my top 5 favorite bands of all time…

Sway (Spring & Hudson)

Of course I have been to Sway before, after all, I am The Frogge, and I go out in this city like its my job, but to be honest it has never really impressed me. I always find it a little too crowded, a little too hot, a little too pretentious, a little too smoky and decorated a little too similarly to my mother’s living room, as she has an affinity for all things Moroccan. But, I had never been there on a Sunday night, so I decided to give it another try. After all, this is a new year, and we must forgive all who have disappointed us in the past and try to give second chances… And I am REALLY glad that I did.

The Cat & I walked into Sway around 2:30 am (we had previously been at Greenhouse for Kenny Kenny & Susanne Bartsch‘s weekly Sunday party, Vandam, because it was necessary to catch a special performance by my very dear friend Kayvon Zand… I will definitely be getting back to this later) and it was JAM packed, which is pretty impressive for a random Sunday night in 17 degree weather. But true New Yorker’s are resilient, and The Frogge has never known anyone cool that has ever said, “Hey man, I can’t make it out tonight, this wind chill factor is really getting me down!”

What else can I say about this? I mean, the situation pretty much speaks for itself. The DJ’s, Brian DeGraw & Ben Cho, play a Smiths/Morrissey song pretty much 1 out of every 4/5 songs… And every time a Smiths/Morrissey song comes on after not being on for a whole 3, 4, or 5 songs… the kids go bananas! I’m talking B A N A N A S… Of course the DJ’s waited until around 3:35 to play How Soon Is Now (which I felt was kind of cliché… No offense Brian & Ben, you did a super lovely job otherwise, but just because How Soon Is Now is ‘the best,’ doesn’t mean you have to save it for last.) But when it did come on, it was close to a religious experience… The energy in the room was just amazing… Think a room jam-packed full of cutie-hipster-ish-music-lover types all extending their arms up in the air like there will be no tomorrow screaming, “I am human & I need to be loved, just like everybody else does!!!” at the top of their lungs!

Anywhoo… I would like to point out for all of you recessionista‘s that Sway has a large variety of drinks, ranging from their signature drink, The Ruby Tuesday (Grey Goose Vodka & pomegranate juice) to a $4 beer.

No Cover, $4 beer, Smiths/Morrissey songs ALL NIGHT LONG… In my very opinionated opinion, this may be one of  the best ways any individual can spend a Sunday night in NYC… My only question now is HOW SOON IS NEXT SUNDAY?

Love your friend,

The Frogge ❤

RIBBIT OF THE DAY: The Ribbit of the Day is going to my friend The Cat… I wanted to leave Sway literally 10 minutes before they were closing simply because it had been a longggggg day & my feet had officially stopped working… I said to her, “Let’s just go, they are gonna close in a about 5 minutes anyway” and she said… “Are you kidding me?? You can’t even imagine what they could possibly play in the next 5 minutes!!” Awww… Now thats the type of enthusiasm I love to see!

THE FROGGE has been BLACKBOOKED!

Posted in DJ's, Fashion, Music, Nightlife, NYC Bands, Parties with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2009 by thefrogge

Dearest readers… Happy Sunday! Today is a very special day for The Frogge and I would like to share it with all of you. The Frogge is so pleased and proud to announce that she has been mentioned in the December issue of Blackbook Magazine (page 99 to be exact!) as a nightlife blogger, New York based actress, club kid, and overall important contributor to the New York City nightlife scene.

The article was written by NY nightlife legend Steve Lewis… The man who was behind iconic clubs such as Palladium, Limelight, Tunnel, Danceteria, The World, Red Zone, Club USA, Plaid, Spa, Butter, Marquee, Aspen Social Club and many, many more… (Oh, and did I mention he is in the process of designing 8 new clubs?)

The article is called “The Kids Stay In The Picture” and was inspired by a photo that was taken in 1989 at infamous Michael Alig‘s annual party called The Changing Of The Guard… And here it is…

Michael Alig's 1989 Changing of the Guard Party @ The Red Zone

Exactly 20 years later, Steve Lewis wanted to make it a point that the scene has not disappeared. In fact, it is alive and well. He explains in Blackbook that, “Back in Alig’s day, the annual ‘Changing of the Guard’ party and group photo announced a who’s-who of upcoming club kings and queens. To usher in the new decade, we’ve done the same with the classiest crop of pleasure junkies.” And without further adieu… Here we are…

Club Royalty: The Class of 2010

In case you are wondering just who is in this picture… The Frogge shall explain…

(From left to right in the back row) Mr. HUNTER THOMPSON: Stylist, professional crumper & dead animal collection/ DANZIE: DJ, music specialist & blogger… Check her blog out at zdanz.com/ Mr. SAMUEL VALENTINE: NY nightlife promoter, event host & band booker/ THE FROGGE: writer of THEFROGGE.COM (obviously) & actress/ Mr. PATRICK DUFFY: Owner of Serpentine/ Mr. YING CHU: Fashion designer/ KENDRA MARTYN: Door girl @ The Tribecca Grand Hotel/ AXEL KOHLER: Menswear designer/ EPIPHANY GET PAID: Performance artist/ LAUREN DILLARD: DJ, NY nightlife promoter, event host, musician, member of the band Creep/ APRIL CHALPARA: Band member of Figure Study/ NADIA KOCH: Co-Owner of Home Sweet Home/ ALEX CHAPMAN: Stylist & clothier/ LIBBY BROOCKS: Jazz singer & photographer… Check her pix out on fulltimefriend.com (From left to right in the front row) Mr. JERMAINE JAGGER: Designer & DJ/ WILLIAM MERRELL: Bartender & tooth-and-bone collector/ DJ NITA AVIANCE: DJ at Mr. Black/ ONE-HALF NELSON: Designer, host & overall eccentric/ JAMES COPPOLA: Promoter, event host & founder of fulltimefriend.com…and last but not least… LADYFAG: Performer, writer & nightlife personality.

To quote Lewis in his article, “With Alig tucked away in an exclusive venue with a very tough door: the upstate prison where he remains incarcerated today, a new generation of style-savvy merrymakers has risen to carry the torch.”

NYC nightlife, the real nightlife (cause you know that I am definitely not talking about the dive bar on the corner of 33rd street & 3rd ave.) is more than just “going out and getting some drinks.” (If you treat it that way… well, that’s exactly why  you aren’t in this picture.)

What you have to, need to understand is that nightlife is a place where artists of all kinds (actors, actresses, DJ’s, musicians, writers, designers, stylists, photographers, ect) come together and exchange ideas, exchange creative energy… Whether its hearing a new great song, discovering your new favorite band, seeing a piece of clothing that you just need to have, meeting your new best friend, seeing something that you have never seen before, doing something that you never thought you would do… The nightlife is our perfect fantasy land where we go to escape the mundane… It’s where we go to let our alter egos play with all the other alter egos… To grow, to learn, to see, and most importantly to push the boundaries… to defy normalcy… because nothing is more boring than being normal.

We know that carrying the torch is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it, and I couldn’t be more honored that its us.

RIBBIT OF THE DAY: I gotta give the ribbit to Marilyn Monroe when she said, “Imperfection is beauty; madness is genius. And it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” I think this quote perfectly defines the nightlife, the kids, and the beautiful movement that we are a part of.

Love your friend,

THE FROGGE ❤

*A big thank you to Mr. Steve Lewis for writing this beautiful article and giving us kids the recognition that we deserve. Check out his column GOOD NIGHT MR. LEWIS and get your very own copy of Blackbook magazine at a magazine stand near you! (Mila Kunis is on the cover and she looks F’n HOT!!)

A NIGHTLIFE CAROL

Posted in DJ's, Interviews, Nightlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by thefrogge

Good day! Frogge here! And it feels so good to be back! It has been way to long, and all I can say is, life got a little too hectic for a second… So let’s not waste any more precious time! I have a great interview that I have been meaning to put up for DAYS now… so today is your lucky day that I am here to share it with you.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to sit down with nightlife extraordinaire, Steve Lewis. Mr. Lewis has been involved with nightlife longer than I have been alive, so I figured, who better to talk to about nightlife than him? He is the ghost of nightlife’s past, nightlife’s present, and with 8 (yes, 8!) new nightlife spots on the way that he is designing… nightlife’s future.

With that, I present to you… drum roll please! A NIGHTLIFE CAROL… straight from the taco stand at La Esquina to your computer screen!

steve lewis

Steve Lewis on 6/22/09 Saving the Nightlife for the NPC Event! (PS... The Frogge <3's Chloe!)

The Frogge: I am here with Steve Lewis eating tacos at La Esquina… You’re a busy man, so let’s get down to business. How did you get involved with nightlife? What initially attracted you to this crazy world…

Steve Lewis: (He gasps!) Oh my god! I got involved with nightlife because I did fashion shows for a living… I found that doing them in nightclubs, where there were great lights, great sound, and fabulous people, was a lot of fun. I would do an early show for the fashion industry and a late show for the trendies. And I drew thousands of people, so I said, ‘Hey, this nightlife thing works!’ Plus, I was meeting a ton of hot girls…

TF: When you say you ‘did’ fashion shows, what exactly does that mean?

SL: I produced, directed, and choreographed fashion shows. I did Moschino’s first show in America… I did over 400 shows. I had my own modeling agency, my own make up agency, my own PR company. We used the nightclubs, which wasn’t passé at the time. No one had done it before except for Susanne Bartsch who did a show at The Limelight for Vivienne Westwood and I really liked what I saw, I liked how the people reacted…

TF: So that’s how it all began… Let’s talk about now; because I think this is an interesting time for nightlife, lots of changes are being made… The newer spots have kind of re-invented the club, they are taking nightlife in a different direction… Especially with all of these new “gastro-lounges” such as Avenue, or Abe & Arthur’s… What are some of your favorite places in NYC right now?

SL: I like this place that we are, La Esquina… I am going on record saying that it is the best place in town… I like The Jane, I think it’s very cool. I like a lot of small places… I am really looking forward to Serpentine reopening soon… I find myself hanging out at 1Oak a lot lately… that’s about it… Some local bars… I am a dive bar kind of guy… Why are you laughing at me?

TF: Because I know that you don’t even drink! So I don’t know what you would do in a local bar…

SL: What? I can’t go to a local bar and get a club soda?

TF: Of course you can. I take it back. I just personally don’t see the point of drinking club sodas in a dive bar, unless you are with a great friend and are there for the conversation… but hey, agree to disagree! What do you think NYC nightlife needs right now?

SL: It needs diversity. It needs to stop being afraid of different types of people. There few places out there that draw a mixed crowd… Things need to get mixed up a little bit more… Most places these days are just following formulas… You can pretty much predict the music from one club to the next…

TF: AMEN!

SL: My favorite place in town right now going back to your previous question, is Collective Hardware

TF: LOVE CH! LOVEEE…

SL: So, as I’m sure you know, it’s not a club, its more of an art gallery, and when they do an opening, you get a really great eclectic, mixed crowd… and I like the openings, even though the art crowd is the worst crowd in the world…

TF: Excuse me!! I disagree with that statement!!

SL: Well, traditionally the art crowd was a bad crowd because they smelt bad…

TF: L i t e r a l l y ?

SL: Yes, they didn’t shower… But now-a-days it’s a much hotter crowd, the art crowd…

TF: Did you read the article that The Frogge wrote about Collective Hardware?

SL: Oh, no, I didn’t catch that one… Although I love reading The Frogge, I loved The Mad-Hatter article… I thought it was one of the better articles that I have read this year…

TF: Of the year? Nice! I’ll take that compliment! The Frogge thanks you. Anyway… The past few days I have been irritated because I have been hearing a lot of people who think they know something (keyword: think) saying things like, ‘New York is over… London is the new It City.’ How do you feel about that?

SL: Ummm, yeahhh… London is across the pond… So I am not going to ‘commute’ to London on a weekly basis… Plus it sucks because it’s full of Brits.

TF: Agreed… And people say the French are obnoxious!

SL: London is one thing, New York is another. London does not have the racial diversity that NY has. I just think NY is far more diverse… Paris will always be cooler than London…

TF: That’s a given! Tell me something that I don’t know… Tell me what you look for when you are running a club, and you are standing by the door, tell me what makes you let one person in over another… What do you look for? Because I know that is goes deeper than “just being hot.” And I HATE it when people talk smack about clubs, calling them shallow, cause they only let in hot people… I know there is more to it than that.

SL: I look for an opinion. I like when the people present themselves in a way that contributes to the party, I think most people who know how to run a door will say something along those lines. If you aren’t a supermodel, or a rich billionaire that’s going to spend a lot of money, I want them to be people who thought about what they were going to put on… People who are in the community, who are doing something with their lives… an artist… Now if you are a stockbroker, there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t come to my party, I am not interested in you. It’s just not my scene.

TF: You were involved with many, many clubs…

SL: Yes, lots of clubs… Danceteria, The World

TF: Not The World that was in Times Square!

SL: No! Not The World that was in Times Square, that place was a dump!

TF: I know, that’s why we needed to clarify…

SL: The World that I am talking about was on East 2nd Street, it is one of the top five clubs that ever existed…

TF: What are the other four?

SL: You didn’t read my article? I just wrote an article on this…

TF: Of course I read your article, but I want you to tell the people who may not have read your article…

SL: I’ll say this… The World is in the top 5, Studio 54 was top 1… For the other 3, read my article, it was in the August issue of Black Book magazine…

TF: So there is a mystery 3… and if you want to know what they are, you have to go check out Blackbook…

SL: And it’s my five… it’s not necessarily yours…

TF: Well, of course… it can’t be the same as mine because I have only been alive half as long as you… No offense, it’s just a fact…

SL: I am not offended! I am keenly aware of my age… And I like to think of it as experience…

TF: Well it is…

SL: I’m still kicking… But, there has been a lot of great clubs. There is only one club that is open right now that makes my top 25 and that is Bungalow 8

TF: Which, sadly, is pretty much always empty now… Should we have a moment of silence for Bungalow?

SL: But for 7 or 8 years, it had a really strong history… It has a legacy… Bungalow was consistent for many years…

TF: So what were some of the clubs that you actually ran?

SL: Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, The Red Zone… Plaid, which I think was one of the greatest clubs of all time… Of course no one will agree with me, but I think it was way ahead of its time. It opened up with mash up music… open format, nobody was doing that at the time, there was a band space…

TF: And Courtney Love performed there! I love her!

SL: Yes, she did…

TF: It’s great to speak with you about this because I you are one of the few people who has really been around long enough to see the progression of nightlife, of the clubs, from let’s say, the time of Studio 54 until now… Let’s talk about DJ’s… Who do you love?

SL: Paul Sevigny… I love listening to him, I think he is so much fun, he can do anything. Cassidy is great… even though I am not a big fan of the mash up, but Cassidy mixes in music that the other DJ’s don’t… I have been listening to DJ Berrie a lot, at first I wasn’t sure what to make of him, but he has surprised me lately… Carl Cox, Steve Aoki, Junior Vazquez… he is great… Funk Master Flex, Q-Tip, Mark Ronson… Justine D… Larry T, sometimes… A good DJ can get me out of the house sometimes… Tiesto won’t get me out of the house.

TF: Why would Tiesto get anybody out of the house?

SL: Well, that’s unfair. Tiesto is a stadium DJ… He just doesn’t play the type of music that I am interested in hearing. But, there is no room for musical snobbery.

TF: Did you just call The Frogge a snob?!?!

SL: I think you are a snob!

TF: Uhh, excuse me! I am a little offended, Mr. Lewis. If you are going to make such an accusation, please do explain!

SL: Most people who have a blog, most bloggers are snobs… But I think you have to be a snob to be a blogger… It goes with the territory… I’m a snob too.

TF: Okay, fine… I’m a snob, you’re a snob, we’re all snobs… Moving on… So basically you went from producing fashion shows, to running nightclubs… Now you are designing nightlife spots… How did you get involved with the design aspect?

SL: I got into design because I was always involved with the design process of the clubs that I was going to run. I was involved with the design process of The World… of Club USA… The famous slide of USA, that was me… I redid The Limelight… I always wanted to tweak them for my own needs. At one point, I guess, I did the money deal for Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano, but I was on my way to jail, so I couldn’t run Butter, but…

TF: Wait, hold on, that was a funny little side comment… You were on the way to jail?

SL: Yes, I was on the way to jail. Everybody knows I went to jail. It’s part of my shtick. But, yes, I was on the way to jail, but I had to design Butter… It was the first time that anybody ever asked me to design something that I wasn’t going to run myself…

TF: Not bad to have Butter be the first spot that you designed…

SL: It won best restaurant from Time Out, and some other awards… Now, it’s seven years later and it’s still kicking. So when I got out of jail, design seemed to be the route to go… So I became a designer.

TF: What else have you designed?

SL: People know me for Marquee and Butter. But I did Aspen Social Club… Aspen…

TF: Which are both g o r g e o u s …

SL: Thank you. I also did the restaurant Amalia… One of the rooms at Tao in Vegas… I think it’s called The Buddha Room… Home/Guest House… Prime… There was no budget for Prime, but I did it…  Webster Hall… which I hate… They say they spent over three million on it, but they are lucky if they spent $175,000.

TF: Lies!

SL: I am not going to even get into this now… But I call it Webster Hell! It’s a great concert venue, but it’s one of the worst clubs… maybe the worst club in NY…

TF: Probably the worst club in America… But anyway… It’s important for me to talk about the Nightlife Preservation Community

SL: I began to see a constant attack by the powers that be…

TF: What powers that be? Do you mean cops?

SL: No… The cops are just being used as a tool by the people who are pulling their strings. There are certain people who have other interests in this town… Certain people have decided that every area of NYC is ripe for condo/co-op development… and that there is no room for clubs… The nightclubs are being chased out by the bedroom community. I formed the NPC after getting the go-ahead from the NYNA (New York Nightlife Association) who are great people, they have been fighting for many, many years one their own… So my vision is to, in the next election, endorse 4 or 5 great candidates… by sending out hundreds of thousands of emails to inform people of which candidates support our cause… So we started with a party to announce the formation of the NPC, but a party is just a party, “an announcement.” The real action will take place during the elections… We are going to try to get 4 of 5 people elected who can make the difference.

TF: Do you think this particular problem is what has affected the clubs on 27th street? They used to be great… once upon a time… and now they are kinda blehhh… What do you think caused the fall of 27th street?

SL: The decline of the clubs on 27th street was a disgrace! The clubs were thriving… and then somebody eyed the neighborhood and decided that with The High Line coming… it was a good place to put up condo/co-op developments. So the city re-zoned that area. Originally that area was given to clubs. You could get fast track licenses. The city said, “Yeah, build over here, invest your money, and we won’t bother you!” So Mansion went in there and spent millions! The same with Home/Guest House… Pink Elephant, Marquee, Bungalow, Prime, Suzie Wong, Cain, Sol, Stereo, Ruby Falls… The list goes on… And then somebody eyed the neighborhood, some real estate guys who thought they could make a buck over there… So it was re-zoned to a “mixed-use” neighborhood, and then came the harassment. The police used the excuse of the excuse of that poor girl dying…

TF: Which one? Laura Garza?

SL: No, the one who came out of Guest House. What happened was, she used her old sister’s ID to get into Guest House… Once she was in, she didn’t buy any alcohol in the club. But the point is, she could have boarded a plane with that ID. A real ID, is a real ID. When she came out of the club, her car was towed. She went to the NYC pound, and the NYC police didn’t give her back her car because she was too drunk. Then she wandered out onto the west side highway, where she was kidnapped and tortured to death by some asshole… who ended up being caught, because he used her cell phone… what a bright boy… The point is… the club got blamed… Newspaper headlines blamed the club, when it wasn’t the fault of the club… And then the harassment came… With in just a few years later, many of the clubs closed… Home/Guest House, Bed, Spirit, Sol, Stereo, Secret… And the clubs that are still there… like Pink Elephant, Cain, Bungalow… They are being affected… And this is criminal. And yes, I am using the word CRIMINAL, because I think it really needs to be investigated… I want to know who is pulling these strings… who is making these decisions?

TF: So what happened to the clubs on 27th street, do you think it is similar to what happened to The Beatrice?

SL: The Beatrice was a different story. The Beatrice had different problems… Most of the problems at The Beatrice had to do with smoking…

TF: What kinddd of smoking? (wink, wink.)

SL: Well, I am not going to get into that. The bottom line is, the smoking ban was not dealt with intelligently. The smoking ban states that no one is allowed to smoke inside of a club, which is where the problems started for The Beatrice. People were going outside to smoke and the neighbors were complaining about the noise. I think that if the clubs were allowed to hire police officers to control the noise, this problem could have been easily eliminated. But The Beatrice was not allowed to hire police officers and as I am sure you know, nobody respects regular security guards the way they would an officer…

TF: The Beatrice tried to hire police… and they weren’t allowed? Who didn’t allow them?

SL: The city. Ray Kelly and his administration do not allow the clubs to hire police officers.

TF: And why is that? You would think they would want that… it sounds like a good, safe idea…

SL: He [Kelly] believes that it would spur corruption… But I feel that is just an excuse, of course there are ways around that.

TF: That’s kind of silly… Silly, silly Ray Kelly… Okay, last thing we are going to talk about… your blog… your column, whatever you want to call it… Good Night Mr. Lewis… I really like it, I read it often… How do you find the stories that you write about?

SL: It’s sort of like the world tilts to me now, but in the beginning it wasn’t like that… I had to get out there and scrape around… find interviews… I had no idea what I was doing. Now, I get fifty phone calls a day from people who are pitching me ideas… I think in a year from now I will get most of my stories from leads, from the people who are calling in. But this is what’s happening… People [club owners] feel that a story is going to get out anyway, and a lot of people are turning to me because they know that I will give them a fair shake. They figure, if they give it to me first, they know I will speak the truth about it. They want to make sure that the story gets told correctly, and since I don’t have much of a personal agenda… they figure they can give the story to me first before it ends up on Page Six , Gawker, DBTH, ect. As time goes on, I am getting more and more credibility, people are trusting me, and so more people are talking to me.

TF: Tell the people where they can check out your column!

SL: Blackbookmag.com… under nightlife… Good Night Mr. Lewis. It’s there Monday-Friday… and one article a month that comes out in Blackbook mag…

TF: Closing thoughts: What do you love most about nightlife?

SL: I love the exchange of ideas. The ideas can be expressed through clothing, through music, through conversation, style… I love music… I really do go out to hear music… I like to mix with people… I am single now, and I think one of the best ways to meet people is to say, “Hey, you want a drink?” I like the fact that I can meet different kinds of people in one place… There aren’t a lot of other places where you can exchange the same kind of energy as a club…

TF: What advice would you give to the club owners of today?

SL: Don’t worry about the other guys too much. Worry about your own place. Make sure you own place is good… Do your own thing… Do what you want to do. Stay true to your school. Don’t worry about what the other guy is doing or what you think your crowd will like. If you are in this business, you must know something… so do what you like. Let the club be an expression of yourself… your heart, your soul, your mind… Let it be organic… That’s why The Beatrice and The Jane had success, because they are an expression of Paul… of Matt… of Carlos… The great clubs are a reflection of the person who created it… That’s why Bungalow was great, it was a reflection of Amy Sacco… If you think this business is an easy buck, your gonna fail… If you’re not in this business because you love it, this is not the business for you.

TF: That was a beautiful last line. Let’s end here. Thank you…

SL: Thank you!

So there you have it… A Nightlife Carol with Mr. Steve Lewis… We talked about the past, we talked about the present, and I can not wait to check out his (8) new spots in the future! Especially the one that will be 14th street (It’s in the same spot where The Plumm used to be.) I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one…

RIBBIT OF THE DAY: I’m giving it to Mr. Lewis… “New York City nightlife needs diversity!! It needs to stop being afraid of different types of people!! There few places out there that draw a mixed crowd… Things need to get mixed up a little bit more.”

I agree! Lets stop following the formulas people! Stop playing the same music and the same crap over and over again… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if I hear Boom Boom Pow or Poker Face one more time, I will hang the DJ!

We are living in an interesting time… let’s start acting like it!

Love your friend,

The Frogge ❤

PS- Don’t miss out on all the great bands that are playing this week for CMJ! Thursday night PUI will play at SANTOS PARTY HOUSE! 10:30 sharp! Be there! (I hear they have a new drummer who is pretty damn good…)