Do Good & Have Fun At ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Spring Soiree Thursday

In NYC, doing good is a hard thing to do; amid the packed subways to catch, under-paying jobs to compete over, and overpriced lattes to guzzle mid-stride, the full body-and-mind frenzy overtakes the intrinsic want to be a good person. But once a year, a party comes along that, for four hours, momentarily changes everything. The name: The Fortune Society’s Spring Soiree, and this year’s theme is A Midsummer Night’s Dream (see photo) happening at The Bowery Hotel Thursday the 16th, from 9pm to 1am. 

While supporting Fortune’s rehab services for men and women emerging from incarceration, you get to not only party with the evening’s honored man of the night -documentary filmmaker Eugene Jareckei (Why We Fight, The House I Live In) – but also sip fruity cocktails to the tunes of DJ Alexander Dexter-Jones alongside expected attendees like socialite/model/editor Amanda Hearst, fashion designer Charlotte Ronson, and Sports Illustrated model Julie Henderson.

And if that’s not enough, you can get VIP tables stocked with cocktail waitresses, champagne, and bottles of vodka – as well as entrance to the exclusive after-party – if you donate enough money for a Friend, Patron, or Benefactor Table. ‘Tis something to consider.

But for the folks who just want to support awareness about the country’s criminal justice system (and gawk at Julie Henderson’s perfect… skin), the price of admission is simply $175. And there are only two days left to get tickets so… come and get ’em.

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Boots of Color

How many pairs of colorful boots do you own? I just realized I own only one pair. All of my boots are some shade of gray, brown, or black. I also realized this is because colorful boots are not readily available. There are always numerous colors of heels and pumps at any given boutique, but for some reason boots are not frequently made in color. I assume this is because boots are mostly worn in the fall and winter and designers shy away from color during these seasons. I want more colorful boots. After reading this, you may want more too! So I took the liberty of digging up some hued boots that will brighten up your outfits during this season dominated by black.

Above: Rock & Republic Landan Lace-Up Booties in Red, $375.

Christian Louboutin Miss Fast Plato Booties, $995. image

Alexander McQueen Leather Peep-Toe Boots, $575. image

Diane von Furstenberg Jameson Khaki Green Suede Lace-Up Booties, $276.50. image

Industry Insiders: Alexander Dexter-Jones, Dancefloor Dauphin

At 26, Le Bain Wednesday night resident DJ Alexander Dexter-Jones has already been on the DJ circuit for 10 years, seen Foreigner 500 times (“not by force!”), and has achieved the impossible: getting the ultra-cool Standard Hotel‘s 18th floor crowd (whatever it’s currently called) dancing.

Dexter-Jones impressively retains both his education from Salisbury School for Boys (he occasionally writes songs in Olde English), and his celebrity family: “There’s your truth, my truth, Page Six, and then there’s the truth.” Surprisingly candid, he has no qualms discussing his early years spent as a roadie for Dad, or support from Mum (Anne Dexter-Jones), who would have liked at least one nice Jewish doctor in the family.

For those who can’t get past Le Bain’s notorious door, Dexter-Jones is currently working on his first album, where he’ll do triple-duty as “composer, producer, and performer,” due out this spring from Paris label Record Makers. He explains: “it’s strongly influenced by the fact that I have a father [Foreigner frontman founding member Mick Jones] who’s given me a large vernacular in music. I have a brother [September cover Mark Ronson] who’s done the same, and I really have a, not extraordinary in the arrogant sense, but an extra-ordinary taste and sense in music.”

He was playing drums at 5 and spinning at Bungalow 8 in its heyday at 16, and while he’s currently credited as the reason the beautiful people take a break from chain-smoking on the roof to get their dance on, he’s on a far more cerebral mission to “diversify your vernacular in music,” eager to share his expansive musical over-education. Just don’t request “Poker Face”.

Background:

I started DJ-ing when I was 16 yrs old in New York. I’ve DJ-ed in Miami, I’ve DJ-ed in LA, I’d DJ-ed all around the world. I started DJ-ing before Samantha, way after Mark. Samantha and Mark are seven and nine years older than me, respectively, and they got me my first gig. They got my foot in the door, and I wasn’t half bad at what I did. Mark was there for me, but Samantha was pivotal in inviting me to open up for her and things like that. She gained me a bit of respect because the music I play either makes you extremely happy or … “let’s go to 1OAK”.

On his upcoming first album:

I’m just in the middle of signing my first record contract, with Record Makers, in Paris. It’s the label that discovered the band Air, and they currently have Sébastien Tellier. They’re a small label, both members have come from larger labels and decided to be about the music. We’re just hashing through the contract now, so we’re hoping to have it out by spring 2011.

On Paris nightlife:

What I love about Paris is, I can go there, and I can play anything as a DJ, and people are incredibly open to it. Not only that, but people will start dancing at 10 o’clock at night. The dance floor will be filled at 10. There’s just much more of an understanding there for me. In Paris the women do not need to be drunk to dance. It startles American men.

On where he goes out in Paris:

Le Baron. Basically André Saraiva, who owns Le Baron, was part owner with Paul Sevigny in the Beatrice Inn. André is a classic character in the scene these days. He has the biggest nightclubs in Paris, as far as the less mainstream. I played there for Fashion Week. They have a club in Tokyo as well and I’m going to play a residency for a few weeks.

On the Manhattan club scene when he was 16:

I was working in a club called Veruka on Broome which no longer exists. Then I went and did a residency at Bungalow 8 a few years before it sort of petered out. I would do a one-off here or there, at Marquee, or birthday parties, but I really focused on private events and things like that.

On the music:

As a musician, and as a DJ as well, I became more geared towards playing the music that inspired me to write. And playing the Top 99 Jams of Hip Hop and Pop Music did not inspire me. If you see me behind a DJ booth you’ll see me dancing along with the music most nights, and another DJ came up to me one time and said: “How can you still do that?” Because I really love what I play. I try to get people interested by weaving less popular and deeper cuts into more commercial and acceptable music. It’s not like they’re going to say “Oh let’s call Richard Johnson [about it]”, but they might say: “That was different.” So it’s about finding that middle ground between whatever you listen to at the gym that gets you psyched and something slighter deeper and more dynamic that’s going to diversify your vernacular in music. By naturally having a Picasso in your art collection, you evolve by default.

On his current gig, Le Bain:

I choose to DJ at this place on a weekly basis because there’s something extraordinary about it. People don’t come downstairs [from the roof] for two hours, so until about 1 o’clock, no one’s down in the club, everyone’s up here smoking cigarettes, enjoying themselves. When people come downstairs it literally becomes like Le Baron in Paris. The co-owner and host of this club, Le Bain – which is inspired by Les Bain Douches, an old nightclub in Paris – Andre Saraiva and Andres Balazs, came together and said “let’s do something different.” And we have great DJs here. Mike Nouveau brings his own element, Rachel Chandler brings her own element, and I do my thing on Wednesday.

On his old gig, The Jane Hotel:

The Jane had some legal issues and they reopened. And I spun there for a while, but I had such a flighty schedule that I couldn’t keep a regular slot … but Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte, who run the Jane along with Angelo Bianchi from the Beatrice do a fantastic job, and they are also very selective of who they have spin there and the crowd that they cultivate. You’ll have a very fun mix and they let their guard down. As far as I’m concerned this place and that place are the two of its kind that cater to that…liberal shabby chic.

On what he would refuse to play:

I’m gonna get myself in a bit of hot water here, but I was born in hot water. Lady Gaga, “Lady Gay-Guy.” She has perfect pitch, wonderful singer, creationist, ultimate. I love the idea of what she does. I wouldn’t have her at my son’s Bar Mitzvah.

On his early start:

I started playing drums when I was 5, I wrote my first song when I was 5. I was engulfed in that since I was a kid. I had no choice.

On support from his family:

All of us Ronson Dexter-Jones, there’s no conspiracy, we all just have a very shared, but individually specific idea of music, which has been thrust upon us by our parents, and the world that we grew up in. Although we share certain intimacies within music, we aren’t defined as a group. We’re not the Jacksons.

On mum:

My mum comes from a long line of Jewish doctors. She’s more rock ‘n’ roll than my father. She wouldn’t have minded if I went into the medical profession. But she’s 110% behind all 5 of her children, no matter what they do.

On sisters Annabelle and Charlotte:

Annabelle’s a phenomenal actress. Watch out for her. She’s done a couple of short films. You’ll be seeing more of her in the near future. Charlotte has her “I heart Ronson” clothing line. She’s in the tents at Fashion Week, she’s one of the three [of us] that graduated college. She’s a superstar.

On Dad, Foreigner founding member Mick Jones:

My father, coming from the band that he created, is not Keith Richards in the public’s eye. My father, to me, is a legend. He’s played with Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles. He has an incredible background in music. He also is grouped into a genre with Journey and Boston and Chicago. Guys who didn’t leave Boston or Chicago, and never journeyed that much, until they got a record deal. My father came from England, from very humble beginnings. People don’t know him by name, as far as they know Keith Richards by name. And it’s a blessing, because I’ve had a chance to come forth as an individual, owing large amounts of respect and homage to what my father’s music has imparted on me. I’ve seen him play probably over 500 times. I’ve seen the Doobie Brothers 230 times. I’ve been to every state. I’ve worked as a roadie. And not by force. It blows me away every time. It’s very cool to be a fan of your father’s work, and not be overshadowed by being the “son of Mick Jones”.

On what’s to come:

I’ll be in Tokyo, in Miami at LIV around Art Basel, in New York I’ll be doing this as a residency, every Wednesday. I do a party at Le Souk on Tuesdays. Sometimes I do 1OAK. You’ll see me around Brooklyn Bowl, I’ll start playing live shows all over the place.

[image via Caroline Owens]

Industry Night at Highbar

Industry Night at Highbar has gotten my attention. Tonight, they’ll screen the Rolling Stones movie In The Park, which shows the return of the Stones to concert making after a couple-year hiatus. The concert took place under a cloud of grief, just a few days after the death of ex-Stones guitarist and founder Brian Jones. Jones left the band just a short while before filming began under confusing circumstances. Some say he quit; while others say Mick Jagger and Keith Richards pushed him out because he’d become a drug-addled waste of space left in the dust, musically. He was perceived as a liability. He was found drowned in his own swimming pool. Was it a suicide or accident?

There was another movie that explored this. That movie, Stoned, paints an awful picture of the events preceding Jones’ demise. A reported 1993 deathbed confession by an assistant, Frank Thorogood, says it was murder. A gig held in London’s Hyde Park in July 1969 quickly became a memorial for the fallen rocker. Mick Taylor was debuted as the new lead guitarist. A quarter million people reportedly saw this concert, which also featured King Crimson and a slew of others. Accounts tell of an uncharacteristically disorganized Stones concert with few highlights. A little over a month later, Woodstock would happen and a half a million would show and everyone would play… except for the Stones. In response, they put together a gig that December at the Altamont Racetrack in California which was supposed to be a sort of West Coast Woodstock. It didn’t turn out real well. That concert, with its murder and chaos, was featured in another flick, Gimme Shelter, by the Maysles brothers, who also gave us Grey Gardens. The year 1969 is ancient history for most, even for me. It’ll be interesting to see this moment in time when the world’s greatest rock band was redefining itself into the act we’re familiar with. Mick Jagger was born on this date, July 26th 1943. He’s celebrating his 67th birthday. Happy birthday, Mick!

Tonight off-work club employees are to bring their employee ID or pay stubs for drink discounts at Highbar. Tommy James will DJ. Next week the movie will be Snatch, the week after Clockwork Orange followed by The Wizard of Oz. You get the idea. If they serve popcorn, I’ll be there every week. Doors open at 5pm and the movie starts at 9. I ate at Aspen Social Club (ASC), and proprietor Greg Brier joined me the other night. Yes, for those who ask me to disclose, my firm designed it. I found it to be delightful; the food and service better than ever. Greg recently sold Amalia/D’or and closed the original Aspen on 22nd street. Highbar and Aspen Social are doing very well, and that makes me happy as he’s one of the industry’s good guys. His bringing downtown sensibility to midtown twirl has found a niche at Highbar and ASC.

Speaking of good guys, I spent Sunday brunch with bon-vivant-turned-restaurateur Patrick Duffy, who continues to amaze me at B.E.S. If you haven’t been, you should, as the scene is fabulous, the food to die for, and the design breathtaking. And no, I didn’t do it. The brunch attracts all the unusual suspects, the movers the shakers, the creatives and some moneymakers. The salmon eggs benedict is transcendent. I also like Tuesday nights there. All the swells come for dinner pre-Patrick’s weekly party at The Box.

Terry Casey — ex-Le Royale — is throwing Tuesday night events at Harem on Laguardia Place. With Terry it’s all about the music, and he likes to mix it up. I asked him to describe Harem. “Harem really feels like a loft space and has a nice relaxed vibe, unlike most spaces I found. It’s Loft Space Meets Hooka Lounge. Me and Alexander are rez DJs and hosts are Rachel Landry (bday Girl), Kelle Calaco, Victor Medina-San Andrés, Jake L, Mike De Guzman and Avery Noyes.” Tomorrow he’ll have the least known of the Ronson/Jones clan, Alexander Dexter Jones, DJ’ing. He’s the brother of Mark Ronson, Samantha and Charlotte Ronson. I’ve never met a Ronson or Jones I didn’t like, and I always appreciate their talent. He’ll be joined by Roxy Cottontail and there’s a live performance by Fire and Reason. It figures to be a good time for those looking for something off the familiar bottle/model path. Harem is at 510 Laguardia Place, just off Bleecker.