Diplo, Scorpions, Owls, & Belly Dancers At Last Night’s Party

What I thought might be an OK  event turned out to be a blast. The hush-hush Dos Equis event last night at the Masonic Lodge on 24th St. and 6th Ave. had more pleasant surprises than my third wife’s diary. Things that I thought irrelevant or even tacky when I first heard of them at early event meetings turned out to be wonderful. People wore the provided masks and ate the weird bug munchies (scorpions, toasted ants, worms – see above). The belly dancers were actually amazing. One of my event golden rules is to leave whenever a belly dancer goes on. But somehow it worked. The belly dancers were hot. The Masonic Lodge has ballroom after ballroom, all marble and wood and gilded moldings. It is grand and mysterious. Photos of admirals and dead politicians lined the corridors, and the crowd rose to the occasion and behaved while they played. 

In rehearsal, surprise guest Andrew W. K. was like a kid left in a candy store during after hours. He played on a ginormous pipe organ while Diplo provided the beats and texture. Diplo would go on to win the hearts, minds, and bodies of the big crowd. I’m not an EDM kind of guy but after the night, before listening to some of the best over at Pacha, and then Diplo, I have been almost…a little converted. Now let’s not get hysterical; rock is still my genre, but I did enjoy Diplo in that grand ballroom .

 I was asked to recommend some cool promoter types to fill the room on short notice due to the Sandy wipe-out. Seva Granik was asked to fill the place, and he brought a hip Williamsburg crowd to the gala. Seva and I talked about how Manhattan is now a novelty destination for his flock. The Bespoke Group, headed up by Cody Pruitt and partners Doug and Brookes Rand, mixed in their bottle service. Alas, the only bottles were Dos Equis, and no one was complaining about that.

Everyone left with smiles on their faces. David Katz and Sam Valentine and Justine D. offered rock and roll while belly dancers rolled their hips and bellies. It was surreal.

The highlight of my night was the birds of prey room. I had an owl and a kestrel on my arm. I bonded with the beautiful kestrel. I talked softly to him and stroked his feathers, and then he leaned in and kissed me right on the lips. I am in love.

My day started at 7am and ended at the next 7am. I guess I’ll get all the sleep I need in 20 or so years. There were too many great DJs to list here and too many people to thank for bringing their friends. The thing about this event that made it hot and interesting was the mix of people. Give a crowd reasons to be cheerful and they will be…cheerful. Dos Equis and Mirrorball and all the other supportive entities deserve credit for producing one of the best events I have recently attended. 

Tonight I expect you to come to Webster Hall’s Hanky Panky Sandy "Rock- N-Rebuild” benefit. I’m doing a late set. Hanky Panky is very much happening thanks to the tireless efforts of Gary Spencer and the Webster staff. I always have fun there.

As reported earlier, the Lucky Cheng’s space is finally changing hands. I’s have been dotted and T’s crossed and I’ll tell you all about it when they tell me I can. The opening of Foxglove at 242 Flatbush Ave. near the Barclays Center intrigues me. DJ mOma is the draw for me, as is the continuing relevance of Brooklyn nightlife. They describe the space as "reminiscent of the Sub-Mercer" which for years was my favorite haunt.

There’s a whole lot of other stuff to report but I’m way too tired. I’m opting out with some warm milk and a long nap. Will someone please say good night, Mr. Lewis.

Marky Ramone, Danny A Flick, & Nana Opens

One of the upsides to my job is the connections. I sometimes have the ability to connect people to each other for collaborations, gigs, work.  When I saw Marky Ramones Blitzkrieg last week at Irving Plaza, I was told a hundred times that it all was because of me that Andrew W.K. was now the lead singer of this fantastic, more than a Ramones cover band. My friend, Mirrorball honcho, Michael Blatter sent over this link where the guys sing my praises. Yes I am blowing my own horn, but I am proud that my little part in this has resulted in a world tour and so much fun for so many people. 

I am proud as punch for a former employee of mine, Danny Abekaser, better know in club circles as Danny A. I never thought of people as employees, as I didnt run things like that, unless they really fucked up and then I’d just fume and yell and occasionally shoot them and draw chalk marks around where they had laid as a warning to others. Danny has been an actor and producer in so many flicks± most notably he produced and starred in the Jesse Eisenberg vehicle Holly Rollers playing the drug dealer Jackie and he was Dino Lapron in the The Iceman with Michael Shannon.
When he first started, he had a bit part in Made, which was partially shot at my joint Spa. He did a scene movie called Point and Shoot, and at that time, told me he was going to really get into the movie business as a career. It seemed like an impossible dream, but he is now working on the Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio film The Wolf Of Wall Street due out for Christmas. He is also producing and acting in a film called The Life which is coming out in about five months. I spoke to Danny and I have a sneak peak at the club flick for you.

The good ole Double Seven, which for me was a double five maybe, will reopen as Bar Nana (63 Ganesvoort Street.) Jeffrey Jah and David Rabin are there, as well as Raphael Cejade Bloom, Kyle Hothkiss-Carone and players to be named later. It’s a great space in a great location and a powerhouse team. It opens tonight, but alas I will be DJing at Hotel Chantelle.

Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg With Andrew W.K.

Marky Ramone and I are old friends. There was a time when The Ramones were a huge part of my life. I was friends with Johnny, went on double dates with him, hung with Dee Dee and Joey and the insane entourage that surrounded them. I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, just a bike ride away from their Forest Hills roots. Johnny, Dee Dee and Joey have passed on. Chihuahua, Mexico born-Arturo Vega, the guy who did their stage production and designed all those T-shirts you all sport, passed just a minute ago. He was a dear friend. I named my best dog after him, a mean ass chihuahua who was unbelievably cool to people he liked.  They got along.

Marky is from Brooklyn; he’s the drummer I know best as Tommy the original moved on to production around the first album. The Ramones were one of the greatest live Rock and Roll shows I have ever seen. They played thousands of gigs—from small town halls to arenas. They toured the world. They became synonymous with the little guy breaking big. They understood the street, the problems of youth and frustrations of common guy love. They related. Their fans were frenzied. They are no more. The closest thing to the Ramones you will ever see is Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg is a slashing set of Ramones tracks with only a requisite 1-2-3-4 between them. I’ve seen the band and it thrilled me, goosebumps and such. Now Marky has added the infamous Andrew W.K. as the lead singer. I cannot wait to see this.
This Saturday they will be at Irving Plaza (17 Irving Place at 7pm.) Tickets are available. I asked Marky to tell us about it.
You are touring with Andrew W. K. doing the "Joey spot".. do you think of it like that?  Is this a Ramones cover band or something else?
I wouldn’t say Andrew’s in Joey’s spot, Joey’s spot can never be filled. He was one of a kind. Andrew is great too, he brings a different thing to the songs and the live performance. I look at this band as the ultimate celebration of the best American punk band.
What has been the reaction to the act worldwide?
So far the reaction has been great. The most important thing is we’re playing music we love and we’re having a good time doing it.
You played with the band during most of the albums during the meat and potato years. You were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Ramone, yet in some Ramones-centric quarters you get grief…the infighting continues long after the dearly have departed. When’s the book coming out.
I’m actually working on the book now. All I can say is, it’s gonna be good.
Are you featuring new material or any Andrew material?
We’re doing Ramones material that Andrew and I decided on. 
When are we DJing together?
Let me know. I’m ready to go.
Photo credit: Martin Bonetto
Main Image Photo credit: BobGruen

Andrew W.K. Enters Hour 17 Of World Record Drumming Attempt

You know, I think I have consistently underestimated Andrew W.K. I remember watching him perform “Party Hard” on Saturday Night Live, if such a thing is even possible to envision in this day and age, and thinking that for once, the music segment of that show wasn’t a train wreck. Then, years later, I saw him DJing at Santos Party House, and the place was fairly empty, but he still killed. So I have every expectation he will succeed in his effort to drum for 24 hours straight, which is entering the final act right about now.

The stunt is part of a Viacom’s O Music Awards, and W.K. has been training hard for it. He’s also, unbelievably, not using caffeine or other stimulants, which explains why he’s looking a little haggard at the moment. Only eight more hours to go, buddy! Luckily, he’s got some drummer friends—everyone from Marky Ramone to, uh, Zac Hanson—to keep the rhythm in his sloppier moments. Right now it’s a guy in a Siouxsie and the Banshees tank top and fedora. Not a good look.
But surely this can’t be for a Guinness-official world record, right? If it were, there would be some official Guinness guy standing over W.K., close enough to breathe down his sweaty neck, making sure he didn’t drop a single beat, or sneak off to the bathroom. And he certainly wouldn’t be allowed collaborators to streamline the whole thing. We’ll consider this a warm-up, dude, but someday we expect a 24-hour drum solo. Then make an album of that so I can drive my neighbors insane.

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Links: Sean Penn Is the First of ‘Three Stooges’; Performance Artists Andrew W.K. & James Franco

● Sean Penn is set to play Larry in the Farrelly Brothers’ Three Stooges adaptation, while Benicio Del Toro has shown interest in starring as Moe, despite the fact that neither man has ever smiled. [Boston Herald] ● Hipster-baiting lines of “ironic” products have hit their nadir: a prototype of Converse shoe-pants created by conceptual artist Sebastian Errazuriz. The final version should feature skinnier jeans. [The L Magazine] ● The creator of the Pez dispenser passed away at age 87. He is survived by thousands of plastic cartoon heads and a stellar Seinfeld episode. [New York Times] ● American Beauty and Revolutionary Road director Sam Mendes will direct the next James Bond flick, deliver Oscar quality scenes of Bond blowing shit up. LA Times

● The Andrew W.K. conspiracy theory proposes that the hard-partying rocker is actually more than one person, making “him” an elaborate performance art piece possibly masterminded by Dave Grohl. [Gawker] ● Meanwhile, James Franco will take part in a gallery show at Manhattan’s Deitch Projects as the grand finale to his own conceptual art piece, which includes a guest spot on General Hospital. [Daily Intel] ● A middle school teacher sold four students his book on how to “recognize those serving Satan and bring them to Jesus” for $5 a piece. Amen! [NY Daily News] ● The cutest video meme of the new year is a little Asian boy doing hip-hop dance moves. Send it to your mother before she sends it to you. [Buzzfeed]