Honoring Famed Dracula Bela Lugosi & ‘Limelight’

Famed Dracula actor Bela Lugosi died on this day in 1956. So far he hasn’t returned my attempts for comment. I try to work in the brilliant Bauhaus song "Bela Lugosi’s Dead" into my set as it has a way of taking the dance floor to a surreal almost hypnotic state. It’s nine-and-a-half minutes long and is often remembered from the opening sequence of the terminally hip 1983, Tony Scott flick The Hunger. That film stared Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon, and an absolutely brilliant David Bowie. As “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” blared, lead singer Peter Murphy climbed a chain-link fence that separated him from his crowd at a nightclub. Vampires Bowie and Deneuve pick up a couple of victims, including club performer- turned-actress Ann Magnuson. They lure them to a lavish home on the pretext of sex and then rip them to shreds. When I play the track on club nights it’s like a cigarette break. I can close my eyes and ponder things like how songs from this era are still relevant to fast crowds. YouTube this scene right now and toast to Bela Lugosi.

The Limelight flick is scheduled to start airing on Showtime starting today. I figure anybody relevant has already seen this film which has me chatting away in a few scenes. Now, the film which has been seen in the major markets will get to play in Peoria and places like that. For me it’s sort of like a vampire flick with a time and place that has been dead a long time, rising from its grave and into my bedroom and millions of others. Limelight is enjoying its limelight and return to the party with the opening of Daniel and Derek Koch’s Château Cherbuliez restaurant in the hallowed halls. 

DJs A-Trak, Kool Herc, & More at Scratch DJ Academy 10th-Anniversary Party

Chateau Cherbuliez officially opened in that old church on 6th Ave. known affectionately by all, well many as Limelight. A much better idea than that mall that shares the space and doesn’t seem to have many good ideas, Chateau will class up the building that once was a very classy place. I’m not talking about the Gatien-nightclub incarnation, but more so the time when it was a real church with parishioners that included names like Astor and other NYC-society types. Chateau, with marketing geniuses Derek and Daniel Koch, figures to be a winner. Famous chef Todd English will consult while executive chef Peter Larsen will do the cooking. Managing partner Olivier Bondon of St. Barts lore will preside over a main dining room, a private secret dining room, and when weather permits, a garden. Photos of the Limelight heyday by Patrick McMullan will adorn the walls.

At the official opening Wednesday, that champagne that I proudly affiliate with, Beau Joie, was the official sponsor. It was opened as Daniel and Derek opened Toy just a few weeks ago. The place has operated, and when the time was right and the kinks all un-kinked, they make it official. Good idea. The old building has been a place to gather since the 1840s, and I for one am happy that good people will be returning to have a good time.

Next Tuesday the 30th, Scratch DJ Academy celebrates its 10th year with over 100,000 students from all 50 states and 35 different countries. It’s a major force in developing young talent. Tuesday’s anniversary party honors some not-so-young talent; DJ Kool Herc, DJ QBert, and A-Trak will be the focus of attention while various young studs strut their stuff. It’s an RSVP thing so if you wanna go, do some hustling. I caught up with Rob Principe, CEO and co-founder of Scratch DJ Academy, and he told me all about it.

 In the past 10 years, what have been the major changes in DJ culture? The biggest change has come from technology and the democratization of the art form. Technology has now empowered the broader culture to not only become a DJ, but to do so with a very low barrier to entry in terms of cost and equipment.

What do you predict the next 10 years will be like? Technology will continue to fuel change, and the art form will continue to evolve accordingly. Music will also continue to become more personalized in its delivery and consumption, and the experience will continue to become more social. 

Tell us about the 10-year anniversary event. The ten-year anniversary event will celebrate the Scratch DJ Academy’s amazing milestone, and the legacy of Jam Master Jay and the broader DJ community who have impacted, affected, and shaped the art form over the years. 

What can we expect? What will happen? There will be some great performances, and we’ll also be honoring some awesome DJs like A-Trak, Kool Herc, and QBert. DMC from Run DMC will also be performing along with DJ Dasmatic (Jam Master Jay’s son).

Do you think the public is actually becoming more educated with the art of DJing or are clubs just programming pop? I do believe that the public’s music IQ is definitely increasing. Clubs will always program what they need to drive their revenue, but overall, people are much smarter about music than ever before. 

The Best New Restaurants in the U.S., Europe, and the Caribbean

So much has happened in the past few days. From Hurricane Sandy to the presidential election to that sloppy nor’easter, it feels like we’ve all aged about ten years in a week. To combat our sudden oldness, it’s best to embrace something young and new. No, not a scandalous affair, silly, or at least not just that. We’re talking about a trip to one of the hottest new restaurants in the world. BlackBook global openings editor Ken Scrudato has scoured the world for the greatest tables in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, St. Barths and more, deliving a dynamite roundup of the most exciting and innovative places to stuff your face. Places like Denver’s Al Lado (pictured), chef Richard Sandoval’s latest Latin-style tapas spot, and Moscow’s impossibly chic G Cafe. So click on over to Hot New Tables for November 2012 and start making reservations before the next life-altering disaster hits.