From 1979 ‘til 1987 – before the World Wide Web, cell phones, tweets and Facebook – you could find out what’s up by picking up a copy of The East Village Eye, a super cool magazine for the downtown set. It was politics and underground culture and a must read if you wanted to have something to talk about at the club that night. There were great parties as well from Hotel Amazon… warehouse events like they do in Bushwick and places like that today. The DJs included Red Alert, Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck Chillout, and Andrea Rose Clark. Performances came from Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, The Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Melle Mel and De La Soul. If these names don’t register then I suggest taking a minute or three to catch up. My boy Alix Brignol, still a fast friend after all these years, was one of the players. Leonard Abrams was the name on the masthead. Well, tonight there will be a celebration for the launch of the East Village Eye website, and everyone still biting and kicking from back then is going. I suspect a great deal of in-the-know now-a-day types.
There is an incredible line-up of talent of spoken word and performance. The night will start at 6 p.m. with a screening of Charlie Ahearn’s “Wild Style”, then spoken word from Max Blagg, Bob Holman, Glenn O’Brien, René Ricard, and Susana Sedwick. Then there will be a t-shirt fashion show from Evelyn von Gizycki and Entity Sam… and then the bands: Bodacious Ta Ta’s from 10:00-10:30, Phoebe Legere from 10:30-11:00, and Joey Arias and his band from 11:00 to midnight. After that the DJs will bring you back and hopefully forth. The line-up is DJ Jaleel of TV on the Radio from 12:00-1:00 a.m., DJ Brant Lee 1:00-2:00, DJ Greg Poole and friends from 2 a.m. to closing, and all night downstairs DJs Alix Brignol [DJ Wazu], Sister from Another Planet, Natasha Diggs, Rob Aloia, Mighty T Loree, Huggy Bear, and more New York all-star DJs.
This will certainly be déja vu all over again, and it will be pleasant too be in a room with some people that are older than me. The gala is at Tammany Hall (152 Orchard Street).
Last night as I was getting a tattoo at Arlene’s Grocery, I was chatting with Paper Magazine staple Carlo McCormick and we couldn’t get over this revival. Arlene’s Grocery was packed despite the freezing monsoon that stopped everything else. The Williamsburg Bridge was closed in both directions. It was a madhouse. Still, I ventured out. I got an incredible Sailor Jerry flash mermaid from Carl “Featherhand” Hallowell of Elmstreet Tattoo, Dallas. Sailor Jerry flew Carl up for the event, along with Ink Master judge Oliver Pecker. Oliver was joined by fellow judge Chris Nunez and the other Ink Master judge and full time rock star Dave Navarro. The girls were pretty, the Sailor jerry Rum flowed, there was badass Karaoke, and then a sick performance by the Ramonahs, Oliver’s drag Ramones band. An old rule of thumb for rough weather nights is that they usually keep the less fabulous home and don’t deter the amazing folk. The party last night was packed and wonderful, and you should have been there.