Archive for the Interviews Category

Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino reports on her documentary, The Paper House Report…

Posted in Film, Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by thefrogge

I met Nicole Cimino in an acting class. She immediately stood out to me, well, because she is sort of brilliant. She is an extremely talented actress, she is brave, and most importantly she is honest. When I heard that Nicole had teamed up with a production company, Jack Boar Pictures, I was intrigued. I asked Nicole what she was working on with Jack Boar… She told me that together, they recently completed a documentary called The Paper House Report. I asked her how I could see it. She sent me the link… The Paper House Report.

Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino

Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino

I watched Nicole’s documentary [shot by director of photography Luigi Benvisto] and found out another thing about her… That she is an activist. I had no idea what the subject of her documentary was about but as I started watching it, I quickly found out that it is a cry, a plea, and a bold message to Save Jerry Delakas from losing the license to operate his newsstand on Astor Place that he has been operating for the past 25 years.

Jerry Delakas at his newsstand on Astor Place

Jerry Delakas at his newsstand on Astor Place

I wanted to know more about The Paper House Report and Jerry Delakas’ story, so I met up with Nicole and had the opportunity to ask her a few questions:

The Frogge: How did you hear about what is happening to Jerry Delakas?
Nicole Cimino: Last summer I was writing a one woman show about the Italian Actress Anna Magnani… I was waiting for my costume designer on the corner of Astor Place where Jerry Delakas’ newsstand is located. I walked up to the newsstand and realized there were many newspaper articles about him. There was also a petition to sign and a large picture of him which said “SAVE JERRY.” As soon as I started reading about Jerry’s story, I became touched and curious. I immediately wanted to know more about him, so I approached him, introduced myself, and asked him about the article clippings that I had just read… Jerry began to tell me a little bit about his story.

TF: What inspired you to go ahead and make this documentary?
NC: While I was talking to Jerry, I felt a deep connection to his story. I believe each one of us can relate to someone who is in the process of losing everything that he has worked so hard for all of his life. I felt so much empathy for Jerry… Maybe because he is an immigrant, just like me, who left his country and came to America to pursue a dream. But also because I could know that he is a good man, honest, and hardworking. Now that he has reached the age of 62 years old, it would be so difficult for him to start over again… But the truth is, Jerry should not have to start over again, after all, he is the one who has been running the newsstand for 25 years! The more Jerry spoke about his life, the more I kept wondering what I could do to take action and help him. After I said goodbye, I kept thinking about him all day… It was as if I knew him my entire life. Since I am an artist, I thought about ways that I could help Jerry- that is when I got the idea to team up with Jack Boar Pictures and director of photography Luigi Benvisto to make a documentary.

TF: Now that the documentary is finished, how do you plan on using it to help Jerry?
NC: As soon as I finished the documentary [produced by Jack Boar Pictures] I started to promote the documentary to let people know about Jerry’s story. I have done radio & TV interviews. I also had the opportunity to present a trailer last week at Trump World Tower. I created a blog called The Paper House from the first day I started to work on the documentary. I use the blog to share all the information I obtain. There is also a link where you can sign the petition to help Save Jerry’s newsstand. In addition, we are planning on submitting the documentary to film festivals. Lastly, we are organizing a press screening of the documentary where Jerry himself will be in attendance. Anyone who attends will be able to speak with Jerry Delakas personally, listen to his voice, and hear his story straight from his mouth. Hopefully, all of this will have an influence on the city’s decision regarding Jerry’s newsstand license. I also sent a copy of The Paper House Report to Mayor Bloomberg. If anyone would like a copy of the documentary, there are copies available for donation (as this is a non-profit project) at Jerry’s newsstand. If you stop by to pick one up, please remember to sign the petition! There are already thousands of people who are asking the city to grant Jerry a license. I know in my heart that Jerry should be granted a license to continue operating the newsstand. I know this is the right thing to do… I hope this documentary helps.

TF: Do you know what the status of Jerry’s newsstand is now?
NC: The Supreme Court of New York should have come out with the decision at the end of March, but they have not yet… We should be hearing the final decision in the next few weeks. Once the final decision is made, there will not be any chance to make an appeal. I am in touch with Jerry’s lawyer, Gil Santamarina, and he will let me know as soon as they decide. In the meantime, I keep going to see Jerry and to support him during this long waiting period. I really hope that the DCA and the Court will soon come to a decision that will grant Jerry the license he needs to keep on operating his newsstand.

TF: Is there anything we can do to help Jerry?
NC: If you haven’t done so yet, please sign the petition which you can find on http://www.savejerry.com. It would be even better if you find yourself by Jerry’s newsstand on Astor Place to sign the petition in person! You could also pick up a copy of the documentary. But, above all, if you could say a few supportive words to Jerry, that would be the best. I think encouraging Jerry in this moment is the best thing that we can do. He gets so happy when people go to see him and just say, “Hi, I am with you in this.” I am planning to have a party at Jerry’s Newsstand as soon as he gets the license he deserves and everyone is invited.

Attention World: StyleLikeU’s First Book Comes Out Today! Hooray!

Posted in Fashion, Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2011 by thefrogge

Something great has already happened today! But what, you may ask? It’s not even noon! Well, I shall tell you… StyleLikeU‘s first book has been released into the universe! But why is this great, you may ask? Because the StyleLikeU book features 275 (that’s right, 275!) unique individuals who not only look incredible, but who are incredibly inspirational human beings.

StyleLikeU by Elisa Goodkind & Lily Mandelbaum. Available today, March 29th, 2011!

For those of you Froggers & Froggettes who live under a rock, StyleLikeU was started in 2008 by the sensational mother/daughter team Elisa Goodkind & Lily Mandelbaum. Tired of the mass marketing machine and a “fashion” industry driven solely by commerce… Elisa & Lily set out to take on a big and beautiful mission! To highlight the soulful connection one has with their clothing. They admit that when they first started, they didn’t really know what they were doing, but they knew it felt right. Entering the homes of complete strangers with just a video & still camera, Elisa & Lily began what has grown into an a wide-ranged archive of our culture as we know it.

The result is not only enthralling, but addicting. Never been to the website before? Watch one of the video interviews with any one of their electrifying Muses. Perhaps you want to check out artist Terence Koh, or stylist Lori Goldstein… Maybe you have a thing for Village Voice nightlife columnist, Michael Musto or RZA of the Wu Tang Clan? StyleLikeU gives you the chance to go inside each individuals closet to see not only what they wear, but more importantly, why they wear it. That is the beauty behind StyleLikeU… It is not so much about the clothes that the man (or woman!) wears, but who the man inside of clothes is!

Beatrix Ost & Ludwig Kuttner on Page 20 of the StyleLikeU book! (They are one of my favorites!)

I had the privilege of catching up with one of the authors, Ms. Lily Mandelbaum… We had a nice little chit-chat about her experiences of being a 21-year-old running a website, being a full-time student at NYU’s Gallatin School and putting together her first book published through powerHouse (Woah.) She told me all the stories that went into the making of the book, including the fact that she had to re-shoot roughly 60 of the Muses in just 3 months. It was the dead of summer, and Ms. Lily was running around NYC re-shooting about 3 Muses a day. I asked her what her favorite part of making the book was. She said connecting with all of the Muses… Going into all of their homes and listening to the amazing, intimate things they would share with her.

I asked her what her favorite part about the book is, she said the quotes! When powerHouse approached Elisa & Lily about making their first book, Lily immediately knew she wanted quotes in it. Here is one of my personal favorites…

“With fashion, there is a constant rediscovery and ability to evolve. You can take style through stages of your life, minimizing, expanding as you see fit. Some pieces become personified and imbued with meaning as they are worn and develop a narrative that ties to your personality; other pieces are fun, but fleeting. My most precious items are as much a part of me as my fingers and toes. They’re stuck to me, because they have to many memories attached to them, a certain kind of utility and magic,” Naomi Melati Bishop

Naomi’s beautiful jewelry

I will leave you with that my friends… As Naomi’s words are tough to follow, but I will say this… I may, just may be on page 24 of the book, and I couldn’t be more excited or proud.

 

The book is available at Barnes & Nobel, Urban Outfitters & of course, Amazon.com! Happy reading!

Love your friend,

The Frogge ❤


Walking Through the Mine Fields w/ NC Shuva of PUi

Posted in Fashion, Interviews, Music, NYC Bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by thefrogge

Sitting down with NC Shuva of PUi, is somewhat similar to walking through a field of mines. For real. This is because when you are with NC, you never quite know what you are going to get. He alludes to somebody who has two conflicting personalities, somewhat similar to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It almost sounds as if I am insulting Mr. Shuva, but what I just said about NC is something that he would most probably admit about himself. In fact, I am not insulting NC at all. He is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met… And I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole world way feels the same way very, very soon.

I’ve been sitting on this interview for a while now, but the past two months have been incredibly exciting for the band. On Saturday, December 11th PUi sold out The Gramercy Theatre as they headlined Gotham Rocks presented by Live Nation. Friday, January 7th was their big west coast debut as they played The Troubadour, the famed rock n roll venue in Los Angeles. To top it off, they have been in the studio recording their new tracks (which are awesome.) It seems to me there is no better time to post this interview… Enjoy!

The Prince of PUi: NC Shuva

The Frogge: So here’s a question everyone is just dying to know… What in the world does PUi mean?

NC Shuva: It means Chinese-albino-midget!

TF: No it doesn’t…

NC: I can’t tell you what it means, but it’s the hardest question that people ask me…

TF: Why is it a secret?

NC: Because it shouldn’t matter to you what it means! It means something to me. What should matter to you is how the music sounds.

TF: Correct me if I am wrong, but I feel, music is all about sending messages, and sometimes before people actually hear the music itself, they hear the name of your band… So if they can’t understand what it means, what message is that sending?

NC: You’re right. The songs are about sending messages… The name of the band is completely selfish… It is a message, but an introverted message.

TF: Are you a selfish person?

NC: Horribly yes! Very, very selfish.

TF: Well, at least you can admit it. Are you doing anything to try to become a “better” person?

NC: Better? Hmm, I think I am just trying to become more selfish…

TF: Not really sure what I am supposed to say to that… Moving along… Who is PUi?

NC: PUi is a collection of very handsome gentleman trying to make fresh sounding, edgy, heavy, yet melodic, and at times, soft music… We are very eclectic. The members include, Leo Henry (vocals) Brain Hosey (bass) Ory Baum (drums) Tunc (percussion) and myself (guitar, vocals.)

TF: That sounds like a big feat! To be heavy, yet to be soft…

NC: English is my second language… I don’t know what that means…

TF: It means, that it sounds like a large goal to accomplish, in a good way.

NC: When you say you are an artist, you have to create something new… Because if you are doing what someone else has done 20 years ago, you are not an artist… You may be a “performer,” but you are not an artist. When you first see an artist, you should be scared. That’s what Elvis did, that’s what Madonna did. People didn’t know what to do with them, they didn’t understand them at first. I am not comparing myself to Elvis or Madonna because I am not that cocky, but they are my inspirations.

TF: Are you sure that you are not cocky?

NC: I am selfish, but believe it or not, I’m extremely honest with myself. I’m not cocky because I can always admit to my shortcomings. I am the first person to say that “I’m not good at this” or “I can be better at that.” I have to be that way because if I wasn’t, there would be no room for self-improvement.

TF: What do you think PUi does better than anyone else?

NC: That’s a hard question to answer. I think PUi does PUi better than anybody else. I can’t say that I’m the best guitarist, because I’m not. I can’t say that I’m the best singer, because I’m not. But I do think I’m a good performer. PUi does PUi…

TF: I could be wrong, but I feel you are influenced by System of a Down, Metallica, maybe even Tool

NC: In a very general, broad sense, yes. Those are bands that I personally like. When you like something, of course it is going to come into your own music. But, comparing PUi to System of  a Down or Metallica is very general. I guess if I absolutely had to compare us to someone, that would make a little bit of sense.

TF: Do you know what Keith Haring said about influences?

NC: No, what did he say?

TF: Keith Haring said, “I’d like to pretend that I’ve never seen anything, never read anything, never heard anything and then make something. Every time I make something I think about the people who are going to see it and every time I see something, I think about the person who made it.” I just think that idea is so interesting… It’s like, what would you, NC Shuva, make if you never heard music before?

NC: You know it’s interesting, I went to art school, and I heard many ideas similar to that the whole time I was there… I actually had to write an essay about this once. Is influence stealing or is it influence just a reference point? I think you need a reference point at some point in time, or your art may be too experimental. That’s the thing with having influences, it’s things that people have early on and you take them… Because if you look too far out, which I’m not the judge of what that is, if you don’t care about selling your albums, if you don’t care about money… Go on your own journey! Go all out! Don’t have a chorus to the song, don’t have a verse, make the song 20 minutes long… Those are all interesting thoughts, but it isn’t the reality.

TF: So are you saying that you care about “money” and “selling?”

NC: No. I don’t care about money.

TF: Really? So what do you care about? What is the goal? If you are not interested in money… are you interested in fame?

NC: I am interested in satisfaction. Because, money, what is money? Money is just paper.

TF: I agree that money is just paper… But I am not talking about the money itself… I am talking about what money can do for you… For example, let’s say you really wanted to go to Thailand… Money can take you there…

NC: I am happy here, doing what I am doing.

TF: That is beautiful. Speaking of “beautiful” I think one of the reasons that I enjoy watching PUi so much, is you are a really great visual band… Tell me about your visual style…

NC: It’s hard for people to believe when I say, and I really mean this, that I am not cocky. I just think confidence is the only way that you could do anything! Even if I fail at something, I want to fail with confidence. If I do fail, I am the first person to turn around and say, “Man, we fucked up,” but let’s try that again! It may look like I care about things that money can buy or that I’m a shallow person, but most of the things I buy are $10 or $20… unless it was a gift from someone or from a very special occasion. I guess I know how to make cheap things look expensive to other people, but they are always very cheap. I love making clothes by just wrapping a piece of cloth around my body.

TF: I did not know that you made your own clothes. Is this something that you learned in art school?

NC: I’ve always had a very visual mind that goes along with the music. Most of the time, I just get these ideas. We have a band stylist, her name is Angella, and she is a lot more talented with making things, so she makes a lot of our clothes. Conceptually, I come up with a lot of the ideas, about the clothes. I know how I want to look… For me, the visuals go hand-in-hand with the music.

(SIDE NOTE: For a closer, more intimate view on NC’s unique personal style, check out his interview on StyleLikeU.com! For those of you who are not familiar with StyleLikeU, they are an online style site dedicated to finding extraordinary & inspiring individuals who tell the story of who they are through the clothing they choose to wear. They recently featured NC and you can catch that HERE!)

NC Shuva of PUi says he's a man who isn't afraid to wear a skirt & F you if you have a problem with it! Photo taken from StyleLikeU.com

TF: So, let’s talk about the music… How do you start writing?

NC: I usually come in with an idea, or a concept, and then Leo will come up with the vocals, then Ory will come up with a beat. So, it starts out with me bringing in something and then together we develop the idea further.

TF: Do you consider ‘For the Gods’ PUi’s single? Ps… it’s my favorite PUi song… And also the new one Maara!

NC: I think ‘For the Gods’ represents us very well because we’re the type of band that has range. We can be angry, but at the same time we’re soft. At times it’s very violent and primal, so it feels basic, but then there are parts that break-in that are more complex.

TF: Do you consider yourself a musician, a performer or both?

NC: I think it goes hand-in-hand. I am a performer, but I am also a musician, I’ve had a guitar in my hands since I was three years old.

TF: Who gave you a guitar when you were three?

NC: My father, who is also a singer in Turkey.

TF: Is your mother an artist as well?

NC: Actually, both of my parents are doctors but my father is a classically trained Turkish singer who happens to be pretty famous. We recently had an honorary concert in his name and the president of Turkey gave him an award. Of course my father’s music is a lot different from what I do…

TF: It seems to me that PUi has a really good support system. I don’t want to use the word “fans” because it seems like the people who support you are more than just fans… But more of a core group of individuals who come together and really get what you are doing… It’s pretty exciting…

NC: I never liked the word “fans” either  because it’s really the people who make the history…

TF: PUi has moved people to the point that quite a few individuals have tattooed the bands symbol, the Crescent, on their body…

NC: Yes, we actually had to tell a few people not to get the Crescent tattooed on themselves! Of course, I want everybody to listen to our music, but if I don’t see you as my family member, I would rather be honest with you and say please don’t get that!

NC's Crescent Tat! Large & In Charge!

TF: So why did you choose the Crescent?

NC: It’s a very nice story actually, and it’s quite meaningful! It goes back to the moon. The moon is very primal, before there was anything people gauged everything by the moon. Batman used the bat symbol because he is afraid of bats. So, if I use the Crescent, I can conquer my own fears. For example, in Nazi Germany, they used pink triangles to label homosexuals, so, what did the gay community do? Instead of being held down by that label, they adopted the color pink as their own. If somebody tries to push you down with a symbol, the best way to not be afraid of it is to adopt is as your own. Now, I am not religious at all, and I do not support religion, in fact, I do not support any form of fanatical nationalism (basically, anything authority based, any organization, I do not support) because at this point, everything is meaningless, it’s like Coca-Cola. There’s no difference. So, I took a symbol, a symbol that labeled me as I was growing up [in Turkey] and I gave the symbol the exact opposite meaning. I have freed myself.

TF: That was beautiful, so I think we should end with that… But, is there anything else that you would like to say to me or tell me??

NC: If I wrote you a symphony, just to say how much you mean to me, what would you do?

TF: Hmmm, probably melt.

People of the Moon! Unite March 18th @ The Highline Ballroom!

P E O P L E   O F   T H E   M O O N !

U N I T E !

March 18th @ Highline Ballroom

 

Love your friend,

The Frogge ❤

PS… Tweet at me HERE! No Twitter follower gets left behind 🙂

 

 

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 ❤

Rock N’ Roll Is In Our Souls…

Posted in Interviews, Music, Nightlife, NYC Bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by thefrogge

The Frogge loves NYC nightlife for lots & lots of reasons… but one of the main reasons is, there are so many different scenes all packed onto one relatively small island! With so many different spots that you can choose from each and every night, you’d have to be crazy to think that there is only just “one scene.” In fact, there are quite a few, starting with the hipster scene, the rock n’ roll scene, the gay scene, the model scene, the house/techno music scene, the list can go on and on, ect…

However, I think this is a really important moment in time to give specific mention to the rock n’ roll scene because lots of exciting things are happening within it… Bands that are now considered “NY local bands,” will not be considered local bands for much longer… For example, Hypernova (one of my favorite NY bands) just got signed (congrats boys!)… The Dirty Pearl’s newest single New York City Is A Drug is being playing on 101.9 WXRP, The Sex Slaves just returned home from their European tour & Wild Street (as well as The Party Death) both just returned home from touring the U.S.

So what did The Frogge do? The Frogge sat down with the one man in NYC who loves and supports the rock n’ roll scene most… Mr. Samuel Valentine

There he is... Mr. Samuel Valentine

There he is... Mr. Samuel Valentine

The Frogge: I am here with Mr. Samuel Valentine outside of the Vains of Jenna music video shoot. Hi Samuel! How’s it going?

Samuel Valentine: I’m cold!

TF: Yes, it is very cold out… which is annoying because I think someone told me it was going to be 76 degrees today, but whatever… We have more important things to talk about than the weather. Tell me a little about this video shoot that we are at… This band is called Vains of Jenna…What song are they shooting the video for?

SV: The song is called Mind Pollution… It is Vains of Jenna’s new single!

TF: How did you get involved with this video shoot…

SV: I helped the director with the casting and brought over most of the people. I figured that I’d bring all my people here to be a part of the video and it would be a great way to promote the show that is coming up this Tuesday.

TF: Well you did a good job… The people look hot!

SV: Really hot! Especially the girls…

TF: Rarrr! I know… there are like 5 guys here… they are having a field day in there! So, tell me a little bit about yourself… Do you consider yourself a host? A promoter? A band booker?

SV: Everything… It’s all in one… anything that I can do that involves music and great people…

TF: How did you originally get involved with nightlife and the NYC rock n’ roll scene?

SV: When I first moved to New York, I had a really crappy job! But I started going out to a bunch of parties and getting involved in the NY scene… One day, I went to an after hours party and when I left, I got mugged on the street. The next day, I went back to the same party and showed up all f**ked up! The guy that worked there asked me what happened… He felt really bad, because he knew that I had been there the night before… So we started talking, and I told him about my crappy job… So he asked me if I wanted to help him out promoting his party to make some extra cash… So I did it, and it started to catch on… I got good at it… And now 5 years later, I am still doing it…

TF: What are some of the places that you have promoted for?

SV: Lots of places! I started with an after hours party at a place called Remix… but I have done Snitch, Marquee, Greenhouse, Cain, Hudson Terrace, The Gates, Pop, Highline Ballroom, The Studio at Webster Hall… too many to mention, pretty much every club in town…

TF: Now, you are still promoting clubs, but you also are booking bands and putting together your own rock shows, which is awesome! Do you think your involvement with the club scene helped get you to where you are now?

SV: Oh yeah, definitely. When I was working at Snitch, they had bands performing live almost every night… I realized that I could help out some of my friends by getting them shows there… When I moved to the States, I wanted to be in a band myself, but it didn’t happen for various reasons… But I knew I wanted to help bands out, so I started booking shows of bands that I wanted to see. Nobody was putting on the shows that I wanted, so basically I started doing it for myself. If there is a band that I want to see play live, I book them a show… I end up booking my dream shows that nobody else is doing…

TF: We will talk about Big City Rebels 2 in a second, because that coming up this Tuesday, but first I want to talk about Big City Rebels 1 because that was the gateway to BCR2… Who played at BCR1?

SV: The Sex Slaves, Wildstreet, Hypernova, BM Linx, and The Party Death…

TF: That’s a hot line up… I love Hypernova… (but that’s old news… everybody knows that The Frogge loves Hypernova.) When you book a band, what do you look for?

SV: First of all talent… kids who are young, who have style, who put on a great live show… I don’t like booking some guy who only plays in jeans and a t-shirt, because it’s boring. I think music is attached to fashion… they go hand in hand…

TF: Well, you must have done something right because BCR1 had a great turnout, I was there myself… I thought that every band did a great job… especially BM Linx and The Sex Slaves… They both played great sets…

SV: Yeah, it was awesome. About 250 people showed up and we were also broadcasting live on a website called NYCliverock.com. Over 400 people logged in to watch the show live from all around the world… 13 different countries tuned in…

TF: So due to the success of Big City Rebels 1, BCR2 is coming up this Tuesday! Are you excited?

SV: Yup, yup!

TF: Who is playing this time around?

SV: Vains of Jenna, Wild Street, Dirty Penny and Natasha Komis.

TF: Since Vains of Jenna is headlining the show; let’s talk about them first… How did you first discover them?

Vains of Jenna

Vains of Jenna

SV: I first listened to them when I was living in Puerto Rico, their band started in Sweden… I really liked them, and I became a fan of their music. It was funny because after Big City Rebels 1, their manager actually contacted the singer [Eric Jayk] from Wild Street to do a show with them. The next morning they called me and asked me to put it together and I was like, “Are you serious?!” I had to do a double take. I was super excited about that.

TF: This band is under Bam Margera’s record label, Filthy Note Records, correct?

SV: Yup… They are one of the first bands that Bam signed…

TF: Nice. I actually Wikied them and found out some interesting info… like how Gilby Clarke (former Guns N’ Roses guitarist) produced their demo, they also have appeared in a bunch of big magazines like Spin, Blender, and Hustler… So they are doing big things. It’s rad that they are going to play your show! Tell me about the other bands that are playing BCR2… I know that Wild Street is one of your favorite bands in New York…

WildStreet

Wild Street

SV: When I first moved to New York, Wild Street was the only band that I knew that was playing 80’s influenced metal… Since that’s the kind of music that I really, really like, I fell in love with them the first moment I saw them…

TF: Aww… that’s kind of sweet…

SV: I have been booking them now for about three years, and I really believe in them. I think they are going to make it…

TF: Okay, next up… Dirty Penny… Who are they?

SV: Dirty Penny is a band from Santa Cruz, California… I discovered them through MySpace… They also are an 80’s influenced band, but with a modern twist. They aren’t cheesy, they are just bad-ass. They are sleazy, 80’s, rock n’ roll, big hair, tight pants kind of guys… they play a great live show. High fuel rock n’ roll! They are starting a new movement that is influenced by the 80’s but coming back with a new modern twist for our generation. It’s very exciting to see this new movement happening again.

The Boys of Dirty Penny

The Boys of Dirty Penny

TF: Last up, we have Natasha Komis… the only lady in the line up!

SV: I met her hanging around at clubs, and her band is more like electro-rock, but they still have a little of the 80’s influence as well. I think they are one of the better bands here in NY. Their live show is insane… they have a great sound, a great look… they are exciting. She is also known for the big billboard campaigns that she has done for American Apparel and for the MTV reality show Paris Hilton BFF.

Natasha Komis for American Apparel

Natasha Komis for American Apparel

TF: Yeah, I have seen those America Apparel ads… I like ’em… BCR1 was at The Studio at Webster Hall… but now BCR2 is at Santos Party House (96 Lafayette Street between Walker and White.) May I ask why you decided to switch up the venue?

SV: It really just came down to space. Vains of Jenna is a big band, and we needed a place to have the show that had a larger capacity. The Studio at Webster Hall would have been too small. Plus, Wild Street had already played that venue, so I wanted to switch it up. Hopefully the next BCR will be at an even bigger venue.

TF: So tell the people when and where they can catch Big City Rebels 2!

SV: This Tuesday October 27th at Santos Party House, doors open at 7 pm! 10 bucks at the door… You can also buy tickets in advance on ticketweb.com…

Big City Rebels 2! This Tuesday 10/27!

Big City Rebels 2! This Tuesday 10/27! 7 pm!

TF: I will see you there…

SV: Sounds good! Get your party pants on!

TF: Oh, they are already on!

~          ~          ~          ~          ~

So come out and support some NYC local bands that won’t be local bands for much longer and someday very soon when these kids will be selling out shows at Madison Square Garden, you will be able to say that you knew them way back when…

RIBBIT OF THE DAY: This is random and doesn’t have very much to do with this post but, I just want to make a point that jealousy will get you nowhere in this life. Neither will talking crap about other people. Of course this is obvious, but I feel that sometimes we need to be reminded of these kinds of things. Always remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, so go out there and be the sweet piece of sugar that you are.

Love your friend,

The Frogge ❤

PS- I know that a ton of people are reading THE FROGGE! (WordPress allows you to check your stats… Pretty cool, huh?) So I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your support! It really means a lot! Also… don’t be shy to leave your comments! Tell me what you liked, what you didn’t, what you want more of, & if there is anything that you think I should write about, ect… I’d love to hear from you, you, and yes, YOU!

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…)

Fanny Pack’s are Back… and Better Than Ever!

Posted in Gay & Lesbian, Interviews, Music, Nightlife, Parties on July 29, 2009 by thefrogge

This may be a very bold statement to make but… I think that a city is only as cool as it’s gay community. Great cities have tend to have great gay communities. Let’s look at the state of California as an example; San Francisco is pretty awesome and LA kind of sucks. Now, ask yourself this… which city has a better gay community? Obviously, the answer to that question is San Francisco. Miami is also another good example of a great city with a great gay community. But the best gay community is in the best city, New York City. 

I feel that whether you are part of the gay community or not, its always nice to know that it is there. That said, last night I went to check out Fanny Pack, a semi-new monthly party for lesbians that takes place at Local 269 on the LES. I sat down with Evie… one of the creators of Fanny Pack, and this is what she had to say… 

Fanny Pack: A Lesbian Party!

Fanny Pack: A Lesbian Party!

The Frogge: Hi… I am here with Evie at Local 269 on Houston and Suffolk. So… tell me about Fanny Pack… was this party always called Fanny Pack?

Evie: No, my initial conception for the party was that is would be called Fur Trade, but that was vetoed because my friends said it that sounded too vulgar… but I disagree!

TF: I think that would have been funny!

E: The owner of Local 269 is Irish and she told us that in Ireland ‘Fanny Pack’ is actually slang for pussy… so I guess we were on point with that one.

TF: Interesting, I never heard that term before… Is this the first lesbian party that you have ever thrown?

E: I used to date this douche bag DJ in Baltimore… and I watched him throw this party, and I thought to myself, “Well if he can throw this party, we can!”

TF: So, you used to date men before you started dating women?

E: Hmm… its kind of been all over the place…

TF: What made you choose Local 269 as the place to throw Fanny Pack?

E: Before this bar become Local 269… this bar was called Meow Mix… did you ever come here when it was Meow Mix?

TF: No… can’t say I have…

E: It used to be this really tough girl, lezzy bar in the early 2000’s… and they were really hardcore, they wouldn’t even let men into the bar…

TF: That’s not nice!

E: We are definitely more inclusive… as you can see, there are men inside… but this bar has had that history for us, so that’s really nice. Also, it’s a great location. The owners just got this place in February or March and they were open to try new things…

TF: So, let me get this straight… Meow Mix used to be in this spot and it was a total lezzy bar, but it went out of business and Local 269 took it over. Local 269 is not a lezzy bar, but you host a lezzy party here?

E: Right…

TF: So who started this party?

E: Myself and two of my friends, Emily and Carol… we are all native Brooklyn girls.

TF: What kind of women do you attract to this party?

E: No Polo shirts allowed!

TF: Really… why?

E: That was a joke, wait, no its not! I really wanted to put that on the flyer, but that would be too exclusive.

TF: There was a man running the door with you, tell me about that…

E: Its because we are not anti-men! Even though this is a lesbian party I have guy friends both gay and straight that want to help out.

TF: I think that’s great… there is no reason why we all can’t coexist at the same bar, no matter what your sexual orientation is…

E: Right… we are inclusive…

TF: What’s the deal with the music at Fanny Pack? What vibe do you girls go for?

E: It’s definitely upbeat… we like to keep a certain energy level…

TF: Let me ask you a question, and I am not trying to sound obnoxious, but what’s the deal with the cover charge? I just feel like every lesbian party I have ever been to has had a cover and it’s not fair to the lesbian community!

E: Believe me, no one is getting rich off of this endeavor. The cover charge is so we can keep the party going. We don’t make a profit. All the money we make goes right back into the party to cover the cost of promoting the party… the cost of making the flyers…

TF: I only ask because if you walk into most bars… there is no cover… so I am just trying to get to the bottom of this…

E: Our cover charge is only three dollars… where as if you went to Snapshot [another Tuesday night lezzy party at The Delancey] their cover is ten dollars!

TF: That’s insane… Normally, I think covers are tacky. It takes the fun out of walking through the door. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem spending money, but I’d rather spend it at the bar… A ten dollar cover is the equivalent of one drink… or three PBR’s! But I do understand that this party, because it is a specific type of party, it needs additional promotion, so if you have a three dollar cover to cover the cost of your promotional efforts… that’s cool, I get it. That’s why I asked…

E: I think that the ten dollar cover at Snapshot is ridiculous… that’s why we did a three dollar cover… its reasonable, it doesn’t hurt your wallet and we worked with the bar to give us drink specials!

TF: Oh, what are they?

E: Four dollar well drinks and for seven dollars you can get a shot and a beer…

TF: Is this party every Tuesday?

E: No, it’s just the last Tuesday of every month!

TF: Just once a month?

E: We want to make it twice a month…

TF: Well keep me posted!

IMG_0918

So… Fanny Pack… a chill, lesbian party on the last Tuesday of every month at Local 269… go check it out because a city is only as cool as its gay community.

Love your friend,

                               The Frogge ❤